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On the Road with Padraig
Padraig tees it up this week on the PGA Tour at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. It is a team event and he plays with fellow Irishman and close friend, Shane Lowry, who had a terrific finish last week on Tour. They tee off at 1.10pm in the opening round with Kelly Kraft and Kevin Tway. They played in the event in 2018 with a T28 finish. The defending champions are Scott Piercy and Billy Horschel. LIVE SCORING HERE
After two weeks off I’m back on the PGA Tour this week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. This is not a normal tour event as it is a team tournament, where we play two rounds of fourballs and two rounds of foursomes. This week Shane Lowry and myself are pairing up for the second time – we played here last year and while we didn’t end up finishing too well we showed a lot of promise, whilst a couple of holes cost us from having a very good week.
We both got in here on Tuesday – I did some practice and club testing and then we played nine holes. We didn’t spend any time practicing foursomes as the Wednesday pro-am was to be played under the greensomes format, were we both hit drives and then pick the best ball and play foursomes from there. It was good to get some practice in as it’s been a year since we would have played the foursomes alternate shot format.
We are both looking forward to playing as we know we are a strong team. Shane is in great form, coming off a successful week in Hilton Head last week. I’ve have been practicing and playing the last 10 days and am feeling good about my game. I was down in Adare Manor at the weekend playing a couple of rounds and getting ready for this week. I like what I see in my game and I am excited about the season ahead.
I’ve only played two events so far this year so I kind of feel that this is the start of my season. I’m playing this week and then the next three tournaments, which finishes at the PGA Championship. My wrist is good and hasn’t been causing me any pain, the only issue I have is that my thumb is still a little weak and so can get a little sore. This will go away as I play more and it gets used the strain of swinging the club, but I still have to be careful not to overdo things so as to let it get back to full strength. At least this week there are two days where I am only hitting half the shots!
We have both played the TPC Louisiana course before. It is a very good layout with plenty of birdie holes and a number of holes that you are happy to make par on. There is quite a bit of water that comes into play which can ruin a scorecard. If you can get through these tough holes then you have a good chance to shoot a score. The likes of the par three holes 9th and 17th are a good examples of holes where you are happy to make par and move on to the next hole.
I’m looking forward to getting started as it feels like I am just beginning my season and also as it will be fun playing with Shane. We are playing 1.10pm (7.10pm Irish time) on Thursday in the fourballs and then 9.15am (3.15pm Irish time) in the foursomes on Friday.
Catch up with Padraig’s busy playing schedule as well as finding out what he’s doing off the course, from his role as the R&A’s Working for Golf Ambassador, to the work he does raising awareness for the Special Olympics and as Ireland’s Golf Ambassador.