Ernie: putting frustrated me in Shanghai

So, we’re back in Florida and there’s time to reflect on the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. I’ve enjoyed some low scoring weeks and high finishes in this event over the years and this one could have been right up there.


The frustrating thing was not making much on the greens the first three days. The putter finally came alive on the back nine on Sunday, but that was too late if you’re talking about contending for a win. Still it gave me some satisfaction because I played some good stuff out there all week. In the end, rounds of 69, 69, 71 and a 66 on Sunday left me at 13-under par and tied-11th.


Overall it was a very enjoyable three weeks in Asia. We played Macau, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai, with a couple of golf course design site visits thrown into the mix, and we got looked after wonderfully well everywhere we went. We’ve been visiting Asia and playing tournaments there for 20 years and it’s amazing how much the game has grown. Everyone is so excited about golf and you can only see it growing even more there in the next 10 years.


Anyway, with me posting this report from Florida you will have correctly assumed that I won’t be teeing it up in Turkey this week and, with new European Tour regulations in force, that in turn means I’m not eligible to play in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai next week. Of course, that’s a disappointing scenario for me personally.


Most people would understand the Tour’s point of view and that it needs to find a way to coax the top players into playing more of these big events, but it’s hard to say if the direction they’re going is the right one. We’ll see. For me, it’s a case of sitting down with my team over the coming weeks and working out a sensible schedule for 2014, one that gives me the best chance of playing my best golf every time I tee it up – whether it’s in Europe or America.


That’s a discussion for another day, though.


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