A much better day of 1 under 69 for G-Mac with birdies on the Hole 4 and 17, the one blemish was a bogey on the 11th. This wasn’t enough to make the weekend but when the consistency returns Graeme hopefully will be back well up the leaderboard.
Graeme had a horror day on the par-threes at PGA National as he started the Honda Classic with a round to forget in Palm Beach Gardens in Florida.
The Rathmore man recorded a quadruple-bogey, a double-bogey and two bogeys to finish a combined seven-over-par on the four shortest holes on his way to a nine-over-par round overall that leaves him needing to do some work to make the weekend.
Graeme had started well, birdieing his opening hole, the 10th, and the 12th either side of a bogey at 11, but the quadruple-bogey came at the 15th and then the double followed on 17.
Although the World No.117 birdied the par-five 18th, that was to be his last of the day as he dropped four shots after the turn to end well off the pace and needing a big day to avoid a fifth missed cut in six events this year.
Graeme was going well after 6 holes with a birdie on the 2nd but a bad run of bogies from holes 7 to 10 knocked him back. He dug in with birdies on 4 and 16, finishing +2 for the day but this wasn’t enough to progress to the weekend.
Talking to the Irish Examiner Graeme said.
“I’m just satisfied that to me this week feels like the beginning,” he said. “It feels like the end of something and it feels like the beginning of something, I don’t know what it is. It’s been a really weird kind of nine or 10 months for me since we came back in June.
“I left off with some momentum and I’ve come back out and I’ve had no momentum and somehow I feel like it’s the crowds and some familiar surroundings, Bay Hill last week and here this week and the familiarity to me. It’s like I feel like we’re at the end.
“Obviously it’s not the end globally for this thing, but like from a golf point of view, I feel like some kind of some kind of familiarity coming back, which I need.
“My swing’s starting to turn a corner a little bit and I needed to kind of draw a line in the sand and try and get myself back to where I was this time last year. So coming back here I think going to Bay Hill last week with the good memories of normal life last year, coming here, the first round, good memories of some sort of normal life and I hope I can sort of channel some of that and start playing the golf I know I’m capable of again.”
First round score of 1 over par 73 puts Graeme in the top half of the field after day 1.
Graeme get’s his 1st round off at 7:07am local time with CT Pan and Matt Kuchar.
Graeme missed the cut but played a much better 2nd round ending the day with a 2 under par 70. If he could have matched his first day with a similar score Graeme would have been well in the hunt so will take some positives away from Bay Hill.
A disappointing opening day firing a 79, after which Graeme said “Not what we were looking for today, but we will soldier on.”
This week Graeme is at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
Final round of 2 under today at the Saudi International which included 5 birdies and a bump up the leaderboard. Always get up and keep moving forward…..It may be slow but it’s still progress…
Graeme goes into the weekend after 2 level par rounds of 70. With an eye on the cut line GMac birdied 18 at the end of his second round keeping his tournament alive.
Graeme is looking to kickstart his season this week with the defence of his Saudi International title.
“When you come to a place with good memories, it’s easy to visualise yourself being successful around a place when you’ve played well,”
“I’ve hit a lot of balls the last couple months. I’m moving back in the right direction.”
“I think one of the big things missing for me right now is that little bit of confidence and belief in my ability to make enough birdies to score well to compete.
“So I’d love to try and find something this week. It’s been a disappointing Middle East so far. Missed by a few last week in Dubai. Would dearly love to play well this week and get my season kicked off.”
“I’m excited. I think I can have a good year. I feel motivated and I feel healthy and like I say, that Ryder Cup carrot is out there dangling.”
“This time last year when I was sitting here, it felt a long, distant kind of dream. I feel like when I won here last year, it became very achievable for me.”
Watch Graeme’s shot breakdown from the Par 3, 16th Hole playing along the Red Sea at Royal Greens G&CC.
Graeme missed the cut by five shots at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after a one-over 73 in his second round saw him finish five-over.
4 over Par 76 on Day 1 for GMac – Days like today can make you, break you and/or harden your determination. They certainly humble you, but this is a marathon and not a sprint. Back to the grind tomorrow.
Graeme gets under way for his 1st round at the Emirates Golf Club for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic with Shane Lowry and Danny Willett at 12:10pm local time.
Graeme misses the cut by 1 shot at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
DAY 2 Lots of positives from the last couple of days but may come up one shot short of weekend golf. Will have to wait until completion of play in the morning. Would love some more reps and continue building into the season.
DAY 1 Had some good swings today in round 1 that I didn’t convert on the greens. Only 10 holes completed after morning start delayed due to fog. 26 holes ahead tomorrow and looking forward to getting back at it.
Graeme tees it up for his opening round on Thursday 21 Jan at 12:15 local time with Thomas Pieters and Rasmus Højgaard.