Accenture Match Play Championship, Luke Donald and Justin Rose the Big Losers today.

Both Luke Donald and Justin Rose tumbled out of  the Accenture Match-Play Championship at Dove Mountain today. Luke crashed out & and 6 to Scott Piercy and Justin Rose fell to Nicolas Colsaerts 4 and 2.

Ian Poulter beat Bo Van Pelt 3 and 1 while Matt Kuchar dispatched Sergio Garcia 2 and 1. Louis Oosthuizen, an inform favorite for this competition fell to Robert Garrigus 3 and 2.

Shane Lowery continues his good form, beating Carl Pettersson 6 and 5, while another Irishman Graeme McDowell beat off the challenge of Alex Noren 1 up through twenty holes.

Bubba Watson continues his good form, beating Jim Furyk 1 up through twenty-two holes, a tense and tough struggle. Chucky Three Sticks could not continue where he left off when beating Tiger Woods,he fell to Gonzalo Fedez- Castano 6 and 5.

Martin Kaymer is still  in good shape as he defeated Raphael Cabrera-Bello.

This turning into a very interesting tournament, with so many top players falling over in the early rounds, there are no bookies favorites now, it is anybody’s tournament.

This how the match-ups are for tomorrow;

Match 49 (1st tee)
Match 49: 9:10 a.m. ET (7:10 a.m. local)
ROBERT GARRIGUS (2-0) vs. FREDRIK JACOBSON (4-3)

No player has made more birdies this week than Garrigus, who has 14 in his first two rounds at Dove Mountain. Garrigus has won 12 holes and lost just five. Although the 35-year-old Garrigus hasn’t played in a match play format in 18 years, he likes the challenge. “It’s a fun, fun format for me, especially if I’m rolling it well, and I am.” Jacobson’s opponents have made just two birdies against him.

Match 50 (1st tee)
9:22 a.m. ET (7:22 a.m. local)
NICOLAS COLSAERTS (2-1) vs. MATT KUCHAR (11-3)

Colsaerts will have the distance advantage off the tee; he and Bubba Watson are the only two players averaging more than 300 yards in driving distance this week. “If I’m on, I’m going to give myself a lot of birdie tries,” Colsaerts said. But he and Kuchar each have made an equal number of birdies this week (eight) and Kuchar doesn’t get phased by being outdriven.

Match 53 (1st tee)
9:34 a.m.ET (7:34 a.m. local)
SHANE LOWRY (2-0) vs. GRAEME McDOWELL (5-6)

For the second time this week, G-Mac faces a foe from Ireland, having already beaten Padraig Harrington. And for the second time this week, Lowry faces a foe from Northern Ireland, having upset Rory McIlroy. The two were expected to have dinner together Friday night. “A good craic and be a bit of banter,” Lowry said. McDowell has the experience edge, but he doesn’t think it’ll be a factor against Lowry. “If Rory didn’t intimidate him, I suppose what chance do I have?” McDowell said. The two practiced together earlier this week, with McDowell winning the stakes. “Hopefully I can continue that role tomorrow,” he said.

Match 54 (1st tee)
9:46 a.m. ET (7:46 a.m. local)
BUBBA WATSON (7-3) vs. JASON DAY (5-2)

Watson is the only player ranked in the top 10 in the world who remains in the field. He’s also played more holes than anybody else this week (39). Of those 39 holes, he’s only trailed after one hole. Both players are long off the tee, so Day doesn’t expect to give up much ground in distance. “I’m driving the ball really, really nicely,” he said.

Match 51 (10th tee)
9:10 a.m. ET (7:10 a.m. local)
SCOTT PIERCY (2-0) vs. STEVE STRICKER (14-9)

Piercy is coming off a surprisingly easy 7-and-6 win over top-seeded and world No. 2 Luke Donald. The Accenture Match Play Championship rookie now faces another former champion in Steve Sticker, who was taken to 21 holes by Nick Watney in the second round. Stricker acknowledged that while he wasn’t surprised to see Piercy win, the lop-sided nature of that victory “does catch your attention.” Piercy played his 12 holes on Friday in 7 under, too. “Maybe he used them all up today.”

