I had to have eyes in the back of my head to keep tabs on all my sporting interests last weekend.
What with Darren Clarke and Paul Casey at The Players’ Championship, a few of our guys in Madeira, the cricketers in the Caribbean, a full Six Nations rugby programme and the Boat Race, it was difficult to know which way to turn next.
But the highlight was undoubtedly the running of Right Approach in Dubai, a horse bought from The Queen and one which Lee Westwood and yours truly have a 15 per cent stake in. It dead-heated alongside Paolini in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes with Weichong Marwing on board to win its connections a handsome $800,000. Now it will probably head to Hong Kong for the QE2 Cup in just less than a month.
Meanwhile Clarkey was not particularly delighted with his showing in the Players’, but the main thing I noticed was the enormous improvement in his short game since he has been in America.
The facilities they have over there are so good that you can hone your game in every department so it bodes well for Augusta where a player’s short game needs to be in top order.
Sawgrass once again did not prove a particularly happy hunting ground although a final round 69 kept him well in the top half of the weekend qualifiers. I only noticed that he had regained some of the length he had lost through shedding those extra pounds and suddenly he was getting it out there again - another Augusta key.
Graeme McDowell will not be accompanying him to The Masters, but he might join up with his Ulster chum at the US Open. Graeme, who had a very creditable 7th place finish in Madeira and is close to having a really big week soon, has shown his considerable desire to improve by entering the qualifying for America’s national championship.
The swing changes Graeme polished over the winter are beginning to click in and he now looks in good shape to continue progressing. He’s another who has the Right Approach.