W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational. Sergio Streaks Seven birdies in a Row.

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Sergio Garcia streaks seven birdies in a row at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Sergio Garcia / Getty Images

Sergio scored seven birdies in a row on the back nine to post a second round -9 under par 61, requiring only 27 strokes on that last nine holes at Firestone Country Club. The amazing effort equaled the course record, and in doing so gave Sergio a three shot lead at the top of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational leaderboard with a -11 under par mid way total.

He said it was a magical moment, and he did not want it to end;

“Just one of those moments that you love and you enjoy and you wish there were no end. It was a combination of getting good numbers, hitting good shots. Then when I wasn’t too close from the hole, I rolled a couple of nice putts in.”

“It was definitely a dream back nine. I felt like I started well and hit some good shots early on, but still missed a couple of good birdie chances.”

“Then I obviously got a little bit lucky on the front nine. I hit three bad tee shots on four, eight and nine, and I was able to have a shot at the green and made a couple of good up and downs.”

“Then the back nine was, I don’t know, I just started hitting good shots, rolling the putts in, and everything seemed to happen. I was just enjoying it as much as I could.”

“It obviously feels great to be able to shoot the course record or equal the record on a course like this, which is not; even playing soft; that easy a course.”

“You have to drive the ball very, very well. You have to put the ball on the greens on the right spots because you can get some really, really fast putts. So to be able to do it and obviously being in a group with Tiger and Jose Maria, but still, to be able to be in that group, it feels really good.”

Justin Rose is in second place at -8 under par, he had a good second round of -3 under par 67 and said he was happy about the way he has started this tournament;

“I am really happy with the way I turned the long game around, and to hit 16 greens out there is pretty solid, but for the most part I just hit it close to the hole as well.”

“Early in the round, the putts kept sliding by. I wasn’t seeing the line all that well and I think 18 was the first putt I made. From there I felt pretty comfortable with the putts and I had a couple of good looks coming in. All in all, it’s a good start to the tournament.”

Third position is tied between Rory McIlroy and Marc Leishman, both posting half-way totals of -7 under par. Rory could reclaim top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings if he collects the trophy at Firestone and Adam Scott fails to make the top five. He said he knew Sergio was playing well in front of him, he could hear the crowd cheering;

“He obviously played in front of us, and he seemed like he was playing well. Every time I looked back, he was putting a ball in the hole, and the crowd was cheering. I knew that he was making a few birdies, and I knew I had to make a few birdies just to try and stay in touch. It was nice just to make a few coming in.” 

“I’m still four back going into the weekend, but I feel like that could have been a lot more. So it’s a good finish. I do have a good relationship with Sergio, and it’s just great to see him play like this again.” 

“I grew up idolising the guy. He’s obviously really happy with everything that’s going on. He seems in a really good place, and it’s good to see him play like this.”

Phil’s miserable malaise continues, even hitting a marshal with his ball today. A wayward tee shot on the fourth hole in today’s second round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational struck the official. Phil being Phil, he went on to par the hole, but it did not improve his second round score of +3 over par for +4 over total.

W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational. Leishman Leads at Firestone.

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Bridgestone Invitational

Marc Leishman / Getty Images

 

Aussie Marc Leishman leads at the W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Ohio.

 

Marc shot -6 under par 64 , at Firestone Country Club to lead the WGC Bridgestone Invitational by just one shot, reporting that he played well and kept the ball  in the fairway;

“I drove the ball well. It makes this course a lot easier when you’re on the fairway. It’s pretty tough when you’re playing from the rough. Then, I hit my irons really well and was rolling the ball awesome. So it’s a pretty good combination for a tough golf course like this, something I can hopefully keep going.”

Three players are tied in second place, just that one shot behind, at -5 under par following their opening rounds of 65. Ryan Moore, Charl Schwartzel and Justin Rose are the guys right behind the leader.

Sergio and Tiger are at -2 under par, Rory at -1 under while an ailing Phil Mickelson could only manage +1 over par 71. Phil arrived late and is still in recovery mode from Strep Throat.

Rory is playing for the World Number One spot;

“There’s still so much to play for, No. 1 spot is up for grabs. Trying to get myself as far up the FedExCup points as possible. I haven’t won a World Golf Championship before.”

“Got another major coming up next week. It hasn’t been that hard for me to refocus and get back to work.”

Tiger feels he is making some progress;

“I hit a lot of good shots, I dropped shots at three holes out there today, got it right back on the very next hole.”

