Hero World Challenge. Jordan Jogs Along

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Jordan Spieth jogs along at the top of the Hero World Challenge tournament, in what was a rain delayed second round, and he has yet to complete the round tomorrow morning.

Hero World Challenge

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

The rain delay, which eventually caused the suspension of round two, did not bother Jordan, he got to -5 under par for the day, with a hole still to complete, with a tournament total of -11 under par. 

He said he was glad he did not hit that last shot;

“It was a good idea to hit that pitch tomorrow.”

Play was initially halted at 2.54 pm, and restarted at 4.20 pm. The delay caused most damage to Henrik Stenson who before the stoppage was on cruise control, he go it to -11 under par. After the break he made bogey on two holes and struggled all the way to the end, finishing in second place at -9 under par.

Patrick Reed and Justin Rose had the best two rounds of the day, a 63 for Patrick and 64 for Justin, they are tied in third place on -8 under par.

Patrick was playing alongside Tiger, a new experience for him in tournament play. It worked well for him, a -9 under par 63 set a new course record;

 “I was thinking in the 50’s after 10, for sure.”

“I never played with Tiger before besides in a practice round at the British. It was good to finally be able to play with him, especially in competition.”

“Back when everyone was really struggling when they were playing with Tiger, that was when he was also just absolutely dominating the game.”

“I feel like now, because of how mentally strong he was, and us growing up watching that, and how he played, I feel like a lot of young guys now have the same mentality. Don’t really care who they’re playing with.”

Henrik was not too disappointed at his position;

“You’re not winning anything on a Friday, we’re still at the races.”

“Thinking about Santa Claus gets me energized, I guess, I think every player can have stretches where you feel like you’re playing better.”

“I guess in previous years I’ve done pretty well late in the year.”

These guys played their last few holes in the dark, and it cost them, Graeme McDowell was running to the last tee, to get his ball into play before the horn went. The tee shot found the bunker, and it ended up costing him a shot.

Tiger had a better round today, a -2 under par 70, but that still left him at the foot of the 18 man leaderboard, he unfortunately is still chunking chip shots;

“It really didn’t feel that much different than yesterday, I hit probably two less worse shots than I did yesterday, but I struck the ball solid yesterday and I did again today.”

“That’s also part of going through the swing changes, chip shot is a smaller version so this is a different pattern than I have been using and it’s showing up. It’s not quite ready yet. Just going to take more time, more practice.”

“I think that I would like to shoot two really low rounds this weekend and get a W out of here, but if that’s not the case, then that’s not the case.”

It is strange how the mass media elevate anything about Tiger to the top story, even on the PGA TOUR website the headline is Jordan leads, but they show a picture of Tiger with a story about how he is playing. Someone on the internet posted this about the TV coverage: Jordan is -8 through 10 holes, and you show a highlight of Tiger. Pitiful.

 

 

 

Hero World Challenge. Jordan Tops, Tiger Flops.

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Jordan Spieth tops the Hero World Challenge, while Tiger Woods flops, in the first round at Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Florida.

Hero World Challenge

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan brought his good form from Australia to the PGA Tour, shooting a first round -6 under par 66, to sit on top of the Hero World Challenge leaderboard. He won by six shots in Australia last week, and carded five straight birdies starting at #6 here in Florida;

“I’m excited about how last week went and I’m kind of riding the momentum, I’m going to give it my all these last few days.”

“I was 100 percent today, should stay that way the rest of the week.”

Just one shot back of the leader are four guys; Henrik Stenson, Steve Stricker, Rickie Fowler and Zach Johnson, all at -5 under par for the tournament.

Zach, when asked, told reporters why he plays so well at the World Challenge;

“There’s something to be said for lowered expectations.”

“I’d have to research that because I really don’t have a good answer for you.”

 

Orlando resident Graeme McDowell is in the group at -4 under par and he has some very good memories of this tournament;

“This event has been very good to me.”

While Jordan is in first place, Tiger Woods finished in last place, returning a +5 over par 77, he was not a happy camper;

“It is surprising that I could hit chips that poorly, I haven’t said that in a long time.”

“One of those days where nothing went my way,”

“It’s very exciting to step up there and hit the drives I hit, especially on the back nine, and start launching it and feel nothing.”

“Today was weird, I didn’t feel like I hit it that bad. My short game was awful. Didn’t make anything.”

“Bad chips, bad putts and a couple of missed shots on the front nine on the wrong side compounded the problem.”

WGC. HSBC Champions. Bubba Blasts His Way to a Win.

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Bubba Watson blasted out of a bunker to hole an Eagle on the last hole and get into a play-off against Tim Clark, on his way to winning the WGC, HSBC Champions event in China.

