ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 11: Padraig Harrington of Ireland in action during the Pro-Am for the KLM Open at Kennemer G & CC on September 11, 2013 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
It was a disappointing return to Holland for me. It had been about ten years since I last played there and so to go back and miss the cut was extremely disappointing, especially as I was confident off making the cut when I finished my second round. When I made par on my last hole to finish level par for the two rounds I was sure that I was inside the cut mark, as the conditions were tough on Friday morning and the forecast was for a bad afternoon. When I tapped in for a round of one under par I would never have said that I would miss the cut comfortably. In the end the cut nearly went to two under par, as an amateur made the cut and they don?t count in the number of people to make the cut.
It was my first round that really cost me making the cut - I took a seven on the 10th and then bogeyed the 11th by three putting. These four shots not only cost me making the cut, but also having any chance to contend in the tournament. A bad squall on the 10th made the hole play tough, but not that tough that I should have taken a triple bogey.
Overall I didn?t play my best and then a couple of poor holes cost me. I just didn?t hit it close enough with my wedges to give myself decent birdie chances. This course is short enough that you get to hit several wedges and you need to take advantage, which I didn?t do over the couple of days.
Missing another cut is very annoying. It is hard to put my finger on what the problem is. I am playing well in practice, but then nothing like it during the tournament, so I am trying to get the right level of intensity into my game without trying too hard. There is no doubt that I am falling into the trap of trying too hard and getting a bit caught up in results rather than letting them just happen, which is hard to do when it isn't.
I am off this week before heading to Scotland for the Dunhill Links Championship. I will be working on my game and the main areas I will be working on are my short game and wedge play. There is not a lot in my long game to work on and I will be seeing Pete Cowen next week so he can give it the once over. For the moment it is a case of resting and doing some work on my short game.
This week I am in Holland for the KLM Open and like last week, it has been over ten years since I last played here. It hasn't fit into my schedule since the about 2002 so to be back now is great, as I love playing National Opens - there is something different about them compared to a regular tournament.
The course this week is absolutely superb - it is an old links course that measures just over 6,600 yards. Having played two rounds on it I have to say it is one of the best courses of the year and it shows that a course doesn't have to be long to be a test. Kennemer Golf and Country Club is a fantastic venue, although it is playing a little different to the last time they played here as there has been a lot of rain over the last few days and so it is quite soft. However it doesn't detract from it at all, it just makes it a different test. I would love it if we played on courses like this every week.
Last week I saw a lot of good signs on the course - I made a lot of birdies which I haven't been doing recently. I have been thinking about my game a lot lately and wondering why I haven't been performing as I know I can. The strange thing is that I have been playing very well Monday through Wednesday, but just not bringing it onto the course for the tournament. The more I thought about it the more I realised that there just hasn't been enough intensity on the course. When I played my best I had a lot of fear and so I had a high level of intensity during every shot. As I have become a better ball striker I have lost much of that fear and with it the intensity that goes with it. I have also increased my expectations and so it is easier to be deflated.
I know that I can't go back to what I was as I have worked hard to move away from it, but the thing for me to do is to figure out how to get the intensity back so that I can utilize it with my improved ball striking. Last week I felt that I made a big step in the right direction in terms of this - I wouldn't say I managed it for the whole week but certainly for a lot of it.
I have continued to work on it in practice this week, along with my chipping and I feel that they are both coming along very nicely. I need to narrow my focus so as to increase my level of intensity over each shot. I am at the stage now where I know when I have done it right, which is good as I can see it straight away if I haven't. Knowing this has also helped in terms of being more accepting of bad shots.
I am really looking forward to competing on this great course and will be trying to end my winless run here this week. I would love to add the Dutch Open to my other National Open titles.