W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational. Sergio Survives Soggy Saturday

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Sergio Garcia survived a soggy Saturday at the Firestone Country Club in the third round of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, maintaining his position at the top of the leaderboard. The round included a three-hour delay due to thunderstorms.

 

WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Sergio on soggy Saturday / Getty Images

Sergio cared a -3 under par 67 to keep his place at the top of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational with a -14 under par tournament total, a three shot lead going into the final round tomorrow. That lead is over Rory McIlroy, who Sergio tried to chase down last at Royal Liverpool. This time it will be Rory doing the chasing, and Sergio is looking forward to the challenge, he also spoke about the good par he made on 18 today;

“Obviously, Rory is playing great, and we get along nicely as of right now, I think we’re both excited about it. We’re definitely going to play hard. It will be nice to see if I can do the same thing he did to me a couple of weeks ago. So we’ll see.”

“The one on 18 is the one that felt the best, because it was probably the toughest to make par. Where I hit it, I couldn’t really do much more than that and hope to make a good two-putt.”

Rory birdied the final two holes today to reduce the arrears, with a -11 under par total;

” My goal today was to try and get in the final group, Sergio didn’t quite have that luxury of seeing what I was doing on the last. It will be nice to play alongside him tomorrow and at least keep an eye on what’s going on. “

“Try to apply a bit of pressure when I can, but just really looking forward to getting in there and having another chance to win a tournament so soon after what happened at Hoylake.”

It would be wrong to assume this is just a two-horse race, Marc Leishman posted a -2 under par a 68 and was five shots behind at -9 under, in third spot alone.

Adam Scott returned from the three-hour rain delay carrying only his long putter, the only weapon he needed to convert one last birdie for a -5 under par 65 that at least left him with a slim chance. He is six shots behind the leader, sharing fourth place with Keegan Bradley and Justin Rose all at -8 under par.

Defending champion Tiger Woods made only one birdie on Saturday, and he also failed to birdie a par 5 for the second straight day, shooting +2 over par 72, 15 shots behind.

W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational. Sergio Streaks Seven birdies in a Row.

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Sergio Garcia streaks seven birdies in a row at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Sergio Garcia / Getty Images

Sergio scored seven birdies in a row on the back nine to post a second round -9 under par 61, requiring only 27 strokes on that last nine holes at Firestone Country Club. The amazing effort equaled the course record, and in doing so gave Sergio a three shot lead at the top of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational leaderboard with a -11 under par mid way total.

He said it was a magical moment, and he did not want it to end;

“Just one of those moments that you love and you enjoy and you wish there were no end. It was a combination of getting good numbers, hitting good shots. Then when I wasn’t too close from the hole, I rolled a couple of nice putts in.”

“It was definitely a dream back nine. I felt like I started well and hit some good shots early on, but still missed a couple of good birdie chances.”

“Then I obviously got a little bit lucky on the front nine. I hit three bad tee shots on four, eight and nine, and I was able to have a shot at the green and made a couple of good up and downs.”

“Then the back nine was, I don’t know, I just started hitting good shots, rolling the putts in, and everything seemed to happen. I was just enjoying it as much as I could.”

“It obviously feels great to be able to shoot the course record or equal the record on a course like this, which is not; even playing soft; that easy a course.”

“You have to drive the ball very, very well. You have to put the ball on the greens on the right spots because you can get some really, really fast putts. So to be able to do it and obviously being in a group with Tiger and Jose Maria, but still, to be able to be in that group, it feels really good.”

Justin Rose is in second place at -8 under par, he had a good second round of -3 under par 67 and said he was happy about the way he has started this tournament;

“I am really happy with the way I turned the long game around, and to hit 16 greens out there is pretty solid, but for the most part I just hit it close to the hole as well.”

“Early in the round, the putts kept sliding by. I wasn’t seeing the line all that well and I think 18 was the first putt I made. From there I felt pretty comfortable with the putts and I had a couple of good looks coming in. All in all, it’s a good start to the tournament.”

