I’ve certainly seen a difference in how I’m treated now as an Open Champion. Put it this way, if it wasn’t me I’d be jealous of the guy who was getting all the attention – so it’s all good.
There was a fair bit of back-slapping going on before the Northern Trust tournament in New Jersey and it was good to see all the players again and get back into the groove.
There’s a few more media commitments too as everyone suddenly wants a piece of you – but you’ve just got to roll with it and I’m enjoying it.
It was noticeable on holidays in Portugal after I won at Royal Portrush that more people were coming up to say congratulations or whatever.
I even got recognised in Manhattan a few times last week and that has never happened before!
Like I said, it’s all good and I feel like I’m taking it all in my stride.
I nearly even got to cross paths with wrestler ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin in the Big Apple as I was doing some media at ESPN and he was in there too. He had a few minders with him though so the clips on Twitter were about as close as I got.
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) August 7, 2019
I’m playing in Chicago this week in the BMW Championship as part of the FedEx series. I’d a disappointing round last Sunday and slipped down the leaderboard a bit after playing decent golf on the Friday and Saturday.
I’ll be having a quick nine holes with my coach Neil Manchip on Tuesday and play in the Pro-Am on Wednesday. I’ve never played Medinah Country Club before and only really know it from the European Ryder Cup Team’s, ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in 2012. It’ll be good to get to get to see it first-hand over the next couple of days before Thursday’s tee-off.
The goal this week is to get high enough up the leaderboard to make it to the final leg of the Fedex Series next week, the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
We’ll see how it goes but I definitely feel a lot better having had four days of tournament play last week. My Open Championship win gives me a US Tour card for the next five years. That’s massive for my career – considering I didn’t have eight months ago as my season was getting started.
Whatever way you look at it, it has been an incredible year so far and there’s still the second half of the season and the start of the 2020 Ryder Cup qualifiers to come.
But we’ll worry about that later and just focus on trying to get to Atlanta first.