Champions Tour. Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Brilliant Bernhard Back in the Winners Circle.

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Brilliant Bernhard Langer is back in the winners circle, winning the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii.

Back in the winner's circle

Bernhard Langer / Getty Images

Bernhard shot a beautiful final round of -8 under par 64 on the Hualalai Golf Course to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship title by three shots with his tournament score of -22  under par.

Bernhard was extremely pleased with his win;

“It’s a new year and my goal was to get over the hurdle and win as soon as possible. I’m very pleased and extremely blessed to play golf like this. To be 22 under doesn’t happen very often.”

Fred Couples and Jeff Sluman finished tied in second place at -19 under par. Jay Haas was in fourth spot alone on -17  under par.

Jeff  was making his 80th consecutive senior start, he has been among the tour’s top-20 money winners the last five years. All but one of his five birdies came from inside 6 feet, due to great iron play. He finished the last round with a -7 under par 65, with a -19 under par total;

“My iron shots were pretty bueno on those.”

Fred was looking for his 10th Champions win and second in a row, he had a -5 under par 67 last round to also finish at -19 under par.

 The seniors play here again Sept. 18-21 in the Champions Tour Pacific Links Hawaii Championship at Kapolei.

Champions Tour. Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Freddie and Bernhard Lead

 

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 Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer are tied atop the leaderboard of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii.

 

 

After two days of pristine conditions on the Hualalai Course Fred and Bernhard are tied at the top of the leaderboard at -14 under par. Fred carded a second round of -8 under par 64 while Bernhard signed for -7 under par 65.

Fred commented about what he called crazy scoring;

” The scores here are crazy every year, to be honest, the only time I pay attention is Sunday when I’m done. There is definitely frustration, especially because I was leading almost every week at some point. I’m ready for more wins, hopefully.”

Mark O’Meara was just one stroke back of the leaders at -13 under par for the tournament. Mark was – 7 under par after seven holes and finished with a second round of 65.

David Frost , has pulled into contention with a -8 under par 64. David marvelously one-putted 10 times,  and shares fourth place with Jeff Sluman and Steve Elkington at -12 under par.

The final round will be a good contest, a tightly packed leaderboard and good weather conditions will make low scoring very possible.

Charles Schwab Cup Championship, Fred Fires Into The Front.

Fred Couples fires himself into the front of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in the second round at TPC  Harding Park.

Couples in control

Fred Couples / Getty Images

Fred had a bogey free second round -6 under par 65, to lead the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on -12 under par at the half way stage at TPC Harding Park. He emphasized that this was a big event, and he was here to win, despite something wrong with injuries to his neck and back;

” This is a big event, these are the best players on the tour and I want to win. I’m certainly not playing any better because I want to win. I wanted to win at Birmingham, Seattle, Chicago, Newport and everywhere else I finished second. I had another good round and hit the ball well, when I hit pretty good irons I made the birdies. When you’re near the lead, playing fast is a bonus. There’s something going on, it’s just not comfortable. It’s doable, sometimes when I turn I snag it. It’s more at night when I’m lying down. My back hurts and I don’t sleep much. I wouldn’t be playing if it hurt to swing. This is one of my all-time favorite courses, that helps me. As far as length, if I hit every fairway, I’ll have an advantage all right, over my normal game.”

First round leader Peter Senior is in second place. his second round of -2 under par 69 giving him a tournament total of -10 under par, leaving him two shots off the pace. He said he did not do too much wrong, apart from missing some putts;

” I didn’t do much wrong, I didn’t get away with anything but I think I’m in a good position. I had a heap of chances early in the round that I didn’t convert.”

Bart Bryant is in  third position after his second round of -5 under par 66,, for a -8 under par total.

Bernhard Langer is another stroke back. and occupying fourth place alone after a -3 under par 68, for a -7 under par total. He is in a tussle with Kenny Perry for the year-long overall title, and the math needed to work out who is most likely at this point would need Einstein to work out. Kenny, who currently leads overall is in T11 position.

Masters. Sergio Suddenly Surprises.

Sergio Garcia suddenly surprised everyone by sharing the first round lead of  the Masters at Augusta National with Aussie Marc Leishman.