WGC, HSBC Champions

Bubba Watson / Getty Images

In a cracking final round at the WGC, HSBC Champions tournament, at Sheshan International Golf Course, the lead changed constantly, and it seemed that there could be as many as six players heading for the play-off. In the end only two were left, Bubba Watson and Tim Clark. Tim could not repeat his last round birdie at the first play-off, and Bubba rolled in a long putt to win the title with his birdie.

Bubba spoke to his caddy while standing in the bunker on the last hole;

“It’s been a miserable couple holes here, but this will change everything if it goes in.”

“You always joke about holing it, and then it actually went in. I didn’t know how to react and so I just kind of screamed, and I lost my voice a little bit. It was one of those shots, a one-in-a-lifetime kind of shot. And so it was pretty neat.”

Being able to win outside the U.S., I just want to be able to travel and get through the jet lag, get through all the things and still perform at a high level.”

“So for me to win out here, this is very big. This is very special for me.”

Tim knew that the length off the tee for Bubba could cause him problems;

I knew I needed to birdie that playoff, especially with him being able to reach. I’m pleased overall, obviously, disappointed to be that close.”

For the record both Bubba and Tim finished the tournament on -11 under par, with Rickie Fowler, Graeme McDowell and Hiroshi Iwata just one shot back at -10 under par.

Ian Poulter, Thorbjorn Olesen and Martin Kaymer were a further two shots back on -8 under par for the tournament.

WGC, HSBC Champions. G-Mac in Control, Just.

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G-Mac, Graeme McDowell just held on to control of the WGC, HSBC Champions tournament at Sheshan International Golf Course in China.

WGC HSBC Champions

Graeme McDowell / Getty Images

A third round -1 under par 71 kept Graeme at the top of the WGC, HSBC Champions tournament, with a -11 under par total, just a one shot advantage going into the final round on Sunday. It was a five and a half hour round and he thought he had played pretty well in difficult conditions;

“I played reasonably solid today, I thought conditions were a little bit more difficult, colder, obviously a little bit of overnight rain made the golf course play a little bit longer.” 

“I was generally happy with the way I hit the golf ball. I didn’t quite score as well as I did the last couple days but I gave myself some confidence from a ball-striking point of view that I can get the job done tomorrow.”

“Let’s be honest, I had a three shot lead overnight and it’s only one now, but I’ll take this position any week that you offer it to me, a one shot lead going into the last round, on a golf course that I enjoy; I’m looking forward to the opportunity tomorrow.” 

I felt maybe a tiny bit negative coming in, but when I went back and sort of thought through my round, you know, it was difficult.”

“I wouldn’t say I felt loose coming in, but I also knew it wasn’t something I had to start protecting. I hit a lot of good putts today that didn’t go in, and that’s probably the main difference between shooting 1 under and 3 or 4 under today.”

One shot behind at -10 under par is Japanese player Hiroshi Iwata, who shot up the leaderboard thanks to a third round -4 under par 68. He thinks he may get nervous tomorrow if he is still there at the death;

“Maybe tomorrow coming up the last few holes, I might get a little bit nervous, but so far I’m calm, so I think I’m doing OK.”

Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson are in close contact, both finished at -9 under par for the tournament, with Rickie Fowler and Tim Clark another shot back at -8 under par.

 Bubba was not happy with his putter today, but still managed to birdie four of the last five holes;

“A couple three-putts today and a double bogey. That’s sad, but the birdies down the stretch really helped out.”

WGC. HSBC Champions. Great Day for G-Mac.

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It was a great day for G-Mac, Graeme McDowell leads the WGC, HSBC Champions tournament at the mid-way point at Sheshan International Golf Course in China.

WGC, HCBC Champions

Graeme McDowell / Getty Images

G-Mac shot a bogey free second round of -5 under par 67 to lead the WGC, HSBC Champions by three shots at the half way stage with a -10 under par total. While admitting he did not play as well as yesterday, although posting the same score, Graeme said his putter was red-hot;

“The putter was fairly hot today.”

“I didn’t play as well as I did yesterday; I missed a lot more fairways, which is a big key on this golf course. You must find fairways to have a chance out there.” 

“I got lucky a couple of times and I made some good saves. The greens are fantastic here at Sheshan and I managed to make some putts. It wasn’t my best ball-striking round but I hung in there and I’m right where I want to be going into the weekend.”

“This event has such a good feel to it. HSBC do a good job, you always get good support, there’s a great atmosphere and the golf course is so well presented.” 

“The WGCs are a special tier of events and this has always been one that I’ve had my eye on. This is a world-class field and they are bunching up behind me. I’ve just got to keep the pedal down and position myself for Sunday to have a sniff on the back nine.”

