ALBUFEIRA, PORTUGAL - OCTOBER 08: Padraig Harrington of Ireland ponders a shot during the pro - am prior to the start of the Portugal masters at Oceanico Victoria Golf Club on October 8, 2014 in Albufeira, Portugal. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
It's hard to believe that we only managed to finish 36 holes in Portugal last week - other than the World Cup in 2004 I haven't seen rain here, however last week made up for all the years in between. The week felt like two with all the delays that we had ? at one point Ronan and myself were talking about a couple of holes and we couldn't remember which round or day they were. It's not that I didn't enjoy myself as I did, I always like going to the Algarve, I just would have preferred to get the full tournament in.
In terms of my tournament I have mixed feeling; I played poorly the first day and shot one over par which was really a poor score. The second round I played a bit better but still not great, but I shot five under par for a two round total of four under. It was Saturday morning when I finished my second round, having to come back to play four holes. They were the last four on the front nine, including a tough par three and the toughest hole on the course. I played them in two under which I was very happy with, which meant that my day off was even better.
I got as far as the 12th hole in the final round before the storm came in. I have to say it was some of the heaviest rain I have ever seen. There was nobody unhappy to be called in from it but we didn't think we weren't going to get back out. As it turned out the course was unplayable from all the rain we had over the week and so it was decided to call it a 36 hole tournament. I would have liked to have gone back out to try and improve my position but I understand that they made the best decision for everyone.
I didn't actually hit the ball that well for the holes that I played, especially with my driver, which I struggled with but because the course was quite open I got away with it. The part of my game I did do very well and was happy about was my putting. For the holes that I played I putted very well, especially when you consider that the greens were a little bumpy due to the rain. It was my putting that saved me as my striking and chipping were poor, which gives me great confidence as I know that when I hit it well I am capable of shooting some low scores now that I am putting well again.
Overall it was a disappointing week for everyone as nobody wants a tournament to be reduced to 36 holes. For me I am coming away from it feeling good about the weeks ahead as my putting is back. I know what I have to do with my swing and I also have some work to do on my chipping, but the game seems so much easier when you are putting well.
It's Las Vegas for me next week and the start of my 2015 season on the PGA Tour. It's been a while since I was there so I am looking forward to playing the tournament and also seeing Vegas again.
This week I am in Villamoura for the Portugal Masters. I have played here a number of times and really enjoy the week - the weather is generally great and a few friends come down for the week. The course is an enjoyable one to play as there are plenty of birdie holes on it, so the scoring is good.
I got here on Monday evening and spent a couple of hours working with Pete Cowen. We had done some work last week at the Dunhill and this was really a continuation of it. We have been trying to get my shoulders squarer at impact, which has been hard for me to do it as I have always opened up a bit. When I do get it right I hit the ball fantastic and the starting line is great. It will take a while to get it onto my swing but I am excited by what I see.
On Tuesday I did some more work with Pete and then played nine holes with Peter Lawrie and Damien McGrane. As always it was good fun, catching up on all the gossip on tour given that the two lads know everything that is going on. On Wednesday I played the morning pro-am and then after that I did about 40 minutes of putting practice, but nothing else as I was pretty tired. I could see near the end of the round that I made a few tired swings so I reckoned it was best to leave the practice for the moment. The weather forecast for this week is not great - there is to be rain and thunderstorms so the likelihood is that we will have a few delays. The course is already quite soft so if we get more rain it will really set it up for low scoring. I am feeling good about my game and where it is going but more importantly I am feeling very good about my putting. Last week my short putting was very good - I didn't miss any short ones and more importantly I felt good over them all. With all this coming together I am looking forward to getting going this week and looking to get myself into contention come Sunday afternoon.
I am out late on Thursday with Frankie Mollinari and Tommy Fleetwood. It is possible that we could be delayed before we start, but there is nothing we can do about the weather.