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W.G.C. Cadillac Championship. Reed Resplendent.

dragon logo darkWGC-Cadillac Championship

Patrick Reed was resplendent in winning the WGC. Cadillac Championship at Doral, on the Blue Monster.

Wrap-up: Reed earns third TOUR title

Patrick Reed / GettyImages

Patrick has proved what he has always believed, that he belongs among the best in the world. He has won the WGC Cadillac Championship trophy, his third Tour win in seven months, shooting a final round of even par 72, to post -4 under par.

When asked on live TV what he thought about his achievement Patrick proudly answered;

“I just don’t see a lot of guys that have done that, besides Tiger Woods, of course, and all of the other legends of the game. I believe in myself. Especially after how hard I’ve worked, that I’m one of the top five players in the world. To come out of a field like this and to hold on wire to wire like that, I feel like I’ve proven myself.”

Tied in second place at -3 under par were Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson. Bubba had a fine last round of -4 under par, and then admitted that this course scares him;

“I’m where I want to be, my ball striking I wish was a little bit better. But certain golf courses just scare me half to death and around here scared me a lot but I played it really well this week.”

Jamie said he has always been a late developer, but he is happy with where he is right now;

“I’ve always been pretty much a late developer in most things, really. I left school before I could develop any there!  So I had to play golf, really. My career has been up and down for me.  Early on, I started off pretty good and then I had a big loss for four years after injury, and then I just had to regroup and do things that worked and work hard and keep believing. I just forced the wheel the other direction, and that’s what it’s done.  I’ve found something that was working and just kept doing it and kept getting better at doing it, and then here we are getting better, again, so I’m happy.”

Tiger Woods, who started the day in contention said the pain in his back intensified after his bunker shot on the sixth. A nasty lie leaving him with his left foot in the bunker, and the right pressing  against the lip of the bunker;

” That’s what set it off and then it was done after that. Just see if I could actually manage, keep the spasms at bay.”

He carded a final round of +6 over par 78, with a total of +5 over par, dropping him twenty-one places to T25. Tiger also failed to make a birdie in a final round for the first time in his career, and the lead up to the first Major is not going well;

“If I feel good, I can actually make a pretty decent swing, you saw it Saturday. But if I’m feeling like this, it’s a little tough.”

World Golf Championship. Calm Restored at Cadillac.

dragon logo darkWGC-Cadillac Championship

Calm was restored at the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral on day three of the contest around The Blue Monster. Patrick Reed has the lead going into the final round.

Patrick Reed could be taking home his third trophy in seven months Sunday at Doral. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Patrick Reed /Getty Images

In much calmer conditions Patrick turned his game around in four holes Saturday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, finishing up with a -3 under par 69 and a two stroke lead at -4 under par. He said he was not bothered that Tiger was close behind;

“That’s fine, I’ve seen Tiger a lot on the driving range. Never had the opportunity to play with him and I still haven’t been able to play with him. Whenever he’s close to the lead, he’s a guy you have to watch out for. But at the same time, I have to go and just play my own game.”

“If you have a 54-hole lead, that means you’re playing the best golf of the group through three rounds. Tomorrow is Sunday, but at the same time, it’s another round of golf. We’ve won twice since August, we’ve played great. And if I continue doing what I’m supposed to be doing, come Sunday afternoon, hopefully we’re holding the trophy.”

Jason Dufner and Hunter Mahan are tied in second place at -2 under par for this tournament, Hunter thinks it will go down to the wire;

“The tournament will not be over until the last putt drops on eighteen. That always happens, but it seems like you just can’t coast in here. You can’t have a big enough lead going into eighteen this week. So I don’t think anyone is going to be too bothered if someone gets out to a three, or four-shot lead, because there’s so much golf out there. And there’s so much that can happen, good and bad.”

Tied in fourth place are Jamie Donaldson and Tiger Woods, both at -1 under par. Tiger did what he wanted to do, get back into the tournament. A third round of -6 under par 66 certainly did that;

“It was nice to get back in the tournament again Now it’s playing more like a normal course. I held it together yesterday, a long day, tough day, and that gave me a chance today.I figured, hey, I’m only six back. That’s definitely doable, especially with the conditions and how difficult this golf course is playing. If I just get back to even par for the tournament, I’ll be right there. And I did one better.”

Dustin Johnson,  Miguel Angel Jimenez and Zach Johnson share sixth place at even par for the three rounds. The weather conditions still hold the key around here, if it starts to blow again anything could happen. Another calm day and the winner will come from the top five.

World Golf Championship. Chaos at Cadillac Championship.

dragon logo dark WGC-Cadillac Championship

The weather was the winner bringing chaos to The Blue Monster at Doral in the Cadillac Championship. 

