A final round of 73 leaves Padraig in a tie for 35th place at this years Masters tournament. Padraig opened with a birdie three but yet again a disasterous treble bogie seven on the par four 9th put paid to any hopes of a high finish in the first major of the year. An eagle three on the par five 13th hole was the highlight of the day and a birdie on the 17th helped him to a level par four round total of 288. He now has a couple of weeks off before returning to tournament play. In one of the most exciting contests for years, Angel Cabrera won his second major when he defeated 48 year old Kenny Perry in a play off.!
Third round 73 contained a gruesome nine on the par five 2nd hole. A hook off the tee into trees, hitting the same tree twice, a visit to a hazard all add up to bewilderment for Padraig early in his third round. To his credit he fought back well with three birdies to be out in one over par but two more birdies on the back nine were cancelled out by bogies on the 10th and 11th holes. He is now at one under for the tournament and in a tie for 28th place going into the final round.
A second round of 73 leaves Padraig in a tie for 19th place and seven shots behind the leaders heading into the weekend at Augusta. Out in one over par after he traded two bogies with a birdie on the par three 6th hole, he started back with three solid pars before a glorious eagle three on the par five 13th hole got him right back in the tournament. What followed was bizarre to say the least, after hitting it to four feet for birdie on the par five 15th hole, he incurred a penalty shot when the wind blew his ball from its original spot. As usual he took this bitter blow with great dignity. To rub salt in his wounds his birdie putt on the 18th did a horse shoe back to him to leave him wondering what might have been. Two good rounds needed at the weekend to snatch the spoils!
A solid opening round of three under par 69 sees Padraig in prime position to advance in the first Major of the year at Augusta National. Out in one under par after birdies at both front nine par fives he got to three under par after birdies on twelve and thirteen. But the dreaded par five 15th which has cost him dearly before reared its ugly head again with a thinned pitch shot through the green which resulted in another bogie. But he rallied well to finish 3-3-4 for his best Masters opening round. Seven under par leads after day one. Padraig tees off late Friday full of hope.
Padraig is at one of his favourite golf courses for the first major of the year, The Masters. The draw for the first round tee times has been released and Padraig plays early at 10.34am local time with Ryuji Imada and former Masters champion, Mike Weir. He is great form and looking forward to attempting an historic three majors in a row!
Official 2009 Masters Tournament Preview
Padraig's Tour Diary
The Masters has finally arrived, it seems like as soon as the new golf season kicks off all everyone wants to do is talk about the Masters. It is the tournament that captures the imagination of the public and players. All the majors are very special but the fact that the Masters is played at Augusta National every year adds to the tournament. We all have our own special memories from years gone by, whether it be a good memory or a bad memory; this can actually be a problem for us players as we tend to remember the bad things more than the good. We not only have to play with our own bad memories but we also have to take onboard other players nightmares!
This is my 10th Masters and I still get excited. This is a special place; I am a big fan of the golf course and the whole tournament. The rules make this week, they wouldn’t necessarily work every week but for this one week it is great. The big thing about coming back here year after year is that you get more and more comfortable with the course and the week itself.
Last year I came here having won the Open the previous year and so the media were asking me about my thoughts on winning more majors and how long it would take etc. When I teed it up here last year I felt that I would win more majors but I never dreamt that I would be here a year later with two more under my belt; not just two more but the last two. While it makes no difference to me when I won them or how many I have won in a row it has caught the imagination of the media and the public. All the media interviews I have done this week have been about the “Paddy Slam” this is something that everyone else is fascinated with. I am here to play the Masters and yes I am here to try and win but I am not here to try any harder just because I have won the last two majors. No matter how much I try to explain that to the press it just doesn’t sink in, I suppose it is their job to hype everything up and try to make a story out of it. I think the one that got it right was Lee Westwood, I was talking to him on the range on Monday and we were laughing at how everyone had taken to talking about the “Paddy Slam’ and he reckoned that it sounded more like a wrestling move from the WWE.
I arrived here on Sunday night from Houston, the same as the last two years. Monday was a relatively easy day in that I did a small bit of practice and then played nine holes. I met up with Bob Rotella for a couple of hours and discussed a few things about last week and sorted out a few small things that were playing on my mind. Nothing to major just the usual small things, the great thing for me this week is that I have Bob staying with my in the House I have rented so I don’t feel under pressure to get everything done with him at the course. The weather on Monday and Tuesday wasn’t great - dry but very cold and windy. Because of this I decided to play only nine holes on Tuesday as there was no point in spending too long on the course in the wind that was blowing. This is the great thing about having played here so many times; I no longer feel the need to play 18 holes every day. I reckon that over the years I have probably hit every chip and putt conceivable and so I don’t feel the need to go and play 18 every day. Wednesday is always a bit of a rush for me; I always play the back nine on Wednesday and then the par three tournament. This year Paddy caddied for me, it is the first time that he has caddied for me anywhere. It was great fun being out there with him, he had to wear the overalls and the green hat and we bought a little carry bag for him so that he was able to carry the clubs. He got on great and really enjoyed the day; although not as much as I enjoyed having him there.
I have spent a lot of time working on my mental preparation this week, after what happened last week I want to make sure that I am fully prepared for every eventuality. I am happy with the work I have done, I feel that I am in good shape and have ironed out the few creases in my game. I am going back to a long shafted driver that I used here a couple of years ago - I drove it well so I am bringing it out of retirement. I feel that I have prepared well, I haven’t done too much but I feel that I have got a lot done.
As always the golf course is in great condition. Augusta National is one of the most famous courses in the world; every golfer knows the course from television. There is very little that I can say about the course that I haven’t already said or that people don’t already doesn’t. I feel that Augusta National is the ultimate test in golf, the course tests most parts of your game. This is not a course that you can over power, you have to treat it with respect and maintain your patience. There are no easy holes out here, every hole is a potential disaster waiting to happen but the real test comes around Amen corner. These are the holes that generally have a big say in who will be putting on the green jacket come Sunday.
I am happy with how things have gone in practice, I feel that I have prepared well and not done too much. I have purposely taken it easy this week as last week was a long tiring week and I wanted to make sure that I am fully recovered come Thursday. I am playing with Mike Weir and Ruji Imada for the first two rounds; we start at 10.34am on Thursday and 1.41pm on Friday. I am looking forward to getting going and as ever I am trying to get myself into contention for the back nine on Sunday. I was in with a shout two years ago and I have to say I loved it; I would love to have a chance again this year with nine holes to go.