Match 52 (10th tee)
9:22 a.m. ET (7:22 a.m. local)
TIM CLARK (7-7) vs. IAN POULTER (20-9)

These two players couldn’t be more different — the flashy Poulter and the steady-Eddy Clark. Poulter, who made seven birdies and no bogeys in beating Bo Van Pelt 3 and 1 in the second round, has prospered at Dove Mountain, too, winning in 2010 and reaching the consolation finals five years earlier. Clark, on the other hand, has never advanced past the third round and admits the 7,791-yard course is a challenge for a man who ranks 176th in driving distance. “On a day like today, I just accepted that and went about hitting good wedge shots,” said Clark, who beat Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen 3 and 2, “Sometimes if I can do that maybe I can get under the skin of my opponent.”

Match 55 (10th tee)
9:34 a.m. ET (7:34 a.m. local)
GONZALO FERNANDEZ-CASTANO (2-1) vs. WEBB SIMPSON (2-1)

Both players lost in the first round a year ago as they made their Accenture Match Play Championship debuts. In fact, until Fernandez-Castano, a former Spanish Amateur champ, beat Francesco Molinari 2 up on Friday morning he had never won a match as a pro on the 18th hole. “I’m starting to love (match play) again,” said Fernandez-Castano, who has made fewer bogeys than anyone in the field. Simpson, who has been sick most of the week, has only hit 50 percent of his greens in regulation, including just 10 in 18 holes on Friday, to rank last among the players remaining. He’s an opportunistic putter, though, which has carried him through the week.

March 56 (10th tee)
9:46 a.m. ET (7:46 a.m. local)
MARTIN KAYMER (11-5) vs. HUNTER MAHAN (12-4)

These two know what it takes to win at Dove Mountain. Mahan is the defending champion while Kaymer reached the title tilt in 2011 before losing to Luke Donald. The two have history, too — Kaymer beat Mahan 2 and 1 on the way to his runner-up finish in 2011. “It was a tough, really tight match, and he became a lot better player the last two years,” Kaymer recalled. “I have a lot of respect for him.” Mahan has wielded a hot putter this week taking just 44 rolls over 29 holes. “Confidence is high,” he said. “I know I can play this place well and I know I can beat anybody on any given day.”

CIMB Classic, Malaysia, Wonderful Watney Wins

           

Magic in Malaysia

Nick Watney/ Getty Images

Nick Watney shot a course record last round on Sunday of -10 under par, 61 to win the CIMB Classic at The MINES Resort & Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a tournament total of -22 under par. Nick had a chance to go for a 59, but a wayward tee shot on eighteen left him with a difficult approach to the green from the left rough. His effort failed to reach the green, and he was then left with a long pitch shot for par, he failed in his attempt and dropped a shot at the last. That mistake left Bo Van Pelt needing to finish with a birdie to tie Nick at -22 under par. Bo was seeking back to back wins after his victory last week in Australia. Bo also missed the fairway on eighteen, then his approach landed in the green-side bunker, and he got up and down for par, to tie second place with Robert Garrigus, who birdied eighteen for his -21 under par tournament total. Both players had last round scores of -6 under par 66.

Tiger Woods made the charge he promised after his disappointing error strewn second nine on Saturday. Tiger had a last round score of -8 under par 63, and finished just three shots off the lead, tied in fourth place, after starting ten shots adrift of the final pairing of Van Pelt and Garrigus. Sharing fourth place with Tiger was Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge, who had a final round of -5 under par, 66, and Chris Kirk who had an average last round of -4 under par 67.  Another really low round came from Carl Pettersson with a -9 under par last round effort, giving him seventh place on his own.

Wyndham Championship, Sergio Garcia Wins

 

    FedExCup_150.jpg

Wyndham wallop

Sergio Garcia/Martin/Getty Images

I am pleased to report that Sergio Garcia won the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on Monday morning. This victory was Sergio’s  first on the PGA Tour since the 2008 Players Championship. His winning score was – 18 under par after shooting a final-round 66, beating  Tim Clark by two shots and Bud Cauley by three. Sergio now excitedly goes to Bethpage Black for The Barclays with momentum, he ranked 33rd in the FedExCup, a big jump of 69 spots. The Barclays, which begins Thursday, is the first of four events in the FedExCup Playoffs that will decided the season-long champion and winner of the $10 million bonus.

