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Jay Townsend - January 31, 2012

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Robert Rock is a wonderful guy and he will not be changed by this really big win which is huge in the eyes of anyone on the European Tour. He is the kind of player who is able to play any kind of shot and he had given himself many chances to win in the past but he had been unable to close the deal. It is great to see him close  the deal a couple of times on the European Tour. From tee to green, he has the game to hang with anyone in the game of golf. His game has gotten comparisons with Mac O’Grady and like Mac, Rock’s weakness tends to be his putting in part because Rock tries too hard to be perfect with his putting game and putting is not an exact science.

In his opinion, Tiger Woods’ performance in Abu Dhabi had both negatives and positives. He expected Tiger to win on Sunday when he came into the final round tied for the lead because his swing looked really good and he seemed to be very confident with his game. Jay was surprised to see Tiger have so many problems with distance control as well as driving accuracy. Abu Dhabi Golf Club is a tough course and when you hit just two fairways in the final round, you do not tend to win.

Knowing the golf course, he said that you need to be able to hit your driver in the fairway in order to win. It is a 7,600 yard course and if you hit 3 woods all day, you give up a lot of distance even if you are a long hitter and you give up a lot of opportunities to score.

You are never surprised when a caddie and a player break up and he is not surprised to see Darren Clarke and his caddie part ways. After the Open Championship, Clarke has struggled and he has spent much of the past several months celebrating although he has also worked very hard to improve his diet and physique. Clarke had a fantastic caddie with a great head on his shoulders but sometimes you need to change things up in your routine and that is likely a big reason behind this particular separation.