CIMB Classic. Rikard Karlberg Leads

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Swede Rikard Karlberg leads the CIMB Classic after the first round at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Malaysia.

CIMB Classic

Rikard Karlberg / Getty Images

Rikard shot a first round -7 under par 65 at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, to take a two shot lead into the second round.

Returning from an injury Rikard said he just relaxed, and had some fun, but the lingering viral infection has affected his season;

It gets you a little bit stressed out, I just stopped almost enjoying the game. I was a little bit frustrated before the two last tournaments coming into this week.”

“Just enjoy it and have fun out there made a big difference to me, so I haven’t really thought about it as a big event.”

Tied in second place are Billy Hurley III, Brian Stuard and Angelo Que, all with opening rounds of -5 under par 67.

Top ranked player in the field is Sergio Garcia, he opened the competition with a -3 under par 69. He unfortunately is still suffering from putting problems, which I think is entirely down to that claw grip that he uses;

“It was one of those day where instead of lipping in, they seemed to lip out, and I probably had at least four or five putts that looked like they were going to go in and didn’t.”

Davis Love 111 is another player who had a good start, posting a -4 under par 68 first round, to sit in a tie for fifth place, he said he was taking it easy;

“I was a little tentative on some shots and not real sure what to do, I made some bad swings, but all in all you take 4 under if you haven’t ever seen the course before, so I’m pretty happy with it.”

“I don’t feel real good about a couple of those tee shots I hit. Physically, mentally I’m great. I’m relaxed now. The pressure is off of last week and all the excitement. Somebody else is cleaning up the mess, and I can go play.”

 

 

CIMB Classic. Its Moore On Monday.

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Ryan Moore won the inaugural FedEx Cup event in Asia, the  CIMB Classic, on Monday morning in a play-off at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and County Club.

Worth the wake up

Ryan Moore / Getty Images

Ryan had to fight hard just to get into the play-off with Gary Woodland, hitting his fourth shot to within a couple of feet from 60 yards in Sundays floodlight finish. Gary was on the green in three, with a birdie putt of about eight feet, it slipped agonizingly passed, and Ryan made his par putt.

In the play-off Ryan hit an eight iron third shot to the 18th par five green to about five feet, setting up a birdie attempt, which he duly converted. He said that he had been out practicing that exact shot out on the range before play;

 “I had a great opportunity there on 18 with my third shot and it was just an absolute perfect number. It was coincidentally the exact shot I was working on on the range. I’ve always enjoyed playing in the fall. I’m not sure why, it’s actually kind of funny, I won a week before my son was born last year; I won a week after his birthday this year. Now that it counts, now that it’s a full FedExCup event and counts as a win on the PGA TOUR, it does so much for you. To get a win this early in the season, it’s just incredible, to be able to get some FedExCup points racked up,” 

Gary was still talking about the missed opportunity on Sunday, saying in the daylight today he could see the extra break in the putt that he missed in the gloom;

“Obviously I’d like to make that putt, I hit it where I wanted to, it just broke more. I can see it now, it was a little lighter out right now, I can see it broke a little more, but it is what it is. I put a lot of hard work in, it’s been a process with the changes I’ve made, switching to Butch and his son, and it’s finally starting to come together, which is nice. I put a lot of work in on the short game, a lot of work on the middle game, and we’re starting to put it together now.”

CIMB Classic. Gary and Ryan In A Play-Off, Tomorrow.

Gary Woodland and Ryan Moore finished the CIMB Classic tied at the top of the leaderboard at -14 under par in a seriously rain affected tournament in Kuala Lumpur.

CIMB Classic, final round

Ryan and Gary / Getty

Both players came up a floodlight 18th fairway, very surreal, probably never happened before on the PGA Tour. Street lamps on a golf course, being used to try and complete the round. Neither of them could break the deadlock, and they were not about to go back and come down that floodlight fairway again, so its over till tomorrow.

Gary thought he had made the last putt, which would have given him the title;

“I thought I made it when I looked up and it just broke too much at the end there, but it was a tough day and obviously to come down to the last putt, obviously I’d like to have made it. Obviously we’re both playing really well, we’re going to come out and you’re going to try to have to make birdies because Ryan is going to do that and I’m going to try to do the same. Changing a flight is not the end of the world to come back and have a playoff tomorrow.”

