I finished in 55th position last week in Holland which I felt was a poor reflection on how I played. In terms of my game from tee to green I was happy, but what really let me down was my putting. It was hard to believe anyone could miss as many putts as I did - I had 127 official putts and then I also used my putter from off the green a number of times. The strange thing was that I didn't feel bad over them or feel that I ?yipped? any. I had a number of three putts during the week, in fact, five of them were for pars.
It was a good week in terms of my ball striking as I decided in practice that I was going to play with more confidence and I felt that I did this very well during the week. When I got it right I hit some very good shots and over the four rounds I gave myself a lot of good birdie chances. I really felt that it made a difference to my striking and also my general mood. I had noticed in practice that I was being very hard on myself again and with every shot I hit I was finding fault no matter how good it was, so I decided that I had to be more confident and not be as hard on myself. By doing this I felt much better on the course and it made me see how tough I had been on myself. However last week I was seeing the good in things and walking around the course feeling confident. When things aren't going your way it is easy to start getting down on yourself and it can be hard to get out of it and turn it around the other way, but after last week I can see what a difference it makes.
Coming away I know that I need to continue to work on my putting. While I putted poorly I still feel that I hit a lot of good putts that just didn't drop, but will spend the next few days before the start of the Italian Open working on what I have been doing, i.e. using the ruler to putt down and the elastic band to help me hold my finish. In terms of my long game, I am continuing to work on staying in my shots longer but most important will be to do it confidently.
All in all it was a disappointing week in terms of my finishing position and putting, but a good week in terms of progress with my outlook. I am looking forward to next week to continue with my confident attitude.
After a week off at home I am back playing in Europe, having decided to play in the KLM Dutch Open rather than taking an extra week off. I have played the Dutch Open for the last two years and really like the course, so it was an easy choice to come here. In my week off I did a lot of practice so it is better for me to be out playing than sitting at home beating balls.
Whilst I was at home I also got my knee scanned, which turned out to be a tear in the miniscus. The doctor said that it is fine to keep playing and that we will have a look at it again at the end of the season. Depending on how it is at that stage, it may mean that I will have an operation, which I was happy to hear as I was worried that I might have to have an operation now and that my season could be over.
I played nine holes with Damien McGrane and Peter Lawrie on Tuesday afternoon. I hadn't seen the lads in ages so it was great to catch up with them - seeing the Irish lads and having a bit of "craic" is the thing that I miss when playing in the States. Before we played I spent a lot of time working on my putting and using the drills from the weekend of the Barclays - attaching the elastic bands to the putter and putting balls down the ruler. Paul Hurrion is here this week as well so he was having a look at me - he was happy with what he saw and had a few suggestions to make my drills better. By the end of the session I was feeling a lot better about it. I have a few things to work on in my putting, which I am happy about as it gives me purpose when I am on the greens.
On Wednesday I played the afternoon pro-am so I did some practice beforehand. Most of my time was spent on the putting green again, with a small amount of hitting balls. The course played tough as it was windy and it made a few holes play quite long. I was happy with how I hit the ball and more importantly how I putted.
It's great being back playing in Europe again. I find it much more social than when in the U.S. and this week all the Irish lads have been out for dinner a couple of times already. They have been good fun and no one is safe - it's like being back in our amateur days again