” I feel like I made some progress, as I said, this is only my seventh round back, so it’s just going to take a little time. I’m starting to get in the flow of things. If you look at my iron shots into the holes today, a majority of them were pin-high. So I’m starting to get the feel back in my hands and get my trajectory under control.”

Sergio is excited, and loves Firestone Country Club;

“I love the golf course. I think this is definitely one of the best golf courses we play all year.”

“We’ve always enjoyed it. I think the people always come and support it. It’s great to see nice big crowds here, and the golf course is really one of the best we play.”

“Obviously, it all depends a little bit on how the course plays. If it doesn’t rain, this course can play quite tough. Some of the holes are very, very difficult to hit. But it’s like any other week, obviously if I’m on, if I feel comfortable, if I feel confident, I think I can do well. I’ve done fairly well before.”

“But if you’re a little bit off, it’s the kind of golf course that’s asking you to hit a lot of different shots. Mainly off the tee, it’s asking you a lot. You have to be very patient and realise that it’s probably not going to be the easiest week that you have all year.”

 

 

RBC Canadian Open. Broomstick Tim Wins

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Broomstick wielding Tim Clark wins the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

RBC Canadian Open

Tim Clark / Getty Images

Tim posted a final round -5 under par 65, requiring only 30 strokes on the back nine at the RBC Canadian Open, to claim the trophy at -17 under par,v a one shot victory over Jim Furyk.

Tim thinks he can keep his winning streak going now;

“If I stay in this sort of frame of mind, there’s no reason why I can’t keep it going. The next two events are big for us, and I’d love to keep it going.”

“It looked like Jim wasn’t going to make any mistakes. He was pretty solid, so I knew I had to make birdies. At that point, there was nothing to lose. Suddenly I got hot and I went with it.”

It will be interesting to see if Tim can keep contesting using a conventional putter, the ban on long putters is looming ever closer. It is no co-incidence that the World number 1 Adam Scott, Bernhard Langer, who has just won the Senior Open by eight shots, and Tim winning here, are all users of the soon to be banned long putter.

Jim was unable to convert a 54-hole lead,  again showing his final round frailties are still there, although he did score -1 under par 69, his -16 under par total was just not good enough. He mentioned the 15 minute break for a rain delay, and not being allowed to warm up again before going back out;

” It was a benign day, and 69 is not a bad round by any means, but by only making two birdies I let a couple guys back into the tournament.”

“I’m obviously disappointed, I just didn’t putt well enough, and I didn’t convert the opportunities I had.”

“It was a really awkward break for everyone. It’s rare that we come off the golf course and then we’re not afforded a chance to go out and warm up, but we really weren’t in there that long.”

“I kind of controlled my own destiny. I’ve got to shoot 3 or 4 under and it would have been impossible to catch me, or darn near it. I left the door open with even par on the front nine and Tim took advantage and shot 30 on the back.”

Justin Hicks was in third place at -13 under par for the tournament. Leading Canadian player was Graham DeLaet, tied in seventh place at -10 under par. He captured the Rivermead Cup as low Canadian at the RBC Canadian Open, although proud of his achievement he really wanted a win;

“You always do want to be the low Canadian, but going into the weekend I wanted to try to win the golf tournament.”

” It’s an important stretch obviously with Akron next week and the PGA, and then right into the Playoffs. Confidence is the biggest thing in this game, and I finally have kind of found a little bit of it.”

 

 

 

L.E.T. Sberbank Golf Masters. Julie Jubilant.

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Julie Greciet was jubilant at the Sberbank Golf Masters in Prague, picking up the Trophy.

A jubilant Julie Greciet / Getty Images

Julie scored a final round -5 under par 66 to win the Sberbank Golf Masters with a -17 under par total for the 54 hole event.This win at Golf Park Plzeň in Prague, is her first L.E.T. trophy. Play was suspended for an hour due to storms and torrential rain, but afterwards play resumed in damp conditions, where Julie managed to hold her nerves, until a bogey on the 18th;

“It’s crazy because I didn’t think it was possible to win this year and I’m very, very happy. I want to thank my caddie, who is my father and my family and my boyfriend for supporting me this year.”

“I think now I can win another tournament and maybe eight or ten! I’m going to drink champagne for a week when I get home.”

Julie and dad Roger on the 18th / Getty Images

Lee-Anne Pace finished in second place, a last round -6 under 65 saw her post -15 under par. Lee-Anne actually carded eight birdies on the day, but unfortunately ran up a double bogey six on the 4th hole. The only mistake she made;

“I played really well this week and made one mistake which cost me a little bit. Amy started like a house on fire so I thought, I needed to keep up with her. I made some birdies to catch up but threw those two shots away.”

