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The Open. Wire to Wire Win for the Wizard of Hoylake, Rory.

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Rory McIlroy was the wire to wire wizard of The Open at Hoylake, winning the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

Rory McIlroy - 2014 Open Champion  (Getty Images)

Kissing the Claret Jug, Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy wins his third Major championship, and all before the age of 25, equaling the achievements of Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods before him.

Rory carded a final round of -1 under par 71, for his winning total of -17 under par, a two shot victory. The other guys did not make it easy for him, there were some great sores out on the course today;

“It feels incredible, today wasn’t easy. There were a lot of guys making runs at me and I just needed to stay focused, keep in the present and concentrate on what I was doing out there.”

“To be three legs towards the career grand slam at the age of 25 is a pretty good achievement. It’s not going to sink in for a while. I knew I had some holes where I could make birdie and 16 was the real hole for me which I think settled the championship.”

 “Well done for putting up such a fight. Rickie, no doubt with the way your Major record is this year your time will come, and Sergio too, two of the best players in the world.”

“It’s pretty hard to describe right now, to be honest, I feel like I’ve come a long way in the last 18 months. A lot has happened to me on and off the golf course. My determination and hard work has really paid off.”

“This is the first Major my mum has been to that I’ve won, so mum, this one’s for you. I just can’t wait to get back and defend this thing at St Andrews next year.”

Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler tied for second place at -15 under par. Sergio charged at Rory, carding a -6 under par 66, and Rickie, who was playing alongside Rory threw in a final round -5 under par 65.

If Sergio really wants to win a Major, he will have to address the problem of that fragile putting grip.

Jim Furyk had a -7 under par 65 and finished alone in fourth spot at -13 under par for the championship. Tiger Woods ended his tournament returning a final total +6 over par. Defending Champion Phil Mickelson returned a final total of -5 under par.

The Open. McIlroy Marches On, No Hoylake Horrors.

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Rory McIlroy marches on at The Open, having banished the Friday Failures, there were no Hoylake horrors.

Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory exorcised the Friday fall-out at Royal Liverpool by firing a second successive round of -6 under par 66, at The Open, to post a midway tournament total of -12 under par at Hoylake, and a four shot lead. He is where he wants to be, in control and did not even think about the Friday failures;

“You’re battling yourself, you’re batting your emotions, your mind. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself, you don’t want to look at what anyone else is doing. You want to control what you can control.”

“It was just another solid round of golf, I didn’t have that in my head at all. Going out there, I just wanted to play another solid round of golf, stick to my game plan, stick to doing what I do well, which is take advantage of the par 5s, maybe take advantage of some of the other holes that are downwind. That’s all I was thinking about.”

Dustin Johnson is in second place on his own, he carded the days best round, a -7 under par 65, giving him a -8 under par total.

There are six players tied in third position, all at -6 under par for the tournament, they are; Francesco Molinari, Ryan Moore, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen.

Justin Rose had a -2 under par round today, leaving him on that score for the competition, ten shots adrift of the leader Rory, and not much chance of catching him. Phil Mickelson is at level par, while Tiger Woods shot +5 over par 77 to be at +2 for the Championship, both of these players will not be challenging to top of the board, but they did make the cut.

Tiger had been battling a wayward driver;

“I didn’t hit the driver very good today, I was trying to be a bit more aggressive and do that. With the wind the way it was, I could take some of the bunkers out of play and get it down where I could hit sand wedge into the green.”

“I figured today would be a chance to go out there and be aggressive and do that, and just didn’t drive it well.”

Tom Watson also made the cut on the same +2 over par total, and is looking forward to the week-end, the weather is supposed to change dramatically;

“I came over here with a purpose to play my best golf and play on the weekend, let’s see what happens on the weekend. See if the old guy can maybe get it rolling a little bit.”

The Open. Rory on Route 66.

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Rory McIlroy produced another magical Thursday first round, this time a flawless route 66 at The Open, in glorious weather at Royal Liverpool.

Rory McIlroy is looking for the third leg of the career Grand Slam. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

 

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory carded a -6 under par 66 at Hoylake to sit proudly on top of the leaderboard of The Open Championship. He reported that he was more relaxed on a Thursday, we will see tomorrow if he can hold it all together;

“Any time you shoot 66 at The Open Championship, you’re going to be pleased. We had perfect scoring conditions out there this morning. There wasn’t much wind early on and there were plenty of opportunities to make birdies and I was able to take a few of them.”

