Life is a lot easier when you play badly and then all of a sudden you get in contention and win one. No one gets on your back. When you finish runner-up seven times, everyone is asking, 'Why aren't you winning?' It's much more fun when you jump into a win out of the blue. It's a much tougher game when you play consistently well.

Chevron World Challenge

Entry Date:
Dec 3, 2009

Padraig's Tour Diary - Chevron World Challenge - Review

I am back home after the Chevron World Challenge and a couple of days at the Titleist Performance institute.

I came over to California looking for a win to finish off my season but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I finished in a tie for third place with Lee Westwood, which in the end was a very good result as I was looking like struggling for a top ten finish at one stage. This has been a good event for me over the years and even though I didn’t win, it was still a good way to finish off my year. I picked up some good world ranking points to close out my season; seeing as I am taking eight weeks off it is nice to have picked up a few!

For the first two rounds I played very nicely but I never really converted the chances that I gave myself. I shot rounds of three under and four under but I should have been t least five shots better. In my third round I didn’t feel that I played as well, but I still managed to shoot two under par to leave me in third place going into the final round.

I gave myself the chance to win the tournament but unfortunately I left a lot of shots behind me in the first three rounds. The way I played in those rounds I should have put a bit of daylight between me and the field. I had a number of three putts along with a number of short ones missed for birdies. It certainly wasn’t a typical week for me on the greens. At the start of the week I was hoping to get myself into contention for the final round so as to give myself a chance to win the tournament; I did this but I just didn’t play well enough in the final round to win.

My final round was a strange round of golf. If someone had told me before I went out that I would hole out three times from off the green and drive the ball great then I would have assumed that I would win the tournament. In fact I drove the ball probably as well as I have ever done in a final round; I hit it long and straight but I hit my irons very poorly. I was in great positions coming into the greens but I just wasn’t able to hit a decent iron shot. It was very strange; particularly for me as it is more likely to be the other way around. However, as bad as I hit my irons I did manage to save myself a few times by chipping in; I holed a bunker shot for an eagle on the second, a chip shot on the fifth for par and then another chip shot on the sixteenth for another eagle. I still find it hard to believe that I didn’t have a chance to win coming down the last few holes considering I made two eagles!

After nine holes I looked at the leaderboard and noticed that I was in danger of dropping out of the top ten but also still capable of winning the tournament with a good back nine. It was an amazing day in that there were so many people in with a shout of winning. I managed to pick up one shot through six holes on the back nine to get me back to one over for the day, eight under for the tournament and four behind Jim Furyk. On the sixteenth I missed the green right with my five wood second, finishing in a terrible lie. I was looking to get it up and down for birdie but knew it would be hard as it was sitting poorly and on a down slope. I wasn’t thinking about holing it when I was over the ball but as it ran out on the green I knew it had a chance. When it went in I felt that I had given myself an outside chance of winning with two holes to play. I parred the 17th and then birdied the last to finish on eleven under par for the week and two shots behind Jim, who birdied the last.

I was disappointed not to have contended in the final round more but then I was also very happy with how I finished the round. I shot three under for the last three holes to get into third place, so it could have been a lot worse! All in all, it wasn’t a bad week. I would have loved to have picked up a win but you don’t get everything you want.

After the tournament I headed to San Diego for a couple of days at the TPI centre. I always head up there at the end of my season to go through the screening process and see how everything is. This year Bob Torrance came over to go through it with me. I spent two and half days there doing all the various tests and screens. As always it was very worthwhile; it gave me a good sense of where everything is with my swing and my body and what I need to work on in the winter. I am back home now and looking forward to enjoying the season festivities. As always I will be working away on various elements of my game but for the moment I will be taking it easy and enjoying being home. Talk to you all soon! Padraig

Padraig finishes his 2009 campaign with a third place finish at the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in California. His two under par final round left him two shots behind the winner, Jim Furyk. The highlights of the last round were two chip in eagles at the 2nd and 16th holes. He now heads to the Titleist Performance Institute for a couple of days with his coach, Bob Torrance before returning home to work on his fitness and game. He will next appear on tour in February in California.

Solid round of two under par 70 leaves Padraig still in a tie for second place and only one shot off the lead going into the final round. With world rankings points available for the first time this year, a 1.35 million dollar first prize and a maiden PGA tour win, it all adds up to an exciting finishing event for Padriag.

Another steady round of four under par 68 leaves Padraig in a tie for 2nd place and only two shots off the lead going into the weekend. He got off to a great start with three birdies early on and played steadily thereafter to give himself a real chance of winning his second tournament of the year.

In his last tournament of the year, Padraig shoots a pleasing first round of three under par 69 to trail the leaders by just one shot going into the second round. With just one dropped shot, he played steadily on a course that he has won on before and feels comfortable on. He tees off in round two at 10.25am local time ( +8 GMT) with Jim Furyk.

Padraig is in action this week at the Sherwood Country Club, his final event of the year. He tees off at 10am local time with the Race to Dubai winner Lee Westwood.

Padraig's Tour Diary - Chevron World Challenge - Preview

This week I am back at Sherwood Country Club in L.A. for the Chevron World Challenge, Tiger's tournament. I missed it last year as I finished my season earlier so as to get my winter break in. It is the last tournament of the year for me before I take an eight week break from tournament golf. After the Race to Dubai I took the week off and relaxed at home; the weather was terrible but it was great to be home. I then traveled out to L.A. on Sunday so as to give myself a chance to acclimatise to the time change.

The absence of Tiger from this year’s event has been the major story so far this week. The press has been asking all the players about what has happened, but the thing is that it has nothing to do with any of us. It is a private issue that Tiger and his family will deal with. We are all here to play a golf tournament.

I played thirteen holes in practice on Monday; it was fantastic conditions to play in, 80 degrees and no real wind. I hit a few shots afterwards to get myself back into the right frame of mind. This tournament has two day pro-am but I only play on the second day. Because of this the course was only available for play after three on Tuesday. I did a bit of practice in the morning, working on my short game mainly and then trying out a few new driver shafts. After all of this I played the five holes that I hadn’t played on Monday. On Wednesday I played the pro-am as normal. However, it was played under a different format that we are not used too. It was a "shamble" which involves picking the best drive and then playing your own ball from there. The scoring in this format is exceptionally good and there were teams shooting twenty-four under par. I hit the ball fine in the pro-am but I struggled to really get into it and found it hard to get focused over my shots.

This is an event that I have performed well in in the past; I have won it once and finished in the top five a few times. I really enjoy this it for a number of reasons: it is a limited field and we are looked after extremely well. As well as this a gang of friends come down from San Francisco for the week and it is kind of my Christmas party. That said, whilst it can be easy to fall into the trap of not taking it seriously, I am still here to win!

As this is my last event of the year it is my last chance for a win in 2009. I have had a number of strong finishes over the last few months but I just haven’t been able to finish any of them off. The fact that I haven’t won this year will definitely help keep my mind on the job this week. It would be great to come here and finish the year on a high; however I know that I can’t win it on the first day. I have to stay patient and see if I can give myself a chance on Sunday afternoon. This is a course that I enjoy playing and have done well on before; it is always nice to play on a course that you have good memories on. I am looking forward to getting started this week but I am also really looking forward to my winter break. The main thing for me this week is not to get ahead of myself and to ensure I keep my mind on the tournament.

Talk to you soon,

Padraig

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