It wasn't the finish I had hoped for at the start of the week or on Sunday morning. Going out in a tied 15th position I was looking to move up and secure a place in the playoffs. However it wasn't to be, and I had a bad day and dropped well down the field to the mid 60's, shooting five over on Sunday will do that to you!!
My first two days were similar in terms of how I played but the second day I holed a few more putts. Thursday I gave myself plenty of chances but just wasn't able to convert them. Saturday I made a couple more, and what I was most happy about was that I birdied my last hole to make the cut on the mark. I knew playing the hole that I needed to make a birdie and I hit three good shots to make it. A while ago I would have made par and missed by one.
Saturday I played very similar to the first two rounds but this time I made more putts. No matter what anyone says the key to shooting low scores is to hole putts. I remained patient and kept giving myself opportunities for birdies knowing that I would eventually hole them and I did. Another difference in my scoring over the last month or so is that I am more aware of staying patient and letting things happen rather than trying to force them.
Going out on Sunday at 6 under I was feeling good. I?d shot 65 the day before and it felt easy. By the time I teed off Jim Furyk had shot his 58, the lowest score on the PGA Tour. What an amazing round, I would love to break 60. When I got going the wind was getting up and it was moving around a lot. I struggled with it all day and never really settled. I managed to get out in 1 under but a bad run on the back nine where I hit it in the water on 13, 15 and 17 made shooting 75 very easy. Really the only highlight was a well-played last hole that resulted in a birdie.
I was very disappointed with my round, as it meant that I was out of the Fed Ex Cup, as I?m going to be in Rio for the next two weeks. I am writing it off as just a bad day and not stressing about it. I still hit a lot of good shots so I know the game is in good shape for my goal of winning Gold in Rio.
This week I am in Hartford, Connecticut for the Travelers Championship. I have played here a number of times now and always enjoy the week. It's a nice course that tends to throw up plenty of birdies which, after a major, where par is a good score, it is great to play a course that you feel you can make birdies on. They have made a few changes to the course since last year, mainly both the fairway and greenside bunkering. They have been made deeper in most places, which has toughened up the course a bit, but there are still plenty of birdie chances out there.
I have had a fairly relaxing week so far - I took Monday off and on Tuesday I just hit a few shots and spent some time practicing my putting. After last week I was tired and wanted to take it easy so as to be ready to go on Thursday. On Wednesday, I played the morning Pro-am and then hit some wedges afterwards, which is a lot easier to do when you are happy with your game and not really working on anything.
This is my last counting event to qualify for the FedEx Play-offs as I am playing in the Olympics next week and then staying in Rio the following week to take in some of the events. At the moment I am 129th in the standings and I reckon that I need to get to about 115th to have a chance of staying in the top-125. To get to 115th I need to finish 13th or better. The good news is that I am happy with my game and feel that 13th is achievable. I have had some good weeks here over the years and so I am confident that I can have another this week.
I am playing late on Thursday with Alex Cejka and Hunter Mahan and then early on Friday. As much as I am thinking about the FedEx position, I am first and foremost here to perform well and give myself a chance to win. If I can get myself into contention come Sunday, that is the best way ensure that I am around for the Barclays.
I'm feeling good about things and have relaxed during the week so as to be ready come Thursday afternoon. I feel my preparation has been good and I am looking forward to playing.