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Sony Open, Rookie Russell Rips Up the Record Books.

Smashing debut

Winning Rookie Russell Henley / Petersen/Getty Images

The Sony Open was won by rookie Russell Henley on his Tour debut, and doing so he ripped up the standing records for just about everything.

Russell  finished at -24 under par and a total score of 256, breaking by four shots the Sony Open in Hawaii scoring record, last set by Brad Faxon in 2001. Russell relegated Tim Clark into second place by three shots, Tim was himself on fire, he birdied seven of his last eleven holes and actually only made up one shot on Russell, the rookie from the University of Georgia.

Russell is now tied at the top the FedEx Cup standings in the company of Dustin Johnson on 500 points. The win was the second-lowest score for a 72-hole tournament in PGA TOUR history, two shots behind Tommy Armour III in 2003 at the Valero Texas Open. He also  set tournament records for the low 36-hole score after his 63-63 start, he shared the 54-hole record with Scott Langley and also set another tournament record with the lowest final round by a Champion.

Add to that he became the first PGA TOUR rookie to win his debut since Garrett Willis did at Tucson in 2001, and he will be going to the Masters in April, a local tournament for the boy from Macon, Georgia.

He said of his record breaking day that he had never been so nervous, you would not have imagined that watching him coming down the stretch on Sunday. He played the last nine holes superbly.

“I don’t really know what happened, honestly, this is the most nervous I’ve ever been. That’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s been my goal to make it to the Masters my whole life. I’m kind of speechless right now.”

With the results  of his Web.com Tour season last year and this win Russell Henley has already made it into the world rankings inside the top fifty.  That ranking will get him into the Accenture-Match Play Championship for the top 64 in the world, the qualifying date is only a month away, and he should also be in line for the other WGC at the Cadillac Championship, and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, not forgetting the PGA Championship. All in all quite a PGA TOUR debut, I look forward to watching Russell this season, it will be interesting to see how far he can go, he obviously has the talent.

 

McGladrey Classic, Jim and Davis Share Lead after 54 Holes

 

SEA ISLAND, GA - OCTOBER 20:  Jim Furyk (L) and Davis Love III speak on the 18th hole during the third round of The McGladrey Classic at Sea Island's Seaside Course on October 20, 2012 in Sea Island, Georgia.

Jim Furyk and Davis Love 111/Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Jim Furyk and Davis Love 111 share the lead at the McGladrey Classic at the 54 hole stage at the Seaside Course, Sea Island, Georgia. Both Jim and Davis had third rounds of -4 under par 66 to share the tournament total of -13 under par.

Jim said a win here at the McGladrey Classic could not erase the memories of his abject  failure to hold leads at the U.S. Open in June, the World Golf Championships,Bridgestone Invitational in August, and a 1 up lead over Sergio Garcia, with just two holes left to play in the Ryder Cup;

“I’m tougher on myself, I promise,  than anyone else is. So I’ve kicked myself 100 times already, and I’ve gotten over it. I can put it behind me and move on. There’s nothing I can do to change it. And nothing I do in the future is going to change it. I’m excited for this season to be over, only for the fact that I can turn the page and we can start talking about the future. If I looked at tomorrow as another chance to be judged in case I failed, you know, it’s been a tough year, but I could never look at it that way. It’s an opportunity for me to go out and win a golf tournament, and I’m not trying to make up for the rest of the year. What happened, happened. It’s over with. I can’t change it. I’m never going to feel good about what happened, but it’s done with. It’s an opportunity tomorrow to win a golf tournament, that’s the way I’m going to look at it.” 

Davis spoke about being able to separate his disappointment at the Ryder Cup result and playing his own golf, and also stopping Jim beating him;

“I can separate a lot of things, separate the Ryder Cup with its own experience. People were surprised I played the three weeks after, but I’d had some time off. I was ready to play. I haven’t played enough tournaments, so it’s nice to be back in the swing of things.  I’d love to keep him from it, we’re both very competitive. That’s why I picked him for the Ryder Cup team. He competes hard every time he goes out there and he gives you everything he’s got. I think it would mean a lot to both of us. It would be a pretty close tie.”

Tied in third place are D.J. Trahan and Arjun Atwal, two shots adrift of the lead after rounds of -4 under par 66, and -1 under par 69, respectively, for their -11 under par tournament totals.

Bud Cauley is alone in fifth spot after his third round of -2 under par, 68, and a tournament total of -10 under par.

It will be interesting to see if Jim and Davis spend too  much time looking at each other, and not noticing someone racing up behind them.

 

The McGladrey Classic Round 1

McGladrey Classic Golf

Bud Cauley/photo A/P

Bud Cauley shares the lead at the McGladrey Classic on the Seaside Course, Sea Island, Georgia, after the opening round, with fellow American Marco Dawson. Both players took advantage of the course to fire in rounds of -8 under par, 62.

Bud has already earned $1.7 million dollars this year and has moved up to position 55 in the World Golf Rankings, all achieved without a win. He hopes this tournament will change the zero in the win column;

”Obviously, I’ve thought about winning every tournament I’ve teed up in this year. ‘It’s been a long year, and although I’ve played a lot this year, I haven’t won. It’s still a goal of mine, but I’m not thinking about that while I’m out there, or putting any more pressure on myself this week. The season is kind of winding down. It would be great to win here.”

Marco Dawson is in a totally different position, this tournament it is the penultimate PGA Tour event on the schedule that counts toward the money list, with Marco way down at No. 216 on the list and with only $62,026 in his 20 tournaments this year. Realistically Marco has to win The McGladrey Classic to avoid a return to Q-school, his year has gone so awry that  he doesn’t even look at the money list anymore.

”I’m so far away from it that the only thing I can do is just try and play well. And when I am playing well, just to keep it going instead of kind of messing it up like I have during the year.”

Boo Weekly is one of three players tied for third place with rounds of  -6 under par 64. Boo has changed to a new thicker putter grip, something that we at White Dragon Golf always recommend, and it has dramatically altered his putting stats, sinking putts from 14, 7, 15, 8, and 7 feet. Boo is currently at 121 on the money list, and is aware of the danger;

“I’m pretty aware of it, The last two weeks I’ve actually played pretty good but I just seem to get nothing out of my round. It just gets more frustrating. The more frustrated you get out here you start getting negative, you start talking trash to yourself saying, ‘You ain’t gonna make the cut because you can’t make this 5-footer. You missed three already the first five holes.’ It just kind of wears on your mind.  It’s been a long time coming, finally started making some putts. I’ve been hitting the ball pretty good the last few weeks and finally today the putts showed up. It just felt good, started making some putts and that started building some confidence.”

The other two players tied at third with Boo are, England’s Greg Owen and Rod Pampling from Australia.

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