Sergio Garcia / Reddington/ Getty Images

Sergio Garcia grabbed a share of the Masters lead on day one of the Masters with Aussie Marc Leishman, both players at -6 under par after their first round scores of 66. Having Sergio’s name at the top of the leaderboard came as a surprise to all the pundits, who were all of the opinion that he hated Augusta National;

” No, I mean, well,obviously, it’s obviously not my favorite, my most favorite place, but we try to enjoy it as much as we can each time we come here. Sometimes it comes out better than others, but today it was one of those good days. And let’s enjoy it while it lasts. But like I said before, every time I tee it off, I try to play as well as I can, hope that my best that week is really, really good, and if I manage to do that, I will have a chance at winning. If my best is not that good, then, I’ll struggle a little bit. Today my best was pretty good, and I’m looking forward to doing the same thing the next three days. We all go through those moments, the beauty and the bad thing about this game is that it can have such highs and such lows, because it’s a lot more mental than some of the other games. So you know, the most important thing is to make sure that you get through those nicely and learn from them. Sometimes I do feel like there is such a thing as being too hyper about something, you’ve still got to keep calm. I still get very excited about playing the game and every single week and trying to win tournaments. It’s obviously not the same feeling that I had when I was 19, 20 or 21. But that’s kind of normal.”

Keep it going tomorrow Sergio.

In third place alone is Dustin Johnson, who came through the first round at -5 under par. Many think that the big hitting American can do well here this week, and his opening round of 67 goes a long way to substantiating those claims.

There are six players tied for fourth spot, they are; David Lynn, Rickie Fowler, Gonzo, Trevor Immelman, Fred Couples and Matt Kuchar. These all had opening rounds of -4 under par, 68.

This is The Masters, so don’t be surprised if this top section of the leaderboard changes dramatically  tomorrow. Bad weather is forecast so anything could happen.

 

 

 

Toshiba Classic. Frosty Freezes Freddie with Five Shot Win

Toshiba Classic

David Frost froze out all of his foes in the Toshiba Classic, winning by five shots at Newport Beach Country Club.

David Frost of South Africa celebrates his birdie on the 17th green

David Frost / Getty Images

David Frost triumphed over Fred Couples by five shots at the Toshiba Classic, equaling the record of 19-under par, set by Jay Haas in 2007. Fred chased the wire to wire winning all the way, but there was really nothing that he could do to prevent the South African picking up the title. He could only stand and watch as things unfolded in front of him, like the 50ft birdie putt David sank on the 17th green.

David said afterwards that he had enjoyed the tussle with Freddie;

” I felt as good as I did the first two days, I really enjoyed the tussle with Freddie Couples out there. ‘I’ve been playing really, really consistently and haven’t had any of those ups and downs. I know they will come, but right now I am playing well. ‘Freddie was the one they were rooting for, fortunately, my putter was a little hotter than his was. There was too much work for him. I wasn’t really hitting bad shots.”

Freddie said he became really stiff out on the course;

” I was feeling good, but then I got really, really stiff, I hit a lot of bad wedges. I hit a bad wedge on 6 and 7 and 16. I was kind of flinching at it. They weren’t very good swings, either.”

In real terms -14 under par is a pretty good score, so Freddie cab take good heart by that performance.

Jay Haas and Peter Senior finished tied for third at 11 under par for the tournament. Tom Watson finished fifth another stroke back at -10 under par, and the Champions Tour rookies Rocco Mediate and Esteban Toledo tied for sixth at -9 under par.

Toshiba Classic. Frosty Freezes Out Fred Again

David Frost froze out Fred Couples again in the second round of the Champions Tour event the Toshiba Classic. David followed his first round 63, with a -5 under par 66, and a tournament total  of -13 under par.

Backing it up

David Frost / How / Getty Images

David said he battled with Fred all day long at the Newport Beach Country Club course;

“It was a day where Freddy and I battled it out. We were on top of the leaderboard all day and he made a nice birdie on 10 and I followed it with one and we did the same thing on 13. I think we played steady golf. You never know, someone could go out and shoot 63 early in the day that can always happen. I will just have to play my normal game and 68 will be a good score. I’d take that right now.”

Freddie, finishing at -12 under par for the tournament was a bit frustrated with his iron play, but also struggled with his driver, hitting only six out of fourteen fairways. He made up for the mistakes using his putter only 26 times;

” I let a couple of easy 8-iron shots go, I bogeyed the fourth hole and the sixth hole from 145 yards, which really kind of killed me, but I made it up with a few good putts. He’s one ahead and I’m not going to be able to shoot a 68 or 69 and win. I have to shoot something very, very good. For some reason a lot of people struggle on these greens and I do struggle at times, but very rarely with the speed of the greens. That certainly helped me today with 30-40 footers getting them up there close.”

