Abu Dhabi: For 29-year-old Pablo Larrazabal, a blazing start on day one of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship was a result of hard work put in during the winter.
The son of a Santander fish farmer, the Spaniard set the early pace, and at one staged had picked up five shots off the first ten holes before settling for a four-under-par 68.
“People at home know how hard I’ve worked this winter to be in shape and to change my golf swing a little bit. It’s paying off a little bit too early,” said Larrazabal, who shot to prominence in 2008 when he won the €4 million (Dh19 million) Open de France ALSTOM event after coming through the 36-hole pre-qualifying event at Chantilly the week before.
Larrazabal said he decided to change his swing to get to the top and is looking to reap the benefits from this midway through this season.
“To be one of the top players in the world, you have to have a solid swing and be a little bit more consistent. I wasn’t playing that great the last year, but I know that the work I’m doing is not for this week, it’s not for next week; it’s for the future. It’s going to pay off in the middle of the season,” he said.
“But when you’re working as hard as I did this winter, when this round happened, you feel very happy. But you know, golf is very strange, so can things can also happen the other way round,” the Spaniard said.