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AT&T National. Bill Haas Beats Them All.

Bill Haas beats them all at Congressional Country Club, actually by three shots to claim the AT&T National trophy.

Congressional Bill

Bill Haas / Getty Images

Bill shot a final round -5 under par 66, for a tournament total of -12 under par, to win the trophy by three shots from his nearest rival, Roberto Castro. Bill said he did not do anything crazy out there;

” I just kept the ball in front of me, nothing too crazy. it helped that Roberto played so well. As many times as I’ve choked and hit bad shots and I’ve been nervous and it hasn’t worked out. I was feeling all those things today, and to hit good, quality golf shots down the stretch is such a good feeling. I wish I could explain it, it’s amazing.”

Roberto finished the tournament with a last round of -2 under par 69, for his -9 under par total.

D.H. Lee made nine birdies to match a tournament-best 64 and tied for third place with Jason Kokrak.

Tiger Woods, who was on hand to present the AT&T National Trophy, said Bill had played well;

” He played beautifully today, he handled his business through the tougher stretch of holes and pulled away.”

Kenny Perry won the  Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, a Major win on the Champions Tour, after completing a final round of 64 for a -19 under par total. Kenny said the condition of the golf course helped him;

” The golf course allowed us to do it, ball in hand, wet fairways, wet greens. It was set up for a classic shootout. I wasn’t going to put any pressure on myself to win the golf tournament because I had so much heartache and so many losses on the regular tour, I lost the Masters and PGA Championship in playoffs. I was just thinking, you know what, I’m tired of worrying about it. I really was.I remember Phil’s quote about all the U.S. Open second places, All I feel is heartbreak. I said I feel your pain Phil. I relaxed. I was actually more relaxed out there today, and more comfortable.”

 Colin Montgomerie, in his Champions Tour debut  shot -8 under par for the tournament, and was pleased with his effort;

” I’ve really enjoyed it, I’ve been very welcomed, which has been lovely to sense the warmth.I’m delighted with a top 10 to start. I’ve obviously a lot of work to do because the standard is very, very high. I knew that before coming out. It’s just a matter of witnessing it firsthand. I know there are some great golfers here and I’ve got to cut out the mistakes to compete on that level.”

AT&T National. 4 Tied at the Top at Crowded Congressional.

There are four players tied at the top of the leaderboard at a crowed Congressional AT&A National, all at -7 under par for the tournament, the score exactly where it was at the beginning of the round.

Crowded Congressional

Roberto Castro, James Driscoll, Bill Haas and Andreas Romero / Getty Images

James Driscoll and Bill Hass were the guys who moved up the leaderboard on moving day with third rounds of -3 under par 68′s to join the guys at the top. Andres Romero carded a -1 under par third round while Roberto Castro stood still with an even par effort.

Bill remarked;

” The back nine, I didn’t really know where I was going. Luckily after that triple, I was able to hit three decent iron shots and then make the putt. Certainly, it could have been a 6-, 7-, 8-under day. But it also could have been a 4-, 5-, 6-over day if I hadn’t putted well. I don’t really know what to make of how I’m playing. Just got to hopefully do more good than bad tomorrow.”

James reflected that he had not played well, even though he leads the field in strokes gained-putting, picking up more than 3 shots on the field average per round at the AT&T National on the  Congressional Country Club course. 

” It’s not perfect golf, but you don’t really have to play perfect golf sometimes. If you’re just patient and putt well and have a good short game, it can go a long way, and that’s kind of what I’m doing this week This is as good a chance as I’ve had for sure, but there’s still 18 holes to go.”

Roberto described it as a wild day, he had to take a penalty drop out of a bunker;

“Wild day, saving a bogey would have been huge, making a par is just a bonus. Nothing good was going to happen if I swung at it, and I thought if I dropped, pitched out, I could make bogey or double, which is not the end of the world. I didn’t need to sit there and make 8 or something. Over four days here, every player is going to hit kind of a rough patch. I don’t see it being easy out here, so mine just came early today, and I just tried to survive it.”

Jason Kokrak is alone in fifth place at -6 under par for the tournament, while Jordan Spieth, who was tied with Roberto at the top of the leaderboard at the start of the day, isn’t out of it. Despite shooting a +3 over par 74, he is still amazingly just three off the lead.

Jordan still thinks he could be in the mix tomorrow;

” Making a double on the easiest hole on the course, and then following up with bogey on a par 5 with a lob wedge in my hand, it was very difficult at the turn for me to stay calm and hit good shots to start the back nine. Maybe lost a couple of shots with my emotions there, which is upsetting. But like I said, I shot 5 under yesterday. I could shoot 5 under tomorrow and be in great position.”

AT&T National. Play Suspended in 2nd Round. Two Tied at the Top

There were two players tied at the top of the leaderboard in the AT&T National at Congressional Golf Club when play was suspended for the day, halting the second round.

See you on Saturday

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan Spieth was tied with Roberto Castro at -7 under par for the tournament, both payers having completed their second rounds before the horn sounded and halted play for the day. The reason for the delay was bands of storms continuing to move through the area, play will resume for the conclusion of the second round at 7 am Saturday.

