Life is a lot easier when you play badly and then all of a sudden you get in contention and win one. No one gets on your back. When you finish runner-up seven times, everyone is asking, 'Why aren't you winning?' It's much more fun when you jump into a win out of the blue. It's a much tougher game when you play consistently well.

AT-T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Entry Date:
Feb 11, 2009

A gallant third round of one under par 71 sees Padraig miss the final round of this years AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Needing to shoot five under par to make the cut he got to within two shots with five holes to play but stumbled with two bogies as he pushed too hard on the tough Spyglass Hill course. In the team event, himself and JP shot eleven under par for the three rounds with an eighteen under par cut figure! A day of rest all round! Padraig stays on in California for next weeks Northern Trust Open being played at one of his favourite courses, Riviera..

Second round of one over par 73 for Padraig at Pebble Beach golf links. This leaves him at three over par for the tournament but will play another round Saturday on the Spyglass Hill course. Two over par after eight holes, Padraig fought back with birdies on his 8th and 10th holes but gave these birdies back straight away on the 12th and 13th holes. In the team event, they lie at five under par with eighteen under par leading.

Disappointing first round of two over par for Padraig at the Poppy Hills golf course. Starting on the back nine, he was out in level par with one birdie and one bogie recorded but three bogies in a row from the second did the damage. A closing birdie four on the par five 9th leaves him with a lot of work to do to get back in the tournament. Seven under par leads after round one. In the team event, Padraig and JP McManus are three under par with the leaders at ten under par after round one. Work to do!

Padraig continues his stretch on the USPGA Tour with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The event is played over three courses, Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills. He plays, as usual, with his good friend JP McManus in an all Irish fourball opposite Paul McGinley and Dermot Desmond. It's an event that he looks forward to because of the Irish connection and has had great success in the past with JP in the Dunhill Links Championship. Padraig tees off at 8.20am local time from the 10th tee on the Poppy Hills golf course.

Padraigs Tour Diary

My first week back on the PGA Tour was a tough week with regards to my golf. I was delighted in one sense to finish where I did but left knowing that I could have done much better. This week I am in Monterey for the AT&T National Pro-am, which is one of the highlights of the PGA Tour. This is the week that we, as golfers, are in the back seat and the celebrities take centre stage. This is my third year playing here and like the last two years I am playing with my good friend J.P. McManus, playing opposite Paul McGinley and Dermot Desmond. This is one of the most enjoyable weeks of the year for me as it is a relaxed atmosphere and we have a great fourball. I truly look forward to coming here and playing with the guys, it being very similar to the Dunhill Links. On top of this it is nice to come to a tournament and have the celebrities overshadow the golfers. I am not saying that I would like this to be the case every week but on the odd week in the year it is nice.

I got here on Sunday night and have been working on sorting out my hook from last week since Monday morning. I have been on the range everyday since I got here working on few things trying to figure out what was causing me to hit left with a hook; initially I thought it was down to snatching at the ball from the top of my swing (essentially not completing my backswing) but while it did help it didn’t seem to solve the problem. I tried a number of things but just couldn’t put my finger on until someone said to me that my ball position had slipped back in my stance a little; I think this had probably happened as a result of a drill I was doing. When I moved it forward it felt much better straight away and I felt like I had time to hit the ball whereas before I felt like I had no time or room to hit it. I worked on this Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday and it felt much better. It definitely helped me start the ball where I wanted to and changed my bad shot from a hook to a cut which I am much happier with.

This tournament is played over three courses; Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills. They are three great courses, the type of course that I love playing; mature and tree lined. There are a lot of players that don’t like playing them particularly at this time of year because they can get a bit wet and the greens can be a bit bumpy as they are poanna greens. I personally really like playing them as there is a great mix of shots required on each of he courses - you have to managed the wind and the on a lot of the course the spin on the greens. When the greens here get a little moisture in them they get very spiny and so it means that you have to hit a lot of half shots in so as to avoid the ball spinning back off the green. This is the sort of golf that I grew up playing and so it is really enjoyable to get back playing it again.

Pebble is of course the most famous of the courses; it has great holes and spectacular views. The eight, ninth and tenth are all down along the cliff and are fantastic; the eighteenth is one of the most famous holes in world golf. The other two courses are great in their own right but they suffer a little this week as they are compared to Pebble; however Spyglass has equally impressive holes along the water as well but just not as many. Poppy Hills is considered the easiest of the courses; it has tended to be the course where the scoring is done over the years. I find it a tricky course. I can see how people shot good scores on it but I can also see how easy it is to shot a high number as there are plenty of out of bounds and water hazards. It is definitely a funkier course than the other two and if you are on your game then you can shoot a good score here, but if you try too hard it can make a fool of you.

I have played all the courses in practice this week - even though I know the courses quite well I wanted to get out and play. I wanted to play so as to work on my routines and mental approach, whereas if I stayed on the range I would get sucked into more and more technical practice. On Monday I played Pebble with Paul, J.P. and Dermot; we had a fourball match which we ended up halving. It was a fair result as we all played some poor golf mixed with some good stuff; the only thing that could be said about us all was that we were trying hard. There was a lot of grinding going on so much so that it took us over five hours to play; it was great though, especially for me as it was exactly what I needed to get my mind working properly. On Tuesday I played Poppy Hills, again I was practicing my routines and mental approach. Trying to get myself into tournament mode and get away from the technical thoughts that have been going through my head for the last two months; this was a little harder than usual due to the way that I am hitting it. However by the end of the day I had pushed the ball up in my stance and seen a dramatic improvement. Wednesday I play Spyglass which is probably the most under rated course of the three as it has some really tough holes on it and it can play quite long. All the courses are quite wet underfoot and so they are really playing long. On top of this the greens seem to be much quicker than the last couple of years. I think this is because they have had unusually dry weather for the last couple of months; it has only started to rain here in the last week or so. They are all in great shape but they are definitely playing much tougher than any of the years that I have played here.

As always I look forward to playing with J.P. It takes my mind off my game when I am playing with him as I tend to be more focused on the fourball. This and the fact that it is so relaxed in our fourball makes these weeks really enjoyable. After last week I am still a little unsure as to what to expect as my game has been quite poor during practice, although I did feel a good bit better on Wednesday when I moved the ball up in my stance, but again I am not sure how it will be until I get out there on Thursday. Like every tournament I play I am looking to get myself into the shake-up come Sunday afternoon and then see how I get on. This week the same applies for the two competitions - the main tournament and the fourball tournament..