JACKSON, MS - NOVEMBER 08: Padraig Harrington of Ireland prepares to take his third shot on the third hole during Round Three of the Sanderson Farms Championship at The Country Club of Jackson on November 8, 2014 in Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
My week in Jackson, Mississippi didn't work out as how I had planned. The first couple of tournament days went fine but the weekend was terrible. After two rounds I was five under and within shouting distance of the leaders, who were five ahead of me, having played with one of them, David Toms, for the first two rounds. I was happy with where I was going into the weekend; I knew I could have been better positioned but I was a little uncomfortable with my alignment of the putter, so all in all I wasn't in a bad position. Over the first two days I had dropped a number of poor shots but I had also made a few good birdies so I was feeling good about the weekend.
Having made the cut it was very disappointing to then shoot two rounds of 76. On Saturday I missed a couple of short putts as a result of doubting my alignment and at times the line. It's been a while since I struggled with this but at the start of the week I lost a little bit of confidence in where I was lining up and as the week went on it affected me a little more. The combination of a few missed putts, a number of average shots and some bad breaks meant four over was the result. The funny thing about this round was that it could have been so much better, because if I had putted how I have done for the last couple of months then I would have broken par.
Sunday was a strange one! I got off to a bad start on my first with a bogey. On the next two holes I hit driver off the tee and had the biggest hook you could ever imagine on both. The flight was very strange on both of them. I recovered well on the second hole and ended up missing a four footer for birdie, but on the next hole I hit my second shot from the trees into a hazard. I played it from the hazard and hit it over the green, then from there I took two chips to make the green and then four putted. All in all it added up to nine shots and I hit everyone of them. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why I got the two hooks and for the rest of the round I wasn't able to hit a draw let alone a hook. It was the strangest thing. The nine put an end to my chances of a good day, however I didn't give up, kept plugging away and made a good few birdies, mixed with a few bogeys. After my third hole I hit a lot of good shots and a few poor ones, but if I took out the nine it wasn't a bad round.
As bad as my weekend was there was actually some good to come from it. I noticed during my round on Sunday that I am being very hard on myself. I am finding something wrong with nearly every shot I hit, even if it's a good one. When I think back to my play over the years this is the total opposite to what I have always done. I have always been someone that has been able to see the good in everything. When I noticed this and got back to my old self, I felt a lot better about things. I have always said to people that if you are smiling when you go up to your ball then you will get a better lie, which is similar to this. I have been analyzing every shot and looking for something wrong with it.
I am happy to have discovered this and while it was a poor weekend's play it was worth it to find it out. I am off to Mexico for the last tournament on the PGA Tour before Christmas. I am really looking forward to getting down there and continuing the work I started on the back nine in Sunday. I know it will make a big difference.
After a week at home I am now in Jackson, Mississippi for the Sanderson Farms Championship. It was great being home for the week and we had great fun on Halloween night, getting to 'trick or treat' with Paddy and Ciaran. The rest of the week I did some practice at home and took it easy as well. I worked on my takeaway and trying to get myself to get my hands and arms moving, without any other part of my body moving. I always get my hips moving too early and so they are fully turned very early in my swing.
This is my first time playing this event because normally it is opposite the British Open. I travelled on Monday and so my first look at the course was on Tuesday. I played eighteen holes as the forecast for Wednesday was poor - normally I would have only played nine but with the possibility of a nine hole pro-am I felt it was better to play the course on Tuesday. As it turned out we didn't get any rain on Wednesday so I got to play another full round, which I was happy about this as I wanted to get a better picture of the greens. On Tuesday the greens were seriously quick and the ball was rolling off in places if you hadn?t seen the slope and anytime you were chipping or putting downhill it was nearly impossible to stop the ball. On Wednesday the greens had been slowed down to a more normal pace which made it quite a bit easier. If the greens become as fast as they were on Tuesday again, it means that there will be a huge premium on hitting fairways and greens as chipping will be tough with the slope and pace.
We are playing Jackson Country Club, which is an old style course that has been redesigned recently. The holes are tree-lined and there in front of you. There isn't any tricks to the course and if you play well you will score. There are four par fives and a short par four that offer up birdie chances, but if you miss the fairways out here then you are losing control of the ball. I like the course, while it's not long it is one that you will end up hitting a lot of drivers on.
Whilst I played on Tuesday, I was really just trying to get a feel for the course and wasn't too caught up in how I played. On Wednesday I wanted to get a better picture of the greens and also get into playing mode. I was happy with how I played and putted in the pro-am, holed a few nice putts and gave myself plenty of chances.
I am out late/early this week with a David Toms and Lucas Glover. It's a nice draw as the two guys are great to play with.