I finished in a tie for 30th last week after shooting a good final round of four under par. It was nice to come away from an event having had a good last round and to move up the leaderboard. The only pity about my good round was that I was starting from too far back for it to make much difference to my final finishing position. That said, I am never disappointed to shoot a good score!
I felt that I played well all week and really couldn't say there was much difference in any of my rounds in how I played. The difference in the scores came down to hitting my bad shot at the wrong time and holing a few putts or not. Over the course of the week I made 14 birdies and an eagle, but the problem I had was that I made 5 double bogeys and 9 bogeys as well, but it was the double bogeys that really killed me. In my first round I made 3 doubles ? at the 17th after a poor drive but still should have made a bogey, the 7th when I topped my second shot from the heavy rough and the worst one of all, was my last hole of the day, the ninth. I was just off the green in two and looking to make a birdie and instead I chipped it through the green and then took 4 more to get down and ended up shooting 2 over for the round instead of at least level par. I made two doubles in my third round from the middle of the fairways by hitting a nine iron and eight iron in the water on the 1st and last holes - again both of these should have been no worse than pars. If I had just played these five holes properly then I would have finished well up the leaderboard.
The good thing about the week was that I made plenty of birdies and an eagle. If I can keep making these and reduce the errors then a big week is not too far away. For the last couple of weeks now I have been very happy with how I have hit the ball, in fact so much so, that I didn't do any practice on my long game after Tuesday. The only practice that I did was on my putting which was very beneficial. On Saturday evening I was hitting putts and I noticed that as I was lifting the putter and rocking away from the ball, which was making it hard to get a consistent roll on the ball. Once I stopped this the ball came out on a much better line. On Sunday, I felt I rolled the ball at the hole with all my putts and I was very happy with how it worked. It is something that I will spend a lot of time on this coming week.
All in all I am very happy with where my game is at. I am confident in what I am doing in my swing and I can see the benefits on the course. I have something to work on in my putting that I know will make a big difference, which makes me very excited about the next couple of weeks and, in fact, the rest of the season. There are a lot of big tournaments coming up in the next few weeks so it is a good time to be coming into some form.
This week I am in Paris for the 100th staging of the French Open. It's been a couple of years since I was here last and I have to say it feels good to be back. This is one of the best venues of the year, the course is fantastic and the Versailles area, where we stay, is beautiful. It's only when you are here that you fully appreciate how good a tournament it is.
I only arrived on Monday evening from Japan, but the jet lag hasn't been too bad. I played nine holes on Tuesday after doing some work with my coach, Pete Cowen. After my nine holes I hit a few shots and then headed back to hotel to rest and then on Wednesday I played the pro-am. I haven't gone over board on the practice this week as I want to be fresh come Thursday morning.
The course is very green this year - they have had some heavy rain over the last few weeks, so the rough is heavy and the greens a little soft. With the rough being so heavy it puts a premium on hitting fairways. However, I find this course tough no matter how it plays - there are a lot of intimidating holes, ones where you just have to man up and hit good shots. I like the course but I find it difficult and have found it a tough course to score on over the years.
I've done some work with Pete, had him look at me and he is happy with what he saw. Whilst I was happy with how I hit it last week in Japan, it was nice to hear from Pete that it is on the right track. I'm hitting it well on the range and really just need to trust it on the course. I did a decent job of it last week so there's no reason why it shouldn't continue this week.
I'm looking forward to playing and putting myself under a bit of pressure as I am happy with my game. I'm playing early on Thursday and late on Friday with Matt Fitzpatrick and Andy Sullivan. It's a good draw as the two lads are playing well - I've played with Andy before but not Matt, so I'm looking forward to seeing him up close.