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Having had four days in Las Vegas and three days in San Diego, my wife and I decided I definitely needed a bit of sun.   So we headed for our favourite holiday destination - Cape Town - and had a fantastic eight days break with our children, Thomas and Romy. If I hadn’t racked up enough frequent flyer miles for one month, I added a few thousand more by jumping on a plane for La Costa immediately after our arrival back from South Africa.

The WGC Match Play Championship at La Costa is one of my favourite tournaments of the year, but being the sudden death event that it is, it does have its problems.   Not least you can never put in any laundry because you have no idea just how long your interests are going to be involved.

Lee Westwood played well, but he was on the plane home after His first round match against Phil Mickelson, but Darren Clarke survived a roller coaster journey and was there to the end - finally defeating Stephen Leaney in the third-place play-off match while Tiger Woods won the main event from Davis Love.

In a year of 35 medal play tournaments, match play is a welcome relief.  What a joy to have two players eyeball to eyeball on the first tee, knowing what they have to do and realising that their fate is not being decided by the draw or the weather.   Just two players experiencing the same conditions throughout.   It makes for exciting and unique sporting theatre. It was a testimony to Darren’s new fitness regime that he coped superbly with 25 holes in his first match and then headed off to the gym.

My own health programme has not seen me visit the gym yet, but I have lost 16lbs - only another 65 to go.   Vijay Singh gave me one tip.  He told me to stay off carbohydrates… because there were enough in my body already to keep me going for another year.

Now I’m on my way to Dubai where I will be looking for and expecting some strong performances from my players.   Darren’s performance at La Costa has whetted the appetite for the big weeks ahead while Lee needs one good tournament to ensure his qualification for the Players’ Championship and The US Masters.

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