LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 20: Padraig Harrington of Republic of Ireland plays out of a bunker on the eleventh hole during the second round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club on July 20, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP - Review
It was a disappointing Open Championship for me. I went to Lytham and St. Annes looking forward to The Open and with my sights set on contending for the title. In the end I finished in the middle of the pack, twelve shots behind the winner. I finished my final round when the last group were playing the fourth hole, which is never where you want to be in a final round of a major.
The weather never really played a huge role in this year's Open. For the first three days we experienced only a small amount of wind and it was my side of the draw that had it. It wasn’t until Sunday that it blew a little, whilst it really wasn’t that bad. It seemed a lot worse than it actually was because we hadn’t had any wind to talk about for three days.
My tournament started fine with level par on Thursday - it wasn’t a great score but I was a little tentative on the course and all things considered it wasn’t a bad score either. I made a couple of good saves to keep myself in it. However, it was really the second round that cost me getting into the tournament. The scoring was good on Thursday and so I knew that I needed to shoot a decent score on Friday to make up for some lost ground. I got off to a good start making a birdie on the first hole and after ten holes I was two under par and feeling good. I then hit it in the greenside trap in two on the eleventh. It was in a good position but I lost my focus a bit over the shot and ended up thinning it over the green. I then hit a bad chip shot and ended up taking a bogey. From here on it went pear shaped! I hit it over the fifteenth green and didn’t get it up and down and then I three putted the sixteenth. To top it all off I had to hole a five footer on the last for a bogey to finish on two over par, which was the cut at the time. To go from two under through ten to finish two over was very annoying and disappointing. It effectively put me out of the championship; not totally but I knew that I had to go low over the weekend.
After the round I did some practice on the range with Bob Rotella, mainly trying to get myself to focus properly and to make sure that I got my preparation for each shot right, which cost me a few shots on the course. After working with Bob I also did some work with Pete Cowen. I had been missing a lot of my wedges to the left and couldn’t figure it out. He was able to tell me straight away what it was and when I did it right I got a great strike. The only problem was that I had two rounds to play and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to work it into my game overnight. It is something that I will have to work on over time.
When I got on the course on Saturday I was stuck between trying to do what Pete said or trying to forget about it and just play golf. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to commit to either and I played poorly as a result of it. I did chip and putt well though and in the end I shot a very good level par. On Sunday I played a lot better but I struggled getting the ball in the hole. I ended up shooting three over par to finish on five over for the tournament.
It was a disappointing week as I felt that I was playing well and had prepared for the week. Unfortunately it just didn’t work out. I am off for the week now and will spend a good bit of time working on what Pete showed me. When I get it right I get a majestic strike and a weeks practice on it should get it into my game.
Going to Lytham I knew that I needed a top five finish to make the Bridgestone Invitational. Therefore I will be missing it for the first time and instead will play in the Reno Tahoe Open, opposite Bridgestone. This will be my warm up for the final major of the year.
I have to say well done to Ernie on winning and hard luck to Adam. It was certainly a great finish from Ernie but a tough one for Adam.
THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP.
Final round of three over par 73 leaves Padarig in a tie for 39th place at this years Open Championship. Out in two over par, he never really got going on a day where he failed to record a single birdie! Ernie Els won the championship after a thrilling final round of 68 to pip Adan scott.
Third round of level par 70 leaves Padraig at two over par for the championship and in a tie for 33rd place. After a nice start with a birdie three on the par four second hole, he played very steady golf making 14 pars in all. Eleven under par leads the championship going into Sundays final round. Padraig tees off at 11.40am with Joost Luiten.
Disappointing second round for Padraig at the Open Championship. A two on the first hole followed by another birdie on the 8th hole had him out in 32 shots but four bogies coming home including three in his last four holes put paid to his chances of a fourth Major!
Level par opening round for Padraig at Royal Lytham & St. Annes leaves him in a tie for 36th place going into Fridays second round and six shots behind the leader, Adam Scott. It was an unusual round that ebbed and flowed with four birdies mixed with four bogies, the most pleasing aspect was a closing birdie three to keep his Open Championship momentum alive. With an early tee time Friday, he will need a good round to stay on the heels of the leaders going into the weekend. All to play for!
Padraig returns to the scene of his greatest victories as he competes in the third major of the year, the Open Championship. The two time winner who has recorded a 4th and 8th place finish so far in this years Majors will be anxious to add a third Open Championship and join Phil Mickelson on four Major wins. The event is being is being played at Royal Lytham and St. Annes which will play extremely tough with heavy rough and over 200 bunkers to avoid! 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 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP - PREVIEW
It is the middle of July and so it’s Open week. I have been looking forward to this week ever since the US Open; having been in contention for the first two major championships of the year it made the few weeks in between the US Open and this week seem like forever. I love the Majors and want to play them every week; I’m not sure exactly what it is but I tend to have my best performances at them.
This week we are in Lytham and St. Annes for The Open. I have played the last two Opens here, when Tom Lehman won in 1996 and David Duval in 2001. 1996 was my first Open and I played with Tom Lehman in the first two rounds.
I have played here many times as an amateur and twice as a pro and the course just doesn’t get any easier. This is a really good links course and you have to play well to score. There are many things that make this a tough course but the main issue is all the bunkers. There are over 200 bunkers of them and seventeen of them are on the eighteenth hole. It seems that on every tee you stand on you have to thread the ball through the eye of a needle. In some ways it is similar to Birkdale as there are a lot of fairway bunkers there too.
There is no hiding how much I love The Open Championship; even before I won my two Opens I have always loved it. Everything about it is great - the courses, the crowds and the fact that the conditions play a big part in the tournament set up. Golf was not meant to be a fair game when it was first played and coping with adverse conditions is part and parcel of the game. This week there has been a lot of talk about the rough and the fact that it is unplayable. There is no doubt that some parts of the rough are exceptionally heavy but like all links course it is quite patchy. If you are in the rough you can be lucky or unlucky in terms of the lie you receive. In my practice rounds I have had my fair share of both. I certainly am not getting worked up over it; no matter what I think about the rough it isn’t going to change between now and tomorrow morning.
I got here on Sunday evening and have done my best not to wear myself out. I have played around nine holes a day and done a small amount of practice before going out each day. I have been here twice over the last couple of months to get a look at the course to avoid having to do it all this week. I have been around long enough to know that it is more important to be mentally fresh for a major than to spend all day during the practice rounds trying to hit every shot. I am very happy with my game and know that there is no point in trying to change anything at this stage anyway. I have played the course enough to know it and also know that it depends on the wind as to what it will play like. So far this week we have had a lot of rain but it picked up today and the forecast for the rest of the week is for only a small amount of rain. I would like to see some wind, not enough to blow us off the course but enough to test us.
I have been asked about my preparation for this week in terms of the greens as I was seen out on a few of them with a spirit level. I brought this with me to practice my green reading rather than actually getting data on the greens. I have used it to confirm what I see when I am reading the greens; I have to say I have found it very helpful.
I feel that I have prepared well, especially with a view to keeping myself fresh. I have kept my time at the course to a minimum and made sure to get plenty of rest. In the conditions that we can get in this tournament it is vital to be rested. I won the 2008 Open without playing a practice round, which was a huge advantage as I was totally fresh.
I am ready to go and looking forward to playing. I have received a late/early draw, but not sure whether it is a good or a bad thing. It is what it is and I have to play no matter what. I know that I am good shape and have done everything right so far.