2010-01-09 We played great today as a team and took over the lead in The Royal Trophy. We were very happy afterwards and felt like we fought for each other. Monty is a great captain. He is encouraging and makes us all feel comfortable. Played with Robert again today and he played really good again and I had my best day so far. I think we shot 11 under through the 14 holes we played and didn't loose a hole. We couldn't ask for a better day. Yesterday, we shot 6 under I think in foursomes so we have had a good tournament as a team. Single matches tomorrow. We're up by one point and need a good day to bring the trophy home. I'm playing the Japanese player Oda and really looking forward to a good match.
Team meeting/lunch yesterday. Totally nackerd in the heat here in Bangkok.
Locker room. Monty spends more time here than the rest of us. He usually just hits a few balls before teeing up. A few years ago, he never used to practice and he still won everything. He told us when he won in Switzerland about a decade ago, he didn't even visit the driving range all week because you had to take a buggy ride to it. He hit a few balls into a net next to the pro-shop. He shot 63-61 on the weekend and won the whole thing.
Serious blog mode:)
Colin looks happy after our win. We were both a little rusty a few days ago but we're back into the tournament rythm again.
It's great to see the European flag in the air. We need all support we can get. Here watching Stenson/Martin playing Marksaeng and Jaidee. Stenson/Martin won the match 2/1.
I told Monty he had to smile to get on the blog, but he refused:) He smiles a lot normally but not for the blog...
Stenson and Martin happy happy. So were we all.
Swedish supporters with the Swedish football shirt. I like!
Going to bed to get some sleep for tomorrow's big game. I have felt in love with match play again. Haven't played it for 4 years so I forgot a lot of the strategies and games you could use. Luckily, Robert is a match play star so he taught me some crucial things.
See you tomorrow!
2010-01-08 It's been a good few days. Coming straight from a 5 week practice stretch made it a little difficult to come back to tournament form but it feels like my game is getting better and better. I thought I played pretty good last week in practice but when the game gets tested and the nerves start showing up, you know if your game is there or not. Mine wasn't really there in the beginning of this week. Yesterday's Pro-Am round gave me some hope but I was really nervous this morning before the first day's play here at the Royal Trophy in Bangkok. I played foursome with Robert Karlsson and since I know him and I also know he is a fantastic player it felt like we had a good chance of winning if I played somewhat descent. And I did and we won 4 and 2 against Charlie Wi and Liang. Robert plays such good golf. It's a pleasure to watch him and it's great to learn from him. It looks like he knows exactly what he does and is very distinct in his decisions.
Colin Montgomerie is a great captain. He has so much experience and with a record like his, all of us are listening when he speaks. I like hearing about his old wins and when he played matches. He is really into the Ryder Cup this year and tries to do all he can for Europe to bring home the trophy. Nothing will be left to chance this time.
We're down 2,5-1,5 points after the first day and we have four points to play for in tomorrow's four-ball and then 8 points in the singles on Sunday. Everything can happen and I think we have a strong team with a lot of experience. It's only me and Pablo Martin that are kind of new to these kind of team events. Playing with Robert again tomorrow. All in!
Falling asleep at every dinner. Either my team mates are booring to have dinner with or the day's are extremely long, warm and exhausting. It might be the last one.
Just a few pics from the last two days.
Traffic outside the hotel.
We usually get stuck in this when we go back from the course. I heard Stenson has a pillow in his car. Good idea.
8th hole. Mmm nice.
Coming back from the 8th hole's island green.
Practice session after the round.
Me and Colin.
Sleep and more sleep in the car in the morning...I like sleeping.
2010-01-06 Practice day here at Amata Springs. Nice course. Played with Montgomerie, Karlsson and Pablo. It was good. Course played pretty soft and hit the fairways is a good thing:) Haven't seen rough in a while and there was a lot of it here. But, it'll be fine when we get started. It started raining like crazy when we were finished and it's so much hotter here than in Hua Hin.
My super driver was on time!
8th hole is not like other holes...to say the least.
Somebody building a little house.
Very professional riding in buggies.
Police escort. Not so spoiled at all when we get down here. Rediculous.
Pablo is trying to say something serious for once.
Back with more details soon. Forgot that it might look better with black dress shoes to a jacket and tie. White sneakers were not allowed. Weird...They are so strict here in Asia:) So I have to run and get some to fit in.
See you soon!
2010-01-05 Felt sad leaving this place today...Black Mountain was great! Never had so much motivation and energy to practice.
Elektrolyte drink was a necessary order.
