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.

WGC - Accenture World Matchplay Championship

Entry Date:
Feb 23, 2011

WGC - Accenture World Matchplay Championship - Review
It was another very disappointing WGC Accenture Matchplay for me; over the years I have struggled in this tournament and this year was no different. I went out in the first round again, as I have done in the last two years, this time to Geoff Ogilvy 4&3. I knew that I had a tough draw in playing Geoff but I really didn’t put up a fight.

I got off to a bad start and never recovered from it; I struggled all day with the wind and club selection. It is a funny course for wind as it seems to come from all angles and then to add even more difficulty it can blow hard one minute and then appear calm the next. I was definitely unnerved by this and ended up letting it get to me. It was a disappointing result, as I never really gave Geoff any sort of match. The one time that I looked like coming back at him, when I won the sixth, I hit a poor drive on the next and handed him the hole back. This was the story of my day - every time I hit a bad shot I was heavily penalised for it; I was in the desert twice and had to take two penalty drops! Still, it wasn’t just that I never really got into the match, it was only in the last couple of holes that I managed to hit some decent shots and feel that I was in the right frame of mind, but at that stage it was too late.

The only consolation about being beaten in the first round is that I was able to come home straight away. This was the last of three tournaments in a row for me and now I have ten days off before I return to Florida for the WGC Cadillac at Doral.

Even though my first few tournament results haven’t been great, I am not worried as it is early in my season and I am very happy with my game. I am delighted with how my winter work has faired and now I know that I have to concentrate on the mental side of my game and forget about technique. I can see from my first few events that I have been far too into my technique, which is quite normal for me after a winter working on it.

It looks like it should be a very good final between Luke and Martin, as both have played well all week.

WGC - Accenture World Matchplay Championship.
Padraig bowed out in the first round of the Accenture World Matchplay losing by 4&3 to Geoff Ogilvy, a two time winner of this event. Padraig had no excuses after, he just failed to make the birdies required to win this type of 18 hole sprint format. The highlight of the match for Qgilvy was a superb eagle three on the par five 13th hole which left him four up and on the way to victory. He stated after, "Paddy didn't have his best day today and let me off the hook." Padraig now has a week off before returning to the US Tour.

WGC - Accenture World Matchplay Championship - Preview
This week is the first of the World Golf Championship events of the year, the Accenture Matchplay. We have moved from L.A. to Tucson for this week’s event, which has now been held in Tucson for five years. As it is a matchplay tournament it has been an interesting event over the years as there are always surprise results, seeds going out early and generally results that are hard to imagine. Matchplay is a totally different prospect than a stroke play tournament; a bad shot in stroke play can ruin your whole week whereas a bad shot in matchplay may only cost you a hole.

As an amateur I played a huge amount of matchplay tournaments and performed well in them. Since turning professional the opportunities are limited for matchplay starts; we have this tournament, the Volvo World Matchplay and we are exposed to it in the Ryder Cup. Our season is really measured on strokeplay and as a result when we do get to play a tournament like this it is somewhat alien to us.

I have performed poorly in this tournament since it was moved from San Diego - I think I have only got past the first round once in four years. There is no doubt that a lot of the reason is that it comes early in my season and I am not quite sharp enough. In this format you have to be sharp enough to take advantage when you are given an opening. When I look back over my matches the last few years I can see that I didn’t take advantage when the door was opened for me. This year I am coming here having got a lot clear in my head and feeling that I am in a good place in terms of my golf. I have done some good work on my routines and that side of my game during the practice days. I have purposely taken it easy over the two days of practice, as this tournament is a marathon. It is almost like two tournaments in one; the winner will play once Wednesday and Thursday and then twice Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The important thing about this week is to conserve energy, the last thing you want to be is tired and facing 36 holes. With this in mind I have played nine holes twice and done some practice around that.

I am drawn to play past champion, Geoff Ogilvy, in the first round. Like every match it is a tough one as there are no bad players in the field. That said Geoff has won this event twice so it will be a tough match and there won’t be much given away. I have always taken the view in matchplay that I play my own game and not get sucked into watching my opponent and worrying about what he is doing. I intend to stick to this and go out tomorrow and do my own thing and try not to do anything different. It is important to be aware of your opponent but not to get caught up in what he is doing.

I am happy with the work I have done and how I played last Sunday; I would prefer if this were a strokeplay event purely from the point of view that I would have more time to get everything right. In this format each round is a sprint and so you have to come out quickly. That said I look forward to playing Geoff, I played nine-hole match against him in practice at the AT&T and he beat me so I am looking for a bit of revenge.

Padraig.

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