First of all, thanks to everyone that follows the Web, your support from outside is key for me as a player and for all my team; thank you.
It is complicated to explain these last weeks. One shot is one shot in the last hole in Oman and in the first event of the Tour at the beginning of the year. But the scenario and circumstances make the overall situation though to manage; and at the end, this shot was the putt I had on 18th to secure the card.
A crucial moment was in Hainan Open when we jumped from the 24th spot to the 12th with a solo 2nd place in the event. At the same time, unconsciously, we switched from an attack mode to a defense mode, which cost us a slow start the following weeks.
Obviously, when you are inside top-15 with three events to go, you tend, unconsciously, to keep a defense mode instead of being really aggressive gambling to loose the position in the last minute. However, I repeated to myself that I did not want that mentality to achieve my goal. We did so, but as sometimes happen in this sport, even though we were playing well things did not turn out how we wanted the week in Foshan Open. But we kept grinding and believing in our philosophy, everything was going to turn out as we deserved after all the hard work this year.
The next week in Ras Al Khaimah was different; we had a taste of everything. Slow first round, then next day we show up and break the course record, and the weekend again a bit sour with a good and a bad round. A week where we could have closed the season we came up just short which meant that all was still open in Oman, in the grand final, we needed a good performance there under the high pressure.
I was a simple and a really hard week at the same time.
Simple because we just needed a solid week, create the max number of opportunities through more of a conservative game plan, and the only way to beat the ridiculous pressure was having a really worked mental process which I already had since it’s always part of my preparation.
Hard because there is not one hour out of the 168 that week that you do not think about the consequences, what is going to happen, what will the others do…because of that reason I decided to disconnect from the outside world, turn off all social media, phone, looking at leaderboards, rankings, points…nothing, and it was not particularly easy. And also a tough week because that game panned we needed to achieve the goal it was against my intuition as a player, since I always play the game rather aggressive in most situations.
I started the week really well leading the event but the next mediocre rounds put e in a tricky situation with one round to go.
The last 5 holes were brutal, knowing a whole year was in play, a whole year of opportunities on the main tour as well, all the things I fought for were depending on the score of those 5 holes. But we made it, I kept myself solid mentally and physically and that took us to the 18th hole where we had the intuition that a par would put us on a really good spot.
It is a hole that on the situation we were and how the design looks is intimidating. We hit two perfect shots and a good putt. All that was left was five feet and the week was over. I looked at my caddy, and we understood each other, we needed that one. One more putt, one more out of the millions I have hit, I did not let time to think and I executed thinking of the target. That was it, done; it was no longer on us.
After signing the scorecard, we realized we had made it, the ultimate goal, achieved. It was over, the best and the worse week of the year; total craziness.