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.

Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard

Entry Date:
Mar 13, 2018

This was my most gutting week of the season so far. To miss the cut by a shot was absolutely devastating as I had been going along nicely; with four holes to play I was one under par and two shots inside the cut mark. I had missed a few chances and let a couple of shots slip by not getting up and down, however I was feeling good and cruising along till I got to the sixth hole, my 15th.

I stood on the 15th tee on Friday one under par and when I walked off the hole I was three over par. Two balls in the water will do that! I mishit my first tee shot, which was on a tight line and it came up short of carrying. Then on my second tee shot I went on a very tight line but it didn't carry either. I was so annoyed with myself walking up the hole as I really didn't need to take on the tee shot as I did with my first drive. It was on in two but with where the flag it was, it made more sense to play it as a three shot hole. To add insult to injury I took three to get down from the edge of the green.

Walking to the next hole at three over I was a bit shocked as I couldn't believe what I had just done. I did manage to get myself together and make a birdie on the 7th which left me needing another birdie in the last two holes to make the cut. I came very close on the 8th when my putt sat on the lip and then on the 9th I hit a very good putt on the line I wanted but it broke more than I thought it would.

It was another missed cut but this one had a lot more pain attached to it. I felt that I was control for all bar one hole and unfortunately it was enough to knock me out of the weekend. What was especially disappointing was that I felt my irons were improving and that I was getting close to a good score. I dropped a couple of shots by not getting up and down where I should and then I missed a couple of chances. I certainly felt that I could shoot a good score over the weekend had I been there. The work I did with George definitely helped my iron play and I hit a lot more consistent shots with them. Now I have 10 days to work on it before my next tournament and with the bad weather at home I have decided to stay out in the States for the week to get some practice in. I really want to get some practice done on my wedge play as this area needs some work and I can see I am not quite confident enough when I have a wedge in my hand.

I didn?t get to see the final round but I was listening to it on the radio. What a performance it was from Rory and it's great to see him back to his best!

Talk soon,
Padraig.

This week is the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which I played for the first time back in 1998, I think. Back then I thought it was the toughest course I had seen; it had a lot of water and firm greens. Where I grew up playing we didn't have water on courses and so when I saw it, it scared the living daylights out of me. The course back then was long and together with the firm greens, it was practically unplayable for me.

It took me a while to come back after my first experience but over time and with the technology advances I have come to like the course. My game has changed as well and so I am much more equipped to play these types of courses.

I played two pro-ams this week as I am here on an invite. On Monday the course played seriously long as it was windy, cold and we had some heavy showers. It was more like a day at home. On Wednesday it played more like I would expect it to and the course is in the best condition I have ever seen it in.

George Gankas was here for a couple of days and I did some work with him. I was telling him that my iron play has been poor for a while now and he thought that I need to get my hands deeper at the top. We worked on this and on my set up and by the end of it I felt that it had helped my strike and starting lines with my irons. When I played on Wednesday I felt that my irons were better and whilst there is still a lot of work to be done on them, it did seem that there was improvement.

I've hit a lot of shots working on it and as a result I'm a little unsure as to what will come out during the tournament. It seemed better on Wednesday but until you get onto competition you can?t be sure.

I'm out early on Thursday at 8.11am and then 12.56pm on Friday. I'll find out then if the practice has worked?..

Talk soon
Padraig.

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