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.

Travelers Championship

Entry Date:
Jun 23, 2011

Travelers Championship - Review
It wasn’t the week I had hoped for, especially having done well at the Travelers Championship the year before. I finished in a tie for 63rd in the end but it wasn’t as a bad a week as my finish would suggest. I felt that I hit a lot of good shots and also, more importantly, I felt a lot better over my putts. It didn’t quite translate into putts holed but I was a lot more comfortable over them, which makes it a lot easier to hole more going forward.

It ended up being a very long week, as my side of the draw (early Thursday morning), got very unlucky with the weather. We were called in for a thunderstorm when I was on my fifteenth hole, after I had made my first birdie of the day on the previous hole. When we got in they weren’t sure how long the delay would be and it ended up being nearly six hours before they would try to get us back out. I say "try" because it didn’t work out; we had warmed up again and were in the vans to head out for a 5.45pm restart when it started to rain heavily again. On top of the rain they had already had meant that the course just wasn’t ready for play, which meant that we would have to be in position to finish our round at 7am on Friday morning and then come back in the evening to start our second round, before coming back again for 7am againon Saturday to finish our round. The 7am start meant that I had to get up at 4am to go through my morning warm up routine. By the end of a week of early mornings and long days I was wrecked. However, the only good thing about it was that I was aclimatising to Irish time before I got home!

I struggled to make enough birdies during the week and so I ended up just making up the numbers. However when I look back on the week there were a lot of good signs as I hit a lot of good shots - I probably hit four full iron shots stone dead during the four rounds and I felt a lot better with my putting. The funny thing is that on both Friday and Saturday mornings when I came back for the restart I actually played very nicely. On Friday morning I started at one over par and finished on one under and really should have been two under. On Saturday morning I started one under through six and got it to four under through eleven holes; at this stage I was feeling good and looking like getting myself into the tournament as there were plenty of birdie holes coming in. However, I ended up bogeying my last hole to finish on four under, which was very disappointing as I had missed several chances in the last six holes. During the next two rounds I never really got anything going and shot one over and one under respectively - there were just too many mistakes in the two rounds.

I am home for the week now before I head to the Scottish Open and then the Open Championship. I will get a bit of links golf in during this week so as to be prepared for the coming two weeks, as it really is a totally different game than what we play every other week of the year. I am really looking forward to getting back to playing some links golf and preparing for the Open. I am happy with how I am hitting the ball and with what I am doing with my swing and now that I am feeling more comfortable with putting, I am feeling good about the coming weeks.

Travelers Championship - Preview
I am in Hartford, Connecticut, for the Travelers Championship this week. I have played here in the past and really like the course so it was easy to add it into my schedule again this year. I got here on Monday evening, after fulfilling a sponsor commitment.

My game last week was actually quite good and bar a few shots in the first round, I was very happy with how I played. The area that let me down was my putting - I had one of my worst putting weeks ever. I just wasn’t able to convert any chances and I felt uncomfortable over all of my putts. I have done some work on my putting during the days since the US Open and I am now feeling a lot better over the putts.

On Wednesday morning I played in the pro-am, however we were called in after eleven holes due to thunder and lightning. We were hanging around for an hour or so before the referee decided to call off the rest of the pro-am. Normally I would be disappointed not to be playing the rest of the round but this time I was actually fine as I got to play eleven holes, which allowed me to get a good feel for the course. After the storm passed I did a small bit of practice, mainly on my wedges and then some putting. Even though I haven’t played the course in full this week I am not overly worried, as I know it well.

I am looking forward to getting started as I have done some good work on both my wedge play and my putting; on this course both of these areas area key. I am drawn to play with Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan, two real nice guys to play with. We are out early on Thursday, but the weather forecast is not good for the first two days so it could mean that our first two rounds take longer than the two days. Hopefully we can get lucky and miss the bad weather that is coming in.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

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