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.

Stanford St. Jude Championship

Entry Date:
Jun 16, 2009

Padraig's Tour Diary - Review

This was my last tournament before the US open and missing the cut was not what I had planned on. I came here having missed the cut last week at the Memorial, I was looking to get four rounds under my belt before heading to Bethpage. I shot two rounds of two over par to miss the cut by four shots in the end; having done well here last year it is particularly disappointing to have missed out on the weekend. Even though I missed the cut last week at the Memorial I was happy with how I played; this week wasn’t quite as good though.

While I shot two rounds of two over par they were quite different rounds. My first round I played poorly but chipped and putted very well so much so that two over was actually a good score. The great thing was that a lot of my chip shots were from very tough positions. I have spent a good bit if time working on my short game and it definitely paid off in the first round. It was like my old amateur days; I was missing greens and just getting on with and enjoying the shots that I was left with. In the end I was a little disappointed to shoot two over as I missed about an eight footer on my last hole for a birdie. If I had holed it and finished with a round of one over par it would have been one of my better rounds for a long time.

Going out in the second round I new that I needed to shoot a couple under to make the cut. I wasn’t too worried about it as I like the course and felt good about myself after my short game saved the day in the first round. However I made the task even harder on the third hole as I hit a poor third shot into the water right of the green; it ended up costing me a double bogey and put me to four over for the tournament. I did follow it up with a birdie in the next hole but then I gave the shot back again after I missed a short putt on the 7th. I got myself back in the hunt to be around for the weekend after birdies on the 9th, 13th and 14th. This put me back to one over par with four holes to play; with a short par five to play I had a good chance to make the cut. On the 15th I was hitting a nine iron for my second and I pulled it left of the green, the area it finished in was very scraggy and as a result I hit a poor chip and then missed the putt. I got to hit my drive up the next hole and then we were called in for bad weather; the forecast was so bad that they called off play for the day. We had to come back at 7am on Saturday morning to finish off the round; I needed to make two birdies in the last three holes to make the cut. I came back out the next morning made two bogeys and a par instead. I was trying to force birdies and it cost me a couple of bogeys.

I was disappointed to miss the cut but the silver lining was that I was able to go to Bethpage early. I left straight away and was able to play the course on Saturday evening and then on Sunday again. It was great playing the course as there was no one around and I could take my time and have a good look around. I would have preferred to be playing and contending in Memphis but it was a good alternative to playing there. I am still happy with my game, my short game was much better this week; I just need both my long game and short game to kick in together.

I am looking forward to the US Open as I have fond memories of the course from last time. I will be spending a lot of time with Bob Rotella before I start on Thursday to make sure that I am in a good frame of mind. I didn’t get to watch the final round on Sunday as I was on Bethpage but it was a very impressive performance from Brian Gay. He has won twice this year now and both times by a big margin, it can be very hard to win from the front.

I am focused fully on the US Open now and on making sure that I am fully prepared for the start on Thursday.

Talk to you soon, Padraig.

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