Jim Gallagher Jr. is in third place at -8 under par, he had a second round of 68, and tied one shot further back at -7 under par, are Scott Hoch (64), Jay Haas (66), Bob Tway (67) and D.A. Weibring (68). Scott Hoch is making his second start of the season after returning from left hand and wrist injuries.

Freddie and David will battled it out again tomorrow to decide which one of them lifts the trophy.

 

 

 

 

Charles Schwab Cup Championship, Tom Lehman Triumphs

Two for Tom

Tom Lehman/ Chris Condon/PGA Tour

Triumphant Tom Lehman became the first ever back-to-back winner of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, with a final round of -5 under par 65 and a tournament total of -22 under par, six shots clear of his nearest rival. In doing so Tom also picked up the Charles Schwab Cup, the season long points race, coming into the tournament Bernhard Langer was leading that points race, that was until Tom blitzed the Desert Mountain Cochise Course. Tom’s spectacular performance included a 47 hole bogey free run from the back of the 1st round to the turn of the 4th and final round. Tom needed to win this tournament, to have a chance of winning the season long title race, he did, and admits this is a dream come true week;

There’s a lot of times in this world where you need to play well and you don’t. This is one of those weeks where I needed to and I did. All in all, it’s a bit of a dream-come-true week.”

Tom’s  longtime teacher and mentor Jim Flick is battling terminal pancreatic cancer, Tom spoke to Jim briefly before the last round on Sunday. Jim had some special words of wisdom for him;

 “Be Tom Lehman.”

Tom recalled the many times he and Jim had spent time together on the driving range at the Renegade Course at Desert Mountain;

“We probably spent half an hour just back there hitting shots, those are the kind of things you think about. But the more I thought about that, the more teary-eyed I would get. I decided I can’t play this round of golf with tears in my eyes. I have to wait until business was finished. The last hole, I know that he was probably watching today. I felt quite certain that was probably the last driver he was ever going to see me hit and I wanted to make it a good one. And the last 7-iron he will ever see me hit, and I wanted to make that a good one. And the last putt, I wanted to make that putt.”

When it was all over and Tom had secured victory, he had a few moments alone with his head pushed deeply into his white Taylot-Made hat, before being surrounded by family and fellow professionals.

In the tournament, Jay Haas finished in second place alone, after a last round of -1 under par, and a total of -16 under par. Third spot was occupied by Jay Don Blake with his final round of -4 under par, and finishing total of -14 under par. The two Fred’s, Couples and Funk were tied in fourth, Couples suffering a last round of +3 over par 73, to dash any hopes he had of victory. Fred Funk had a better last round, -5 under par, but he never got going in the first round, slumping to +1 over par effort. Bernhard Langer was ruing his par round of 70 on the third day of play, it cost him victory here.

European Tour Senior Open, Victory for Fred Couples.

 

 

Fred Couples  (Getty Images)

Fred Couples (Getty Images)

Easy swinging Fred Couples birdied Turnberry’s closing two holes to claim a great victory in the 2012 Senior Open Championship, Presented by Rolex.  Fred  finished two shots clear of compatriot Gary Hallberg following a dramatic final round in Ayrshire, Scotland.

At the start of play on the last day Fred had  trailed overnight leader Bernhard Langer by one shot. He then took advantage of the German’s slip on the back nine to capture the title with a closing round of -3  under par 67, and a total of -9 under par for the tournament. Fred of course was very happy with his victory;

“It was a very fun day. Being paired with Bernhard, you’ve got to play great and for a long time there, we were neck and neck. But for me I felt like I was hitting the ball very strong, very solid and I was really lucky that it didn’t rain because I’m not very good in the rain,  I don’t wear a golf glove; I had two gloves in the bag that were all‑weather gloves and I was scared to death to ever put those on. That was a big birdie on 17 to make 18 play easier and then when I hit the last putt, the hole got in the way and I won by two.  I’m very happy and excited to have won this.”

During is career Fred had previously finished in the top ten of  The Open Championship on nine occasions, wining the Senior Open has made up for those near misses;

” It’s the next best thing for all of us, obviously I never won The Open.  I came close.  Last night I really thought about the golf course. I knew I needed to play it well, and this is my biggest Senior Tour win, by far, winning on a truly great, great golf course. I can say I won a Senior Open at Turnberry.  I think the best thing about the whole week was playing this course.  It’s a challenging, very tough course, under extreme weather.  It’s nice to win any event, but there have been a lot of great champions on this thing, that’s for sure.”

