Life is a lot easier when you play badly and then all of a sudden you get in contention and win one. No one gets on your back. When you finish runner-up seven times, everyone is asking, 'Why aren't you winning?' It's much more fun when you jump into a win out of the blue. It's a much tougher game when you play consistently well.

Valspar Championship

Entry Date:
Mar 9, 2016

I am coming away from the week happy as I felt that I got better every day. In my opening round I was poor and it showed in my score of 74. After having a week off and having been working on a few things, I found that there was too much going on in my head in round one. Instead of having one thought over the ball, I found myself having a few things to think of. It's hard to play golf when you?re thinking about a number of things that you want to do. After the round I hit some balls working on clearing my head and getting back to just one thought and as the week went on, I got better and better with it.

After my first round I was under pressure to make the cut and with six holes to go of my second round I was outside the cut mark. A birdie on the fifth got me to four over par which at that point was the cut, but only as there was an amateur making the cut too. I came down my last hole on four over par which was tied 71st (but making the cut due to the amateur), however I felt that I still needed a birdie to be safe as it was very tight. I played my last hole pretty much perfectly - I hit four wood off the tee and then a seven iron to three feet and holed it to get myself to three over and ensure that I made the cut. As it turns out I would have made it on four as well, but it would have been a big cut - my birdie meant that 71 players made the cut as opposed to 85.

My weekend was solid and moved me up the leaderboard, but it could have been much better. In round three I got off to a good start and was three under for the day through nine holes. However a double bogey on the 13th stopped me in my tracks, before a bogey on the 16th meant that I ended up shooting level par. It was disappointing as I had a chance to shoot a decent score and get myself under par for the tournament. My final round was a lot less exciting, I had one birdie and all pars to finish on two over par for the tournament. I thought I had birdied the last but somehow my putt stayed out, but I moved up the leaderboard to a tie for 33rd.

All in all I am happy with my week. Considering my first round, to come back, make the cut and improve over the week, was good. I am a little disappointed that I left a few shots behind over the weekend but then it played tough all week and so I am sure everyone can say the same. With the exception of the first round, I drove it well and hit a lot of good shots, so I am leaving feeling good about my game and look forward to playing the Hero Indian Open next week.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

After a nice relaxing week at home I am back in Florida for the Valspar Championship, which is played on the Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort near Tampa. It's a great course, a tough test and a fair one. I got here on Tuesday evening as I had to be home on Monday. It's unusual for me to get in so late but I was in the pro-am and have played here a number of times, so wasn't worried about it.

I played the morning pro-am; it was easy to get up as I was a little jet lagged. They have relaid the greens but for the most part they are the same shape. Some of the bunkers have been moved slightly and the look of them has also changed. All in all though the course is very similar to last year. I played ok, nothing spectacular, made a few birdies and bogeys which is what you want to see in a pro-am. As a team we had a respectable score but never really looked like contending. I spent most of last week hitting shots indoors on my new Full Swing Golf simulator so I was wondering what it would do to my game when I got out on the course. I am happy to report that it was good and is definitely much better for me than hitting balls into a net.

After the pro-am I hit a few balls, mainly working on my wedges and then spent a bit of time chipping and putting. I found the greens a little slower than they looked so I wanted to hit some pace putts, but it was a short enough practice session for me. It's funny for me to get in for a tournament so late. I'm normally here on Monday so to only be at the course on Wednesday is unusual. If it was a course I didn't know I would feel a little panicked, but for this week I am fine about it.

I am playing early late with Charley Hoffman and Ryan Palmer, two good guys to play with.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

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