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.

BMW PGA Championship

Entry Date:
May 18, 2010

BMW PGA Championship - Review
Having missed playing The BMW PGA Championship the last two years at Wentworth it was great to come back and play the event again, especially after the course changes that have been made. I have always struggled at Wentworth and have spent a lot of time sweating on whether or not I was going to make the cut. I was anxious coming over knowing that there were substantial changes made to the course as I was one of the old greens' biggest critics. I definitely felt a little bit of pressure to perform. I really like the changes; they have transformed the course into a real championship test. There is no doubt that it is a lot tougher now than it was. The green and the bunkering changes have changed the look of the course substantially but as far as I am concerned they are for the better. There was a lot of talk about the last hole and whether it was a good change or not, but again I love it. It gives you everything you want from a finishing hole; there is a chance to score everything from an eagle to a triple bogey.

I came here after missing the cut at the Player's Championship; I was disappointed to have missed the cut there but I wasn't worried about my game as I know that it is moving in the right direction. I missed the cut there mainly due to the fact that I just didn't hole any putts. Coming here I was feeling good about my game and looking forward to playing. I was happy with the way I played all week; I hit a few bad shots here and there but that it always going to be the case. My first round could have been a lot better but for one bad hole, the seventeenth. I played lovely for sixteen holes and was three under par, but a bad drive on the seventeenth changed my whole round. I blocked my drive into the bushes right, my attempt to hack it out only put me in more trouble and in the end I had to take a penalty drop. I ended up taking a triple bogey which put me back to level par; as disappointing as that was I was more disappointed not to make birdie on the last hole after it.

My second round got me back into the tournament; I played really nice all day and made no bogeys and four birdies. I could have made a few more but I also made a couple for nice saves. This left me only a couple of shots behind and in with a great chance for the weekend. However my weekend didn’t go as planned, I shot rounds of one over and two over to finish on one under for the week and in a tie for sixth. It was definitely a disappointing weekend as I had a good chance to contend for the title from where I was after two rounds. My third round was really down to a poor putting day; I didn’t miss any short putts but I never holed any putts and as a result I got a little frustrated. I knew that Robert Karlsson had shot nine under in the morning and I was playing with Chris Wood who was shooting four under. He was holing putts and making it look like the course was playing easy. This added to my frustration, however by the end of the day I was still in a tie for fifth but five shots behind the leader.

The final round was really a tough day, it seemed that no matter what I did, it was wrong. One of the toughest things about Wentworth is the fact that the wind swirls around in the trees. I struggled with this for most of the day; it seemed that every time I was standing over a shot the wind was coming from a different direction; as a result I never really felt confident and struggled to commit to shots. The wind seemed to settle down after our twelfth hole. Once I got comfortable with the wind I actually played well; I could have birdied the last four holes and even had a chance for an eagle on the last. In the end I finished on one under par for a share of sixth place. It was a disappointing last round but it was a tough day all round; everyone was struggling out there.

I am happy with how I played, I gave myself plenty of chances all week. I didn't hole as many putts as I would have like but I wouldn’t say that I putted badly. My bunker play was very good for the week; I think I got up and down 10 out of 13 times. All in all it was a good week, there were a lot of good things going on and after playing I have identified a few things that need a bit of work.

I have a corporate outing on Monday and then I have my knee operation on Tuesday. It will be good to get it done and getting the knee into rehab. If nothing else it will stop me practicing over the next couple of weeks which is probably a good thing!

BMW PGA Championship - Preview
After a two years absence I am making a return to Wentworth; I haven’t played the BMW PGA Championship much over the years as I always struggled on the greens. My reasons for missing this tournament were partly scheduling and partly the thatch in the greens that made them nearly impossible for me to read. The course has since been revamped by Ernie and I am looking forward to playing here.

Ernie made a number of changes to the course a few years ago, which were all tee to green changes, which I thought were very good. The changes he has now made to the greens and the bunkers are in my opinion every bit as good. It has definitely toughened up the course but the improved greens will also make it easier to hole putts. As our flagship event it should be held on a top class Championship course and that is what we have here in the West Course at Wentworth. The changes here make this course an equal to any in the world; similar to Augusta National the changes have given the tournament committee numerous options. They can use different tees with different pins and in some ways they can dictate what scores we shoot based on the pin positions.

There is no doubt that when you see it for the first time it is dramatically different to what we were used to watching over the years. The bunkers have totally changed; they are now much deeper and much more of a penalty. The green shapes are much the same but they have put more flat areas onto them and made more areas for the pin positions. The most noticeable change to everyone is the eighteenth; it has always been a relatively straight forward par five that was reachable by most players in the field, whereas now it has a stream running in front and along the left side of the green. The green looks tiny for anyone going for it in two; there will be a lot of excitement on this hole as you can make anything from eagle to double bogey on it. I really like the changes, they do make the course a little tougher but I believe that they make it fairer for everyone.

I was due to travel over on Sunday night but I wasn’t able to get out because of the ash; as a result I came over on Monday evening. I had been here a month ago for a Wilson company day, so I had seen the changes, but I was still anxious to get a couple of practice rounds in. I played it twice, once with Peter Lawrie, Damien McGrane and Michael Hoey on Tuesday and once in the Wednesday pro-am. The more I play the course the more I like it and enjoy the challenge it sets us.

