It was another disappointing week for me. I missed the cut by one shot and had to watch the weekend on the television whilst thinking of what could have been. I had my chances to make the cut but ultimately I missed too many opportunities. My first round of two over par left me with some work to do, it was a poor round but it was still very possible to make the cut. Unfortunately I was unable to do so.
I knew going out on Friday that I needed to break par to make the cut and I comfortably played well enough to do it. The problem I had was that I missed seven putts from inside ten feet, three of them were only four feet. It was hard to take coming off the course knowing that all I needed was for one of them to drop and I would have played the weekend. If I had had a good day on the greens I could actually have got myself well up the leaderboard. Coming up the last hole I hit a hybrid from the fairway bunker to 30 feet, which I needed to hole for eagle to make the cut. I really felt that I was going to but it just slipped by, which summed up the day I had on the greens.
Looking back on the two rounds I can see that missing the cut was nothing to do with my long game, it was my putting, wedge play and chipping. I missed a lot of putts on Friday and over the two days I hit quite a few poor wedges. When I had chances to score I wasn't able to take them and was probably trying too hard over the scoring clubs. It's frustrating missing the cut when I know I should have made it comfortably, even more so when it comes down to missing so many putts.
I spent a few hours on Saturday working on my putting and by the end I felt a lot better with it. It didn't ease the pain of not holing them the day before but if I putt well next week at the Wyndham Championship then it will. I know what I have to spend my time on next week, my short game. If I can get the sharpness back into it then my results will vastly improve.
I watched the final round from start to finish, which was great viewing. Well done to Rory, he played great and deserved to win.
The final major championship of the year is upon us and the season has flown by. It only seems the other day I was heading to Durban to get the season started and now here we are in Louisville, Kentucky for the USPGA Championship. This will be the third tournament that I have played here - I was here for the 2000 PGA and then the 2008 Ryder Cup. The course has changed a bit since the last time the PGA was held here but not much since the Ryder Cup. I couldn't remember all the holes coming here but once I played the course it all came back to me.
I have played 23 holes in practice this week, nothing too stressful. On Tuesday I played 14 holes and then 9 holes on Wednesday. I haven't gone mad on the practice ground either - on Tuesday I didn't do anything after the round as I had the Champions Dinner to attend and on Wednesday I spent about an hour or so hitting balls and then about 45 minutes putting. It can get very hot here and so the less you do the better, as it's about being fresh for Sunday.
I am pretty happy with how my practice has gone and bar losing the money to Shane Lowry on Tuesday, everything else is in good shape. I have hit the ball nicely and my chipping and putting is good. I like the course and the set up, but if I was to find a complaint it would prefer it to be a little tougher. The rough is not bad, you can play shots from it and the greens are quite receptive so I would have to say that the scoring will be good. The three par fives are reachable for most players in the field and the greens are putting very well. So all in all it could well be a bit of a birdie fest.
I always like coming to the PGA and as a past champion you get special treatment. We get our own parking spots and we have the Champions Dinner - this year we had Louisiana steak. There is something nice about being a member of this club!
I am feeling good about my game and feel that things are starting to click together. I haven't been practicing too much and when I have, I have been spending most of my time putting. The great thing is that I can see the improvement in my putting from the work I have put into it. It hasn't quite paid off on the course as yet but I am confident that it will soon. This would be a great week to start.
I am paired with Phil and Tiger for the first two rounds, which should be interesting as we certainly won't be short of a gallery. It's a nice draw as they are both good guys to play with. We are going out early on Thursday and then late on Friday and then the plan is to be late Saturday and Sunday!