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Shaping Up To New Challenges -  09.03.04            

Losing a lot of weight and regular visits to the gym have made me much stronger and more athletic, but they have also created a few problems for my golf.
Because my body shape has changed, my timing has been out and so I have been struggling a little with my swing.   Thatís why I was as pleased as I was to have claimed third place at the Accenture Match Play.
It was disappointing to lose to my good friend Davis Love 111 in the semi-final, but after being two up with two to play, I got a bit ahead of myself and my mind started to wander to a possible final against Tiger.
But to be honest, Davis played better than me and deserved to win.    The two shots he hit to the last showed the class of the guy.
I had to be pleased with the way I played down the stretch in the play-off match against Stephen Leaney and the world ranking points I collected were more than handy.
On the way back I just had time for three hours with Heather and the kids - and a ride in my brand new Jaguar XJR - before I was off again to Dubai.
The only golfing bright spot for me was successfully defending the shoot out competition alongside Ernie Els against Tiger and Mar OíMeara and Thomas Bjorn and Padraig Harrington.
I felt mentally shattered during the two days of the tournament that I was involved in, but I wasnít too down-hearted.  Iím sure bigger and better things are on the way.
The real highlight of the week, however, was sitting in the company of my caddie, JP, and some Englishmen, including Mr. Westwood and Mr. Casey, watching Ireland do their stuff at Twickenham.   There were a few renditions of Alive Alive Oh while the English were strangely quiet - canít think why.
I did a photo shoot for Footjoy at Queenwood on my return and then today (Wednesday) Iím off to Florida with the family to prepare for Bay Hill, TPC and The MastersÖ and also play Seminole, one of the legendary American courses.
Finally, I would like to thank the many thousands of you who are now regularly logging on to my website.   Congratulations to the winners of our first competition and a new one has already started so enter now, answer a few easy questions about me and you could be swinging with my driver when The Masters finishes.
             
 

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