It was a long and difficult wait, but eventually I got here and this week I can fulfill a lifetime's goal. It has always been an objective to play in the US PGA Tour's Championship, but it was not until 10pm last Sunday that I knew I had qualified for the first time.
Going through all the permutations of who needed to finish where and do what to prevent me taking my place was a nervous experience and something I had never experienced before. But when the good news arrived, I only had chance to say goodbye again to the family just a few hours after saying hello after a week in Spain. Heather's support has been fantastic as ever because there have been long and unavoidable absences this year as I seek to take that extra step in my career.
I was sorry that the Tour Championship clashed with the Seve Trophy and I am disappointed I will not be able to lend my support to the Great Britain and Ireland cause, but I believe that Seve will understand my situation and accept my apologies. David Howell now gets the chance to play and hopefully it will go somewhere to making up for his disappointment at finishing just outside the top 15 in the money list and consequently missing out on a US Open place.
I left home at 6am Monday morning to head for America and went to bed at 9.30pm that night, for what good it did. I woke fresh as a daisy at precisely 1.50a.m. as jet lag kicked in early. At least the gym was empty at 4.30 a.m. as I continued my fitness regime which has greatly impressed coach Butch Harmon. He used to wind me up about my size, but no longer as the benefits of working with Steve Hampson continue to kick in. I'm so into it now that I even feel guilty if I miss a session and I train six days a week.
The course here is fantastic and Butch walked with me throughout my 18 holes on Tuesday and then I helped him out with a kids clinic today after completing my preparation with nine holes in the morning.
Now I can't wait to get started, particularly after Butch organised for me to have a putting lesson from Jay Haas, who has putted remarkably consistently throughout his career. I have known Jay quite a while now although he had left Wake Forest a few years before I got there in the 80's. I hope his tips prove successful because putting will be the key to my game here.
My prospects are good because I certainly haven't come all this way just to make up the numbers.