The Players Championship - Review
It was another disappointing performance at the Players Championship for me - it has been a while since I have had a decent performance there. This year I missed the cut comfortably after rounds of 73 and 78. It was tough going with my knee, which was giving me quite a bit of pain during the week. I had expected it to be pretty much gone by the time I started on Thursday but unfortunately it was probably worse. The pain was quite severe when it came - a sudden stabbing pain when I made certain movements. A lot of the time I was feeling it just before I took the club away, which was a big distraction and it was also very painful when I was walking on a side slope. I had to hit a shot from a grass bunker on the 15th on Thursday - I was standing on a steep slope and it must have taken me a minute to get into position as it was very sore.
I am still very disappointed to have missed the cut, as I was looking forward to the week and feeling good about my game after the weekend of the Wells Fargo Championship. I did some work with Bob Rotella and I decided to change my pre-shot routine, as I wanted to stop looking up before I hit. However, when in action on Thursday I found it a major distraction as I wasn’t comfortable with the new routine. I probably should have waited to work on it during my week off before changing it but I liked how it felt on the range and wanted to see how it was in a tournament. I went back to my old routine after three holes but I then found it quite distracting too. I am still going to change to the new routine but I will work on it this week so as to get comfortable with it.
I have a week off before the BMW Championship to rest my knee and get my routine bedded in. The first priority is my knee so I will be seeing someone on Monday to make sure that everything is ok.
The Players Championship - Preview
This week is the Players Championship in Sawgrass, the biggest tournament on the PGA Tour outside of the majors. Originally this tournament was played in March and I had quite a degree of success, finishing second twice. However since they have changed the date and relaid the greens I have struggled. I have probably missed more cuts than I have made since the change. Ever since I first came here I have liked the course so my poor form here over the last few years has been very disappointing.
I got here on Sunday evening feeling drained after the commotion of my final round last week. I have taken it easy this week during the practice days as I hurt my knee last week and it is still quite sore. I twisted it walking on a slope and it hasn’t recovered. I thought it was something that would just disappear after a day or two but it has been quite sore since. With this in mind I took Monday morning off and in fact really took the day off as all I did was take part in some filming for Wilson in the afternoon, which meant only hitting a few shots. On Monday evening I went and watched Ronan playing in a soccer match, a team of caddies and players took on a local pub team. They managed to get a draw, which was a decent result and more importantly there were no injuries.
On Tuesday I played six holes of the front nine and did some practice but again my knee was causing me problems. I get a stabbing pain in my knee just as I take the club away which is very awkward. I also tested some new irons that Wilson have made for me, which I really liked. I am looking forward to getting them home to get used to them. Wednesday was another easy day - I played five holes on the back nine and did a small bit of practice beforehand but again it was all limited due to me knee. The highlight of the day was watching Ronan pull his shot into the water on 17 in the annual caddy challenge. I’ll enjoy ribbing him about that for the rest of the year.
In terms of my game I am very happy. I felt that I played good last weekend and also chipped and putted well. The biggest problem I have this week is my knee and if it wasn’t such a big event I would probably withdraw. I have kept my preparation to a minimum so as not to put any undue pressure on my knee, so hopefully this will help me get through the week.
I am playing early on Thursday with Heath Slocum and Brian Gay, two really nice guys to play with. I am looking to improve on my recent run of form here and hopefully get myself into contention come Sunday afternoon. I know that my game is in good enough shape to do it, I just hope that my knee is too.