Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño

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Hello everyone,

First of all, forgive me for taking so long to update the blog, this week has been my first week off since the end of June. There were nine weeks in a row of competitions and tournaments, something I'd never done in my entire 10 years as a professional golfer. Until this summer, 4 or 5 weeks was my record of consecutive tournaments, with the imminent risk of ending up badly with my caddie, but that time was beyond my control seeing as how my PGA Tour card was in serious danger.

Tired? The truth is that I am. Very much so. The tiredness has been chiseling away at me and has left it's mark, and I especially felt it in these last two tournaments, more specifically on the weekends. But curiously enough, it wasn't the exhaustion that was hardest on me these past couple months, rather spending so much time apart from my family. Taking advantage of summer vacation, Alicia and the kids went to Spain to visit family, of which I was unable to be a part of until they came back mid-August to start school here in Miami. Seven weeks in a row without seeing my kids that felt like forever!

During this time, Alicia traveled with me to a few tournaments, the British Open and Canada, which helped me out a lot without a doubt. It was there in Montreal where I made my first top ten of the season, securing my position in the Playoffs, and next year's card. My best results this year were at the Honda Classic, Canadian Open and the Barclays, Alicia being present at all three, so I'll have to take her with me on the road more often, my new good luck charm!

What a huge weight lifted off my shoulders in Canada...And I've always been one to do my chores at the last minute, but this year I let it slip away out from under my fingertips. At the British Open, following a bad week of golf (and a bout of bad luck with the tee-off schedule and the wind) I bordered on desperation, but after a chat with my friend Thomas Bjorn, my doubts cleared up a bit. One night he came to have dinner at my house and he told me his experience in 2004 when he tried to fit both tours into his schedule for the first time (and the last) in his career. He told me that there are very few people capable of playing in both tours successfully, and that focusing on just one (whichever one that may be) wasn't a bad option. I think that talk helped me put things into perspective and helped me realize that in the worst case scenario, I would always have the option to go back to the European Tour, which is not a bad option at all.

The truth is that this year has been difficult, just as is any type of adjustment, but I also believe I've got a better game than I've shown here in my first complete season in the US. I've learned a lot, evolved as a player, and next year, having already played on the courses and gotten to know the terrain, everything will be a little bit easier...or so I hope.

Oddly enough, in that same sensation of happiness at having maintained my PGA Tour card, there was also disappointment, especially after my round last Monday in Boston. I had the possibility of entering in the BMW Championship at the tips of my fingers, the third event of the playoffs, but the pitiful last nine holes left me with a bad taste in my mouth. And nobody likes to finish the season like that, but as I said before, the tiredness and the heat took a toll on me.

But as always, it's important to look at the positive side of things, that Monday after finishing the DB Championship I returned home, and Tuesday I got to take the girls to class for their first day of school. It brought me to tears! After a few days in Miami, the following weekend, I was headed back to the airport to return to Madrid to celebrate my grandpa's surprise 90th birthday party. Alicia and I showed up without having told anyone, and as you can imagine, there were lots of tears of joy again.

In the next couple entries, I'll tell you about the playoffs, Ryder and my future plans. As for my current schedule, you'll see me this week again in Europe at the KLM Dutch Open, a tournament of which I have very fond memories because it was my first victory as a professional in 2005.


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