This is my first diary since the US Open and there is plenty to write about. After leaving San Francisco on the Sunday evening the whole family travelled to Wentworth and weíve been there ever since. I took a few days off to relax and recover from the US Open, but by the middle of that week I was keen to get out and play some golf.
Rather than beating balls on the range Iíve actually played a lot of social golf with friends at Queenwood and at Wentworth, which made a really nice change. Itís kept me pretty sharp and I feel like everything is in good shape going into this next stretch of big tournaments that I have coming up. Anyway, more on that in a moment.
For now Iíll just fill you in on whatís been happening. Weíve loved being back at Wentworth these past few weeks. Liezl and I were lucky enough to visit Wimbledon Centre Court for a couple of days during the fortnight, which has become a bit of a tradition and one that we both really enjoy. I also took Samantha to watch the menís final on Sunday, which was an incredible experience. A great effort from Andy Murray and I guess if anyone was going to beat a Brit in the final then it should be Roger. Iíve met him. Heís a wonderful guy and obviously a great champion.
Itís a great time of the year to be a sports fan and, of course, we have the Olympics just around the corner. Iíd have a keen interest in this anyway, but as one of the official ambassadors for the South African Olympic and Paralympic teams there is an extra buzz for me. Wherever I am in the world Iíll be cheering for our team and wishing them every success. Weíll have some new, dedicated Olympic content on this website so be sure to look out for that when the Games start at the end of this month.
Back to golf for now, though. Everyone who knows me knows that I love playing golf in Scotland, and especially links golf, so I am excited about returning to Castle Stuart for this weekís Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. Iíve won three times in Scotland during my career Ė two Scottish Opens and an Open Championship Ė and the fans are always so good to me. Itís a very special part of the world for me.
For this yearís tournament Iím lucky enough to be staying for the week at Skibo Castle. Iíve stayed in some great places during my career, but Skibo really is something else. Itís phenomenal and I donít think Iíve ever seen anywhere more beautiful. David Thomson and his team do an incredible job. It has that perfect mix of being really friendly and relaxed, with everything done to an unbelievably high standard. There is so much for the kids to do as well. To be honest, words donít really do it justice, so check out the website or better still make plans to visit some day.
The other nice thing is Skibo has a wonderful golf course, so I can play a few holes and really get into that Ďlinksyí mindset and vibe. I might also try to find time to drive up the road to Royal Dornoch and play a few holes there. Links courses donít get much better. Anyway, Iím excited about the whole week. Iíll make an early start on Tuesday to give myself as much time as possible to enjoy it and prepare.
I really enjoyed the Castle Stuart layout in last yearís Scottish Open and I played pretty well, breaking 70 in all three rounds to finish 11-under par and tied-25th. We didnít get much wind last year and with all the rain that we had it made the ground relatively soft, so it wasnít quite the pure links challenge weíd expected. Hopefully this time Mother Nature is a little kinder to us. It should be a great tournament and I know all of the players are excited about the prospect of playing links golf for a couple of weeks.
As I said earlier, this week signals the start of a really strong stretch of tournaments for me, with the Scottish followed by the Open Championship, then the RBC Canadian Open, the WGC Ė Bridgestone Invitational and straight after that the USPGA Championship. Iím feeling very refreshed after my break and basically I canít wait to get started. Iím seriously motivated to play some great golf.
Iíll write again very soon.