Ernie: Seeking good vibes at Memorial

Was looking forward to coming back to Wentworth and playing in the BMW PGA Championship, so I was disappointed with my scores and gutted to miss the cut.


What can I say? The practice sessions are going well and I hit it great in the Pro Am, but I just can’t seem to carry any consistent form on to the golf course at the moment. That’s been the story of my season so far, which is frustrating, but this is golf; it can bang your head against the wall sometimes. I know deep down that my game is in way better shape than my scoring pattern would suggest.


Still, this tournament is a fantastic week for Wentworth and for European golf. For me, it began on Tuesday with the official opening of the Adams ‘Second Shot Fitting Centre’ on the range at the Club. It’s the first facility of its kind anywhere in the world and provides for the club player the exact same custom-fit experience that we Tour players receive. It will allow amateurs to really get dialed-in with their equipment and take advantage of the technology and innovation available in the Adams range of hybrids and fairway metals.


The fact is, everything about Wentworth and this tournament is world class and the support in particular is just incredible. Almost 100,000 people flooded through the gates and even on Pro Am day it looked like we had more people on the golf course than at some other events on the weekends. It’s one of the things that all the players really appreciate about this tournament. And before we move on, I send my congratulations to Rory. We played together in the first two rounds and obviously it was a tricky time for him, but he’s a great kid and you can see his game is in nice shape. At times like that, just getting your head down and playing great golf is the best therapy.


We flew back to Florida at the weekend. We’ve got a few days at home, taking it easy and also celebrating my daughter’s birthday, and then we’re leaving for Ohio to play this week’s Memorial at Muirfield Village. Everyone knows that Jack’s tournament has long been one of my favourite stops on the PGA TOUR. It’s one of the best-conditioned courses we play all year and it’s one of those layouts that definitely fits my eye. It’s also one of those venues where I like to think we could maybe get something going and get myself out of this little slump.


Amazingly it’s 10 years now since I won the Memorial and, outside of the majors, it remains one of the highlights of my career. I also remember when I went back the following year to defend my title I played with Jack the first couple of rounds, which was a great experience. The talk was that it would be probably his last ever PGA TOUR appearance and it was a privilege for me to be a part of it. The atmosphere both days was incredible. The reception he got on every tee and every green was like the last hole of a major championship. You could see how much warmth there was for the guy. Still is. No golfer deserves it more than Jack.


Anyway, the year I won here was also one of the best putting weeks of my life – 100 putts over the four rounds – and obviously I’d love to try to channel those vibes. The greens are always super-smooth and my stroke feels good. I’ve got this new YES! putter, which is similar in style, feel and the sound off the putter-face, as some of the models that I used in the 1990s. It’s so close; it really is, but regaining that final few per cent in terms of feel and confidence when switching from the heavier long putter to the relatively light short putter was never going to be the work of a few weeks or months. We knew it would take time. As I said before, I’ve just got to stay patient and keep working hard on my programme with Sherylle #EyeGym and trust that the putts will start to drop.


That’s it for now. Follow me on Twitter @TheBig_Easy

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