AKRON, OH - AUGUST 02: Padraig Harrington of Ireland smiles prior to the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational on August 2, 2011 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
WGC - Bridgestone Invitational - Review
I had one of my worst performances at the Bridgestone Invitational since I have been playing there. It was a struggle from day one as I never hit enough fairways to give myself a chance to shoot a score. Firestone is a tough enough course if you are hitting the fairways but when you are missing them it is exceptionally difficult. It was possible to take on the pins if you were coming off the fairway, due the to the fact that it was quite soft after a few heavy showers. It played long but definitely easier as the fairways were soft and the greens receptive. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take advantage of the conditions as I hit it poorly from the tee.
Looking back on the week, the thing that I was happy about is my putting. Once I commit to the line I hit a good putt - every putt that I fully committed to ran at the hole and had a chance of going in. However, I hit a few that I didn’t fully commit to and they felt terrible. Now that I know this I feel that I am not putting badly. The key thing for me to now get into my game is to be fully committed on every shot and putt that I hit.
Since I split with Bob I have been approached by a number of coaches to see if I would have an interest in working with them. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing with regards to a coach but I knew that I needed to have one. During the week I asked Pete Cowen if he would he have a look at my swing and tell me what he thought. He was happy to do so and we spent about an hour together on Saturday evening discussing my swing and what he thought of it. I really liked what he had to say - a lot of the things he talked about were things that I had been trying to do or things that I would like to do. When I tried what he was saying it felt very good straight away. However I know that my best chance of winning the PGA is to forget about it for a week and to go with what I have. I need to be mentally prepared to give myself the best chance of winning; beating balls on a swing change during the practice days would not be good preparation. Therefore I am putting the changes on hold for a week or so.
WGC - Bridgestone Invitational - Preview
I am in Akron Ohio, for the Bridgestone Invitational. I have been coming to Firestone CC to play in this World Golf Championship event since it started, although the PGA Tour has been playing tournaments here well before the World Golf Championships were conceived. In a way it is actually nice to be in the States this week as there was a lot of media focus on my split with Bob last week. Here in the US it is not as big a story and so it has been a lot easier to get on with my own thing and prepare for the tournament.
I got here on Monday evening. I wasn’t too worried about getting here early as I have played Firestone for years and know it well. It doesn’t change from year to year and is always in great condition. The thing that makes this place play really tough is when the greens are firm. Thankfully there was some rain last week and on Monday so the course is actually quite soft. As a result it is playing long but the greens are very receptive which makes it easier even though we are hitting longer clubs into them. I played nine holes on Tuesday and Wednesday and spent some time on the range working on my long game and also my short game. I played very nicely on Tuesday but not as good on Wednesday - however, I’m not getting too worried about it as I know that it can be so different come round one on Thursday. The main thing about the practice days is to reacquaint yourself with the course and get in the right frame of mind for the start of the tournament.
This is a big week as it is a leading tournament on a great course but it is also the week before the last major of the year. I always like to play the week before a major and this week is a great event to have before a major. As we all know the golf course it means that we don’t have to spend too much time on the course so we can get some good work done on the range and with our club sponsors so that we don’t have to do it next week. I like to go to a major with my clubs all set and ready to go; I also like to have my work done before I get there so that I don’t have to spend too much time on the range. The first half of the week here is usually set aside for this sort of work and then from Wednesday afternoon it is down to business for the week. However, as much as I am here to prepare for next week I am also here to try and win the Bridgestone Invitational. I have always liked this course but I have had some mixed results; my best performance is a tie for second. It is a tough course but one that is very fair and over the last few years my performances have been better. While most of the players know the course well it is a nice plus to have performed well on it previously.
I am concentrating on this week’s tournament and putting the PGA Championship to the back of my mind. I know that a good performance this week is the best preparation for next and by concentrating on this tournament it will actually help my performance at the PGA.