KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - OCTOBER 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland chips on the 12th hole during round one of the CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club on October 29, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
The last week of the season is always a funny one. It's like the last week at school - you're trying to put in a good week but also thinking about the break ahead. I found myself in the same situation in Malaysia, battling to keep my focus on the week and not on the time off I had coming up.
I finished the tournament tied 56th. The way I played it should have been much better but a handful of holes cost me. One in particular really put an end to my week, my second hole of the day on Friday, where I took a quadruple bogey on the par three 11th. I mishit my five iron tee shot into the water and I then spun my lob wedge back into the water from the drop zone. With the scoring the way it was, it was a long way back with a seven on the card. I didn?t give up but it meant that I had to make four birdies to get back to level par, whereas everyone else was making birdies and going forward. I managed to shoot level par on Friday but that was a bad score the way the course was playing - Justin Thomas had a chance to shoot 59 when I was battling back to level par. Whilst I never gave up I could see that really my tournament was run on Friday.
Saturday was another up and down round. I started well but then had a bad patch in the middle of the round only to come back and finish well with a birdie and a "hole out" eagle to shoot one over. My final round had a lot of similarities to Saturday - I dropped shots early on to go back to level par and then made them all back and more to finally shoot two under.
I made plenty of birdies for the week but there were too many mistakes. On that course there was no room for mistakes, when the winning score is 26 under par you can't afford to be making bogeys, doubles and quads as I was. I was happy that I made plenty of birdies and had many more chances but the dropped shots were poor. A lot of them were sloppy, which really suggests to me that I am stale. The more I think about it the more I feel that the break I have coming up is what I really need.
I am off now for nine weeks and I have to say I am really looking forward to it. It gives me time to have my knee operation, work on my game and get some good work done in the gym. It has been a while since I had such a long break and I know it will be hard looking at tournaments being played and not being there, but its what I need. The break will certainly make me better for next year.
I am heading home now for some rest and to finalise when I will have my operation. I have good thoughts to remember from my last hole as I hit two glorious shots and a good putt to sign off the year. All in all I am happy with what I saw last week - I hit a lot really good shots and most importantly of all, I putted well.
While I have had a lot of bad weeks this year it is all wiped out my win at the Honda. It has been a winning season again and anytime you can say that then it has been a good season.
It seems a bit of an oxymoron but this week I am finishing my season by starting a new one! I am playing in Kuala Lumpur in the CIMB Classic which is on the 2016 PGA Tour schedule and is in fact my last tournament of 2015. When I was coming out to Hong Kong it made sense to play here as well - as it turned out I got in off the reserve list last Friday so it all worked out well. It is being held at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club where the European Tour event was held earlier in the year - I last played here in 2013 in a European Tour event, however this is my first time playing in this event.
I have been coming to Malaysia as long as I have been a professional and have always enjoyed playing here. I have played well in the past, winning in Johor and coming close many times in the Malaysian Open. I enjoy the courses out here and I have never had a problem with the heat. I am very diligent in getting the water into me nowadays, however this week has been much cooler than normal - it's far from cold but for Malaysia it is very pleasant. They are saying it is down to the affects of some fires in Indonesia, where the haze from the fire is blocking out the sun.
I got here in the early hours of Monday morning from Hong Kong. I hit a few balls on the range and then played five holes before a storm came in, which is the norm for this part of the world. However, I have found that the range is at a very awkward angle which has made lining up very tough. The good thing about that is that I won't be hitting many shots on it this week - I will be purely warming up and then go and play.
On Tuesday I played the front nine and had planned on doing some chipping and putting practice but the storms came in and put an end to it.
On Wednesday I played the morning pro-am and managed to get about 10 minutes of putting and chipping in before the hooter went for another storm. When you come out to KL to play you expect this - the good thing about the storms is that they keep me away from practicing and forces me to take it easy.
There have been a few changes to the course since I was last here. They have taken out some trees and taken the rough from the middle of the 2nd fairway, which have improved how the course plays. They seem to have changed the greens as well - when I was here last the greens were lightening fast down grain and quite soft. Now they are firmer but not as quick, which I would say makes it a little easier the way they are now as chipping down grain is substantially easier than it was. It's a good course, if you drive it well then you can score as the rough is quite penal. It's not that it is very long, just that it is very hard to control your ball from it.
I haven't set it alight in practice this week and I've struggled with my alignment after the first day on the range. It was a lot better in the pro-am but still a little off at times.
This is my last tournament of the year - I'm finishing up earlier than other years so that I can have a knee operation and have the time after it to recuperate. When you know that you are finishing up for the year it is hard not to get sucked into working on the things I have laid out for the winter break, which is another good reason for not going to the range. I am trying to keep focused on this week and would like nothing more than to finish up with a big week so that I can really enjoy my winter break.