Cool hand Luke
Posted: 31st May 2012
My last couple of starts – the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and the US Open qualifier at Walton Heath – have been very bittersweet.
Bitter, because I could have easily done much better than finishing tied 28th in the BMW PGA and the second alternate spot that I managed at the qualifier. Sweet, because it convinced me once again that I am very close to playing my best golf once again.
I was extremely disappointed with my final round in Wentworth. I thought I did very well under difficult conditions on the first three days, but on the final day, when the course was playing at its easiest, I returned a card of 74 to drop down the leaderboard. There were a couple of unfortunate bogeys from the deep fairway bunkers of Wentworth, but I should have at least shot a 71, or par 72 at the worst.
And in Walton Heath, I was three-over after my opening four holes, and I fought tooth and nail from there on to get myself back in contention. I finished my morning round at one-under par, and a four-under in the afternoon left me just one shot away from qualification. I had birdie opportunities on each and every of my last five holes and I did not take it.
No praise is high enough for Luke Donald for the way he defended his BMW PGA Championship title and grabbed the world No1 crown yet again. Wentworth was undeniably a tough golf course, playing even tougher due to the conditions.
It was his round on Saturday that really stood out. With wind howling in excess of 30mph, and the greens firming up considerably, I thought 69 was outstanding. And I thought the key was that he did not miss any putt from inside 10 feet, made a few from 20-25 feet and greenside bunker play is absolutely solid.
After watching Donald win, I am now convinced I will have to work double hard on my short game. I need to become sharper from 100 yards in, and I need to make more putts from the 10 feet range. That definitely is the way forward.
The former European Tour golfer and ISM founder looks into the world of golf, life on the world's fairways and the fortunes of his stable.
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