Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño

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Voilá, here is my new driver...

Hi everyone! First two weeks of the Florida Swing, and it's time for an assessment. The Honda Classic was the first stop of the PGA Tour in the “Sunshine State”(as they call it here in Florida), my new place of residence according to my driver's license.

The first tournament of the year was just an hour and a half away by car from home and it was also the first tournament of the year for my wife, Alicia, who came with me to Palm Beach from Wednesday to Sunday. PGA National was an incredible course, demanding in all aspects of the game, especially when the wind picks up, as what happened during the last round.

The general feeling was positive. I came out strong with the irons, but unfortunately I had a hard time hitting the ball into play from the tee. In the end, a staggering spot in the top 25 left me quite satisfied, in spite of the three unnecessary bogeys on my back nine on Sunday. I'm going to let you in on a story from this tournament.

Sunday, I played the last round with my good friend Sergio García, who showed up with an incredible game display from tee to green. If he had putted all right, I would have been witness to one of those historic finales of 62 or 63 shots (if not less) and he could have secured the tournament, especially after the unfortunate events that transpired on the last afternoon groupings. But what can't be denied is that if Sergio manages to straighten out his putt this year, Spanish golf fans will be ecstatic.

Last week was the WGC Cadillac Championship on the newly renovated Trump National Doral. As you can imagine, the expectations were high, dealing with a course on my own turf. It was the first time (and probably the last) that I knew the course going in better than any of the other US golfers. All of them came with no experience on the course, pretty much as I do every other week in this my first full season on the PGA Tour. Considering I was recovering from the end of a cold I caught the previous week, the first day I didn't play too badly, but it was one of those rounds where things did't turn out as expected.

The second day, the conditions were brutal, and there were lots of complaints as to how the PGA Tour prepared the course. In my case, at least I had the luck of sharing the round with Patrick Reed, the newest additions to the “top 5 of the world”, and I got to admire the way he dominated the Blue Monster at the Doral with his putting. Incredible! Final assessment of the week, 54th place (with 13-under-par) after three consecutive rounds of 77 hits, and a final round of 70.

Although the Blue Monster continues to be harsh on me, the truth is that just as much as I couldn't stand the course before; on the contrary, I love the new design by Trump, and one day I hope I'll be able to make it look easy. The best part of the week was that I finally found a driver I'm comfortable with. I'll send you guys photos to make you jealous.

This week was the tournament in Tampa, but I decided to rest since I had been playing for four weeks straight. Up-and-coming destinations: Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where I have some great memories of taking third place last year, and the Eurasia Cup in Malaysia, where I'll golf alongside my fellow teammates, Miguel Ángel Jiménez and Pablo Larrazábal. I'll keep you guys posted!

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