World Golf Championship. Calm Restored at Cadillac.

dragon logo darkWGC-Cadillac Championship

Calm was restored at the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral on day three of the contest around The Blue Monster. Patrick Reed has the lead going into the final round.

Patrick Reed could be taking home his third trophy in seven months Sunday at Doral. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Patrick Reed /Getty Images

In much calmer conditions Patrick turned his game around in four holes Saturday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, finishing up with a -3 under par 69 and a two stroke lead at -4 under par. He said he was not bothered that Tiger was close behind;

“That’s fine, I’ve seen Tiger a lot on the driving range. Never had the opportunity to play with him and I still haven’t been able to play with him. Whenever he’s close to the lead, he’s a guy you have to watch out for. But at the same time, I have to go and just play my own game.”

“If you have a 54-hole lead, that means you’re playing the best golf of the group through three rounds. Tomorrow is Sunday, but at the same time, it’s another round of golf. We’ve won twice since August, we’ve played great. And if I continue doing what I’m supposed to be doing, come Sunday afternoon, hopefully we’re holding the trophy.”

Jason Dufner and Hunter Mahan are tied in second place at -2 under par for this tournament, Hunter thinks it will go down to the wire;

“The tournament will not be over until the last putt drops on eighteen. That always happens, but it seems like you just can’t coast in here. You can’t have a big enough lead going into eighteen this week. So I don’t think anyone is going to be too bothered if someone gets out to a three, or four-shot lead, because there’s so much golf out there. And there’s so much that can happen, good and bad.”

Tied in fourth place are Jamie Donaldson and Tiger Woods, both at -1 under par. Tiger did what he wanted to do, get back into the tournament. A third round of -6 under par 66 certainly did that;

“It was nice to get back in the tournament again Now it’s playing more like a normal course. I held it together yesterday, a long day, tough day, and that gave me a chance today.I figured, hey, I’m only six back. That’s definitely doable, especially with the conditions and how difficult this golf course is playing. If I just get back to even par for the tournament, I’ll be right there. And I did one better.”

Dustin Johnson,  Miguel Angel Jimenez and Zach Johnson share sixth place at even par for the three rounds. The weather conditions still hold the key around here, if it starts to blow again anything could happen. Another calm day and the winner will come from the top five.

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.”

Darness Descends at Doral, WGC Championship.

dragon logo darkWGC-Cadillac Championship

Darkness descends on The WGA Championship at the Blue Monster course at Doral, suspending the first round.

Harris English had the lowest round of the few who completed Round 1 on Thursday. (Greenwood/Getty Images)

Harris English / Getty Images

Harris English was one of just six players to finish the opening round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship after inclement weather delayed play at Trump National Doral. When the horn blew there were five players tied at the top the leaderboard on -3 under par. The only completed round was Harris English, the other four still to finish the opening round are; Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan, Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed

Harris explained how important it was to finish today, and not to come back in the morning to finish the round, and then continue with the second;

“It was getting really dark, very quickly, but I wanted to finish the hole, it really changes the way you approach the day, waking up and playing one hole at 8 in the morning and then waiting around for three or four hours for your tee time is tough to do. That way in the morning, we can have a normal day.”

Tiger Woods was +2 over par through ten holes, but said he was feeling a lot better, but he will have to play 26 holes tomorrow;

“Felt a lot better today, should be a long day for all of us. Hopefully I can get back out there in the morning, play well and work back to even par by the end of the first round, then shoot a low one in the afternoon.” 

Rory McIlroy was at -1 under par through fourteen holes, but there is a long way to go in this tournament and as usual anything could happen.

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.

AT&T. Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Walker is Walking It.

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Jimmy Walker is easily walking all over the opposition at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Amazing place

A determined Jimmy Walker / Getty Images

Jimmy has notched up a six shot lead at the AT&T completing a -4 under par 67 on the Monterey Peninsular course to secure the lead at -13 under par. That was before play was suspended due to darkness, with others still to complete their rounds.

Play was suspended by darkness at 8:43 p.m. ET  after a delay of two hours and 20 minutes when wind gusts of up to 36 mph began to actually blow balls around on several greens. The third round will now resume at 10:30 a.m. ET tomorrow. I don’t expect anyone to catch Jimmy from the remaining players.

