I’m really excited for what this year holds after a 2015 in which I finished runner-up in the Majors on two occasions – at the US Open and then The Open Championship at St Andrews – and I feel that my game is where I would like it to be.
The back injury issues I’ve had in the past have all cleared up and I’m feeling a lot stronger and fitter than I have before. Believe it or not, I have even started running, and spent time on the trails and tracks on the farm in Mossel Bay back in December. Running is not a career I’d sign up for, but it has given me some tough cardio workouts in the off-season.
I didn’t feel too great physically at Sun City for the Nedbank Golf Challenge where I finished in a tie for 11th on four under. I picked up a bug and the extremely hot weather didn’t help me either. But after that I had a great break with my family and close friends, and got outdoors and really enjoyed the southern African summer.
I also had my Charity Day at Pinnacle Point in mid-December and although the weather was a bit iffy with a couple seasons in one day, it was great catching up with familiar faces.
The toughest bit at the end of the year is always getting your schedule right for the new season. It’s pretty similar this year as there are a few more new tournaments and I’ve started off with the European Tour. The Qatar Masters (27-30 January) is where I’ve teed up my season, followed by the Dubai Desert Classic (4-7 February) and then I’m off to Malaysia from 18-21 February for the Maybank Championship at Royal Selangor. After that I’m heading to Australia, for the Perth International from 25-28 February. I’ve never been to Australia and am really excited to be going there. It’s always a long way to get there, but I’ll be going straight from Malaysia so it won’t be too bad for me.
I’ll start my US season at Doral at the end of February, with the WGC Cadillac Championship and then the schedule is pretty similar to last year. The Rio Olympics will mess up our schedule but one of my goals for 2016 is to be one or the two or three South Africans in the squad. The Olympics is a big subject on everyone’s list. But, I’ve had a proper off-season and now that it has started, it’s all business – working hard, getting ready for the Majors and Rio.