Ryan pushed his last tee shot into the semi rough, he could only get it back out onto the fairway, leaving a long approach. He managed to rescue a par five, and force the play-off;

” I was scrambling there on the last hole just to somehow make a par and kind of see what happens at that point, and fortunately, I still get another shot at it”

Sharing third place at -13 under par were Chris Stroud and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Kiradech admitted he let the nerves get to him;

“The front nine, I played good golf, just concentrate on the greens, didn’t look for the results, just tried to play my best golf. When the back nine came, I have the chance to win. Every time I look at a scoreboard, they put a lot of pressure on me.”

Phil Mickelson, the world number three had another disappointing round, +2 over par 74, to finish tied 29th, but reported his swing is getting better;

“Today despite the score was the best I hit it and the best the swing felt so I actually feel like I have some direction heading into next week’s HSBC Champions in Shanghai.”

 

CIMB Classic. Ryan Tied with Chris at the Top. Keegan Crushed by Kuala Lumpur.

Ryan Moore is tied at the top of the leaderboard at the CIMB Classic with Chris Stroud, at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. After the first two days of magnificent play Keegan Bradley was crushed by the Kuala Lumpur course.

Prize fighters

Ryan Moore / Chris Stroud /Getty Images

Chris Stroud shot a third round -4 under par 68 to tie for the lead at the CIMB Classic with Ryan Moore, who had a third round -3 under par 69. Both players have a tournament total of -12 under par.

Ryan commented on the changing conditions on the course;

“It was almost two different days out there. I’m rolling it well, and if I’m putting well I’m going to have opportunities, and I know I’m going to make some birdies”

Chris said he was using experience gained from the past;

“I’m pulling from all that experience, and what I learned under the gun at Travelers,  was I don’t need to try to do anything fancy. I just need to stick to my game plan, keep hitting shots, keep hitting good quality shots, keep putting myself in the right positions, keep hitting good putts, and stick to my strengths, which are chipping, putting and wedges, and get myself in the fairway.”

Tied in third place at -11 under par are Gary Woodland and local favorite Kiradech Aphibarnrat. Next on the board is Jerry Kelly, he is a further shot back at -10 under par.

Gary is pleased with the way he is playing;

“I’ve been playing good, I’ve been playing good for a long time, I just haven’t been putting it great and got a little putting tip from Phil actually this week, and it’s been working pretty well. Excited about that. I wanted to come over and obviously play well and enjoy the off-season a little bit better. You can do that when you get off to a good start.”

Keegan Bradley collapsed in the third round shooting a +4 over par 76, and is now tied in sixth place at -9 under par.

CIMB Classic. Keegan Crushes Kuala Lumpur.

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Keegan Bradley fired in a -6 under par 66, second round at the CIMB Classic at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Cub in Malaysia.

Drive to succeed

Keegan Bradley / Getty Images

Keegan’s second round score of -6 under 66 gives him a four shot cushion at the top of the leaderboard at the CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur. Just to emphasize how good Keegan has been, he has hit 24 of 28 fairways en route to making 14 birdies through 36 holes.

Not surprisingly Keegan said this is a good course for him;

“It’s challenging, it’s very tight and you’ve got to drive the ball straight, it’s a really good course for me. Driving distance is a big advantage, but I’m also hitting the ball super straight. It’s hard to remember a time where I’ve been more dialed in than these last two days.”

First round leader Ryan Moore could only manage an even par 72 second round, to finish in second place at -9 under par, but said he is still in good shape;

“I’m at or near the lead going into the weekend depending obviously on what happened on a couple guys the last few holes, “But I’m in a great spot, obviously, enjoying the course and playing well. I was happy with my ball striking, I didn’t get it around the hole, but I had my wedges and 9-irons in my hands. I just didn’t get it to those 8- to 12-footers. I seemed to be in that 15- to 20-foot range today and just wasn’t able to convert them.”

Tied in third spot are Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Chris Stroud, both on -8 under par, Kiradech enjoys playing with the top guns, Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney;

“I’m quite enjoying these two top players, I can’t say I was playing better than the two of them, but maybe Phil isn’t used to the type of  grass and this type of weather. But the way he’s driving the ball, he is still a world class player.”