Jordan had a magical second round score of -5 under par 66, which propelled him to the summit of the leaderboard, he said that he had learned a lot from his effort at The Players;

” I probably learned a lot at THE PLAYERS and realized that one round doesn’t mean anything. Just got to keep going. I was able to do that today. It feels good to play two rounds under par, it’s a very hard golf course.”

Roberto had a more modest second round of -2 under par 69, on the par 71 Congressional lay-out.

Andres Romero still has five holes to play and is tied with Dong-Hwan Lee, who has completed his second round, both currently at -5 under par.

 

AT&T National. Castro Cashes In.

Roberto Castro cashes in with a first round of -5 under par 66 in the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club.

AT&T National

Roberto Castro / Getty Images

Roberto has made a habit of starting fast in tournaments this season, he has carded  66 or lower in the opening round of a PGA TOUR event four times, including Thursday at the AT&T National, where his 66 was good enough for a two-shot lead, on the par 71 course. He spoke about the other times this season he has been at the top of the leaderboard, and how tough this course is;

” They were totally different rounds, the one at Sawgrass, I hit it three feet eight or nine times. The one today was more of a normal lower round where I made some putts. The rough’s brutal, we probably were 50 percent you’d get it up to the green and 50 percent pitching out. It’s very similar to a U.S. Open in that there’s not a lot of birdies out there. You’re just plugging along. Golf course hasn’t changed much in two years.”

There are a trio of  players who are just two shots back on -3 under par, the in form Billy Horschel, Bud Cauley and Graham DeLaet.

Billy also compared the lay-out of Congressional to that of Merion in the US Open, with regard to the toughness just off the fairway;

” It’s like another U.S. Open, off the fairways, the rough is thick. Tough to hit the ball on the green. Fortunately, the greens are soft, so they’re really receptive. It’s still a tough golf course. Got to drive the ball really well here, give yourself opportunities. This year, I’ve worked hard on my short game and my putting. When I do miss one offline, I can get it up and down on a regular basis. The tougher the golf course, the better I play. Those U.S. Opens usually, and I won earlier at Zurich this year, which was a big confidence boost.  My first major as a pro, I finished fourth with a really good field and had a chance to win going into the weekend, you can only build confidence in that.”

Billy Horschel / Getty Images

These guys are followed by a group of eight players, who together are another shot back on -2 under par.

AT&T National @ Congressional, Tiger Woods Wins

   

That's number 74

Tiger Woods / Carr (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods became the first three-time US PGA Tour winner this season with this triumph in the AT&T National at Congressional County Club on Sunday in Bethesda Maryland. It is also tour win number 74 for Tiger, which has  moved him past Jack Nicklaus and  into second place on the Tour list, now just eight victories short of the current record set by Sam Snead. Sam won a record 82 PGA Tour events including seven Majors, his last win was 1965 at the Greater Greensboro Open.

Tiger and Bo were caught in a battle royal together on another sweltering day at Congressional, and it looked as though Woods wobbled first, until Van Pelt somehow managed to match him with mistakes of his own. Tiger closed with a -2 under 69 and won by two shots when Bo Van Pelt finished the last hole with his third straight bogey and had to settle for a 71. Looks like Bo eventually succumbed to the pressure of playing alongside Tiger, all he had to do was hit a regular six iron into the green and two putt for a birdie when Tiger had already wasted a shot just to get on the fairway at 16. Bo missed, and now the rest is history, the same history we have witnessed before, Tiger did not win so much as Bo failed to take the initiative when it was required. Tiger finished with a last round score of  -2 under par, 69, while Bo stumbled in with an even round and two shots behind Tiger at -6 under par.Tiger said in interview;

” What an incredible week. Everybody, thank you for being patient with us. Yesterday was a silent day. I think everyone saved up for today. What an atmosphere to play in front of. I remember there was a time when people were saying I could never win again. That was, I think, what, six months ago? I’ve been out here a long time, and I understand what it’s like to have to grind and fight because each shot means something. The first day, the first shot is just as important as the 72nd hole. They all count the same.”

Bo Van Pelt thinks Tiger is the best player in the world, so I guess mentally he was never going to beat him;

” No offense to any of those other guys, but he’s the only guy to win three tournaments on Tour this year. On three different golf courses, and he was leading the U.S. Open after two days. So I’d say that he’s playing the best golf in the world right now.”

Adam Scott finished in third place, with a last round of -4 under par and a tournament total of -5 under par.

The third member of the last group on course with Tiger and Bo, was Brendon de Jonge, who had a very bad day at the office. His last round of 77 saw him tumble down the leaderboard to finish tied in eleventh place, a real meltdown.

AT&T National @ Congressional, Mahan beats the heat to lead by two.

Higher temps, lower scores

Hunter Mahan /Carr/Getty Images

Hunter Mahan had a second round of -6 under par , 65 to lead the AT&T National by two strokes at Congressional Country Club, with a tournament score of -7  under par. Three players are tied in second spot, Brendon de Jonge, Jimmy Walker and Robert Garrigus, these guys are at -5 under par and are in good position going into the weekend.

