Life is a lot easier when you play badly and then all of a sudden you get in contention and win one. No one gets on your back. When you finish runner-up seven times, everyone is asking, 'Why aren't you winning?' It's much more fun when you jump into a win out of the blue. It's a much tougher game when you play consistently well.

Smurfit European Open

Entry Date:
Jul 9, 2007

Another tour event in Ireland and more bad weather! This time the tournament really took a battering; we had lift and clean on the fairways and the eighteenth was reduced from a par five to a par three for the week. It seems that we are cursed with bad weather for golf events here in Ireland. It is such a pity as we have two great tournaments in Ireland every year.


I would like to say that it was the weather that affected my play this week but unfortunately not. It was pretty much all my doing. After a week of practice coming into the European Open I was all over the place on the course. It seems to be the norm for me after working on my game for a few days. I got out on the course and struggled to forget about what I was working on and get myself to worry about trying to score. When I was standing over the ball I found myself thinking about my swing and even when I stepped off and went through my routine again it still wasn’t good. All week I struggled with this side of my game. My swing was definitely technically better than it had been the previous few weeks, but mentally I was worse. The problem that I have is that I struggle to move from one to the other. When I am practicing I get really into it and then it takes me a week or so to get it out of my system and get back to tournament mode. This is the reason that I very rarely play well after I have had a week or more off. In general my best performances come in my third week of play. Historically it has been the case; the reason for this is that I am fully out of practice mode after a couple weeks of tournament play. This therefore is the main reason for me playing a couple of tournaments before a major.

I finished tied fifty-one this week; it was a disappointing week as regards my finish as it is a tournament that I would really like to win, especially now that I have won the Irish Open. However I have never really performed well on the Smurfit course. I find it a very difficult course to play whereas a lot of other players find it an easy course to score on. This year was no different for me, I didn’t think that I played that badly but yet I only finished on level par. In the first two rounds I holed a lot of putts and I was only one under, but it wasn’t as if I was missing putts. It’s a course that I struggle on, I like it but I seem to find the trouble on it every year. I never got myself into a position where I felt that I was in the with a chance in the tournament. I would definitely say that I got the worst of the draw; I was out late on Thursday and then early on Friday. Anyone that was in the same side of the draw as me certainly got the worst of the weather, but it’s not an excuse as I know that it evens itself out over the course of the year. In fact at the Irish Open I got the best of the weather so I can’t complain. I also had to change my driver as the shaft on my driver began to splinter, which was a little off putting; even though I got another one made up exactly the same I just wasn’t confident with it. You get used to one driver and it can be hard to find a replacement, so in the end I went back to a regular length 45 inch driver. I had been trying to get myself to switch back for the Open and so it worked out well in the end. The shorter driver tends to flight the ball a little lower for me which is something that I needed for the Open. Every cloud has a silver lining!

All in all it was a disappointing week as regards my performance; not a surprise really as I had practiced a lot coming into the tournament. It was timely reminder that I need to spend a bit more time practicing my routines and mental game. I need to get myself to commit to the shot before I step over it and certainly not to be making my mind up as to the shot that I am going to hit when I am standing over the ball ready to go. These are all things that I do when I am coming off a week of practice. The positive things that came from the week were that I managed to get a shorter driver in play before The Open and also that my wedge play improved, although it wasn’t hard to improve on my pitching over the last few weeks. I am happy with the technical work that I did before this week, now I have to work on my mental game and routines for the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for dropping by!