Ian Poulter is in second place, he also recorded a second round -5 under par 67, to give him a -7 under par total, to occupy second on his own.

Tied in third are Bubba Watson and Hiroshi Iwata, both players on -6 under par for the tournament.

Bubba, The Masters champion, birdied his last five holes, twice chipping in from off the green to card a -5 under par  67 second round.

This is a very tightly compacted leaderboard, apart from Graeme, and I expect someone to leap out of the pack tomorrow to challenge the cruising G-Mac.

WGC HSBC Champions. G-Mac Gets In Front

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G-Mac, Graeme McDowell, gets in front of the World Golf Championship, HSBC Champions tournament in China.

WGC HSBC Champions

Graeme McDowell / Getty Images

Graeme opened the WGC HSBC Champions tournament with a -5 under par 67 at Sheshan International Golf Club in China, to sit on top of the leaderboard with a two shot lead.

Graeme, playing the course backwards, dropped a couple of shots late in the day but was happy with his effort on this tricky day;

“A big key to this golf course is driving the ball well. I drove it very well today, and the greens are in fantastic shape, and I actually putted very well. Dropped a couple coming in, but all in all, very pleased with five under par on what I thought was a reasonably tricky day.”

“I didn’t need a leaderboard to let me know that 7 under through 12 is fairly strong. There were some tricky holes on the front nine. I made a couple of putts I should have in the first 12 holes, and then I made a couple of bogeys that I shouldn’t have coming in.”

“All in all, I think five under was a fair representation of my round.”

Rickie FowlerMartin Kaymer, Brandt Snedeker, Tim Clark, Chris Kirk and Tommy Fleetwood are all tied in second place, after shooting rounds of -3 under par 69.

Rickie paid testament to the tough test this course is providing;

“This is a top event, some of the best players in the world, probably the best field you’re going to get in Asia, and you don’t want it to be a pushover.”

 “You want a good, solid test. And it’s showing that.”

Brandt Snedeker was not put off by jet-lag,  his original plan was to play Japan, Malaysia and China. But he had to withdraw  from the Bridgestone Open when he felt something wrong with his stomach. He flew home to Tennessee during the week of Malaysia to get it checked out, then flew back to Asia to start this tournament.

There is another large group at -2 under par, 70, that featured Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson, on a day when only 27 players in the 78-man field broke par, with FedExCup champion Billy Horschel carding a +8 over par 80;

 

BMW Masters. Levy Leads.

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Alexander Levy leads in Shanghai at the BMW Masters making an ideal start to his bid for a third European Tour title of the season.

BMW Open

Alex Levy / Getty Images

Frenchman Alexander Levy shot a bogey free opening round of -7 under par 65 to lead the BMW Masters on the Lake Malaren Golf Club course.

Alex was happy with his round, joking that he thinks China likes him. He is also buoyant about the good level of French golf;

“I think this country likes me, for me, this golf course is pretty much the same as the one where I won in Shenzhen.”

“I like this type of golf course with water and the target golf. I enjoy being in China and I’m going to try my best the next few days to do the same things I did in April.”

“No French player has won a Major or something like that, but I think we have a good mix between the older generation and young generation.Victor played the Ryder Cup this year and I think it showed all the French players it’s possible to play a big event like that and be in position to be in the Ryder Cup in France in 2018.”

“For my part I’m thinking only about that, to be in France in 2018 at Le Golf National, it’s an amazing place. I think we will have, I hope, two or three players on the Ryder Cup in 2018.

“We have a good generation. Every year some French players win and new players come on The European Tour.”

Another Frenchman Romain Wattel  is sharing second place with Nicolas Colsaerts and Emiliano Grillo,  all just one shot behind on -6 under par.

Graeme McDowell is another shot further back on -5 under par, holding fifth spot on his own after his first round 67. G-Mac arrived late in Shanghai and is shaking off the jet-lag. He reported that good putting was the key to his round;

“I got here Tuesday morning and haven’t really been feeling my best the last couple of days.”

“It’s the first sort of long trip of the year for me and the body took a little bit of time to catch up. Thankfully I felt much, much better this morning and the energy level has felt good.”

“The golf course is fairly soft due to the rain. It’s playing very long (7,600 yards), but the greens are very receptive and you can attack a few pins.”

“I’ve had a lot of yardage in my hand most of the day out there. We counted up, I think I had seven iron shots from outside of 200 yards on this golf course. Certainly for a guy like me who doesn’t hit it maybe as far as some of the other guys, I have to be precise with my iron play and putt well, and I putted well today. That was one of the keys.”