If anybody back home had wanted a look at the new Darren Clarke, they would have had to have been outside my hotel gym at 7 o'clock this morning. Yes, I'm not kidding, I was actually outside waiting for it to open so that I could continue a fitness regime I am sticking to rigidly. Outside a pub waiting for it to open, I can hear you say, but a gym? Never. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint, if that's what it does, but this is the new DCC.
I've only been training with Steve Hampson, the former Great Britain rugby league player, a few weeks, but I can already feel a great benefit. My fitness has already been subject of a before and after picture sequence in no less an organ than USA Today, America's only national newspaper. The difference is quite staggering and I'm proud of what I've achieved in such a short time. If a few weeks has made a difference to my physique, then 24 hours made a great deal of difference to my game here in Houston at the US Tour Championship.
My 68 was as bad as it could have been just a day after the 74 was just about as good as it could have been. I'm looking forward to improving my position again today and I couldn't ask for better company as I'll be accompanied throughout my round by Zimbabwe's Nick Price.
I didn't play too well at the Volvo Masters so it was nice to be able to come over here and spend plenty of time with my coach Butch Harmon. We have been working on getting my left shoulder higher on the backswing to make sure I don't get underneath the ball.
There's not too much else wrong and if I can finally get to grips with the pace of these greens at the Champions Club, I may well have a say in how this event finishes.