Padraig's Tour Diary - Deutsche Bank - Review
It was another good week, a tie for fourth which moved me up to seventh in the Fed Ex Cup. This week more than any though is a little harder to take as it was in my own hands to some degree after nine holes. I was sixteen under par after nine holes and the winning score was seventeen under; I had nine footer on the 7th hole to go to seventeen under. Coming here I was hopeful of a good week as I was coming into the tournament after a good week in New York, but I was a little unsure what to expect as I had played here the last two years and missed the cut both times. The scoring is always good here and that kind of put me under pressure from the 1st tee. This year I took a much more patient approach to the course, I didn’t go out there trying to win the tournament from the first tee. I decided that the best way for me to get myself into contention was to stay patient and try to pick off a few birdies as I was going along.
I took this approach in each round and it paid off nicely; I shot four under for the first three rounds and then finished with a three under par for a total of 15 under. My final round was looking like it could be a very low as I started off with a birdie on the 2nd, 4th and 5th to get me to 15 under par. On my first and third holes I holed eight footers for par. In the first five holes I single putted each of the greens and was cruising along. On the par five 7th I hit my three wood second shot to nine feet - I just missed the putt but made a tap in birdie to go to 16 under par. A coupe of pars got me out in 16 under and in a great position to go on and win the tournament. I hit a poor tee shot with my five wood on the 10th, I pulled it into the trees left and had to take a penalty drop. My second shot flew the green and left me an awkward chip shot which I hit stone dead for a very good bogey. I wasn’t comfortable on that tee all week and probably should have hit a hybrid instead as it would have made me feel better over the ball. However I got away with a bogey which in the end was a good score. A solid tee shot on the 12th set up an easy par.
It was the 13th that really scuppered my chances of winning the tournament; I pulled my drive but I wasn’t worried about it. I was expecting it to be in the left rough leaving me about a seven iron to the green but it caught the limb of a tree that was hanging out and it kicked back into the trees to an unplayable position. I had to go back to the tee and play my third from there; I ended up taking a double bogey and dropping out of the lead. After this hole I struggled off the tee as I got a little unnerved, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I struggled over the next three holes but managed to make good pars. I knew when I was on the 16th that I could still win the tournament but I needed a very good finish. I gave myself a twenty footer on the 16th for birdie but wasn’t able to hole it, my playing partner Scott Verplank holed basically the same putt just in front of me. On the seventeenth I hit a poor drive with my hybrid but recovered well to leave myself a three footer for birdie which I holed. At this stage I knew that I had to make an eagle on the last to get to 16 under as Jason Dufner was finished on that. After a good drive I was left with 217 yards to the pin, I hit a five iron which pitched on the front of green and released down to ten feet. Scott putted for eagle from a similar line to me but it just broke at the end; he finished on 16 under. After seeing Scotts putt I gave mine a little more break, I probably pushed it a fraction as well but even still I thought I had holed it. It just slid by the right edge and left me a tap in for a birdie and to finish on 15 under and a share of fourth spot.
I was very disappointed afterwards as I had it in my own hands with nine holes to play. It was my tournament to loose at that stage and I did. However that aside I was happy with how I finished and also with a number of things in my game. My short game was good for the week, particularly my bunker play which I had been working hard on – it paid off as I got 100% of my bunker shots up and down for the week.
In the end it was another good week but just a little short of the win I wanted. It did move me up to seventh in the Fed Ex standings with two more events to go. A good performance in Chicago can get me into the top five which is the key for the final event.
Padraig's Tour Diary - Deutsche Bank - Preview
This week I am in Boston for the second of the Playoff events in the Fed Ex Cup. This is my third year playing here; my previous two years were unsuccessful as I missed the cut. This year I am hopping to see the final two rounds! Its funny looking back on the last two years missed cuts as I like the course and feel comfortable on it but for some reason I haven’t performed on it. A big part of the missed cuts was definitely the fact that I had had tough summers and I was tired and looking forward to and in need of some time off. Because my first half of this season was poor I am fresh and raring to go at the moment. I am here after three top tens in a row; two of them second places and I have contended in my last three tournaments which gives me confidence for the week ahead.
This is a Bank holiday weekend in the US and so the tournament starts on Friday and not the normal Thursday. Because it starts later this week Ronan and I stayed in Manhattan until Tuesday. We went to the first day of the US Open tennis on Monday with one of my sponsors, Citizen; it was a great way to celebrate my birthday. We spent the whole day wandering around Flushing meadows taking in a few matches and eating plenty of ice cream and popcorn. It really was a day off! The great thing about it was that I got to wander around and be one of the spectators and not have to worry about competing; the amount of times that I look at the spectators at a golf event and think how nice it would be to be one! On Monday I was a spectator and really enjoyed it. Having played the course the last two years I know it quite well, so we travelled on the Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday I spent some time working on my wedge play and mental game; this is what I have been spending most of my time on over the last few weeks. After lunch I played the back nine and spent quite a bit of time chipping around the greens and hitting a lot of putts. This week due to the late start the pro-am was on Thursday; I played early in the morning which was great as it meant that I got to see the course at a similar time to my Friday tee time and I also got all my work done early. I was finished at the course by 3.30 pm; having worked on my wedge play and short game again. I wanted to get away early as we had tickets for the New England Patriots and the New York Giants preseason game.
The winning score on this course has been very low for the last few years which I find somewhat hard to believe as it is not that easy a course. I play this course and think that it is a good tough lay out but it seems that other guys find it very easy. I think that part of the problem over the last couple of years has been that I have tried to birdie every hole instead of being patient and take my birdie chances when they come along. As much as it is important to be patient on a tough course it is equally important on a course like this that tends to give up a lot of birdies. I have been reminding myself during practice that I can’t win this tournament in the first round; I just want to have a chance to win it come Sunday afternoon. The key is to get myself into contention for the final nine holes and the best way for me to do this is to remain patient and play my own game.
This week there is more to play for in terms of the guys in the field; thirty guys will be knocked out this week as only 70 make it into the BMW next week. I am safe as far as next week is concerned but I need a good week to move myself up the points table again, to have a chance to win the Fed Ex you really need to be in the top five at the Tour Championship. I am currently 14, if I can manage to win one of the next two weeks then I would be secure within the top five. As much as that is the target for the next two weeks I have to putt it to the back of my mind as I can only do it by concentrating on one shot at a time and not getting ahead of myself.