Life is a lot easier when you play badly and then all of a sudden you get in contention and win one. No one gets on your back. When you finish runner-up seven times, everyone is asking, 'Why aren't you winning?' It's much more fun when you jump into a win out of the blue. It's a much tougher game when you play consistently well.

HP Byron Nelson Championship

Entry Date:
May 15, 2014

Last week was a big improvement on my previous performances this year in the US. Even though my last round was a poor one the three rounds before it were good. There were a lot of positives from the week - I shot three rounds in the 60s, I got myself into contention on Sunday, but for me the most important thing was that my short game was good. I chipped and putted well all week and this was been something that I have struggled with all year. It has hampered my scoring ability, as when I missed a green it tended to lead to a bogey.

Last week I continued with my plan from the Wells Fargo Championship of reducing the amount of practice that I have been doing. I have given it a lot of thought and felt that I have been wearing myself out on the range and as a result I haven't been fresh when I got onto the course. Over the years I have scored my best when I am mentally fresh and so last week I did very little long game practice. I pretty much warmed up each day, played and then after my round I would hit some wedges and then chip and putt. I would put this down to a big reason behind my improved short game performance - the combination of not being tired and also the fact that the practice I did was better quality. This was the first week all year that I was positive on the ?strokes gained? putting stat for the week. Even in my last round I felt that I putted well, bar one three putt.

Another thing that I did last week which was different was that I decided to hit one shape of shot. For the last number of years I haven't really had a ?go to? shape, so last week I decided to hit a draw unless the shot dictated otherwise. This made things so much simpler, so every time I stood up to a shot I knew exactly what I was hitting, I aimed a little right of the pin and then drew it in which simplified most shots for me. I did suffer a little during the week of not trusting that it would come back or feeling that it would move too much on the wind but I would expect that in the first week of implementing it. Once I stick to it I know it will become more comfortable.

Sunday was a disappointing round for me as I played quite poorly, in actual fact I felt that I did well to shoot the score I did. I struggled to hit fairways and it made it very hard playing from the rough. A lot of it came down to trusting the draw, however I chipped and putted well bar one mishap on the 10th where I three putted from 15 feet. In the end it was disappointing to finish where I did when I had a chance of winning going out. As it turned out I would have needed to shoot a very low one to win, but it was good to be in the he mix again was it has been a while since I was there.

All in all there were a lot of positive to take away from the week. My short game was much improved, I made plenty of birdies and I really liked the idea of one shape of shot. I will continue with what I was doing this week and hopefully keep this form going at Wentworth. I am heading there feeling good about things after what I saw last week.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Disappointing final round for Padraig at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. A 76 saw him finish in a tie for 22nd place. He got off to a poor start, holing a long putt on the first for a par but two penalty shots in the next five holes saw him slip down the leader board. He recorded two birdies to be out in two over par but three more bogies on the way home made it a day to forget. He now returns to Europe to play in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Padraig goes into Sundays final round just two shots behind the leader after a fine round of four under par 66. An early bogie on the par four third where he had a penalty shot was soon forgotten with five birdies, all from short range. He tees off at 12.40pm local time with Mike Weir.

Third round of two under par 68 leaves Padraig still in the mix as he goes into the weekend four shots behind the leaders. An early set back with a double bogie six on the par three 3rd hole was wiped out by a run of four birdies which gives him every chance of a strong finish going into the weekend.

Fine opening round of two under par 68 for Padraig in Dallas. A mixed bag of six birdies, four bogies and eight pars made up his card and with an early start Friday, he will be hoping to get into contention as he trails the leader by only three shots. Starting his round on the back nine, he got off to a nice start with three birdies in his first seven holes. He made bogie on the par three 17th hole when he missed the green and failed to get up and down. A par on eighteen had him out in two under par. A poor stretch followed with three bogies and a birdie in seven holes but he rallied well to birdie his last two holes with two short putts to give himself every chance going forward. He tees off at 8.10am local time in the second round.

Padraig tees off late in the first round at 1.10pm local time with Heath Slocum and Brian Stuard. The field this week contains some of the top rated golfers on tour and also includes Dallas native, Jordan Spieth.