Phil Mickelson said his swing is getting closer to what it should be, after shooting a second round of -2 under par 70;

” It’s not much better, I don’t have the control of the swing that I’d like. I’m not sure what side I’m going to miss it on. Playing this golf course from the rough, which I did today, is extremely difficult. The rough is tough and you’re fighting for pars the whole day. It was closer today, the rhythm was a little bit better but technically, I’ve got a lot of issues. With the wedges, the technical flaws really don’t come through, it’s really the longer stuff. So I can get away with it if I can manufacture a few swings into the fairway. But it felt better today, the rhythm felt a little bit better today. I won’t worry so much about technique and the technical side these next two days and just see if I can get a good rhythm with the swing and maybe I can make some birdies.”

CIMB Classic. Ryan Moore Sets The Pace.

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Ryan Moore sets the pace at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, enjoying a two shot lead at the top of the leaderboard. The players have the advantage of lift, clean and replace, so expect some really low scoring here.

Ryan Moore during the PGA Tour's 2013 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Ryan Moore / AP

Ryan shot a first round -9 under par 63 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club in Malaysia, taking a two shot lead over Keegan Bradley. Coming off a top ten finish at the Shriners last week, and his season has started with five consecutive rounds in the sixties.

He said it was a bonus that the season starts with events he likes;

“It was really just a huge bonus that the season starts now. These are events like Vegas, that’s home for me, and then this event which I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of years. They’re events I would play anyway so just the fact that they count, that’s huge.First and foremost on this golf course, you gotta put it in the fairway. The fairways are very small, and I started out doing that really well. I hit it in the fairway, and with ball in hand and the ability to clean the ball and give yourself a perfect lie every time, that’s a huge advantage.”

Keegan had a bogey free -7 under par 65, to be in second place on day one, he said taking a break before this tournament had worked well for him;

“I wanted to be prepared for this tournament so I worked pretty hard the last couple weeks. I want to be a more consistent player out here. I want to win more. Most importantly, I want to contend at the majors and play better at the majors. I feel like there’s no time to waste. I really want to get off to a fast start.”

In third place is Sergio Garcia at -6 under par after his opening round of 66.

On Wednesday Sergio met H.M. Queen Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah Hamidun at the golf course, he said he was nervous, not sure how to act. When he hit a bad shot she gave him some encouragement;

“I didn’t know what to expect when it comes down to royalty but she was very, very relaxed. Very chill. She said, `Nah, tomorrow you’ll hit it right. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”

Sergio and the Queen / Getty

The mystery that still has to be solved is the worrying form of Phil Mickleson, Phil shot a -1 under par 71 for his first round, and admits his swing is really bad;

I’m swinging awful. I’m swinging terribly at the ball, the lead for me right now is irrelevant. It’s so far off that that’s the last thing on my mind because I just don’t know where the ball is going. I would go hit balls, but I don’t know what to do to try to fix it,”

Stop trying to fix things Phil, just relax and play your usual game, everything will come back to you naturally.

PGA Tour Parts Company with Mickey and Minnie, and The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.

 

It was a sad day Monday when the PGA Tour released a portion of its 2013-14 schedule, with one glaring omission. The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic is not part of the new lineup. Tournament spokesperson Tony Morreale announced;

 “It was a mutual decision between us and the Tour.”

The Disney event has  been a permanent fixture on the Tour since 1971, when Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural Walt Disney World Open Invitational, and in recent years it has enjoyed being the final event on the circuit’s schedule. For sometime now speculation had been building  that with the Tour’s transition to a split-calendar schedule beginning next season, and the loss of its title sponsor, November’s event, which was last won by Charlie Beljan, would be the end of the Miracles for the Children.

Ryan Palmer the 2004 Disney champion, said;

” I honestly think it would have gotten a better field as part of the FedEx Cup. It will be sad to see an event like this go away. Disappointed to see it leave.”

The Frys.com Open will start the 2013-14 schedule beginning Oct. 20-13 followed by the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (Oct. 17-20) in Las Vegas. Then following two events in Asia, CIMB Classic (Oct. 24-27) and World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions (Oct. 31-3) – the circuit returns to North America for The McGladrey Classic in Georgia and the OHL Classic at Mayakoba (Mexico) in November. After November there will be a break of one and a half months before the Tour resumes it’s season with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions Friday Jan 4 – Monday Jan 7, 2013, at the Plantation Course at Kapalua · Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.