The heat index reached a high of 109 degrees for the second round of the AT&T National, where players battled a tough Congressional course and very dangerously high temperatures by mid afternoon. Survival was the story much of the day, Brendon de Jonge,  who played in the morning and is from Zimbabwe, where it can get notoriously hot, said after his round;

” It was kind of draining, it’s starting to get just hot now, really, really hot.”

Jimmy Walker battled his way round;

“We know how to battle through the heat and stay hydrated, take your hydration pills and little mixed drinks. It’s the fans you’ve got to worry about because they’re out walking around and they don’t get into this type of stuff and get out and walk in it too much. I saw one lady that went down today, and I’m pretty sure it was probably from dehydration.”

Robert Garrigus also spoke about the heat;

” If there’s no rain, it’s going to be something else. I think it’s a mental thing because we’re all physically fit for the most part. I’m a lot more physically fit than I used to be. If you can just mentally just put it out of your head, my caddie was telling me yesterday, hey, man, just think of the tournaments you’ve played well in; Tampa it was smoldering; Memphis it was smoldering. You play well in the heat because you don’t think about it. It’s one of those things where if you can just get past the fact that you’re dripping sweat all over your golf ball, you can block it out. It makes a big, big difference.”

Tiger Woods thinks being as fit as he is, helped him in the heat;

“I live in it, I live in Florida. It’s not quite this hot, but it’s definitely more humid than this every day. I think it’s one of the reasons why I had success at Southern Hills, because I felt physically fit, didn’t have a problem with it. I’ve played some good tournaments over the years in Malaysia and other places where it’s hot, and certainly fitness, running all those miles and lifting all those weights, it comes into play when you get days like this, and consecutive days like this.”

Tiger managed to  recover today with a -3 under par round, which included a 48 foot Eagle putt.

Vijay Singh had a -1 under par second round and is in the group with total score of -4 under par. First round leader Bo Van Pelt could not match yesterdays good effort, slumping with a poor round of +2 over par, 73, and a -2 under total. He is joined on that score by  Billy Hurley 111, yesterdays news boy, was unable to match his first round score and tumbled down the leaderboard with a sad +2 over par round, leaving him at even for the tournament.

USPGA AT&T National @ Congressional Country Club, Bo Van Pelt Leads.

        471as.jpg

Bo Van Pelt leads by one shot after the first round of the AT&T National at a tough Congressional Country Club with a -4 under par round of 67, on the par 71 lay-out.

There are three players tied for second spot on -3 under par, they are; V.J. Singh, Brendon de Jong and Jimmy Walker. One shot further back on -2 under par are; Pat Perez, Jason Day and the top story of the day man Billy Hurley 111.

Tough course, tough man

Billy Hurley 111 / Stan Badz/PGA Tour

Billy Hurley 111 has a degree from the United States Naval Academy and has served as a Lieutenant on the U.S.S. CHUNG-HOON. Billy shot a 2-under 69 in the opening round and is just two strokes off the lead of Bo Van Pelt at Congressional Country Club, he is also a one-time U.S. Walker Cup team member who now calls nearby Annapolis home. As Billy said;

“Nobody has ever went to a service academy and played out here. But as far as fitting in out here, the background gives me a little bit of a story. I think there’s certainly a mental toughness that I learned from the Navy that translates well into golf, but the pressures and the life are very different. For whatever reason, I play really good when it’s hot. This is certainly a special tournament, and I think that any time that we as an American public take time to pause and remember, reflect and honor the military, it’s a great thing.”

Bo Van Pelt was happy with his position;

 “I mean, made a good up and down on 18, hit a good shot there that had gone long into the back bunker and had a pretty tough shot and hit it to about a foot and just kind of kept my momentum going after birdieing 17. Hit a good drive on No.1, it’s just a hole I’ve always kind of hit driver off of to just be aggressive. It’s a tough fairway to hit, and had a good number. Been working on my wedges a bunch. Been feeling like I need to improve in that area. I was working specifically today before I played, a shot I was hitting a bunch. So it was like 98 yards, and when I got 93 I thought I had a pretty good number.”

VJ said he had played well;

” I played well. I hit a lot of good shots, made a lot of birdies, and finally I made a couple of putts, which I guess is the key to playing good golf is you’ve got to make putts, and I did that. I actually thought it had kind of spun back in front of the hole, and all of a sudden this guy behind the green started going nuts. Yeah, you never know when those are going to happen, so it’s nice to get a deuce.  I thought I was going to go out and really shoot a low one, and then I bogeyed three in a row after that. You’ve got to be patient. You’ve got to keep calm out there. I gathered myself and made some more birdies coming in. All in all, I played really nicely, and I’m playing good golf.”

Tiger Woods was never under par in the afternoon and opened with a 1-over 72, he said;

“It’s certainly, I think, a little retribution for what happened last year. Don’t be mad at me. I didn’t play. “

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