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Valero Texas Open. 1st Round play Suspended. Fog in Texas ?

dragon logo darkValero Texas Open Logo

TPC San Antonio was shrouded in fog during the opening round of the Valero Texas Open, causing a suspension in Play.

Valero Texas Open - Round One    Valero Texas Open - Round One

                                          Pat Perez   and Danny Lee/ Getty Images

At the time the horn blew Pat Perez and Danny Lee had completed their first rounds and sat at the top of the leaderboard of the Valero Texas Open. They both carded opening rounds of -4 under par 68. The fog kept temperatures in the 50s before it burned off and gave way to sun and readings in the 80s.

Pat spoke of the conflicting temperatures;

“This morning it was freezing, and I hit balls on the practice range in four layers of clothes. Now, I’m sweating.”

What is worrying, and noteworthy, is the form of Phil Mickleson, who shot a +5 over par 77 opening round, to fall nine strokes back of the lead.  That horrible 77 was Phil’s highest score since he shot a 78 in August in the PGA Championship.

It seems Phil was as surprised as the rest of us;

“I had been playing real well at home, so to come out and play like this is disappointing, just didn’t feel quite sharp. I didn’t putt well, I had a couple of three-putts that hurt. Iron play wasn’t great. I didn’t drive it bad, until that last hole.”

In his previous two starts, Phil missed the cut in the Honda Classic, and then tied for 16th at Doral in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. This is not good preparation for The Masters, just two weeks away. Phil will play in the Houston Open before heading to Augusta National.

Looks like Phil will have plenty of time to practice, making the cut here is a long way off, currently T 135 out of a field of 144.

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.

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.

Logo Image

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.

Justin Rose Wins Cadillac Championship @ Doral

Rose-wins.jpgCannon/Getty Images

Everything has come up roses for Rosy as Justin wins the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral. He won by one shot from Bubba Watson, who had an erratic round of 2 over par 74, compared to Justin’s -2 under par 70. In his post round interview Justin was pretty pleased with his early season win;

“It really is a great day. It’s been a great week. It’s been a great two weeks to be honest with you. I’ve been very focused on just sort of seeing this whole Florida Swing as like a body of work and not really trying to put too much focus on any individual tournament. And I kind of knew I was playing well and if I just kept out of my own way for the most part and kept thinking well and doing the right things, I had a feeling something good might happen in these four weeks and I’m kind of including the next two weeks, as well. For this little beauty to show up on my mantle piece so early in the season, definitely a fantastic feeling, and you know, it sets up a very exciting year.”

Bubba Watson said he had given it his best shot, he and his caddy had just misread the last putt on the 18th green, the break being more than they had anticipated;

“Today I felt really good waking up. I felt no meshes. I was ready to go. Pulled my first tee shot, still made birdie, almost made eagle and then pulled the next shot off the tee and sliced the next one. The ball position was a little off: I was a little too close to it, too far from it. Takes a few holes to figure it out and then I had some chances on the back nine. I really fought hard and had some chances on the back nine and just didn’t make some putts. But then on 18, I had 191 out of the rough, no grass behind the ball so I could make solid contact with it and hit a pure 4 iron, a low bullet 4 iron and just misread the putt. We just didn’t give enough. We thought it was not going to break as much and it broke about three inches too much.”g

Rory McIlroy finished in third spot, after a good round of – 5 under for a last round total of 67, two shots off the lead. He recalled how tough 18 was today;

“Yeah, you know, 18 today was playing brutal, probably the toughest it’s played all week. I hit a really good second shot through the trees. It just jumped on me a little bit and ran through the back of the green and drew a pretty bad lie there. Especially with water on the other side of the pin, I didn’t want to be too ambitious.”

Luke Donald finished at -12 for the tournament, another trademark top ten finish for the consistent ex world #1.

