SINGAPORE - NOVEMBER 11: Padraig Harrington of Ireland plays his second shot on the par four 5th hole during the second round of the Barclays Singapore Open at the Sentosa Golf Club on November 11, 2011 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Barclays Singapore Open - Review
It was a disappointing week in the end. I went to Singapore feeling good about my game and looking forward to the week. I had played well on the course before and so felt good about the venue, therefore I wasn’t expecting to miss the cut. For the past couple of months I have played very well but haven’t really got the best out of my rounds. Last week wasn’t like that and I struggled with my irons all week. I hit them poorly and gave myself very few birdie opportunities, which is just not good enough any week but certainly not when the scoring is good.
In my first round on the easier course at Sentosa, the Tanjong, I started a little ropey but I got it going with three birdies in a row from the fifth, however this was to be the highlight of my round. I turned in three under and made a bad bogey on the tenth from 105 yards, which stopped me in my tracks and I struggled from there to the clubhouse. I ended up shooting two under par for the round which was a poor score on this course, which was playing very easy as you are hitting wedges on almost all the holes; really you should be shooting at least four or five under. My round left me outside the cut mark heading to the tougher course, the Serapong, on Friday.
My second round was no better than my first as I struggled again all day with my irons. I just wasn’t able to hit them close and seeing as I needed to shoot a decent round, it was always going to be hard and I wasn’t able to give myself any realistic chances. A poor third shot on the seventh cost me a bogey and then a three putt on the ninth meant that I was out in two over par. We had been delayed for a couple of hours before we teed off so we were never going to finish. I got through the thirteenth when the hooter went, but at this stage I was three over par and well outside the cut. It meant that I had to shoot four under for my last five holes on Saturday morning to make the cut. However it was beyond me and I ended up shooting three over for the remaining holes to well and truly miss the cut.
After finishing my second round I was thinking about how I hit my irons and it seemed that nearly every shot I hit came out of the toe. After thinking about it for a while I figured out what it was - last week I changed my address position and in doing so I had got a bit too far from the ball, causing me to catch my irons out of the toe. It was disappointing to only figure it out when it was too late but at least I managed to get to the bottom of it. I hit some shots afterwards working on getting closer to the ball and it felt a lot better.
I am defending my title in Johor next week and then heading home. I am feeling a lot better about my game having figured out what went wrong last week. I will get a few days to practice it before I start on Thursday so that it feels normal.
BARCLAYS SINGAPORE OPEN
It was a frustrating couple of days for Padraig and his disappointing second round score of 77 meant he did not progress past the second round. Congratulations to Span's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño who was the eventual winner.
Opening round of two under par 69 for Padraig in Singapore. Three consecutive birdies on his 5th 6th and 7th holes had him out in 33 shots. Two dropped shots on the back nine were offset by just one birdie on the par five 12th hole to leave him trailing the leader by seven shots going into Fridays play!
Padraig is in Singapore chasing valuable points in the Race to Dubai series. The event, which is one of the biggest in Asia carries a huge prize fund of 6 million dollars, has a field of 204 players that includes eight major champions with sixteen major titles between them! He needs to pick up about 150 thousand points in his last two events to make the top 60 players going to Dubai for the season ending shootout. The event is played over two courses, the Serapong and Tanjong courses. He tees off at 9.25am local time on the Tanjong course in an all major winning group of Y.E.Yang and Phil Mickelson.
Barclays Singapore Open - Preview
I am now back in Asia after a short trip home for the Barclays Singapore Open. I have played here for the last three years and have really enjoyed the tournament, so I always look forward to coming back. After playing the Shanghai Masters I went home for six days, during which time I spent a lot of time working on my routines and short game. I am very happy with how my practice went and feel good about how I am playing.
I have had mixed results at Sentosa Golf Club - I missed out on a play-off by a shot in 2008 and missed the cut last year. Even though I have had mixed results, I really like the venue - I think the main course, Serapong, is fantastic. It really is a great test of golf and anytime you break par on it you have played well. The other course, Tanjong, which was used last year for the first time, is a great second course. It gave up good scores last year but only because they went easy on us with the pin positions. If they wanted to they could really toughen up this course and make it a good test.
I have come out to Singapore feeling good about my game and looking forward to playing. Over the last few months I have been striking the ball well and feel that I am fully in control of my swing. The few things that I have worked on with Pete Cowan have been really positive. I have got a lot of confidence from how I am striking the ball and as each week goes by I am feeling better and better about my game. Over the last few months I have found myself reaching for my driver on holes that I would never have done so before as a result of the confidence I have in my driving. This game becomes so much easier when you are driving the ball well and it filters through to the rest of your game. However, the one area that I know needs to improve is my putting, particularly from the 10-15 foot range. I am just not holing enough putts from this range to really get myself into contention in a tournament. No matter how well you are playing, if you are not holing putts from this range then it is very difficult to have good finishes let alone win a tournament.
I am here in Singapore looking to claim my first win of 2011 and to secure my position in the Race to Dubai. I know that by having a good week and getting myself into contention it will sort out the Race to Dubai problem. With this in mind I spent a lot of time working on my putting at home so as to try and hole more in the 10-15 foot range. Everyone of us is trying to hole more putts but there is no simple answer. It all comes down to good preparation and routines, and if you keep doing the right things then eventually you will be rewarded. This week in Singapore there will be no excuses as to why putts were missed as the greens are brilliant. They are grainy but then that is the sort of green that you get in this part of the world. I personally don’t mind grainy greens and I actually find them easier to read than non-grainy ones.
At the moment I am outside the top 60 players on the Race to Dubai, so I am not currently in the season ending event. I am looking to rectify that in the next couple of weeks and what better way to do it than to win here in the Barclays Singapore Open. I am very happy with my game and so I know that it is just a matter of doing the right things and ultimately holing a few putts. Hopefully this will be the week.