What a great week it was! We finished in a tie for 13th, nine shots behind the play-off, but that was irrelevant. This week was all about having fun with Paddy and making sure that he enjoyed it, which I can definitely say we achieved.
Paddy doesn’t play much golf during the year so to go there and play in front of a big crowd on live television is a big deal for him. The few days practice were well worth it and by the time the tournament started he was flying. He hit some great shots and holed nearly all of our birdie putts. On Saturday he actually holed all eight of our birdie putts; the only putts I holed were tap-ins for par. On Sunday I managed to hole a couple, but again it was mainly Paddy making the birdies for our team. It was great to see him get more and more confident as the week went on and I actually think he may have got a bit of the golfing bug by the end of the week. I have to say that watching him play and how he interacted with the other competitors made me very proud.
My play was only average. I put the ball in position off the tee but wasn’t able to take advantage with my scoring clubs. We shot 15 under for the two days but we left a lot of shots behind us. In the first round alone we could have been at least three shots better. On Sunday I hit my wedges closer but again we should have been two or three shots lower. I have been working on a few things in my game since I finished in Sun City so it was good to get to test them last week. I was happy with some of it, whilst some needs more work.
Overall I would have liked to have played better; not for me but for Paddy. I would have to say I felt under pressure to perform as I wanted to do well for him and having spoken to the other pro’s playing, they all had the same feeling. Going into my winter break, there were a lot of good signs to take from the week in terms of the work I have done already. However, more importantly, we had a great time and are already looking forward to next year!
Padraig plays this week with his son Paddy in the PNC Father Son Challenge in Orlando, Florida.
Padraig and Paddy shot two very respectable scores of 64 and 65 in the team event to finish in a tie for 13th place. Team Langer with a twenty four under par total won the event in a three way play-off.
Tee times: Thursday 9.10am with Paddy Harrington, Shaun and Mark O’Meara.
This week it’s the PNC Father Son Challenge. Paddy and I played it for the first time in 2017 but missed last year as it was his Junior Cert year. We had a great time two years ago and have been looking forward to coming back.
It’s great to be able to play a tournament with Paddy. My normal tournament week is all about getting myself ready to play on Thursday and giving me a chance to be involved in the business end by Sunday. This week is really nothing about me as I’m more stressed and worried about how Paddy is going to play and getting him ready. Like all parents I just want Paddy to enjoy the week and not get stressed and all the pros here are feeling pretty much the same as myself. It’s definitely a lot easier to only have to worry about your own performance and stress levels!
We have played 27 holes in practice as well as two pro-ams which is more golf than Paddy plays in six months, but as the week has gone on he has got more and more into it and we actually won the pro-am on Friday.
I watched him hit a few shots on Friday and I have to say I get more of a kick out of him hitting a good shot than myself. His game has improved nicely over the course of the week, so much so that he is now trying to do more with the ball; hitting it high, low, draws and fades and gets frustrated when it doesn’t come off.
The course hasn’t changed since we were here two years ago. It’s a fun course to play, in good condition and set up for birdies. They are generous with the tee boxes and the pins as they want to see birdies. If you drive the ball well then you end up hitting a lot of wedge shots. We play a scramble format which is great as it means that there is no pressure on the amateurs as the pros are there to back them up. Only problem is that there’s more pressure then normal on us pros this week as we don’t want to let our sons down!
The whole idea of the week is to have fun and I have to say we are doing so. It’s been great getting to play golf with Paddy as it’s not something that we normally get to do. The functions have been very enjoyable as everyone is relaxed and mixing. On Friday night we had dinner with Gary Player and his grandsons. When you look around at the players that are here this week you get goose bumps! Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Gary Player – it’s not often you get to compete against these guys.
We are all prepared and ready to go. Paddy seems to be completely at ease and free of nerves. I’m feeling the same as him in regards to my own game, but I’m am definitely feeling stress for him. This year Caroline is caddying for Paddy which will add to the enjoyment.
We are playing at 9.12am on Saturday morning with Retief and Leo Goosen. While we are here to enjoy ourselves, we are also here to compete and would both like nothing more than to have a chance of winning come Sunday afternoon.