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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.”

Accenture Match-Play. Garcia’s Gentlemanly Conduct. G-Mac King of Comebacks

dragon logo darkAccenture Logo

 Sergio Garcia was guilty of serious gentlemanly conduct in his loss to Rickie Fowler, conceding a seventeen foot putt. G-Mac came back from the dead once again, a resurrection indeed.

No regrets: Garcia concedes 17-footer in loss to Fowler

Sergio & Rickie / Getty Images

 Rickie Fowler defeated Sergio Garcia, 1 up, Friday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship , but that included the conceded putt of seventeen feet. The incident took place took place at Dove Mountain’s seventh hole, Sergio felt that he  had taken too much time to take a drop at No. 6, and conceded the halving par putt to Rickie. Sergio’s 7-foot par was conceded in return.

Sergio explained the extraordinary event like this;

I don’t regret it at all. I think that this is a gentleman’s game and lately, it hasn’t felt like it’s been like that. This is the way I was brought up by my dad. I felt like my drop on six took too much time. If I would have been in his position, I wouldn’t have enjoyed waiting so long to hit my birdie putt after the great shot that he hit. I thought that was the only thing I could do on seven to make myself feel better and not feel guilty about anything.”

The real problem was bee’s, Sergio asked for a drop away from the bee colony, saying;

 “I don’t want to hit the shot, I’ve had bad experiences with bees.”

Rickie was confused for a while;

“I had to kind of find out what he was asking or offering there, it took me a minute to figure it out.  It would be stupid not to take a half. He said, ‘You wanna halve’ I didn’t know what he meant. I thought maybe he had a sandwich”

For a the third day on the trot, Graeme McDowell came from behind to win. Claiming victory in  his quarter-final clash with Victor Dubuisson at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Graeme McDowell  (Getty Images)

G-Mac / Getty Images

Graeme was again on the ropes at two down with two to play, he rallied with two closing birdies, which saw the former US Open Champion force extra holes, and a 15 foot birdie putt at the third extra hole, after Hunter had found a greenside bunker. The victory sealed a last-eight spot for the Volvo World Match Play champion.

Graeme was amazed to still be in the tournament;

 “It’s entertaining for sure but I’d much rather have it much easier, believe me. I can’t get my head around it. I was pretty sure I was beat against Gary Woodland, yesterday I thought I had a chance and today walking off the 16th green I thought I was beat again. The par save on the second play-off hole was just ridiculous, he holed from 20 feet there. I can’t believe it really, I have just robbed three players at this tournament and I can’t believe I am still in it.”

Victor Dubuisson avoided a comeback by Bubba Watson, clinging on for a one up victory after being three up with four to play. Making his World Golf Championships debut, Victor feels he is ready to join the next Ryder Cup team;

“I’m definitely ready because I have good experience of match play as an amateur. I hope the three matches I have won will help me get into the team.”

Ernie Els came up with a brilliant approach shot to within two feet at the 18th to see off Jason Dufner 1 up, while the other South African Louis Oosthuizen dispatched Webb Simpson 5-4.

Jason Day defeated George Coetzee 3-1, and Jordan Spieth beat Matt Kuchar 2-1. Jim Furyk defeated Harris English 1 up.

So far this week I have manged to avoid using the word bracket, but thought I had better mention it just in case you thought I was not aware.

Accenture Match-Play. Rose & Rory Out. Magic McDowell Survives Again.

dragon logo darkAccenture Logo

Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy crashed out of the Accenture Match-Play tournament at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Course on Dove Mountain. Graeme McDowell survived another match where he looked like losing, once again.

Graeme McDowell  (Getty Images)

Survivor G-Mac / Getty Images

Justin went down to Ernie Els, 1 up, while Rory lost to Harris English, on the 19th hole. G-Mac went three down after six holes against  Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan. He then birdied the seventh and eighth to get within one hole, only to then lose the 14th to be two down with four holes to play. Graeme won the 15th and the 17th, and rounding off with  a ten foot putt on the final green to seal a one up win.

He joked afterwards;

“Why do it the easy way when the hard way will do. I just got off to a slow start again, probably less so today. I was quite proud of myself when I got a half on three, so I was only two down after three, as opposed to three down. I tried to go out there today and execute my game plan and try not to give him any room, try not to make any mistakes, try not to give him anything, and he kind of played the same kind of golf back. He played very, very well. 

