Round one is done and dusted and I am happy with my one-under 71 for Day 1.
I started off the 10th tee on the back nine, playing my best and striking it well and where and when I wanted. I got off to a fast start and birdied holes 12 and 14 to get to two-under and made the turn in 34.
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On about the third hole — my 12th — the wind started picking up and I dropped my only shot on the fourth, which was a silly mistake.
Overall, I perhaps left a couple of shots out there on the course, especially on my first nine holes, where I missed some decent chances of making birdies, but everyone playing on Thursday will probably have the same story.
We were told in the morning by tournament officials, that due to Friday’s weather forecast with predicted strong winds, they did not cut the greens and that will be the same on Friday. I am not an agronomist but I understand they will just roll the greens to take out a little of the wear and tear of 132 pairs of players’ feet, plus the same number of caddies walking all over the 18 greens in round one.
I putted averagely on Thursday, but perhaps over-read the borrow a few times, and looking back, it seems the slightly slower greens was the reason. I was imagining the same borrow as the practice days, which was perhaps an error from my side, but if that is my only mistake of the week, I will be very happy.
In the second round I will definitely take this into account.
I was very comfortable with both my playing partners, France’s Victor Dubuisson and Scotland’s David Drysdale, who shot 70 and 73 respectively. After the round I was asked by the media how Victor and David scored. I could not tell them, which means I was concentrating on my own game, which is what I want to do.
After a healthy lunch, I will hit some putts on the practice green and maybe a couple of shots if I am feeling like it. Then it is back to the hotel at Yas Island, so I am refreshed for Friday.
My tee time is at 1.15pm, off the first tee. That means I have quite a few hours to kill before getting to the golf course,
I plan to arrive at the golf course at around 11.30am, but will keep an eye on the scores to see if there are any delays.