“I am proud of the way I played coming in, hopefully this will secure my spot in the Ryder Cup. We’ll see when the team comes out, but I think my chances are a little better now.”

With this win, Sergio appears to have forced himself  into the automatic qualifiers for the European team with just one week remaining. The matches will be held at Medinah Country Club where a then 19-year-old Garcia finished second to Tiger Woods at the 1999 PGA Championship. Go Sergio !!!

Tim Clark finished in second spot after his last round 67 and a tournament total of -16 under par. Tim also moved up the points list, to 54th, this amazing position after not even being in the Playoff picture a few weeks ago. Tim knew it was going to be hard to reel in Sergio on the day;

“It was going to be tough to catch Garcia, the way he finished.”

Bud Cauley claimed third place with a final round of -2 under par, 68 and a tournament total of -15 under par. Local boy Carl Pettersson finished in a three-way tie for fourth spot, with Jimmy Walker and Chad Campbell.

Lets go to the Play-offs.

Wyndham Championship, Final Round Suspended. Weather Delay

  

Inclement weather caused the suspension of play in the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on Sunday. The final round will commence on Monday morning with Sergio Garcia still leading, he is -1 under par after four holes and is currently at -15 under par for the tournament. Jason Dufner, Bud Cauley and Tim Clark are just one shot adrift, with all of them just beginning their rounds when play was halted.

American Ryder Cup Captain, Davis Love 111, is still on -11 under par after seven holes of his final round, and could still close the gap at the resumption of play tomorrow. Local boy Carl Pettersson is +2 over par during his first six holes of the final round and looks less than convincing in his bid for the title.

I am looking forward to tomorrows play, it should be a great tussle to the end.

Wyndham Championship, Round 3, Sergio Garcia Leads

                                                                                                                       

Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia/Gerry Broome / Associated Press

After three rounds of the Wyndham Championship Sergio Garcia is in control of his Ryder Cup destiny. Sergio had a third round of       -4 under par 66 on the par 70 Sedgefield Country Club lay-out, to lead by one shot from Tim Clark and Bud Cauley, who are on -13 under par. The FedEx Playoffs are just one week away, and Sergio Garcia is rounding into form at the right time. The going will  not be easy, apart from Bud Cauley and Tim Clark by one,  Jason Dufner, Harris English and Carl Pettersson are lurking with serious intent. Sergio is acutely aware of the competition looming behind him for the final round;

” Obviously I would love to be two, three shots better but, you know, we’re in a good situation, it’s going to be a tough day. There’s no doubt about it. A lot of very good players behind me trying to achieve the same thing I’m trying to achieve. So, you know, hopefully I’ll go out there tomorrow, play well again and give ourselves a good shot at winning and see if we can finish in the same position that I was today. Eighteen pars are not going to win it, you have to make some birdies out there. I don’t have a number, I’m not going to say I need to shoot 4 under, 5 under, or whatever. Someone might go out and shoot 9 under, and 5 under’s not good enough.”

Jason Dufner had the best round of the day, a -7 under par 63, and playing like that he could easily be in contention coming down the stretch on Sunday afternoon. Jason trails Sergio by two shots and is trying to win for the third time during this breakout season. Amazingly he would replace Tiger Woods as No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings if he did, now that would be a talking point.

There are sixteen players within four shots of the lead, so in reality tomorrow is going to be a shoot-out, and may the best man win.

The American Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love 111 is still in contention in this tournament, and a win for him here would be a momentous occasion. And don’t forget Carl Pettersson, the Sedgefield Country Club member, he knows this course well, and that factor could give him the edge. Of course Carl will not be playing for Ryder Cup selection, as he does not qualify to play for either the U.S. or the European Team. I think some rule changes need to be made here, but you know how long it takes the authorities to come to any conclusions on rule changes, long putters have been around for twenty years.

Here is how the top of the leaderboard currently looks.

1. Sergio Garcia -14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                T2. Bud Cauley -13                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           T2. Tim Clark -13                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            T4. Jason Dufner -12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    T4. Harris English -12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  T4. Carl Pettersson -12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       T7. Davis Love III -11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       T7. Matt Every -11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              T7. Jimmy Walker 11

Wyndham Championship, round 2, Jimmy Walker in Front.

  Jimmy Walker hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club.

