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It feels good to be back at Santo de Serra this week for the Madeira Islands Open because I have flown here with some good memories.
Last year was my first visit and after a slow but steady start I shot 65, 66 over the weekend to finish in a share of fourth place.
I know some players are wary of Santo de Serra because the constant changes of elevation of the hillsides overlooking the Atlantic Ocean can make club selection difficult – but I like the course. I feel it suits my eye. It calls for straight driving and accuracy with the wedges and I feel that they are two of the strengths in my game.
However, for all my familiarity with this week’s venue there will be one slightly unknown edge to my game. Last Friday I took delivery of my new set of Ping Anser irons. I have worked hard on the range to get used to the different feel, and on a positive note they seem to hit the ball a bit further.
That could be useful, but now I have got to see how I play with them having a card in my hand.