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Padraig shoots level par in his second round but misses the cut after his poor opening round. He mixed two birdies with two bogies on the day but needed a low score as the cut fell at one under par. The event will bring him on as he has played little golf of note on course lately!
Padraig got off to a frustrating start to his season with a four over par round of 76. Starting on the back nine, he opened up with a birdie four but gave that shot back at the 13th hole. He again picked up a shot at the par five 18th, to turn in one under par. Pars followed at the next four holes before a disasterous finish where he dropped five shots in the last five holes! He will be eager to make amends Friday and tees off at 12.25pm local time!
Padraig starts his 2020 season this week on the European Tour in the first of the Rolex series of events, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA. Your defending champion this week is fellow Irishman, Shane Lowry
Tee times; Padraig plays at 8am Thursday and 12.25pm Friday with Francesco Laporta and Rasmus Hojgaard.
It is the start of my season and I am in Abu Dhabi for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. My last tournament was the Father and Son at the start December and since then I’ve only played nine holes twice with Paddy. I have hit a lot of balls but nearly all of them have been indoors, as I rarely braved the cold weather outside.
It’s been quite a while since I was last here – to the best of my knowledge it was 2013. For the last while I have started my year in the States, but last year I decided that I would come back here and start my season off in Abu Dhabi. However as a result of my wrist break I missed out on coming in 2019, but this Christmas I was very careful coming down the stairs as I didn’t want to miss another Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship……
I traveled out a few days early to get some work done before the tournament week. However the weather wasn’t cooperating and the weekend was wet and chilly. On Friday night a storm came through and effectively shut down everywhere on Saturday as they are not used to getting heavy rainfall. Luckily there are indoor academies at the courses here and I spent the weekend at Pete Cowan’s in Jumeriah Golf Estates. Pete was out early as well so we did a bit of work. I showed him what I had been working on and then we got stuck into it. It was great to get his opinion on it and thoughts as to what I need to do to get it right. The only downside to this was that I never got out on a golf course. I hit balls with him but never played; pretty much what I had done for the last month! Luckily Pete liked what we were doing and what I was working on at home, but it hasn’t been great preparation for a tournament.
My practice days here have been a mixture of some technical practice and playing the course. I played 9 holes on Monday, 9 on Tuesday with Shane and Ollie Fisher and then the pro-am today. On Monday it was a bit weird to be on the course as I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing after all the balls I’ve hit in the last month. It got better over the few days but I am still a little unsure as to what will come out in the first round. I have driven the ball well but hit my irons poorish, they seem to have a little pull in them. After the pro-am I hit some balls to try and get rid of the pull, but I didn’t hit too many as I was conscious of the fact that the tournament starts tomorrow.
I would have to say I don’t feel quite ready or prepared for the first round, however I am not sure that I have ever felt any different in my first week out of the year. I’m a little nervous as to how I will play in the morning but then I think most of the field feel the same, as it’s is also the majority of players’ first week of the year. I’m waiting to see how it goes tomorrow and then I will assess where my game is at and what needs work.
I’m playing early tomorrow at 8 am (4 am Irish Time) with Rasmus Hojgaard and Francesco Laporta. I’m nervous and excited about getting my season going and I have to say it feels great.
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.