Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Current round: 3
Pos.: 24Visit the Tournament’s Site.
——————Data provided by European Tour
Everything was not pink today, a black day with the putter ... 2 more days to go low...
Solid round. All credit on Mich Vanmeerbeek for the quality of my long game. This Emirates course asks for long and precise driving with also great long irons. That's why you see guys like McIlroy, Westwood, Gallacher Kaymer, etc, playing well... Not my first 65 here but it was 14 years ago, during my first participation in 2001, Mich was already there and I was more than a rookie...
Young Pieters looked to appreciate this course also, his strong long game is the key here!
All the big guns are there, up on the leaderboard, and a long way to go...
Pro-am day today on an early shot gun tee times, I like that. Mich Vanmeerbeek did the last fine tuning on my swing. We discussed also on the best landing zones on the par 5. Because of the wind change - 180° change, from the land in the morning and a stronger breeze from the see, the wind swap starting between 10 and 11 AM - we need to find the right strategy with the two winds. On the 4 par 5's, I have 3 blind landing zones, sometimes the 3 wood will be used with less chance to get in 2 on the greens because those par 5's are well defended against long driving...
Very strong field here at the Emirates this week: Stenson, Kaymer, McIrloy, Mc Dowell, Oosthuizen, Garcia, Els, Gallacher, Illonen or Grace. With all those names, it's a little Major on the European Tour!
A good arabian week-end (Friday-Saturday), finished 13th. it could have been better because I was going for the low score at the end. A bit unfortunate on 16 (no birdie), 7 feet on 17 for birdie (lip out) and 15 feet for eagle on 18...
Once again great to play with the Big Easy Ernie Els, the perfect partner, with his incredible inspiring rythm...
Flew Saturday night to Dubai, good to have one day off, before the last desert week on the Emirates course!
Off a very bad start, driving wise. Double on the first hole and necer been near the flag on my regulation shots. I thought that I never would made the cut, I misses so many cuts by one on the last 2 years...
But, you know, Doha is not a piece of cake, even without wind, it proved to be a tough test, cut at -1!
Tomorrow I'll need to find fairways, then pins, then birdies... to climb this ladder...
Well, well, well, not as windy as it can be, but enough wind to disturb the way you design your shots in Qatar than the high shots we can play in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Not that warm neither...
2 shorts putts missed asked for a long session on the putting green after the round, all set now...
What a scenario, what an extraodinary performance from Gary Stal, such a lovely person, well deserved on the way he mastered the greens in Abu Dhabi!
Good tournament for Thomas Pieters, top 5 finish is always a key of great form.
My 4 days were uneven, scoring wise. The long game is getting there whilst the putter is still a bit rusty... But overall, i'm not disapointed, the confidence is building, the preparation was appropriate, let's go next week to the more windy Doha to confirm the progress in my game.
By the way, the desert stretch is a great start to the season and I found it also brillant to see the Commercial Bank extend their sponsorship of the @CBQatarMasters for another 3 years...
Good start of the season, and "Young" Pieters (his surname on Tour) had even a much better one!
Great course, not too much wind, not to demanding, precise driving was compulsory...
The birdie on the first tournament hole of the year had a special taste, not as good as my first chip of the year on the 4th (Hole 13). Never been overdrived ;0))) today, with a few bombs and a costly quiet drive blocked at the 11th (Hole 2), good for my first double bogey of the season :0(((.
No bogeys ;0) today and 29 putts, to be confirmed in a near future...
Great to be back on the Europeantour.
I arrived here in Abu Dhabi on Monday night with all my team: Mich, Jérôme and Vincent. We were last week in Dubai where we had a 6 days golf camp at the Emirates and Jumeirah Golf. Before that, I did a 12 days crossfit camp in Phuket (Thailand) on the Unit 27.
The Dubai camp was important to prepare the 2015 season. From driving to putting, all my game has been fine tuned, we did a lot of work also with the help of Pete Cowen and Mike Walker. We had also two invitees: Hughues Joannes and Thomas Detry! They worked hard and appreciated the quality of work and the infrastructures (Thanks Wayne Johnson) we had choosed for this week. And on top of that the weather has been perfect all week.
Last week-end in Dubai we also met Thomas Pieters and his Illinois coach Mike Small (who also is the coach of the University Illinois team for Thomas Detry). So it was very profitable for Mike to learn what Tom Detry is working with us and I told Mike that I won't be surprised that Tom D. will have a great year, his game is really upgrading, I'm excited to follow his progress through the year... We played together with Thorbjorn Olesen who was also impressed by the game of our young Belgian Amateur!
Today I play the pro-am, let's move into a competitive mood, it's been nearly 2 months, I feel a little rusty but looking forward to that first round on Thursday with my Spanish friend and long hitter Alvaro Quiros!
Best wishes for this new year, happiness, heath and success, that all your dreams come true!
Last coaching day of the year with the Bombers with the hole staff (Mich, Jérôme, Blaise) and our guest star Dr Serge Balon-Perin, the well known Sport doctor specialized in nutrition. What to eat, what to drink, when to do it, Dr Balon Perin told us what all junior sportsmen should do. Earlier sportsmen have good diet, the better it is for their career and their health and fitness!
We did also some fitness. Since September we are working on our posture, not only in front of the ball, but also at school, on a chair, in the street... quite important, we'll keep on eye on it in 2015!
in the afternoon, Jérôme and Mich worked with all the Bombers on their putting and their swing, hopefully we had no rain and mild temperatures!
And in the morning, I met the Belgian press for a debriefing of 2014 and a preview of 2015!
With all the coaches, we would like to thank Hulencourt GC and Philippe Feller (2PM), who was present tonight, for their help on the success of this 2014 Junior Bombers' year!
It's for me quite difficult, certainly for somebody like me who travels so much, having all my European Tour communications and the travel flights arrangement done by emails, to always have the right Mobile phone packages and to know all the roaming rules country by country. Proximus client service helped me out with different issues I had recently and I'm therefore quite thankful to them! When Belgian companies are good, we need to tell it!
Dominique Leroy, CEO Proximus, we don't know each other but if you need any help in the golf world, don't hesitate, my team and myself will be there!
Played -2 today during the Afrasian Masters at Anahita in Mauritius, 1 stroke less than Heini Otto -3...
But before flying to Mauritius, and even if I didn't have much time in Belgium, I went to Spa to see the evolution of a real estate project that I share with Bertrand Baguette (Pilot Racing Super GT) and the duo Laurent Minguet and Serge Lejeune: "les Villas de Balmoral".
It's exciting because the three first appartments are nearly totally finished now (in total 4 villa's and 30 appartments). I quite like the look and feel and the atmosphere of the Resort. I did learn a lot during the building, like all the engeneering: Efficient insulation, double flow ventilation, heat
pumps and boilers running on wood pellets live side by side in the same logical
and discreet system, the open fires and high quality building materials of
these thirty flats are certified as energy-saving.
Don't hesitate to have a look at the website and the photo galleries: www.villasbalmoral.be