Missing the cut last week was extremely disappointing. Having got off to nice start at Pebble Beach on Thursday, I was thinking about getting myself into contention but a few bad drives ended up costing me making the cut. When I was warming up for my round on Thursday my driver broke and it was too late to get another to the range to practice with. I had to change it when I got to the tee as my room was beside the first tee. It was one I had hit before but when I hit it on the course I wasn't confident with it and I hit some poor drives. The second hole was my first time using it and I nearly hit it Out of Bounds. In the end I used my three wood for most of the tee shots and only used the driver when I felt I had too. Bar the issue with the driver I played nicely, I shot four under and it could have been more as I missed short birdie putts on the 16th and 18th. It was a nice opening round, especially if I had built on it.
The weather was amazing all week and as a result the scoring was unusually good throughout - the winner set a new scoring record and the cut was lower than normal. My second round at Monterey Peninsula put me under pressure as I only shot level par, which was a bad score as the course was playing easy. I made a triple bogey on my fourth hole, the 13th - I lost my ball off the tee and then made a bogey with my second ball. What made it worse was that it was a hole that you are thinking of making a birdie on as it is only a drive and a wedge. I made a couple more bad bogeys in the round and five birdies to end up shooting level par, which meant I had to shoot at least three under on the third day on the toughest course to make the cut.
Spyglass is the toughest course of the three, however if you get off to a decent start you feel you can shoot a score. I hit a few poor drives again but I managed to keep it together and make a few birdies. Standing on the 18th tee I was three under for the day and seven under for the week, but on the cut mark. I needed a par to make the cut and hit driver as I couldn't carry the trap on the right. I ended up hitting a terrible drive left into the trees, which was tight to the out of bounds and sitting in a bush. I tried to chip it out but it hit a tree and rebounded Out of Bounds. In the end I took another triple bogey and signed for a round of level par. I was extremely annoyed coming off the course because to miss the cut from where I had got to, was very disappointing.
I am off to LA next week for the Northern Trust Open, so hopefully it will be better there.
This week I am at one of my favourite tournaments of the year, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am. I have played this event with JP for years now and it never gets old coming here. The three courses that we play are super tracks and the fact that I play with JP and opposite Dermot Desmond makes the week, and to make it really feel like home Dermot is playing with Shane Lowry.
I played the Monday pro-am on Monterey Peninsula and then didn't play on Tuesday. On Wednesday I played 9 holes at Spyglass Hill with Shane and then 5 holes at Pebble by myself. I wanted to get a feel for all the courses but I didn't want to play 18 holes on them all as it would only wear me out before the tournament got started. The courses are in great condition this year, a little soft as there was some rain last week but the forecast for this week is for no rain and to be warm.
I haven't done much practice this week and any that I did do was mainly on my chipping and putting. On the course I have been working on my routines and focus, whilst I am trying not to hit the shot until I am ready to go. I think I have been going a bit early and not been properly focused on what I am doing. It has felt much better in practice so I am looking forward to seeing how it feels under the gun.
We are playing Pebble on Thursday at 8am, then Monterey Peninsula on Friday at 9.39am and then Spyglass on Saturday at 8.44am. As always I am really looking forward to playing and trying to get another win for JP and myself. We have two Dunhill Links so another AT&T would give us a pair of both.