Padraig Harrington of Ireland plays a shot out of a sand bunker during a practice round at the 77th Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 9, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia. AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
It was a very disappointing Masters for me this year. I went there feeling good and looking forward to giving myself a chance to win the Masters, so to miss the cut was extremely disappointing. I particularly like playing Augusta and so to shoot six and three over par in the first two round is very poor. I just didn’t play well enough, my long game put me in trouble quite a bit and then my short game wasn’t good enough to make up for the fact that I wasn’t hitting the ball that well.
My first round was really the problem; I shot six over when the course was playing easy enough, giving up birdies whilst I was making bogeys. My first round turned on the sixth hole; I was one under par after five holes and in good position. I miss-hit my tee shot and missed the green short right. It wasn’t a bad position to miss the green as I had a relatively easy chip shot, however I miss-hit my chip and the ball ran off the front of the green. From there I three putted for a double bogey. On the seventh I held a twenty footer for par and then on the eighth hole I missed a four footer for birdie. Then bogeys on the ninth and twelfth put me three over par for my round. On the 13th I hit a good drive and then a six iron onto the green to set up a birdie, which gave me a bit of momentum but I was stopped in my tracks on the 14th. I hit a good drive and a nine-iron right down the pin; I thought I had stiffed it but it spun away from the hole and caught the slope ending up 25 feet from the hole. I three putted from there to go back to three over, then when I didn’t birdie the 15th I was quite annoyed with myself. Another day I would have birdied the 14th and 15th and probably got to the clubhouse in level par. I doubled bogeyed the 17th and then bogeyed the last to shot 78.
My first round left me a lot to do to be playing at the weekend and unfortunately I wasn’t able to shot a good enough score on Friday. I managed to pretty much put making the cut beyond me after I bogeyed the second and then double bogeyed the third and from there it was always going to take a big effort to make the cut and one that I wasn’t able to summon. In the end I finished on nine over par and missed the cut by five shots. The funny thing was that when I finished and looked back over my round, I could have made the cut had I played the four par fives better, having taken four sixes on them.
It was a combination of average play and then poor wedge play and short game. Ultimately I just didn’t do anything that well and I paid the price. Missing cuts is always disappointing but to miss the Masters cut is even more so as it is the first major of the year and one that I look forward to every year.
I am now off for two weeks and will be spending my time at home working on my game preparing for my next tournament in Quail Hollow.
The first major of the year has arrived and I am in Augusta for The Masters. This is one of my favourite weeks of the year and is held on a course that I love. It is probably the ultimate test in golf as you have to be right on your game and of all the courses that we play during the year, Augusta National tests our game the most and every area of it.
Gladly I have been here so many times now that I know the course well and don't feel the need to overdo things during the practice days. I have spent many hours on the course over the years and played in so many Masters tournaments that I have seen and played most shots that we are faced with.
I got here on Sunday night and have played 27 holes over the three practice days, nine each day. I have spent most of my time practising my chipping and wedge play as these parts of the game are crucial here. When I got here on Monday morning I had Pete Cowen have a quick look at me to make sure that everything was in order. I don't like to work on my swing during the week of a major but it is nice to know that everything is as it should be. Like all majors I am working with Bob Rotella this week and the work we do is great for getting me into the right frame of mind. This along with the work I did with Dave Alred last week is great preparation for a major.
I played nine holes each practice day and the course is in its usual great shape. It is pretty much the same as the last few years bar the 14th green, where they made a very minor change to the middle of the green, but really not too much. My practice has gone nicely and I have found a new driver head that is going well. I have stuck to my normal routine of not over doing it in practice as I am fully aware that the most important thing is for me to be mentally fresh for the week ahead. By the time you get to Sunday afternoon it is more important to be thinking correctly than having worked on your game and be hitting it great.
I am looking forward to getting started; there is nothing quite like The Masters and the buzz at Augusta. I am feeling good about my preparations and look forward to playing the course in a competitive round again. I always say when I am finishing my last round here that the most annoying thing is that I have to wait a year to come back.
Another great thing about playing majors is that when you have already won three you have sense of calm that others don't have. Having said that I am here looking to win my fourth major and the third leg of a career grand slam.