INVERNESS, SCOTLAND - JULY 12: Padraig Harrington of Ireland tees off on the 11th hole during the first round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links on July 12, 2012 in Inverness, Scotland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/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.

Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open

Entry Date:
Jul 11, 2012

OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP.... Tee Times!
Padraig will play late on Thursday at 14.32pm (local time) and early Friday at 9.20am with Rickie Fowler and young amateur, Manuel Trappel.

The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open - Review
I finished on twelve under par in a tie for sixteenth, which was okay. I felt that I played a lot better than twelve under but all in all there were a lot of positives to take from the week. While I was focused on the Scottish Open I also had one eye on The Open Championship. With this in mind I was very conscious all week that I didn’t want to do too much practice, as I wanted to make sure that when I get to The Open I am in good shape. It definitely meant that I did a lot less than I would normally do at a tournament, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I have to say that I don’t mind not doing as much practice at the moment because I am very happy with my long game and therefore I don’t feel the need to go and beat balls. I am always happy spend time on my short game as I don’t think you can ever over practice this area of the game.

In terms of my game, I felt that I played well and gave myself plenty of birdie chances. I felt very comfortable in all the conditions and when I looked at my stats after the tournament, as I do every week, it showed that I drove the ball well and hit my wedges close. I have found over the last few months that when you drive the ball well golf is a much less stressful game. I was happy with my wedge play, as I have been working hard on this area all year and it is probably the most improved area of my game. However on links courses it is hard to get the ball close, but last week I managed it with my wedges.

Even though I missed some good birdie chances during the week I was happy with my putting. I holed some good putts in all the rounds for pars to keep my rounds going. It is these par putts that are crucial to shooting low scores, because when you miss them it kills any momentum you had going.

I am coming away from the week knowing that I could have been a number of shots better but also very happy with how the week went. I saw enough to know that everything is in good order heading to The Open. It was a great warm up for next week, as I got to play on a links course in tournament conditions. I also got to play in some tough conditions on Sunday, just to add a little bit of spice to it.

I had Dave Alred with me for the week, which was great. I got him to come so as to help me be ready for next week. The more I work with him the more I enjoy it. He is a detail man and wants to get down to the tiniest little detail and get everything right. The fact that he doesn’t come from a golf background is great as he brings a totally new prospective on things. Even though we didn’t do too much practice this week we got some good quality work done, which is actually better. On top of this he watches every shot I play in the tournament and takes notes on it so we can discuss it after the round. By the end of the week I was feeling very good about things and really looking forward to next week.

All in all I am very happy with the way the week went. I got some good stuff done with Dave and I felt that I played well, even if I didn’t score quite as I would have liked. There were certainly enough positives from the week to outweigh the negatives. In terms of preparation for The Open, it was ideal.

The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
Padraig continued his good form with a solid round of five under par 67 to leave himself in a tie for 23rd place at eleven under par. Seventeen under par leads going into Sundays final round. Six birdies and just one blemish on the par four 9th hole were the story of his round and he will be very pleased so far with his preparation for next weeks Open Championship. He tees off in the final round at 11am local time with Thongchai Jaidee.

Second consecutive round of 69 sees Padraig at six under par for the event and it a tie for 33rd position. Twelve under par leads going into the weekend. Five birdies and two bogies made up his card but he yet again failed to birdie the par five 18th hole after hitting the perfect drive. He will be encouraged by his solid play with the Open championship just around the corner. He tees off Saturday at 9.53am local time with Ryder cup partner, Ross Fisher!

Opening round of three under par 69 leaves Padraig in a tie for 42nd place going into the second round at Castle Stuart. Starting on the back nine, he got off to a great start with three birdies in his first nine holes but back to back bogies on the 2nd and 3rd holes dropped him back down the field. To his credit, he hit back with consecutive birdies and will need a low round today to contend as ten under par leads after day one. He tees off late Friday at 1.55pm.

Padraig is back on the European Tour for this weeks Scottish Open which is being played at the wonderful Castle Stuart golf links in Inverness, Scotland. Last years event was curtailed due to bad weather and the tour will be hoping for more pleasant weather to allow the players to enjoy the prelude to the seasons third Major next week. Padraig who is in a rich vein of form will be anxious to translate this into a win in the near future! He tees off at 8.25am local time with last weeks European Tour winner, Marcel Siem and Paul Casey.

I had a week off last week which I thoroughly enjoyed as I had played four weeks in a row. As always I did some practice at home, nothing too major but I got some good work done. I spent a lot of time practising my green reading - to do this I would read a putt and then use a spirit level to check what I was seeing. In general what I was reading was pretty good.

The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open - Preview
This week I am playing the Scottish Open - I got here on Monday evening after being at Royal Lytham and St. Annes during the day. I decided that I may as well go and see the course on my way to Scotland and do some work on the greens there. As I was going to be spending more time on my green reading I figured I might as well spend the time on the greens at Lytham and "kill two birds with one stone". I got to have a good look around the course with no one there and also I spent a lot of time on the greens. By the end of the day I was well and truly "wrecked"!

As I was quite tired after Monday I took my time going to the course on Tuesday. I felt that a couple of extra hours relaxing in the morning would serve me best. Once I got to the course I had my usual hour of physio and then I warmed up and went and played nine holes. I played here last year so I wasn’t too worried about having to play a lot of holes in practice. After my nine holes I had some commitments for the Special Olympics and then some media to do. Once this was all done I called it a day.

On Wednesday I played the pro-am in the afternoon. In the morning I spent a couple of hours doing some short game practice and some putting. I have Dave Alred with me this week so he is keeping me on my toes with various practice drills. It’s great having him here as he likes to keep things snappy; there is no hanging around. He wants everything done quickly and precise and then we move onto the next drill. On top of this he records everything so as to keep track on what we have done and how it compares to previous times.

We were lucky enough with the weather for the pro-am as we only got a few showers, nothing too bad. It was nice to play the eighteen holes with only one ball where every shot matters. I was surprised how different the course played from last year - this year it is softer and there is a lot more rough. It is considerably harder than the course we played last year - I was playing holes today that seemed like they had been lengthened by 20 or 30 yards but were actually the same. It was just the fact that the fairways weren’t running as fast.

I have been happy with game for along time now; the biggest thing for me is to trust it, which is hard for me as I have never hit the ball so well. I am hopeful that my reading of the greens will be better this week, more because I have confirmed to myself that the majority of time I am reading the greens well and so this should help me trust what I see.

I am looking forward to playing this week as I really enjoy links golf. I am here as ever looking to pick up my first win of 2012 but also with an eye on the Open Championship next week. My practice this week has been with a view to next week, but this aside I would love to go to the Open as the Scottish Open Champion.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

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