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Jay Townsend - February 7, 2012

Jay Townsend
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Paul Lawrie won in Qatar at the age of 43 to return to the top 50 in the world last week and Jay is very impressed with this comeback. He did not feel that Paul received enough respect for his 1999 Open Championship win because everyone remembers that for Van de Velde’s collapse. Lawrie was really spurred on by his kids who are both very talented golfers and it is great to see him be inspired and then take that inspiration to the course and win at a place where he has had success in the past. It does not matter how you get motivated as long as you get motivated.

Rory McIlroy is in the field in Dubai in the event where he earned his first professional win in 2009. He has 8 top 4 finishes in his last 9 worldwide starts and the fact that Emirates Golf Club is a long hitter’s course makes him even more of a contender. McIlroy may not have the highest winning percentage but Jay thinks that Rory is the most talented golfer in the world.

John Daly surprised many with his 4th place finish in Qatar last week and Jay has known John since college and played together in South Africa prior to John’s 1991 PGA Championship win. Jay likes John a great deal and feels sad that he has wasted as many opportunities as he has in his life and in his career. Hopefully he will gain some inspiration from Lawrie’s win last week.

The Qatar Masters was shortened to 54 holes by officials due to wind delays. There were many factors involved in the decision including the fact that the TV crews had to travel from Doha to Dubai and no one wanted a Monday finish. Also, the weather forecast may not have looked all that good for Monday and he feels that the European Tour did the right thing.

The worst weather he has ever played in was in Durban, South Africa. He had heard that the wind would get so strong that it would blow the flagsticks out of the holes. He did not believe this until he got there and the flagstick blew out twice during his pro-am round. The greens were rolling 6 on the stimpmeter because otherwise the course would have been unplayable. But the worst conditions he ever saw were in the 2002 Open Championship at Muirfield during the third round when Ernie Els went on to win and Tiger Woods shot a third round 81.