I'm home after my defense of my Honda Classic title ? it didn't go as well as I would have liked but wasn't too far away. I finished on four over par and in the forties which, on paper, seems a lot worse than it actually was. After the first two holes of my second round I was six over and comfortably missing the cut. However, seven birdies in eleven holes got me back into the tournament, but then a couple of dropped shots in my last three holes knocked me back.
My four rounds were similar stories - they could all have been a lot better only for a couple of holes. On Saturday after battling to be one under through 14 holes, I then dropped shots on three of my last four holes. In my final round I was one under through 16 holes only to double bogey the 17th.
The golf course is so tough that anything under par is good shooting, so when you have battled along for so long as I did in a few rounds, only to then drop shots on the last few holes, is very disappointing. There is no let up and a slight mistake is heavily penalized.
I could have finished a lot higher but for a few holes but then, as I was saying, after 20 holes I was going home. I am very happy with how I played for the week, there were a lot of positives and I drove the ball very well. In fact my tee to green game was good throughout and has been getting better every tournament. My putting is a lot better too, all I need is to get a bit more confident with it. The way I played for the last few weeks I can see that I am not far away from a really good week. It was great to see Pete Cowen as it had been a while since I saw him and I wanted to run a few things by him. He was very happy with what I was doing and felt that I was making really good progress.
I'm off for a week and then head back to Tampa for the Valspar Championship. I've a few things on this week, but the most important thing I have coming up is the result of Ciaran?s Doodle for Google. He finds out next Monday how he faired, so fingers crossed for him.
This week I am back in West Palm Beach to defend my Honda Classic title. It's great to come back to a venue that you have won on and even more so as the defending champion. There is a great buzz about being the defending champion - whilst it means that you have a lot of added work, I would happily have that problem every week!!
I travelled on Monday from LA so Tuesday was my first day here and a lot was taken up with media commitments. I didn't play any holes as I only had a couple of hours free, so I did some work with Pete Cowan whilst knowing that I was in the pro-am.
When I was warming up on Wednesday my back was stiff, but I didn't think much of it as I thought it would loosen up. As I got further into it, it was getting worse so went for some physio. By the time my tee time came around I was in a bad way but I started as I wanted to get out and see if it would go away. However I could only make three holes and I had to withdraw from the pro-am.
I came in and went straight for physio. I had it worked on for about an hour and then went back to my room, took it easy for a few hours before having more physio. It seemed to be a lot better in the evening but then I did a few stretches to check it out and it went backwards.
The good thing for me is that I'm am not out in the first round until 12.45pm, so I can have some more treatment on it in the morning and see how it is. If it is as bad as it was in the pro-am I will not be able to play. However I am hopeful that it will be a lot better in the morning.
It would be very disappointing to not be able to defend my title. It's tough when you have an injury as there isn't a lot you can do but wait and see.