Tough campaign done & dusted

“The first thing golf teaches is humility, the second: empathy, and the third: patience.” ~ Kirs E Wilson.

When I chanced upon this quote, I could relate to it, one hundred percent! 2021 has taught me a great deal about humility, about empathy and certainly about patience and persistence.

The 2021 European Tour season is finally over and I must say that I’m not sorry to see the end of it. I believe that 2021 has been more challenging than even 2020 when the pandemic hit.

Thankfully, I still have a card on the Tour and it gives me a chance to make amends next year.

Golf-wise, the percentage of cuts I made was way too low and this resulted in a much lower ranking for me going into 2022. Summing up 2021, it was quite the disaster which I have never experienced in all my years of golf. Not during my junior years nor during my amateur times.

Talk about deep diving into a lesson on humility. Missing cuts is hard and it’s even harder when you miss more than you make.

Many people were saying, “don’t worry, everyone goes through it”. Unfortunately or fortunately, this is the first time I have ever been through something so severe. It started off, feeling like I was being punished then I realised that this is something that I have to go through to make me better in the future.

This is also the first time I have had to see my coach, Chris O’Connell so many times in a year, just to try and get that swing working great.

The good news is all that hard work is paying off and I am feeling really good about it now. I know we have gotten to a level which I am very happy with.

2021 also taught me a lesson in empathy. For the first time, I had to part ways with some of my sponsors. I must say that I didn’t expect it, however, I appreciate all the support which they have extended in the past. It’s a tough call, but this makes the financial challenge very real as playing in Europe is very expensive.

At the end of the day, we just have to accept it and move on. Looking for sponsors in an economically challenged environment is an extremely difficult task.

It has been quite an emotional roller coaster to say the least, especially when you’re not playing as well as you want to, it does play on your mind.

However, like the saying goes “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Being at the bottom of the rung a few times have also taught me not to take things for granted and instead of being discouraged, I am fighting and grinding it out.

That builds strength and I am thankful for it. Believe me, the view from the bottom of the ladder is different from the top.

Finally, patience. Some things just can’t be rushed. And we just have to keep at it and be persistent. Sometimes, because I want things to go my way so much, I get ahead of myself and instead of shooting a good score, I went the opposite way.

2021 has definitely taught me a lot about patience and persistence. You just got to keep at it and if you want it bad enough and you work hard enough, it will come through.

All in all, though 2021 has been an extremely tough year, I believe that I have learnt so much in so many different aspects. It was a process which I, as a professional golfer and as a person, had to experience first-hand.

I believe it has made me a better golfer and an even better man. I also want to thank all the Malaysians out there for their unwavering support. It is much appreciated.

I am excited about 2022 as I see it as the start of new beginnings. There will be some new partnerships, new plans and new goals, which I will share with you all soon.

Right now, I am just waiting to get to Phuket, have some chill time and celebrate Christmas with the family. Till then, stay safe!