Waste Management Phoenix Open. Bubba Blunders, Stadler Soars.

dragon logo dark Kevin Stadler soared to his 1st professional win on the PGA Tour at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, as Bubba Watson makes a huge blunder.

Chance not wasted

Kevin Stadler / Getty Images

 Kevin got his first career win on Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, at TPC Scottsdale, joining his father Craig as a winner on the PGA TOUR. Kevin shot a final round -3 under par 68 for his winning total of -16 under par.

Kevin and Craig are the ninth father-son combination to win on TOUR, and the thought had crossed Kevin’s mind.  He now has an invitation to the Masters, where he will get to play alongside Craig, who won the tournament in 1982.;

“That was in the forefront of my mind when I was out there.”

Craig added;

 “He’s obviously getting on in his career.”

Kevin joked that it was nearly too late, and it was a tough haul to get there;

“He probably would have liked it better if I had gotten there five years ago so he could call it quits then. He’s been telling me for a couple of years I need to hurry up and get there before he calls it quits. It wasn’t pretty, I was walking all over the shop. I hit a lot of good shots and a lot of kind of ugly shots but thankfully it all worked out. It feels fantastic, obviously I would have liked to make that putt there on 18 and win that way but it’s been a long time coming, so I’ll take it any way I can get it.”

Bubba eventually faltered, sending his approach shot on the final hole off the back of the green en route to a bogey and a final round of even par 71 and a tournament total of -15 under par, sharing second place with Graeme DeLaet;

He admitted his mistakes;

“Misclubbed on sixteen, we thought it was downwind but obviously it wasn’t. Should have hit one more club. I thought I hit a good putt but obviously I misread that too. I have to work on a couple things.”

Graeme said his practice has been paying off, a tied second place here at -15 under par proves it;

“I have been playing well for the last few months, it seems. I really feel like I worked super hard in the offseason, and it’s nice to see it paying off.”

The only thing Phil Mickelson got right this week-end was the Super-Bowl prediction;

“I like the Seahawks, I think that good defense usually beats good offense, and I think that the man-to-man coverage that the Seahawks provide is going to make it difficult for that quick release of Manning.”

The hot favorites around the World let it slip this week-end, Lydia Ko second in New Zealand, Rory McIlroy failing in Dubai, and now Bubba Watson wasting ( no pun intended) an opportunity here in Scottsdale. Golf is truly a funny game.

 

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.

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Y.E. and Bubba Share Lead.

dragon logo darkLogo Image

Y.E. Yang and Bubba Watson share the first round lead at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, at TPC Scottsdale. I like this course.

Superb in Scottsdale

Y.E. Yang and Bubba Watson / Getty Images

Bubba said right now he is in a good spot, not too nervous, after shooting an opening round of -7 under 64;

“If you look at my career, from junior golf, to college golf, to mini tours to now the Web.com Tour, to the PGA TOUR, I got to a level and I got out of my comfort zone. I get comfortable, and then I step up a new level and I get nervous again. Hopefully I’m at a stepping-stone where I’ve learned, now if I win a few more, I get nervous again. Right now I’m in a good spot.”

“This golf course, if your ball-striking is good, you can shoot some good numbers here. Hit a lot of greens, didn’t make too many mistakes, didn’t miss too many fairways. Just played solid.”

Through an interpreter Y.E. announced he is going to be aggressive;

“I think you have to be aggressive, at the same time, you can’t be too aggressive. You have to really balance it out, but you still have to be a little bit more aggressive than other tournaments.”

There are seven players tied in third place at -6 under par, all carding first rounds of 65, they are;  Pat Perez, Kevin Stadler, Matt Jones, Harris English, William McGirt, Greg Chalmers and Chris Kirk.

Harris actually birdied Nos. 12 thru 15 to top the leaderboard at -8 under par, but then followed that with bogey’s at the par-3 16th,  the rowdy stadium hole, where he hit an 8-iron over the green on the 178-yard hole. Then the par-4 18th, he said he was a little over the top on the par 3 tee;

“I guess I was a little juiced up on that tee, I left myself with an impossible up-and-down.”

TPC Scottsdale’s favorite player, Phil Mickleson, opened with an even par round of 71, and a long way back for this favorite son.

Phil thinks the same as me, he just loves playing here;

“It’s fun to be back here, I love playing here. I wasn’t as sharp as I need to be, for sure. Playing the last five holes at three over,  that was really bad. Fifteen really stung, it was only a twelve  or fifteen footer, and I am thinking eagle. I roll it 6 feet by and I miss it coming back. That was costly. I got off to a poor start, played a couple over, and finished poorly. In the middle of the round, though, I hit a lot of good shots and had a good little run, but it just wasn’t quite sharp. I wasn’t quite focused on every shot the way I need to be and let way too many shots slide.”