Jimmy said he had no idea what the weather was going to be like tomorrow;

“Who knows what the weather’s going to do. I know Pebble Beach is a tough golf course, especially with the winds. I’m excited to be here, to be in this position. This is why you play golf and work hard to be in this position.” 

Tim Wilkinson and Hunter Mahan also played Monterey Peninsular and are tied for second place at -7 under par after rounds of 69 and 72, respectively. Richard Lee is alone in fourth at -6 under par while Phil Mickelson, Blake Adams, Kevin Na, Ryan Palmer and Pat Perez are tied, another stroke behind.

D.A. Points  had been disqualified from the pro tournament for in inadvertently using a practice aid on the 18th tee in violation of Rule 14-3. A clever spectator videoed D.A. as he waited on the 18th tee, keeping warm by putting a soft green sponge ball under his arm while he swung a club. Disqualified, go figure.  D.A. did have the option of playing Spyglass on Saturday with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, his partner in the pro-am.

D.A. said he was happy to continue with his playing partner in the Pro-Am competition;

“It’s not every day that you get to play 18 holes at Spyglass, let alone 18 holes at Spyglass with Secretary Rice. She’s such a sweet, just warm hearted woman and she loves golf and she’s wanting to get better. I signed up to play at the  Pebble Beach Pro-Am. It’s not just about me and the golf tournament, it’s about playing with our amateurs and making sure they have a good time. And who knows, if we could have come out today and lit the scoreboard up, lit the place on fire, maybe she would have got to see tomorrow. And my intent was to come out and help her have a good time and give her an opportunity to keep playing.”

Condoleezza and her caddy, with D.A. Points / Getty Images

Congratulations D.A. you are a golfing gentleman.

AT&T 2nd Round. Two Tied at the Top in the Rain Delayed Tourney

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There are two players tied at the top of the leaderboard at the AT&T National Pro-AM at Pebble Beach. Jimmy Walker and Jordan Spieth share the honor, both at -9 under par for the two rounds.

Battling the elements

Jimmy Walker & Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jimmy had a  bogey-free second round scoring  -3 under par 69, in the wind and rain at Spyglass Hill. Jordan was  at Monterey Peninsula, where he made a birdie on his last hole, a two at the 187-yard  par three ninth that he described as the best of his career. That gave him a -4 under  par 67, and his -9 under total.

Jimmy now heads on over to Monterey Peninsula, which has played the easiest of the three courses, while Jordan goes to tackle Pebble Beach, which can be brutal in nasty weather. And the forecast for Saturday is not pleasant, and he has already had to dig deep to keep afloat;

“That was pretty big to keep it feeling like things were still in my favor.”

Jordan also reported how difficult a day it was, he required a hybrid instead of a long iron at the par three ninth, 187 yards;

“Today was very difficult. I went to a hybrid, and I just kind of hit a little stinger cut about 20 feet away. And then it was normally a straight putt and Michael my caddie, and I are looking at each other saying, ‘Well, we’ve got to play this about a foot out to the right with the wind.’ And so I hit it a foot out. With about three feet to go, the wind just blew it right, just broke perfectly right into the hole.”

Hunter Mahan, second round  -4 under par at Spyglass Hill, is in third position alone at -8 under par for the tournament, just one shot back of the leaders. Hunter will now face Monterey Peninsular in the next round.

Hunter is another who found the going tough;

“Coming up these last few holes are tough, they’re uphill, they got the wind, it’s getting cold, raining. You just don’t want to throw away shots. Because this can be a long week, and it could be mentally more grinding than anything.”

First round leader Andrew Loupe crashed spectacularly from his first round 63, to card a +1 over par 73 at Pebble Beach, dropping down the scoreboard to fourth place at -7 under par.

Phil Mickleson still has his problems, carding a +1 over par round at Pebble Beach, but is still at -4 under par for the tournament and definitely not out of it;

“Tee to green, I’m playing very well, but I haven’t putted this poorly in a year. For the way I’m hitting it, it’s a little disappointing because I should have a really good opportunity. And I’ll have to turn it around. It’s not too late, but I’ve got to get it turned around here. What’s the forecast tomorrow? More of this? Cool. We’ve had a great run of weather, so we certainly can’t complain. It’s sometimes a fun challenge to play out here as the reigning Scottish and British Open champion. I don’t really mind the elements, but I do have to get this putter worked out.”

