The Ryder Cup. Europe In Control.

Ryder Cup Gleneagles The Ryder Cup

Europe are in control of The Ryder Cup, taking a commanding lead into the final day of 10 points to 6. They dominated the Saturday foursomes after the USA had won two matches in the morning session. Europe won one and the final match of the session between Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler against Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter was halved. That reduced the lead of Europe to 6.5 points to 5.5  points going into the afternoon Foursomes matches.

In the afternoon matches  Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, set the tone by  making 12 birdies in a record-setting duel against Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar. This was no push over as Hunter and Matt recorded 9 birdies between them, but it was not enough to overcome the most birdies by a single side in any Ryder Cup match by the Europeans.

The Americans missed some opportunities on Saturday afternoon, and American TV commentator Johnny Miller summed it all up , after Jim Furyk had made a mess of a short pitch shot that went long, he referred to the pressure of the Ryder Cup;

“It’s all nerves at this point. All these people around and the importance of getting, maybe, somehow another half a point for the U.S., just melted. He’s had trouble finishing all year even though he’s played great.”

Lee Westwood edged closer to becoming Europe’s record points scorer when he and Jamie Donaldson beat Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar in the foursomes.

Europe now needs only  four more points to retain the Ryder Cup. It sounds easy, but two years ago, Europe rallied from the same deficit to shock the U.S. at Medinah. The U.S. did the same in 1999 at The Country Club at Brookline, the two biggest rallies in Ryder Cup history, so it can be done.

The Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup

 

The Barclays. Two at the Top, Rory Recovers.

Best golf putter by white dragon golfThe Barclays

There are two players tied at the top of  The Barclays leaderboard, Adam Scott and Cameron Tringale riding high, while Rory McIlroy recovers to comfortably make the make cut.

The Barclays

Adam Scott / Getty Images

Adam followed his first-round 69 with a second round -6  under par 65 for a -8 under par total, which he said could, and should have been better;

“I played the par fives in one over today, so I could find four there for you, and missed so many 10‑footers it felt like. It felt like it could have been a whole lot better. I hit it so close to the hole all day and it felt like I missed most of my putts. I’ve got to take the positives but hopefully a few more go in over the weekend.”

 Cameron made a slow start and was 3 over par on his first three holes Friday, but made six birdies and no bogeys to complete the round to post a total -8 under par;

” I kind of got behind the 8‑ball early and just kind of kept my head up and kept playing. I knew I was swinging well and if I gave myself some chances, I could make birdies. That’s pretty much what I did. “

Three players are sharing third spot, all on -7  under par for the competition, Kevin Chappell, Brendon Todd and the evergreen Jim Furyk.

Jim explained that he thinks it is just experience which helps him to keep contesting tournaments;

“There’s an argument, probably experience and pacing yourself probably comes into play.”

 ” I just keep seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that, hey, I’ve got all this time off coming up and I’ve been playing well, let’s try to keep it going, and I’ll be cooking breakfast and taking the kids to school here for a couple months.”

“I look forward to that and it makes it easy for me to play these last four events, because I want to play well, it’s an exciting time of the year and I know that you’re going to have a bunch of time off come the fall.”

Rory shot a -6 under par 65 today, to move to -3 under par for the tournament, and is now only five shots off the leaders. He reported that it was just practice that got him comfortable with his swing again;

“I went to the range yesterday afternoon, worked on a couple of things and just got comfortable with my swing again.”

“After not really touching a club before this week I felt a little bit rusty out there yesterday. It didn’t take long, maybe an hour on the range to sort of get things back on track, and I’m glad I did it because i played really well today.

“I’m going to have to get off to a fast start tomorrow to try and catch those guys before they go out on the golf course.” 

Phil Mickelson was one of twelve players who made the cut at +1 over par, on a strange day where he missed a very short putt, and played a shot from the hospitality area, which unfortunately led to a bogey;

“My drop was going to be in hay, I had a clear lie on nice ground there and played it. It wasn’t hard to make contact, it was hard to hit it on that skinny little green and get it to stop. That was it.”

Phil Mickelson thrills fans with shot from hospitality area at Barclays

 

RBC Canadian Open. Furyk in Position to win Third Canadian Open Title

White Dragon GolfRBC Canadian Open

Jim Furyk is in position to win his third RBC Canadian Open title at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

 

Furyk in line for third RBC Canadian Open title

Jim Furyk / Getty Images

Jim carded a third round -5 under par 65 to top the RBC Canadian Open leaderboard at -15 under par, a three shot lead going into the final round tomorrow. Today he said he just had fun, another bogey free round;

“For the most part of the day, I felt like I played really solid. I hit the ball well again. It was a fun round of golf, really.”

Not really worrying about what position I’m in the golf tournament, not looking at the leaderboard too much, going out there and trying to attack the golf course the same way that I have the first three days will be key.”

” I noticed there aren’t many leaderboards on the course, that might be a good thing.”

Tim Clark is in second spot, three shots back at -12 under par for the tournament, a -6 under par 64 today helped his cause. His only PGA TOUR victory came at the 2010 PLAYERS Championship;

”It’s always great to get off to a good start, Saturdays are normally the toughest day to score on, so you dream of a start like that.”

