ANTALYA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 06: Padraig Harrington of Ireland looks on before he putts on the 5th green during the pro-am as a preview for the Turkish Airlines Open at Montgomerie Maxx Royal Course on November 6, 2013 in Antalya, Turkey. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
My season is over as I wasn't able to finish high enough in Turkey to make it to the finale of the Race to Dubai. I needed a top ten finish to move on but in the end I could only manage to finish in a tie for fiftieth. It is disappointing to miss out on the last event of the season but I also know that I am in need of a break so getting an extra week is not a bad thing. I was asked during the week would it hurt not being in Dubai and I have to say that it doesn't. The fact that it doesn't hurt shows me that I am really in need of a break, and that I am suffering from a bit of burn out. I am disappointed at not making it in to next week but a part of me is happy to have another week off.
My week didn't go to plan, I was thinking about winning but it wasn't to be. There were a lot of good things in my game during the week - my chipping and putting were good, bar one day on the greens when I struggled with committing to my lines. I hit a lot of my iron shots on really good lines, the starting lines were exactly what I wanted. I drove the ball well in terms of length and ok with regard to fairways hit. I didn't hole enough putts to contend, but as I said I felt that I hit a lot of good putts. I probably didn't hit the ball close enough during the week to make the required number of birdies to do well, with five par fives the scoring was always going to be very good. My first round I shot four under and I was only in the middle of the field. For the rest of the week I shot four under which really felt like poor scores.
My second round was one that could have been a lot better as I had plenty of chances. I got myself into a good position at two under for the day with four to play but a bad drive on the 15th cost me a double bogey. I was going for the green and pulled it left into the trees and lost it. On a birdie hole like this it was very frustrating to take a double bogey. I did manage to get the two shots back on the last two holes but it was an opportunity lost to get into the tournament.
All in all it was a disappointing week on the course. My weekend scores of one under on both days was poor and my season has come to an end prematurely. However, I have to say that I enjoyed my week off the course. The resort we were staying in was really very good, and the weather was fantastic bar one day. The kids had a great time at the water park all week and it is definitely a place we would consider going back to for a holiday.
Now that I am finished for the year I am looking forward to taking it easy for a few weeks. The last few weeks have been tough going, they have felt like a bit of a slog. The funny thing is that over the last few weeks I have seen a lot of really good things in my game, especially in my short game. I am very happy with where my game is at, if it was the start of the season I would be more than happy. For now it is about taking a break and relaxing and making sure that I am refreshed when I start back next year.
This week I am in Turkey for the Turkish Airlines Open, it is my last event to qualify for the Race to Dubai. I am currently 67th in the Standings and to move on to next week I have to be 60 or better, which means I need to finish no worse than 10th on my own this week - if I do this I think I would be very unlucky not to make it.
I got here on Saturday night and spent Sunday at the water park with Paddy and Ciaran. They are still on their mid-term break so the whole family is here for the week. Monday I played nine holes in the afternoon and spent some time practicing my chipping and putting.
Tuesday I played nine holes early as there was a pro-am in the afternoon and again spent some time afterwards on my short game. Wednesday I played the pro-am and again spent an hour or so on my short game. The majority of my practice this week and for the last few weeks has been on my short game. Since getting back to focusing on this area I have noticed a big improvement. At the BMW Masters I felt that I chipped the ball very well, I can see the difference in the strike and the shot I am selecting. My putting has also improved markedly, I am reading the greens well and holing out very nicely. Spending time on the putting green holing putts has helped a lot, and my confidence is coming back.
It is a relatively new course this week, it was designed by Monty and this is the first tournament to be held on it. I have played 36 holes in practice and I like the course, there are plenty of holes that give you birdie chances and then a number of good tough holes where par will be a good score. It has five par fives which always means that there will be a high birdie count. On the front nine there is water on four of the holes, on some it comes into play more than others but in general it makes you think. The greens are big and have quite big undulations in them, some of the greens have a limited number of pin placements but the few they have are tough ones. All in all it is a good course with a great mix of holes.
I am very happy with my game - my chipping and putting are really coming back to its best and my long game is very solid. In some ways I am unhappy that the season is coming to an end as I am very close to a big week. However, I also know that I am in need of a break, I have played a lot over the years and it feels like it is catching up with me. This week has the potential to be my last week of the year but I am going to be trying hard to extend my season by one week. I don't want to miss out on next week. I know that I need a good week here to get in to next week but I am not thinking about it. I am here focusing on this week and looking to give myself a chance to win. My game is good enough to win I just need to get back to giving myself chances to win again.