Message for Phil, head on over to White Dragon Golf, and take a look.

Waste Management Phoenix Open. It’s Bubba By Two.

dragon logo dark  Bubba Watson leads the Waste Management Phoenix Open by two shots on the TPC Scottsdale course going into the final day.

Escape artist

Bubba blasting from the desert / Getty Images

Bubba found only two fairways on his back nine but still carded a third round -3 under par 68, to lead the tournament at -15 under par. His drive on the par five thirteenth went into a desert bush and settled next to a burrowing animal hole, that would have interfered with his swing, giving Bubba a free drop;

“Right next to my ball was a burrowing animal hole and my club was going to hit it at impact. It was a big hole and the club would get caught on it, so, I got a free drop and could easily wedge it out. I was looking at a twenty or thirty yard shot. I held it together, stayed focused on what I was trying to do. Made a nice up-and-down on seventeen for birdie. Tough lie on eighteen and somehow two-putted to have a little lead. Luckily, nobody went crazy on me.”

Bubba is worried about slow play, he wants to watch the Super-Bowl;

“The back nine just got real slow and sluggish and I just kind of lost focus a little bit on my tee shots. We need to be under five hours tomorrow. I want to watch the Super Bowl.”

Kevin Stadler, a Scottsdale resident,{ lucky boy, I love the place} is in second place at -13 under par, following his third round of -4 under par 67.

“It was packed out there, it’s something you only experience once a year.”

Ryan Moore carded a -7 under par 64 to join Harris English and Hideki Matsuyama at -12 under Par.  Brendan Steele who roared round in -9 under par 62, the best round of the week, Matt Jones, and 2010 winner Hunter Mahan are tied at -11 under par.

Ryan casually mentioned his putting, a man after my own heart;

“Made a couple bonus putts.”

Hunter didn’t make a par on the back nine until the 18th hole, birdies or bogey’s up until then.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson is way down the score board, his third round +1 over par 72. Phil amazingly made a double bogey on the par three sixteenth, when he half-shanked his tee shot left on the 128-yard hole. He followed that with a weak flop shot into the bunker, blasted to eight feet and two-putted for a double bogey five.

Phil summed it up thus;

“It was a gap wedge. It was pathetic, I don’t even know what to say. I don’t remember ever hitting a shot like that even in practice.”

Looks like Lefty will be handing the trophy over to another left-hander.

The Presidents Cup. The Presidents Men Prevail.

A wounded Tiger Woods won The Presidents Cup, well he would wouldn’t he. Tiger has a habit of converting the winning putt in Team events. Tiger suffered with a back problem on the back nine and looked in pain on the last few holes.

Watch U.S. win Presidents Cup

Tiger Woods shaking hands with Richard Sterne, after he won the necessary point for the Americans / Getty Images

Tiger won a tight match against Richard Sterne 1 up, to clinch the 18th point for the U.S.A. and a win at 18½ points to 15½ points at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio. He said it was a team effort and it felt good;

“It feels good. It was a team effort this whole week. We played well and had a nice lead going into the Singles.”

Amazingly Tiger also clinched the wins at Harding Park four years ago and Royal Melbourne two years ago for Fred Couples, who captained the U.S.A. team for all three of those wins.

American Captain Fred Couples simply said they had out-putted the Internationals, and would not be returning to captain the side again, three times was enough;

“We just outperformed them by making a few more putts. A three-peat is good enough for me.”

PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem will present The Presidents Cup trophy to the winning team in the media center interview room upon completion of play. This modified trophy ceremony will be held as part of the press conferences already scheduled with the two teams. The usual ceremony has been cancelled due to the inclement weather. The rain may have been a factor here in Ohio, but it has not dampened the spirit of the game, nor indeed the spirit of anyone who was involved, players, spectators and staff.

The Presidents Cup heads to Asia for the first time in 2015, the biennial competition will be held at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in the Songdo International Business District , Incheon, Korea.

