So it finally happened! At the home of golf, last week was officially the best week of my life! To achieve my first win, to be able to walk up the last hole at St Andrews and secure my card, become a winner and share it with my wife was literally a dream come true.
It's been a bit hectic since, my phone has pretty much melted, the response has been overwhelming. I have been trying to respond to texts, emails, tweets and Facebook messages since about 4 am Monday morning whilst fitting in a ton of interviews and am only now starting to get through them. If I do miss anyone I am so sorry but very grateful for all the support and well wishes from people around the world.
There are so many people to thank who have played a part in my story (which I'm still trying to get my head around). Firstly I have to mention Johan Rupert and Dunhill who gave me the opportunity to do what I did. Every week you tee it up is an opportunity in golf but not all weeks have as big an opportunity as this one did. A week ago I was using it as preparation for Q school as I was about to have a few weeks off before that tortuous week. Now, after seizing the lifeline that was thrown to me, I am in Portugal and picking and choosing my schedule for the next year!
A big thanks to my caddy John Dempster who I've known for a long time but had never worked with before. I've mentioned in some interviews how good he was on the back nine Sunday but the truth is he was very good all week. He allowed me to play my game and kept me focused on the job at hand throughout the week. We talked about the shape of my game in practice and we were both pleasantly surprised and knew a big week was doable, but it's a different matter when Thursday comes around. You never know what's in store. Thanks pal!
Now to that the man who has just helped turn my career around in two short weeks, Robert Rock. This is awkward because he is a great player himself and I don't want to mess with his career in the meantime so I won't go into much detail but there is nothing I could ever do to thank him enough. He knows how hard it has been for me and the time, effort and belief he has shown in me goes to show what a great bloke he is and my family and I are eternally grateful.
To my sponsors Callaway and Orion who have been there through the good and, more importantly, the bad, when no one else was knocking and everyone had written me off; they kept believing in me and again I'm truly grateful.
Finally I would say a big thanks to "My Team", and as I was going to mention them I couldn't really define them because so many people have helped me get to here. My immediate team of Raphael Brandon and Rob Madden are the only official ones but my friends, family and past coaches have all helped get me back to the Tour.
Over the last 20 years I've been working to become a winner and see how far I can go. I have worked with tons of people in every area and they have all played a part in getting me here. Over the past few years I kept disciplined and driven on all the areas of the game. It dipped at brief times, usually Friday nights, but by the time Monday came around I had picked myself up and was ready to get back at it. I worked harder on my strength and conditioning and the mental side, looked into biomechanics, nutrition and literally every area to try to find some gains even when the game was giving me nothing back. Along with my inner belief and experience I believe that perseverance is why I was able to cope with Sunday's pressure and to perform.
I have learnt a lot throughout my career but the biggest lesson has been to keep trusting myself. Trust your instinct and keep that sacred place between your ears protected like a vault!
So I'm now in the Portugal Masters and looking forward to the final four events of the Race to Dubai. The Q School form has been ripped up and life couldn't be better! Time to get the game face back on...