Open D'Italia presented by Damiani.
Disappointing second round for Padraig as he shoots a four over par round of 76 to miss the cut. He got off to the perfect start with a birdie four but gave it back straight away with a bogie on his second hole. He then compounded the error with an eight on the par four third to leave himself an impossible task to make the cut. To his credit he made an eagle and two birdies coming in but a double bogie seven on the par five 12th hole gave him no chance to progress.
Padraig opens his account in Italy with a level par round. Six under par leads after the first round. Starting on the back nine he opened with a pair of bogies to put himself under pressure straight away. Two birdies followed but three more bogies had him out in three over par. Starting home, he parred his first four holes before mounting a great comeback with three consecutive birdies to sign for a 72. He tees off late on Friday at 1.20pm local time.
Padraig has made a late entry into this weeks European Tour event, the Open D'Italia presented by Damiani. It is being played at Circolo Golf Torino - La Mandria in Torino, a par 72 parkland course. It is tree lined with quite punishing rough so driving the ball well will be at a premium. There is not much water and the greens are quite large and flat. This is the last counting event for Ryder Cup selection and Stephen Gallagher is the only realistic player that can make the team this week with a first or second place finish. Padraig tees off early in round one at 8.20am local time with Joost Luiten and David Howell.
This week I am back in Europe for the Italian Open, which is being played on the same Cicolo Golf Torino course that I finished second on in 1999. I have to admit that I can't remember much of the course from my last visit here, only one or two holes. I'm told that the lay out hasn't changed but the greens have been remodelled.
Having missed out on the FedEx Cup Playoffs I had a week off last week and, unlike myself, I didn't do much practice. When I got home I was tired and looking forward to a week off so I kept the practice to a minimum. The majority of my practice was spent on my putting green working on my putting. I changed my set-up at the Wyndham and it felt very uncomfortable, I went from being a little open to being a little closed. I am happier to be square to a little closed but the first week out it felt awkward, but after working on it last week it feels a lot better. I am also putting a new Wilson putter in play this week; I used it at home all last week and really liked the feel of it so it is getting a run this week.
I have played 36 holes in practice, 18 on Tuesday and then the pro-am on Wednesday. The golf course really is fantastic. It is a tree lined old style course and the new greens are a great design. There is a great mix of birdie holes and also holes where you are happy to make par on. The only negative thing I would have to say is that the rough is perhaps a little too high. It's hard to find your ball in it and I lost four in the pro-am!
It is nice to be back in Europe again. Obviously I would prefer to be involved in the FedEx Cup but now that I am here I am looking forward to playing. I am happy with how I am hitting the ball, but it is mainly my short game that has let me down. I have spent a good bit of time chipping and putting this week and have also put a new lob wedge in play. I find it much easier to hit lob shots with it and it comes out of the bunkers better too.
I know that if I can get my chipping and putting back to my old standard then I will have no problem scoring well again. For a while I have been struggling in both these areas and so when I miss a green it has tended to be a bogey. This makes shooting a good score very tough, because if you are not scrambling well you have to generate a lot of birdies to make up for it. It also puts a lot of pressure on the rest of your game, but I know that if I can start to hole a few putts again then everything will free up and the game will seem easier.
I am off early Thursday and late Friday with David Howell and Joost Luiten, two nice guys to play with. I am looking forward to getting going and seeing how the work I have done on my putting goes.