Valspar Championship. Garrigus Gets Ahead.

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Robert Garrigus gets ahead in the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook on day 2 taking a three shot lead into the week-end.

Garrigus leads at Valspar

Robert Garrigus / Getty Images

Robert can not remember a better performance going into the week-end than the one he put together on day 2 at the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead course. He shot a second round -5 under par 66, to finish the day three shots ahead on -7 under par for the tournament;

“It’s the fishing, I think that puts me in a good frame of mind because I’m clear and not thinking about anything, just going out and having some fun. I probably hit one of the top-five shots of my life there on sixteen, out of the trees. Hit a low, cut 5-iron, then rose it up over the pine tree and cut it 40 yards and hit to ten feet. That’s just one of those shots that when you’re playing good and everything is rolling, you kind of expect it. It was a lot of fun to try it, and to pull it off was even better. I’ve spent half my life in the trees. I’ve had a lot of practice.”

Kevin Na is in second place, a second round -3 under par 68 gave him a total of -4 under par for the tournament. That was good enough for second spot alone.

Highest-ranked player in the field, Justin Rose shot a second round -3 under par, and joins Matt Every, Pat Perez and Matteo Manassero, all tied in third place at -3 under par.

Justin finally got some momentum going;

“I got some momentum going today, I worked my way into the tournament early. To finish strong with my round yesterday I think helped give me some momentum into day. It’s exactly how I needed to flow into the tournament.”

During the round today Pat Perez  was the first player to reach -5 under par for the tournament, until he missed two drives well to the left. The first was in the trees at No. 6, and then another wayward drive went out of bounds on No. 7. Both of them led to double bogeys, though Pat shrugged off the disappointment;

“Just move on and keep going.”

Danny Lee went from first to worst. He was tied for the lead Thursday, and then shot +8 over par for 79, and miss the cut. The cut was at +3  over par,  and because 84 players advanced, there will be a 54-hole cut to top 70 and ties on Saturday.

The list of players missing the cut was pretty impressive, they include;

Ernie Els, Mike Weir,  Camilo Villegas, Webb Simpson, Geoff Ogilvey, D.A. Points, VJ Singh, Angel Cabrera, Kyle Stanley and the wild man himself, John Daly, who propped up the whole field.

 

 

Australian PGA Championship, Daniel Popovic has 2 point lead for Final Round

Daniel Popovic

Daniel Popovic / pga.au

Young gun Daniel Popovic has a two point lead going into Sunday’s final round of the Australian PGA Championship at the Palmer Coolum Resort golf course. Daniel carded a -3 under par 69,  for tournament total of -13 under par, in calm conditions on Saturday to lead fellow Victorian Anthony Brown by two shots, and is confident he’s got the game to hold off an experienced chasing pack and claim his first Australian PGA Championship.

” I knew that I had it in me and I still know that I have one more good round tomorrow in me. I’ve just got to keep my routine going , what I have been doing has been working this week and tonight is going to be exactly the same and so is tomorrow morning in my warm up. I’ve been in pressure situations before, like say Q-School which is for me almost the most pressure that you have for the year because it determines where and how many tournaments you are going to play. It does surprise me in a way that I did handle it so well today without sort of having my A-game, but I am going to walk away from here thinking this can be done tomorrow and I’m going to give it a fair crack. It’s going to be an incredible ride for the whole family I think, tomorrow for myself, my mum and my dad is going to be huge.”

Daniel said he was excited to playing alongside another Australian legend on Sunday,Peter Senior,after playing with Geoff Ogilvey on moving day.  In the final group will be Anthony Brown who is two shots back at -11 under par and Peter is three shots behind at -10 under par;

“It’s fantastic, I mean Pete Senior is another one with so much experience and watching Geoff the way that he went about things today, I learnt so much again today playing with him. Geoff is such a great guy and I really hope that I get to play with Geoff again but Pete Senior, I have never met him in my life and I am sure that he is about the same sort of bloke as what Geoff is,  I can’t wait.”

Daniel may be excited but Peter Senior has issued a warning to the leader as he chases a fourth  Australian PGA Championship, declaring he’s in better form than when he won last week’s Australian Open.

” Pretty happy with the way things are going, I played a lot better today than I had even last week. I hit a lot better quality shots, driving it really well and I was just hitting it and picking up my tee which is always a great feeling, it sort of sets the holes up a little bit. I hit some better iron shots today that felt better than what I have been doing and made some birdies on some good holes, like 14 and 18 today, those were the real bonus holes. I just haven’t been making birdies on the par-fives, there are 15 par-fives and I think I’m about three under, the longer hitters are sort of knocking them to pieces so the par-fives are really letting me down.”

Australian PGA Championship, Daniel Popovic and China’s Xin Jun Zhang are Tied at the Top

 

 

Daniel Popovic        Zhang joins Popovic in share of lead

Daniel Popovic / Getty Images                                                                                Xin Jun Zhang

Daniel Popovic and China’s Xin Jun Zhang are tied top of the Australian PGA Championship after the second round at the Palmer Coolum Resort golf  club. Both players are at -10 under par for the tournament, Daniel with a modest -2 under par 70, and Xin Jun fired in another round of -5 under par 67 for his total.

Daniel said he was stoked to be still at t he top of the leaderboard;

” I am stoked, “I can’t get the smile off my face since I finished the round. It’s an unbelievable experience. I am lost for words explaining it.”

Zhang used an interpreter to speak about his golf;

“I felt good today, I am getting used to this layout and to the wind. I’ve learned some English, mostly related to golf, like ‘how do you think this breaks’?”

Matthew Griffen and Geoff Ogilvey are tied in third place at -8 under par, just two shots adrift of the leaders. Tied in fifth spot are Brad Kennedy and Mathew Goggin, both at -7 under par for the tournament.

Geoff Ogilvey,  the 2006 US Open winner and 2008 Australian PGA champion, said he thought his experience of being in contention heading into the weekend should put him in a good position to attack.

“It helps. Being on the first tee can be a scary place the first few times you are there on the weekend, there is a no substitute for experience. It’s a nice advantage to have but there are a lot of good golfers in this field playing well and there is still a long way to go.”

Geoff really wants to finish the year inside the top 50 in the World rankings, so he is aiming to win here;

“I don’t know if it has to be first to get into the top 50, but it probably has to be first two or three, I don’t study world rankings that much. But that would be a bonus, winning the tournament would be the best part, but if that was a side bonus that would be good. I feel like I am in a good place. It’s nice I will be in one of the last few groups tomorrow and if I can have a good score, maybe get right up there after tomorrow and give it a crack on Sunday.”