PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Padraig Harrington of Ireland hits a bunker shot during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Spyglass Hill on February 7, 2013 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
It was a disappointing week, missing the cut in both the tournament as well as the Pro-am event. It a week where I always feel I have a very good chance to do well so to miss the cut is particularly disappointing, especially after having a good tournament the week before. The really annoying thing about my week is that I actually played pretty well.
I actually found it hard to believe that I had missed the cut when I finished on Saturday. The problem was that on both the first and second days I managed to get myself into a good position but on both occasions I gave back most of the good work. On Thursday at Spyglass I was three under par after ten holes and then over the next eight holes I dropped three shots to finish on level par. Then on Friday at Pebble Beach I had a similar experience; after a slow start I made birdies at the 6th and 7th and then at the 11th and 12th holes. At this stage I was actually right in the tournament but then, as I did the day before, I dropped three shots over the next six holes. In my third round I never got going; I wasn't able to get any momentum and struggled to make birdies all day. When I did make a birdie I gave the shot straight back on the next.
My dropped shots in the closing holes on Thursday and Friday all came down to my short game, mainly my chipping. I hit a few poor chip shots on Thursday and then lost a little bit of confidence in it. Then on Saturday I had a first in my professional career - I had 36 putts on the greens. I have this number of putts before but only when also using my putter from off the greens.
When I look back at my stats for the week it was clear to see what the problem was - I chipped poorly for the week and then on top of this I had a very bad week with my wedges. I was catching some of my them fat, which was distracting and caused me to mishit a number of them.
All in all it was a disappointing week. However I am off to L.A. next week for the Northern Trust Open. The great thing is that Pete Cowen will be there so I will be able to get my wedge play sorted out on Monday.
I am back at one of my favourite tournaments of the year, The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am. This is the pro-am that is played on the courses of Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Shore Course. I am playing this year as I do annually with my good friend J.P. and this year we have the added benefit of being the defending champions. We had been trying for a good few years to win at Pebble and last year we finally did it. Having also won the Dunhill Links, we have now won on each side of the Atlantic.
I really enjoy this tournament as the courses are very similar to what I would have played on growing up, the weather conditions can also be quite familiar and playing with someone that you know and get on with makes such a difference. There is a much more relaxed atmosphere when you are playing with friends and as with all the years we have been playing together here, we are paired with Dermot Desmond and his pro, Rafael Cabrerra-Bello.
I got here on Sunday night from Phoenix, in time to watch the second half of the Super Bowl. It was a disappointing result for this area as everyone was cheering on the San Francisco 49ers. I didn't play any holes on Monday but I spent my time doing some practice. I have been coming here long enough now that I know the courses and don't feel the need to play them all in practice. On Tuesday I played Monterey Peninsula and then Pebble on Wednesday, both with J.P. and Gerry McManus.
There isn't much to report on my game, most things are fine. I am hitting the ball reasonably well, the only area that is not great is my wedge play. I have been catching some of them fat in practice which on turf that is a little soft is not great. I have spent a good bit of time working on this each day and it is definitely a lot better now. Other than that I am happy with my long game. However, I know that I need to commit more in my putting - when I don't commit I don't tend to hit a good putt and when I do commit I hit lovely putts.
I am looking forward to playing this week as I have done quite well here over the years. I always feel that this is a tournament that I have a very good chance in. I am playing Spyglass first, followed by Pebble and then Monterey Peninsula. Both myself and J.P. will be trying hard to do our own double this week, which is myself winning the tournament and J.P. winning the amateur.