“I made big putts on 15 and 16. The 16th especially was a massive putt to give me the opportunity.I feel very fortunate again today. I’ve certainly expended all my energy and emotions the last couple of days, but thankfully it’s early in the season and I’ve plenty left in the tank.”

Louis Oosthuizen dumped out Henrik Stenson 4-3, and Webb Simpson dispatched Brandt Snedeker by the same score.

George Coetzee is still doing fine, winning the 21 hole battle with Patrick Reed. Jason Day took even longer to overcome Billy Horschel, 22 holes.

Sergio Garcia is going along smoothly, a 3-1 victory over Bill Haas, while Jason Dufner eliminated Matteo Manassero by 2-1. 

Sergio said he had fun out there today;

“It was good fun, we both played hard. We both tried to play as well as we could to beat our opponent and I was fortunate to be just a little bit better than him today.”

A resurgent Rickie Fowler beat Jimmy Walker 1 up, Matt Kuchar beat Ryan Moore by the same score. Jim Furyk took care of Charl Schwartzel 3-2, and Jordan Spieth was too strong for Thomas Bjorn, beating him 5-4.

Victor Dubuisson continued to impress on his World Golf Championships debut as he overcame Peter Hanson 3 -1 to progress to face former Masters Tournament winner Bubba Watson, who saw off Jonas Blixt at the 17th hole when Jonas lost his ball under a bush. ( would have been ironic if Jonas had got a free drop, wouldn’t it)

Some good match ups tomorrow and any of the remaining players could win, as Graeme McDowell said yesterday, this is a brutal format.

Volvo World Match Play Championship. G-Mac Wins

G-MacGraeme McDowell, won the Volvo World Match Play Championship. beating Thongchai Jaidee 2&1 in the final round at Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort in Bulgaria.

Graeme McDowell  (Getty Images)

G-Mac with the coveted Trophy / Getty Images

Graeme had to come from behind to beat Thongchai Jaidee in the final round of the Volvo World Match Play, he was last years runner-up, and was determined to go one better this year. One down at the turn G-Mac had a winning streak of three wins in four holes, which was enough for him to lift the Trophy.

G-Mac was elated to finally add his name to the illustrious trophy;

 ” Obviously a nice day and a great trophy. I talked about it all week about the prestige of this event and how many great champions, and nice to add my name to that list of legends. We talked a lot about what Volvo have done with this event, what they have done with golf around the world and coming to Bulgaria this week obviously was a brave move, but I think it’s paid off. Sitting here with the trophy I’m going to say great things about the place but I think if you talk to all the players, I think everyone enjoyed themselves, everyone enjoyed the golf course. It was a little bit more tentative this afternoon. It was tough to keep that level of golf up all weekend, and the key putts really this afternoon were with the par saves on nine and ten , they were massive.  I sensed from Thongchai after that that he was starting to fatigue a little bit; I really sensed a bit of an opening. I just had to hit the shots and I did that well coming down the stretch. The mistake he made on 14 and then the birdie I made on 15 was really the telling stuff. “

“Like I say, it’s great to put my name on the trophy. I’m looking across to see Montgomerie and Westwood just popping off the trophy at me, great European Tour legends, Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, the history of this event, it’s fantastic. This feels really, really like a special win. I’m sure Volvo are going to work hard to take this tournament from strength to strength and get it back as one of the premiere events, one of the special events on The European Tour season, which it needs to be. Els, Montgomerie, Westwood, Ballesteros, Norman, Lyle, Faldo, Player, Palmer, it’s just crazy stuff really. To thrust yourself into that – to have your name on a trophy this cool is pretty special.I’ll drink a couple of cold ones tonight and enjoy this. This is a special moment in my career, no doubt about it. Wins are super special, two in five weeks, that’s great. I’m feeling pretty good right now.”

Final Results, winners in Blue.

Semi Finals

RSA Thomas AIKEN 3&2 Thongchai JAIDEE THA

RSA Branden GRACE 3&2 Graeme MCDOWELL NIR

 

Final

THA Thongchai JAIDEE 2&1 Graeme MCDOWELL NIR

 

 

RBC Heritage. G-Mac wins in Play-Off

G-Mac, Graeme McDowell, won the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on the first hole of a sudden death  play-off against Webb Simpson at Hilton Head Island.

Life's a breeze

Graeme McDowell / Lecka / Getty Images

Graeme and Webb both finished the RBC Heritage tournament at -9 under par, in very windy and inhospitable conditions.