Tiger Woods had to withdraw from the tournament after hitting his tee shot on the 12th tee, he said;

“I felt tightness in my left Achilles warming up this morning, and it continued to get progressively worse. After hitting my tee shot at 12,              I decided it was necessary to withdraw. In the past, I may have tried to continue to play, but this time, I decided to do what I thought was necessary.”

Apparently this is the same Achilles tendon Tiger injured about a year ago at the Masters. That injury forced Woods to miss three months of golf, including two majors. Tiger changed his shoes at the turn, but his limp became more obvious concluding with his withdrawal at 12.

Bubba Watson still Leading @ Doral, after three rounds

One-a-dayEHRMANN/GETTY IMAGE

Bubba Watson had a third day of solid play at TPC Blue Monster and will take a three-shot edge into Sunday’s final round, joining him on the tee for the final paring will be Keegan Bradley. Bubba had a -5 67 for -17 under par total, and Keegan shot a -6 66 for his total of -14. Also on -14 after a third round of 69 is Justin Rose. Rosy three putted the last green to miss the opportunity of playing a fourth straight day with Bubba.

Best round of the day was from Rory McIlroy firing in a -7 for 65, but at -9 under par for the tournament he would be seemingly out of contention tomorrow. Joining him at -9 is Tiger Woods and Luke Donald, who are also playing for the minor placings, unless of course they can all produce a round of 62, even in that unlikely event I expect the leaders to improve on their overnight scores.

Even further adrift are Lee Westwood, who had a better round today, -4 for a total of -5, and Phil Mickelson who had another miserable day managing -1 and a tournament total of -2.

WGC. Doral, Bubba Watson leads after two rounds.

PATRICK FARRELL / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Bubba Watson leads the WGC Cadillac Championship after the second round by one shot from Justin Rose. Bubba had a wonderful round of -10 under par 62, to lead the tournament @ -12. Justin had an impressive -8 for his second round leaving him just one shot adrift of the lead @ -11 for the tournament.

Rory McIlroy recovered a little bit to finish @ -1 under par for the Championship with a round of -3 69. Luke Donald maintained his presence shooting a -4 round to keep him in touch with the leaders, he is now has a total of -6. Lee Westwood had a good round of -5, but that still leaves him with a total of -1 for the tournament, and eleven shots off the pace.

Tiger Woods also had a -5 round and the same score for his total for the two rounds, while Phil Mickelson had a -1 round and the same -1 for the Championship. With no cut in this competition I guess anyone could still win, maybe Tiger can finish with two rounds of 62.

WGC Doral, Windy Blue Monster Devours the worlds best Golfers

Windy conditions at the WGC Doral made it tough going for some of the worlds best golfers. World #1 Rory McIlroy could only manage a +1 round of 73, while # 3 Lee Westwood struggled for a +4 over par 76. Tiger woods and Phil Mickelson completed their first rounds at even par 72 and Englands flamboyant Ian Poulter could only muster a +4 76. Luke Donald finished a -2 and Justin Rose went one better at -3, while at the top of the leaderboard are Australia’s Adam Scott and Jason Dufner coming in at -6 under par for their rounds. Scotts performance adding fuel to the ‘ban the long putter” because one of the complaints against the long putter are that it steadies the golfer in windy conditions.

Adam Scott, Of Australia, LinesThe Associated Press

Rory McIlroy was disappointed with his day, lamenting how tricky it was on the course;

“It was a bit of a struggle. It was a pretty tricky day but obviously there was good scores out there. I just didn’t really get anything going. You know, I was trying to sort of play my way back into the round. I thought if I could shoot under par on the back nine, which was the front nine, post something around 70, 69, it would have been a good score. But made a couple bogeys early on on that nine and couldn’t really get it back.”

Adam Scott was happy with his days effort;

“Yeah, obviously very satisfied with the round today, and in these blustery conditions. I took advantage of my good play the first 11 or 12 holes and then managed to kind of get it up-and-down here or there coming in. So very pleased to put myself in the tournament so far. It’s a good way to start”

You notice that not one reporter asked Adam about the advantages of his long putter.

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