SHEBOYGAN, WI - AUGUST 11: Padraig Harrington of Ireland waits with his caddie Ronan Flood on the second tee during a practice round prior to the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits on August 11, 2015 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Missing the cut in any tournament is never good but a major championship is even worse, especially the final one of the year when it is the worst feeling as there are eight months to wait until the next chance to play one. Going into Whistling Straits I was unsure how it would go as my knee had affected me enough the week before to get an injection, which helped a lot but didn?t quite kill all the pain. During the week it was quite annoying at times and the more I walked on it the worse it got. It wasn?t hurting whilst hitting the ball but it was uncomfortable.
However bad my knee was it wasn?t the fault of me missing the cut, it didn?t help but it wasn?t the reason. I struggled to find fairways off the tee, which made the course very difficult. From the fairway it was a course that you felt you could score on but from the rough it meant judging distance became very tough. The first day I struggled with this and ended up shooting four over par, which was a very disappointing score as I felt that I actually hit quite a lot of good shots. I struggled to make birdies as I wasn?t hitting the ball close enough and with the wind that was blowing in the afternoon it was hard not to make some bogeys. There was no doubt that those of us who played in the afternoon got the worst of the weather.
I got off to a good start on Friday, holing some good putts and even chipped in for a par on one hole. I was three under through seven holes and back to one over for the tournament, but I hit a poor shot into the 17th and made a bogey and then I missed the fairway on the 18th and made another bogey. I played the front nine as my back nine and played it well - I gave myself plenty of chances but I wasn?t able to convert them. The 5th and 6th were where I really missed my chance, as I had a six footer for birdie on the former and was just off the green on the next hole from my drive, but I wasn?t able to make a birdie on either. In the end I finished on three over par and missed the cut by one shot.
I watched the final two rounds on TV, which was great viewing. I was delighted for Jason - he had knocking on the door for a while now and deserved to win.
I?m off this week and in Orlando with the Caroline and the family, taking it easy and enjoying the theme parks. I?m looking forward to doing nothing and giving my knee a rest. My next outing is The Barclays next week, the first of the FedEx playoffs.
The final Major of the year is upon us - wow, the year is going by quickly. It only seems like the other day we in Augusta getting ready for the Masters.
This week we are back in Whistling Straights, where we played the PGA in both 2004 and 2010. I missed the cut in 2010, but played decent in 2004 - from what I remember I was on the fringe of contention with nine holes to play. When we first came here this was a big daunting course but over the years, as we hit the ball further, this course doesn't seem quite as big as it used too. It is built beside Lake Michigan and has the look of a links course about it and if it drys out and the wind blows then it can play like one too. So far this week it has been playing quite soft and so it is very scoreable, but if the greens dry out over the next few days then it will be a much different test to what we have practiced on.
Martin Kaymer won here in 2010 but we all remember the final hole for what happened to Dustin Johnson, after he grounded his club in a bunker and was penalized two shots. This course has over a thousand bunkers and a lot of them are outside of the ropes and aren't raked. Every bit of sand that you can see is pretty much a bunker, whether it is inside or outside of the ropes, with a lot of notices around explaining this.
I took it easy on Monday so as to rest my knee. I came up to the course in the afternoon, did some putting and then hit some wedges. I am doing my best to take it easy as this course is a long walk and my knee gets aggravated walking on it. On Tuesday I played the front nine with Shane and then we had a couple of chipping and bunker competitions. It was good to get out on the course and see it, it's funny how the holes come flooding back when you are playing them. I had intended to play 18 holes but my knee was getting sore and I also tweaked my neck when I was stretching in the morning, so we cut it to nine holes. On Wednesday we played the back nine and I lost the money to Shane, he played great - like a man that just won last week!! The course was a little dryer on Wednesday, but the fairways are still quite spongy.
Bob Rotella is here this week and we have spent a lot of time working on my putting. After last week it was the area that needed the most attention. We established that I was getting too caught up in the outcome and worrying about missing too much. I know that I am never not going to try, so I have to just let it happen rather than trying too hard and worrying about the outcome. When I get this clear in my head it frees me up completely. It's hard to do but when I do it, I have to say it is very good. Pete Cowan is here too but we haven't done much work as we are both happy with my long game.
I would like to be injury free coming here as I feel that my game is in good shape and the work I have done on my putting feels really good. However I am carrying a couple of injuries and that is the way it is; they won't stop me playing and as long as I manage them properly they will be fine. I am playing with Phil Mickelson and Jason Dufner for the first two rounds and we are late/early. I'm looking forward to playing this course again as I really like it and can?t wait to get started.