The first leg of the play-offs is complete, the points are re-ranked and we head to Tour Championship with everything to play for. The BMW was the last chance to move up the leaderboard before the final event and it was also the last chance for 30 guys to get into the Tour Championship.
I was already assured a place in the final event coming into this one, but I was chasing a spot in the top five on the rankings. If you are in the top five going into the final event then your destiny is in your own hands; anything outside of that means that you need results to go for you if you are to win the FedEx Cup.
Coming into this week I was quite tired after the last couple of weeks; being in contention in tournaments drains you much more than when you are finishing middle of the pack. If it wasn't the Playoffs I would probably not have played last week, but it was important to try and improve my position and at worst not to lose my current position.
I came into the week happy with my game and knowing that I still needed a very good week to break into the top five. The fact that I needed to have a good week kept me going as it would have been easy for me to turn up and have a reasonable week and never get myself into contention.
My scores for the week definitely flattered me. From the first day I found it a struggle but I managed to keep myself in the tournament by chipping and putting well. I opened up with a three under par 68, which was a great achievement considering some of the shots that I hit.
The most impressive thing about it though was the fact that I managed to keep a bogey off my card. I holed some good putts for par and hit some very good chip shots which were really enjoyable. I had hoped that I would do better on Friday but unfortunately not; I was probably a little worse. I hit some terrible drives and should have been out of bounds on the eleventh, but was out of bounds on the eighteenth.
However, like the first round I kept myself in the mix with my short game. I managed to make four birdies and no bogeys in the first 17 holes to get me to seven under par for the tournament. But then another bad drive finally caught up with me on the last; I blocked it out of bounds right but I managed to make a birdie with my second ball to save a bogey. It is rare that you walk off a hole thinking how good a bogey that was but this was the case. I actually walked off the course thinking to myself that I had actually got away with murder as I felt terrible on the course and hit some awful shots but yet I shot another three under par, to be on six under for the tournament and in the second last group on Saturday.
The weekend was no different in terms of how I felt on the course; I struggled with my focus and routines which is a sign that I was tired. Saturday started very well; I made three birdies in a row from the second to get me to nine under but then it went downhill.
From the fifth tee I began to struggle; it was like I was dehydrated but I knew that I wasn't. I just wasn't able to settle myself no matter how much I tried. I dropped shots at the sixth and seventh and then the tenth and twelfth, with a birdie on the eleventh. After the twelfth I got myself back to normal and managed to make a couple of birdies coming in to end up shooting two under for the day. I came off the course feeling good about myself for shooting two under as I knew that I could have shot anything.
I hit a few shots after the round to try and sort out what was wrong. It felt better on the range once I thought about holding my finish. I then spent Saturday evening in Solider Field, the home of the Chicago Bears, for the opening concert of U2's American tour. I had seen them in Croke Park a few weeks ago but it was still fantastic to see them again. It was dark when they started so the stage looked amazing and the whole concert was brilliant. It is always great to get away to something like this at a tournament because as I am there as a fan I have nothing to do but enjoy myself.
Sunday was a funny day; it started oddly in that there was a fog delay for the morning starters so they had to rearrange the tee times and my tee time was brought forward an hour, which I had never seen done before. I only found out when I met Phil Mickelson in the gym.
Luckily for me I get up three hours before my tee time so it meant that I had time but it wasn't ideal. I got off to a good start again with a birdie on the first hole but that was where it ended. I played very similar to the first three days but this time I wasn't able to chip and putt as well as I had done. I ended up shooting two over par to finish on six under for the week and thirteen shots behind Tiger in a share of sixth spot. It wasn't good enough for me to move into the top five as both Sean O'Hair and Jim Furyk had good days to pass me and leave me in sixth position overall. I was very happy with my sixth place finish as I had played badly for the week and somehow managed to get the ball around in a decent number.
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