Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Padraig opens his account in Phoenix with a level par round of 71. Starting on the back nine, he got off to a solid start with eight pars and a birdie four on the par five 15th hole. A par on his 10th hole did not signal the roller coaster that was coming as he recorded everything from a double bogie six on the par four 5th hole to a holed second shot for eagle on the par four 8th hole. He had to return early Friday to complete his last hole on which he made par. Seven under par leads but with an early start Friday, Padraig will be hoping to make progress in his second round.
Padraig will kick off his 2015 schedule on the USPGA tour at one of his favourite tournaments, the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The tournament is famed for having the largest crowds in golf and a boisterous par three 16th hole. A top class field has been assembled for this years event with last weeks winner Bill Haas playing and Tiger Woods paired with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. Padraig tees off Thursday in the opening round late at 1.01pm local time with John Huh and Adam Hadwin.
After seven weeks at home relaxing, I am back in action at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour. I have to say it was great been home for so long, so good in fact that it was hard to leave. I did quite a bit of practice and swinging up to the end of December but after that I took it quite easy - I took a few days off and when I did practice I didn't go overboard. I knew that I needed to be in good shape for my charity golf shows, not so much to do them but so that they wouldn't take too much out of me. They were a great way to finish off my break as they went very well and we raised over ?165,000 for my Charitable Foundation and the ISPCC.
I arrived in Phoenix on Saturday evening and whilst it was hard to leave home it was great to arrive in a place with such good weather. On Sunday I played Whisper Rock, which is a course that Phil Mickelson designed. It was most enjoyable as I took Ronan's money, even though it was my first time on a golf course since Indonesia seven weeks ago. We had a great day there, but it would be hard not to as it?s a great place. On Monday I played the pro-am on the tournament course - I hit the ball nicely, as I had also on Sunday. The course was much tougher than last year as there were several changes made during the year. Most holes were lengthened and all the greens were relaid. The added length makes it much tougher from tee to green and the greens are very firm, so all in all I would say that it is substantially harder. Whilst we didn't do any good in the pro-am, we did have fun. For me I was happy to get out and play golf again and also to see the course.
On Tuesday I took it very easy as I have decided to try my best to have a rest day each week. I was wondering what I would do for the day, but in the end I managed to fill it very easily - I went to the gym, then for a long lunch and afterwards I had a haircut. By the time I had finished it was getting late, but I went up to the course for about 90 minutes to practice my chipping and putting. All in all, it was a very relaxing day.
On Wednesday I played the main pro-am and again we didn't do particularly well as a team but enjoyed ourselves. It rained overnight so the greens were substantially softer but then so were the fairways, so the course played quite tough again.
I am quite happy with what I have seen in my game so far. There are a few things that I am not so sure about but I am not worrying about anything yet. I am waiting to see how everything is at the end of the week, because I find that I never really know what's what until I have played a tournament. Seeing as this is my first week out I am not sure what to expect and so I am not stressing about anything in practice. At the end of the week I will sit down and see how everything was, then see what I need to work on next week.
I am playing late Thursday and early Friday. It's hard to know if it's a good or bad draw as Friday is to be a bad day weather wise, so I am not sure if it's best to be out early or late.
After seven weeks off at home I am excited about getting a new season going. I am feeling good about things and have taken a lot of positives from my win in Indonesia. I am continuing to work on the things that I was doing at the end of last season which is to get back to enjoying my golf and seeing the good in things.
This is one of my favourite tournaments which makes it even better for it to be my season opener. What they have done with this tournament over the years is great and the highlight for me is the 16th hole - the atmosphere is great and it is like nothing we experience in golf. I am really looking forward to getting going.