Second placed Gary Hallberg had a last round 66,  on Friday Gary had equalled the Ailsa course record with a stunning 63, he lamented having to play in the worst of the conditions;

” I played my two best rounds in the worst of the conditions, I was very pleased with the way I played and congratulations to Freddie on a great performance.I didn’t think about setting a target. I tried to stay in the present moment.  I think I did a nice job of that.  I wanted to get ahead of myself.  But I stayed in the present moment.”

Bernhard Langer finished up sharing sixth place, ruing some bad play and bad luck with the pot bunkers;

“Obviously the back nine was a disaster, I just hit a couple of loose shots and got some bad breaks.  I ending up in pot bunkers and all of those things.  We were on the clock, as well, which didn’t help.  We had to rush a lot of the shots which didn’t make it any easier. Fred played very well, a solid round of golf and I think he deserves to win.  He finished in style with birdie, birdie.  That’s like a great champion, so it was well deserved.”

Rolex

 

 

Ex Salesman Joe Daley Wins Senior Players Championship.

Joe Daley (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

It took twenty years after quitting his job as a credit salesman for Joe Daley to win his first victory on the PGA or Champions tour. He had to contend with the likes of  Fred Couples,  the defending champion. Mark Calcavecchia the winner the previous week in the Montreal Championships, and Tom Lehman breathing down his neck, and hoping to steal this victory away from him. Joe stuck to his guns after starting  the day tied with Calcavecchia and a shot ahead of Couples and Lehman, who won the previous major last month.

A smiling Joe Daley said he was not worried about the competition, he was battling himself;

” I was my competition, not them, I’m my own competition. Have been for years. All I was keying on was what I had next, with the best possible attitude and keeping my emotions under control. I had a little adrenaline going later in the round and I dealt with it pretty good, so here I am.”

This victory earned Joe Daley full Champions Tour status for a calendar year, and he deserves it.

Mark Calcavecchia was full of praise for Joe;

“I thought he might get a little shaky in the back, but he was solid,  he deserves it. He’s been at this a long time, and this is a huge win for him.”

Tom Lehman bogeyed three of the final six holes, and was not happy;

“Just a little bit off all day today, I didn’t play badly, I didn’t play great. With the conditions the way they were, being a little bit off was enough. “

Tom spoke about Joe;

“I know him enough to know he’s a hard worker, he’s very committed and willing to pay the price. I look at a guy like him and say, well deserved.'”

Congratulations to first time winner, 51-year-old Joe Daley.

Memorial Tournament, Bubba Is back. Luke is also there.

Expert Picks: the Memorial

Luke Donald, Halleran/Getty Images

Luke Donald tee’s it up on the tenth at 0804 in the Nationwide Insurance, Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village as the reigning World Number One. On the tee with him will be the man he deposed of that title, Rory McIlroy. Rory has missed the cut in his previous two starts and will surely be out to prove to Luke, and the rest of the golfing world, that he is still a serious contender for the number one spot. To keep the two of them company over the first eighteen holes is American Keegan Bradely,  the reigning PGA champion.

Enjoying a late morning call will be Bubba Watson, 1305 off number one tee, he won the Masters ten days after becoming an adoptive father but is now back, playing for the first time since defending his title in New Orleans a month ago. He will play alongside Rickie Fowler, who picked up his breakthrough victory earlier this year at the Wells Fargo Championship. Rickie was also the runner-up at Muirfield Village in 2010. Third member of this group is Phil  Mickelson, a recent inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Phil has finished 20th or better six times, he is no slouch when it comes to this course.

Following Luke Donald on the tenth tee, at 0815 is Tiger Woods, a four-time Memorial champion, he won three straight Memorial titles after Fred Couples picked up his only victory at Muirfield Village in 1998., Fred Couples joins him on the tee. Making up the three ball will be Bill Haas, who won the Northern Trust Open earlier this year.

Steve Stricker, 1254 on the first tee, the defending Champion will partner the previous champion in Justin Rose, who currently leads the European Tour’s Race to Dubai , and also has plenty of momentum after finishing second in England last week at the BMW PGA Championship, played on the West Course at Wentworth. Third in this group is Hunter Mahan, who proudly stands in second place  in the FedExCup. He is one of two players who have won twice  in 2012 after winning the World Golf Championships, Accenture Match Play Championship and the Shell Houston Open.

 Another player returning to golf action in this weeks Memorial Tournament is the big hitting Dustin Johnson, but returning from injury and seriously contending for a coveted title over four days is hard graft, but good luck to Dustin.