MEMPHIS, TN - JUNE 07: Padraig Harrington of Ireland hits his third shot on the par 4 1st hole during the second round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic at the TPC Southwind on June 7, 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
I finished in a tie for 10th in Memphis, which was a reasonable week although it had the potential to be a lot better and a bit worse. I struggled in my final round but a birdie on the 17th made my day a lot better as it got me into a tie for 10th as opposed to a tie for 18th.
I am happy with the week overall as there were a lot of good things during the tournament. I got some good work done with Dave Alred and felt that I struck the ball well for most of the week. The work I did on my two weeks off certainly worked and I will continue to work on it, which should help it improve.
In terms of preparation for the US Open, the week was very good. I had a chance in the tournament heading out on Sunday but never made a run at it, although in terms of preparation for next week I got good feelings. My swing felt good for most of the week, but the area that I was most happy with was my short game - my chipping, bunker play and putting we're good and I felt confident with all these, particularly my putting.
I played nicely during the first two days but probably a little safe at times. I didn't make enough birdies in the first two rounds, but then in the third round I made eight birdies and held a few more putts, which made the difference.
Sunday was a tough day for me. I started well but hit a couple of irons long in the first four holes. After that I struggled and was out of position quite a bit which made coming across birdies quite tough. However, considering how much I was out of position to end up shooting one over and finish in a tie for 10th was a good effort.
Overall I am happy with how the week went. I would have liked to shoot a lower round on Sunday but I know that I made some good progress with all parts of my game. My short game and mental game were good, but I know I have to keep working on these areas as they can get better. All in all this was good preparation for the US Open.
I am back in the US for the Fed Ex St. Jude Classic. I have played here every year since they moved it to the week before the US Open. I have had mixed results over the years, top ten’s and missed cuts. It is a course that I feel suits my game, it’s a tough par 70 that tests all elements of your game.
I have had two weeks off which I spent at home practicing. It was a busy two weeks as Pete Cowen and Paul Hurrion both came over for a day and Dave Alred for two days. I got a lot of work done and cleared up some things in my swing that have bothered me for a number of years. It was actually a great two weeks work. I am feeling very good about what I am doing and the next run of tournaments.
This week I have Dave Alred with me also which is great as I am here mainly with a view to preparing for the US Open. I know that the best preparation is to win this week and having Dave here helps me get into the right frame of mind from day one. He is so enthusiastic and is constantly coming up with new drills to make sure I’m not getting bored.
I know this course very well and because of this I travelled on Monday. I played nine holes on Tuesday and then the pro am on Wednesday. On Tuesday I also tested some drivers, I have now got a new one that seemed to come out more like my old one that I cracked in Thailand. On the range it flew much better and when I got it on the course I could see the difference straight away. I am a lot happier with this driver - the final test is to see how it goes under tournament conditions.
I am happy with how I played in practice and feel that the work I did at home over the last couple of weeks has made a difference. It will take time to get it fully right but I am confident that I am making good progress. While I have one eye on next weeks’ US Open I am here to try and win this week. There would be no better preparation for next week than winning this week.
I am playing early Thursday and late Friday with Phil Mickelson and D.A. Points.