“It’s another great start and, yeah, looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow. Whenever I go out and play on Thursdays there are not really many expectations. You’re going out there and you’re trying to find a rhythm and you’re just trying to play your way into the round.”

“When you go back out on Friday after a good score you know what you can do, so you’re going out with some expectations compared to Thursday. I think I’ve just got to approach it like that, start off trying to hit solid shots the first few holes and play my way into the round, just like I did today.”

In second place on the leaderboard is Italian Matteo Manassero, who is just one shot behind after his opening round of -5 under par 67. Matteo likes this course, which bodes well for his first Major success;

“I like the course, it’s fair, flat, where you hit your shot it’s going to roll on that line. If I ever win an Open, I don’t think I’ll win it on a golf course that I don’t like. So the fact that I like it, it’s already a good thing.”

“The main preparation for The Open, I’ve done it in Aberdeen and it was just the best preparation I could’ve had. We had strong wind, little wind, calm wind, different directions of wind and the course was firm. It was really linksy. I put myself in a very links frame of mind.”

There is bunch of seven players tied in third spot, including another two Italians, Francesco and Edoardo Molinari. All of this chasing pack are on -3 under par.

Tiger Woods recorded a -3 under par 69 and is tied in tenth position at the end of day one, and said it was a positive start;

“I knew I could do it. That’s why it was so important for me to play at Congressional. At Congressional I made some terrible mistakes mentally. My decisions weren’t very crisp and I wasn’t decisive enough. Today was totally different and consequently I shot a better score.”

“I’m getting stronger, I’m getting faster, I’m getting more explosive. The ball is starting to travel again and those are all positive things.”

Last weeks winner Justin Rose settled for an opening round of even par, while defending Champion Phil Mickelson returned a first round +2 over par 74.

 

Scottish Open. McIlroy Makes a Mess of It.

 

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Rory McIlroy makes a huge mess of it in the second round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, recording +7 over par 78, which takes him all the way back to even par for the competition.

On the other hand Ricardo Gonzalez is still flying high, sharing top spot with Marc Warren and Kristoffer Broberg.

Ricardo Gonzalez  (Getty Images)

Ricardo Gonzalez / Getty Images

In brutal afternoon conditions Ricardo and Kristoffer put together second rounds of even par, to stay at -6 under par for the tournament. Marc recorded a second round -2 under par, a good effort in those conditions, which left him on that -6 under par total for the competition.

Ricardo was not happy with a double bogey on the last hole, but was pleased with his overall performance;

“I was unlucky on 18 because I didn’t have a good lie and tried to reach the green in two, but it was a mistake. I’m happy because I played good 17 holes.”

“I need to sometimes stay patient and play safe. Of course, that didn’t happen on 18. I’m very happy because I hit it good and made a good score.”

Marc, was on course to win his National Open two years ago but unfortunately let slip a three shot lead, with only four to play in 2012 at Castle Stuart, he wants to make amends;

“It’s a massive week and anyone would love to win, but being Scottish it would be that much more special. What happened two years ago was tough to take at the time but it was good experience and hopefully it will stand me in good stead.”

“The course is tough enough anyway, never mind playing the back nine into this wind. After bogeys on the 14th and 15th I said to my caddie let’s try to have a strong finish but to finish three-three-three was beyond my wildest dreams.”

Justin Rose played his way into contention, a second round -3 under par 68 has him sitting in fourth place on his own at -5 under par;

“I came here on Wednesday and felt absolutely horrendous. It was like I had lost my game somewhere over the Atlantic. But the last couple of days I have been finding my feet again and that’s part of the reason for playing this week ahead of Hoylake.”

“It was great to see the course in a completely opposite wind. The par fives are playing very easy on the front nine and there are some tough par fours on the back nine. I did well to hang on to my score on the back nine and made a few good six or seven-footers coming in.”

Rory / Getty

Another Friday failure;

“I’ve struggled to grind. It’s been the case all year. I’ve got off to great starts and fell away but I am still in the tournament and I can go out in the morning and try to get some of those shots back.”

“You are having to talk about it,  so it’s in your mind and I am maybe putting more pressure on myself to shoot a good score. It’s another Friday out of the way, thank God, and I can go on to the weekend. I shot 68 on the Friday at the US Open so hopefully next week will be the same.”

