The McGladrey Classic.
Padraig is at the Seaside course in Sea Island GA for this weeks McGladrey Classic, a tournament hosted by Davis Love. Low scoring is the order of the day at a very scenic venue with Chris Kirk defending after a 266 winning total last year. Padraig tees off at 8.25am local time with big hitting, Shawn Stefani and Gonzalo Fdez-Castano.
This week I am in Sea Island, Georgia for the McGladrey Classic. It is my first time here as up until this year I haven't been able to play due to being involved in the end of season events in Europe. It has been a tournament that I have wanted to come and play for a while, so when I saw that I was able to, I was delighted. There are a number of players on tour that live here and I have heard from them how nice a place Sea Island is and how good the course plays. It has been described to me as one of the nicest places in the US.
I got here early Monday morning after an eventful trip from Vegas. A few of us were sharing a plane over so that we could play the Monday pro-am and about an hour into the flight part of the engine cover came off and we had to turn back. Once we got back they were able to get a replacement part and we got going again.
I played the Monday pro-am which was my first view of the course and I have to say that it lived up to its reputation. It really is a fantastic golf course, set up how I would wish. The fairways are wide, but if you miss them you are in trouble and the greens are big, but with lots of run offs on them, which puts a premium on chipping and iron play. The middle of the green is never bad but it can get very windy here so it's not easy to hit it to the middle. We ended up winning the pro-am thanks mainly to the good play from my amateurs. Afterwards I practiced for while, working on what I had been doing last week.
Seeing as I played on Monday I had an easy morning on Tuesday and then went to the course to practice after lunch. I hit balls for about an hour and then played six holes as I wanted to get out on the course to hit a few chip shots around the greens and a few putts. You can't beat playing the shots that you get from around the greens on the course rather than the chipping area.
On Wednesday I played the pro-am again, this time in the morning. The wind blew pretty hard and so made the course much more difficult. I was happy I was playing, as it meant that I got to see the course on a windy day and see how it played. It made quite a difference to what you hit off the tee, as some tee shots played quite long compared to Monday.
I am happy with the work I have done over the last few days and feel that I am hitting the ball well. I really like the course and feel that it suits my game. I'm looking forward to playing the course and seeing how it changes over the next few days. It reminds me of how a links course plays in that every day can be different, but with this in mind I would say that local knowledge is a big help. While I am at a disadvantage in this area, I have an advantage in that I am an experienced wind player.