I am back in action this week in Dallas for the HP Byron Nelson Championship. I have played here the last two years and have enjoyed the tournament. It's a good course that gets quite tough due to the fact that it gets windy. I am only here for one week and then I'm back to Wentworth in the UK for the BMW PGA Championship.

I had a good week at home and didn't go mad on the practice - I did a bit but not as much as I normally would. I played a game of golf at Elm Park, which I hadn't played in over twenty years. It was good fun, the course was in good condition and was still as tight as I remembered. It was good to get out on a course to see where I was at after a few days practice and I was happy with the starting lines of my shots. I have worked on strengthening the club face during my swing and so I was a little unsure as to what it would be like but it was all good. The ball came out on a much better starting line for me and with a stronger flight.

I travelled her to Dallas on Monday. I was due to land at 3.30pm local time but when we were about to land Dallas airport was closed due to a storm. We ended up circling for about half an hour before being diverted to Houston airport to refuel. In the end it was 8.30pm when we landed, so by the time I got to the hotel I was looking forward to getting into bed. On Tuesday I played 14 holes so as to get a feel for the course; it was an unusual wind and it made the course play quite long. After all the rain the previous day the course was soft and the greens were a little slower than normal. After playing, I hit balls for about an hour and then spent about an hour and a half on my chipping and putting. On Wednesday I played the morning pro-am, there was more rain overnight so the course played pretty long again. After the pro-am I practiced for an hour and a half in total, most of it on my short game.

I am a little unsure as to what this week holds in store as I have been working on strengthening the clubface during my swing. This being the first competitive week using it, means that there is a little bit of the unknown in it. In practice I have been happy with what I am seeing but there are some shots that are tougher than others, but until I try it in competition I won't know how it is coming along. I know that there will be some shots that won't go as I hope but I am expecting that overall it will be good.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

Last week was a big improvement on my previous performances this year in the US. Even though my last round was a poor one the three rounds before it were good. There were a lot of positives from the week - I shot three rounds in the 60s, I got myself into contention on Sunday, but for me the most important thing was that my short game was good. I chipped and putted well all week and this was been something that I have struggled with all year. It has hampered my scoring ability, as when I missed a green it tended to lead to a bogey.

Last week I continued with my plan from the Wells Fargo Championship of reducing the amount of practice that I have been doing. I have given it a lot of thought and felt that I have been wearing myself out on the range and as a result I haven't been fresh when I got onto the course. Over the years I have scored my best when I am mentally fresh and so last week I did very little long game practice. I pretty much warmed up each day, played and then after my round I would hit some wedges and then chip and putt. I would put this down to a big reason behind my improved short game performance - the combination of not being tired and also the fact that the practice I did was better quality. This was the first week all year that I was positive on the ?strokes gained? putting stat for the week. Even in my last round I felt that I putted well, bar one three putt.

Another thing that I did last week which was different was that I decided to hit one shape of shot. For the last number of years I haven't really had a ?go to? shape, so last week I decided to hit a draw unless the shot dictated otherwise. This made things so much simpler, so every time I stood up to a shot I knew exactly what I was hitting, I aimed a little right of the pin and then drew it in which simplified most shots for me. I did suffer a little during the week of not trusting that it would come back or feeling that it would move too much on the wind but I would expect that in the first week of implementing it. Once I stick to it I know it will become more comfortable.

Sunday was a disappointing round for me as I played quite poorly, in actual fact I felt that I did well to shoot the score I did. I struggled to hit fairways and it made it very hard playing from the rough. A lot of it came down to trusting the draw, however I chipped and putted well bar one mishap on the 10th where I three putted from 15 feet. In the end it was disappointing to finish where I did when I had a chance of winning going out. As it turned out I would have needed to shoot a very low one to win, but it was good to be in the he mix again was it has been a while since I was there.

All in all there were a lot of positive to take away from the week. My short game was much improved, I made plenty of birdies and I really liked the idea of one shape of shot. I will continue with what I was doing this week and hopefully keep this form going at Wentworth. I am heading there feeling good about things after what I saw last week.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

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