Johnson shares lead

Dustin Johnson / Getty Images

Only three players were able to break par on a very windy and difficult day at Doral, The Blue Monster, assisted by the wind just chewed everyone else up, the average score was a tad under 76.

Patrick ReedMatt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson and Hunter Mahan are all tied at the top of the leaderboard on -1 under par.

Patrick eexplained that the course was hard enough without the wind;

“It’s a tough golf course as it is, and with how hard the wind is blowing, it made it even tougher. Almost felt like we were playing at a major today.”

Graeme McDowell was one of the players to break par today, a second round -1 under par has taken him into a share of second place at even par, along with; Rory McIlroyFrancesco Molinari, and Jamie Donaldson.

Jamie had the low round of the day, a -2 under par 70, it’s not very often -2 claims low round of the day.

G-Mac left us in no doubt about how hard it was today;

“I don’t think I’ve played in conditions this difficult in the U.S. It’s an Open Championship day. It’s a real Friday afternoon at St. Andrews in 2010 before they called it. It was hard out there ,really, really hard.”

Tiger Woods did do better than yesterday, he carded a second round +1 over, and is now +5 over par for the tournament.

Tiger was laughing as he said;

“We’ve all got a shot at it now, no one is going anywhere.”

Darness Descends at Doral, WGC Championship.

dragon logo darkWGC-Cadillac Championship

Darkness descends on The WGA Championship at the Blue Monster course at Doral, suspending the first round.

Harris English had the lowest round of the few who completed Round 1 on Thursday. (Greenwood/Getty Images)

Harris English / Getty Images

Harris English was one of just six players to finish the opening round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship after inclement weather delayed play at Trump National Doral. When the horn blew there were five players tied at the top the leaderboard on -3 under par. The only completed round was Harris English, the other four still to finish the opening round are; Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan, Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed

Harris explained how important it was to finish today, and not to come back in the morning to finish the round, and then continue with the second;

“It was getting really dark, very quickly, but I wanted to finish the hole, it really changes the way you approach the day, waking up and playing one hole at 8 in the morning and then waiting around for three or four hours for your tee time is tough to do. That way in the morning, we can have a normal day.”

Tiger Woods was +2 over par through ten holes, but said he was feeling a lot better, but he will have to play 26 holes tomorrow;

“Felt a lot better today, should be a long day for all of us. Hopefully I can get back out there in the morning, play well and work back to even par by the end of the first round, then shoot a low one in the afternoon.” 

Rory McIlroy was at -1 under par through fourteen holes, but there is a long way to go in this tournament and as usual anything could happen.

WGC- Championships. Cadillac Championship, It’s Tigers Trophy.

Tiger Woods won the WGC-Championships, Cadillac Championship at The Blue Monster, Trump Doral.

Spirited 76th

Tiger Woods / Chris Condon / Getty Images

Tiger Woods had a last round at The Blue Monster of -1 under par, 71, it was good enough to win the tournament by two shots from Steve Stricker. Steve must now be regretting the putting advice he gave to Tiger before the tournament started.

Tiger said any time he can win before Augusta, it is good;

” Thank you to Steve for the putting lesson. It was one of those weeks where I felt pretty good about how I was playing, made a few putts and got it rolling. That’s how I know I can play, that’s the thing. To be able to bring it out a couple times so far this year, and then be able to close and get the Ws on top of that, that’s nice. Any time I can win prior to Augusta, it always feels good.”

Tiger was asked if he still would have won with-out the putting lesson;

” I would like to say I probably would have, but I’ve been putting at home and it just still hadn’t felt right. I still was a little bit off.  He basically got me in the same position that I was at Torrey. So once he put me in there where I felt comfortable, I said, Well, this is not too foreign. This is what I was a month or so ago, and I started rolling it and it felt really, really good. Majors and World Golf Championships are the best because you know you are playing against the best players, that’s what makes wins like this special, that’s why I love to compete.”

Steve had to settle for second place, at -17 under par, his last round of -4 under par 68, not quite good enough to upset Tiger and his legions of adoring fans. He could only laugh about the putting lesson;

“At times you kick yourself, he’s a good friend. We talk a lot about putting. It’s good to see him playing well.”

There was a four-way tie for third place between Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickleson and Graeme McDowell, the man who had kept Tiger in his sights for most of this tournament.

Making a welcome return to form was Rory McIlroy, with a last round of -7 under par 65, to finish the tournament in a four-way tie for eighth spot.

Rory said his game is not so far off the mark as everybody keeps saying;

“Just goes to show, it’s not as far away as you think, that’s been one of my problems. I always think when I’m playing bad that it’s further away than it is. That’s just where I have to stay patient, and know that if I put in the hard work, that the results will bear fruit. Whether that’s sooner or later, it doesn’t really matter.”

