After missing the cut last week I came up to Pebble Beach on Sunday and did some practice before watching the New Orleans Saints win the Super Bowl. Between myself and a friend from Titleist Performance Institute we figured out that I wasn’t quite getting onto my right side and that this was causing me to hit some of my shots to the right. When I hit shots working on this it felt much better and as if I had a lot more power.
The most disappointing thing about missing the cut last week was the fact that I didn’t get the chance to play two more rounds of tournament golf.
This week I am playing in the AT&T National pro-am, which I think is my fourth year playing in the tournament now. I am playing with J.P. McManus again - he’s great to play with and possibly more competitive than I am. I look forward to playing here every year, but every time I get here I wish I was more prepared in terms of being "match fit". The format of the tournament is one that I really enjoy and the courses are ones that I really like; I just wish that it came a month or so later in the calendar.
This year we have a new course added to the rotation, Monterey Peninsula Country Club, which has replaced Poppy Hills. Poppy Hills is an enjoyable course to play but it is definitely a little bit funky; it has five par fives and as a result it tended to throw up some very good scoring. On top of this it tended to be very wet which made for a messy time. So this year it has been replaced by MPCC; there are two courses at MPCC and we are playing the Shore Course.
I have played each of the courses in practice this week; normally I wouldn’t play three rounds in practice but because it is so early in the season I find that being on the course is the best practice for me. It gets me away from the range and working on my swing. The courses are quite wet as they have had a lot of rain over the past three weeks. Thankfully there hasn’t been too much rain so far this week and the forecast for the rest of the week is reasonably good, although I expect that we will be placing for the week.
This tournament is always a great week as there is so much going on; I think the hardest thing about this event for a lot of the pros is the fact that we are not really the main attraction, although that is nice for a week. There are so many celebrities that play in this tournament that they tend to get the majority of the air time. We all get to do a bit of star gazing this week.
The courses that we play this week are great courses and ones that I really enjoy. I always feel coming here that the courses suit me but I never really feel fully prepared as it comes so early in the season for me. If the tournament was held a few weeks later I would feel a lot more confident about my chances but being so early I am always unsure what to expect. There is no doubt that playing with J.P. helps me a lot as it takes my mind off my own game. I tend to focus a lot on the team event and as a result my own game looks after itself. After missing the cut last week I am really looking forward to getting started this week, as the more competitive rounds that I play the quicker I get rid of the rustiness in my game.
I have spent a bit of time trying to sort out the bad shots I was hitting last week; they were weak and leaking right. I still don’t feel that I have sorted it out fully but I have made some progress. Even though I wasn’t happy with how I hit it last week I know that if my short game and head were in better shape then I would have comfortably made the cut. The most important thing for me to perform well is that I get my routines and mental approach right, then it really doesn’t matter too much how I hit it.
As far as this week goes I am not quite sure what to expect but as always I am looking to get myself into contention on Sunday and that way I will really find out how my winter work went and also how my mental side is coming on. I’m looking forward to the week and will be trying hard for the team and myself.