Graeme reported how hard it is to win;

” This game kicks you more often than it gives you a pat on the back, it’s hard to win. I guess the weather was what the doctor ordered. I needed that to get close to the leaders. It’s funny the way things happen, I wouldn’t swap this for a top ten last week.”

The reigning U.S. Open Champion, Webb Simpson, had a chance to win in regulation play, but his twenty two foot putt for birdie went three feet past the hole and set up the sudden death play-off.

Webb stated that he had no confidence coming in to this tournament, but was convinced that the last putt was going in;

” I came in with not too much confidence, but I just stayed true to the process of what we’ve been working on. I never thought I made a putt more than that birdie putt, it was in. With a foot to go, it was in the left side. Coming back, that was a hard putt, because by the grain and the wind it’s supposed to break, but the regulation putt didn’t break. So I was kind of stuck with, ‘What do I do?’ I tried to play it left center. It broke. My caddie and I called 18 holes today 18 acts, as if we were in a play, just because you really cannot think ahead out there. It’s as hard as we’ll ever play.”

A dejected Webb Simpson / Lecka / Getty Images

Luke Donald tied for third place with Kevin Streelman at -7 under par, Luke admitting that the weather forecast from the National Weather Service advising of gust up to 45 mph were accurate, the worst playing conditions all year;

” Extremely difficult, strongest wind I’ve played in all year.”

The 54 hole leader Charlie Hoffman nose dived in the final round, shooting a lackluster 77, which left him tied in sixth place.

Charlie said he played OK, just did not make the putts he needed to;

” I actually hit the ball all right today, I just didn’t make the putts like I needed to make yesterday. It was tough conditions and I didn’t capitalize on the situations that I had. The shots I hit good didn’t turn out like I thought they were going to turn out.”

 

TW World Challenge, G-Mac still the Master

Hi-res-157284952_crop_exact

Graeme McDowell/ Dunn / Getty Images

Graeme McDowell, G-Mac, is still the master of the Tiger Woods World Challenge after his third round at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California, shooting -4 under par 68 in the Northwestern Mutual presented event. He leads by two shots from Keegan Bradley. Graeme said after his round;

“If I was to get the job done Sunday I may have to stay an extra day and get a real estate agent and have a look around the area because there’s something weird going on here. I think it’s certainly my kind of course, there’s no doubt about it. It’s a course that rewards a premium on accuracy and a premium on good, aggressive iron play. I’ve always kind of rolled the ball here well. It’s definitely a golf course that sets up well for me.”

Keegan Bradley is in second place, just two shots behind Graeme, at -11 under par for the tournament, firing a third round -5 under par 67.  Tournament host Tiger Woods is five back of the leader, and has some work to do if he wants to win his own event;

“I felt like I played decent enough to get to 10 under, to get to double digits, and just didn’t do it, and as of right now I’m five back. I’m going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow and see what happens.”

There are rumors that Tiger put his own money up with Northwestern Mutual  when the tournament, which began in 1999 and benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, lost its title sponsor last year and a replacement sponsor fell through in September. Tiger would not reveal the numbers publicly but some say the amount required was $4 million. Tiger was coy with his answer when questioned;

“I bridged the gap on it, I’m not going to tell you the exact amount, but it’s a good number. The title sponsor unfortunately fell through, but this is important for us. What’s important is that if it wasn’t for this tournament, we wouldn’t have the success with the foundation. The learning center would not have happened. We wouldn’t have gained the awareness that we have now. There have been so many kids that we have helped, just because of this event. It’s important to me, to the foundation, this is what got us on the map.”

The foundation built the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Orange County. Now there are also two campuses in the Washington, D.C., area, another in south Florida and one in Philadelphia. About 100,000 kids have attended programs at the learning centers. Many of the kids have received scholarships to attend college,  many being the first in their family to go to college. The World Challenge has raised $25 million for the foundation, including nearly $9 million from Tiger, who has donated all his winnings in the tournament to the foundation.

First round leader Nick Watney, who is in seventh place in this field of 18 elite players, called Tiger’s charitable donation and million-dollar infusion to the tournament;

” An incredibly kind thing to do and an amazing gesture by him. I think there will be jokes about him that he can afford it, but it’s a great thing. I hope it receives the credit that it deserves, it’s a credit to him and he’s a great guy. Everybody in this game owes him a debt of gratitude, even though I know he wouldn’t want it.”

If  Tiger does shoot a low round tomorrow and wins again, everyone knows what will happen , the Foundation will receive the $1 million winners purse . I personally hope this does happen, for the Children’s sake. Go Tiger

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