Adam Scott had the low round of the tournament with eight birdies in his last round of 64.

WGC-Championships. Tiger Tames The Blue Monster.

Tiger has tamed The Blue Monster, he gained  has 24 birdies, 74 putts and a four-shot lead at Trump Doral, in the Cadillac Championship.

World of greatness

Tiger Woods / Halleran / Getty Images

Tiger Woods completed his third round at The Blue Monster with a score of -5 under par 67, to lead the tournament by four shots with a total of -18 under par. There is now nothing that can stop him winning this tournament, not even the weather. I don’t believe that there is anyone who can now catch Tiger when he is playing with such supreme confidence, the others are all playing for the minor placings.

Graeme McDowell is the man nearest to Tiger, he had a very respectable third round of -3 under par, 69 and was six shots adrift of Tiger with three holes to play. He chipped in for Eagle on 16, gained another shot when Tiger made bogey on 17  with his tee shot embedded into the trunk of a palm tree, and taking a penalty drop.

Tiger said he was looking pretty good until that incident;

“After I made birdie on 15, I was looking pretty good with a six-shot lead, and with a driveable par 4. Two holes later, it’s now cut down to three. I piped a tee shot down there, hit a little 9-iron there and was able to pour that putt in there.”

Graeme was upset with a three put par on the par five, tenth hole after reaching the green in two, but was also very impressed with the way Tiger played today;

” The three-putt on 10 kind of rattled me a little bit, because Tiger didn’t look like he was going to do anything wrong. I really felt like I needed to be making putts like that. All respect to the way he handled himself today and the way he played, he’s going to be a tough guy to catch. But according to the forecast tomorrow, we are going to have strong winds. I think that’s an advantage to the rest of the field. With tough conditions tomorrow, hopefully we’ll have a chance.”

I hate to disagree with you Graeme but I think Tiger will be up for any weather conditions, right now he has found the game to master everything.

Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker both had rounds of -3 under par 69′s, and tied in third place at -13 under par,  are now five shots adrift of Tiger at the top of the leaderboard.

Phil admitted his short game had let him down today;

“I threw away five or six shots on the greens and around the greens, and I feel like I don’t have to play too much different. I just can’t afford to give away those shots. I’m going to have to play a round like I played at Pebble last year, something in the low 60s.”

Steve thinks Tiger will simply close out this tournament;

” You know what kind of closer he is, when he gets the lead in a golf tournament, it’s tough. He doesn’t let too many guys in usually when he gets the lead. We’ve all got our work cut out for us. We’re going to have to go out and try to make birdies on a difficult golf course, which is hard to do.”

Trust me, it’s Tiger’s Tournament.

WGC-Championships, Tiger is on the Prowl

Tiger Woods is on the prowl at the WGC-Championships at the Blue Monster Cadillac Championship, carding a second round of -7 under par 65, to lead the tournament by two shots from Graeme McDowell.

South Beach shootout set

Tiger Woods / Ehrmann / Getty Images

The sparks began to fly on the par-3 fourth hole, the toughest on TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral, with a  4-iron hit with a slight fade towards the left edge of the green, Tiger heard the crowd cheer as the slope and the grain took the ball to within 4 feet of the cup, and he converted for a birdie. He has now made 17 birdies in two rounds, his best ever result on the PGA TOUR, though that wasn’t the most important number.

Tiger said that is all it takes to get him really going, just one good shot;

“It left me a two-shot lead, all I need is one shot, and as soon as I feel it on one, I can pretty much carry through. And I did that today.”

Two shots behind Tiger,who has a tournament total of -13 under par, is Graeme McDowell. who had a second round of -5 under par 67. which gave him his total of -11 under par for the tournament. Graeme expects the greens, which  are already firm and crusty under a week of sunshine and dry air, to get worse. He was pretty cynical with his remarks;

“I guess they can let this place go since they’re going to tear it up on Monday.”

Donald Trump, who owns the entire resort plans a big makeover on TPC Blue Monster, with construction to start right after the tournament. If that’s the case, it could be reminiscent of the Arnold Palmer Invitational a year ago, where Tiger  outlasted G-Mac on the final day.

Graeme continued with his assessment of this tournament;

“Tomorrow is not about winning the golf tournament, tomorrow is about maintaining position, maintaining the way I’m playing and trying to give myself a chance come Sunday afternoon. It doesn’t really matter who I’m playing with tomorrow, Tiger always brings his own interesting little circus inside the ropes. But like I say, I’ve been there many times and I always look forward to playing with him. I saw Phil sneaking up the leaderboard there behind me and I said; Let’s spoil this party tomorrow. I’m sure they would have liked Tiger and Phil in the last group tomorrow, but I certainly will enjoy the position of being in the last group. That’s where I want to be.”