Third position is tied between Rory McIlroy and Marc Leishman, both posting half-way totals of -7 under par. Rory could reclaim top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings if he collects the trophy at Firestone and Adam Scott fails to make the top five. He said he knew Sergio was playing well in front of him, he could hear the crowd cheering;

“He obviously played in front of us, and he seemed like he was playing well. Every time I looked back, he was putting a ball in the hole, and the crowd was cheering. I knew that he was making a few birdies, and I knew I had to make a few birdies just to try and stay in touch. It was nice just to make a few coming in.” 

“I’m still four back going into the weekend, but I feel like that could have been a lot more. So it’s a good finish. I do have a good relationship with Sergio, and it’s just great to see him play like this again.” 

“I grew up idolising the guy. He’s obviously really happy with everything that’s going on. He seems in a really good place, and it’s good to see him play like this.”

Phil’s miserable malaise continues, even hitting a marshal with his ball today. A wayward tee shot on the fourth hole in today’s second round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational struck the official. Phil being Phil, he went on to par the hole, but it did not improve his second round score of +3 over par for +4 over total.

W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational. Leishman Leads at Firestone.

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Bridgestone Invitational

Marc Leishman / Getty Images

 

Aussie Marc Leishman leads at the W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Ohio.

 

Marc shot -6 under par 64 , at Firestone Country Club to lead the WGC Bridgestone Invitational by just one shot, reporting that he played well and kept the ball  in the fairway;

“I drove the ball well. It makes this course a lot easier when you’re on the fairway. It’s pretty tough when you’re playing from the rough. Then, I hit my irons really well and was rolling the ball awesome. So it’s a pretty good combination for a tough golf course like this, something I can hopefully keep going.”

Three players are tied in second place, just that one shot behind, at -5 under par following their opening rounds of 65. Ryan Moore, Charl Schwartzel and Justin Rose are the guys right behind the leader.

Sergio and Tiger are at -2 under par, Rory at -1 under while an ailing Phil Mickelson could only manage +1 over par 71. Phil arrived late and is still in recovery mode from Strep Throat.

Rory is playing for the World Number One spot;

“There’s still so much to play for, No. 1 spot is up for grabs. Trying to get myself as far up the FedExCup points as possible. I haven’t won a World Golf Championship before.”

“Got another major coming up next week. It hasn’t been that hard for me to refocus and get back to work.”

Tiger feels he is making some progress;

“I hit a lot of good shots, I dropped shots at three holes out there today, got it right back on the very next hole.”

” I feel like I made some progress, as I said, this is only my seventh round back, so it’s just going to take a little time. I’m starting to get in the flow of things. If you look at my iron shots into the holes today, a majority of them were pin-high. So I’m starting to get the feel back in my hands and get my trajectory under control.”

Sergio is excited, and loves Firestone Country Club;

“I love the golf course. I think this is definitely one of the best golf courses we play all year.”

“We’ve always enjoyed it. I think the people always come and support it. It’s great to see nice big crowds here, and the golf course is really one of the best we play.”

“Obviously, it all depends a little bit on how the course plays. If it doesn’t rain, this course can play quite tough. Some of the holes are very, very difficult to hit. But it’s like any other week, obviously if I’m on, if I feel comfortable, if I feel confident, I think I can do well. I’ve done fairly well before.”

“But if you’re a little bit off, it’s the kind of golf course that’s asking you to hit a lot of different shots. Mainly off the tee, it’s asking you a lot. You have to be very patient and realise that it’s probably not going to be the easiest week that you have all year.”

 

 

The Open. Rory Racks Up 3 Rounds in a Row.

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Rory McIlroy racks up three rounds in a row at the top of the leaderboard in The Open.

Twin eagles power Rory to big 54-hole Open lead

A jubilant Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory carded two Eagles in a third round of -4 under par 68, which sent him soaring over the field at -16 under par for The Open championship at Royal Liverpool. It also gives him a six shot lead going into the final round tomorrow, and he spoke about the Grand Slam of Major titles;

“Not a lot of people have achieved the career grand slam and if everything goes the right way tomorrow, to get three-quarters of the way there is some achievement by the age of 25. It would mean a lot of hype going into Augusta next year.”

“I’d be in pretty illustrious company so it would mean an awful lot. I never thought that I’d be able to be in this position. I didn’t think that I’d even have the chance at 25 to go for three legs of the grand slam so I’m going to try to put all of that out of my head”.

