I was really disappointed to miss the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship; after two weeks off I was looking forward getting back to tournament golf. I missed the cut by four shots in the end but for most of the first round I was right in the tournament. I played the tournament with a swing thought which is probably the first time I have done that since I have been a professional. It wasn’t so bad, it was working well in the first round; I certainly wouldn’t want to do it all the time but as I was working on a few things it was the best way for me to get through the rounds.
I was out in the afternoon flight on Thursday which I was really happy with as I was struggling with the jet lag after coming from the west coast of America. I got off to a flier of a start making a birdie on the first and second holes; the first hole birdie came from a wedge to 12 feet and the then on the second hole I hit an eight iron to eight feet. On the next two holes I made two good up and downs for pars to keep my momentum going. The fifth hole is a reachable par five that doglegs right to left; I hit a three wood off the tee and then a five wood to just short of the green to set up my third birdie. I bogeyed the sixth hole after I pulled my tee shot left of the green but I managed to get the shot back on the next hole after hitting my four Hybrid into the greenside bunker and then getting it up and down. At three under par I was cruising along nicely and feeling very comfortable. I made a couple of pars to finish the front nine at three under par, then the back nine started well for me after I hit the par five tenth in two and two putted for birdie.
I parred the next three holes comfortably, leaving me at four under par; the fourteenth tee which is a driveable par four. I hit a three wood to just short of the green, it was actually unlucky that it didn’t make the green, but I hit an average chip shot and then missed the putt for a disappointing par. The next hole I went for the green in two and caught the greenside bunker, from where I hit it to three feet and then missed my birdie chance. Even though I missed these two chances I was still feeling very good about my game. I then gave myself a good chance on the 16th which I missed again. This was where it all ended though. I got to the 17th tee in four under par and really should have been six under. When I was playing the 16th hole the wind was coming in from the right which is where it should have been on 17th as well. However when we got to the tee it felt like it was coming straight in and if anything it felt like it was from the left. My caddie and I took it as being straight in but we got it wrong. It was coming in from the right which caused my tee shot to go in the water. For my third shot I missed the green right and then didn’t get it up and down, ending up taking a triple bogey six. This was particularly annoying after the way I played for the 16 holes before it. It also continued into my last hole as I pulled my tee shot into the water on the last and ended up having to drop well back where I couldn’t make the green. I had to lay it up and in the end I made another six. After playing so well for sixteen holes I finished up shooting one over par. In the space of two holes I went from 4th place to a tie for 84th and struggling to make the cut.
To make the cut I knew that I had to shoot under par in the second round; I was starting from the par five tenth on Friday. However I didn’t get off to the start I was hoping for as I pulled my drive into the bunker which meant that I couldn’t go for the green in two. I hit my third shot over the green and then didn’t get it up and down; a six was really not what I was looking for. I followed this up with another six on the eleventh to go to four over par, which is what I eventually finished on after 36 holes; I made a couple of birdies but never really got anything going to make the cut. In the end the 17th hole cost me being in the tournament; when I stood there on Thursday I was lying fourth but when I left the hole I was effectively going home early. We both got the wind wrong and it cost me making the cut.
It was a very disappointing week all round. I played well for 16 holes and then for the rest of the holes I struggled; along with this my short game was very poor, as I hadn’t been practicing it enough, spending my time working on my swing. For the coming week I will be spending more time on my short game and trying to get that back into shape.
The only good thing about missing the cut was that I got to watch the Leinster and Munster match. What a great game it was.
From here I head to Sawgrass for The Players Championship. I will be hopping for a better week and I will be spending more time on my short game so that I am not giving away silly shots!
Talk to you soon, Padraig