Less is more for Hoey in 2012


MICHAEL Hoey is hoping a more considered approach to his playing schedule will reap even more success in 2012.
The 32-year-old enjoyed his best season as a professional in 2011, winning twice on tour, including the prestigious Alfred Dunhill Links title at St Andrews.
That win lifted Hoey to another level – he’s now inside the world’s top 100 – and he’s keen to capitalise on the new opportunities that will come his way in 2012.
“The idea is to play a bit less but prepare better,” said Michael who begins his season at the Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt in South Africa, January 19-22.

“I don’t need to play everywhere. I can be a bit more considered about planning my schedule so I have a better chance of doing well when I do play.”

Michael’s victory in Scotland and the huge rankings boost that went with it, secured a spot in The Open Championship and the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone CC in Ohio, USA.
Rather than worrying about securing his card, he is now free to focus on earning more world ranking points. As a result, he will play 25 ‘bigger’ events this season rather than the 30 tournaments he played in 2011.
“I’ll start at Fancourt and then head to Abu Dhabi, followed by Qatar and the Dubai Desert Classic before taking a break,” added Michael.
“There’s an awful lot of [ranking] points on offer in those tournaments. Do well there and you could cement your place in the top 100 which could be good enough for a place in the US PGA Championship.”
Michael put the clubs away over the festive break and only started hitting a few shots this week. He has however been working hard on his fitness and is determined to get ‘stronger’ after running out of steam towards the end of 2011.
After winning the Dunhill at the start of October he played six events that took him across the world from Spain, to China, Hong Kong and finally Dubai.
“All the travel takes it out of you over the course of a season,” he added.

“Certainly I felt tired by the time I got to Dubai for the World Championship.

“Look at Lee Westwood, Luke Donald or Rory [McIlroy] they are all strong and fit. When I was in Dubai, guys like [Martin] Kaymer were doing two gym sessions a day, before and after playing.”
He flies out to Fancourt on Saturday where he will meet up with coach, Jamie Gough, for some work on his game before the start of play on Thursday.
“It’s a small field, four rounds of golf are guaranteed, there’s a decent prize fund and it’s on a good course,” he added.
“I played it before at the South African Open in 2005. I missed the cut there by a couple of shots after scoring badly on the Friday.
“If I remember right it was a tough day to score and I think that if the wind blows it will be really tough again but it’s still a great way to start the season.”

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