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.

Shell Houston Open

Entry Date:
Apr 6, 2009

This week in Houston felt like two weeks because of the weather problems that we had. I was out early on Thursday morning, due to tee off at 8.10am. I arrived at the course about an hour and forty-five minutes before my tee time. As soon as I got to the clubhouse it was announced that there was a delay due to bad weather. I would have liked to have heard this before I got out of my bed! We ended up having a two and half hour delay due to thunder and lightning, this meant that I teed off at 10.40 am. When we eventually got out on the course it was extremely windy and really tough going. By the time I got to my 7th hole the wind was practically blowing us over, it got so bad that we were called in from the course. As it turned out we never got back on the course on Thursday which meant that we had to come back early in the morning on Friday to finish our first round; once we finished our round we were finished for the day as the second half of the draw had to start and then play their second round. This meant that I had to get up early on Saturday to start my second round and having made the cut and not being able to finish our third round we had to get up early again on Sunday. It was definitely the longest tournament ever!

My first round started well, even though it was delayed, I birdied my 2nd and 3rd holes. Then as the wind got up more I dropped shots on my 5th and 6th holes, both down to my putting really. When the hooter went to call us in I was on my 7th green with a five footer for birdie which I decided to leave until I came back. When we came back on Friday I missed the putt and ended up making a par; I went on to shot level par by making two more bogeys, a double bogey and four birdies. I was disappointed to only shoot level par having made six birdies.

My second round was far better, I made six birdies again but this time I only made one bogey. Five under was probably the worst score that I could have shot really, I had a lot of chances and even though I made six it felt like I left a lot on the course. My third round started on Saturday afternoon and continued into Sunday, I made seven birdies in the third round and three bogeys. This left me on nine under after three rounds and lying three shots off the lead and in a tie for eleventh. I was happy with where I was lying and in good shape to get into contention.

My final round started great with a birdie on the 1st but that was where it all finished. I only made one more birdie in the round and that was on my 15th hole, it was a tough day as it got windier and windier as the day went on. I made six bogeys and a double to end up shooting five over par to drop to four under par for the week. This dropped me down into the mid twenties, it was really disappointing as a level par round would have left me in the top five and eleven under par won the tournament. When I look back at it, eleven under par seems well within my capabilities. The reason behind my bad round was all down to me loosing my patience and trying to force it on the back nine when really it was a day for staying patient. While the way I finished is disappointing it was a timely reminder before Augusta for me not to lose my patience.

There was a lot of positive to take from the week, I made a lot of birdies and hit my irons well. These are very positive for the Masters, there is no doubt that I would like to have had a better last round but then I could have had a good last round and I wouldn’t have learnt my lesson on patience. All in all it was a good week in terms of preparing for the first major of the year but a disappointing week in terms of the Shell Houston Open.

Talk to you soon,

Padraig

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