Event: Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
Date: January 18-21
Location: Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi
TV: Thursday – 3.30am-8.30am & 11am-1pm & Fri, Sat & Sun – 8.30am-1pm
As snow batters much of Scotland bringing everything to a standstill, Scott Jamieson can be safe in the knowledge that he’s unlikely to be affected by it for the foreseeable future.
That’s because upon the conclusion of his European Tour season, which saw the 34-year-old finish a career-best 26th in the Race to Dubai, he upped sticks and moved to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, with his wife Natalie and children Zoey and Oscar.
And, after a 17-hour flight to the Middle East where he kicks of his 2018 season at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Jamieson told bunkered.co.uk that the decision to relocate was for both personal and professional reasons.
“We bought the house last May but it’s been we thought about way before then,” he explained. “There were a few different reasons. One is that my wife is American so we’re moving closer to her family.
“She’s a twin so we’re moving a mile away from her sister and her two kids. They’re similar ages to our kids so from that point of view, it’s a lot easier for her to have that support network with me travelling for 25-30 weeks of the year.
“From a golf point of view, it means I can improve my game over the winter. Over the last couple of years in Scotland, I was just trying to tick over and maintain what I had. I didn’t feel like I could make improvements.
“You can obviously improve certain things but I just felt I wasn’t getting on the golf course enough. That’s sure to change now I’m over here.”
Jamieson enjoyed quite the finish to 2017. After getting into the Final Series via a sixth-placed finish at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, he was runner-up to Branden Grace at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa (below), pocketing €712,831.
He’s only played competitively once since then at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship and, although that performance is still fairly fresh in the memory, he has no idea what to expect in his first event for nine weeks.
“I’ve been practising plenty,” he added. “There was a lot of work involved with the move but I’ve still been keeping my eye in and have played a couple of times – including once with Chris Paisley who I was delighted to see win last week.
“But as far as this week is concerned, expectations aren’t particularly high to be honest. I’m sure there’s going to be some rust in there but if I can play four rounds and get some in under par, I think that’ll be a good start to the year.”