October 4, 2002
ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND
I played very good yesterday and today, holed a few putts and got the ball on the fairway. Played very, very good. I think Kingsbarns today was a little more windy than yesterday and a bit more difficult than Carnoustie so pleased with that. St Andrews is my favourite golf course and I canﾃつｹt wait for tomorrow. Both Sandy and I played very well today. My game is very good and I am very confident. Iﾃつｹve played St Andrews many many times. Itﾃつｹs the best course in Europe.
I know my partner very well, he has played in Argentina many times and I really enjoyed today and with two more days to go you never know.
My game is fantastic at the moment. I am very relaxed and very happy. I am really enjoying being in Scotland, love being here in this country. The courses are very similar to my own country.
St Andrews is history. When I go to St Andrews my concentration just goes up and up and up because I love playing there. It is my favourite golf course. Kingsbarns is also fantastic. Very nice golf course. Next two days just try and do exactly the same and enjoy it. Just concentrate.
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I can't remember all the birdies out there but I did have two bogeys and one of those on the short par five third hole. That was a bad one. Hit a drive up the left side and I was sure it would come down the bank and on to the fairway but it stayed up there. But bit the bullet and played a nine iron back down the fairway. I was about 115 yards from the pin and hit a hard sand wedge in the cross wind. It got up a bit and broke right, caught the very edge of the bunker and shot across it up against the bank lip in someone's great divot mark that hadn't been raked. I was virtually plugged. I proceeded to thin it across the green and had no chance of getting close, knocked it 20 feet past and holed the putt for a six. That was all because of the bunker. That was the turning point right there. I was happy to get away with a six in the end. The tee shot didn't set the hole up but until then I had been going great. Slight error with my third shot as I should have gone with a pitching wedge but got a double whammy of hitting the lip of the bunker and ending up in a divot. I would like to know who done it.
The first nine or ten holes went very well. I made the putts and hit some quality shots and then the back nine was a little scrappy. But the third hole ruined everything.
If I can keep this standard going I would hope to get in the low 60s the next two days, probably have to if I am going to win it. Couple of 68s would be very nice.
The season has been a bit mixed. Very high on the frustration levels. Been some good golf and some very poor putting which hasn't helped. The wedge play has been pretty sad but that has turned around. I am using a different golf ball from Callaway now with more spin and that has helped my distance control with my irons. That has helped an awful lot as you can see the distance and the ball reacts to it. That has been a turning point getting the distance control.
I've been in Florida and San Antonia Texas the last two weeks and they are in the 90s so this is a big temperature change. I only arrived here on Tuesday morning from America and if someone had said eight under after two rounds I would have grabbed it with both hands and said thank you very much.
I know St Andrews very well and if this weather continues you can look forward to some low scores. I've played it from the early days at Boys level. You think you know every blade and then a bunker pops up.
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I am playing solid golf, nothing spectacular and not making too many mistakes. We had a really good time today and it was good fun with Gary and Alan and Monty on good form. We had a lot of fun out there. They are good players and we can just worry about our own games which is nice. Itﾃつｹs important to come into this tournament and make a good start and get some good numbers up early on. It is difficult after last week. Me and Padraig got good rounds the first two rounds and suddenly you are more into it. The first couple of days were hard because you felt you had done all your work last week and it is difficult on the guys if you donﾃつｹt get that good start. We have the weekend at St Andrews now and that is my favourite.
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Disappointing finish to bogey the last but overall not too bad. Still got two rounds to go and only five shots off the lead. Iﾃつｹm looking forward to playing at St Andrews now. Hope to hit the ball a bit better but I am putting well and looking forward to the next two days.
Volvo Order of Merit?
Ernie shot six under today so there is only one shot in it but a long way to go.
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