So near and yet so far!! A fantastic final round of 67 left Padraig in a tie for 2nd place at the Barclays. Level par after 11 holes, he birdied four of his last seven holes including a crucial putt on the last to improve his place in the Fed Ex cup standings to 14th place. The top 30 players in a couple of weeks time will contest the season ending Tour Championship. It also justifies all the hard work that he has put in this season to improve his all round game.
A fine third round of four under par 67 gives Padraig a chance to get in the shake up on Sunday as his four under par total trails the leaders by five shots. He finished his round strongly with five birdies in his last seven hoies and for the third tournament in a row he is in contention for the another title.
A tough morning at Liberty National saw Padraig and most of the morning players shoot over par as they struggled in the wind and rain. Padraig eventually signed for a four over par 75 with the most disappointing hole being the par five 7th hole where he took a double bogie seven. He is still well there in a share of 19th place after the mornings play.
Good day at the office yet again for Padraig as he opens up his bid for Fed Ex glory with a solid four under par 67 which leaves him just two behind going into Fridays second round. Starting on the back nine, good solid play got him to three under par at the turn and he added another birdie on the par four third hole. He had a scare at the par five 6th hole where he nearly found water but a couple of par saving putts coming home leaves him in the ideal position to attack tomoorows early tee time.
Padraig is back on the PGA tour for the start of the Fed Ex Cup playoffs. Three events will be played over the coming weeks with the top 30 players qualifying for the Tour Championship. This weeks event is being played on a new course in New Jersey and has received rave reviews from Padraig. He goes into the start of the playoffs in 66th position and will hope to make up ground over the coming weeks. Padraig tees off in round one at 12.27pm local time with Jason Day and Bob Estes.
Padraig's Tour Diary - The Barclays
After a quick visit home for a friends wedding I am back in the US for the start of the FedEx Cup play offs. The first of these events is the Barclays Classic in New York. I won this tournament a few years ago when it was at Westchester Country Club; this year it is being held on a new course called Liberty National. The course is only a 15 minute ferry ride from Manhattan and it looks out onto the Statue of Liberty. The great thing about this year’s venue is that we can stay in Manhattan for the week and commute by ferry to the course, given that the sponsors have arranged for a dedicated ferry for the players. To be able to come and stay in Manhattan for an event is great; it takes your mind off the golf once you get back to the hotel as there is so much to do. I have been getting into the real New York thing by going to Broadway to see Wicked and eating out in downtown Manhattan, which is great to be able to do.
After my last two tournaments I am looking forward to getting back in action again; being in contention as I was for the Bridgestone and the PGA reminded me of what I was missing for the first half of the year. I am here for three tournaments and at the end of these the top thirty progress to the Tour Championship. As it stands at the moment I am not in the Tour Championship but if I play well over the next three weeks then I will be there and hopefully with a chance of winning the FedEx Cup. The way it is set up this year is that each of the first three events is effectively like five regular season events. So a win in the next three weeks would push you right into the race for the title.
In my week off I didn’t have much time to do any practice as I was attending a wedding in Clare; I did play a game of golf down there and hit a few shots but not too much. It was pretty much a relaxing week, so I haven’t been able to do any damage to my game by hitting too many balls. I was happy with my game in the last couple of events that I played, but more importantly I was very happy with my mental side. It was the change in my mindset that helped me to turn my form around, by getting myself more into my routines and target I felt so much better on the course. I was much happier as well; I wasn’t getting annoyed at myself for hitting a poor shot. This is what I have been working on this week as well; I want to maintain the same approach as the last two events. I have played the 36 holes in practice as it is a new course. I have also been working with Bob Rotella this week as he is here for a few days; that and I have spent a bit of time working on my short game as it will be a big factor on this course.
This year’s course is set in the most amazing location; it is built on an old landfill site between New Jersey and New York. The Statue of Liberty is visible from nearly every hole. It is definitely one of the most spectacular courses that I have ever played; as spectacular as it is it is also a very good golf course. It is a par 71 for the tournament and measures 7,419 yards; it has played long this week as the fairways are soft. The greens were soft early in the week but are firming up and so it could get very difficult by the end of the week. The hardest thing about this course is the greens, they are heavily undulated which makes getting it close very tough. These greens are the sort that a good shot can end up missing the green and a bad shot can end up being very good. It is a very funky course, one that requires a lot of patience. It is similar to links golf at home but much softer; it does get the wind though as it in between Manhattan and Jersey. The thing about the wind is that it tends to change direction in the afternoon. I find it a very tough and tricky course; there are a number of holes with water on, which you can easily take a big number on. I would see it as the sort of course that you have to take a few risks and as a result it means that you are taking on the chance of making some mistakes.
I like the course and am looking forward to playing a tournament on it; it suits a player with patience and a good short game. I would be happy to practice on this course anytime as it would improve your chipping and iron play. I know that I need to win at least two of the four Fed Ex cup tournaments to have a chance of winning it. The best way for me to do this is to get myself into contention on Sunday; if I can do this each week for the next three then I will have a good chance come the Tour Championship. The main thing is to try and start well.
Talk to you all soon and thanks for stopping by...:)