Despite finishing in a tie for 19th I was a bit disappointed with my performance at Loch Lomond. I headed for Carnoustie knowing that I needed to do some work to improve my putting and that was my focus in practice. In terms of an overall goal for The Open, I really wanted to put in a solid performance to edge my way into the top 50 in the world rankings. Being amongst the top 50 is important because it would have made me eligible to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at the start of August, just a week before I tee it up at the USPGA.
I was really pleased when I found out who I was drawn to play with on Thursday and Friday. Competing alongside John Daly and Robert Allenby, I knew we’d have a big crowd following us, which is always exciting. Whilst I had played with Daly before, I’d never played with Allenby so I was really looking forward to it.
The course at Carnoustie is one of my favourites. The last time I played it was in the Dunhill Links Championship last year and in my opinion it’s one of the fairest links courses out there. It’s also in great condition which is obviously very important. In ’99 there were a lot of players that didn’t like the way the course was set up but this time I thought the width of the fairways was just right and whilst you needed a bit of luck to get a lie in the patchy rough, all in all I thought it was a great test of golf.
At the start of the week I put the new Taylor Made Burner driver in my bag for the first time. In practice I loved the way it played it felt really solid through the ball and I was hitting it straight so I was confident about adding it to my line-up of clubs for The Open.
In the end, however, it was a really frustrating week. Shooting two rounds of 76 and 75, I was very disappointed to miss the cut by four shots. Looking forward, my plan now is to head to Germany to compete in the Deutsche Bank and then after that I’ll take the week off to rest up and prepare myself for the USPGA.