Dunhill Links Championship - Review
It was a tough week in terms of how the courses played; while it wasn’t wet we did get a few windy days. When I played Kingsbarns the wind was blowing a different way to normal and it was quite strong. It meant that holes like the 12th, which are normally well within range in two shots actually required three good shots; this hole is normally a give away birdie but this year it was a good par. All the courses played tough as the wind blew quite strong all week. I ended up finishing in a tie for seventeenth, which was a disappointing result in the end as I gave myself a lot of good chances during the week.
I struck the ball very well all week and gave myself a lot of good birdie chances but I wasn’t able to convert enough of them. I actually hit a lot of good putts but it seemed to be one of those weeks, shaving the hole a number of times. Even though the courses played long and tough there were still opportunities out there as the greens were quite soft for links golf. Each course played quite different to normal, for instance the 12th at Kingsbarns, as I mentioned above, was out of range in two; on the Friday the 14th at St. Andrews was playing so long that you couldn’t reach the fairway and the 18th at Carnousite on Saturday was practically out of range. I would say that it was the toughest wind for the three courses, and as tough as us pro’s found it the amateurs really struggled.
In the end it was definitely tiredness that caught up with me; I could see it in all my rounds. I made a couple of mental mistakes each day that I could only put down to being tired. After such a long week in Wales it left me quite drained, especially in the final round. I went out on Sunday on seven under par and was only able to shoot one over. I struggled with my focus all day and felt lethargic from the start; no matter how hard I tried I just had nothing left in the tank to draw upon. By the last hole I was happy to be finishing, as I just had nothing left. It was a disappointing last round as I was on the periphery of contention going out; I felt that I had to shoot a very low round and if I did I would have a chance.
J.P. and myself made the cut in the team competition but, like my individual score, we just weren’t close enough going out and didn’t have enough in the tank. We put in a solid performance but not good enough to challenge Dermot Desmond for the title. Dermot was a deserved winner; he played lovely golf all week and on top of that he putted exceptionally well. He told me that he had no three putts all week, which on these greens is some achievement.
I left St. Andrews disappointed with my finish and quite tired; I suppose had I holed a few more putts then I wouldn’t have felt quite as bad. However I am very happy with how I struck the ball and also looking forward to a break after my next tournament so that I can recharge the batteries.
Dunhill Links Championship
Final round of 73 for Padraig sees him finish in a tie for 17th place at six under par. Fellow Ryder Cup player, Martin Kaymer won the event with a 17 under par total. The highlight of the day for Padraig was an eagle three on the par 5 fifth hole. In the team event the boys finished in a very credible tie for 12th place with a 22 under par total. Dermot Desmond held on gallently after a double bogie start to win the pro am event with a 30 under par total! Padraig now heads out east for a run of tournaments to bring him up to the end of the year.
Third round of two under par 70 at the tough Carnoustie links leaves Padraig in 8th place going into Sundays final round. Thirteen under par leads. His four birdies were offset by bogies at the end of each nine, his three putt on his last hole being the most annoying after two good shots to twenty feet. In the team event, they are in tied third place at nineteen under par, four shots behind fellow Irishman, Dermot Desmond! The attempt to win three Dunhill titles is still alive!
Strong second round of four under par 68 leaves Padraig at five under par and in a tie for 7th place going into the weekend. Playing at the home of golf, he started well again with a birdie and was out in four under par 32 but the back nine played straight back into the wind and Padraig coped well to record level par with one birdie and one bogey. In the team event, the boys are in tied 5th place at 13 under par and only four behind heading for the famed Carnoustie course. All to play for!
Opening round of one under par for Padraig leaves him in a tie for 64th place. Six under par leads. A promising start with three birdies in his first four holes was spoiled with two dropped shots on his final two holes. In the pro am event, Padraig and JP are at five under par and in a tie for 50th place. Padraig tees off in the second round at 9.55am local time opposite Retief Goosen on the St. Andrews links.
Padraig makes a quick return to action after the excitement of the Ryder Cup at the Dunhill Links Championship being played over three championship links courses, Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and St Andrews. Padraig is again playing in the pro am event with his friend, JP McManus and is a two time winner of the event. He tees it up in the first round at 11.01am local time on the Kingsbarns links with Ryder Cup partner, Ross Fisher.
Dunhill Links Championship - Preview
After a long a tough week at Celtic Manor it is back to normality this week - I am in St. Andrews for the Dunhill Links. This is one of my favourite tournaments of the year; there are numerous reasons why but the main two are that I like the courses and I get to play with a good friend of mine, J.P. McManus. We have had good success in this tournament over the years and hopefully we have more to come.
Last week was such a special and different week that it is very hard to come back to reality after it. The fact that I am playing in a team event this week again is a big help in terms of getting myself into tournament mode again. It can be tough to play a tournament immediately after the Ryder Cup because the support from the crowd is so different - at a Ryder Cup it is much more like a football match. It really gets the adrenalin flowing whereas at a normal tournament the crowd is much more subdued and quiet.
After winning last week we had great evening celebrating, so since arriving on Tuesday I have been taking it easy and trying to recover; I played 18 holes at Kingsbarns with Dermot Desmond, Kieran McManus and John Heggarty. It was good fun playing with the guys - it was competitive and light hearted.
One of the great things about being here this week is the way that everyone is coming up and congratulating us on last week's Ryder Cup. It reminds you of how much it means to all the players and makes the win all the more special. That said though the hard thing about playing this week is getting the Ryder Cup out of your mind and not continuing on with the celebrations. I have had my celebration and now it is time to get back to playing my own game.
As usual we are playing St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns; three great courses. I have played well on them all over the years so I have no fears about any of them. As I only got here on Tuesday I have only played one practice round, but seeing as I know the courses well I am not too worried about it. I spent a bit of time on the range with Bob Torrance on Wednesday morning going through a few things and then I went and played.
I still have quite a few tournaments left before I call an end to my season; I know that if I play well over the next couple of months then I can turn my season into a very good one. This is a tournament that I have done well in over the years and so it is kind off the start of my last quarter of the year. I will doing my best to get both myself and J.P. into contention on Sunday afternoon; if we can do that then we both know that we have a great chance of winning.
This year my rotation is Kingsbarns, St. Andrews and Carnoustie; there is not great advantage what rotation you get other than people wanting to get the trip to Carnoustie out of the way early. I was happy with how I played in practice and I’m looking forward to the week.