 

ISPS Handa Ladies European Open. Kim in Control

 

dragon logo darkISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters

I.K. Kim has taken control of the ISPS Handa Ladies European Open at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club in Denham, England.

 

In-Kyung Kim / Getty Images

In-Kyung  shot a bogey free -9 under par 63, equaling the course record, to take control of the Ladies European Masters, posting a -14 under par total. giving her a four shot advantage over the field. She took her inspiration from English caddie Gerald Adams who was too weak to work last year, recovering from cancer treatment. This year during the Pro/Am an errant ball broke his nose;

“He inspired me in so many ways this week. He’s just so positive and such a good person to be around and I think that really relaxed me, being with the right person. When there’s a situation that’s not too easy he just makes jokes out of it. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and he’s so kind.”

“Condition wise it was a bit tricky today because it rained a lot last night. The greens were a little bit softer and I think that helped a bit too, scoring wise. There was a little bit of luck there because on the front nine it poured for two holes but I was hitting wedge into the green so I was lucky that I was able to score well on those holes.”

Gerald and his broken nose / Getty Images

In second place on her own  is the young Australian amateur Minjee Lee who carded a flawless third round of -5 under par 67, which gives her a -10 under par total. Minjee said it was a stress free day;

“It was pretty stress free and no bogeys and I gave myself a lot of opportunities. I missed a couple and made some. I can improve on it so I’m looking forward to it tomorrow. The greens were really soft and I could get to the front pins so that helped for everyone. It only rained for one hole for me and the weather was perfect for golf.”

Amelia Lewis and Sarah Kemp share third place, both at -9 under for the tournament. Amelia shot -4 under par 68, while Sarah stood still recording a third round of even par 70.

Amelia was happy not to record any bogey’s;

“No bogeys. I was very consistent and only missed one green, which was why I played so well. I had a lot of birdie opportunities and my caddie kept me in a good mood.”

England’s  Charley Hull scored a -4 under par 68 to be at -4 under-par going into the final round, but is a long way behind;

“I putted better today. I spent three hours on the green after my round yesterday to get it working so it was feeling good.”

ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters. Sarah Soars in the Heat.

dragon logo darkISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters

Australian Sarah Kemp soars in the heat at the Ladies European Masters in Buckinghamshire, England.

Sarah Kemp / Getty Images

Sarah score a second round of -4 under par 68 in the Ladies European Open in England, recording a -9 under par total and a three shot lead at the half-way point in the competition.

“It was nice and solid, nothing too crazy and I birdied the two par fives, 10 and 14.”

“This is great. I haven’t been in this position too many times and this is where I want to be, somewhere in contention. I thought the wind was going to be up a bit more but it’s not really and not as strong as yesterday. There is definitely a bit of wind, but I’m happy with the score.”

Amy Boulden and Celine Herbon share second place at -6 under par for the tournament, three shots off the pace.

Rookie Amy only got in this tournament at the last-minute and now has the chance to qualify for next week’s Major, the Ricoh Women’s British Open,;

“I was first reserve and I got in yesterday at 10am after someone pulled out with a bad eye so it’s great to play. I’m liking the course, it’s in great condition. I’m in a good position but I three putted the last which was a bit disappointing. I’ve got final qualifying on Monday so hopefully I’ll get a good week here,”

“I’m playing very steady at the moment. I got off to a rough start and was lucky to be one under through seven or eight holes but I managed a good back nine to get it back.”

Amy Boulden / Getty Images

Celine Herbin / Getty Images

Celine carded a -1 under par second round, and was happy to finish the round well;

“It was a very nice way to finish. I hit a huge drive, six-iron second shot and I put it to four metres, so it was a very good putt. It was a difficult round, you had to stay patient in those conditions because it was very windy today and much windier than yesterday morning. The golf course is getting more and more difficult so I’m very happy.”

“I think it was only about patience. I was not looking for the flags, I was looking for the middle of the green and conditions were difficult. I went shot by shot and I hit 16 greens so my iron game is very good and I’m just looking for the middle of the green.”

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Stacy Lewis Lifts the Trophy,

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Stacy Lewis lifts the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship trophy.

