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There is some change in environment between North Carolina and the Bavaria, from stroke play to match play, from Bermuda grass to Poa, ...
Lovely place here in Bad Griesbach, great hotel, beautiful Spa.
Tomorrow first match, I hope to do good, I like to play well when my good friend "Chipie" (Paul Lawrie) is organizing a tournament.
15 holes ok and 3 holes where I lost patience. Holes 18-1-2, 3 Drives in the rough where I paid 5 strokes to the course. My biggest ennemi is the slow play. Had to wait so long at the 18 and the 1st... It's part of the tournament but sincerely that's where I'm the weakest. Get back in my rhythm ask me so much energy, I like to have a pace in a round. Well playing at 2:15 on the afternoon will be a challenge of keeping my composure during the long waiting spaces on tees, par 3's and par 5's...
But the game is ok, let's capitalize on this during this Friday's round...
Head off to great friend Olesen, so solid round, well done Jacob!
Played a round with Thomas and Jérôme and the course will be serious test, it's long, tight and the rough is thick, the kind of rough that trap your ball in their green fingers. And when you're arrive on the green, you better pay attention.
Driving will be key. I was a little forcing with the body and Jérôme slowed me down. That's the difference between my training where I was driving like hell and the tournament... You're always tries to do more...
Ended 4th at the Charity longest drive between Dustin Johnson and Rory Mc Ilroy in good company I should say...
On the chipping green, Pete Cowen asked to be more creative, using different techniques for the same shots. By the sound of his voice, I understood that this would be a key element for me in the future...
Always making progress is my team moto and Jérôme came with new drills on the green, on visualization to practice for better line and better speed...
Heavy program since 10 days now, but this Quail Hollow course will dig deep in technical and physical ressources of each player. That's why it's a Major... The US PGA Championship!
By the way in 2019, because of TV rights competition in September (American Football) and Olympic games in August, the US PGA will move to May and the BMW PGA Championship to September. It's gonna take a lot of imagination to make the European Tour first semester calendar strong!
A classic of jet lag, awaken too early, gives me the chance to congratulate 2 champions:
- Nafissatou Thiam, World Champion in Heptathlon after her Golf Medal in Rio, what an outstanding performance...
- and Patrick Renard, winner of the Senior Internationals of Belgium, it's not everyday that one of my sponsors wins an international golf tournament, so all credit to you Patrick! (Patrick is CEO of Knauf Belgium).
With Billi boy, surname given by Brian to Jérôme in the States, we'll be early birds on the course today. Jérôme has strong putting program for me with all kind of exercises... Thomas Pieters will join us on the putting green later, he's also training with Billy boy since June on the putting.
On my way to Charlotte, with Jérôme Theunis! I'll be cheering for Thomas Pieters who's leading at the Bridgestone...
Swinging well after a good training with Mich Vanmeerbeek last week. The driving is tuned, much needed at Quail Hollow.
Always a good moment when the President of the PGA of America, Paul K. Levy, sends you a letter to be part of the 4th Major of the year. I'm really looking forward to.
I already played the course but they changed 4 holes and they changed the grass on greens (from Rye to Bermuda).
Heavy fitness program this week, technical training with Mich and Jerôme who will be in Charlotte with me.
Week of the Open, I wish I could play it but a health disorder last Saturday changed my plans. I will routing for Thomas Pieters during this whole week. He has a good chance, it's a good course for him.
Not many news lately, sorry for that, we are going for a new blog and it's not easy as we must be linked with the new data feed from the European Tour!
A couple of weeks of holidays before hopefully the preparation week for the US PGA at Quail Hollow (Charlotte), waiting for a last minute invite, I quite love this tournament!
If you are on holiday yourself, have a good one!
Could not reach speedy Tom who had a great start, he seems to love the front nine. This is the key of this tricky golf course, you need to find the lines from the tee as it's quite narrow.
Yesterday, I had an off day from the tee with the driver with 2 out of Bounds and 2 stymies behind trees (only very old golfers can remind what is a stymie... ). Mich fixed it so today I had 17 good holes...
But I'll be there for the weekend hoping to make the best of it...
Back in business, I flew here this morning with Mich Vanmeerbeek, we had also 2 days of training before coming here. Mich and Jérôme will be also in France next week and I will be fully prepared for the links swing: Ireland, Scotland and maybe The Open, my preferred Major.
Always a super well organized week with Marco Kaussler as conductor and always a few nice cars to test, I always enjoy that.
Thomas Detry is with us also and he'll be fine for the next tournament!
Great win of Bruce Koepka, such a great guy who did decide one day to begin his career with us in Europe, smart move! His second win in his career and certainly not the last one, he's only 27!
Too much wind this morning and this course becomes very narrow at some places, needed a few holes to adapt. A par score was the minimum I could get with such a start.
Coming back to last week, I felt quite a relief after the tournament. So many tournaments where I play much better than my scores and came back with peanuts. This time I developped my A game on the 36 last holes and it paid off. All credit to Brian, my caddie, and all the other members of my team, Pete, Vince, Mich, Jérôme, Sellsie and Gilly. Also impossible not to mention Rachel, so important to me.
Three new wedges in the bag since last Wednesday: 50°, 56 and 60°. It's a long time that my Team thought I needed to fill in gaps in distance between clubs, Chris Sells came with the stats and showed that I needed to cover too much distance with the same club and the birdie conversion suffered from that. So I made the change, starting from the 60° (90 meters) and going up from that. Under the 9 iron that goes 145 meters I have now 4 clubs to cover the distances with a Pitching wedge of 36,5° for 135 meters shot.
I also asked Ian Dryden from the Callaway truck to slightly close my 3 iron so I could take my 2 iron out of the bag.
After some work on the course and on the Trackman to verify all distances, I was good to go on tournament!
Wentworth, Wednesday 24 May
Rolex series, there we are! This is the European Tour Flagship Tournament, like The Players on The PGA Tour. The course has been reshaped, with 29 new bunkers and 18 new greens. It's a gem, or more precisely, finally it's a gem! Well done Paul McGinley, Ernie Els Design and the European Tour design!
The course is in prestine shape, a real PGA Championship! And everybody is here on behalf of Sergio.
The Village is wonderful and the weather is great.
All ingredients to make this first Rolex Series a real success!
Tomorrow start at 9:40 with two other long drivers: Alvaro Quiros and Dean Burmester...
Two good friends are organizing a golf tournament during our National days on 19-20 and 21 July in Marbella. Didier de Vooght, the Tournament Director, and Bernard Stas, the Organizer, have prepared 3 super days on great courses around Marbella. Fun is guaranteed with cocktails and Prize givings and a final party on a Beach in Marbella. For more info's: belgiannationaldays.be
Arrived tonight in Sicily, Tom Detry arrived earlier, looking forward to discover the 18 holes. They altered the holes from the last time I played here. But happy to be here, it's a great resort with 29 holes (+9 short ones) designed by Kyle Philips!