AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am review...
It was a disappointing week in the end. I was looking forward to playing last week as I really like the courses but it just didn’t work out. I have played there a number of times now and always feel that this tournament suits me down to the ground. The format, the courses and the weather really makes it good for me; the only problem is that it comes a little too early in the season.
This year I was hopeful of a good performance but it wasn’t to be - I managed to get myself into a reasonable position after two rounds but my weekend was terrible. It was really down to my focus and routines, which are generally poor at the start of the season as I have spend so much time on technical practice. I could see it in my rounds on Saturday and Sunday when I got distracted a lot while I was over shots; this is a sure sign that I wasn’t fully into the shot.
As far as my game is concerned I hit a lot of very good shots every day. I did hit a number of poor ones too but, in general, they came down to not being properly focused on the shot and letting myself get distracted.
Rounds of 74 and 78 over the weekend are terrible and made only worse by the fact that the weather was absolutely perfect. I have looked back over them and have picked out the areas that need improving and will be working on them before I get going in LA on Thursday. There is no doubt that I am being too hard on myself and trying too hard on the course, so much so that when I don’t hit the shot I want to hit I am getting down on myself. It is like the old saying of ironing my hands; it is something that I have to get out of straight away.
Normally I have the team event to keep me going as well but this year we failed to make the cut by three shots. We never got going in the first two rounds and left ourselves too much to do on the Saturday. All in all it was a disappointing week, however the only good thing about this sort of week is that they are when you learn the most. It is always hard to get much from a week when you play well, but I know coming away from last week what went wrong and what I have to do. Luckily for us golfers we always have next week.....talk to you all soon, Padraig.
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Disappointing final round of 78 drops Padraig down the field into a tie for 63rd place. The par 5's did most of the damage as he played them in six over par for the day! He remains in the United States for this weeks Northern Trust tournament at the famed Riviera course.
Third round of three over par 73 on the Monterey course was made up of four bogies and just one birdie on the par three 11th hole. It was a day when he didn't putt very well and took 30 putts which would not be what was required around the par 70 course.
Second round of four under par for Padraig at the famed pebble Beach links could have been so much better as he started with four birdies in his first six holes. His seven under par total leaves him in a tie for 4th place going into the weekend. He now plays the tricky Monterey course before returning to Pebble Beach for the final round. Thirteen under par leads at the halfway stage.
Padraig opens up his US Tour season with a pleasing round of three under par 69. Five birdies and two bogies made up his card on a day where he played well within himself. He is in a tie for 12th place after this opening effort, seven under par leads. He now plays Pebble Beach in his second round at 8am local time (+8 hours GMT).
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - Preview
I am in Monterey, California for the AT&T Pebble National Pro-am, which is my first tournament of the year in the US. I have played here for a number of years now - it is a tournament that I look forward to and always feel that I have a chance to do well in. The conditions generally suit me as the weather here can be quite similar to home and the courses are not unlike what I would have grown up playing on. The fact that it is a pro-am means that I get to play with JP for the week, which is always something that I look forward too. Over the years I have played ok here, never quite getting myself into contention, the main reason for which is the fact that the tournament comes so early in my season. This year it comes early for me again - I have only played in two tournaments and in one of them I only got to play one round.
This tournament is different to the others that I play on the PGA Tour as it is a pro-am and this particular week the golfers are actually playing second fiddle. As much as this is a golf tournament it is more about the celebrities than the golfers. The players are all on the range looking around at the celeb,s putting names to them and talking about them. I like it, as it is a distraction from the norm, every other week we are the star attraction so for one week it is actually nice to be the supporting actors. It makes the other weeks all the better.
This tournament has been held here at Pebble Beach for about 50 years - we play Pebble twice and Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Country Club once. This is great golfing country and when you are here playing here it is always a great atmosphere.
Normally at this time of year the courses are a little soft from the rain that they normally have but not this year. The weather has been great for the last few weeks and as a result the courses are quite firm. I would go as far as to say that Pebble Beach is not too far away from how it played in the US Open - there is less rough but in terms of the firmness and speed of the greens it is very close. The hardest course this year in my opinion is Spyglass; I played it on Wednesday and I have to say it was a really tough test. It wasn’t so much from tee to green that it was tough but more when you got onto the greens. As they are quite firm and fast it means the slopes on them are exaggerated - I putted off at least four greens during my 18 holes! The courses are a totally different test this year than any other year that I have played and I am struggling to see the scoring being anywhere near as good as normal. The one thing going in our favour is that fact that there are amateurs in the field so they have to go easy with the pins for three days.
I am very happy with how my game is progressing. Since Bahrain I have done some good work and I am feeling good about where I am at in terms of my game. I am looking forward to getting going this week as I like the courses and the format of the tournament. I am also looking forward to putting my game to the test. I played fine on Monday and Tuesday, but terrible on Wednesday, which included a lot of bad shots and also putted quite poorly. For the three days I have struggled a bit with my fade shots. I haven’t been able to sort it out completely which is quite frustrating, it means that I have to try and avoid hitting a fade if possible. There are a few things in my game that I am not quite happy with and which I haven’t quite ironed out during the week, but the main thing for the tournament is for me not to get too caught up in them; I have to try and forget about them and just get on with playing my game.
The forecast for the week is great, with very little chance of rain, which is unusual. I have played the three courses in practice and I am ready to get going. I would like to have a bit more time to sort out a few small things but I have to go with what I have. I know that this is a tournament that suits me and so I am looking to get myself into contention on Sunday. As much as I would like to contend and win the professional tournament I would really like for JP and myself to have a chance in the team event - I will be trying hard to give us a chance to add to our Dunhill Links successes.