Stacy Lewis

Stacy Lewis / Getty Images

Hometown girl Stacy shot a final  round of -6 under par 65 to win the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship by just one shot at -12 under par. She remarked about being on edge, but loved the way the crowd cheered her on;

“I think a little bit of 18 was relief that it was done because I was so stressed out all day and so on edge just wanting to pull every shot off. But then it was just excitement to hear the crowd react the way they did and just the people just to go nuts. “

“I mean, that’s why I play. I play to get in the heat of the battle, to have that chance to win at the end. That’s why I play. And I want to see where my game is at that point because that’s the ultimate test, because if you can pull it off when the tournament is on the line, you know you’re doing some good things just to pull off those shots.”

Stacy had started the day four shots off the lead of  Michelle Wie, she responded by carding seven birdies against one bogey in her charge to the front;

“Actually I didn’t really know much. I knew when I made the turn obviously I was a few behind. Then coming down to 15 a fan actually yelled like, ‘You’re one behind,’ or something like that and I didn’t know where I stood at that point. So I got an assist there. But then I came off of 17, I saw that Lydia made birdie on 18, so I was glad that I had one more hole to play, I had a chance. I knew if I could birdie 18 and get in the clubhouse that would be a pretty good number.”

“These wins, they don’t get easier, you look at the names on that leaderboard, some great, great players. Lydia I think shot 65 today, Cristie played well. I mean, it doesn’t get any easier. But it’s also fun, it makes me work harder, it makes me want to be better and I think it’s good for everybody.”

Tied in second place at -11 under par were Lydia Ko, Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford. Lydia remarked that Stacy is playing great golf;

“She’s playing some awesome golf. she’s I think one of the most consistent players out on the tour right now. She’s having consistent top tens, like Michelle and I think it’s great that we’re playing in her hometown, and the best thing is she’s World No. 1 and they’re proud to say it.”

Cristie was ruing some missed chances;

 “I mean, I had my chances.  I just didn’t hit a good wedge shot. I actually didn’t hit a couple good wedge shots today and you’ve got to get the ball to the hole if you want it to go in, so I just left a couple short coming in.”

Angela said she had been putting pretty well, and she had enjoyed her tournament;

 “It was very steady, so that was good.  I hit it good all week, and more importantly I was putting well.  I think it’s more fun when you putt good.  So 13 and 14 I’ve had a tough time with for a long time, so they got me again, but it was a good week.”

” I love this place.  I love the community, the sponsors, Walmart, P&G, Pinnacle.  I mean, the whole place embraces us and it’s awesome, so it’s a good week.”

Michelle Wie had a final round +2 over par 73, tied in 8th place.

 

Quicken Loans Championship, Rose Reaps Reward.

dragon logo darkQuicken Loans National

Justin Rose reaps the reward for a good last round in the Quicken Loans Championship, winning in a two man play-off.

Justin Rose / Getty Images

Justin is a U.S. Open champion, who has developed a habit of winning on renowned tracks: Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and now Congressional. He won here in a playoff after finishing the tournament -4 under par, tied with Shawn Stefani. Referring to the toughness of the Congressional course, only 6 of the 75 players broke par in the final round, Justin commenting;

“It’s definitely a test, I think Congressional got its reputation back after the U.S. Open, for sure. I was excited to play this golf course this week. I really enjoy this type of golf and this kind of test. And it tested all of us, I think it tested all of us for 4 under to win.”

 “I’m obviously very, very excited to be a double-winner. It’s the first double-winner I am of any tournament, and to be the double-winner of this one, it means a lot.”

Shawn Stefani pulled his tee shot left, over the tree’s at the first play-off hole. He got relief and was able to get his ball back on the right side of the tree’s, but then strangely proceeded to hook the ball into the water.

Charley Hoffman and Ben Martin tied for third place, both one shot back at -3 under par.

This was the first time an Open qualifier has been played on the PGA Tour, the leading four players not already exempt from the top 12 at Congressional get to go to Royal Liverpool next month.

Shawn Stefani earned one spot as the runner-up. Charley Hoffman and Ben Martin each birdied two of the last three holes to tie for third. Brendan Steele got the last spot with his last round 71, that put him in a three-way tie for third with Andres Romero and Brendon Todd. Andres missed out due to his lower world ranking.

BMW International Open. Pablo Proceeds To Take Control.

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Pablo Larrazábal proceeds to take control of the BMW International Open in Cologne.

