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 15, 2018

Another missed cut, but like the Irish Open, this one hurt more than normal. Being the scene of my first major victory and not to be playing at the weekend was exceptionally disappointing, especially as in both rounds I started well and was one under through eight holes on both days.

Really the damage was done on Thursday. At one under through eight holes I was in good position. However a sloppy second shot to the ninth found the hazard and a bogey. Then a bad drive on the 10th cost me another bogey. By the 18th tee I was three over which if I had finished at that it would have given me a good chance of making the cut. However the 18th struck again for me. I pulled my 5 iron tee shot into the burn and another double bogey meant a round of five over par.

My first round left me too much to do and while I looked like I might have a chance after eight holes of my second round, unfortunately my round filtered out.

I stayed around for the weekend to do some work with Bob Rotella. For a lot of my season I have been hitting the ball well on the range but not bringing it to the course. Pete Cowan has been saying for a long time that everything looks good on the range and can't see why I'm not shooting good scores on the course. I know myself that the issue has been mental and very little to do with the physical. I spent a lot of time chatting to Bob about it and we did a lot of work on the range over the weekend. By the end of the session on Sunday I was definitely feeling better about things. We worked a lot on my routine and making sure that I do it properly and and not rush. When I did this it felt so much better, but I can see that I have to spend a lot more time perfecting this and be much more disciplined on my practice. All in all it was well worth hanging around for the weekend.

Like everyone else I was glued to the TV on Sunday. What a final round! Carnoustie never disappoints. There were so many guys that looked like they could do it, but in the end Frankie's cool head and great play won out. What a deserved winner, I don't think there is anyone in world of golf that is not delighted for him. He is a super guy and a very hard worker. He's been working with my old performance coach Dave Alred for a couple of years now and there is no doubt that it has made a huge difference to him. Well done Frankie and welcome to the Major Club.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

After eleven years The Open has returned to Carnoustie, the course where I won my first Major. I've been asked a lot about what it feels like to come back here and while I have been back every year since I won (to play the Dunhill Links Championship) I must admit that it does feel good and has brought a lot of great memories flooding back. I arrived here on Saturday and the first thing that struck me was how big The Open has become. The hospitality and players area is so much bigger than it was 11 years ago. The grandstands too, it really is a massive operation now.

I played the course on Saturday and Sunday and then on Tuesday and Wednesday. Over these four days I?ve played 52 holes. The amazing thing is that in all the years I have been coming here as an amateur and a pro I have never seen the course play the way it is this week. It is so hard and fast that I hit my drive into the green side burn off the 18th tee. There is nothing to stop the ball on the fairways and so it makes clubbing from the tee very difficult. If you decide to lay up short of all the trouble then you are making it a very big course second shot course.

This week there will be a huge variety of strategies used and everyone will be wondering if they used the right one. For me I feel you have to take on some of the trouble from the tee so as to give yourself a chance to make some birdies. The rough is very playable and the greens are somewhat receptive so if you get some scoring clubs in your hands you will feel that it's possible to make a birdie.

I did some work with Pete over the weekend and he has me feeling a lot better about my game. I also have Bob Rotella here. We have had a few good chats and they have really put my mind at ease. As the practice days have gone on I have found myself feeling very good about things. I know that's hard to believe considering my last couple of weeks but with all the work I have done here since Saturday I am in a really good place and excited to get going.

It will be an interesting week as there are so many ways of playing the course. The most important thing is to remain patient and accept the good and bad bounces that will come your way. I'm feeling good and ready to get going, although I have a long wait until my first round kicks off as I'm out at 2.48 pm. I'm playing with Bubba Watson and Matt Wallace, too good but different players.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

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