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.

Irish Open

Entry Date:
Jul 3, 2018

Missing cuts is disappointing but missing the cut at the Irish Open is so much worse. I have had my successes and failures at the Irish Open, the highs are some of the best moments of my career and so when I miss the cut, as I did on Friday, it makes it all the worse. I get such great support here in Ireland so I want to do well, not just for me but for all the fans.

Missing the cut was worse than most as I had such a good start - after my first round I was right in the tournament. Four under par was a good score on day one for me, as I didn?t play great but I used all my experience to get it round. I was very happy with myself on Thursday evening and was looking forward to the rest of the week. However Friday didn?t go how I planned it. I didn?t play well again and unlike Thursday, when I scrambled well when I had to, I wasn?t able to do so on Friday. I missed the putts to save par and then didn?t create any chances like I had done the day before. Looking back at the round a big blow was not birdieing the 4th. Unfortunately my drive caught a bunker and meant that I couldn?t go for the green in two. Had I missed the bunker I would only have been hitting an 8 or 9 iron in. I followed this up with a bogey on the next and was really on the back foot then, whilst a three putt on the 9th meant that I was out in 3 over par. A lost ball on the 13th cost me a double bogey, on a hole that I was expecting to make birdie on. Another three putt on the next and I was outside the cut mark. However I rallied back by holing a 40 footer on the 16th and making a two putt birdie on the 17th, which had me at level par playing the last.

My last hole was gutting. I pulled my tee shot and then tried to hit an 8 iron from the rough which didn?t come out. I then hit a 9 iron to 40 feet and three putted. Having made the two birdies to get myself back inside the cut it was devastating to do what I did on the last.

Also, what made it even worse was knowing that anyone who made the cut still had a chance in the tournament.

Ballyliffin was a fantastic venue, the course was great and presented in super condition. Everything about the week was good; the weather, the course and Donegal. Unfortunately I was quite up to scratch myself.

I watched the final round at home and the tournament got the finish it deserved. Well done to Russell on a great win.

Talk soon,

I am in Donegal for the first time in my life! It's hard to believe that I never played golf in Donegal as an amateur; I reckon I played in pretty much every other county, but never here. So to finally get a chance to come here and play a tournament is great and what a venue to come to for my first time here, Ballyliffin. I've heard a lot about the course over the years and have looked forward to coming here for a long time.

I had a few things to sort out with my clubs on Tuesday so I spent my morning doing that and then a bit of time with Pete Cowan, before I played the back nine. It was my first look at the course and I wasn't disappointed. What a great piece of land it is! I'd have loved to play the 18 but I had a few media commitments and I also wanted to watch the England v Colombia game. The nine I did play was very enjoyable. The course is in great shape and is a super test of golf.

On Wednesday I played the morning pro-am. The front nine was every bit as good as the back and every hole gives you options on how to play it. You can be aggressive and try and take on the hole from the tee or lay up and leave yourself a longer shot in. If you are aggressive it is very hard to hit the fairways as they are narrow. After the good weather the course is nicely firm and so if you are coming out of the rough it is hard to get the ball close to the hole.

After the pro-am I did about an hours practice before calling it a day. On the course I hit a lot of good shots particularly with my longer clubs but my wedges were not great as I struggled a bit with how far they were going. Coming back from the States where the ball was going a long way, it took a while to adjust back to normal.

I'm looking forward to playing this week for a number of reasons. I'm excited about being back playing links golf, the course is in great shape and is a super layout and I feel that my game is not far away. I can see a lot of good signs in my game at the moment, I just need to put them all together. Above all though I'm looking forward to playing in front of the Irish crowds. You can't beat our crowds, we get such great support here in Ireland.

I'm out early on Thursday and late on Friday with Chris Wood and Kiradech Aphibarnrat. I'm feeling good and I'm ready to get going.

Talk soon,