“It’ll be great to be in the final group. Jim is a really tough competitor, and this course seems to fit into our sort of game. It’s an Open Championship. You need to hit fairways and greens, and that’s both of our strengths.”

“Right now I feel good and I am able to swing how I want to. Three months ago I started to hit the ball good again, but I just wasn’t scoring. Finally, the last few tournaments, I’ve started to score.”

Third place belongs to Kyle Stanley, a -2 under par round gave him a total of -10 under par for the competition, five shots off the lead.

Leading Canadian is Graham DeLaet, who is sharing fifth place at -8 under par, a long way from the guys at the top. It looks certain that the lack of a Canadian winner is set to continue, unless Graham can do something really special;

“Disappointing to three-putt the last, I really wanted to make that birdie and got over-aggressive. But it was a fun day. The crowds were amazing out there. Hopefully, I can do something special.”

RBC Canadian Open. Petrovic & Furyk Lead at Half-Way.

White Dragon GolfRBC Canadian Open

Tim Petrovic  and Jim Furyk lead at half-way stage of  the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

Furyk goes low at RBC

Jim Furyk / Getty Images

Jim returned a second round of -7 under par 63 to share top spot at the RBC Canadian Open with Tim Petrovic, who carded a -4 under par 66, to reach the -10 under par tournament total.

Receptive greens helped Jim achieve his score;

“I think today’s round and yesterday’s weren’t much different: a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, a lot of opportunities. Today I think I capitalized on a few more of those, but the golf course is still playing pretty soft, the greens are very receptive.”

“I don’t know if I’ve ever played in a group where we shot 63, 63, 65. I was giving Kuch a bunch of crap for being the schlub in the group shooting a 65.”

“Lord knows I’ve taken abuse from him over the years. So nice to get one back.”

Tim admitted it has been a while since he was last at the top of the leaderboard;

It’s been a while, but last time I got myself into position like this I think I won New Orleans, but I kind of came from behind.”

I’m trying to get back to what I do well, I call it ‘Petro Golf.’ Hit it in the fairway. Hit it on the green. Make the putt. It sounds simple but I’ve gotten away from that.”

” It’s nice to be here on the weekend for a change.”

Playing alongside Jim was Canadian Graham DeLaet, who also fired a -7 under par 63, to share third place at -8 under par, he said he needed to keep making birdies just to keep up;

“It was a great start. All of us were making so many birdies out there. You felt like you had to make putts just to keep up.”

” I felt like I was in pretty good control of my game all day. I had a couple of hiccups, but I really rolled in a lot of good putts.”

Kyle Stanley is sharing third spot with Graham, he posted  -3 under par today.

Yesterdays whiz kid Canadian amateur Taylor Pendrith slumped to a +5 over par 75, to finish at even par for the competition, he at least made the cut on the number. What is it about these ten shot swings between good rounds and then the bad one, everyone seems to do it.

Big casualties in the cut department were Dustin Johnson, Sang-Moon Bae, Hunter Mahan and Luke Donald.

The Players. Martin Makes It His.

 

dragon logo darkTHE PLAYERS Championship

Martin Kaymer makes The Players Championship his at TPC Sawgrass.

Shot in the dark: Kaymer survives to win PLAYERS

Martin Kaymer / Getty Images

 Martin survived a late mini wobble recording a double bogey on the 15th hole, after a 91-minute rain delay. He carded a par on the par 5, 16th and then sunk  clutch 28-1/2 foot par putt at the iconic 17th hole;

 “It was more than big, it was a good putt with a little bit of luck. Fortunately, it happened at the right hole. Made a couple of wrong decisions on 15.”

“There was a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations, and even though I was trying to talk about it in a way that it was only the first day, only the second day, but somewhere deep down you hope that you can bring it home.”

 

Martin finished his final round at -1 under par 71, and a tournament total of -13 under par, a one shot win over second placed Jim Furyk who had been sitting in the club-house at -12 under par. Jim had carded a magnificent last round of -6 under par 66 and was watching on TV as Martin wriggled out of danger, and had to acknowledge that putt ;

“That putt was incredible. I’ve struggled at this golf course, my results haven’t been nearly as good as I would have liked. I was on a roll coming in here and I wanted to continue it, but it’s fun to play well in front of friends and family.”

Third place belonged to Sergio Garcia, at -11 under par, following his final round -2 under par 70, he lamented his late silly mistakes;

“Just a shame, just a couple shots on the back nine. That’s what it came down to, and that’s what it usually comes down to. Unfortunately a little slip on the pine straw on 11, mis-hit it in the water, and then a bad shot on 14. We tried as hard as we could, but unfortunately we weren’t good enough.”

“You know, it’s still another good week, we keep putting ourselves in a situation to win, just came up a little bit short, but we’ve got to keep trying.”

