Any time you miss a cut in a major, you’re obviously very disappointed. To be honest with you, it’s never sat well with me and it never will.
Augusta National was as magical as it always is and the golf course was in incredible shape. It was very tough, though. Probably the toughest first day set-up I can remember in a while. It was almost like we had some Sunday pins out there. On Friday the conditions were a little more conducive to scoring, but the wind made it extremely tricky still. Actually, Phil, Justin and me were all saying on the way round how tough we thought the course was playing and between us we’ve been round this place plenty enough times to know.
Overall I didn’t play great, but then again I didn’t play badly either. Augusta National is that kind of golf course – you don’t need to do much wrong to have some trouble out there. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how fine the line is between having a chance to try to win this thing and missing the cut. Sadly for me and for a lot of other guys who went in there with high hopes, it was the latter.
We move on, though. This week to Hilton Head for the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing. Not only am I proud to represent both of these fine companies, it’s always a pleasure to be here as this is one of the great venues in golf and the tournament has a wonderful history. In actual fact, the tournament started the month after I was born! Arnold Palmer won it that year.
My view is that the main reason so many players have enjoyed this place so much over the years, me included, is it’s a proper shot-maker’s golf course. You really need to work your golf ball to score well and, when you miss one of those small greens, you need a deft touch to give yourself a chance of getting up and down. That’s always been a strong part of my game, which is one of the reasons my record in this tournament is pretty strong, with seven top-10s from 14 starts. Also, the best part of my game at Augusta was my putting, so that's a nice vibe to take into this week as I search for my first win here.
Royal Bank of Canada became sponsor here in 2012 and since I became one of their golfing ambassadors I’ve got to know the guys pretty well. They do a fantastic job in golf and in recent years they have also shown great commitment in their support of Els for Autism, which we really appreciate. This week the organizers have again teamed up with our team at Els for Autism on a number of initiatives to raise awareness of autism and raise funds for The Els Center of Excellence.
Friday is the tournament’s designated Autism Awareness Day and players, fans and media are being encouraged to wear blue in order to indicate their support for those affected by autism spectrum disorders. Last year Liezl and I were touched by how many people had made the effort to jump on board and we have faith that there will be a similar response this time. I’ve turned my traditional lion headcover blue and, in fact, you can now buy one of these.
Also, staying with the RBC theme, this week sees the launch of an exciting new charitable initiative involving Team RBC golfers, which I’m very proud to be a part of. Called #RBCGolf4Kids it’s a way for us players and you golf fans out there to engage in a fun, online challenge using social media to help raise funds for children’s charities around the world – my designated charity being the Els for Autism Foundation.
The official launch is tomorrow, so I don’t want to say too much right now. Needless to say I’ll be tweeting all about it on Tuesday @TheBig_Easy and we’ll have a story on my website.