PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Padraig Harrington of Ireland hits his tee shot on the 12th hole during the third round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club on February 18, 2012 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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.

Northern Trust Open

Entry Date:
Feb 15, 2012

Northern Trust Ope - Review
My finish in the Northern Trust Open was disappointing as I played a lot of very good golf during the week. I went there after a good performance in the AT&T and was looking forward to another good week. It wasn’t to be though and in the end I finished in a tie for 44th, which was well below what I was expecting.

I have played at Riveria for a number of years now and it is one of my favourite courses and tournaments of the year. This course is one of those that you have to play well to score on - if you are not quite on your game you just won’t score. Every part of your game is tested and for me last week I just wasn’t firing on all cylinders. For most of the tournament I actually hit the ball very well but I had one of those weeks where I just wasn’t able to convert my chances and then when I needed to hole a putt to keep my score going, I wasn’t able to. The first round was a good example of this; it was a very tough day as it was extremely windy. I was playing nicely but it was hard to score in the conditions; I was one over par playing the seventh, my 16th hole, when I missed from five feet for birdie; then on the next hole I hit a good approach shot into the green, which got a hard bounce and went though. I chipped it to six feet and the hooter went to end play. When I came out the next morning I missed the putt and then three putted my last hole to shoot three over par. The way I play it wouldn’t have been a problem to shoot under par but instead I was in need of a decent second round to make the cut.

I played nicely again on Friday and ended up shooting one under par to make cut by a shot on two over for the tournament, however I was only eight behind the leader. This is the beauty of this course - it is tough and generally if you make the cut then you are capable of winning the tournament. On Saturday I struggled a bit with my game and shot three over again - it was only a few lose shots that cost me and if I was holing putts I would have got away with it. I managed to play better on the back nine but the damage was done on the front. On Sunday I played my best golf but just couldn’t hole anything; if I was holing putts I could have shot anything. I played as well on Sunday as I have for a long time, which was very heartening for the coming season. It was a bad return to only shoot one under par considering the way I played. The only consolation is that I know I was hitting a lot of good putts, but they just weren’t going in. I know that as long as I keep hitting good putts they will start to drop. Also, the better I play the more chances I will have and it is important to remember not to get frustrated if they are not going in some days.

Overall I am disappointed to have left L.A. having finished in a tie for 44th. It wasn’t what I was looking for going there but the positive thing about the week is that I played very well for most of it. If I keep playing as I am then I know that I will have a big week soon.

Northern Trust Open.
Solid final round of one under par 70 sees Padraig finish in a tie for 44th at the Northern Trust Open. Starting on the back nine, he was out in one under par swapping two birdies with a bogey on the par four 15th hole. For the second day running, he eagled the par five 1st hole but two dropped shots coming home on a windy tricky golf course had him signing for a 70. Bill Haas won the event after a three way playoff!

Disappointing third round of 74 for Padraig as he records six bogies, an eagle and a birdie in a roller coaster round. Starting on the back nine, he had four bogies in his first six holes to leave himself way off the pace and will be hoping for a more encouraging start to his final round to build on a solid start to the season so far. He tees off in the final round at 9.43am local time.

Solid second round of one under par 70 sees Padraig finish at two over par going into the weekend at Riviera. Three birdies and two bogies made up his card on a tight looking leaderboard as six under par leads. Padraig sits in tied 50th place and will be hoping for a low round Saturday!

Frustrating opening round of three over par 74 for Padraig at Riviera. Starting on the back nine, he was out in two over par after bogies on the 12th and 18th holes. A birdie three on the par four third hole got him back in the running on a tough course layout before the fading light stopped play. At this stage he had a six foot putt for birdie on the par four 7th hole. He returned the next morning to miss the putt and two more short putts to bogey his final two holes and sign for a 74. Five under par leads.

Padraig continues his good start to the season at one of his favorite courses on the USPGA Tour, Riviera. The George Thomas timeless design has hosted a US Open and two USPGA Championships and the par 71 layout is one of the iconic courses on tour. Padraig tees off at 12.43pm local time (+8GMT) with Rory Sabbatini and Tim Clark.

Northern Trust Open - Preview
I’m in L.A. this week for the Northern Trust Open at Riveria CC, one of the best courses of the year. I played Riveria for the first time about six years ago when I was here for the Chevron World Challenge one December. I loved it as soon as I played it and have enjoyed coming back ever since. I have had both good and bad results here over the last few years but every year I feel I have a good chance in the tournament because I like the course so much.

I got here on Monday morning, having stayed in Pebble Beach on Sunday night to celebrate the AT&T team win with J.P.. Normally I would go to the course for a few hours on a Monday but this week I didn’t because I was filming a TV ad for Wilson Staff. It’s amazing when you do something like this as the end result only lasts for about thirty seconds on the TV but it took a whole day to film, with the same scene filmed over and over again.

On Tuesday I had a corporate outing, which took up the whole day as well, so the first time I actually got to Riveria was on Wednesday for the Pro-am. I played early which was nice, as I wanted to do a small bit of practice after my round. It was my first look at the course this year and I wasn’t disappointed as it is in super condition. I’m not too worried about only playing one practice round on the course this week as I have played here so many times. I got to play it once to get a feel for the speed of the greens and to see the few small changes that they have made. I also got to work with Bob Rotella for a couple of hours on Wednesday, which was great, as I haven’t seen him for quite a while.

I am very happy with how I am playing and there were a lot of very positive things to take from last week. I am looking forward to playing here especially after how I played in Pebble. I am in need of a big week in order to jump into the top 50 in the world and qualify for the WGC Cadillac Championship in Doral, which is coming up in a few weeks. I probably need to win here - I know that it is very possible and have come here with that in mind.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

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