STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 17: Padraig Harrington of Ireland speaks to the media during a press conference atr the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 17, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
It was another hugely disappointing week for me. Missing the cut here in Ireland is always painful; not to make the weekend in front of my home fans felt awful. I didn't play my best but I certainly played well enough to make the cut. It came down to a couple of bad holes in my first round that ultimately cost me. This and the unfortunate draw I got. I played early Thursday and late Friday, which was the worst of the weather. On Thursday we got some very heavy rain and wind and then on Friday it rained for most of our round. It was definitely a couple of shots tougher than playing late / early. However that is the luck of the draw - I have benefited from good draws over the years and will do again. It is swings and roundabouts.
Even with the weather we played in I should have made the cut comfortably. I had a treble bogey on the second hole of the tournament, and then a double bogey on my sixth hole were the setback holes. Dropping five shots in two holes is terrible but doing it in the conditions we were playing in meant that it was very hard to get the shots back. In conditions like these you want to try and get a couple of birdies and then hang onto them. Pars are hard to come by when the course is playing as it did on Thursday morning, so those two holes were like daggers, especially as I should have made bogeys only for some poor chipping. I ended up shooting four over on Thursday, which left me a lot to do on Friday.
On Friday I shot level par to finish on four over and miss the cut by two shots. I just wasn't able to make enough birdies to give myself the chance of making the cut. I was on the last hitting a six iron for my second and knew I needed an eagle to make it, so I went at the pin and the wind moved it just a bit too much and it finished in the water pin high. It would have been nice to have a putt at making the cut but unfortunately it wasn't to be. After I finished it looked like three over was going to be the cut, which would have been a complete nightmare for me, as a birdie would have got me in. However, thankfully it stayed at two over par, as it would have been hard to sleep on Friday night if it had been three over!
I am off now for a couple of weeks, the only thing I have to play in is the US Open qualifier at Walton Heath. Other than that I will be taking it easy at home with a couple of corporate commitments. After three missed cuts in a row I am happy to be home to do a bit of work on a few things. I'm hitting the ball well on the range but not trusting it on the course, so the next couple of weeks will be spent working on it.
Well done to Rory on a great win. I know how hard it is to win the Irish Open and to do it the way he did was very impressive.
It's great to be back home for my Fifth Major! The Irish Open is always a special tournament for me and all the Irish guys. We all grew up going to it and watching it on TV; it as the only time we got to see the top players in person and has always been a tournament that I wanted to play in and to win. I have managed to do both but it doesn't stop me wanting to add to my tally and I would love to add another one here in the K Club. The K Club will always be at the forefront of Irish golf as it has held many tournaments over the years, culminating in the Ryder Cup ten years ago. I know it's hard to believe that it was ten years ago!!
This week I am able to stay at home which is a great feeling, although I stayed at the K Club last night because of my early tee time. It has been so nice heading back home, rather than going to a hotel room wondering where you are going to eat. I didn't go down to the K Club on Monday as I only got in from Florida that morning. On Tuesday I went down after Christy Senior's funeral. I didn't play any holes, but spent a couple of hours on the range with Pete and then a couple of hours with the media. By the time I had finished talking I was 'wrecked' and decided to call it a day.
The pro-am was the first time in probably a couple of years that I played the course. It's funny as for so long we used to be here every year, but now I am struggling to remember when I was last here, so I was looking forward to playing the course as I have always enjoyed playing it. It is a good test of golf with a lot of really good shots on it. I had heard from the guys that played on Monday and Tuesday that the course was in great condition and I wasn't disappointed when I got out on it. It really is in good shape and the greens are as good as you will see anywhere. Unfortunately my golf wasn't up to the condition of the course. I struggled for most of the round, hitting some very poor shots, which was surprising as I was hitting it very nicely with Pete on Tuesday. When I got in I spent a couple of hours with him, again trying to figure out why I wasn't bringing my range game to the course. It took us a while but we got there - it was a couple of small things that were throwing me out of kilter and by the end of the session I was hitting it good again.
I?m excited about playing as you can't beat playing in front of a home crowd. I'm a little unsure as to what to expect after how I played today, but then that could be a good thing as I have had high expectations for the last few weeks and haven't done too well! I play early on Thursday and late on Friday - I don't think there is any big advantage whatever time you play as the weather forecast is pretty much the same all day.