Rafa Cabrera-Bello: It’s been a B+ season for me

If I were to rate my season I would give it a B+. It’s difficult to play on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour but I managed to finish the season in the Race to Dubai’s top 25 and was 41st in the FedExCup Standings. I would have liked it better if I’d got a win and finished in the top 10 on the European Tour like last year but, overall, I’m happy with my form.

I enjoyed the DP World Tour Championship this year again where I finished in a tie for 18th but I would have liked to get a bit closer to the leaders and to be in contention. I felt that I played well through the week but didn’t have the luck I needed on the greens. But my game has been good and I played solid. Of course I would have liked a bit more but overall it was a decent performance.

I’ve been hitting the ball well and gave myself a lot of chances so just need to generate some momentum in the round and hole some putts and if I manage to do that then I will be in contention again. Of, course, there’s not really any such thing as an ‘off-season’ anymore, players just have to choose when they wish to take a break over the winter period. I enjoyed sleeping in my own bed in Dubai during the DP World Tour Championship but the following week I was straight back on the road again for the Honma Hong Kong Open where I enjoyed another good tournament. I’ve come close to winning it twice in the last three years and wasn’t too far off this year, finishing sixth, but congratulations must go to Aaron Rai who shot four rounds in the 60s including a course record 9-under par 61 in the second round! When someone is producing form like that you have to just take your hat off to them and accept that it’s their week.

I’m looking forward to a break over Christmas, when I’ll try to do some skiing and just enjoy relaxing with family and friends before getting back out there in 2019.

I think my schedule will change a bit for next season as I need to adapt to the new PGA Tour schedule. There have been some big changes with The Players Championship moving to March and the PGA Championship moving to May, as well as the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship moving to September. So, there are a lot of things to factor in but I’ll sit down with my manager and work out a schedule that we feel allows me to play at my best in as many big tournaments as possible.

I enjoyed taking time out during the DP World Tour Championship to join my coach David Leadbetter in opening up the Middle East’s first David Leadbetter Academy at JA The Resort Golf Club. I have the utmost respect for David and have known him for so many years now and we’ve been working together seriously for around seven years. He has helped me get my game to where it is now and I think that having his academy here in Dubai is great news for JA The Resort and everyone involved. I think he will do lots of good for the region and for anyone who needs coaching.

The Leadbetter Way hits Dubai

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