The Open Championship - Review
The 2010 Open Championship was very disappointing for me, missing the cut is never pleasant but doing so at a major always feels worse. I came over looking forward to the week and feeling good about what I had been doing; I would have liked to have another week or two to work on a few things but that is always the case. I was happy with my preparation for the week which makes the missed cut more disappointing.
The majority of the damage was done on the first day as the course was there for the taking and I wasn’t able to take advantage of it. The scoring was very good on Thursday morning when I played; Rory shot nine under and there was a whole host of other scores under par. Par for the course when I played was definitely sub seventy and I was only able to manage a one over par 73. My round started very poorly, I caught my lob wedge approach a little heavy on the first and ended up in the burn, a bad chip shot then cost me another shot and I ended up taking a double bogey. I did birdie the second to get one of the shots back but again on the third I caught my lob wedge heavy and it resulted in a bogey. As bad as these were it wasn’t the worst thing of my round; I managed to get myself back to one under par after fifteen holes, after missing a lot of chances. At this stage if I managed to shoot two under for the day it would have been a good day but in the end I bogeyed the 16th and 17th and then missed a short birdie chance on the last. It was a very frustrating round as everyone else seemed to be making birdies but me. What was even more frustrating was the fact that I played well in terms of driving and striking the ball but anything to do with scoring I did very poorly. By the end of the day I was lying two shots outside the cut as the afternoon was much tougher than the morning.
I knew going out on Friday that I had to have a decent day to make the cut, however it was always going to be tough as the wind really got up in the afternoon. It was so bad that play was halted for an hour just after we teed off. When we came back to play again it didn’t actually seem any different. I got off to a bad start again taking a bogey on the first and then a double bogey on the second, which effectively put me out of it. I tried all day to fight back and make the cut but there just weren’t enough birdie chances as the wind was so strong. I ended up missing the cut by four shots; the only good thing about Friday was that I managed to finish my round. My group got to tee off on the 18th just before the hooter went which meant that we were allowed to finish. It really would have been a total pain to have to come back at 6.30am on Saturday morning to finish the last hole knowing that you were missing the cut.
I spent the weekend in St. Andrews practising as Bob Torrance was there; we got some good work done which was great as I won’t see him for quite a while now. I have a week off before the Irish Open; well almost a week as I am playing a challenge match with Shane Lowry against Rory and Darren at Loch Erne. It will actually break the week up nicely for me and stop me doing too much practice.
I watched the most of the leaders’ final round and I think the best compliment that can be paid to Louis is that he put on such a good performance that he made the final round boring. It was a great performance by him and he was a deserved winner.
The Open Championship - Preview
It's the middle of July which means it is Open Championship week; this year we are at the home of the R&A, St. Andrews. Any Open championship is special and exciting but an Open Championship at the Home of Golf is by far and away the best of them all. I played in the 2000 Open here at St. Andrews but I missed the 2005 Open as my Dad died that week.
It's great to be back here again for an Open, there is something special about the course and the town that makes any week you are playing here very special. I always enjoy playing the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship here but Open Championship week is even better.
I got here on Friday evening so I could play the course on Saturday and Sunday before the rest of the field arrived. Having played here over the years I know the course well but I still wanted to get in a couple of practice rounds as the course generally plays very firm during the summer. I came over early as the practice rounds take a long time as there is so much crossing over. I played on Saturday and Sunday but the weather was not what I had hoped for; Saturday it rained all day and then on Sunday it was blowing a gale. It was so windy on Sunday that if it was a tournament day they wouldn’t have been able to play as the balls wouldn’t stay on the greens. Even though it wasn’t the weather I was looking for it was still worth while as I got to see the course and do some practice. The biggest thing for me was getting time to look at the greens without having to worry about people behind me.
Another reason for coming over early was that I had a few things on during the week - on Tuesday afternoon I received an honorary degree from St. Andrews University and then in the evening I had the annual Champions Dinner. I was also scheduled to play in the Champions challenge (four hole challenge with past champions such as Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino) on Wednesday however the weather was so bad that they had to cancel the challenge. It was disappointing as it would have been fun to play and I was really looking forward to playing with Lee Trevino.
Everything has gone very well during the week, I had a great time at the University receiving my Doctorate and my practice has gone well. I have kept it to a minimum so as not to wear myself out; the most important thing about a week like this is to be fresh, the weather forecast is bad week which makes it more important to be mentally fresh than anything else. Most of the work I have done this week has been on my wedges, as the pin positions can be very tight so it is important that you are confident with your wedges. I have spent quite a lot of time hitting them on my launch monitor so as to get a feel for how far they are going in the temperature here. There is a big difference between how far they go here and in the US where it is much warmer.
I am very happy with how things have gone during the week, the work I have done has gone well and the fact that I got my practice rounds played at the weekend meant that I didn't have to spend much time on the course during the week. Although with the amount of rain that fell on Wednesday the practice rounds that everyone played will be somewhat useless as the course will have softened up significantly. It will probably play more like it does in a Dunhill week after the rain than a British Open. As always the key for this week is patience and staying fresh, it will be a long week if we get the weather that is forecast. As much as it is great to be playing well if the weather comes in it won’t matter about playing well, it will be all about keeping your head and remaining calm.