Jimmy Walker/getty images

Jimmy Walker is in front after the second round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina. Jimmy had a super smooth -8 under par, 62, for a tournament total of -12 under par. He now  leads the Championship by just one shot from Webb Simpson.

Jimmy  is playing well despite having suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee while making what he called a “funny step” at the HP Byron Nelson Championship in late May. He elected to have a cortisone injection the week of the U.S. Open, which took away the swelling and pain. Jimmy spoke about the discomfort he was feeling;

” For a while there I was out of my routine because I couldn’t bend down, I couldn’t read putts the way I wanted to. I couldn’t line my ball up the way I wanted to.”

He has  said he’ll probably undergo surgery in the offseason to fix the same problem he had on his right knee a couple of years ago.

Webb Simpson had a nice round of -7 under par 63, and a total of -11 under par and is alone in second spot, he is thinking about the FedEx Playoffs and also his first Ryder Cup;

“Obviously right now I’m thinking about the FedExCup Playoffs but I talked to Davis a little bit more today about the team and just kind of what to expect and how I can prepare for my first Ryder Cup and, so, I’m definitely thinking about it but, you know, I’m just trying to play good tomorrow and work for The Playoffs.”

There are four players tied in third place at -10 under par, they are, Carl Pettersson, Sergio Garcia, Harris English and Tim Clark.

Carl struggled today and admitted so;

“I’m going to drive back tonight home and get some rest and see if I can find my swing on the way back. I struggled early on didn’t have much today but I thought it was a good comeback shooting 4 under from nine onwards and 2-under par was okay today with the game that I had and hopefully I can hit the ball better on the weekend and have a chance. Overall, it was pretty good, there was some uncertainty for sure but, overall, I hit the driver pretty good, I’ll keep it in the bag for the weekend. I got to keep playing aggressive, put the ball in play and then try to make some birdies and have a low weekend, it’s nice to be up there with a chance to win.”

 

Do the Rules of Golf need an update ?

Carl Pettersson

Carl Pettersson/getty images

During the PGA Championship Carl Pettersson incurred a two shot penalty when his club brushed aside a loose impediment, a leaf, while he was trying to extricate himself from a hazard. Carl had an official with him at the time, and asked the man if it was OK if his club brushed against the grass during the backswing. The official said yes, it was OK to brush the grass on the back-swing of the stroke, and he was correct in what he said, he just never mentioned the possibility of moving the leaves, and it would have been inappropriate of him to advise Carl. That is another rule concerning giving advice. Obviously Carl was not a happy camper;

 “I double checked with the official to make sure I could brush the grass as long as I didn’t put any weight on the ground with the clubhead, and he said sure, I wish he would have mentioned the leaves, too. I was just trying to hit the ball. I didn’t even think twice about it.”

Not being able to remove loose impediments in a hazard is a good rule, remember Tiger Woods at the PGA Tour event held at TPC Scottsdale, Stadium Course. Tiger was playing the par-five 13th hole, his tee shot to the left of the fairway, well in-bounds but in the desert. His ball came to rest near a boulder that would interfere with his swing toward the green. The boulder was deemed to be a loose impediment so Tiger had a group of adoring fans ” roll the stone away” so that he had a clear shot to the green. Tiger went on to birdie the hole, but if the ball had been in an area that was a classed as a hazard he would not have been allowed to move the boulder. The point is, Carl was in a hazard and if he was faced with a boulder, or dead tree trunk or any loose impediment he would not have been allowed to move it. Neither should he be allowed, he should not have been in the hazard in the first place, that’s the penalty.

I do not agree that players are allowed to consult the officials about what is right or wrong, the player and his caddie should know all the rules. The officials should just be there to referee the match and make calls about the rules, not explain the rules chapter and verse to someone who should know them.

Talking about stupid rules, what about the temporary rule the PGA made about there being no bunkers on the course. Pete Dye designed the course with lots of well positioned bunkers in play, what a bad decision it was to nullify the effect of these hazards.

I have never before seen anybody raking a sandy area, it does not happen out on the course, so why should they rake green side sandy area’s. Does that not incur another penalty for improving the lie ? just another rule in the book.

PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, Rory McIlroy Wins.