I came over feeling good about my game as I had been hitting it well in practice at home but during practice I struggled. I seemed to have developed a pull in the last couple of days; the only thing I could put it down to was my alignment. I had somehow got a bit across myself and it seemed to be causing me to pull it left. I have worked on this for the last couple of days and by the end of Wednesday I was hitting it nicely. I am looking forward to playing this week as it is a big tournament and one that I haven’t played for a couple of years. This along with the changes that have been made to the course, make me quite excited about getting out there.

I am playing early/late this week; on day one I am starting at 8am and on day two 12.25. Like The Open Championship everyone starts from the first tee rather than having a two tee start. There is no doubt that this is a title that I would love to win as it is huge tournament with a great tradition. The key for me is to get myself into contention on Sunday afternoon and take it from there.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

BMW PGA Championship - Pre-Tournament Interview
Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland has spoken of his excitement of tackling the remodelled West Course at Wentworth Club ahead of his first appearance at the BMW PGA Championship since 2007. Harrington was vocal in his support of the decision to relay the greens at the famous Surrey venue, which was modernised by the Ernie Els Design team.

After a two years absence I am making a return to Wentworth; I haven’t played the BMW PGA Championship much over the years as I always struggled on the greens. My reasons for missing this tournament were partly scheduling and partly the thatch in the greens that made them nearly impossible for me to read. The course has since been revamped by Ernie and I am looking forward to playing here.

Ernie made a number of changes to the course a few years ago, which were all tee to green changes, which I thought were very good. The changes he has now made to the greens and the bunkers are in my opinion every bit as good. It has definitely toughened up the course but the improved greens will also make it easier to hole putts. As our flagship event it should be held on a top class Championship course and that is what we have here in the West Course at Wentworth. The changes here make this course an equal to any in the world; similar to Augusta National the changes have given the tournament committee numerous options. They can use different tees with different pins and in some ways they can dictate what scores we shoot based on the pin positions.

There is no doubt that when you see it for the first time it is dramatically different to what we were used to watching over the years. The bunkers have totally changed; they are now much deeper and much more of a penalty. The green shapes are much the same but they have put more flat areas onto them and made more areas for the pin positions. The most noticeable change to everyone is the eighteenth; it has always been a relatively straight forward par five that was reachable by most players in the field, whereas now it has a stream running in front and along the left side of the green. The green looks tiny for anyone going for it in two; there will be a lot of excitement on this hole as you can make anything from eagle to double bogey on it. I really like the changes, they do make the course a little tougher but I believe that they make it fairer for everyone.

I was due to travel over on Sunday night but I wasn’t able to get out because of the ash; as a result I came over on Monday evening. I had been here a month ago for a Wilson company day, so I had seen the changes, but I was still anxious to get a couple of practice rounds in. I played it twice, once with Peter Lawrie, Damien McGrane and Michael Hoey on Tuesday and once in the Wednesday pro-am. The more I play the course the more I like it and enjoy the challenge it sets us.

I came over feeling good about my game as I had been hitting it well in practice at home but during practice I struggled. I seemed to have developed a pull in the last couple of days; the only thing I could put it down to was my alignment. I had somehow got a bit across myself and it seemed to be causing me to pull it left. I have worked on this for the last couple of days and by the end of Wednesday I was hitting it nicely. I am looking forward to playing this week as it is a big tournament and one that I haven’t played for a couple of years. This along with the changes that have been made to the course, make me quite excited about getting out there.

I am playing early/late this week; on day one I am starting at 8am and on day two 12.25. Like The Open Championship everyone starts from the first tee rather than having a two tee start. There is no doubt that this is a title that I would love to win as it is huge tournament with a great tradition. The key for me is to get myself into contention on Sunday afternoon and take it from there.

The Irishman’s highest finish at the BMW PGA Championship was tied sixth in 2006 and, whilst he admitted his game is not quite at the razor sharp levels which saw him win two Open Championships and the USPGA Championship, he feels the changes made to the course will play to his strengths.

Harrington said: “I like what I see. I think Ernie has done a great job over the last number of years in making the golf course a stronger, but fairer, challenge. I think the key here is that they know they are holding at least one championship here every year, and it gives the tournament director more control of how he wants to see the golf course set up.

“With the way the course is now, you could have a setup that’s very difficult, and there’s also easy pin positions on some of the greens, so you can have a golf course that’s set up quite reasonably easy. So it gives a lot of control, which is what you really need now for a modern day championship. If you have a difficult golf course and you get tough weather for the week, then nobody is going to enjoy it; but then it if you get lovely, sunny weather for the week, you do need to have a really tough test. I think they have got the balance here now.”

Harrington’s chances of securing a maiden victory at the €4.5million event have been hampered by a persistent knee injury, which will require surgery next week.

He said: “I played football at Christmas, and I tore some cartilage in my knee. I had an MRI scan a couple of months back, and then I went back and had another one last week as well. Basically, there’s a bit of cartilage floating around in there, and they want to take it out before it causes me any problems.

“It should only take ten days to two weeks to recover, unless there’s a complication. But I wouldn’t be getting it done if I thought there was going to be a complication for the US Open. It’s keyhole surgery, and they can get you back out in pretty quick time now. So I’m comfortable having it done.

“If I waited until the end of the year, the doctor feels that it could cause some arthritic problems; but if I can have it cleared up now, it reduces the chance of arthritis for a number of years . So it’s just a precautionary thing as much as anything.”

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