Have to report on the Justin Rose situation, I wrote yesterday about silly officialdom, somebody must have agreed with me because Justin had his two docked strokes reinstated;

“I didn’t know that this new recall was in place. Overnight I read an article that explained the new rule and I kind of thought it applied to my case. I’m certainly surprised it’s overturned, very rarely is that ever the case. Never, ever the case.”

An hour before Justin teed off for his final round he was informed by Tour officials that the penalty was rescinded under a new decision dealing with high-definition rulings making him the first player to essentially begin a round -2 under par.

For once golf officials have used common sense to settle an issue. For me all decisions should be made from the evidence available to officials on the course, never someone calling in from the other side of the world.

Jordan Spieth did not fare so well again in a final round, but he will soon. He recorded a +2 over par last round 74 to finish it a tie for fourth place with Justin Rose.

 

Wells Fargo Championship. Holmes Hits the High Spot.

dragon logo darkWells Fargo Championship Logo

J.B. Holmes hits the high spots as he wins the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.

Winner: JB Holmes poses with the trophy after securing victory in the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship

Wells Fargo Champion J.B. Holmes 

At his lowest point J.B. had undergone more than enough surgeries, now at his high point he has won the Wells Fargo Championship. Hanging on to his one shot victory with a last round -1 under par 71 and -14 under par total. He spoke of his huge achievement;

”It’s been a long journey for me, I’ve had some ups and downs. It’s a great feeling to be out there and to get one done. This is a big win for me. It’s been since 2008 since I’ve won, and since then I had two brain surgeries and broke my ankle and had arm surgery, the list goes on. So it’s a huge win and to get in the top 20 in the FedEx Cup, that’s huge, and just to win in a venue like this with such a good field and the golf course is always so well-manicured, it’s just great. I’m just ecstatic.”

” Nobody is comfortable on those last three holes.”

Jim Furyk came racing up the leaderboard with a final round -7 under par, and to sit in the clubhouse to see if anyone could get better than his -13 under par total. Jim had to wait until the very last putt before he knew there would be no play-off, and second was the best he could do. Jim was aware of the pressure J.B. was under on that last putt;

“I know he was probably dying a million deaths out there but he sucked it up and made a good two-putt. He made that last putt with authority and knocked it right in the middle.”

 

Martin Flores claimed third place at -12 under par, a very disappointing last round effort of even par 70 left him to count the cost.

Jason Bohn was in fourth, at -11 under par while the reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose was a further shot back at -10 under par.

Justin was surprised that his world ranking is still in good shape, he said all the top people have had some strange results;

“I’ve been surprised how my world ranking has maintained itself because the top guys have also been struggling. The guys haven’t stretched out. No. 1 in the world is even more for the taking than it has been for a lot of players. Probably for 20 guys, if they get on a hot run, can challenge.”

“It has been slow for the top players, it’s been a weird year, 54-hole leaders haven’t done very well. A lot of young names. The Americans have done a lot better this year. And yet it doesn’t surprise me because the depth out here is so great. Before you always had that separation. Now in part you’ve got the top players not playing so great and in part the rest catching up.”

What about Phil Mickelson T 11 and Rory McIlroy T7 I hear you ask, I think it is best not to comment.

 

RBC Heritage. Luke Leaps to the Top.

dragon logo darkRBC Heritage

Luke Donald leaps to the top of the RBC Heritage leaderboard at Harbour Town Golf Links.

Donald surges to top with 66

Luke Donald / Getty Images

Luke posted another round of -6 under par 66, low round of the day, to sit comfortably on top of the leaderboard at the RBC Heritage at -8 under par, and a two shot lead. He spoke about the weather conditions;

“I’ve always liked this golf course, and the conditions were pretty manageable, for the front nine at least. I think we’re in for a very windy day tomorrow, so I’ll need to control the ball even better.”

John Huh is in second place, a third round of -3 under par 68, and a -6 under par total, would have been better if he had not three putted the last hole. John said his tee shot was OK, it would be difficult to miss the eighteenth fairway, it is the widest on the course, but the second put him in a bad spot;

“I hit a good drive, had about 200 yards and hit my rescue over, put myself in the wrong spot. Believe it or not, I’ve been playing really good, but I just wasn’t able to put everything together. I think this is the week that I’ve put pretty much everything together.”

Nicolas Thompson is in a four-way tie for third place, at -5 under par. Joining him on that score are Jim Furyk, Charl Schwartzel and Ben Martin.

Nicolas was upset at his putting performance today;

“The only thing that was really off was my speed control, I might have had a missed read or two here or there, but that happens. I don’t think I hit one putt too short today. This golf course is the ultimate patience test. You have to be so patient out here, because how many golf shots are you going to hit in the perfect spot off the tee, so you think, and not have an exact shot on the pin?”

Charl thinks he will have a chance if he just continues with the good ball striking;

“I think if I can continue the ball striking and giving myself chances I can make a few birdies tomorrow and give it a shot.”

First-round co-leader Matt Kuchar bounced back from Friday afternoon’s rough start, to finish in a tie for seventh place at -4 under par. He was happy with that result after a long day, he had played 29 holes;

“It helps to be in contention, it helps to really have an incentive to go out and play some good golf.”