Northern Trust Open - Review
This week was an interesting week for me, but in terms of my finishing position it was another disappointing week. I put myself in a decent position to contend the tournament going into the weekend but another poor weekend of scoring dropped me well down the field. However I actually didn’t leave Riviera unhappy as the weekend helped me sort a few things out in my head. It's funny how these things come about - I spoke to Bob Rotella last Sunday night and we cleared a lot of things up. I was feeling good about myself, and what I had to do and I was committed to doing it. I felt that I did a good job in practice and after the first couple of rounds I would have said that I was on track - it was like I had turned the corner in terms of being easier on myself and working on my focus and routines. Going into the weekend I was feeling confident that I was on the right road and looking forward to playing. However on Saturday I had a bad day - I struggled for most of the day, just didn’t play well and I reverted back to getting down on myself, thinking about my swing and other technical things. As much as I had worked on it during the week as soon as I went a little bit off I was back doing what I have been doing for a while now.
When I was thinking about it on Saturday night and trying to figure out what went wrong and why I was so hard on myself, I realised that I was still too much into the technical side of my game and not enough into the mental aspects. It was like a light bulb going off in my head. Once I thought more about it and went back through my round I could see it straight away. On Sunday, even though I didn’t score well I felt that I played very well and managed to get my focus right. I was much happier on the course and even though I wasn’t shooting a great score I was disappointed that there was no more holes left when I was coming up the eighteenth hole. It was a much less stressful round once I forgot about the technical and worried only about the mental side.
The only disappointing thing about my discovery over the weekend was that I it was too late for the week. I finished well down the field at Riviera, which on a course that I like and have performed well on before, is poor.
I still enjoyed the week in L.A. as I always do; it is a wonderful stop for the tour. I stayed in Santa Monica, which has plenty to occupy us in the evenings. In fact I was out having dinner on Thursday night with a friend that lives here in Santa Monica and Paddy Kielty walked into the restaurant. We have a mutual friend and so have met a few times; we ended up having dinner later in the week and having a good laugh at how small a world it is!
As soon as I finished my final round I headed straight to Tucson for the Accenture Matchplay, which starts on Wednesday. I am now looking forward to continuing my good work from the final round later this week.
Northern Trust Open - Preview
I am in L.A. this week for the Northern Trust Open at Riveria Country Club, which is one of my favourite courses of the year. I don’t think you will find a player on tour that doesn’t like this course, which shows by the quality of the field that it attracts. I’ve played here for that last four years or so and every year I come back I enjoy it even more. After a disappointing weekend last week it is nice to come to a venue that I like and have played well on in the past.
I had a busy start to the week. On Monday I filmed a TV ad for a sponsor and then on Tuesday I hosted a day for one of my other sponsors. It meant that I only played the course for the first time this week in the pro-am on Wednesday, but given that I have played this course so many times I didn’t mind not getting to play it until then.
We teed off at 7am and it was miserable, really wet and misty. Thankfully it cleared up for us on the back nine, but by that stage we were pretty wet. According to the forecast we may as well get used to it as it is supposed to be wet all week. Unfortunately not the sunny California that we have all heard about!
Last week my routines and focus were poor during the weekend and it cost me dearly. However, this week I have spent time on this myself and also with Bob Rotella, which is the first time I have seen him this year and considering last week it couldn’t have come at a better time. I had a good chat with him on Sunday evening about what had gone wrong in Pebble and where I thought I needed to improve. We worked on it again on Tuesday evening and Wednesday and I have to say I feel so much better. After working with Bob I could see that I had become too hard on myself and trying too hard to hit the perfect shot.
I am really looking forward to the week after the work I have done; I am feeling so much more positive about everything. Its amazing really as it is nothing new to me but a lot of the time you have to be reminded of these things a few times before it really sinks in. I know that I have to accept the good and the bad and not get too down on myself. I’m looking forward to a good week and hoping that the weather people got the forecast wrong!