                        

Mac attack! Rory McIlroy bounced back to form with USPGA victory

Rory McIlroy/mirror.co.uk

Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship title at Kiawah Island on Sunday, after completing his third round, and then teeing off again in the final round. Rory won by this title by a massive eight shots over second placed David Lynn. Rory’s total was -13 under par, with David in second spot at -5 under par.

Rory said the achievement had not yet sunk in;

 “I don’t think I have let it sink in yet, it was a great round of golf. I just wanted to play solid, as I did all the way through the week. I got off to a shaky start but settled into it and my putting was phenomenal. It has been an incredible week, I had a good feeling about it at the start but I never imagined I would do this. It means an awful lot to look at the names on the trophy and to put my name beside them is something special. To sit up here and see this trophy and call myself a multiple major champion. I know I’ve talked about it in the past, and not many people have done it. I just want to keep working hard, keep practising, and hopefully there’s a few more of these in my closet when my career finishes.”

David Lynn was alone in second place, his last round of -4 under par giving him a tournament total of -5 under par.

David Lynn

David Lynn/stuff.co.nz

David explained why he has not played in America before;

” I’ve never been exempt to play anything in America, so that’s the reason why I’ve never been over here. To come and perform the way I have this week in a major is very special and a great achievement. It has not sunk in properly yet to be honest.”

David skipped last month’s Austrian Open to protect his top 100 world ranking, and earn a first spot in the PGA Championship.This was just his second major after featuring in the 2003 British Open, where he finished tied for 53rd.

“I got the phone call the Tuesday of the week before the tournament and flew out on Sunday. Turning up at the course for the first time, there was more excitement than nerves. I’m about to play my first event in America and I’m going to see a lot of faces that I’ve seen on television, so that was good. Watching the 1991 Ryder Cup here, it was always a place that intrigued me. I mean, visually from the air, it looks amazing and it’s not disappointing when you turn up here. I have to say, with the wind, it probably is a little bit European. I noticed that I think there was eight players in the top 10 going into today’s round were European. The only thing I’ve struggled with this week is the humidity. I’ve been wearing a rain glove because my hands get quite sweaty. It has been quite hot and humid, but it’s lived up to its expectations for me. I’ve loved the golf course, and the crowds has been fantastic, everything has been great.”

There were four players tied in third place; Keegan Bradley, Justin Rose, Carl Pettersson and Ian Poulter. Ian had it at -8 under par at one point during the final round, and at the time was only one shot behind Rory, but he let it slip away. Ian said of his great start to the day;

“I guess it was a dream start, birdieing the first five holes. I put myself in position, which was great. I couldn’t ask for a better nine holes and then obviously birdieing 11 and 12 was also pretty good, too. So I put myself in position and I guess I run out of a little bit of steam coming around the turn on 13, 14, 15. I come unstuck right there. Just disappointing to bogey the last, really. I didn’t press at all. I still felt that I had to get through that stretch of holes. There was no case of pressing in any way, shape or form. I just thought I needed not to make any mistakes and unfortunately I made three on the spin which was a real shame. Rory has obviously played some immense golf out there today and when he plays golf like he’s playing this week, and especially the last couple of days, he’s very impressive to watch. You know, everybody should take note; the guy’s pretty good.”

For your information, Tiger Woods finished at -2 under par for the tournament, eleven shots off the pace, it makes you wonder if he really has another Major in him.

PGA Championship, 3 Tied at the Top at Windy Kiawah Island

There are three players tied at the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of the second round of the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Carl Pettersson share the top spot with a tournament score of -4 under par. Vijay Singh had the best round of the day, mastering the windy conditions well to conjure up a -3 under par round of 69, and is worthy of his position at the top of the board. Tiger Woods had a second round of -1 under par, but he had to fight hard and ride his luck on occasions. Carl Pettersson struggled to a +2 over par round, he started the day at -6 under, but could not hold on to that score. In all  only three players managed to shoot under par rounds today, if the wind keeps on blowing, just about anybody could still win it.

Live Report Image

Vijay Singh/Ferrey/Getty Images

Vijay had to think his way round;

“After a while you don’t really think about your score. You just think about each hole, each shot and just try not to mess up. Those two-footers are important out here. I think 16, 17, 18, it was so hard just standing on the greens trying to make a putt. It was one of my better rounds. I didn’t strike the ball as good, but I scored really, really well, and I think that was the key. I just started believing that I can do it, I was so negative for a long, long time. I had great sessions on the driving range and just couldn’t take it on the golf course. I finally started to believe that I could do what I’m doing on the driving range. A little tweak to my golf swing during the British Open kind of helped, as well. Like I said, my head is in a better spot. I’m more focused and believing that I can do it has helped me a lot.”

