Chris Wood: The work I've been doing on my swing paid off in Germany
CLOSE but no cigar... again. Last week in Germany, I found myself one shot off the pace. I finished third and came away disappointed that I couldn't get the win.
However, there were lots of positives to take from the week, including a hike in my world ranking.
And after a week of working on a new swing change at home with my coach, Mitch, in the first round, I drove the ball the best I have for a long time.
I hit balls Tuesday and Wednesday working on the same thing, so it is clear that we are focusing on the right stuff and that I am heading to a good place with my golf swing again since my back injury.
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Thursday was an interesting day. I set off from the hotel in a courtesy car at around 10.15am, expecting to get to the golf course around 10.45am for my 12.30pm tee time.
Every player has a set routine they go through before each round; mine includes a thorough warm-up and stretch, getting some food from the players' lounge before hitting balls 45 minutes before teeing off.
But at 11.10am, I was still in the car, 3.5km from the course and going nowhere because of traffic.
My caddie and I agreed that if we didn't do something about it, we weren't going to make our tee time.
After the driver refused to head down the middle of the road, we decided we had no choice but to get out and leg it. We passed loads of other golfers sat in their courtesy cars, but once we walked past everyone seemed to follow suit. Soon half the players were walking along the road looking for a route across fields to get to the golf course. It really was like the Great Escape.
Thankfully, I made it to the course at around 11.30am. And at least the jog saved me ten minutes on the bike to warm-up.
You may remember that last week I said I was going to test drive some of the cars BMW had for us, so on Friday afternoon I booked the new M5.
However, when I got to the desk they told me it was in the garage as one of the players had 'hammered' it and it needed some work done. I was gutted, but took out the X5M instead. It was still impressive, but no M5.
I arrived back in Bristol just in time to see England again exit a major tournament on penalties, before spending Monday morning relaxing with my girlfriend. I spent an hour in the afternoon with my trainer, Andy, and Mitch ahead of this week's Irish Open at Royal Portrush.
I've played some holes here when Darren Clarke invited me over last year for the day, but it was Irish weather so we just played nine or so. It is a great links course and I can't wait to get under way.
I'm sharing a house with Dave Horsey and Joost Luiten this week. They're a couple of my good mates on tour, so it should be a good laugh. But I'm not sure who is going to be doing the cooking…