HONG KONG - OCTOBER 22: Padraig Harrington of Ireland walks the fairway on the 13th hole during the first round of the UBS Hong Kong Open at the Hong Kong Golf Club on October 22, 2015 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
It was very disappointing to miss the cut in Hong Kong as I was feeling good about my game. I played very nicely in the pro-am on Wednesday and like the course, so I had high expectations for the week. However, that may have been some of the problem, so when I wasn't birding every hole I was getting frustrated. In the first round I was definitely falling into the trap of getting frustrated and a little annoyed by my shots. If I hit a good shot I was annoyed that it wasn't better and then a poor shot was really annoying. I wasn't as bad in the second round, but I certainly wasn't as good as I have been for the last few tournaments.
I missed the cut as I never managed to get going. From the first round I was always around par or one under and couldn't develop any momentum to get myself more under par. In the end I bogeyed my 17th and parred my last hole to shoot level par which was very disappointing. I had played well enough to break par, but failed to get up and down from a couple of greenside bunkers and then didn't hole enough putts from the 10-15 foot range. That said I didn't do any damage in the first round, it was really my second round that cost me. I got off to a bad start by making a bogey but managed to birdie the second, only to take three from the edge on the third for a bogey six. I canceled it out again with a birdie on the fourth, so it was a real yo-yo start. From then on I struggled to make birdies and when I hit a good shot I missed the putt or else just didn't get it close enough. I got unlucky with a couple of lies just off the fairway which cost me bogeys on the 9th and 11th. Then on a couple of holes I didn't get it up and down from positions I should have and all of a sudden I was three over par. I made a birdie on the 14th to give me hope but I just wasn't able to find any more birdies. I gave myself a decent chance on the 15th and then really good chances on the 16th and 18th, but didn't hole any. I knew that I should have made the cut which made it more disappointing.
Looking at the couple of days I can only say that my game is a little flat - it's been a long season and I feel that it is catching up on me. I'm now heading to Kuala Lumpur for the CIMB Classic which is part of the PGA Tour as I haven't made the final four events in Europe. I actually finished outside the Top 110 on the European Tour but I still have my playing privileges due to my Major wins. Last week closes out my worst season on the European Tour, but I am putting it behind me and looking forward to my winter break to recharge the batteries.
It's hard to believe that I was in Portugal on Sunday, London on Monday and then Hong Kong on Tuesday. I must admit that I am feeling a bit jet-lagged after the long trip. I got here on Tuesday afternoon after flying through the night and took it easy, walked around the area I am staying in and got a badly needed haircut. Anything to keep myself awake!
I played the Wednesday pro-am at 7.30am this morning, which required a 4.50am wake-up call. To hear the alarm wasn't the nicest thing, but once I was up I was fine - it was the afternoon that I started to feel tired again. The pro-am doubled as my practice round - normally I would be feeling a little under prepared by only playing the course once, but I have played here many times over the years and won in 2003. It's a course I really enjoy, old style and tree lined. It is in great condition and, as always at this time of year, the weather is perfect. It has become a short course over the years as a result of technology, but it still plays tough as you need to be coming off the fairway and the greens can be tricky. If you miss them it?s tough to get up and down. I like the fact that each hole can be played in many different ways and the tee shots give you lots of options.
I was happy with how things went in the pro-am - I hit a lot of good shots and putted very nicely. Bar the jet-lag kicking in, everything else was good. Afterwards I had a few chipping competitions with Peter Lawrie and we ended up halving the money. It was great practice.
I am out early on Thursday and late on Friday, which over here is really two early starts. I'm feeling good about things and looking forward to playing.