SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Padraig Harrington of Ireland answers questions from the media at a press conference during a practice round prior to the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale on July 17, 2017 in Southport, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Life is a lot easier when you play badly and then all of a sudden you get in contention and win one. No one gets on your back. When you finish runner-up seven times, everyone is asking, 'Why aren't you winning?' It's much more fun when you jump into a win out of the blue. It's a much tougher game when you play consistently well.

The Open Championship

Entry Date:
Jul 17, 2017

It is always disappointing to miss a cut but I have to say that this one is a little sore. I went into the week very happy with my game and that fact that it was at Royal Birkdale meant that I really wanted to be around for the weekend. Like all missed cuts I am over it pretty quickly and I enjoyed watching the weekend?s events unfold. Watching tournaments on TV is so different to playing them because when you are playing and see the leaderboard you feel that everyone is playing great, but when your watching it you get to see all the good and bad breaks that everyone gets. It?s a good reminder of what happens for you when you win.

In practice last week I played well and having been playing well for the last few weeks, I was looking forward to the week. I could say that I got the bad side of the draw but then I won here in 2008 from the bad side and also Jordan played in the group behind me this year.

My first round had the potential to be good. I got off to a good start and was playing well, had good birdie chances in the first few holes but I couldn?t convert any of them. Then in the middle I played averagely and was scrambling, but I missed a short putt on the 7th for par then a bad drive on the 11th caught the ditch and I had to take a penalty drop which cost me a double bogey. I was three over with the two par fives to come and so was thinking that I could salvage my round but I was only able to par my way in for a round of 73, 3 over par. It was really the start that let me down and if I had holed a couple of putts early on it would have been a different story.

I dropped shots early in my second round, double bogeying the 2nd hole after driving into a fairway bunker and then three putting the 3rd to go to 6 over for the week and outside of the cut mark. I battled along for the round and we got some bad weather at times, but again a lack of birdies cost me. I birdied the 17th to get back to 6 over par playing the last and I knew that I needed a birdie to make the cut. I hit a good drive and left myself a 6 iron, which came up short on me. I had to chip in to make the cut and I have to say I hit a super chip shot, which I was sure was going in but it somehow ran over the right lip. I was gutted!

I had played well enough to make the cut comfortably, but I just didn?t convert enough birdie chances and when you aren?t taking your chances in the weather we were playing in, it becomes very difficult. When I dropped shots I wasn?t able to get them back.

All in all it was a very disappointing week. Having been looking forward to the week for so long, not to make the cut and be there for the weekend was a big downer. However I know that my game is in good shape and that the putts will drop soon. I?m off for a week and then I head to Reno for the Barracuda Championship. However, I?m looking forward to some downtime at home before I head to the US.

I watched pretty much all of the last the two rounds and they were enthralling. Like everyone, I thought Jordan Speith had it won and then I thought he had lost it, only to come back again with an amazing display on the last 5 holes to win. Congrats Jordan and welcome to "The Champion Golfer of the Year" Club!!!

Talk soon,
Padraig.

It's hard to believe that it's 9 years since I won my second Open title here in Birkdale, as it only seems like yesterday to me. I've only been back once since then and that was in May for a Wilson media day, although I only got to see a couple of holes then. Coming here this week is strange, in a way I feel like the defending champion as I am the last winner here but yet it was 9 years ago. It's great to come back to a course where you have good memories. Every hole I walk off I am thinking back to what I did and then everyone is asking me and reminding me of shots I hit that week. I've lost count of the number of times I have been asked about my second shots to 17!

I'm coming into The Open this week in good form. I have been playing well for the last few weeks and feeling good about all aspects of my game. It's a great feeling to come back here to the scene of one of my best performances knowing that I am in a good place with my game and looking forward to trying to repeat it.

Last week in Scotland was a good week but with the bad weather on Saturday it was tough and tiring, so I decided to take it easy on Monday. I walked a few holes, chipped and putted around the greens and got all my media commitments out of the way. When I won here I couldn't play a practice round as I was injured and so when it came to Sunday I was fresh and feeling good. With this in mind I have tried to take it as easy as possible in practice this week. I played 18 holes on Tuesday with Shane Lowry, Daniel Berger and Kevin Chappell and then 9 holes on Wednesday with Shane, Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland. I haven't been doing any long game practice, just warming up and playing. The only thing that have spent time on is my putting. Even though I have been putting well I always like to spend time practicing it.

The course is in great shape and is as good a test as I remember it. It really is one of the best on the Open rota. You have to play well here to score and it's a fair course in that respect. There's less rough than 2008 but it's enough to make shots difficult and lose some control. We have had great weather in practice right up to Wednesday evening when a thunder storm came in and halted play but by that stage everyone had done their preparations anyway.

I am excited to get going as much for the reason that I am playing well but also to get out in front of the crowds and to enjoy what is the best tournament in golf. I'm out at 9.36 am tomorrow with Thomas Peters and Pat Perez, which is a good group. Hopefully the weather is better than it was that first morning in 2008, although it didn't do me any harm!

Talk soon,
Padraig.

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