PALM HARBOR, FL - MARCH 16: Padraig Harrington of Ireland plays a shot during the second round of the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club on March 16, 2012 in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Transitions Championship - Review
I am back home from Tampa after a disappointing finish at the Transitions Championship, after starting out unbelievably well. I shot my lowest round of my career, 61, to be ten under par and leading after the first round. However I wasn’t able to keep it going and I ended up shooting three over for the next three rounds. Leaving the course after the final round I was very disappointed, especially as the play-off score was 13 under par and I would only have had to shoot three under for the next three rounds to be in the play-off. Having started with a round of 61 the tournament was really in my hands if I continued to play decent.
When I played the course on Tuesday and Wednesday I felt that the scoring would be quite good as there wasn’t as much rough as usual, but I didn’t foresee myself shooting 61! I was feeling good about my game coming into the week and after the Wednesday pro-am, when I shot 64. Even with all this taken into account you can’t legislate for a round of ten under. The funny thing about my round was that I only birdied one of the par fives. It was a good mix of hitting it close and holing a couple of good putts. I got myself going on the first two holes by hitting it close and converting them for birdies. It all seemed quite easy and I never really put myself into any trouble. I pretty much had chances on every hole and I actually choked on the 11th as I had an eight footer up the hill to go seven under. While I was over the putt I was working out in my head what I had to do over the last seven holes to shoot 59. Needless to say I missed the putt, which is what happens when you get out of the present. However it may have made it easier in a way as it took the pressure of shooting a 59 off me. I birdied the 12th and then the last three holes to shoot 10 under. The highlight of the back nine was 76-foot putt on the 17th for a two!
It was great to shoot such a low score and it showed me that the work I am doing with Dave Alred is working and that my game is in very good shape. I would have been a lot happier if I could have continued on and won the tournament but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. The next three rounds were a struggle. On Friday I played fine, but just didn’t hit it as close as on Thursday and then I had a couple of three putts late in my round.
The weekend was very frustrating for me, as I seemed to get the wrong end of the swirling winds on most holes. This course is notorious for the swirling wind, but when things are going for you it is not an issue. However when things are not quite going it seems that every time you go to hit you are playing into the wind, which is what it felt like for me over the weekend, particularly on Sunday. It seemed like I played 17 holes into the wind; it was especially frustrating as I hit a lot of good shots that didn’t get rewarded as a result.
As much as I am disappointed with how I finished I am able to take a lot of positives from the week. Firstly, my routines were very good all week - the work I did on them during my week off was well worth it. Secondly I shot my lowest ever round, which shows me that I am on the right track with everything I am doing, especially as I came off the course feeling like I had left a few shots behind. As long as I keep doing the right things then the results will take care of themselves.
The only area that I wasn’t too happy with during the week was my putting. It was good on Thursday but I struggled a bit with it for the rest of the week. Looking at it now I can see that my putting routine is not quite 100% which is causing the problem. It is more evident to me after the work I have done on my routines for the rest of my game. I will be spend some time on this during my week off and look forward to getting back into action at Houston next week.
Today at the Transitions Championship, Special Olympics Golf Ambassador Padraig met with Tyler Whitehurst, the 2011 Special Olympics champion.
Padraig gave him a green shirt to wear on Saturday for St. Patricks, signed a red Wilson hat and a tournament flag and gave him some golf tips.
Photo by Al Messerschmidt.
Padraig has remained in the States for this weeks Transitions Championship which is being played at the Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead in Florida. A number of changes have been made to the course with three greens being totally re designed. Padraig will be hoping for a stronger finish than last year where he failed to make the cut. He tees off at 8.27am local time (+5GMT) with Zach Johnson and Geoff Ogilvy.
Transitions Championship - Preview
I had a week off last week and decided to stay here in Florida to do a bit of practice. I spent the week at a Country Club with a friend of mine, Noel Fox. We had a great time and I got a lot of very good work done - I was well looked after and made to feel totally at home at the club. It was nearly as good as being at home but with better weather. It was disappointing to miss out on the World Golf Championships, as you always want to play in the big tournaments, but I know that it is within my control to get into the next one in August by performing well over the next few months.
I am back in action this week at the Transition Championship in Tampa, which I have played in for the last couple of years. Two years ago I finished in the top ten and then last year I missed the cut. I got a lot of good practice in last week so I am feeling good about everything coming into this week. I spent a lot of time working on my routines, getting them a bit more fluid and a constant movement. I have felt for a while that I was a bit static and as a result I was getting distracted when I had to take the club away. With the constant movement it feels a lot more comfortable.
I played 13 holes on Tuesday and then the pro-am on Wednesday. The course hasn’t really changed much over the years - it is a par 71 and a good test of golf at that. This year the rough is not too bad and so the scoring may be a bit better than previous years. I used the pro-am as a dry run for my routines and they felt good - I was a lot more comfortable on the course with it than I had been. The highlight of my pro-am round was a hole-in-one at the fourth hole with a six iron, although it would have been a lot nicer to have it during the tournament!
I have been playing well for the last few months; all the areas of my game are in good shape. At the Honda I struggled a bit with my putting, more my reading of the greens than my actual putting. I spent a lot of time working on that last week too and I feel that I have made some good progress on it, so I am looking forward to seeing how it is during the tournament. I am feeling good about everything and know that I am very close to having a big week.