2010-01-15 I could really feel the last few days of travelling in my body. Never felt so weak when I started practising today. No control over the club whatsoever. A big lunch and loads of water helped a lot and we had a good session in the afternoon. Controlling the body in the swing is my main practise purpose. It sounds easy but it feels like I have a long way to go before perfection. But, as long as it's getting closer I'm happy.
Feels weird being in Dubai again. I almost know my way around town now. Usually when coming down here, it's really hard to find places since the on-going construction makes the road change constantly. Now, they haven't had time to trick me since I was here just a few weeks ago...Sweet!
Edfors and I had our usual battle in the weight room. It's makes such a big difference motivation wise when you have someone to "compete" with in the gym. I hate working out myself. I have no motivation then and usually don't puch myself even close to what I should do. I think it's the same for golf practise. I hate spending a whole day alone out there. It's depressing.
Emirates Golf Club is nice.
And the front of the clubhouse.
I need a new camera. This one sucks. The pics come out blurry. Sorry for that, I'm about to fix it.
Another "beating-balls-until-I-got-something-good-going-day" tomorrow with Pete on the range. And, short-game. I tend to forget that part. I'm starting to like it more and more though.
I think I broke my "sleeping-on-a-plane record"! Fell asleep before taking off and woke up 6.15 minutes later when people started making noises pulling down bags from the overhead bins. Was great to catch up on sleep. The only problem now is that it's 2.15 AM here in Dubai and I'm not tired whatsoever. Flying all over the world takes its toll.
3 practice days with my coaches here bofore heading over to Abu Dhabi. It's only one hour in a cab.
Put on a booring movie so I still have a good chance to fall asleep.
See you tomorrow.
2010-01-13 Q. Hey Alex!
First, congrats on the "The Royal Trophy" win for team Europe. Too bad it wasn't on TV here but just the same, good job.
A few things if you have the time and inclination:
a) Notice any big difference between the v grooves from the square grooves? I'd imagine less spin from the rough but the irons into the greens is what I'm interested in.
b) Blog posts you do are great, wouldn't change a thing. You are showing us a different side of professional golf that most people don't realize. Makes some envious as well.
c) Early year schedule? You may have posted something about it earlier but for the sake of comment, what does your schedule look like for the next few months so I know when to look out? BTW, you're in my Fantasy Race to Dubai team so play hard!!!
All the best and keep it going.
A. a) I feel no difference from the fairway with any of the clubs. Maybe the 60 degree spun a touch more before. From the rough, it´s a pretty big difference.
c) 3 tournaments in a row now in the Middle East starting next week. Then a few in America depending on how I play in the Middle East. Haven´t made up a definite schedule yet. It all depends on how many birdies I make. Thanks for being on your teamJ
Q. Great Win! And a great moment when the captain asked you to lift the trophy..guess he's heard about the workout regime?! It's really great to see how well you guys have played under Montys captaincy... looking good for the Ryder Cup.... (by the way....dont you think Monty needs to seriously consider being a playing captain in the ryder cup as he played awesome golf to halve his match today.....?)
A. I really think Monty can do well in the Ryder Cup. He has the game and the experience and specially the right mind for this game. But, as it seems like, he works very hard at becoming a good captain and to win the trophy back to Europe as a captain. But who knows?!
Q. Great win for yourself and Robert against the Japanese pair on Saturday. Just out of interest who is the longer driver out of Robert and Ryo Ishikawa? The commentators kept going on about Ishikawa being a very long hitter.. is that so?
A. Ryo is extremely good, unreal for being that young. I was really impressed! He hits it as long or longer than Robert.
Q. Hey Alex, looking strong
Could you sum up the things you've learned this week for us?
good luck tomorrow :)
A. Look at last blog postJ
Q. Hey Alex, great playing! Just wondering, when you're on the road and at home, what is your favorite music to listen to? Who are your favorite artists? Cheers, keep it up!
A. I don´t have an Ipod or anthing like that. I like music though and usually listens to everything on the radio and on youtube when in the hotel room. Black Eyed Peas music makes me happy!
Q. Buddy, stick to the sneaks! You in black dress shoes......??! Don't think so!
It looks a little surreal to me. Got your feet on the fairway or still floating in the clouds?! Anyway, GO KICK ASS! Show Monty that you're Ryder material…
p.s. Writing this from Dubai airport thinking of all your photos from here.. :-)
A. I hate dressing up. Good looking sneakers go well with suits…J
Q.Which ball are you going to play with (z) or (s) , have a great time
A. Z. Softer than the old X but goes further. Great!
2010-01-11 Summary of Royal Trophy
First of all, it was a great week and that kind of week that will stick to my memory for a long time. Memories of shots we played, certain key holes on the course and the opponents we played against.
