MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Merry Christmas 

To all my followers, readers, of my blog, and of course to all the golfers out there who are using the

White Dragon GolfWhite Dragon Putter.

Hope you all have a great holiday time, and if you are like me you will find some time to play some golf. Every Christmas Day my wife and I play at Paraparaumu Beach Golf Links, which has hosted 12 New Zealand Open’s.

Wendy is not a great fan of my course, the first reason is the bunkers;

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and the second objection is the true links course fairways;

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But we still manage to have some fun out there, and then go home for traditional Christmas Dinner. It is a bit strange for us because it is summer here and we always think of a white Christmas, and a roaring log fire. Christmas Day we will be in shorts and covered in sun protection cream as Wendy will still beat me on Stableford points in our annual contest, despite all her objections to the course lay-out.

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If you fancy tackling this course, let me know, I will be happy to take you round. It’s summer, come on over and enjoy yourselves.

 

 

Alfred Dunhill Championship. Amazing Grace Wins.

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Amazing Branden Grace wins the Alfred Dunhill Championship from wire to wire at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa.

Alfred Dunhill Championship

Branden & caddy Zack Rasego / Getty Images

Branden won the Alfred Dunhill Championship with a final round -4 under par 68 for -20 under par total, and an amazing seven shot victory over the field. With this win Branden also becomes the first player to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, he said it had been a special week;
“It’s been a phenomenal week.”

“It’s special to win it wire-to-wire, more so because it’s in front of a local crowd. It was a pretty flawless round today and the perfect way to finish off an incredible tournament, a great week in the office.”

“I’d like to start by thanking Mrs Rupert and Mr Rupert, this establishment here is just something spectacular. It’s been a long year, a hard, year but now it’s a fairy tale ending just before Christmas.” 

“One of the main things this week has been the driving; I just put a new driver in the bag in Dubai and that’s been the key this week.”

“I was satisfied to finish the tournament off the way I did today, every time I’ve won is when I’m playing well.”

“I haven’t won when I’m not on top of my game. I was really good off the tee this week and even on the 18th I stuck to my routine.”

Louis Oosthuizen finished in second place, at -13 under par, with a last round -3 under par 69. Having a good finish was last year’s Challenge Tour number one Andrew Johnston, in third position on -11 under par. Last weeks Nedbank Challenge winner Danny Willett, and Trevor Fisher Junior tied for fourth, a long way back.

 

 

Franklin Templeton Shootout. Jason & Cameron with Easy Win.

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Jason Day and Cameron Tringle had an easy win at the Franklin Templeton Shootout at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort, Thurbón Course in Florida.

Franklin Templeton Shootout

Jason and Cmaeron / Getty Images

Jason and Cameron had a better ball third round score of -7 under par 65, to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout at -17 under par, a two shot victory.

Jason was happy that team-mate Cameron made some good putts, and also mentioned two long putts from 25 ft of his own. The first on hole 12 started their charge;

“He hit a lot of good, clutch putts.”

“Once I holed that putt, we started very well on the back nine.”

Matt Kuchar and Harris English, finished in second place after their strong better ball score of -10 under par round of 62. It could have been better as Matt just missed an eagle chip on the 17th hole;

“It came awfully close, I thought it was in.”

“It was hard looking at the sun, I wasn’t sure on the depth where the hole was but it had a great line and pretty good pace as well.”

Billy Horschel-Ian Poulter and Keegan Bradley-Camilo Villegas teams tied for third spot at at -29 under par, after carding final rounds of -11 under par.

Billy and partner Ian were severely hampered when they both drove into a far portion of the 17th-hole fairway bunker, only to find their path to the green obstructed by a camera tower. The pair wanted the tower removed as it was a temporary obstruction, Ian saying;
“I don’t want that camera there. Because if this thing is cutting.”
Billy added;
“Hey dude with the camera in the tower, are you able to move that camera that way.” 
“Buddy we’re talking to you.”
 
“What if he just lowers it to underneath the bar? Can you lower it?”
The camera was eventually lowered, but neither player made much of their bunker shots.
It has to be asked, why did they put a television tower right in front of the bunker, obstructing the line to the green, in the first place. The pair of them were basically stymied, I thought that rule had been removed from the rule book long ago.

Best round of the day went to Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker, a -12 under par 60, it got them into a tie for fifth place at -28 under par.

 

Alfred Dunhill Championship. Branden Bowling Along at the Top.

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Branden Grace keeps bowling along at the top of the Alfred Dunhill Championship leaderboard.

Alfred Dunhill Championship

Branden Grace / Getty Images

Branden shot a third round of even par 72, but hung on to the top spot on the Alfred Dunhill Championship leaderboard, by just one stroke, at -16 under par. His five shot lead evaporated to just one as Lucas Bjerregaard carded a -6 under par 66 for -15 under par total.

Branden rued his mistakes, but is looking at the positives;

“A couple of the easy holes I managed to make mistakes on. But I’m in the position I want to be in and looking forward to tomorrow.”

“If you look at the positives, I’m still in good form and I made a couple of nice putts on the front nine. I’m one ahead and I’m raring to go tomorrow.

“I’ve only had good experiences going into a final round and leading. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and taking in those positive vibes.”

Lucas was only on level par for his round at the turn, but found four birdies and an eagle on the back nine.

Danny Willett is in third place at -14 under par, a solid third round of -5 under par 67 kept him in touch with the top of the leaderboard. It could have been better, a double bogey 6 on the ninth hole did some damage;

“It was one bad swing and I came back and played solidly on the back nine.”

