It really was a welcome back to links golf last week. We were eased into it in practice, but then on Thursday we were welcomed with a bang. The wind blew hard on the first day, especially in the afternoon, and made the course play quite difficult. It wasn't the normal wind direction which made it even more tricky. I have to say I loved it and it was a real challenge - you had to control the flight of the ball and work your way around the course. I only wish we played in those conditions every week. I shot 70 which was the best score of the afternoon tee times and the funny thing was that I felt that I had left some shots out on the course. I know a lot of my competitors were complaining as they found it tough, which only made it better for me.
The first day was the worst in terms of the wind, but we did get a lot of rain over the next three days. We ended up having two days of the normal wind direction and then two days of it in the opposite direction. The side of the draw I came from got the worst of the weather and it seemed to continue into the weekend for me, most of which was played in heavy rain. That said, I still should have finished a lot better than I did - I only shot one under for the weekend which lost me a lot of ground. I played nicely and created plenty of chances, but I had a few poorish holes too. On Saturday I bogeyed the 6th and the 18th, both reachable par fives, but had I birdied these two holes I would have been going out on Sunday with a real chance to win. In the end I finished in a tie for 22nd which was probably the worst position I could have finished in with how I played for the week.
Talk soon, Padraig.
This week?s event is the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and we are back at Castle Stuart again. Castle Stuart is a great venue for us as it is a course that is very playable and is not going to beat you up before the Open. It is very similar to Kingsbarns that we play during the Dunhill Links, with it?s wide fairways and big greens.
I got here on Monday evening. On Tuesday I did some practice, not a huge amount on my long game, but more my short game and putting. It was a relatively easy day as we had a few showers which we took shelter from. On Wednesday I played the morning pro-am, as I have played the course a number of times I felt that I only needed to play it once before we get started. It was a glorious morning with very little wind, perfect for golf. The course hasn't really changed since we were here last, other than it is playing softer this week. The fairways are nowhere near as fast and so the course is playing longer than I remembered it. We had a good day but not good enough to trouble the prizes.
I am happy with my game and the work I have done on my putting is showing good results. I am playing late/early with Monty and Andrew Johnston and looking forward to getting started as I felt that I played well last week and could have done so much better. This week, with it being links and a course I enjoy playing I am excited about my prospects for this week as well as next.
Talk soon, Padraig.