Finishing in a tie for 28th is not normally what I would consider a good week but I am coming away from the KLM Open feeling positive. I am happy with how the week went because first and foremost my putting was solid - I holed some good putts during the week and more importantly I holed out the short to medium range ones very well. The funny thing is that I struggled in terms of how I hit the ball all week but I am feeling very good about my putting and looking forward to the rest of my forthcoming tournaments.
I know that I could have done better, especially the last day when I could have shot a low score but for a couple of poor shots. However all week I struggled with my swing and wasn't confident with how and what shape I was going to hit. I had to manage my way around the course and not take on too much, which I felt I did a good job of throughout the week. I have been working on getting my hands closer to my body in the downswing and as a result of the work I have done it threw my timing out a bit. I hit a few shots that I haven't hit for a long time, however I am not worried about it as I was starting to feel more comfortable by the end of the week and with a bit of practice while I am home I am sure it will be fine.
I would have liked to have been involved in the business end of the tournament but in the absence of that I am happy with my performance. I had four solid rounds, two of which were under par and two of level par. I was happy to see that my two best rounds were on Friday and Sunday, because most of the year I have struggled on these days. I wasn't thinking about the cut on Friday but about moving up the leaderboard and the same on Sunday, when I was looking to make birdies and finish as high as possible.
All in all it was a solid week with a lot of positives, the main one being my putting performance, where I felt confident over the putts and confident in my reading of the greens. While I didn't hit the ball as well as I have during the week I am not worried about that. I will do a bit of work on it during this week and have no doubts that it will be back in order soon.
I am off next week and then I head to the Ryder Cup as a Vice Captain. I am looking forward to my role of supporting Paul McGinley, which will be a new experience and one I am relishing. That said I will be raring to go when I get to the Dunhill Links Championship the following week, where I'm sure that having been watching the guys play for the week I will be dying to get out myself.
I am in Amsterdam for the KLM Open, which is my final week of a three week run of tournaments. It is being played on one of the best golf courses of the year, Kennemer Golf Club, which is basically a links course with some trees. There isn't a bad hole on the course and if I you had to play this course everyday you wouldn't complain. I played here last year and really enjoyed he course but unfortunately I didn't play too well. I only managed two rounds so I am looking forward to being here for the four rounds this year and hopefully getting myself into contention.
I had another corporate outing on Monday so it was late in the evening when I arrived in Amsterdam. I took it very easy on Tuesday, did a small bit of practice and an hours putting practice in the morning. I spent the afternoon at Robert Jan Derksen's putting academy. He also works with Paul Hurrion and they asked me if I would go and see the academy while I was here, which I was delighted to do especially as I got to do some work on my putting too. It's a great facility they have built, something that every golfing union should look at having. I spent a few hours there with them, got to go through a few tests and check out my stroke and as I thought, it was all very good. The problems I have been having are coming from not trusting my reads.
On Wednesday I played the afternoon pro am, again I didn't do much beforehand, just about 45 mins of practice and then I played. The course played great and is in fantastic condition and I played fine, nothing special. I hit some good shots and some average shots, pretty much what you would like on a Wednesday. Lee Trevino always said the worst score he ever shot was 65 on a Wednesday!
We finished late on Wednesday so I headed straight back to the hotel and went to dinner with Peter Lawrie, Damien McGrane, Shane Lowry, Kevin Phelan and a few of Damien friends from home. It was good craic - you miss these dinners when you are in the States.
I am looking forward to playing this week as the course is in super condition and is a great test. It is supposed to get windy, which I would be happy with as it will make it even more links-like.