A final round of 73 comprising five bogeys and two birdies leaves Padraig in a tie for 65th place at this years Open. In a sprited defence of his title, he felt that this years championship came a couple of weeks too early and is confident that the swing changes he has made are for the best in his long term future. He now has two weeks off before preparing for the last major of the year, the USPGA Championhip.
The triple dream is all but over as two halves of 38 consign Padraig to a 76 and leave a 59 year old man leading the Open by one going into Sunday! Tom Watson will try and add 13 years onto the oldest ever major winner (Nicklaus at Augusta aged 46!) and win the Open championship for a 6th time. A good start by Padraig with a birdie three on the first was wiped out with some erratic play on another tough day on the Turnberry links. We can only look forward to the glory days again!
Padraig shoots a second round of 74 to leave himself at three over par for the tournament. Five under leads in an Open that IS wide open with many players having chances to win one of golfs most coveted prizes this weekend. On a much tougher day than the benign opening round, the Turnberry links showed its teeth with a stiff breeze causing havoc with some notable names missing the cut. Padraig got off to a steady start to be one over par after eight holes but four dropped shots in the next six holes had the alarm bells ringing. To his credit he played to the finish in one under par to give himself an outside chance of glory this weekend. He tees off Saturday at 10.15am local time with Ryuji Amada. A mid 60's round needed to get back in contention!
Padraig opens his defence of the Open Championship with a pleasing one under par 69. With weather conditions sunny and hardly a breath of wind, the pins were tucked away for the day so scoring was still difficult. Padraig played conservately to record just two birdies and one bogie on the tough par four 16th hole where he missed the green left. Six under par leads going into round two.
The Open Championship - Preview
It really doesn’t seem like a year since I was at Royal Birkdale winning my second Open Championship but it is. This year we are taking on the challenge of Turnberry for the 2009 Open Championship. I have never played a tournament here, in actual fact I had never played the course until about two months ago when I came here to do a Wilson day. Since that day I have played it a number of times and feel quite comfortable with the course. I suppose with regards to my Open defence I would like to be coming in with more form; although it is nice to be coming in off the back of a win in last week’s Irish PGA.
Having won the last two Opens there is obviously a lot of talk about the possibility of me winning three in a row. There is no doubt that I would love to win again this year, I have gotten used to looking at the Claret Jug on my breakfast table and I really don’t want to give it back. That said I am here in a more hopeful frame of mind rather than an expectant one. I know that the work I have done during the year has been detrimental to my game in the short term but, I am confident that in the long term it will make me a better player.
After playing last week I was delighted to get over here to see both Bob’s. I played so poorly after the first three rounds that I couldn’t wait to get to see Bob Torrance. I spent most of Monday with him working on my swing; this is not what I would normally do at a major but I felt that it had to be done so as to give me my best chance of contending in this year’s Open. I felt that the best thing I could do was to work out the kinks on Monday and then do nothing more technical for the week; the rest of the week is for mental work with Bob Rotella.
I have played four and half rounds on the course now, probably more than I would play on other major courses. I have to say that this really is a great golf course. It is a very fair links course, probably one of the fairest that you will play. The Opens that have been played here before have produced great winners; one of the reasons for this is the fact that the course is so fair. This year the course is set up very well but very tough due to the fact that the rough is so thick, like most links courses at the moment. The key this week is to be coming off the fairway as the rough is more like a US open. It definitely suits a player that drives the ball well or manages themselves around a course. As ever with any links course it all depends on the weather as regard the scoring for the week; if the wind blows here then any score could win here as hitting fairways could become near impossible. If you are coming off the fairways then you can take on a lot of the pins as the greens are softish. Another feature of the greens here is that you can hit it up the middle on about nine holes and be in a good position as they are “bowl” like.
As far as my preparation for this week goes it hasn’t been as good as I would have liked. Normally I wouldn’t do any technical practice at a major but due to my current form I had to spend Monday fixing some technical issues. I am happy that I have got it in good order now but that doesn’t mean that I will play well because of it. I have also spent a bit of time working with Bob Rotella to get myself in the right frame of mind for the tournament. Bob is staying with me again this year which means that we can get a lot of work done back at the house rather than the course. I am looking forward to getting my defense started and to trying to get into contention for the Sunday afternoon. Even though I haven’t performed well over the last number of weeks I am still confident that I can win once I get myself into contention. The hardest thing for me at the moment is to actually get into contention.
I am starting late today at 2.20 pm, with Jim Furyk and Geoff Ovilvy. The tee times this week can be very late as everyone goes off the first tee; unlike a normal event where we start from two tees. As I was saying, I am more hopeful than expectant this week.