The singles matches results;

Steve Stricker WINS  1 UP
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Ernie Els

Hunter Mahan

WINS  3 & 2
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Hideki Matsuyama
Jason Dufner

WINS  4 & 3
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Brendon de Jonge
Brandt Snedeker WINS  6 & 4
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Jason Day

Jordan Spieth WINS  1 UP
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Graham DeLaet

Bill Haas WINS  2 & 1
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Adam Scott

Zach Johnson

WINS  4 & 2
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Branden Grace
Matt Kuchar WINS  1 UP
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Marc Leishman

Tiger Woods

WINS  1 UP
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Richard Sterne
Keegan Bradley WINS  2 & 1
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Charl Schwartzel

Webb Simpson HALVED
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Louis Oosthuizen
Phil Mickelson WINS  1 UP
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Angel Cabrera

The Presidents Cup. It Rained On The Presidents Parade.

It rained again on the Presidents Parade at Muirfield Village Golf Course, delaying once again The Presidents Cup.

Anybody's ballgame

Phil Mickelson & Keegan Bradley / Getty Images

The rain delay of 2 hours and 34 minutes could not stop Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradely romping home 4 and 3 in their foursomes match up against Graham DeLaet and Jason Day. 

Phil had this to say in interview about Keegan, and his hybrid shot over the water;

” Yesterday we just felt a fraction off but today we were on, starting on hole 5, we played some of our best golf together.I would be really worried about carrying the water with a hybrid, it was not even a consideration for him. .

Keegan just likes playing this format with Phil;

“I just think that when Phil and I get rolling in this alternate shot, we complement each other so well. And I was saying that I think that we both really enjoy kind of showing off in front of each other. Whatever Phil says, goes, I’m here to be his partner. It was amazing the theory that he had with the second shots into the par 5s, and they fit me a lot better. It really paid off today big time.”

American Team Captain Fred Couples summed it up thus;

“It was phenomenal golf.”

To even the score on the day  Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge got the point back with a 4 and 3 win over Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan.

These are the only two matches that were completed on this soggy Friday in Ohio, play will resume again at 0735 ET on Saturday morning.

The American Team have a one point lead at 4½ points to 3½ points, with these matched still to complete:

Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieth have a commanding 3 up lead over Branden Grace and Richard Sterne through 14 holes.

Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman are 1 up on Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker through 13 holes.

Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar are 3 up over Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel through 12 holes.

 Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama are 4-up over Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson through 11 holes.

Tough tasks ahead

The Captains, Nick Price & Fred Couples / Getty IMages.

If the yet to be completed rounds finish as they are at the moment, the difference will only be one point.

The Presidents Cup. America May Be Closed For Business, But Its Open For Golf.

The President may have closed America for business, but it is open for golf, with the opening round of The Presidents Cup taking place at Muirfield Village Golf Club, in Dublin, Ohio.

Jordan Spieth & Steve Stricker / Getty Images

Before the rain delay the American Team took control of The Presidents Cup, being up in five matches and square in the other. Play was suspended due to a dangerous weather situation, lightning and rain. Strangely,  the 90-minute delay worked in favor of the International Team, which before today hadn’t lost a Four-Ball session since 2003.

Steve Stricker, playing with Jordan Spieth, made a fantastic up and down from the greenside bunker on the  18th hole, to secure a one point advantage at the conclusion of play on Day 1. They defeated Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge.

 Team U.S.A leading The Presidents Cup by 3 ½ points to 2½ points.

American Captain Fred Couples was delighted with the one point advantage, saying he could not have been happier for Steve to get that last important point;

” We rocked and rolled early, our guys came out firing. The rain delay obviously helped the International Team, which is fine. I couldn’t be happier for Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieth getting that last point.”

The International Team Captain, Nick Price, praised his squad for the way they fought their way back into the contest;

“I think my team made a great effort there coming back.”

Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar drew first blood for the American Team, as they beat Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman by a very decisive 5 and 4 margin.

There had been some speculation about the pairing of Angel, who does not speak too much English, and Rookie Marc, who would probably have benefited better playing with someone who could speak to him and guide him through his first Presidents Cup round.

Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen pulled off the big upset for the International Team as they took down Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, 2 and 1.

Muirfield Village Golf Club member Jason Day and Graham DeLaet, another International Rookie, came back from a 3 down deficit to beat Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker 1 up.

Hideki Matsuyama  made a conceded birdie on the 18th hole to enable him and Adam Scott to halve their match with Webb Simpson and Bill Hass.

Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner raced into the lead, winning the first three holes in their match against Richard Sterne and Brandon Grace and they never looked back, beating the International Team 5 and 3.