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Manchester Evening News: Matt Nixon on Sweden and beyond
Article posted: 22 August 2019

I knew at that moment that I’d be alright in Prague which gave me an inner calmness that I’d been missing in the previous months; that even if I didn’t quite get it right in Prague it wasn’t far away. 

- Matt Nixon

Golf is such a strange game. One minute you feel like you’re miles away and every swing feels different and then one small thought can change everything. 

I had six weeks off after Spain at the end of June and, like any sportsman, you have peaks and troughs with a few bad results and a few consecutive, and I wasn’t finding it easy to get out there and practice.

But my girlfriend Rachel dragged me to the gym to see my old trainer, I went four days straight and that kind of kick-started me and got my juices flowing. 

The week before I was due back out on tour I played at the British Par 3 Championship and I was tinkering, working on three of the major things that I’m always concentrating on in my game, like standing closed to the ball, keeping my backswing shorter and stopping my left shoulder pulling hard early.

A Par 3 tournament is something a bit different and you don’t hit any more than an eight iron, but you still have to keep you score and I enjoyed it.

But after that finished two weeks ago, I realised the work I was trying to do on my swing was the kind of thing you should be doing as a winter project and you can’t play a European Tour tournament feeling like you’re working that much on your complete golf swing.

I had a tournament coming on the Monday so I thought about the one thing that would save or cost me shots the following week in Prague so I had a drill dragging my right foot which slows my left side down and that Friday was one of the best day’s practice I’d had for a long time.

It was like when you were a kid and your dad dropped you off in the morning and had to drag you in only because it was getting dark. I didn’t want to leave. 

I knew at that moment that I’d be alright in Prague which gave me an inner calmness that I’d been missing in the previous months; that even if I didn’t quite get it right in Prague it wasn’t far away. 

I didn’t play great on the Thursday, but my short game was unbelievable – my new wedges from Callaway helped – and on the Friday I hit 15 out of 18 greens and was close all day.

I’d scratched my wheel the other day and I was in touch with the guys from West Riding Hyundai – Jono and Nick – quite a lot and they gave me a proper pep talk on the Thursday night. Maybe we should do that before every round! 

On Saturday I had a couple of bad breaks and didn’t make any putts but there were enough good signs in there from the week even though I finished 58thin the end and I feel good going into this week’s Scandinavian Invitational in Sweden.

Golf is weird because you know at any moment you can have that good week that can change your life. I’m not one for setting goals and I’ve been in this position before and I’ve had no status before and it doesn’t scare me. 

Last year I thought about processes and forgot about the results and this year I think I’ve worried too much about results. From now on I just have to play good golf and see what happens. 

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