I finished in the middle of the pack in Turkey and the funny thing is that I didn't play much different to Portugal. A couple of things here and there made a difference, like missing a putt or chipping into the water! It's a funny game that way - the way that one week a lot of things go for you and another not so much.
I really enjoyed my week in Turkey, from the hotel to the course and the way we were looked after was great. The only complaint I had all week was that here was too much great food and it was everywhere you went! They even got the weather perfect for us?..
As I said, I played pretty much the same as in Portugal but just never really got things going. In my first round I chipped into the water on the 6th hole and ended up taking a triple bogey. I was blading a lob wedge and after the hole it was downhill to the water. I hit it too hard and had to watch it run into it. If it was Portugal week the chip would probably have gone in resulting in a four shot swing. There were other places when I missed a putt or got a bad bounce that wouldn't have happened during a good week.
I finished on five under par for the week but it could have been much better. My triple bogey on day one and the 10th hole were the bad ones for me. I bogeyed the 10th three days and then doubled it on Sunday. It was my last hole on Sunday which was very disappointing as it dropped me down about 12 spots.
All in all I enjoyed the week, even though I didn't finish as well as I had hoped. I played well enough to finish a lot higher which is a good sign for my next two weeks. I am off to Sun City next, a course I know well and enjoy playing - I always look forward to playing there. I know that my game is in good order and most importantly my short game is in good shape, so with two events left I know I have the chance to have another big week.
Talk soon, Padraig.
After a week off enjoying my win in Portugal I am back in action in the Turkish Airlines Open. After my victory I decided to change my schedule to take in the final three events in Europe rather than play in the US. It came down to what was my best chance of getting into the Masters and when I looked at it there was more world ranking points available here in Europe.
I travelled down on Monday on the Turkish Airlines charter flight from Gatwick. It was only players, caddies and officials on the flight so really was like a traveling circus. It was nice for me as it was my first time seeing all the players after my win so the congratulations started early!!
I played six holes on Tuesday morning as there was a pro-am on in the afternoon. After I played I hit some shots and then spent a good bit of time chipping and putting. After a few days off it was nice to get back on the course to see how my game was. There wasn't much zip in my swing but that's what I would expect on a Tuesday.
On Wednesday I played the pro-am which was my first full look at the course. I have to say the course is very nice but tough. All the holes are tree lined and a number of them have water on them too. The greens are firm and have big slopes, so if you are on the wrong side of the hole you are in trouble. Also the greens have sections in them and if you miss the section where the pin is located you can have some very tough putts. To score well here you need to hit your approach shots well and with the greens being firm, it can be hard to get the ball close on certain parts of the greens.
It's a new course on tour and so no one really knows what the scoring will be like but I would think that it won't be too low. There may be one or two guys that score well but I think there could be a big spread of scores.
I'm looking forward to getting back into action as coming off a win gives you a lot of good feelings. I have three tournaments left for the year and I would like nothing more than to add another win to my season and I'll certainly be trying hard to get it here this week! Looking at the course it will be a case of being patient and accepting some tough breaks with approach shots. With no cut it tends to free up the players and give us time to get into the tournament.
In the first round I am out at 11.30am local time (8.30am Irish time) with Andrew Johnstone and Thongchai Jaidee.
Talk soon, Padraig.