There's not a lot to say about my few days in Memphis. I missed the cut by a long way, which was mainly the result of poor play on Thursday. I missed too many fairways and it was not a course that you can play from the rough.
I was quite disappointed with my play on Thursday and spent the afternoon on the range trying to figure it out. In the end I found something that certainly felt better and solved the problem of the club getting stuck behind me. I started to fire my hands and arms from the top and when I did this my dispersion was so much better.
I played on Friday with this thought and I felt that I hit a lot of very good shots. The quality of strike was so much better and the starting lines were really good. It's something that I have toyed with before but having seen how it changed my flight and starting lines I am going to stick with it.
Even though I missed the cut badly I actually left Memphis feeling good about what I had figured out and feel it will make a big difference to my game going forward. I'm home this week and will be working on it, getting ready for a run of four tournaments. That and watching the US Open, wishing I was there!
Since the Irish Open I have only played the US Open qualifier at Walton Heath, near London. Unfortunately it didn't go so well for me and I missed out by one shot. Whilst I was off from tournament golf, I had some corporate commitments that kept me busy, but now I am back in action at the Fed Ex St. Jude Classic in Memphis. I started coming here years ago as the build up to US Open but now I am here playing to win as always, as I like the course and the tournament. I've had good and bad results here over the years, both top tens and missed cuts.
It's definitely one of the better courses that we play throughout the year - it can get firm and fast which can make it quite difficult. It is a course where it definitely helps to hit it straight as it is very hard to play it from the rough - it's Bermuda grass which gives you big flyers, whilst the fact that the greens get firm mean that it is quite hard to hit the greens. To do well here you have to chip and putt well.
I got in late Tuesday evening and so my only round was the pro-am - I know the course well so I wasn't worried about not being here any earlier. I've played it for the last ten years and the course hasn't changed - courses like this don't need to be messed with.
I've been practicing at home while I was off, but mainly on my short game and I could see the benefits of it in the pro-am - I made a few birdies and putted very nicely which is exactly what you want from a pro-am. We actually gave it a good run. I'm early on Thursday and late on Friday. Having arrived late it's nice to get the early start over in the first round. Hopefully that's the end of them for the week!!