In-form John Catlin will head to Dubai this weekend for the final two events of the year on the European Tour, feeling recharged, ready to go and in search of the same kind of success he enjoyed in September.
The American won twice in the space of three weeks in September on the European Tour – first at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters in Spain then the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open – and after a long-break at home in California, he is all set for the Middle East.
Next week is the inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World, while the week after is the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – the prestigious season-ending event on the European Tour, for the top-50 players from the Race to Dubai Order of Merit.
Both events are being played at Jumeirah Golf Estates, with the Fire Course used for the former and the Earth Course for the latter.
“I just want to do it again. I am never really satisfied. I have set new goals and I am ready to strive and achieve those,” said Catlin, who turned 30 years old recently.
“To win two times in Europe in a three week stretch, I basically gave it everything. I had nothing left over in the tank.”
Having been on the road for over three months, playing the European Tour’s ‘UK Swing’, Catlin headed home after the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in October and took the first three weeks off golf completely as he “was pretty exhausted”.
“I believe that is the longest I have gone when I have not touched a club at all, with that three and half weeks off. I actually caddied for my coach’s daughter. That was kind of fun,” adds Catlin, who says his coach Noah Montgomerie has played a key role in his success.
“I had to make a few purchases: I bought myself a new phone, a new Mac book, some new headphones, updating everything. Get myself ready to go back on the road.
“I forced myself to take time off, which was nice. But the last three weeks I have been going at it every day. Gym, practice, the whole nine yards.”
Catlin is a four-time winner on the Asian Tour and two-time champion on the Asian Development Tour. He claimed three of those Asian Tour titles in 2018 – which he says wasn’t as taxing as his wins in September.
“The two wins [in Europe] just drained me, I was very tired, when you are in that circumstance and trying to win a tournament. It was a similar feeling after my Asian Tour wins but the nice thing about those were they were kind of spaced out. The win I had in China was in April, then I won Sarawak in July, and then Chinese Taipei in September.”
He is currently ranked 27th on the Race to Dubai and is particularly excited to have earned a place in the elite field for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
“It is a goal you set at the start of the year, to be top-50. Having a chance to win that event is what you are working for and it’s kind of in the back of your mind. It is not easy to finish in that top-50,” says the American.
“I am looking forward to playing and seeing what I can do. I have proven to myself I can win on the European Tour. I am gonna prepare and give it everything I have got. I have never even been outside of the airport in Dubai. It is gonna be a new experience. I just want to have a chance on the back nine on Sunday. Same for the first one. If I can do that in both events I will consider it a great success.”