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Shell Houston Open. Cink and Hass Tied at Top

Stewart Cink and Bill Hass are tied at the top of the leaderboard in the Shell Houston Open, at the Redstone Golf Club in Texas.

Anyone's game

Stewart Cink & Bill Hass / Halleran / Getty Images

 Bill Hass and Stewart Cink lead the competition by just one shot at -11 under par for the tournament. Stewart shot a -4 under par round of 68, while Bill Hass went one shot better at -5 under par 68 to tie at the top.

Stewart is fired up for the duel tomorrow, stating that he can’t wait;

” Tomorrow is a great learning opportunity for me to get out there and be nervous and perform and try to stay in the moment and let it happen, I can’t wait.”

Bill, was a co-leader after 36 holes at Bay Hill last week, today he made seven birdies over his last 13 holes to catch Stewart. Bill is under no illusions about how tough it is going to be tomorrow, there are 20 players separated by just four shots on a course where birdies are available, but the slightest miss could prove to be the unraveling of a good score;

” Tomorrow you’re going to have to play very well, you can’t just hang on and hope everybody else will fall back.”

Steve Wheatcroft was tied for the lead when he shanked a shot from the greenside bunker on the 18th, the ball coming out at a 45 degree angle, missing the green completely. Steve said of that bunker shot;

“If you don’t catch it perfectly, it runs across the green into the water, I opened the club face just trying to hit a high soft one and obviously I missed most of the club face.”

Steve is one of four players just one shot back, they are; Ben Crane, D.A. Points and Jason Kokrak, all of them at -10 under par.

The list of players at -9 under par is even longer, nine players to be exact, it is going to be exciting to watch this shoot-out tomorrow.

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Tiger Trounces the Course. Justin suffers the Jitters.

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Tiger Woods trounced the Bay Hill course in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, shooting a third round -6 under par, 66. Meanwhile Justin Rose, who seemed to be cruising with a two shot lead, suddenly suffered a severe case of the jitters.

Can he be stopped?

Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler / Greenwood / Getty Images

Tiger putted like a champion today, it helped him to his -6 under par round and a tournament total of -11 under par, a lead of two shots over the field. The man looking most likely to mount a serious challenge to Tiger is Rickie Fowler, no slouch himself today, with a third round of -5 under par, which elevated him to -9 under par and in a tie for second place. He will also play with Tiger for the final round, something that he could not handle last year when he faced the same task. He shot a last round 84 that day, compared to the winner Tiger Woods, who came home in 67.

Tiger said he now knows how to fix his game while out on the course;

” I just understand how to fix my game, it’s taken me a while. I was hurt for a long time. The changes to make the swing from where I was to now is a pretty big change.I hit a bad shot here and there, and that’s easy to fix. I know what my fix is going to be and that makes a big difference. I’m much more comfortable, but also I think that I’m feeling pretty good physically, that was huge. I’ve had one more year of working on my game, and here I am. Just because I’ve won here doesn’t ensure that I’m going to win the tournament, the conditions are different. The game might be different. But the objective is still to put myself in position to win the golf tournament and somehow get it done on Sunday. Over the course of my career, I’ve done a pretty decent job of that.”

Rickie remembers that bad day at Memorial;

” After Memorial, I’m looking for a little redemption, I’m feeling good about the pairing, about my game. I’m going in there with the attitude that I have nothing to lose and we’ll see what happens from there. He’s definitely the guy to beat but I’ll be right there to see what’s going on. With him having leads on courses he loves like this and Torrey Pines and Doral, and I’m sure there are others, he’s basically never lost with a lead in the final round. So I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing if we can go do that.”

Tied in second place with Rickie are jittery Justin Rose and John Huh, Justin with an even par round and John a -1 under par round.

There are five players another shot back at -8 under par for the tournament, they are; Thorbjorn Olesen, Gonzalo Fedez- Castano, Jimmy Walker, Ken Duke and Bill Haas.

To be honest I can not see anybody challenging Tiger for this title, it is his for the taking. Winning would move him to the top of FedExCup leaderboard, becoming the first player to hold the top spot in five different seasons. Additionally, he’d match Sam Snead as the only other player to win the same tournament eight times and of course he would move back to No. 1 in the World, for the first time since Oct. 30, 2010.

Nobody is going to stop Tiger.

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Rosey Rises to The Top.

Englishman Justin Rose fired in a first round -7 under par 65, and rose to the top of the leaderboard, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, leading the field by two shots.

