Rafa Cabreara Bello with Shane Lowry during the Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club
Rafa Cabreara Bello with Shane Lowry during the Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club Image Credit: Courtesy Golffile

In round one draw at Al Hamra Golf Club I am paired in Match No. 18 at 8.10am from the 10th tee with last week’s champion Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark and left-handed Scottish sensation Robert MacIntyre.

They are ranked 67th and 66th respectively in the world rankings, while I am lying in 106th place. With his win in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship, Nicolai jumped 33 spots, so it just shows how volatile the rankings can be. In the DP World Tour Rankings I am leading them both, with me in 4th spot, Nicolai in ninth and Robert in spot number 101, the complete reverse of the pro rankings. We are all just one swing away from turning around our game and that is what is so much fun about our game.

It is always nice to be part of a marquee three-ball group in any tournament anywhere in the world, when we get a little more attention, whether with TV coverage, media, carrier boards or spectator interest. It gives me satisfaction that I am in being rewarded for my status in the game and past achievements, and gives me confidence, that hopefully translates to my game and my performances and results.

It is now that time of the year in February to look at my forthcoming schedule for the rest of Q1 of the year and a little further ahead.

After this week in the UAE, I will take a rest, four weeks in a row is a lot of golf. I am playing on the PGA Tour in the $3.7 million Puerto Rico Open in March at Rio Grande in Puerto Rico followed by the $3.7 million Corales Puntacana Championship. After that I will again review my schedule for the rest of this season.

Rafa Cabrera Bello, 37 is a Dubai resident and JA Hotels and Resorts Global Ambassador. He has four DP World Tour titles to his name including the 2012 Dubai Desert Classic. He made his Ryder Cup debut in 2016. Rafa lies in fourth place in the DP World Tour rankings.