PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 10: Padraig Harrington of Ireland plays his second shot on the 10th hole during round two of THE PLAYERS Championship at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 10, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
It was a another poor week for me in Sawgrass. Since they moved the tournament from March to May I have struggled there, with the old set up and grass suiting me much more than the current Bermuda grass. However that said it still is not the reason for my poor performance. Having got off to a good start by shooting four under on Thursday I put myself into position to contend in the tournament. I would have said that I played nicely on Thursday, not my best, but I still hit a lot of very good shots. However, I did putt well and that obviously really helps.
However, on Friday I struggled mentally on a number of shots, right from my first tee shot on the 10th hole where I pulled it into the trees left. I was afraid of hitting it right and then ended up pulling it way left, which I did a number of times during the round. I played the back nine (my front nine) ok, not great considering the conditions were good, but I was still in good position. However a bogey on the second hole followed by a missed five footer for birdie on the third left me thinking about the cut for my remaining holes and as I have said so many times, when you are thinking about the cut line you move towards it. I did exactly that by hitting it in the water on the eighth and taking a double bogey. As it turns out my five wood had cracked causing my tee shot to come up short in the water. I played the ninth safely and made par to make the cut on the mark.
The third round on Saturday was similar to my second round, in that I struggled mentally with a number of shots. I was going along nicely until I double crossed myself on the 14th and hit it in the water again. This time it cost me a triple bogey and the rest of my weekend was much the same. In the end I finished on seven over par for the week and down near the end of the field. The only thing I can say is that it was better than my last two years there!
I know that I have to do some good work on my mental game before next Thursday as it was poor. On top of this I will be spending a lot of time practising my chipping as it was also below average. However, the positive from the week was that I putted well and only missed two putts from inside eight feet throughout the tournament. So the belly putter will be getting another outing in Dallas this coming week.
I am in Jacksonville, Florida for The Players Championship. It is the biggest tour event of the year and as a result it has the best field of the year. Since the tournament was moved from its March date I haven't had much success here. I'm not sure why, it just seems to be a week when I struggle. I like the course and feel comfortable so it really shouldn't be a tough week.
I got here on Monday afternoon and had some filming to do for Wilson, which took about four hours. Once it was done I spent some time working with Pete Cowen on my long game which didn't take too long as there were only a couple of things that I wanted clarification on and once he explained, both of us were happy. We spent quite a bit of time working on my bunker play and chipping, both of which I struggled with last week and I wanted to have him look at how I was playing them. He pointed a few things out to me and once I got them clear in my head it made a big difference. I have spent a lot of time practising them since and feel that I am making good progress. In terms of my long game, he was very happy with how I was striking the ball.
Even though I shot two bad scores last week I am very positive about my game. I am striking the ball very well, but the areas letting me down are my wedge play and short game. These are areas that I know will come back as I spend more time concentrating on them. Much of my problem with these parts of my game is a lack of commitment, but once I commit I hit a good shot or putt. I just have to trust myself and commit. With this in mind I have spent some time working with Bob Rotella this week and discussing this very issue. We talked it through and made sense of it. I know that I have to commit because, no matter what, if I don't then I end up hitting a poor shot.
I would like to have a few more days to work on my short game before we start but unfortunately I can't. I have to play with what I have; the work I have done on it has made a big difference, but I know that in a few days there will be a massive difference.
I am very happy with my long game and confident that my short game is moving in the right direction. I'm looking forward to playing and hoping to improve on my record here from the last few years. I am using the belly putter again this week; I've had it adjusted since last week and the alignment looks much better.
I am playing late/early with Rory Sabatini and Ted Potter Jnr.