Rosy outlook

Justin Rose / Cannon / Getty Images

Justin was playing in the group with Tiger Woods at Bay Hill on Thursday, he  put on a clinic with the putter and ran off four straight birdies late in his round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, presented by MasterCard.

Justin did not see this coming, saying;

“If you had said I would shoot a 65 on the range this morning, I would have probably said, `How many holes have I played?’ And that didn’t change much, the first five, six holes out there were a grind.”

The difference today was Justin’s putting;

I dedicated myself at making a few changes and getting better at that part of the game. I’ve had some good days, no doubt. And today was probably the first real hot day I’ve had with the blade in a long, long time. We all know it’s about consistency and that’s what I’m still working towards. It’s just fun to know that I obviously can do it, and I enjoy a lot of confidence from that.”

John Huh is in second place, at -5 under par, he  had a chance to catch Justin late in the afternoon, but required a birdie on the final hole to do so. Unfortunately John found a fairway bunker on No. 9 and took a bogey for a -5 under par round of 67.

John Rollins and Brad Fritsch were at -4 under par with rounds of 68, to be tied in third place.

Tiger Woods had two uncharacteristic bogeys from greenside bunkers and definitely did not  hit the ball as well as he did when he won The Honda Classic two weeks ago. It was his putting that kept his round reasonable, tied in fifth place after a round of -3 under par, 69.

“It was one of my good ones, days happen like this. It was cool this morning, and it just didn’t work out. But I scored well, and I kept myself in the tournament. I’m right there. Justin played a beautiful round of golf today. He had every single facet of his game working, so we had a good time out there. I got a lot out of this round, and I threw away a few shots as well.”

Tiger is Headed Back to No.1

Tiger & Donald Trump, at Doral / theadvocate.com

Tigers win at Doral on The Blue Monster could be the signal that he is finally headed back to his much coveted Number One Spot in golf.

The great Sam Snead was 45 when he won his 76th tournament, Tiger is eight years younger than Sam was, and he already has 77. During his career Sam won a record 82 PGA Tour events, including seven Majors.  It will not be long before Tiger eclipses that record of Sam’s, and a victory at the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational in two weeks would return him to the top spot in the world rankings.

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In Tiger’s favor, Rory McIlroy is going through a slump in form, and despite a friendly threat from Arnold Palmer, Rory apparently does not intend to play at Bay Hill, but he will play the Shell Houston Open, scheduled for March 28-31, two weeks before The Masters. But by then if Tiger wins at Arnold Palmers place, and he is the defending Champion, Rory will already have lost his Number One tag.

Tiger Wins, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.

                                            

Tiger won the Arnold Palmer Invitational by five strokes from Graeme McDowell. Tiger finished the tournament at -13 under par, compared to McDowell’s -8 under par. This is Tiger’s breakthrough victory on the PGA Tour, and sets him up nicely for The Masters.

It’s Tiger by one @ Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.

                                      

Tiger Woods leads the Arnold Palmer Invitational, presented by MasterCard, by one shot from Graeme McDowell. Tiger had a -1 under par round of 71 at the Bay Hill Cub and Lodge in Orlando Florida. Graeme also had a -1 under par round to be one shot in arrears at -10 under par for the tournament. Sitting comfortably at -8 are Ernie Els and Ian Poulter, Ernie had a -5 round of 67 and Ian finished with a -4 round, both of them are now at -8 under par for the tournament, just three shots off  Tiger’s lead. Tiger is now one round away from winning on the PGA TOUR for the first time in 30 months, but has history on his side when it comes to this  Bay Hill course in the lead. He has a 37-2 record on the PGA TOUR when he has led going into the final round, and he has won a record six times on this golf course.

  Tiger Woods Of The USA Plays

David Cannon/Getty Images

It would seem now that just about everyone else is definitely out of contention for the title, with an outside chance maybe for Johnson Wagner and Chucky three sticks who back on -7 under par, four shots adrift of the top of the leaderboard.

Tiger Woods Leads at Bay Hill, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.

                    

Tiger Woods shoots a 2nd round -7 under par 65 to share the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando Florida. Joining Woods on -10 under par is first round leader Charlie Wi, with a -4 under par round of 68.

The pair lead the tournament by just one shot from Jason Dufner and Graeme McDowell who are at -9. Graeme McDowell had the round of the day shooting 63, the -9 under par round moved him all the way up the leaderboard to a share of second place.

