Padraig's Tour Diary - Open de France Review
It was another disappointing week as I missed the cut again for the fifth tournament in a row. I came here in good spirits even though I have missed a number of cuts prior to this event and funny as it may seem I am leaving even more positive as I played very well from tee to green in the two rounds. Tuesday on the range cleared up a lot of things in my head as regards my swing - what I had been trying to do and what I need to do going forward. During the two rounds I played here I played using the swing - thought of not getting my arms behind my body and it felt great. I hit a lot of very good shots in the two rounds but more importantly for me my misses were far better than ever. However, as well as I played for two rounds it wasn’t good enough to make the cut let alone contend in the tournament. The reason for this was my short game; it just wasn’t good enough and it hasn’t been all year, because I have neglected it for most of the season, as I have been focusing on my long game and the swing changes that I have been making.
Looking at my two rounds and the scores I shot I can see where I could have made up ten shots without too much trouble and it is all to do with chipping and putting. Officially I had 32 putts the first day and 34 putts the second; the first day I had another two putts from the fringe that I would count as well so it was really two days of 34 putts. It is very hard to compete when you are taking 34 putts a round; on top of this my chipping and general short game was below par. On the plus side I felt that I struck the ball well and in particular I drove it very well.
Even though I missed the cut by four shots I actually wasn’t that far from making it, although I never really thought that one over par would be the cut. I was actually on the cut mark for most of my second round and I didn’t know it. In the end it was the 13th and 14th that cost me making the cut; I three putted the 13th to go to two over and then I lost my concentration on my tee shot on the 14th and I hit it out of bounds and ended up taking an eight. This put me five over par and well outside the cut mark.
Having missed the cut I stayed and did some practise on Saturday and then on Sunday I went to Turnberry for a couple of days to play the course. While I was disappointed to have missed the cut it was great to get out and play Turnberry with nobody around. I played two rounds over the two days and did some work with Bob Torrance; it was definitely a worthwhile trip as the course had changed dramatically since I had played it 6 weeks ago. The rough has grown substantially which now makes it a very tough course; there is definitely a premium for hitting fairways.
I have one more tournament left before the Open and that is the Irish PGA, where I am back to defend my title and also get myself sharp for the Open. I know after my two rounds in Paris that I have to improve my short game, so will be spending a lot of time on this area of my game between now and the start of the Open.