SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 3: Padraig Harrington of Ireland hits his tee shot on the ninth hole during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 3, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
I am playing in the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week. It is my first time here, but for years I have watched this tournament on the television and thought it looked like a great event. It is the first time that it has fitted into my schedule given that I finished last season earlier than most years.
I suppose one of the main reasons that I have liked the look of this event is because of the 16th hole. It is a par 3 hole that is surrounded like a football stadium, where they have 20,000 people around it on Saturday. It is like nothing else in golf and is more like football, but it looks great.
I got here on Monday night and played the front nine on Tuesday. It was actually quite strange when I got to the course on Tuesday as it was the first time seeing a lot of the guys since last September and it was good to catch up with everyone again. It was also good to experience some decent weather to hit some balls, especially given that the weather at home last week, which was poor for practice. Dave Alred was over for a couple of days and we were out in some terrible weather but we still got a lot of practice done. It was freezing cold, wet and windy, so to get out here on Tuesday was a joy. I spent a couple of hours doing some practice on Tuesday morning and then played nine holes. After my press conference I then spent about forty minutes practising my putting.
On Wednesday I played the morning pro-am which was my first full round on the course. As much as I wanted to see the course I was more interested in seeing the 16th. Even though there wasn't that many people in the stands it was still very impressive and made the thought of playing it in the tournament even more exciting. I enjoyed the course as there are a great mix of holes on it - there are holes that give up birdies and then there are holes that you are happy to make your par on and move to the next.
I did lots of practice at home last week, so I am feeling a little rusty this week. It almost feels like my first week out again. That said I am here to win and look forward to playing. No matter how I feel in practice, I won't know what my game is like until Thursday's first round, when I will get a good idea as to what all the practice did for me.
I am playing early on Thursday and then late on Friday with Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker, two nice guys to play with.