My trip to Hartford for the Travelers Championship didn’t turn out how I had planned as I missed the cut after rounds of 68 and 72. Like any week when you miss the cut, it was extremely disappointing but last week was a little more so as I like the course and always feel that it is a place where I can do well. However it wasn’t to be this year.
I was very happy to shoot 2 under par on Thursday, especially after how I have played for the last few weeks. I hit a lot of greens in my first round but I never really got the ball close to the hole. Even though I was hitting greens I wasn’t hitting my irons well enough to take on flags. If someone had asked me what I thought I was going to shoot when I was warming up I certainly wouldn’t have said under par. I was struggling big time to put a good strike on anything, so to shoot 68 was great.
Going out on Friday I figured that the cut was going to be 2 under par and so I needed at least level par on the day. I got to a poor start, hitting a terrible iron shot to the 10th my first hole – I pulled it left and ended up making a great bogey, having hit one of my best ever chip shots just to get the ball on the green. I came right back with a birdie on the 11th and then another one on the 13th. However after that my game got a bit ropey and I was struggling with my irons again, pulling a lot of them and finding it hard to get my distance right as the strike wasn’t great. An example of this was my 9 iron tee shot to 16. I caught it fat and hit it in the water 25 yards short of the flag which cost me a bogey. I was hanging on at 2 under and gave myself a great chance on my 11th to get to 3 under par but missed a 3 footer for birdie, which would have given me a bit of breathing space. I dropped a shot on my 13th and then got it back on my 15th to be back on the cut mark, only then to drop shots on my 16th and 17th holes to miss the cut.
It was very annoying to miss the cut the way I did, especially having battled all day to stay on the mark and then to give it away at the end.
I stayed around for the weekend as George Gankas was there and I wanted to do some work with him. I spent a couple of hours on the range with him on Saturday and then about half an hour on Sunday. By the end of the session on Saturday I was beginning to put a good strong strike on my irons again. After a few weeks of not striking them well it was nice to feel it coming back. I put in long sessions on the range on Saturday and Sunday working on it and by the end I was happy with what I was doing. The funny thing is that quite a bit of it is similar to stuff I worked on for years with Bob Torrance.
I’ll be doing some more work on it over the next week so as to be ready for the Irish Open.
Padraig is back on the USPGA tour for this weeks tournament, the Travelers Championship. It is being played at TPC River Highlands and is a par 70. It pays to be straight off the tee but the course does give up some low scores. The defending champion, Bubba Watson, recorded two rounds of 63 on his way to winning last year. The field is again strong this week even after a Major championship, with a number of top ten players and the world number one, Brooks Koepka.
Padraig tees off in the opening round at 8.05am local time with Sangmoon Bae and Tom Hoge.
Padraig opened his account at TPC River Highland with a two-under-par round of 68. He recorded three birdies and just one bogey on the par five 6th hole where he found trouble off the tee. he holed a couple of nice length putts and a short putt to record his birdies.
Padraig shoots a second round of 72 which sees his level par total miss the cut at the Travelers Championship. He made too many bogies on the day, five in all with some poor iron shots to blame and a couple of three putts. He did manage to birdie three holes but it was not enough to offset so many bogies. He has an important run of tournaments coming up at home with the Irish Open at Lahinch and the Open Championship at Royal Portrush.