much more silverware than I eventually did.
My whole game just did not click into place and consequently things just did not work out the way they were planned. That is an irony in itself because I doubt that I have ever worked harder at my game, but the more hours I put in the less I seemed to get out of it and that was particularly frustrating. If the rewards had been proportionate to the effort and industry then I would have needed half a dozen tins of polish. I was convinced that if I put in the hard graft, the results would follow, but the more I pushed myself the worse it got.
My goals had been to win not just once or twice, but quite a few times. I was also looking to move higher in the world rankings… and I was also hoping to give myself a chance in at least one Major Championship. One win, a lower standing and never in contention in a grand slam event was a very poor return.
I can take some consolation from my repeat win in the English Open and how I performed in what was a brilliant Ryder Cup, but there is still no real satisfaction in terms of the overall picture. I made the game far too complicated for myself and while I normally enjoy a couple of stretches during a season when I am relatively satisfied with the way I'm playing, I was able to count the good times in days rather than weeks. That's not good enough for me.
Nevertheless, I am not heading into winter hibernation with my chin on my chest because I have reason to believe that 2003 will be more profitable and productive than 2002 even though I will have to move the family out of our house for two months at the beginning of the year so that major repairs can be done to it.
It was in Japan that I found a couple of missing links in my game thanks to some tips from my manager Chubby Chandler and caddie Billy Foster. They noticed a few little things to do with my posture and ball position and after I made the corrections, I suddenly found a few answers. The way I swung the club after that and particularly in Sun City gave me something to look forward to after a winter break.
All I can do is continue practising and wait for the results to come because I have plenty to look forward to in 2002. Not least the Irish Open which I am very pleased to see returning to Portmarnock, one of the best golf links anywhere. Few things in golf outside the Majors would give me more satisfaction than to claim the top prize there.
I will certainly be pot hunting next season - big ones, little ones, I'll take whatever comes my way and it will not be for the lack of effort if it doesn't work out again.
Finally, I would like to wish all of you the happiest of times over the festive season and I wish for you what I hope for myself professionally in 2003 - a very prosperous new year.