Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño

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Hi everyone! Today, I'm writing you from up in the air on the plane back to the US, where I'll be playing the next four weeks. It's a shame to have to miss the BMW Championship at Wentworth, the flagship event of the European Tour.

I was obligated to change the dates on my calendar around due to my inconsistent performance in America thus far, in attempt to lock in my PGA Tour card for next year. As most of you know, the regular season of the US Tour finishes at the end of August, and you must be among the top 125 to be able to play in the Fedex Cup, so I've got to tighten up my game in the next couple months if I want to reach my goal.

The past few weeks haven't exactly gone as planned. There were good opportunities and amazing tournaments, and I wasn't able to properly take advantage of them. It started with the Wells Fargo Championship, missing the cut after rounds of 74 and 76. I was, once again, very inconsistent off the tee and on a course like Quail Hollow where, after the changes that were made looking ahead to host the US PGA in 2017, you can't get a break if your swing isn't one hundred percent fine tuned and polished.

I made it to the Players more than ready to come out strong and give it my all after a good weekend's work with Mariano Bartolomé at Doral, but after a few days of practice, things didn't seem very promising. On Tuesday evening, already pretty desperate, I decided to change the shaft of my driver, to see if that would also change my luck off the tee. It turns out that the change worked, and the first day I leas the tournament for a while, after finishing my morning round with a 67. The rest of the week, I went back to what has become the usual from the past couple months, alternating fantastic shots with definitive errors. A good example was Saturday's round when I made five birdies, but I ruined the card with a double and triple bogey, after two critical mistakes off the tee. And at the end of the week, I made a total of 19 birdies at TPC Sawgrass, but unfortunately I shot almost the same amount of bogeys, and I was only able to finish the week with a -2, and a humble position at T38.

After 5 months living in the US, both Alicia and I were ready to go back to Spain, taking advantage of the Spanish Open in Gerona as the perfect excuse. It was a really fun week, first of all, because I was able to play in front of a Spanish crowds again, who came out by the masses to the tournament and made this Spanish Open an unforgettable event. An Open with the best lineup of players of the last decade, won by one of the most loved and emblematic players of the European Tour, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, who seems to be reliving his youth after turning fifty. The RFEG and the PGA Catalonia also did a great job with the course presentation: like last year at El Saler, it wasn't won by an extremely inflated score under par and the course was prepared fairly and equally, rewarding the good shots and penalizing the bad ones, just as it should be.

My game continued along the same lines as the past couple months, and I never quite managed to feel comfortable on the course, especially on the greens.

After so much time away from Spain, I felt like going back to see friends and fellow players on the tour whom we had really been missing because on the PGA Tour, there isn't the same type of friendly bonding and camaraderie as there is on the European Tour. It was a very entertaining week, with lots of fun dinners and long after-dinner conversations, but the icing on the cake was going to the FC Barcelona stadium on Saturday to watch my team, Atlético Madrid, win the league.

Without a doubt, the most special day during these past weeks was last Wednesday when I was lucky enough to finally meet Paula, the girl whose dream will become a reality through the Make a Wish Spain birdie pledge. As you may recall, a few months ago I decided that for every birdie I made during the Spanish Open, I would donate 100 euros to the foundation, and that's how Paula will be able to live her dream of competing in international dressage shows. After posting it on social networks, many friends, colleagues and even anonymous people came together for this incredible cause, and we were finally able to raise over 20,000 euros that will go toward making Paula's dream come true, among many other children. Thank you to everyone who made it happen!

Paula, just fourteen years old, transmits a very special energy. She tells you the story of how she was able to overcome cancer with commendable strength and integrity. Nothing can take the smile off her face. I loved getting to know her and being able to spend time with her.

It is a shame I won't able to see her compete this week in Madrid, and show her the support she showed me by following me for a few holes this past Thursday of the Open. Even though I won't be able to go, I will be sending her all my energy and positive vibes from USA. If you get the opportunity, don't miss out on going to the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid this weekend, not only to get to know an amazing horse rider, but also an incredible fighter, from whom we all have a lot to learn, in which case age doesn't matter. Good luck Paula!!

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