“It would be way too much to think about and way too much to ponder. First things first. Just play a good solid round of golf tomorrow and if that means that I’m going to Augusta next year with a bit of hype, then so be it.”

“It was a day of patience for me, I didn’t get off to the best of starts. I knew that there were some good chances coming up. Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9 were playing more difficult than Friday. I knew on the back nine we could make up some ground. This is where the golf course plays into my hands.”

Nearest competitor is Rickie Fowler, a third round effort of -4 under 68 put him alone in second place at -10 under par. Rickie is hoping to be able to put some pressure on Rory;

“He always has that firepower to make things happen, you just never know when it’s coming.”

“Maybe I can put a little pressure on him, unfortunately I did make those rough swings coming in. But I’ve been swinging great. I’m definitely looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and see if I can put the same start on Rory as I did today.”

“It was just a matter of time before the two of us found a way to sneak into a final group together. We both want to beat up on each other as bad as possible.”

Tied in third place are Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson, both at -9 under par for the tournament.

Sergio admits the difficulty of the task ahead of him if he is to catch the leader;

“I was trying to shoot as low as possible, Rory obviously had a great back nine and finished really, really well. We’ll give it a shot. If he plays like he’s been playing, it’s going to be difficult.”

Justin Rose made some headway today, a -3 under par 69 moving him to -5 under par for the competition, but not good enough to challenge for the honors.

The Defending champion Phil Mickelson shot a -1 under par  71 on Saturday and is now -1 under par for the tournament, a long way from the top of the board. Tiger Woods shot another over par round, and is sits at +3 over par for the championship.

The Open. Rory on Route 66.

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Rory McIlroy produced another magical Thursday first round, this time a flawless route 66 at The Open, in glorious weather at Royal Liverpool.

Rory McIlroy is looking for the third leg of the career Grand Slam. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

 

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory carded a -6 under par 66 at Hoylake to sit proudly on top of the leaderboard of The Open Championship. He reported that he was more relaxed on a Thursday, we will see tomorrow if he can hold it all together;

“Any time you shoot 66 at The Open Championship, you’re going to be pleased. We had perfect scoring conditions out there this morning. There wasn’t much wind early on and there were plenty of opportunities to make birdies and I was able to take a few of them.”

“It’s another great start and, yeah, looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow. Whenever I go out and play on Thursdays there are not really many expectations. You’re going out there and you’re trying to find a rhythm and you’re just trying to play your way into the round.”

“When you go back out on Friday after a good score you know what you can do, so you’re going out with some expectations compared to Thursday. I think I’ve just got to approach it like that, start off trying to hit solid shots the first few holes and play my way into the round, just like I did today.”

In second place on the leaderboard is Italian Matteo Manassero, who is just one shot behind after his opening round of -5 under par 67. Matteo likes this course, which bodes well for his first Major success;

“I like the course, it’s fair, flat, where you hit your shot it’s going to roll on that line. If I ever win an Open, I don’t think I’ll win it on a golf course that I don’t like. So the fact that I like it, it’s already a good thing.”

“The main preparation for The Open, I’ve done it in Aberdeen and it was just the best preparation I could’ve had. We had strong wind, little wind, calm wind, different directions of wind and the course was firm. It was really linksy. I put myself in a very links frame of mind.”

There is bunch of seven players tied in third spot, including another two Italians, Francesco and Edoardo Molinari. All of this chasing pack are on -3 under par.

Tiger Woods recorded a -3 under par 69 and is tied in tenth position at the end of day one, and said it was a positive start;

“I knew I could do it. That’s why it was so important for me to play at Congressional. At Congressional I made some terrible mistakes mentally. My decisions weren’t very crisp and I wasn’t decisive enough. Today was totally different and consequently I shot a better score.”

“I’m getting stronger, I’m getting faster, I’m getting more explosive. The ball is starting to travel again and those are all positive things.”

Last weeks winner Justin Rose settled for an opening round of even par, while defending Champion Phil Mickelson returned a first round +2 over par 74.

 

Scottish Open. Rose Romps Home.

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Justin Rose romps home in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, winning the trophy at Royal Aberdeen.

