Valero Texas Open. Matt Bettencourt & Peter Tomasulo Lead after 1st Round

Matt Bettencourt and Peter Tomasulo opened the Valero Texas Open, both with  -5 under par 67, to lead by just one shot at TPC San Antonio, in Texas.

Two for five

 Peter Tomasulo and Matt Bettencourt / Getty Images

Matt Bettencourt overcame the severe asthma problems that had been dogging him, thanks to some new medication. Matt said he was never worried about his game, just his health;

” My game hasn’t been the concern, I’ve gone back and forth from three to four different inhalers and some different medications, which has helped my health, but I haven’t been able to play golf with it at all.”

Peter Tomasulo was happy to get round with no bogies, for his -5 under par round;

‘ I just played a solid round of golf to go around here with no bogies.  We got a good end of the draw, I think, with the weather calming down late in the day.”

Padraig Harrington and Billy Horschel are tied in third place, along with Bryce Molder and Harris English, all of them at -4 under par. Padraig just coming back from a snowy Ireland said it was not as cold over the Atlantic;

” Last week back in Ireland, it was snowing, and I didn’t feel as cold.”

Billy Horschel said he had another good day on the golf course, after challenging last week;

“All in all, it’s a good day, I could hit the ball a little bit better, but I did a good job of managing it and making a couple putts.”

World number two, Rory McIlroy, entered the tournament as a final opportunity to gain some form in time for next week’s Masters at Augusta National, he opened with an even-par 72 and is tied for 45th. Rory said his mistakes are more mental than physical;

” More mental than anything else, It’s just about limiting those mistakes. It’s definitely more mental mistakes than physical.”

There are ten players,  including Jim Furyk and Brian Davis, who are only two shots back of the leaders, they are at -3 under par for the tournament.

Tampa Bay Championship. It’s Tight at the Top.

It’s tight at the top of the Tampa Bay Championship after the conclusion of the third round at the Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead course. Kevin Streelman, Justin Leonard and George Coetzee share the lead at -6 under par.

Anyone's Sunday at Tampa Bay

Kevin, Justin and George /Chris Condon/PGA TOUR

Kevin Streelman had the best round of the day, a -6 under par third round that catapulted him to the top of the leaderboard as yesterdays leaders fell away to leave the tournament wide open.

At the start of play today Shawn Stefani held a slender one-shot lead over Aussie Adam Scott and K.J. Choi. Both Adam and K.J. fell back with third rounds of +5 over par 76s, and Shawn made the turn at +4 over par before rescuing his round by salvaging a 74 that leaves him two shots back of the leaders.

Right behind the three leaders are four players on -5 under par, they are Jim Furyk, Ben Kohles, Greg Chalmers and Tag Ridings.

Jim Furyk could have stayed at home to  handle the details for Monday’s upcoming event that benefits the charitable foundation that bears his name, along with wife Tabitha.

Jim joked;

” I really avoided all the work this week, being here. I made a couple of mistakes here and there, but I really feel like my game has gotten stronger every day. I feel more confident with the putter in my hand. I’m seeing a couple more putts go in, and I think that’s giving me confidence as well. That’s why my scores are getting better.”

Another shot back and you have the quality of World Number 3, Luke Donald making his presence felt with a bogey free -4 under par. Luke is tied at ninth position along with, Bryce Molder, Jordan Spieth, Brian Harman and Shawn Stefani.

Luke said there is a fine line between the top spot and 30th place;

” It’s a fine line between success and finishing 30th, I think a lot of my fans and myself, you know, have always expected to see me in the Top Ten, and up at the top of the leaderboard every week and sometimes golf is just not that easy. It was nice to go around this course and not make a mistake, not drop a shot, and you know, I wanted to shoot five or six under, nearly got there, a couple missed putts and didn’t birdie any par fives. Could have been a really low round today. But yeah, certainly moving in the right direction, as I said, I feel like my game has been close, and obviously starting to show with some results”

It will be a big shoot out tomorrow, and I expect one of the more experienced players to master the conditions and lift the trophy.

Phil Mickleson still at the top in Riviera

Phil Mickleson is still at the top of the leader board in Riviera at the Northern Trust Open at t he end of play on the third day. He is joined at the top by Keegan Bradley who fired a 66, compared to Phil’s round of 70. Phil said of his wobbly round:

“Usually when I win I’ll have two good rounds and I’ll have two rounds that aren’t so great that I’ve got to keep somewhere in it to give myself a chance. Yesterday and today I didn’t play the best. I wasn’t far off. I hit some good shots at times that didn’t quite turn out, but I was playing very defensive all day just trying to make pars.  I’ll go hit some balls and get it turned around for tomorrow because today was a big day. If I didn’t fight hard and make pars from some of the places I was at, then I’d be trying to play catch-up to a lot of guys.”

Keegan was really happy with his position and is looking forward to the final group pairing battle with Phil, a man he admires greatly.

“I can promise you I do want to beat Phil, and he wants to beat me. I just look forward to the challenge of going out there and being in the hunt with him. Like I said, you never know what Phil is going to shoot. He could shoot a really low one or not, so you’ve got to try not to focus on him as much. But the thing that I do have is I have played with him a bunch, I’ve hung out with him, and I feel more comfortable this year than I would last year playing in the final group. I’ve got that going for me. I love Phil. Everything he’s done for me is great, and if I didn’t win tomorrow, I would hope he would.”

Jonathan Byrd, Pat Perez and Bryce Molder are only one shot behind the leaders and plenty of  good golfers still in contention, which makes for an exciting finish to this tournament tomorrow.

Mentor vs. pupil