Last few balls before leaving. I always freak out before a tournament trying to decide what swing feelings I want to go with during the tournament. I think I'm going with a strong clubface draw feeling...this might change 5 times before teeing up on friday morning...
We're getting super spoiled at this "Royal Trophy" Tournament. Here is my driver...he is focused. Both hands on the wheel. Perfect form.
Biggest hotel room as well. Two bathrooms. Spoiled, but it's nice.
Time to get ready for dinner. I'm nervous already!
Also, I was wondering what you guys want in this blog. If you have any suggestions feel free. Sometimes I lack creativity so I'd love some tips on what to include. You decide the material.
2010-01-04 The best day in my life:)
Ok. Here are some questions and answers.
What's you record in match play?
Royal - Accenture - Ryder Cup!
A. My record is so-so I must say. Haven't played match play since the amatuer days and since I wasn't that great as an amatuer my record is not as good as I want it to be. I hope my professional match play record will be good.
Q. Hello! Why do no amatuer men players win on the SAS Tour (Swedish Professional Tour) when it's less competition for men than there is for women on that tour? Caroline Hedwall, Anna Nordqvist and Louise Larsson are amatuer girls who have won recently on the SAS Tour. Why do the women amatuers win and not the men amatuers? Do the best men amatuers not play the SAS Tour or are the girls just better internationally?
A. First of all, I think the competition is equal or better on the men's side. There are more men playing the game and therefore it should be more competetion. We have incredible female golfers in Sweden and always have had. But, we have also had and have incredibly good male players. I think a lot of the best amatuers are playing college golf in the States. I played a few events on the Swedish Tour before heading to college and a few after, none (I can't remember any at least) during my college years. I have no good answer why there are more female amatuer winners than men. Sorry:)
Q. Are you going to play the US qualifying just like Jonas Blixt did?
A. I'd love to play a lot of tournaments over there but also in Europe. In the future my goal is to play the majors and the WGC events and then some in America and some in Europe.
Q. What do you think a junior golfer should train?
A. I think a junior player should train short game, a LOT of technique and play a lot of worse ball. And play a lot of other sports to get the all-around physique.
Q. Would u be able to provide your next year schedule? so that we can check your game!
A. I play Royal Trophy now and then the 3 tournaments in the Middle East starting the 21st of January. After that, hopefully a few in America. I'll come back with a more detailed schedule soon when I know what's going on.
Q. Hi Alex , just wondered with all your hard training , whether you use any supplements to train or protein shakes . Please advise on any vitamins or other things you use to help you recover .
A. I take protein shakes after each gym session with no sugar added. I take a few normal vitamins and I drink a lot of water.
Q. Just a quick question. While training and working on mechanics, what are your favorite training aids or drills and which ones do you think are the most effective/efficient? Thanks, all the best!
A. I use the "Swingyde" a lot. I usually do all the work with just a normal club or without anything to get the body and arms moving correctly. Actually, one of the best things is using a very long stick. Try to hit the ball at very low speed with a long stick. You need to move your body pretty good then.
Q. Goes along with the last question, do you have a specific diet that you follow? I know Tiger focuses on eating salads, vegetables, fish, and lean meats. Any specific diet plans that you have? Or things that you try to stay away from?
A. I eat a lot of fat, protein, vegetables, fruit and water. I love candy but trying to cut down on it. It's the pnly bad thing that I can't live without. Maybe I can but it's so damn good:)
Q. Do you have any tips on a good putting mat? I don't like the ones you can buy in the golf stores. Want a more even one...
A. I think the best mat is a normal mat which is very flat. Not too fast, not too slow.
Q. Hello Alex! I often see that you don't do your routine (if you have one) before you hit balls while practising. "Everybody" says that you should do your routine before all shots in practice and in tournaments. I wonder, do you not have a routine, or are you too lazy to do it in practice and if you have one, what does it look like?
A. I have a routine. I take one practice swing to get the feel for it. Then I look where I want it to go and then I step up and hit it. I never do a routine in practice unless I do goal oriented practice. If I warm up or work on technique or just hit balls for fun I never do my routine. It would take forever and it's so boring. In the tournament I need to do it to warm up the body again in between shots. When on the range I constantly hit balls so I don't need to warm up with a practice swing. I think a routine is overrated. Just step up and hit it. If you have a good swing and if you like hitting the ball you just aim and hit. I want to get to that stage and I hope I'm on the right track. Nobody on the tour does their routine on the range. A few do it on the putting green.
See you later!