Justin Rose  (Getty Images)

Scottish Open Champion Justin Rose / Getty Images

Justin completed the Scottish Open with a final bogey free round -6 under par 65 to lift the trophy with a -16 under par total, a two shot victory. As you can imagine he was absolutely over the moon with his first ever win in Scotland, not to mention three wins in a row;

“This is my first professional win in Scotland so it means a lot. This a great tournament, there’s definitely something special about playing golf up here and the golfing crowd are so knowledgeable and I’ve really got to love this golf course.”

“It was exactly the start I was looking for, and sixteen was the key. I looked at the leaderboard and I was only two ahead and felt I was bound to make bogey there. Getting it up-and-down was the key to the win.” 

“I couldn’t have scripted it better, I’ve never won two in a row and I’ve certainly never won three in a row so I’m in unchartered territory.”  

In second place was Kristoffer Broberg, his last round -5 under par 66 gave him a -14 under par total, he said he was very happy to be in second place;

“I’m just happy to be runner-up to Justin Rose, he played really well this week. I’m just happy.”

Scotsman Marc Warren who started the day on equal terms with Justin could only card a final round of -1 under par and a finishing total of -11 under par, and third place on his own. He reported that  it was his putter that went cold;

“On the front nine today my ball-striking was up there with what it’s been all week. Unfortunately the putter went cold on me and I just wasn’t quite seeing the lines to be honest.”

“Justin was the opposite. He seemed to be putting from outside me most of the time and holing them. Once he was out in front, he was tough to catch.”

Rory McIlroy had a final round -4 under par 67 which left him on -7 under par, the score he had been on Thursday evening . Defending Champion Phil Mickelson was  one shot ahead of Rory at -8 under par for the tournament, with a last round -6 under par 65.

 

Scottish Open. McIlroy Makes a Mess of It.

 

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Rory McIlroy makes a huge mess of it in the second round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, recording +7 over par 78, which takes him all the way back to even par for the competition.

On the other hand Ricardo Gonzalez is still flying high, sharing top spot with Marc Warren and Kristoffer Broberg.

Ricardo Gonzalez  (Getty Images)

Ricardo Gonzalez / Getty Images

In brutal afternoon conditions Ricardo and Kristoffer put together second rounds of even par, to stay at -6 under par for the tournament. Marc recorded a second round -2 under par, a good effort in those conditions, which left him on that -6 under par total for the competition.

Ricardo was not happy with a double bogey on the last hole, but was pleased with his overall performance;

“I was unlucky on 18 because I didn’t have a good lie and tried to reach the green in two, but it was a mistake. I’m happy because I played good 17 holes.”

“I need to sometimes stay patient and play safe. Of course, that didn’t happen on 18. I’m very happy because I hit it good and made a good score.”

Marc, was on course to win his National Open two years ago but unfortunately let slip a three shot lead, with only four to play in 2012 at Castle Stuart, he wants to make amends;

“It’s a massive week and anyone would love to win, but being Scottish it would be that much more special. What happened two years ago was tough to take at the time but it was good experience and hopefully it will stand me in good stead.”

“The course is tough enough anyway, never mind playing the back nine into this wind. After bogeys on the 14th and 15th I said to my caddie let’s try to have a strong finish but to finish three-three-three was beyond my wildest dreams.”

Justin Rose played his way into contention, a second round -3 under par 68 has him sitting in fourth place on his own at -5 under par;

“I came here on Wednesday and felt absolutely horrendous. It was like I had lost my game somewhere over the Atlantic. But the last couple of days I have been finding my feet again and that’s part of the reason for playing this week ahead of Hoylake.”

“It was great to see the course in a completely opposite wind. The par fives are playing very easy on the front nine and there are some tough par fours on the back nine. I did well to hang on to my score on the back nine and made a few good six or seven-footers coming in.”

Rory / Getty

Another Friday failure;

“I’ve struggled to grind. It’s been the case all year. I’ve got off to great starts and fell away but I am still in the tournament and I can go out in the morning and try to get some of those shots back.”

“You are having to talk about it,  so it’s in your mind and I am maybe putting more pressure on myself to shoot a good score. It’s another Friday out of the way, thank God, and I can go on to the weekend. I shot 68 on the Friday at the US Open so hopefully next week will be the same.”