September 2013
Post European Masters

Crans Montana......the most scenic venue on tour, bar none. Located some 5000ft above sea leveI, it provides a stunning view of the Alps, which seem to surround us. Normally this is a fair bit of a journey, involving trains, taxis buses, and of course, a flight. This year, we did it the easy way. I took my car to Edinburgh airport, parked it up for the week, caught the flight to Geneva, then hired a car a drove all the way up the mountain to our destination. Avoiding the train and bus journey saved us almost two hours, a couple of quid, and a little bit of stress( although I was to pay for this on the return journey)
Paul was having his foundation dinner in Aberdeen on the Monday, so he didn't arrive until Tuesday evening, which gave me time on Tuesday to look at the new changes to the course. Four holes had been changed on the back nine since last year, which is a fair effort, as the course is covered in snow between November and April.
I met Paul at 7am on Wednesday morning for the pro-am. This year, we had been quite lucky with pro-am teams, and on this occasion, we had three very nice playing partners. However, they had been given some old scorecards, which had different stroke allowances to the card Paul had, and they spent the whole round arguing about the strokes they should be getting..... Strangely enough, this wound Chippie up, and strangely enough, I found this hilarious...." How hard can it be? My card is the one that counts, or is it just me?" "Both" I replied, which pissed him off even more...Great.

Onto the first round, and we had an afternoon draw, playing with Branden Grace and Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant. Branden made a quadruple bogey on the fourth hole, and Thaworn didn't speak much English, so there wasn't much chat. Paul played nicely in a decent breeze, shooting a 3 under 71. After the pro-am on Wednesday, Paul had gone into town to treat himself to a new watch. When he turned up on Friday, it had stopped working. naturally, I found this funny " All that money for a watch and it disnae work min!! Pish eh??" Hehe. Anyway, Paul shot 70 on Friday, which left us a few shots off the pace. Saturday is typically moving day, and Paul shot 70 again, pretty much maintaining our position, jus outside the top twenty. I wasn't a bad score, but Craig Lee from Stirling made everyone's score look ordinary, as he cruised round in 61, giving himself a two shot lead going into the last round. I woke up on Sunday morning, looked of the window to be met by an almighty pea souper. You couldn't see twenty yards , the fog was so thick. Now I was starting to panic. I had a flight that night to Edinburgh. Any length of delay could spell disaster. However, the fog lifted, and a redraw was made, starting on both tees, and we were only 30 min later than our original time. Chippie played lovely, he putter behaved itself, and a 65 was the result! Almost a perfect day. He had moved up to 12th spot. I jumped into my hire car and set off for the airport with another couple of caddies, laughing at the rest of the boys who had to get a bus or a taxi down the mountain, then endure a two hour train journey to the airport.....I should have known better. The weather was horrific. It poured the whole way, and the traffic was brutal. It tooke me nearly three hour more than it should. I arrived at the airport ten minutes before the rest of the boys...."We had a great journey, courtesy car down the hill, straight onto the train, and had a few beers and a laugh" I had spent my journey cursing and swearing at other drivers, and the rain.." You've spent too much time listening to Chippie" said Martin Gray, caddie for Joost Luiten. "Do you want to walk?" was the swift reply. Anyhow, I made my flight, and made it home safely. We now have a couple of weeks off before it gets into the final big push for the season. I'm also playing in Paul's Invitational tournament, so I'll be practicing my little socks off...wish me luck