GREENSBORO, NC - AUGUST 18 : Padraig Harrington of Ireland waves to the crowd on the ninth hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 18, 2011 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Wyndham Championship - Review
It was a hard decision to cancel our family holiday but it was worth it. Its not often that I am delighted to finish in a tie for 47th but last week it was good enough to move me to 124th in Fed Ex Cup standings and get me into The Barcays, the first event of the FedEx Playoffs.
It would have been very disappointing not to make it into the Playoffs, especially as I am a past champion of The Barclays. Normally after finishing where I did I would be disappointed, looking at where I should have been better. This time leaving the course I was sweating over whether or not it was good enough to get me inside the top 125 - I was thinking about a couple of putts I missed knowing that just one more shot would have made a big difference. I wasn’t that confident as I felt that there was a good chance that a few of the guys behind me would play well and push me out.
We were always heading to New York, whether or not I qualified for the Barclays. However, not knowing left me in a kind of limbo where I wasn’t sure what I was doing. When I got on the plane to fly up I was moving between 124th and 125th; I had been watching the scores from when I finished right up to take off. The hour flight felt longer as I wasn’t able to get any updates, but as soon as we touched down I turned on my phone and checked the scores - when I saw how the leaderboard was looking I was confident that I was making it as the guys that needed to play well to pass me hadn’t quite shot low enough. In the end I finished in 124th, but now the target is to get myself into the top 100 so as to play in Boston the following week. The easiest way of doing that is to win this week and so get myself into the top five. The great thing about the Playoffs is that no matter what position you are in coming into the first leg, if you win the Barclays it means that you are going to be in the top five at the Tour Championship and so have your destiny in your own hands. As they say, if you’re not in you can’t win!
As a stand-alone week it was disappointing in terms of my finish, a tie for 47th. I went there to try and win the tournament so to finish my final round before the leaders tee off was very disappointing. That said it was good enough to get me into the Playoffs so it wasn’t all bad. Even though I finished well down the field I felt that I played quite well, particularly on Sunday. Looking back on the week I am happy with how I played bar about five or six holes on Friday and Saturday. I was very happy with my finish on Friday to make the cut; I knew that I needed to pick up a shot coming down the last three holes to make it into the weekend. A birdie on the 17th and then a good par on the last got me in and kept my Playoff hopes alive. Then on Sunday I knew that I needed to play well to get myself in the top 125 and in fact I felt that I left a lot of shots behind me. I took three to get down on the 4th from just off the green and then the same on the 16th - these were my two bogies but on top of these I missed several shortish birdie putts.
When I came off the course I was disappointed as I felt that I had left a really good score out there which could have cost me getting into the Barclays. Having survived I am now feeling good about everything as I played well and am now looking forward to trying to get a second Barclays title.
A superb display by Padraig in the final round of the Wyndham Championship saw him make the Fed Ex cup playoffs. Three birdies in his first five holes gave him the start that he needed and as others faltered he finished with a 68 which promoted him just inside the top 125 that will tee it up at the Barclays. He now needs to make the top 100 next week to progress further but all to play for.
Third round of one under par 71 leaves Padraig in a tie for 62nd place and needing to finish in the top 30 to reach next weeks playoffs. A birdie three start was cancelled out by some erratic play around the turn but he rallied well to birdie three holes on the way home. He tees off in the final round at 9.20am local time needing something in the mid 60's to progress.
Fine second round performance by Padraig at the Wyndhan Championship to make the three under par cut and give himself a realistic chance over the weekend of making the FedEx Cup playoffs. After a shaky start where he was two over par after four holes, he played his last fourteen holes in four under par including two birdies in his last four holes. Two low rounds will be needed over the weekend to move up the five places he needs to play next week. He tees off at 8.48am local time with Pat Perez.
Padraig opens his account at the Wyndham Championship with a one under par 71. Three early birdies were cancelled out by two bogies on his back nine. He tees off Friday at 12.30pm local time with Paul Casey and Justin Leonard.
Wyndham Championship - Preview
This week is the Wyndham Championship, the final event before the FedEx Play-offs. I was supposed to be on holidays with my family rather than playing here this week, but as I am outside of the top-125 in the FedEx Cup standings I cancelled the holiday and came to Greensboro instead. It was a tough decision to make as we had all been looking forward to a holiday but I want to play in the Play-offs.
I got here on Monday evening as I had an outing for Wilson during the day; once I made the decision to come here I was really looking forward to playing. I have watched this tournament on television for the last few years and always thought it looked like a good event and one that I would like to play in. Now I get my chance. I played nine holes on Tuesday and then 18 holes in the pro-am on Wednesday. It is a good course; there are plenty of tough holes on it and also lots of birdie chances. Having played 27 holes I am struggling to see the scores that are normally shot here - last year the winning score was twenty under par. While there are birdie holes out there, there are plenty of holes that can ruin your card. I have found that most of the trouble is off the tee; if you try to take on too much from the tee you can leave yourself in a lot of trouble. The rough is not too high but the ball sits down in it and makes it very hard to get a good contact, so there is definitely a premium on hitting the fairway - I would say that I am happier to be hitting more club into the greens from the fairway rather than less from the rough. Around the greens is not so bad as you can get the ball up-and-down from pretty much most areas. Also the greens are very receptive for longer shots, which means that hitting a longer club in is not a major disadvantage. For me the way to play this course is by being cautious from the tee and then aggressive with the second shot.
This is a funny week for me and a lot of players, as we have an eye on the Play-offs as well. I am primarly here because I need to move up in the rankings to play in the Barclays next week, but now that I am here I am fully focused on getting myself in to contention to win. I know that a win here means that I don’t have to worry about how anyone else does. In terms of qualifying for next week I reckon I need a high finish, but I know that I have to put that to the back of my mind, concentrate on this week and let everything else fall in to place. If I get caught up in thinking about what position I am in after every round then it will be very hard for me to play my game.
I have played the course, spent some time working on the range and I am feeling good about the week. I am ready to get started and looking forward to trying to get my first win of 2011. I am playing with Paul Casey and Justin Leonard for the first two rounds; we start at 7.30am (local time) Thursday and then 12.30pm Friday.