VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND - MAY 25: (EDITORS NOTE - THIS IMAGE WAS CREATED WITH THE USE OF VARIABLE PLANED LENS) Padraig Harrington of Ireland walks onto the 18th green during the second round of the BMW PGA Championship on the West Course at Wentworth on May 25, 2012 in Virginia Water, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
BMW PGA Championship - Review
It was a very disappointing last week in Wentworth. I came over from Dallas with high expectations and instead of contending late on Sunday I was sitting at home watching the final round. My record at Wentworth is not great but even still I was expecting to have a good week. To miss the cut at any tournament is disappointing but to miss it at the BMW PGA is particularly so, as it is the biggest week on the European Calendar. As the Flagship event in Europe as players we are always looking to add our name to the list of winners.
In Dallas I discovered what had been causing me to putt poorly for the last year or so, I spent a lot of time working on it there and when I got to Wentworth I continued with the work. I spent most of Tuesday working on this with Paul Hurrion; it was amazing the difference when I got it right. The ball rolled so well when I got good acceleration in the stroke. We spent a lot of time trying to come up with some drills that I could use so as to stop thinking about it but still get me accelerating. The best one that we found was when I put two tees down and hit them at the same moment as impact with the ball. The hardest thing was always going to be to take it onto the course.
My scores for the two days were not a true reflection of how I played, as on both days I had a triple bogey. On Thursday it happened on the second hole which really put me on the back foot from the start and then on Friday it came on the eighth which put paid to any thoughts of making the cut. On the second hole of my tournament I caught the bunker on the right and took three shots to get out of it, which led to a six, but even after this I had my chances to get myself back to a reasonable score but I just wasn’t able to convert any chances. I hit a lot of very good putts but just couldn’t get the ball into the hole. However the most disappointing thing about my first round was actually my last hole. I had just birdied the 17th to get to three over and was thinking about a birdie on the last which would have meant a round of 2 over, but instead I hit my drive into the trees and took a bogey six for a round of 76.
On Friday I gave myself plenty of chances again but just wasn’t able to make them. I missed from seven feet for birdie on the third and then three putted the fourth for par. This was symptomatic of my round and after I tripled the eighth I knew that I was missing the cut.
I missed the cut and actually played fine. When I did my stats it showed that I was three over par for my wedges and that I missed 25 putts from 18 feet and in. It is very hard to do much in a tournament with stats like this. However I did feel that I hit a lot of good putts, which is a big improvement as I have been hitting some poor ones in the last few months.
I watched some of the golf over the weekend; it was a very impressive performance by Luke to defend his title. I was delighted for both Peter Lawrie and David Higgins, who had big weeks and will likely kick on from this for the rest of the year. I am looking forward to my week off, especially as the weather is due to be good for the week.
BMW PGA Championship.
Padraig records a second round of 79 which sees him miss the cut at Wentworth. Needing a low round after a poor first round, he got off to a solid if not spectacular start with six straight pars. A bogie five on the 7th hole was compounded with a triple bogey on his eighth hole which put paid to his chances of playing at the weekend. Three bogies in his last four holes made it a miserable ending to a championship that he has struggled with over the years!
Disappointing opening round for Padraig as he shoots a four over par 76 at the BMW PGA Championship. A terrible start including a triple bogey six on the par three 2nd had him on the back foot all day and he was finally out in four over par. To his credit, he fought back to be only two over playing the par five last after a couple of birdies but a bogey six made it a miserable day! He will be hoping for a low round tomorrow to see the weekends play.
Padraig returns to the European Tour this week for the flagship event of the season, the BMW PGA Championship. The event again returns to the famous Wentworth course which has yet again been tweaked by Ernie Els to reflect this prestigious event. A top class field and the richest prize on tour all contribute to an eagerly awaited weekend of golf. Padraig will be hoping to build on some recent good form and tees off early on day one at 8.35am local time with Ian Poulter and Paul Lawrie.
BMW PGA Championship - Preview
I flew from Dallas on Sunday night straight to London for this week's BMW PGA Championship. I missed it the last two years due to injury and being in bad need of a break. This year I am fully fit and looking forward to playing. This is the Flagship event of the European Tour and a great event it is. It has been played here in Wentworth for as long as I can remember and is now as much about Wentworth as it is the European Tour.
Over the years I have been vocal about my dislike for the greens at Wentworth as there was so much thatch in them, which made the greens very inconsistent. Thankfully all the greens have been remodelled and relayed. They have changed the design of the greens and as a result it has made the course considerably tougher. I personally like the changes, it is a true championship golf course now and one that you need to be on your game to perform well on. This course now tests every facet of your game and there is no area that will not be used this week. Since the first year of the changes back in 2010 there have been a few tweaks each year since. This year they have changed the eighteenth fairway so that the ball won't run into the stream if you hit driver, which means that you now can be much more aggressive from the tee.
I got here on Monday afternoon and thankfully I haven’t really struggled with the jetlag. I think once you have something to do then you are ok, it’s only when you don’t have to do anything that it tends to be bad. I came to course for an hour on Monday evening to practice my putting and to keep myself awake so that I would go to bed at a decent hour. Tuesday was a busy day as there were a lot of people here that I haven’t seen for nearly a year. It is always tough when you come back for one tournament as everyone is around and you have to try and fit them all in. I didn’t play the course as I was doing some swing work with Pete Cowen and then some putting work with Paul Hurrion. By the time I got everything done it was too late to go out and play as I was going to the Tour Dinner. Wednesday was busy as well, I played the morning pro-am and then did some practice afterwards. I have definitely found it hard to get things done this week as there are so many small things that I have to fit in to my day.
I am very happy with the work I am doing on my putting; the more I work on it the more I can see that I was definitely decelerating. I can feel it straight away when I do it now, the only bad thing about this is that I am aware of it on the course and so have to have a swing thought when I am putting. This is not something I would normally do but it is the best way to get it into my system. It can put me off a little at times but it is better than the alternative. I feel that I have made good progress over the last few days and I am gradually getting more and more comfortable with it. I am very happy with how I am hitting the ball; Pete Cowen had a look at me on Tuesday and was pleased with what he saw. There wasn’t really much to do, we just went through what we had done during my three-week break so as to re-enforce it.
It has been a busy week so far which has me looking forward to playing even more as once the tournament starts it tends to quieten down; it is really just about the golf come Thursday. I find the course tough but a good test, the key is to remain patient and remember that it is a challenging golf course. The scoring is higher, like it used to be, so pars are good scores. This is a tournament that I would really like to add to my C.V. and I will be trying hard to do it this week.