Padraig's Tour Diary - Barclays Singapore Open - Review
The Barclays Singapore Open proved to be a disappointing week considering I had performed well there last year. I like the course and after finishing second last year I was hopeful of a good performance again this year. However I never got anything going all week and finished in a tie for 38th. I was hoping to come out this week and kick start my Race for Dubai but it didn’t work out. I found the course much tougher than last year when I played it in practice as they grew the rough in and made it heavier. Last year the course played much better in my opinion, the greens were firm and the rough was penal enough, whereas this year the rough was very heavy and the greens softer.
I struggled all week with a left to right cut; I had it in practice and hoped that it would be gone by the time the tournament started. However it never quite went away. It wasn’t as bad as the practice days, but it was still there and enough to make me think about it which meant that I wasn’t focusing on my target properly and I was never quite confident enough to take on pins. It makes it hard to score when you don’t feel that you can take on pins and then as a result you end up with long birdie putts. It was one of those weeks for me where I wasn’t quite on my game and then I couldn’t make anything happen. On top of that I had a couple of three putts and a number of bad chip shots during the week. All in all my game just wasn’t quite there and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t make birdies. I found the course very tough whereas a lot of players found it easy to make birdies. A good example of this is the back nine. I just couldn’t really see birdies on the back nine but a lot of guys were making three or four birdies on it. This was the story of the week for me; I just couldn’t see the birdies and the others could.
It was a long week for us as there were thunder storms nearly every day. We were up early nearly every morning and sometimes playing more than 18 holes, which in the Singapore heat is very tough! It was tough week due to the weather and the fact that I wasn’t playing very well.
Even though I didn’t play great it was still a very enjoyable week. Barclays always put on a great event and this was no exception. The most disappointing thing for me with regards to this week was nothing to do with my golf it was actually what happened to Gary Murphy. He finished on Friday evening on two over par which was making the cut comfortably at that stage. Half the field had to finish on Saturday morning but the cut was looking like going to three over par when I looked at it on Friday night but then when I got up on Saturday the cut had moved to one over par and Gary missed. No one could believe the cut had moved, but it could end up being the difference between Gary keeping his card.
I’m off to Shanghai for the HSBC Champions tournament now; hopefully I can sort out my slice before Thursday!
Padraig's Tour Diary - Barclays Singapore Open - Preview
I am back in Singapore for the Barclays Singapore Open, having played here last year for the first time, finishing second to Jeev Milka Singh. I had a good chance to win but I hit it in the water on the 16th and then missed my chance on the last. It was my last event of last season and I was tired after a long year. This year I am coming here after a number of good weeks and I am really looking forward to the event. This event has been referred to as Asia’s major as the course and the tournament are set up like a major. I am coming here after a week off at home having finished third in Portugal.
I arrived here on Sunday afternoon so as to give myself plenty of time to get over the jet lag. I have three more tournaments left in Europe which means that I have a lot of work to do to get myself into contention for the Race to Dubai. The three events are big purse tournaments so I know that if I can win two of them and finish high in the other then I will have a chance. However it is not that easy to win any event, let alone big events such as the three I am playing in. I am currently 16th in the Race to Dubai and approximately one million euro behind Lee, so I am targeting winning my last three events.
I have played 36 holes in practice, nine on Monday, nine on Tuesday and then 18 in the Pro-am on Wednesday. It is very tempting to play more and to get into hitting balls on the range but it is so hot and humid here that it is definitely detrimental to your week to spend too much time practicing. In fact, I have been making a concerted effort to do as little as possible so as not to wear myself out. This is one of the best courses that we play all year and the way the course was set up last year was brilliant; I really don’t think they could have set it up any better. This year there is a different set up - the rough is much heavier and the greens are much softer. If you miss the fairway it is touch and go as to whether or not you will have to chip it out sideways. It is definitely set up tougher than a US Open course - the fairways are narrower and the rough just off the fairway is heavier; there is no semi rough just fairway and then rough. There is definitely a premium on hitting the fairway this week. That said, I still think it is a great course and it will produce a great tournament for Barclays.
I am coming into this event off a run of good results, which is always nice but the problem with it is that I have given myself chances to win and I haven’t done so yet and that can be frustrating. I find that I have to keep telling myself to be patient and not be pushing too hard. The harder I push the less likely I am to win.
Barclays have been sponsoring this tournament for a number of years now and they have turned it into a great tournament. It is one that we all look forward to playing in, which can be seen by the quality of the field they have amassed this week (Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy and Adam Scott, to name but a few). It is a world class field and one that will be hard to beat. I am here with the aim off winning to give myself a realistic chance in the Race to Dubai but I have to remember that I can’t win it on the first day. Like always for me I am looking to be in contention on Sunday afternoon. I would be happy to be standing on the 10th tee of the last nine holes with a chance to win and take it from there.
There is a big Irish contingent here this week - I think with the exception of Rory everyone else is here. Originally Gary Murphy wasn’t due to play but there was one invite left and it was given to Gary. He is just outside the top 115 so a good week here would secure his card for next year; hopefully he can tie it up this week. I will be rooting for him and his will be the first score I look for every evening.