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Time To Charge The Batteries And Put Family First       

The decision not to play in Madrid this week and consequently hand the Order of Merit title to Ernie Els was not taken lightly.  Indeed it was only taken after a great deal of thought and deliberation.
But because I have had a very hectic schedule since my win in Firestone and the need to refresh the system far outweighed the unlikelihood of winning enough money to overtake Ernie.
Since the middle of July I had had only six-and-a-half days at home with Heather, Tyrone and Conor and to spend even more time away and tire myself even more, was not the way forward.
So the decision was taken that I should re-acquaint myself with the family and ensure the batteries are fully charged for the important events that are left between now and the end of the season.
Family is very important to me and they see little enough of me as it is without me chasing something which was too far out of reach to be a realistic proposition.  Congratulations too to Ernie, who has had a fantastic season and fully deserves to top the money list.
The rest has been marvellous for both body and mind because a long stretch of tournament play not only taxes you physically but also mentally..   Now I feel fit and ready to end the season with another run of success.
Hopefully I will have won enough money to qualify for the PGA Tour Championship open to the top 30 on their list.  As it stands at the moment, I am right on the cusp and just keeping my fingers crossed that I am not overtaken.
If I qualify it will mean another career-goal achieved because I have always wanted to play in that tournament.    There are just two other events that I need to complete the full set - the Mercedes Championship next January which my win at Firestone qualified me forÖ and finally the Grand Slam event.   I am perfectly aware of what I need to do to qualify for that and next year I intend to do something about it.
A couple of corporate outings have also helped me clear my head and I had a wonderful time in Turnberry with Jaguar.  I did a q and a for them and tried to be as diplomatic as I could, but itís not my style to try to dodge questions or fudge issues.  So when asked what so-and-so is like or what I thought of this, that and the other, I told them.
It was great to have another weekend with my foundation at Portmarnock and to see the development of some of the players.  It is very rewarding to see what steps are being taken.
The Foundation has benefited greatly of late thanks to the generosity of Barclays Capital and I spent a very rewarding afternoon with two of their top brass, Bob Diamond and John Anderson, at Queenwood on my return from Dublin.

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