Danny is currently projected to move to No. 48 in the OWGR after his -5 under par 67 in the third round, and with no official events remaining in the calendar year after this week. The top 50 in the year-end rankings will each be exempt into the first major of 2015, which could potentially mark his first trip to Augusta National.

Franklin Templeton Shootout. Jason and Cameron Still Sailing.

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Jason Day and Cameron Tringale are still sailing along at the top of the Franklin Templeton Shootout leaderboard at -25 under par at the end of day two.

Franklin Templeton Shootout

Jason Day / Getty Images

The pair shot -8  under par 64 in the alternate shot round and lead the competition by three shots going into the final round tomorrow.

Jason  likes to watch the leaderboard, and commented on the tactics to use in the better ball, he knows that Matt and Harris have good form in the final round;

“I think if there were more boards out there, I would probably be watching because I tend to watch a lot more scoreboards than Cameron.” 

“I like to know what I need to do. That may add some pressure.”

“I would expect a lot of guys, even if your partner is in play, because it’s always better to have two balls in play than just one.”

“I would rather have two opportunities at birdies than just one.”

“These guys played well last year, 34 under is a big margin, so this is the format that you need to play well. You need to play this format because it’s very quick to lose your lead.”

 

Three shots behind are Graeme McDowell, and  Gary Woodland at -22 under par, after scoring a second round -9 under par 63. Graeme holed out for an eagle during the round;

VIDEO: McDowell holes out for eagle at Franklin Templeton Shootout

Graeme thinks he and partner Gary have a good chance tomorrow;

“Two balls in play, you know, it means no one can hide.”

“That was kind of why I really feel like myself and Gary have a good shot tomorrow because we’re both really playing well tee to green.”

Harris English and Matt Kuchar the defending champions are in third place at -21 under, following their -6 under par second round of 66.

Charles Howell III and Scott Verplank were -19 under par after a 64. Keegan Bradley-Camilo Villegas, Billy Horschel-Ian Poulter  and Patrick Reed-Brandt Snedeker  are at -18 under par.

Saturday is the final round, a better ball format to end the competition.

 

Alfred Dunhill Championship. Branden Grace has Five Shot Lead.

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Branden Grace has stretched his lead to five shots after the second of play in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa.

Alfred Dunhill Championship

Branden Grace / Getty Images

Branden shot a second round -6 under par 66, to add to his opening 62 to lead by ten shots at -16 under par for the Alfred Dunhill Championship. He likes this course and is putting well;

“This is a golf course that suits me and if I keep hitting everything in play the way I have been the first two days then it should be a good weekend.”

“The pins have been kind so far; I’m sure there’s going to be a couple of tricky and sticky pins out there on the weekend, but I’ll just stick to the game plan and see what the next two rounds offer us.”

“Today was great, the ball striking wasn’t as good as yesterday. I kept it going, there was a little bit of a slip there due to a lack of concentration but it happens.” 

“I’ve been hitting it well and kept on hitting good putts out there.”

Francesco Molinari is alone in second place at -11 under par for the tournament, a second round -7 under par 65 keeping him within sight of the leader. He too is sinking some good putts;

“I played really well today, I holed some really good putts, the last four or five holes could have been better, but seven under is always a good round.”

“Branden has set a low target for everyone, so it was good to get some birdies.”

In third position at -10 under par is Tjaart van der Walt, a second round -5 under par 67 keeping him one shot ahead of Shaun Norris, Lucas Bjerregaard, who chipped in at the last for eagle, and last week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge winner Danny Willett, all are tied for fourth position at -9 under par.

Franklin Templeton Shootout. Jason Day and Cameron Tringale Equal Record.

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Jason Day and Cameron Tringale have the lead at the Franklin Templeton Shootout, equaling the tournament record at -17 under par, 55 for the first round at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Tiburòn Golf Club in Florida.

Frankliin Templeton Shootout

Jason Day / Getty Images

Jason and Cameron tied the tournament scramble record set by tournament host Greg Norman and Nick Price in 1993 and matched by Peter Jacobsen and John Cook in 1998 and Greg Norman again, with Steve Elkington in 2005.

Cameron explained their tactics;

“The abridged version is, I hit first and then let Jason loose.”

Jason enjoyed reading the putts together;

“Scramble is one of those formats where you have to go at it and shoot lights out.”

“It definitely helps when you have a partner who hits it down the middle all the time and putts great.”

It’s great to be able to read the putt together, really put our minds together, because he’s a great putter. He always has been.”

In second place are the team of Harris English and Matt Kuchar, the defending champions, two shots behind on -15 under par, 57.

Matt was delighted with the team effort, they birdied 14 of their last 15 holes;

“To go 15 is great. To go 17 is quite amazing.”

Harris feels they separated themselves last year in the modified alternate shot round;

“I feel like we can do the same thing as we did last year.”

“Kooch is driving it great right now, so we’re going to kind of lean on that.”

Keegan Bradley-Camilo Villegas, Graeme McDowell-Gary Woodland and Ryan Palmer-Jimmy Walker all shot scramble rounds of 59 to be tied in third position on -13 under par.

The teams will play a modified alternate shot Friday, where each player hits a drive on every hole and one drive is selected. The player whose drive is NOT selected hits the second shot, and they alternate shots until the ball is holed They will close with a better-ball round Saturday, where each player plays through every hole using his own ball. The player whose score is the lowest on each hole will be the team score for that hole.