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.

Nedbank Golf Challenge

Entry Date:
Nov 7, 2017

It wasn?t the week I hoped for. Going there, off the back of a good week in Turkey, I was feeling confident about my game. My practice went well on Tuesday and Wednesday too and so I was all set. However the Gary Player course got the better of me.

I opened up on Thursday morning with a birdie on the first and I was thinking what an easy game it is. But not for long! A bad drive on the next brought me back to earth and I played poorly for the rest of the round. I hit it in the trees a few times and had to take a couple of ?unplayables?. In the end I shot 2 over par which was a good score considering how I played. Even though I struggled I still missed a couple of putts and if I had shot level par, it would have been a unbelievable round.

On Friday and Saturday I played much better and had chances both days to shoot good scores. On Friday I shot level but made four birdies. Having made that many birdies I would have expected to shoot under par, but a couple of poor decisions cost me around the 5th and 6th. On Saturday I played ok, probably not as good as I did on Friday but I kept the mistakes off my card for most of the round and was 3 under for the day and 1 under for the tournament playing the 17th. However a bad three wood off the tee left me a lot to do. I was hitting 5 iron, miss-hit it and it didn?t carry the water - it ended up costing me a double bogey. At 1 under par I was on the fringe of contention but at 1 over I had no chance.

Sunday was a tough day. I actually drove the ball good and chipped and putted well, but my approach play was poor. We struggled with clubbing all day. The wind swirls a lot there and it seemed that everything we picked, the wind direction switched by the time I hit. I struggled to commit to shots then and so hit a lot of poor irons. It?s a common complaint there and it?s what makes the course so tough. It was one of those days when whatever decision we made, it was the wrong one!

In the end I finished on 4 over par for the week which was disappointing as I know I could have been a lot better.

That?s my European season over now. I?ve enjoyed the last few weeks - the tournaments were great and it was more like when I started on tour with Shane, Dunners and myself together most evenings.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

I'm in Sun City, South Africa, this week for the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Like last week I am here on an invite, so the ranking points I earn will not count towards my Race to Dubai position.

It's great to be back here. It's a place that I have always enjoyed coming to ever since my first trip in 1997. I've played the course many times in the Dimension Data Pro am, the Million Dollar and now the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Also I have been here a number of times on holidays with my family.

I arrived on Monday morning on the charter flight from Turkey and decided to take the day off and relax. It amazing how much easier it is to take a day off after you have had a good week!

On Tuesday I played the pro-am in the morning and then did some filming in the afternoon. Playing the pro-am on Tuesday meant that I had most of Wednesday off. I took it easy in the morning and then did some practice in the early afternoon. After my practice I then played nine holes with Dunners and took the money off him!

This is a tough week in terms of playing as the course is pretty tough, we are at altitude and it can get into the 40's. However the end result of all this is that we work in metres rather than yards as everything pretty much goes 10% further.

The course is in great condition, as always. It is a fairly claustrophobic course to play as there is trouble on both sides of every hole. That said, it is a big advantage to have played here before and to know how certain holes play. On Tuesday the course played as tough as I have ever seen it as it was seriously windy. However, the nine holes I played on Wednesday was more like normal.

I'm feeling good about my game and looking forward to playing this week. I'm out at 10.19am on Thursday with Lee Westwood and Charl Schwartzal. Hopefully I can keep the momentum of last week going!

Talk soon,
Padraig.

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