Irish golfer Padraig Harrington is caught up in a European Tour controversy

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My PGA Tour season has come to an end; it didn’t finish quite as I would have liked as I didn’t win an event and I dropped a place in the final Fed Ex cup placings. I came here to the Tour Championship needing to win it to have any chance of claiming the Fed Ex cup; in the end I finished in a tie for fourth, five shots behind Phil. I gave myself a chance by opening up with a good round on Thursday but I just wasn’t able to get enough going in the other rounds to push on. I wouldn’t have needed much to happen for me to have been more in the mix on Sunday afternoon but in the end it wasn’t my week. I finished off with another top ten, my sixth in a row which is at least some consolation considering the first six months of my season.

I finished on four under for the week after shooting rounds of 67, 69, 71 and 69 - it was solid scoring but it lacked the necessary fire works to win the tournament. After finishing I was looking at the scores I shot and thinking to myself that they were good scores particularly as this is a tough course. The thing that stood out for me was the fact that I never really felt comfortable, I really didn’t feel like I played well - It felt like hard work all week! I was talking to some journalist after my round and one of them asked me if I felt that I had lost it on the par fives as I only played them in level par. I had to explain to him that I didn’t think about it like that but if I was asked to say where I lost it, it was actually down to the fact that I didn’t chip well, didn’t hit my bunker shots well and I felt that I didn’t putt well and top of this I wasn’t comfortable with my long game, he was amazed! It is hard to explain to people what it is like when you are not feeling comfortable with your game as it just feels like hard work. Every round is a big effort and you feel mentally drained afterwards; even though from the outside my game looked fine it was a struggle for me. I found a way of getting it on the fairway and getting it in the hole but to me it wasn’t pretty. That said I am still walking away from the week disappointed as I bogeyed my last hole; it always leaves a bitter taste in your mouth when you bogey your last hole.

There is no doubt that I would love to be writing this and telling you about my great win in East Lake and how I won the Fed Ex cup but not this year. The thing that sticks out for me is that as bad as I felt playing here this week I still managed to get myself into contention whereas in the first six months of my season I had lots of days like this and I wasn’t able to get around the course in any sort of reasonable score. It is amazing what a clear mind will do for you.

I could definitely have finished better this week but then I also know that I could have finished worse. I never really holed anything of note, and to win tournaments you have to hole putts. Its not that I was missing putts I just wasn’t holing enough of the 15 to 25 footers which on this course were key as the greens were so firm it was hard to get the ball much closer. As much as it didn’t feel comfortable and there were areas of my game that I thought were poor it was ultimately the fact that I didn’t hole enough putts that cost me. Even down to my last hole, if I had holed my putt for par I would probably have finished fifth in the Fed Ex cup rather than seventh. Although my finishing position in the Fed Ex is not solely down to this week, I had my chances in the previous three playoff events to get myself further up the rankings and I couldn’t do it. That said, to finish where I did in the rankings after my first half of the year is pretty decent. 

I am obviously disappointed to have bogeyed my last hole but overall I am happy to have finished fourth here this week considering how I was feeling. I have a few things to work on before next Thursday but I will also take away a lot of positives from the week. As I was leaving on Sunday a lot of the players were talking about how they are winding down for the season now and looking forward to a break. Gladly not for me as I have six more events left to look forward too before my season is over.

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