CROMWELL, CT- JUNE 22: Padraig Harrington of Ireland acknowledges the crowd after finishing the 17th hole during the third round of the 2013 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 22, 2012 in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
The Travelers Championship really didn’t turn out how I had hoped or expected. I finished in a tie for 72nd after a disastrous last round of 80. I was going out in the last round with an outside chance of winning; I knew that I had to shoot a low score to have a chance to win, but it was certainly possible. However right from the first hole it was a struggle and it remained that way for the day. It was a bad day all round and then to top it off I managed to get a lot of bad breaks to make it worse. Anytime my ball had a 50/50 chance of getting a good bounce it got a bad bounce. I suppose I was probably better off getting the bad bounces today than another day when I am playing well and it could actually matter.
My week started great on Monday, seeing the Boston Bruins win their ice hockey match and then my first two days went well, shooting two rounds of four under par to be in third place. My scores on the first two days were better than I had actually played, as my short game kept me in it. In the first round I made three birdies in the last four holes to shoot four under - on the fifteenth I made a 60 footer, then on the sixteenth a 20 footer and a 12 footer on the seventeenth. I wasn’t feeling confident over the ball but I was still hitting a lot of decent shots and also chipping and putting well. My second round was a little better but I still wasn’t as confident as I would have liked. But again I made some good putts and chipped well, so I was feeling very good with my short game.
On the weekend I struggled with my game. On Saturday I played poorly and was out of position on most holes. I shot two over par which was as good as I could have scored considering where the positions that I left myself in. I had very few real birdie chances, in fact I probably had three and held two of them. However, I did manage to make a lot of good putts to save pars by single putting five of the last six holes. I was disappointed to shoot two over par but I actually came off the course feeling that I had done as well as I possibly could have.
Sunday was a just a very bad day. I was out of position on a lot of holes and this time I wasn’t able to save myself with my putting. I got a lot of bad breaks and then we struggled to pick the right club at times. All in all it was one of those days you would like to forget. I did say to Ronan that I was happy it wasn’t my first round as a Professional as I think I would have given up after it. It made for a long trip home - 80 shots is never easy to stomach and when you have a trans-Atlantic flight to think about it, it feels worse. Looking back at the final round I have to write it off as just one of those days, everything seemed to go wrong and it all cumulated in a big score. Even though I hadn’t played my best for the three previous rounds I didn’t see this one coming.
It was a very disappointing finish to what I had hoped would be a good week. I am writing it off as just a bad day and not getting caught up in it. There were a lot of good signs in the three rounds before in terms of my short game. For the week ahead at the Irish Open in Carton House I will be looking to get some work done on my wedge play and have Pete Cowan give my swing the once over.
I am still in the States this week for the Travelers Championship in Hartford, Connecticut. I have played here for the last few years and have always enjoyed the tournament and the course. Last week was a long week as we had some very early starts and, as with all Majors, it was mentally draining. Because of this, I haven't done too much this week - on Monday I practised for about an hour and then on Tuesday I had a corporate outing. On Wednesday I played the pro am and then did a couple of hours practice afterwards.
I am still not overly happy with my wedge play as I am still catching some of them heavy. This is not a great course to be struggling with your wedges as there are quite a few of them, but whilst I have had the urge to spend some time working on it I felt that rest was the better option this week. I enjoy this course and have had some good success on it - last year I was in the mix on Sunday. I would take that now and see how I get on because this game is about giving yourself chances and trying to take some of them. Overall my game is in good shape and my chipping and putting were very good last week. However, in practice I have found the greens a little slow compared to last week but they will speed up and are in great shape.
One of the reasons that I did so little on Monday was that Ronan and I went to Boston to watch the Stanley Cup ice hockey play off game. It is the final of the ice hockey season and Boston are playing Chicago. Last year we played with one of the Boston Bruins players, Shawn Thorthon, and so when we saw it was on we decided to go. It was a great evening, the atmosphere was brilliant and Boston won 2-0. It was definitely worth making the trip.
This week is a very different week to last week in that the course is much easier and the scoring will reflect that. I am looking forward to playing as I like the course and feel good about my game. I am out early on Thursday and late on Friday; normally I am delighted with this draw but this week I would have liked to get the opposite so as to get an extra bit of rest, but not to worry I can rest on Friday morning.