” I stayed focused and finished second. I’m a bit tired, so happy to have a week off now in France where I’m going to relax and maybe go for a surf.”

Third spot went to Amy Boulden, who also recorded a final round of -6  under par 65, to finish with a -14 under par total. She started the round with real purpose, three birdies in the first three holes;

“Three birdies in the first three holes, I got off to a great start. I couldn’t unfortunately make the putts on the last few holes but I’m happy with my performance. “

I think after the 11th, on the par three, I wasn’t really sure where I was lying because there weren’t any score boards. I knew I must have been there or thereabouts.”

“My confidence is getting better each tournament I play. I got to play with Lee-Anne Pace today who is a fantastic player and she gave me some nice words of advice at the end, so that was great. She said she thought I was a great player and she thinks I can make it.”

Russian Open. David Delivers.

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David Horsey delivers in Moscow. winning the M2M Russian Open .                                                    David Horsey  (Getty Images)

David Horsey and Trophy / Getty Images

David only managed a last round of even par 70, but his -13 under par total was enough to get him into a play-off, against Damien McGranein the Russian Open at Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club. David got par again on the 18th, the first play-off hole to win the prize.

Damien had charged up the leaderboard with a final round -6 under par 66 to post his -13 under par total, and his brilliant effort deserved a place in the play-off. He could so easily have won but bogeyed the last hole of the day.

David chipped in on the 17th for a birdie, and he needed it;

“I knew the chip on 17 had to go in. I knew by that point that I was three behind so I needed it to go in. This is a very special win. I didn’t know where I was in the tournament until the 17th. I hit it through the back of the green there and then realised I was three behind and needed to do something drastic quite quickly.”

“I didn’t play that great today, it was a bit scrappy and I wasn’t holing the putts, but I managed to get the job done in the end. I’m relieved really, that’s the word that sums it up. It was quite similar to my last win, in Morocco, where I made a bit of a mess of a couple of holes on the back nine.”

“I had no idea how well Damien was playing because I wasn’t looking at boards all day. In hindsight that’s probably a mistake I’ll look to correct next time, but I was just trying to stick to my own game and stay focused on myself.”

“I managed to chip in there and was trying to make birdie at the last. I didn’t realise Damien had dropped one, but I managed to get up and down there and was fortunate to win the play-off as well.”

Damien was naturally disappointed to let the victory slip through his fingers, but is in a positive mood about his good form;

“I played lovely all week so I’m very pleased with my week. I’m a little disappointed not to do better in the play-off there, but I’ve hit good shots all week and putted reasonably well.” “All in all I’m very positive and it’s good for me mentally as well. I can push on for the rest of the season with my card secure. There are a lot of good events before the end of the year and this has given me a lot of confidence going into them.”

Scott Jamieson was one shot behind in third place at -12 under par, a stroke ahead of  Sam Hutsby, who finished on -11 under par.  One shot further back, was Peter Whiteford, the joint overnight leader with winner David.

RBC Canadian Open. Furyk in Position to win Third Canadian Open Title

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Jim Furyk is in position to win his third RBC Canadian Open title at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

 

Furyk in line for third RBC Canadian Open title

Jim Furyk / Getty Images

Jim carded a third round -5 under par 65 to top the RBC Canadian Open leaderboard at -15 under par, a three shot lead going into the final round tomorrow. Today he said he just had fun, another bogey free round;

“For the most part of the day, I felt like I played really solid. I hit the ball well again. It was a fun round of golf, really.”

Not really worrying about what position I’m in the golf tournament, not looking at the leaderboard too much, going out there and trying to attack the golf course the same way that I have the first three days will be key.”

” I noticed there aren’t many leaderboards on the course, that might be a good thing.”

Tim Clark is in second spot, three shots back at -12 under par for the tournament, a -6 under par 64 today helped his cause. His only PGA TOUR victory came at the 2010 PLAYERS Championship;

”It’s always great to get off to a good start, Saturdays are normally the toughest day to score on, so you dream of a start like that.”

“It’ll be great to be in the final group. Jim is a really tough competitor, and this course seems to fit into our sort of game. It’s an Open Championship. You need to hit fairways and greens, and that’s both of our strengths.”

“Right now I feel good and I am able to swing how I want to. Three months ago I started to hit the ball good again, but I just wasn’t scoring. Finally, the last few tournaments, I’ve started to score.”

Third place belongs to Kyle Stanley, a -2 under par round gave him a total of -10 under par for the competition, five shots off the lead.

