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.

PGA Championship

Entry Date:
Aug 19, 2006

The golfing world maybe focused on the US PGA Championship this week but for all the people, it seems a little less important as the passing of Heather Clarke has put everything into perspective. My sympathies go out to Darren and his family at this tough time. This is the last of the four biggest events of the year. I am coming into this Major after two weeks off. It was a break that I really needed; I was exceptionally tired after a long stretch of tournaments with very few breaks.

For my two week break I was quite busy during the first week with things that I had put off for a while and eventually had to be done, and on top of this I did quite a bit of practice – so it wasn’t the most restful week! However the second week was exactly what was required, I took it very easy and played a couple of games to try and get myself back into golf mode. The hardest thing for me after I take a break is that I tend to get too much into practice mode and then struggle to get myself back into scoring mode. Ideally I would have played a tournament coming into this week but as I needed to have a break it was more important not to play.

I am looking forward to the final major of the year. My performance in this years majors have been up and down. In the Masters I got myself into contention for a while and then in the US Open I had a great chance to win, but eventually finished fifth and my last major was The Open Championship where I missed the cut. I am hoping for a better performance this week. As ever things are a bit more serious this week as it is a major week, and they are always slightly different to a normal tour event. Even though everyone takes the normal events seriously the majors are obviously special. We all have our ways of preparing for these weeks, mine is to ensure that I don’t do too much practice and that I spend my time working on my short game and my routines as these are the things that it really comes down to when you are in contention on Sunday. The golf course for this years PGA is the longest course in major history, it measures 7,561 yards. As always when we are coming to play a course that is exceptionally long it is all that you hear about in the build up. I try to ignore all the hype as you can get caught up in it, I prefer to wait and see the course for myself. I played Medinah on Monday and it didn’t seem as bad as it was made out to be. There are some long holes alright but as ever we won’t be playing the course from the very back and also the warm weather here makes the ball go further. It will play long but it will be very playable. The key for me this week is to stay patient and to stick to my routines, if I can do that it could be a good week.

The Tournament

The final major off the year is over. For me it was a very disappointing tournament as I missed the cut for the second major in a row. It is never nice to miss a cut let alone in a major championship and especially in the last one of the year. I came into this week after a two week break at home, a break that I badly needed but it definitely meant that I was a little rusty. During the practice days I wasn’t very happy with how I was hitting the ball. It definitely distracted me during my preparation and as a result it was also a distraction during the tournament itself. I was uncomfortable with my grip, which is something that I get a couple of times a year and is very annoying and tough to get through. I spent quite a bit of time in practice trying to get more comfortable with it and trying to get myself to focus more on my target so as to forget the problems that I was having with my grip. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get it right before the tournament started and it distracted me on the course. This wasn’t the main reason for me missing the cut but it was a big contributing factor.

The first day started fine, I made a poor bogey on the 1st but then made a good putt for a birdie two on the 2nd. The day progressed nicely, I made birdies on the two par fives on the front nine to be two under par. A poor drive on the par five tenth meant that I only made par there, but I was still two under playing the 13th which was right in there. I hit my hybrid to about four feet on the 13th but missed to leave me on two under, but still in a decent position. However this is where it all went wrong, I missed the fairway with my lay up on the par five 14th and ended up making a bogey, and then I missed the fairway with my tee shot on the 15th and again made a bogey. This left me on level par with three to play. On the 16th my tee shot ran through the fairway and ended up in a poor lie, from where I hit it further into the rough and then wasn’t able to get to the green with my third. Then my pitch up the hill came up short and back to my feet; from there I took three more to get down and finished with a triple bogey. Two pars to finish left me on three over for the tournament and a lot to do if I was to make the cut. On Friday I knew that I needed to shoot three under at least if I was to make the cut. I started on the back nine and made a birdie on my first hole, from where I parred everything to the 18th (my 9th hole), missing a few good chances on the way. I made a bogey on the 18th after going through the green and then failing to get up and down. I was disappointed as I had given myself plenty of chances but had made no ground over the nine holes. Over my back nine I then made a move to give myself a chance. I birdied two of the first three holes to get to 1 over for the tournament. But then a couple of bad drives cost me bogies coming in at the 4th, 5th and 7th; these put me 1 over for the day and left me with no chance. I bogeyed the last to finish the tournament on five over and to miss the cut by five shots! All in all it was a disappointing week, I had hoped to play well get myself into contention but it wasn’t to be.

Thanks for dropping by, talk to you all soon...