Wells Fargo Championship - Review
When I first came off the course after my final round I was disappointed, as I had bogeyed my final two holes. I had played well all day and was happy with that but extremely disappointed with my finish. I was in the scorers area signing my card with Phil Michelson when Slugger, the head referee, came up to me and said there was a problem. I couldn’t believe it; all I was thinking was how does this always happen to me! It seemed that they had received a report from someone who thought that I had teed my ball up outside the markers on the 13th hole. The reason they had to bring it to our attention was that they had looked at it on the television replay and it was impossible to tell anything given the camera angle. The good thing as far as I was concerned was that I could remember moving my ball back before I hit it, so I was confident that I was inside the markers. We had to go out to the 13th tee to try and find my divot and line it up, but when we got there it was impossible to clearly identify which was mine as there had been a number of players who went through after I had played. The more Phil and I looked at it the more we were confident that I was inside the markers; the fact that both myself and Phil were sure was enough proof for the referee to ensure that I wasn’t disqualified for a second time this year.
The funny thing about all the commotion was that afterwards I had forgotten about my bogeys on the last two holes and was now feeling reasonably good about the week. I had gone through a roller coaster of emotions in the twenty minutes after my round; thinking that I was going to be disqualified again and then, having not being so, the two bogeys were really incidental in the end.
Aside from all the excitement and stress it was a good week. I am happy with my finish even though I know it could have been better. The thing that I am most pleased about is that I played well on Saturday and Sunday. During the first two days I struggled and hit a lot of poor shots but over the weekend I hit a lot of quality shots and created a lot of chances. On top of this, when I missed greens I chipped and putted well to keep my score going. In my final round I hit four or five shots pretty much stone dead, which really makes for stress free rounds. When I stood on the 14th tee I really felt that I had an outside chance in the tournament if I could find a few more birdies coming in. Unfortunately I could only make one more and then dropped two shots, but it felt good to be in the hunt and playing well.
All in all it was a good week. The flight to Sawgrass was funny because all I could think about was the fact that I could have been disqualified for something that I was sure I hadn’t done and it took me quite a while to be able to sit down and think about how I played. When I did look through my week I was very happy with how I played and also how I scrambled when I missed a green. Now I am looking forward to bringing my weekend form to the Players and trying to get myself into contention there.
R.I.P. SEVE BALLESTEROS
"Seve was the most charismatic and artistic golfer I have ever seen play the game. He helped the tremendous growth of the European Tour during the 70's and 80's and inspired all those players who came after him. He will be sadly missed." - Padraig.
Wells Fargo Championship - Preview
After a week at home practicing I am in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Wells Fargo Championship. This is one of the best stops on the Tour - it is a great course and the area around the venue is very nice. On top of this we are looked after really well; it is one of the first tournaments that I put in my schedule at the start of the year. I have been coming here for a few years now and I look forward to coming back every year.
After missing the cut in the Volvo China Open I went home and spent the week working on my game. I had Bob Torrance come over and we got some good work done, the only drawback to it is that I have to play a tournament this week. I spent so much time hitting balls last week that I am not quite sure what to expect. I got here on Sunday evening in order to play in the Monday pro-am with my sponsor, FTI. I was delighted to play with the guys, especially as it was held on the tournament course and I was in need of getting onto the course and away from the range. We had a great day, played quite nicely and came close to picking up a prize. I was very happy with how I played and made quite a few birdies.
As I played the course on Monday I decided against playing on Tuesday and spent a few hours practicing. I split it up between long game and short game and got some good work done. On Wednesday I played in the main pro-am as usual. I played in the morning and it was pretty cold - it was amazing how different the course played compared to Monday, which was a glorious sunny day. I was happy with how I played over the two days and feel that the work I did with Bob last week has helped a lot.
Last year was my best performance here, finishing tied seventh; the week is remembered for Rory’s first win after shooting 62 in the final round. I am looking forward to getting started as I am feeling good about my game and feel that the work I have done has made a difference. I have spent a lot of time working on my short game during the week, as I probably didn’t do as much on it last week as I should have. I also got to see Bob Rotella on Monday as he was here for a few hours; we had a good chat and went through a few things, which was nice.
Quail Hollow is one of the best courses of the year and also one of the best conditioned. It has become one of the premium events of the season and as a result it gets a great field, another reason being the fact that it is held the week before the Players Championship. I am a big fan of the course and love the way it is set up; they model it on Augusta, which means very little rough and fast greens.
I am happy with how my practice has gone - I was a little anxious coming over that I hadn’t quite done the right things in preparation as I spent a lot of time hitting balls. However, I have spent the few days getting my head in the right place and getting away from the work that I was doing last week. I am starting early on Thursday, 7.40am with Martin Kaymer and Anthony Kim. As ever I am looking to get myself into contention on Sunday afternoon and then go from there.