I have never been more relaxed coming into a Major than this week and my first round was testimony to the state of my game and mind. The Par 3 Competition was the perfect way to complete my preparation for the year's first grand slam event and I know I made two people very happy.
The first was my caddie for the day, who paid $50,000 in a charity auction organized by my club sponsors Taylormade for the right to carry my bag for an hour and half. He said it had been the greatest sporting day of his life.
The other happy chappy was my elder son Tyrone who got to putt for me a couple of times. He missed for birdie on the last but was delighted to save par and got a tremendous reception for his efforts.
So I was feeling very comfortable when I reached the first tee although you can't prepare for your first shot without feeling a little nervous. An opening birdie settled me down completely and I went on to shoot 70 which booked me a top 10 place behind Justin Rose, who shot a fine 67.
For me, it was one of the most sensible, conservative and controlled rounds I have ever put together in a major. It had a perfect start and finish - a drive, six iron and 10 foot putt on the last tidying everything up.
I will shoot better and lower rounds, but I doubt that I will ever be more patient or prepared to accept what fate would deliver. Mind you, I had to shoot respectable because I had been warned before I went out that my choice of clothing was likely to invite some critical comment if I shot high numbers.
Tony The Tailor had produced a pair of salmon pink and white trousers, or pants as they're called in America, of quite a unique and distinctive style featuring white turn ups with a slit in. They seemed to be reasonably well received.
Anyway, so far so good. I have definitely played myself into the
tournament and I am really looking forward to the next three rounds.