Having missed playing The BMW PGA Championship the last two years at Wentworth it was great to come back and play the event again, especially after the course changes that have been made. I have always struggled at Wentworth and have spent a lot of time sweating on whether or not I was going to make the cut.
I was anxious coming over knowing that there were substantial changes made to the course as I was one of the old greens' biggest critics. I definitely felt a little bit of pressure to perform. I really like the changes; they have transformed the course into a real championship test. There is no doubt that it is a lot tougher now than it was. The green and the bunkering changes have changed the look of the course substantially but as far as I am concerned they are for the better. There was a lot of talk about the last hole and whether it was a good change or not, but again I love it. It gives you everything you want from a finishing hole; there is a chance to score everything from an eagle to a triple bogey.
I came here after missing the cut at the Player's Championship; I was disappointed to have missed the cut there but I wasn't worried about my game as I know that it is moving in the right direction. I missed the cut there mainly due to the fact that I just didn't hole any putts. Coming here I was feeling good about my game and looking forward to playing. I was happy with the way I played all week; I hit a few bad shots here and there but that it always going to be the case.
My first round could have been a lot better but for one bad hole, the seventeenth. I played lovely for sixteen holes and was three under par, but a bad drive on the seventeenth changed my whole round. I blocked my drive into the bushes right, my attempt to hack it out only put me in more trouble and in the end I had to take a penalty drop. I ended up taking a triple bogey which put me back to level par; as disappointing as that was I was more disappointed not to make birdie on the last hole after it.
My second round got me back into the tournament; I played really nice all day and made no bogeys and four birdies. I could have made a few more but I also made a couple for nice saves. This left me only a couple of shots behind and in with a great chance for the weekend. However my weekend didn’t go as planned, I shot rounds of one over and two over to finish on one under for the week and in a tie for sixth. It was definitely a disappointing weekend as I had a good chance to contend for the title from where I was after two rounds.
My third round was really down to a poor putting day; I didn’t miss any short putts but I never holed any putts and as a result I got a little frustrated. I knew that Robert Karlsson had shot nine under in the morning and I was playing with Chris Wood who was shooting four under. He was holing putts and making it look like the course was playing easy. This added to my frustration, however by the end of the day I was still in a tie for fifth but five shots behind the leader.
The final round was really a tough day, it seemed that no matter what I did, it was wrong. One of the toughest things about Wentworth is the fact that the wind swirls around in the trees. I struggled with this for most of the day; it seemed that every time I was standing over a shot the wind was coming from a different direction; as a result I never really felt confident and struggled to commit to shots. The wind seemed to settle down after our twelfth hole. Once I got comfortable with the wind I actually played well; I could have birdied the last four holes and even had a chance for an eagle on the last. In the end I finished on one under par for a share of sixth place. It was a disappointing last round but it was a tough day all round; everyone was struggling out there.
I am happy with how I played, I gave myself plenty of chances all week. I didn't hole as many putts as I would have like but I wouldn’t say that I putted badly. My bunker play was very good for the week; I think I got up and down 10 out of 13 times. All in all it was a good week, there were a lot of good things going on and after playing I have identified a few things that need a bit of work.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore