This week’s Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car comes from Italy’s Renato Paratore, a player renowned for the speed of his golf but currently confined to his apartment block in Dubai and hoping to get playing again soon.
It was not easy at the start - in my whole life I would not have gone more than six days without playing golf. This is a new situation for sure but like all new things, after a week I got used to it, and having some company around here it is going well.
I came to Dubai with Guido Migliozzi as both of us recently bought apartments, so we came to get the keys and settle in. Then we just decided best thing was to stay here as its nice and there is a good ambience. We live in the same building but on different floors and different apartments, and he’s with his girlfriend.
I am keeping myself physically fit and working out. The important thing is stay healthy and fit and be ready for when we return to playing golf. On a usual day I’ll do a workout at noon and then another one in the afternoon. I’ll do half an hour of yoga, then read, then a bit of putting on a mat. After that probably watch a couple of episodes of Peaky Blinders, have dinner and go to bed.
Now I’m reading a lot, which I usually never do - I’m currently reading a book in Italian called Focus (Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence). I love basketball so watched the Michael Jordan documentary. For athletes like us the aim is to be like players like that and to get to see the mentality and the work ethic really helps. People like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have something more than anybody else.
Both Guido and I also decided to shave our heads. I had never shaved my head in my life, neither had Guido. We said at least if we do it now during quarantine and it looks bad no one will see us!
Adri Arnaus came up with the idea of a trick shot challenge and #StayStrong message a couple of weeks ago and asked me if I wanted to be a part of it. Of course I agreed. It was a lot fun, plus something a bit different and a way to thank and support all those people who are working tirelessly for all of us.
I know some people at home in Italy who are working on the frontline and I have a tremendous amount of respect for them and thank them for their hard work during these times. I speak with my friends and family all the time. Thankfully everyone is doing fine, and my whole family is at home and they say things are getting better. Hopefully by May 3rd things can start to reopen and Italy can make a full recovery.
I am usually a fast player – it’s my character, my way of doing things. I walk fast, I eat fast. Since I was seven years old I’ve been like that. Even when I play tennis, when we change sides I’m always ahead of the other guy and get to the other side of the court first.
Winning the 2017 Nordea Masters was a victory that gave me a lot of confidence because as an amateur I had a great career but until you see big results when competing with the pros, that’s where it counts. When the victory arrived it was a lot of personal satisfaction.
A couple of years before that, making 18 fours in the Open de France in 2015 was quite unique. I was actually mad as I was missing the cut by four shots playing the 17th hole and at the last hole I holed the putt for four and I didn’t care about anything when my caddie started celebrating saying, “well done, well done!”
And I was like “why?”
“You had a four on every hole!”
It left me a bit surprised that no one had ever managed to do that before but once you think about it, it’s actually quite hard to accomplish.
Before the season was postponed, I was 28th on the Race to Dubai rankings so I was going well. Starting the season like that was good and gives you a lot of momentum. Obviously the main goal is to go out and win and it still gnaws me to have lost in the play-off in Mauritius. In the end only one player wins and I can’t complain. I was very happy with my golf that week.
I’d heard Rasmus (Højgaard) was a very good player and when I saw him hit and saw his ball flight, which is normally what I look at, I could tell he was a solid player. I’m sure he will have a bright future on Tour.
The Ryder Cup coming to Rome is a once in a lifetime occasion for everyone - for golf, for Italians who play golf as it is not a sport that many people in Italy follow. I hope this can be a turning point and allow for more people to pick the sport up and play. For me, the goal would be to play in it! It is in Rome where I am from and as an Italian it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The Junior Ryder Cups I played in were two unbelievable events. I think when you are younger you live in the moment and don’t really understand the magnitude of the whole thing. Now looking at it, I am super happy to be have been a part of those two teams. We got to play nine holes of the actual Ryder Cup course the day before it started with so many fans, it was a great experience.
This period is complicated, but I feel like I’ve dealt with it very well so far. I’m looking at it in a positive way albeit I know that may be difficult to do. I’m trying to see this as a time that allows me to rest and look after myself.
People who know me well, know I love golf more than anything else. So I can’t wait to get back out there and compete again.
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