Tiger said of his day;

“It was tough out there, wow. You can’t take anything for granted, simple tap-in is not a simple tap-in. The putter is oscillating all over the place and the ball is oscillating and you know, you have to make an adjustment, at least I was on my down swing and my putts, because the putter is being blown all over the place. It’s a tough day. I mean, your start lines, Holy Cow, we are starting balls so far   off-line, to have it comeback in. There’s so much drift to this wind. It was just a tough day.”

Live Report Image

Tiger Woods/Ferrey/Getty Images

Carl was happy to still be in the mix;

” I thought 2 over today was probably like shooting 2 under yesterday, I played well. I hit some squirrely shots which is typical when it’s blowing 30 miles an hour, but I hit some really good ones, too. It’s just very difficult to get any rhythm in the round of hitting fairways and greens and my short game was good, which was nice on days like this.”

Englishman Ian Poulter is just one shot behind them at -3 under par, but should really have joined the leading group, as he came to the last hole at -4, found the green with his second, then somehow managed to three put for a bogey 5.

The cut at Kiawah came at +6 over par and included 73 players. Notables among those names that will miss the weekend are, recent U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, who defends his title at the Wyndham Championship next week; world No.4 Lee Westwood, Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III and also some hopefuls for his Ryder Cup team, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney, Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker.

Amazingly Luke Donald made the cut, or to be correct, the cut line came back to him, his second round of +4 over par added to his first round of +2. it looked certain earlier in the day that Luke would be headed out the exit, but here his is, just on the cut-line of +6.

PGA Championship Kiawah Island

Island in the sun

Carl Petterson/Kinnaird/Getty Images

Carl Pettersson leads the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island with -6 under par round of 66. Carl  has a one shot advantage over a group of four  players who are at  -5 under par, Gary Woodland, Gonzalo Fernandez-Costano, Alex Noren and one of the favorites for the title this week,  Rory McIlroy.

Carl was determined to take advantage of the good conditions, before the wind got up;

“There really wasn’t much wind on the front nine, so I knew I had to keep going low because I figured the wind would get up. The wind started blowing a little bit on the back nine, and I carried on solid play. So it was a great day for me.”

There is a large group on -4 under par, these include Major winner John Daly, who has found some form of late, and Adam Scott, who had a great chance to win The Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes. Tiger Woods is another shot further back, and in a good position after the first round.

John Daly said he played freely;

“To just free wheel it is the only way I can get my confidence back instead of worrying about bad breaks and worrying about this and worrying about what somebody else is doing. I only need to worry about what I’m doing and go out and attack and play golf and enjoy it.” 

Tiger was really happy with his start to the tournament;

“Anything in the 60s is going to be a good start in a major championship, and I’m right there.”

Adam Scott was also very pleased with his opening effort;

“So far, so good. It would be great to put two more rounds together and be coming here Sunday with a good look at the championship. If I don’t, then I’ll really feel like I’ve let it all slip this year for me. So I’d love to use this opportunity while I’m playing well to get in there and have a sniff on Sunday.”

Phil Mickelson shot a 71 to be at -1 under par, after spending most of the day scrambling from all over the course, he said;

“I fought hard today and I kept myself right in it for the most part and should get a bit of a weather break tomorrow morning. It actually felt a little bit closer than it has in a long time. I felt good on the green. My touch was back. I started hitting some shots at some pins.”

Among those who will be struggling to make the cut, currently projected at +2,  are World number one Luke Donald, and Rickie Fowler  who both  had a miserable day at +2 over par for the first round. Luke making his customary slow start to a tournament this year. Surprisingly Webb Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open Champion is already out of the hunt, shooting a +7 over par round. Lee Westwood is another who is unlikely to make to cut this time around.

I still can not believe that the USGA have ordained that the bunkers are not hazards for this tournament. It is really strange to watch a player in a green-side bunker taking practice swings in the sand to get the feel of how the ball will come out, madness.