 

Pablo Larrazabal  (Getty Images)

Pablo Larrazábal / Getty Images

Pablo fired in a superb bogey free third round of -5 under par 67, to top the BMW International Open leaderboard at -17 under par, a healthy lead of three strokes. He remarked that he had not played well, but the course drying out helped with spin;

“My game wasn’t good today. I didn’t hit the driver good. I put myself in a little bit of trouble. But I knew how to handle it and how to keep it going. I made some birdies coming in, and to, you know, I can play better golf.  But I cannot, playing like I played, I cannot score better.”

“You know, it was spinning back three, four metres with a seven, eight iron. These days where it was releasing but yeah, three, four, five metres with the same irons, and now they are spinning back. So yeah, it was tough at the beginning to know how to plan those shots, but yeah, I saw it out.”

Richard Green is one of eight players who are in second place at -14 under par. Richard had an even more amazing flawless third round of -10 under par 62. Just as he was about to make a birdie putt on the 17th when the siren went off, halting play for an hour and forty minutes. He then returned, sunk the putt to make it eight gained strokes in eight holes, and parred the last;

“I had already set that up prior to the siren going off and the weather delay. I just had to make that six-foot putt afterwards and move on to eighteen.  It was probably nice to sit on that over the break. It’s always nice when you get it going and a score comes off like that. It’s what we strive for every day and it’s a fantastic feeling.”

“Compared to Thursday afternoon when I played, it’s a totally different golf course really. The course was firm on Thursday afternoon, bouncy, and now all of a sudden it’s target practice now. So you can pretty much fly it at any pin and stop it right there.”

Paul Casey is in a group of nine golfers on -13 under par, he also had a low round today, a -9 under par 63;

“The golf course is perfect, it really is set up for scoring so that’s what I did.”

The way this course is playing now, and the low scores being recorded, tomorrow should be a very interesting day, it maybe that a three shot lead will not be enough.

 

 

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Sharp Shooter at the Top.

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Alena Sharp was the shooter, sailing to the top of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship leaderboard.

Alena Sharp / Getty Images

Alena shot an opening round of -6 under par 65, which included one bogey, to atop the leaderboard at the Walmart NW Kansas Championship. She was obviously delighted with her lovely round today;

“Yeah, hit a lot of greens today, I only missed four greens Drove it well, wasn’t really in the rough at all so I got to lift, clean and place so got a perfect lie almost every time. Really didn’t hit outside of 20 feet much, made a lot of putts. It was really simple. It was fun to just play and not be stressed and just relax and enjoy the day.”

“And the greens are so perfect, I mean, they’re rolling so smooth, it’s almost like no one’s played on the greens at all. There’s hardly any divots on them. I think knowing the breaks helps, yeah. And then I got the speed down right away which was perfect. It’s hard to get the judge of the speed this week with all the rain that we’ve had, but it’s in great shape for all the rain that’s fallen here this week.”

“Well, I drive it fairly far so I knew it was a little bit of an advantage carrying it further than some of the other girls. “But it wasn’t playing as long as I thought it would because the wind is not easy either.”

Major winner Michelle Wie and Alejandra Llaneza are tied in second place, just one shot back at -5 under par. Michelle is still running on fumes after her Major win;

“Definitely running on fumes right now but I’m excited to be here in Arkansas. The crowds are amazing. Just feels great to play golf again.”

“I think, you know, I got lucky to play 18 holes yesterday in the pro‑am, the weather definitely held up, which is nice.”

” It definitely gave me confidence to play today, but definitely it would have been harder if I had a morning tee time today. I was really happy about this late afternoon tee time. Glad to sleep in, got my 12 hours of sleep, and hopefully I’ll get to bed in about an hour and a half now.”

Stacy Lewis, the World Number 1,  took the time to meet with a young fan from Arkansas who has a big challenge in front of her. Brenna Dobson met with Stacy for around ten minutes to talk about her upcoming scoliosis surgery.

12-year old Brenna was able to talk to Stacy, who had scoliosis surgery when she was 18 years old. Brenna’s questions ranged from specifics about the surgery, if she will still be able to do yoga and if it hurts to sit during a car ride. Stacy explained in some detail what to expect from the surgery, and even showed Brenna how flexible she is.

Stacy is a proven World Champion on the golf course, and an even better role model for young girls off  it.

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