RENO, NV - AUGUST 02: Padraig Harrington of Ireland hits his tee shot on the third hole during the second round of the Reno-Tahoe Open at Montreaux Golf and Country Club on August 2, 2013 in Reno, Nevada. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Missing any cut is always disappointing and annoying. The consolation prize for missing this week is getting to the PGA Championship venue a day early. However, I must admit that when I finished on Friday I wasn't thinking like that - I double bogeyed my last hole to finish on two points and miss by four. It's wasn't so much the missed cut that annoyed me but the terrible tee shot that I hit on the last. I missed the fairway by 60 yards!
It was a similar story to the last few weeks, most of the time I played fine, I just didn't make enough birdies. I made six birdies over the two rounds, which was enough to make the cut if I hadn’t had any other mistakes. The problem was that I had three double bogeys over the two days, a lost ball on my 5th hole of the tournament, my last hole and I also made a mess of the 17th hole on Friday. It was my 8th hole and I was hitting a gap wedge in and pushed it a little right and ended up in a hazard. I was able to play it and should have made a bogey no problem and had a good chance of saving par but two bad chips cost me a double. In this format a double is very costly, they knocked six points off my score. Even with these two I was five points playing my last hole, I felt that I needed to make a birdie to be safe and as it turned out I was right. This eased my pain a little as a par would have meant a missed cut as well.
It was the three doubles that cost me, you just can't have these if you want to contend. I hit plenty of good shots and putted nicely. I just didn't make enough birdies again and then three bad holes on top of all this means that I missed the cut. However I was able to leave on Saturday and get to Rochester late Saturday night. This was a big advantage, as you lose three hours getting here. I got to play the course today with no one around which was great.
At least something good came of my missed cut.
After a week off at home I am back in action this week in The Reno Tahoe Open. Unfortunately I haven't got back into the Top 50 in the World so I’m not eligible for the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, so I am playing here in Reno instead. I played here last year and really enjoyed the week. The course is very good, the hotel is great and the weather is brilliant. My kids were actually happy that I am playing here and not in Akron.
I took it easy enough at home last week. I did some practice but not an outrageous amount! I played a few holes with Paddy which was great fun - he is getting interested in golf now and wants to get out and play.
I got here on Sunday to give myself a chance to get over the jet lag as it is an eight hour time change. It was a long days’ travel getting here but I still woke up early on Monday morning. I went to the course and practiced but I wasn't able to play as there was a pro-am on. I was happy enough though as I got some short game and wedge practice done, and the range was quiet which was nice. Tuesday I played nine holes and did some practice and then on Wednesday I played the Pro-am and a small bit of practice. I have taken it relatively easy this week as I don't want to do too much with next week in mind.
This week the course is at altitude so we have to take between 5% and 10% off the yardage to adjust. On top of this, every hole has large up and downhill adjustments, doing the yardage is like doing a maths puzzle! Then you have to factor in the wind and it can get very windy - clubbing on this course can be quite difficult! That said I like the course, and it has some really good holes. The scoring over the years has been very good but when you play it in practice it is hard to see it. As always I am playing to win this week but also thinking about next week, and to throw another thing into the mix, I am looking to improve my Fed Ex Cup ranking. I know the best way of doing this is to play well and give myself the chance to win on Sunday. I am playing late on Thursday and then early Friday with Stuart Appleby and J.J. Henry, who are two good guys to play with. I am looking forward to getting going, especially as we are playing a stableford format and not stroke play. This week we get points for birdies and lose points for bogeys. It was fun last year as it is different to what we normally play. You get 8 points for an albatross, 5 for an eagle, 2 for a birdie, 0 for par, -1 for a bogey and -3 for a double bogey or worse. So this week you could actually see pros picking up their ball and not finishing a hole if he has taken worse than double.
It makes for interesting viewing.