Leading Canadian is Graham DeLaet, who is sharing fifth place at -8 under par, a long way from the guys at the top. It looks certain that the lack of a Canadian winner is set to continue, unless Graham can do something really special;

“Disappointing to three-putt the last, I really wanted to make that birdie and got over-aggressive. But it was a fun day. The crowds were amazing out there. Hopefully, I can do something special.”

L.E.T. Sberbank Golf Masters. Julie Jumps Ahead.

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Julie Greciet jumps ahead in the Sberbank Golf Masters in Prague.

                          Julie Greciet / Getty Images

Frenchwoman Julie Greciet shot a second round -7 under par 64 to take a one shot lead with a total of -12 under par, on the Golf Park Plzeň, in the Czech Republic. Julie is playing her golf with a wrist injury this season, but that did not stop her from hitting 12 greens and to make 23 putts in this round;

I made the putts and that was the difference so I’m very happy. I think it’s a small course but it’s difficult because you have tricky tee shots and the second shots are very important because you have many bunkers around the green. I like it.”

Ursula Wikstrom is in second place, just one shot off the lead at -11 under par, a bogey free -6 under par 65 has put her in position to win her first Tour title;

“It’s been a while since I’ve been in a position to fight for it over the weekend so I want to be in this position. Today, no bogeys, so that’s always a nice round.”

“On the back nine I wasn’t making any putts or hitting it as close so it was nice to get one birdie. The good thing is I have my coach as my caddie and I’m starting to hit the ball okay and the putts are falling, so things are going okay so far.”

Pamela Pretswell and Lee-Anne Pace shared third on -9 under par under-par.

Pamela is playing with her knee strapped up, making it impossible to get down and read the putts, so she is relying on her caddie, and father Willie, to read them;

I’m happy with my round and today’s progress. I’ve been making it simple for myself, so far I’ve been making sure I‘ve got a shot into the greens by taking different clubs off the tees and giving myself a lot of birdie chances which I’ve taken advantage of.”

Lee-Anne’s only problem is not enough sleep;

I think I was a little bit less tired than yesterday after a good sleep last night so my focus was definitely there and I felt good. “

“I made that eagle on 14, hit it to two metres and made the putt so that obviously gives you two shots. I hit it close on 16 again and made the putt. I’m hitting it good and putting well so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

 

Russian Open. Horsey & Whiteford Tied at the Top

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David Horsey and Peter Whiteford are tied at the top of the Russian Open leaderboard in Moscow.

 

Peter Whiteford   (Getty Images)

Peter Whiteford / Getty Images

Peter shot a third round -6 under par 66, to post -13 under par for the Russian Open tournament. There seemed to be some luck on side on the way round;

“I had an amazing start, I holed a bunker shot on the first and then chipped in on the third. Dave chipped in as well, he stole some of my glory there!  I got off to a flyer and then the back nine I was just hanging on for dear life. The swing didn’t feel great at all to be honest. I’m hoping I wake up tomorrow with a better swing. I had a lot of good luck today.” 

“On the 15th I hit my tee shot straight into the forest, it’s a tricky shot straight into the wind from an elevated tee which is never going to add up to much fun, but it bounced back out onto the fairway. Hopefully I haven’t used up all my luck, but I certainly used a big chunk there.” 

“It hasn’t been the best season this year. It’s been pretty brutal really. I’m not confident at all but that front nine today helps massively and I’m glad Dave and I have put a bit of breathing space between us and the next guys. It might be a bit like match play on the front nine tomorrow.”

David carded a -2 under par 70 to equal the -13 under par total, he needed to ignore what Pete was doing and try to concentrate on his own game;

Pete started like a train and I was just trying to tell myself to concentrate on my own game. It wasn’t that easy out there today and I certainly didn’t see a five or six under through nine holes.”

“I just kept reminding myself to stay patient and concentrate on my own game, not what Pete was doing. I was disappointed not to birdie the eighth and then bogey the ninth, three under at the turn would have been nice. But then I birdied the tenth and 11th and tried to get back to the thought process that I’ve had the first two days.”

“I didn’t quite maintain it that well on the back nine, but I kept myself in there and hopefully it’ll be a little better tomorrow.”

The leaders have opened up quite a gap, the chasing pack, three of them are at -9 under par and have a lot of work to do to catch up. Andrea Pavan shot the lowest round of the week , a-8 under par 64 to share third place with Scott Jamieson and Thomas Pieters.

RBC Canadian Open. Petrovic & Furyk Lead at Half-Way.

