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My game's in better shape after overcoming bubble struggles ahead of Irish Open, says Cormac Sharvin

 

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Back on course: Cormac Sharvin took last week off to refocus

Back on course: Cormac Sharvin took last week off to refocus

�INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Back on course: Cormac Sharvin took last week off to refocus

Golf, at the best of times, is a tough enough sport to master without having to factor in staying away for long periods of time inside a 'bubble' to avoid a deadly global pandemic.

With nowhere to go but the golf course or the hotel, and nobody else to interact with besides your one 'buddy', time can easily drag in between rounds, and it was no surprise to see the likes of Andrew Johnston withdraw from events after not settling into the experience.

Now you can add Cormac Sharvin to that list.

"From the outset I was trying to say that I don't mind (the 'bubble') but, when I reflect, it's something I have struggled with," admits the Ardglass man.

"I found that I couldn't separate my golf from chilling at the hotel, I feel like I've been a bit uneasy with the whole thing."

His golf has suffered slightly as a result. Sharvin has been in mixed form since lockdown, making the cut in four of his seven events with a personal best of tied-19th at the English Championship - including shooting a 63 in his first round - but hasn't made the weekend at his last two events.

But the 27-year-old opted to take last week off, spending it at home to refresh and reflect on his performances since the Tour's restart, and that seems to have kicked him back into life.

"I did some work last week to try and re-frame the situation and get myself into a good place going into weeks rather than feeling like I'm just there," says Sharvin.

"It nearly felt like I was rushing my weeks. I wasn't relaxed, I couldn't wait to get out of the 'bubble' at the end of the week.

"It is difficult, but I have to adapt and get better at dealing with that. I met with my team last week and tried to re-frame it in a way that's better for me.

"My performance coach is pretty well equipped at working in that area, so I've been chatting to him about it and he's given me a few things that I can do.

"I'm trying to plan my days a bit better so that I have a bit more of a schedule to my day, planning it out and having more structure so the days don't feel as long."

Of course, it helps this week that's he's on familiar turf in Galgorm Castle for the Irish Open, a course he has had success at in the past on the Challenge Tour having finished tied-ninth at the 2018 NI Open.

He's also got the recollection of an incredible performance at last year's Irish Open in Lahinch to fall back on too, where he was the best Irish finisher at tied-15th and made a good push for the title at one point as well.

With a diluted field at Galgorm due to the coronavirus, there's a chance for someone to make a name for themselves, and Sharvin is hoping he could be the one to do just that.

"I feel like my game is in the best place it's been all year coming into this week. Whether I play well is another matter, but I feel like I'm moving in the right direction with my game and I can put together four good rounds this week," adds the World No.335.

"It's a good chance to do well this week. I've played here a lot, and even during Challenge Tour events we get good crowds and I get a good following, and I feed off that, which is great. But it's something I'll have to look at this week and gee myself up without the fans."

Belfast Telegraph