- I was really nervous going into the tournament. I've had 5 weeks off from tournament golf. I had practiced every day though but hitting balls inside a tent, practicing at a range and playing casual "bet golf" is not the same as playing for keeps. Even though I had one of the best practice weeks last week at Black Mountain it felt totally different stepping out onto the first tee at Amata Springs Country Club. Black Mountain was in great condition and fairly long but with no rough and the pins in accessible spots. Amata Springs was long, very very tight, had the deepest rough I've seen in a long time, pins tucked away into corners and opponents super hungry to beat us. A little different to say the least.
- Our team, including Colin Montgomerie, Robert Karlsson, Soren Kjeldsen, Peter Hanson, Pablo Martin, Simon Dyson, Henrik Stenson and myself all earned points helping us to win. That felt good. Certain memories of the matches comes to me straight away. Stenson off course holing out from 7 feet on the last to win the Trophy. Martin making birdie on the tough 17th to end his match with a 2/1 win. Dyson and Montgomerie winning the fourball big. Kjeldsen playing super steady beating Bullah on the 17th. Hanson totally crushed the amazingly talented player Ryo Ishikawa 5/4. Hanson was 7 under through 14. Me and Robert had two great days in both foursomes and fourball. I learnt a lot from Robert and we both hit some great shots and we only lost 2 holes in the two days, loosing no holes in the fourball. Colin Montgomerie finished with holing out from long distances on each of the last three holes to tie his singles match and I got to see it all. It was awesome. He looked so relaxed and knew exactly what he was doing.
- Being around top players and sharing thoughts was fun. Colin shared a lot of his experiences. I remember watching him on the last hole in the second day of foursomes in the 2006 Ryder Cup at The K Club. He hit the green with a 3 wood on the par-5 18th but left his partner Lee Westwood with a long tricky downhill putt from the back of the green. Lee putted it about 8 feet past the hole and a two putt would give them the victory in that match. Colin walked by the other European players that were sat next to the green cheering the couple on as a he saw Westwood's putt going far by and just smiled and blinked with his eye and said "I'll hole that one". I was standing close enough to see this and I doubt that any player or fan that heard this doubted him. He off course holed the left to right sliding putt to win the match. It felt like he was as confident yesterday when holing those crucial putts. When I discussed just this with my caddie Colin Byrne in the car on the way to the hotel, he just said, "Monty is a competitor, he can't help it".
- Technically speaking, I improved a lot this week. When I came on tuesday my draw was a little too aggressive. When watching Robert, Pablo and Colin in the practice round, there straight shots worked better around this track than my bigger draws. I had to change up a little and found out that if I coil better in the backswing it'll be easier for me to hit it straighter. Robert plays very nice. He has total control over his ball and can curve it either way in the air. He is remarkably good at the low soft shots with his irons. He tought me a lot of good strategies for match play as well and it was a blast to play with him. The best advice was to never let your opponent know how you feel.
- Overall, it was a fantastic week and it felt like it couldn't have ended better. Close but we all knew Stenson was gonna make that!
See you soon! Take care!
2010-01-10 Great day although I kind of sucked. But, I know what to work on and I'll be better next time. So so happy though! We beat them!!! It looked bad there for a while but they all played great and Stenson came through in the end and shined!!! Me and Robert were the ones that were going to play the play off if Henrik wouldn't have made that putt. We were standing on the range half warming up, half watching the golf. I've never been so nervous in my life. Crazy! If Henrik wouldn't have made it, we would have been the ones winning or loosing the trophy. To say the least, I was pretty relieved and very happy when Henrik made it. Strong Stenson!!!
Tell you more later about the tournament and what I learnt and saw and heard and so on when I've got some more time. Celebrating with my Heineken next to me and the computer rushing to gt to the airport!!! I love it when you fly with a smile on your face.
Monty finished with holing out from 4 meters on the 16th, 3 meters on the 17th and 5 meters on the last to tie his match. A true legend. He almost fist pumped on the last...almost.
Big crowds here in Bangkok. They love their golf!
Star caddies promoting the sponsors!
16 kilos of trophy!
Colin just got his shirt ruined...
Pablo played great ones again beating Marksaeng at home turf!
See you soon!!!