At -6 under par for the tournament is England’s Justin Rose, who has been playing really well lately, competing strongly and looking for another win. Behind Justin are six players on -5 under par, they are, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Chris Stroud, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson and the evergreen 49-year-old V. J. Singh.

Very surprised to see young Korean Sang-Moon Bae missing the cut, he had a round of 74 yesterday and then followed it with a 75 today, missing the cut by 2 shots.

Arnold Palmer Invitational, 1st Round

     

Charlie Wi and Jason Dufner lead the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill after the first round, after both players  shot a -6 under par rounds of 66. Nick Watney is alone in second spot with a -4 under par 68, and is followed by a number of players finishing at -3 under par.

Among those at -3 is Tiger Woods and Justin Rose, tiger was happy to be back at Bay Hill;

” Great to be back. I haven’t played the golf course since last year’s tournament, and it’s in good shape this year. I think that with no wind, I think you might see some pretty good scores out here. The ball is going far because it is warm, and greens are rolling pretty good out there.”

Justin replied to a question about his play the last couple of weeks;

” Obviously it’s been a fun couple of weeks. A lot of people have congratulated me on the win and that’s always nice to receive but at the same time, you’re trying to keep your head in the game and into the particular week that you’re playing. So obviously I went to play Transitions and for the most part played really well there. Kind of had a 27-hole period in the middle of that tournament where I went AWOL, maybe just went a little bit flat for that period of time. But Tavistock Cup the last couple days, again, played pretty solid. What I’m finding is I’m kind of coming out of the traps pretty well, my game is good but the last couple days, I’ve just been sort of stumbling towards the end of my rounds and getting a little bit tired but need to find just a nice way to kick it into gear for four more rounds before I take a week off. “

Big hitting Bubba Watson also joined the group on -3, and is also handily placed after completing his first round at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando Florida.

Arnold Palmer @ Mastercard Extend Their Contract

 Chris McWilton,  the president of  U.S. markets for MasterCard have announced their support of Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill with an extension of their sponsorship of this great tournament for another four years through 2016.

Arnold was very happy with this announcement;

notablebiographies.com    

” Of course I’m very happy to have the extension by MasterCard and it puts a lot of things to rest for the next few years. We will continue to work to make this tournament the best tournament on the TOUR. And I mean that. With the hospital and the things that are happening there, I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be able to say the things that the neonatal intensive care unit, the expansion of that, and the things that will happen in the next couple of years there, is something that is very, very important to us. And of course, the hospital itself with all of the various units, whether it be heart, kidneys, you name it, we are striving to be the best. And that is also very important to me. The tournament itself, this year is something that is really going to make, I think, history in the game of golf. The golf course itself is by far the best it’s been any time in the 34 years that we’ve had this tournament. And I think the players realize that we are working hard to make this golf tournament one that will get everyone’s eye and attention. And through the years, we will continue to do the things that we are doing to make the golf course better, and to make the players come here and enjoy this competition.”

“This is wonderful. It just continues with something that has been very, very good. The hospital is thriving. And of course the new neonatal intensive care unit with the addition is very important to all of us. And as you know, the Arnold Palmer hospital and Winnie Palmer Hospital and the Medical Center turns no one away.”

“So all of that is one of the great things that’s happening out of this tournament, and something that makes us all very happy. And to have  Chris, to make this announcement is also kind of a landmark and something that we are all very pleased and proud about. So with the announcement of the four more with MasterCard and our sponsors, I am most appreciative of all the things that are happening.” “Thank you very much.”

Arnold was then asked about his views on belly, and broomstick putters, he gave an interesting reply;

” Well, you’re opening up a big subject there. Of course, I don’t think there’s ever been a club made that I know of that has not been in my bag. (Laughter) May not stay long, and the long putter is one of them. I’m not a fan of long putters. I suppose that if I were playing, and a long putter, being totally legal, and would help my game, I might use it. But I’m opposed to it personally. I just think that there shouldn’t be a place in the game for anchoring a club against the body, which is what the long putter does. So, technically, and principally, I am against it. But would I use it if it were going to enhance my game in the competition? I might.”

Interesting comments, I will be sending one of our White Dragon Putters to Arnold for his collection, would also be nice to get some comments from him on its performance. Talking about putting practice Arnold said the best advice given to him was;

“Man, you’re the greatest putter in the world. Well, that was probably what I needed, somebody to give me confidence in the fact that I could putt.”

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