Tied in third position at -10 under par are Phil Mickleson and Steve Stricker, Steve gave Tiger a tip about putting, he may be thinking right now that was probably not a wise thing to do, and he said as much;

” Yes and no, not really. It’s good to see him putting well and playing well. It’s good for us, it’s good for the game.”

World Number One Rory McIlroy had six birdies today, along with three bogies, at least he is in red numbers and is buoyed up by the thoughts of improvement;

“It’s nice to shoot something in the 60s, definitely something to build on over the next couple of days.I saw a lot of positives, I saw a lot of good signs out there. It’s about the ball‑striking and the ball‑striking is getting there. Days like today were very pleasing because it shows that I’m going in the right direction.”

Rory is currently at -2 under par for the tournament, tied in 32nd place.

WGC-Championships- Cadillac Championship, TPC Blue Monster.

The WGC – Championships, Cadillac Championship at Doral’s TPC Blue Monster kicked off in fine fashion today, with five players tied at the top of the leaderboard, all in with rounds of -5 under par 66.

Monster opener

Tiger Woods / Getty Images / Little

Tiger Woods was the first man back in the club-house with a 66, he birdied nine of the holes today and needed only 23 putts to claim his share of the lead. Up there keeping Tiger company are,  Masters Champion Bubba Watson, former U.S. Open Champion Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia and Freddie Jacobson. Sergio and Graeme both had bogey free rounds, and Freddie made two Eagles in three holes.

Tiger had three bogies today and admitted his score should have been lower;

“It was certainly a day that could have been a little lower.”

Phil Mickelson pulled his tee shot on the 17th hole, and his ball only stopped rolling down the cart path after it had traveled some 450 yards. He purposely took a free drop on the cart path to avoid the rough, and chipped that to about 5 feet, and made a birdie, he finished with a round of -5 under par 67, well in contention.

Phil says he has to practice those awkward lie shots;

” You hit the ball in as much trouble as I do off the tee, you learn to hit those kinds of shots and have enough practice at it. I knew what was going to happen.”

This event being a WGC outing means there will be no cut line to worry about, and this suits troubled golfer Rory McIlroy, the current World Number One.

Rory commented;

” It was nice to sneak in a couple birdies on the last three holes and make it look somewhat respectable, even though everyone seems to be going pretty low out there today.”

Salvage work

Rory McIlroy on his way to a +1 over par 73 / Getty Images / Chris Condon

The wind is forecast to start blowing and that will turn this golf course into The Blue Monster it is revered  for, today it was as calm at it could get and the guys who took advantage of the docile conditions will have something to fall back on when the conditions get tougher.

 

Sony Open, Rookie Russell Rips Up the Record Books.

Smashing debut

Winning Rookie Russell Henley / Petersen/Getty Images

The Sony Open was won by rookie Russell Henley on his Tour debut, and doing so he ripped up the standing records for just about everything.

Russell  finished at -24 under par and a total score of 256, breaking by four shots the Sony Open in Hawaii scoring record, last set by Brad Faxon in 2001. Russell relegated Tim Clark into second place by three shots, Tim was himself on fire, he birdied seven of his last eleven holes and actually only made up one shot on Russell, the rookie from the University of Georgia.

Russell is now tied at the top the FedEx Cup standings in the company of Dustin Johnson on 500 points. The win was the second-lowest score for a 72-hole tournament in PGA TOUR history, two shots behind Tommy Armour III in 2003 at the Valero Texas Open. He also  set tournament records for the low 36-hole score after his 63-63 start, he shared the 54-hole record with Scott Langley and also set another tournament record with the lowest final round by a Champion.

Add to that he became the first PGA TOUR rookie to win his debut since Garrett Willis did at Tucson in 2001, and he will be going to the Masters in April, a local tournament for the boy from Macon, Georgia.

He said of his record breaking day that he had never been so nervous, you would not have imagined that watching him coming down the stretch on Sunday. He played the last nine holes superbly.

“I don’t really know what happened, honestly, this is the most nervous I’ve ever been. That’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s been my goal to make it to the Masters my whole life. I’m kind of speechless right now.”

With the results  of his Web.com Tour season last year and this win Russell Henley has already made it into the world rankings inside the top fifty.  That ranking will get him into the Accenture-Match Play Championship for the top 64 in the world, the qualifying date is only a month away, and he should also be in line for the other WGC at the Cadillac Championship, and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, not forgetting the PGA Championship. All in all quite a PGA TOUR debut, I look forward to watching Russell this season, it will be interesting to see how far he can go, he obviously has the talent.

 

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