IRVING, TX - MAY 20: Padraig Harrington of Ireland plays a tee shot at the first hole during the final round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort on May 20, 2012 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
HP Byron Nelson Championship - Review
When I got to Dallas on Monday and played the course I couldn’t really understand why the scoring has been relatively poor over the years here. It was high 80’s and practically no wind; it wasn’t until Saturday that I realised how windy it could get here. The course I practised on Monday was totally different to the one that we played in the tournament, purely because of the wind. I was surprised how much it affected the ball in the cross winds as normally when it is very warm and windy the cross winds don’t really affect the flight of the ball.
My week was a reasonable one - I had a chance to shoot a good score on Thursday when I was five under after eleven holes but then I dropped three shots coming in to end up shooting two under. Over the next three days I shot a cumulative two under for a total of four under par and a tie for fifteenth. I came off the course on Sunday feeling good about the day as I birdied the last but also a little disappointed as I bogeyed the 15th and 17th and also failed to birdie the 16th. All in all though I am coming away from the week feeling good about things. I played nicely and hit a lot of very good shots, but if anything I just didn’t trust my driver enough. I was afraid of hitting a poor one and so I ended up missing more fairways than I should have. That said it was a hard course to hit fairways as the wind tended to whip across the doglegs in the wrong direction. I hit a lot of very good wedges and nine irons, in fact I pretty much gave myself a good chance anytime I got one of these clubs in my hands.
For the last while now I have been struggling with my putting and I haven’t been able to put my finger on the problem. Early in the week I went on a computer system that I also have at home. Howard Twitty was operating it with a friend of his called Lanny. After a while Howard commented that it looked like I was decelerating on my putts. When I thought about it, it made perfect sense as to how I had been putting. I spent the rest of the week working on accelerating through the ball. The only problem with this was that when I got on the course I found it hard to forget about it and it was a little distracting. However I got through it by concentrating on taking a short back swing and following through. It definitely felt a lot better and when I went back to hitting "no thinkers" on the putting green I could feel the deceleration in the stroke. It is such a small thing but it was great to find it out. I can work away on it now and I'm sure it will come good.
I would have liked to have finished a few shots better but all in all it was a good week. It was especially good because I am coming away from the week with something to work on in my putting. I am heading back to Europe for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Its been a couple of years since I played it so I am really looking forward to it.
HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Closing final round of one under par 69 leaves Padraig in a tie for 15h place on a total of four under par at the HP Bryron Nelson Championship. Jason Dufner was in the winners circle for the second time in four weeks with an eleven under par total. Padraig played a steady front nine and was out in one under par after a birdie four on the par five 7th hole. He picked up another shot on the course at the par three 13th hole but two late dropped shots looked to be costly. A fine approach shot at the last hole to three feet sealed a closing birdie and a solid, if not spectacular weeks work! He now makes the trip across the Atlantic for this weeks flagship event on the European tour, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Another solid round of level par 70 leaves Padraig in a tie for 17th at three under par going into Sundays final round. Eight under par leads the field. Three bogies were cancelled out by three birdies in a steady round and he will be hoping to go low on Sunday.
Solid second round of one under par leaves Padraig on a total of three under par going into the weekend and in a tie for 15th place. Seven under par leads the tournament. In stark contrast to his opening round, Padraig recorded 15 pars, two birdies and just one bogie on the par four third hole. He tees off Saturday at 10.55am local time with Billy Mayfair and DA Points.
Opening round of two under par 68 for Padraig in Texas leaves him just four off the lead. On a strange scoring day, he recorded just eight pars as his rainbow card contained everything from an eagle three on the par five 7th hole where he holed a beautiful chip to an ugly double bogey six on the par four 12th hole. All in all, with an early tee time Friday, he will be happy and will hope to kick on and record a score for the leaders to chase!
This weeks tournament on the USPGA tour honors one of golfs true legends, Byron Nelson who won eleven consecutive tournaments and eighteen in one year!. The tournament is being played at the TPC Four seasons resort course in Irving, Texas that stretches to 7,166 yards and plays to a tight par of 70. Past winners are a variable who's who of golf and a stellar field has assembled this week. Padraig tees off at 12.30pm local time with Players champion, Matt Kucher and Vijay Singh.
HP Byron Nelson Championship - Preview
This week I am making my debut at the HP Byron Nelson championship in Dallas. I have watched this tournament for years whilst back home and always wanted to come and play it, it just never fit well into my schedule until this year. Having missed the Wells Fargo Championship it meant that this week’s event was a perfect fit for me. It is a first for me to play in it and also my first time in Dallas.
I got here on Sunday afternoon so that I could get out early on Monday and play the course. As it is my first time here I am at a distinct disadvantage to the rest of the field. I played the course before the Monday pro-am, which was a great time to get out as there was hardly anyone around and I was able to spend plenty of time having a look around. This is exactly what you want to do when you haven’t seen the course before - I had heard mixed reviews before I came, but having played it I like it. I like the way it sets up off the tee, there are plenty of trees down both sides of most fairways but if you are in them you generally have a shot from them; you may have the move the ball quite a bit but it is still possible to get to the green. The greens have quite a bit of undulation in them but in general it is dividing the green into segments. If you are on the wrong side of the slope you have a tough putt. On nearly every green there is at least one run off to a low area, this puts an emphasis on chipping as it will be hard to go through the week without running into a couple of the these areas.
I didn’t play on Tuesday as I had a corporate commitment during the day, although I did some practice before and after it. I played in the early pro-am on Wednesday, which was good as it allowed me to get out onto the course with only one ball and gave me a much better feel for how it will play in the tournament. As always I enjoyed the pro-am, I feel it is the best preparation I can get for the tournament itself. My score matters and in general the teams are competitive, so I generally have to hole a putt or two under a little bit of pressure. In the case of this week it is also another look at the course.
I am still disappointed to have missed the cut last week, as I know that it was a couple of silly mistakes that cost me. I have spent a good bit of time working on my chipping, putting and bunker play this week so that the same doesn’t happen again. All in all I am still very happy with my game - Pete Cowen was there last week and he was delighted with how I am hitting the ball. I am giving myself plenty of chances on the course and I know that as long as I remain patient it will all come together.
I am looking to get myself into the mix here on Sunday and take it from there. I like the course and am very happy with my game, so it is just a matter of letting it happen and not trying too hard.