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Tim Petrovic  and Jim Furyk lead at half-way stage of  the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

Furyk goes low at RBC

Jim Furyk / Getty Images

Jim returned a second round of -7 under par 63 to share top spot at the RBC Canadian Open with Tim Petrovic, who carded a -4 under par 66, to reach the -10 under par tournament total.

Receptive greens helped Jim achieve his score;

“I think today’s round and yesterday’s weren’t much different: a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, a lot of opportunities. Today I think I capitalized on a few more of those, but the golf course is still playing pretty soft, the greens are very receptive.”

“I don’t know if I’ve ever played in a group where we shot 63, 63, 65. I was giving Kuch a bunch of crap for being the schlub in the group shooting a 65.”

“Lord knows I’ve taken abuse from him over the years. So nice to get one back.”

Tim admitted it has been a while since he was last at the top of the leaderboard;

It’s been a while, but last time I got myself into position like this I think I won New Orleans, but I kind of came from behind.”

I’m trying to get back to what I do well, I call it ‘Petro Golf.’ Hit it in the fairway. Hit it on the green. Make the putt. It sounds simple but I’ve gotten away from that.”

” It’s nice to be here on the weekend for a change.”

Playing alongside Jim was Canadian Graham DeLaet, who also fired a -7 under par 63, to share third place at -8 under par, he said he needed to keep making birdies just to keep up;

“It was a great start. All of us were making so many birdies out there. You felt like you had to make putts just to keep up.”

” I felt like I was in pretty good control of my game all day. I had a couple of hiccups, but I really rolled in a lot of good putts.”

Kyle Stanley is sharing third spot with Graham, he posted  -3 under par today.

Yesterdays whiz kid Canadian amateur Taylor Pendrith slumped to a +5 over par 75, to finish at even par for the competition, he at least made the cut on the number. What is it about these ten shot swings between good rounds and then the bad one, everyone seems to do it.

Big casualties in the cut department were Dustin Johnson, Sang-Moon Bae, Hunter Mahan and Luke Donald.

L.E.T. Sberbank Golf Masters. Steffi Kirchmayr Leads.

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Steffi Kirchmayr leads the Sberbank Golf Masters in Prague.

 

 Steffi Kirchmayr / Getty Images

Steffi admitted to not liking the course, but she could still play it, carding a first round -7  under par 64 to lead the Sberbank Golf Masters at Golf Park Plzeň;

 ” It’s a great feeling to shoot seven-under. I don’t really like the set-up of this golf course, because it favors the short hitters and good putters, so I can’t take advantage of my length.”

  “I only had one bad hole, where I had to chip out of a fairway bunker, but I hit it close and made the putts. My parents came to watch from Germany just for today so I felt I had to shoot a good round for them. They said it was worth driving for three hours to see a 64.”

Mallory Fraiche, from the U.S.A . is in second place, just one shot behind at -6 under par, she said having her sister on the bag, and playing two practice rounds was of great benefit to her;

“It was very solid and my short game was on point and so it helped save me a lot. This week I knew I needed to practice, so I played the course twice before the tournament, which I also think helped.”

Five ladies are tied in third place, all at -5 under par after their opening rounds of 66, they are Julie Greciet, Amy Boulden, Nikki Garrett, Pamela Pretswell and Ursula Wikstrom.

The L.E.T. rookie Amy is trying to earn enough money to stay on the Tour;

” This is my sixth week in a row after the US Women’s Open. It wasn’t supposed to be like that because I got into the Bucks at the last minute and then the Ricoh Women’s British Open. I’m just trying to make the most of each week because I still don’t have my full card. I’m trying to earn enough money to secure my card for next year.”

Aussie Nikki almost quit golf at one stage last year, a back to back tour winner seven years ago;

“It’s nice, all of the girls out there will know that I’ve struggled with my driver the last few years and I’m hitting it well again and it feels good over it, so it’s a totally different game when you get it in play off the tee. I don’t regret coming out here. When I go home I’ll reassess and see if I come out for the second half of the season.”

Julie said she had putted well, but did card one bogey, because of a plugged ball in a bunker;

I played very well and I had one bogey on nine because my ball was plugged in the bunker and I had no chance, but I had an eagle on 14 and birdie on 15 and 18 so I’m happy because my putting was very good and I took 30 putts and hit 16 greens today.”

Scot Pamela was happy with her good start to the tournament;

“I made a really good start when I got up and down for par at the first and made birdie on two and three and kicked on from there.”

In a strange incident Moroccan Maha Haddioui was disqualified prior to starting her first round due to being nine minutes late on the tee. How can you be so late for your tee time ?