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.

Volvo China Open

Entry Date:
Apr 21, 2011

Volvo China Open - Review
My trip to China was great and very disappointing at the same time. The holiday element was brilliant but unfortunately my golf let me down - I played poorly and missed the cut by five shots in the end. There’s wasn’t much to it other than I just didn’t play well enough - I hit a lot of poor iron shots in the two rounds which meant that I didn’t give myself enough chances to hole putts. The course wasn’t tough and I knew that the scoring was always going to be good, but I wasn’t giving myself many decent chances whilst the rest of the field seemed to be making lots of birdies.

When I played in practice and the pro-am I was pulling my irons; there are many weeks where I play the practice rounds when I might be pulling the ball or pushing it, but it generally goes away before the tournament starts. I was sure that this week would be the same but it didn’t turn out that way. I pulled a number of iron shots during the two rounds or, if not, I was thinking about it too much which was off putting and proved to be a big distraction when over the ball. On top of this I didn’t hole enough putts - I never missed a short putt in the two rounds but I didn’t hole many putts from outside ten feet. When you are not hitting your irons well and then not holing any putts it makes it very hard to shoot a score.

In my second round I birdied my fourteenth hole to get to three under for the tournament, which was still two shots outside the cut; I was pressing for more birdies. On the fifteenth I tried to hit a big tee shot and end up blocking it right out of bounds, which put paid to my chances of making the cut. It was extremely disappointing to miss the weekend but I know that I just didn’t play well enough. However, I am confident that I know what I was doing in pulling my iron shots and that I can sort it out in my week off before I head to the US for two tournaments.

Volvo China Open.
Disappointing second round of 73 sees Padraig miss the cut of five under par at the Volvo China Open. Having started with a birdie, he threaded water to find himself needing two birdies in his last five holes. An ugly double bogie six on the par four 14th hole where he was out of bounds put paid to his chances. He will now return to the USPGA tour.

Padraig teed off in China with Y.E Yang and David Horsey and had an opening round of one under par 71. After starting with a bogie five on his first hole he played steadily thereafter. Eight under par leads after round one.

Volvo China Open - Preview
This week I am in Chengdu, China, for the Volvo China Open. As it coincides with the Easter holidays at home I have taken some time out for a family holiday. We left on Saturday for Beijing, getting in Sunday morning, and went to see the Great Wall of China. On Monday morning we flew to see the Terra Cotta warriors and then to Chengdu that evening. On Tuesday morning we went to see the Panda’s here in Chengdu, at a reserve that they have built here in the city for them.

I have always wanted to go and climb the Great Wall so when I decided to come here and play I thought it was the perfect time to do it. Paddy and Ciaran have seen a lot of movies with the Great Wall in it and so when they heard we were going to go and climb it they were very excited. It is hard to comprehend how big and long it actually is! Our guide was telling us that it is actually made up of four different walls and it stretches for 3,700 miles. I still can’t get my head around it! It was an amazing sight and even more so when you stand there and try and imagine what it was like when they were building it over 2000 years ago. After the Great Wall we went to see the Terra Cotta warriors, who were buried with the first emperor, Chin. His tomb covers 57 square km’s with 600 pits; so far they have opened 16 and have 3 on display. In the first three pits they found over 8,000 of the warriors along with horses, carriages and many other artifacts. To see the Terra Cottas lined up in the pits was some sight; as soon as you walk in they are standing there in front of you. It is like looking at a full army ready to march.

Of the three things that we did the kids favourite, as you can imagine, was seeing the Panda’s. Chengdu is the home of the Panda and the last place where they live in the wild. We went to see them in a reserve that they have built to try and keep them from extinction. The highlight of the visit was getting to hold a six-month-old Panda, which I thought was amazing, but Paddy and Ciaran were really blown away!

However, the holiday part of the trip is over for me as I am here to play a tournament. I played nine holes on Tuesday and then 18 in the pro-am on Wednesday. It is a good course, not too long so it should give up a lot of birdies, although there are plenty of holes that can cause a lot of trouble. I’m looking forward to playing as I am feeling good about my game and am ready to turn my good play into some strong results. I have come here this week looking to win the tournament; even though I have been on a family holiday for the first half of my trip I am still here to play and win. I have been playing well for a while now and all that is needed is to get some results. I am really looking forward to the rest of my season and particularly this week as I am looking at this as the start of the rest of the year.

It has been a relaxing build up to the tournament for me due to the holiday at the start and as a result I am feeling good and ready to get going on Thursday.

Talk soon,
Padrig.

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