So, here we go. The start of another year’s golf and for me it begins with a couple of tournaments on the European Tour’s Desert Swing, a place where I’ve won four times (above), three in Dubai, once in Qatar.
Unlike most tournament weeks it’s a Wednesday start this year in Qatar so we arrived on Monday, having left Palm Beach on Sunday afternoon. I’ll try to get a decent night’s sleep tonight and then we’ve got the Pro Am on Tuesday to start getting into the swing of things. I’ve played some social golf during my winter break, and hit plenty of balls on the range, but I’m obviously lacking what you’d call ‘match practice’, so it’s never wise to make too many bold predictions…so I won’t! One thing I can say for certain is I’m excited to be back out here in the Middle East and really looking forward to the next two weeks.
I’ve always enjoyed the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters as they have beautiful weather at this time of the year and I enjoy the course layout at Doha Golf Club; it kind of suit my eye. It’s a good challenge and the greens are always a joy to putt on. The course is also very attractive and just makes for a really relaxing environment.
I won on my first appearance in Doha after playing a really good final round on a very windy day – I remember I was five shots off the lead, but made a great start with three birdies on the bounce and then ended up shooting 65 to win by one. I’ve come close a few times since winning in 2005, so I do think I have a chance of repeating that success if my game is sharp enough. The tournament always has a good field, though, so there will be a lot of strong competition and as I said, the first tournament of the year is no time for predictions.
As you’ll have no doubt read, we’ve got a whole new set of clubs in the bag, this being my first tournament since signing with Adams on 1st January. We’ve been working hard the past 2-3 weeks to get to this stage and I’m excited about putting the new clubs into competitive play. Anyone who follows me on Twitter @TheBig_Easy will have seen my set already, but this is how it’s looking as we prepare for the first round.
Driver: TaylorMade SLDR
Fairway Metals: Adams Tight Lies, 15½-degree and 16-degree
Hybrids: Adams Super 9031, 20-degree and 23-degree
Irons: Adams XTD Forged 5-PW
Wedges: M. Puglielli, 52-degree and 60-degree
Putter: Yes! Sandy-12 MID
You can click here through to the Adams website for more information.
I’ll write again soon.