Shell Houston Open, 2nd round play suspended.

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Round 2 of the Shell Houston Open at Redstone G.C. at Humble in Texas has been suspended due to darkness. Play will resume Saturday at 7:30 am. At the top of the leaderboard at the time of suspension was Brian Davis of England and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, who both finished at -11 under par for the tournament. Brian shot -7 under par 65 and Louis a -6 under 66, they lead by one from Jeff Maggert who is alone at -10, but he has yet to finish his second round. There are a host of players at -9 under including Phil Mickleson who had to finish his first round before beginning the second, a long day for him.

Busy Saturday in store

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Brian said in interview;

“It was a good day at the office today. It was tougher this morning because we didn’t have ball in hand to start the round and we had the rain yesterday. This morning was pretty tough. The ball was flying everywhere. Got the ball in hand this afternoon, you know, got a flag to go at. You’ll see some low scores out there this afternoon. It’s going to be a low scoring first couple of rounds.”

Louis was happy with his day’s performance;

“It’s a good spot to be in going into the weekend. I don’t know if it will be leading, probably be close. But yeah, I played nicely. I hit my irons very well today, which was both rounds. Struggled a little bit off the tee. Now and then working on something. So, you know, hopefully I’ve got it spot on next week. But yeah, I’m happy. Putting well, giving myself the opportunities, which is good.”

Phil Mickleson was also a happy man, asked “long day out there, he replied;

“It was. We had great playing conditions in the second round with lift, clean and place. I didn’t really take advantage of the opportunity there to get the mud off. We got two more rounds on the weekend. Looking forward to it. I’m excited about the weekend and excited about next week.”

Masters hopeful Ernie Els has finished his second round at -5 under par for the tournament, and will have to do something special tomorrow if he is to have a chance of winning, and gain an invite to Augusta National.

World number three Lee Westwood is also a -5 under for the tournament, but he also still has to complete his second round.

Shell Houston Open, update on 1st round.

 

 

The Shell Houston Open at Redstone G.C. in Humble Texas finally got the 1st round completed, with Phil Mickelson joining the leaders at the top of the board. Phil shot a -7 under par round of 65 to equal the scores of Carl Pettersson and Angel Cabrera, who had completed their rounds before the abandonment of play due to inclement weather yesterday. Phil had to restart this morning and finish his first round, before going on to contest the second, a long day ahead.

Prime time for scoringHalleran/Getty Images

 

New Zealand PGA Championship in Arrowtown.

Kiwi Mark Brown has the outright lead after day one of the New Zealand PGA Championship in Arrowtown. The mornings play had been delayed by an hour and a half due to fog, but as the weather warmed up so did the 37-year-old’s golf, as he birdied 14, 16, 17 and 18, before sinking an eagle putt at the par five first to rocket up the leaderboard. Mark, who hasn’t played in New Zealand since 2007, or on the PGA Tour of Australasia since he won the Order of Merit in 2008, commented on the early morning cool temperatures;

“Once the jumpers came off and you started to warm up it was magnificent but early on the ball wasn’t going very far through the air so you had to judge that a little bit.”

Talking about losing his European Tour card, Mark thought it may work in his favour;

“I’m actually looking forward to playing less, with a bit more time off to do some fitness stuff. The body’s in pretty bad shape. Obviously losing your card in Europe’s not ideal but I’ve looked at it as a positive. I can spend some time at home and get fit and do some meaningful practise. To play at home in front of your family and friends down here is just a dream and I’ve really missed it. It’s just fantastic to be home.”

Starting today’s tournament were 132 professionals who teed off in the hope of winning the trophy.  The top 60 will make the cut today and progress through the weekend to play for the NZ PGA Championship.

Shell Houston Open 1st round rain delayed @ Redstone G.C. Humble, Texas

The Shell Houston Open 1st round at  Redstone GC Tournament Course · Humble, Texas, was abandoned due to adverse weather conditions, with Angel Cabrera and Carl Pettersson having finished at -7 under par rounds of 65.

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World number three Lee Westwood finished his first round at -4 under par, with a round of 68.

