It was a somewhat disappointing week at the Barclays Classic. This is a course that I have done well on in the past and so to finish in a tie for 35th is not great. I never really got going at any stage this week, shooting solid rounds but nothing spectacular. The first day scoring was very good as the greens were receptive but I wasn’t able to take advantage of it. I was a bit flat on Thursday; it was like I hadn’t played for quite a while as opposed to just one week. Rounds of 71, 68, 70 and 71 put me on four under and twelve shots behind Steve Stricker.
Overall the rounds that I shot were not too bad but as the course was playing a bit easier than normal my rounds were very average. I was happy with the way I hit the ball but I made too many mental errors on the easy holes which led to several bogies. Over the seventy-two holes I made nineteen birdies, nine bogeys and three double bogeys. Of the nine bogeys and three doubles, five bogeys were made on holes that would be considered birdie holes and two of the double bogeys contained three putts. On a normal week when I am fully in game mode I wouldn’t make more than one or two mental errors like these on birdie holes. I made at least three bogeys on holes that I was hitting sand wedge to, but it was generally poor preparation over the pitch shot that led me to making the bogey.
Nineteen bogeys and three double bogeys is far too many dropped shots to have in a week; it is not possible to compete if you are giving up this many shots. My birdie count was a bit better than average but when I look at the holes that I dropped shots on and see that several of them were holes that I would be thinking about birdie, I can easily make up the twelve shots that I finished behind the leader. However this is the case for most players in the field. The main reason for my mental game being poor is down to tiredness and trying too hard on the course. I can see now that I was pushing a little too hard and also I am still mentally fatigued. As I had taken a week off last week I spent a bit more time practicing during the tournament days which again looking back on was probably not the best thing to do. Friday was exceptionally warm and I spent a couple of hours hitting shots after my round. As a result of this I really struggled on Saturday. I was tired and probably a bit dehydrated.
Tiredness is something that I will have to keep in mind over the next few weeks as I have three more events in a row here for the Fed Ex Cup, the end of season PGA Tour Play Offs. As far as the Fed Ex Cup goes it wasn’t a disaster as I only dropped two places in the standings. I still need to have a couple of wins if I am to contend for the title. Certainly, the Barclays was one of best chances as I have a good record around Westchester but it doesn’t mean that it is impossible for me to win any of the next three weeks.
I am off to Boston for the Deutsche Bank Championship next; it starts on Friday due to a bank holiday here in the States. The key for me for the next few weeks is to take on board the lessons that I have learned from this week and make sure not to over do it. It is definitely a case of less is more for me for the next few weeks.
Talk to you all soon,