Round one will be completed tomorrow, weather permitting.

 

Masters Facing Male-Only Dilemma

Virginia "Ginni" Rometty, senior vice president and group executive for sales at International Business Machines Corp., at a company event. Photographer: Graham Carlow/IBM via Bloomberg

 Ginni Rometty Graham Carlow/IBM via Bloomberg

As Augusta National Golf Club prepares to host the Masters competition next week, it faces a dilemma over it’s previously very strict rules concerning women. Augusta National Golf Club has not admitted a female member since it’s inception eight decades ago.

Step up the new chief executive officer of IBM,  Ginni Rometty, will she be invited to wear a green jacket ? IBM is one of the three Masters sponsors, and historically Augusta National has invited the incumbent chief executive of IBM to the tournament. Since IBM named Ginni to the post this year, Augusta will have to break with tradition, one way or the other.

IBM  has a hospitality cabin near the 10th hole, where the companies’ male CEOs have been able to don the club’s signature green member blazers while hosting clients. Non-members, who don’t wear the jackets, must be accompanied by a member to visit the course or play a round.

Augusta National, owns and hosts the Masters, it sets its own rules as a private club and has resisted calls for change in the past. Augusta carefully cultivates its image. Running on the course is forbidden,  walking is the order of the day when seeking  a good vantage point during the tournament or a bathroom break. Organizers of the Masters refer to fans as “patrons.”

William Johnson, a past club chairman, ended his 2003 annual gathering by saying the club’s position on women wouldn’t change;

“if I drop dead right now.”

When Billy Payne took over as chairman of Augusta National, he vowed to help shed the club’s “crusty” image, and then publicly criticized the extramarital affairs of four-time Masters winner Tiger Woods.

“Our hero did not live up to the expectations of a role model that we sought for our children.”

Augusta National has faced pressure to change its policy on women before. Martha Burk, then the president of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, led a protest outside the golf course’s gates during the 2003 Masters. Ginni does play golf, so there is no reason to exclude her on those grounds, the world is licking it’s lips, waiting to see what decision Augusta National comes up with.

Patrick Rishe, the Webster University professor, thinks that Augusta may resist the pressure to change again.

“It’s a private club, and I don’t think they’re really concerned about how others perceive them. Their ratings will not rise and fall based on how people view this particular topic. Their ratings will rise and fall if Tiger Woods is at the top of his game, if Tiger and Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy or some combination of them happen to be in the mix on the final day of the tournament.”

We will have just sit back, and wait to see, not long to go now.

Arnold Palmer Hospitalized, after his Invitational Tournament

Arnold Palmer was hospitalized after the MasterCard presented Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament contested at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge, in Orlando Florida.

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Arnold was hospitalized Sunday afternoon because of high blood pressure from a new medication. He unfortunately missed the trophy presentation at his tournament when Tiger Woods won for the first time in 30 months on the PGA Tour.

Alaistair Johnston, vice chairman at IMG and Palmer’s longtime business manager explained that Arnold had been advised to monitor his blood pressure throughout the day because of some issues with the new  medicine he was taking. During one last test about 15 minutes before the tournament showed an increase in Arnold’s blood pressure, Mr Johnston said;

“Nobody is overly concerned about the prognosis. It wasn’t anything to do with any ailments or any discomfort he felt. The blood pressure was at a level where the doctor involved suggested that he go immediately to get more intensive evaluation at the hospital.”

Tiger Woods was upset that “The King” was not available to award him the trophy, he tweeted later; “Get well soon, Arnie,”

A sentiment felt by everyone, everywhere. Second placed Graeme McDowell said;

“I was surprised to see him not around, and when we just heard the news on the side that he had been taken to the hospital, of course we were very upset and certainly praying that everything is going to be OK. That really puts a little bit of a damper on the spirits on 18th green when Tiger is going to pick up his trophy.”

Arnold’s grandson Sam Saunders tweeted later;

“For all concerned my granddad is doing fine and will be good to go tomorrow. Thank you for all of your nice comments and concern.”