Phil also reported that his troublesome back is now in fine shape;

“It’s fine, honestly, it’s no big deal, it was a five-minute fix. I just have to be careful for a week or two as it heals up. It’s fine. Mobility is back. It’s just not a big deal. It happens every now and then. Last time was about four years ago.”

OHL CLassic, Mayakoba Mayhem as Play Suspended Again.

Play in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, in Mexico was suspended for the second day, causing mayhem with the playing schedule. More than 4 inches of rain has hit the course since Wednesday afternoon and only 29 of the 127 players were able to complete the second round.

No rain on their parade

Kevin Stadler & Robert Karlsson / Getty Images.

At the suspension of play, due to darkness,  Robert Karlsson and Kevin Stadler were tied for the lead at -12 under par. Robert played 36 holes Friday, shooting an -8 under par 63 in the rain-delayed first round and then adding a -4 under par 67 in the afternoon on Mayakoba Resort’s El Camaleon course. He  intends to play on the European Tour, where he is fully exempt thanks to winning the Order of Merit in 2008;

“They gave me 10 years, I was the last one. After being through what I’ve been through, I don’t care what kind of status I have. As long as I can play golf tournaments and I can play in Europe, the most important thing is to just build good habits. If I do that I will be fine and if I don’t play well, it won’t matter what status I have because I won’t be playing the weekends anyway. Life is up and down, isn’t it, sometimes everything seems easy and sometimes it seems impossible. It feels possible again, and it has felt that way for a while, probably 6-8 weeks.”

Kevin had rounds of -4 under par 67 and a – 8 under par 63 in a 34-hole day. He birdied five of the last seven holes in the second round. He is thinking about what it would be like if he won and earned a coveted Masters invite;

 “It’s not anything I thought about while I’m playing, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it on Saturday night. It’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t happen, but I’d love to get the chance to play while my dad is still playing. That would be pretty cool.”

Rory Sabbatini and Chris Stroud are currently tied in second place  at -9 under par. Rory had one hole left when play was suspended, and Chris still had three to go.

Ryan Moore, Jhonattan Vegas, Pat Perez and Jay McLuen were  at -8 under par, Ryan and Jhonattan have completed their second rounds, while Pat and Jay still have four holes to play.

The Barclays. Kevin Stadler Leads Weather Delayed 1st Round

The Playoffs got off to a soggy start Thursday with two rain delays that lasted six hours

Opening statement

Kevin Stadler / Getty Images

Kevin Stadler opened The Barclays with a first round of -7 under par 64 on the par 71 Liberty National Golf Course, Jersey City, NJ. When asked if the delays interfered with his mental approach, Kevin replied;

“I’m never really mentally prepared. Same as usual. It was all good. I’ve had a pretty lousy summer, but really started hitting the ball a lot better a couple of weeks ago and was looking forward to playing some golf again here recently. Finally got something out of it today.”

Camilo Villegas made four straight birdies around the turn and was the only player to reach -8 under par, until back-to-back bogeys late in his round. He finished with -6 under par 65, and commented about how much food he had consumed during the day;

” Three breakfasts, three warm-ups, two lunches and a bunch of birdies, which is good,”

Only the top half of the draw finished the 1st round, the later starters played only two holes. Play will resume the 1st round Friday morning and then go straight to the second round. That left the top half facing extra holes on Saturday to get the tournament caught up.

The Open Championship winner Phil Mickelson and Masters champion Adam Scott were among those who did not finish their first rounds.

Henrik Stenson, -6 under par 65,  flew in from Europe and was jet-lagged;

” I came in from Europe on Monday night, so I’m a bit jet-lagged and I only saw the course once. I’m very pleased with the way I played out there and took advantage of some good shots. And it was a little bit of a shaky finish. Got some good practice of night golf, because that’s what we are going to have tomorrow night when we start our second round, I guess,”

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Sneds Siezes Title

Second to none

Brandt Snedeker / Getty Images

The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am title was gleefully seized by Sneds, there were no Hall of Famer’s snatching victory from him here at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Brandt Snedeker won by two shots, shooting a last round -7 under par, 65 to make sure this time he claimed the trophy, and also moved up to number four in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Brandt stood on the 18th tee at Pebble Beach with a three-shot lead on Sunday, taking in the view before him,  the sun and the Pacific Ocean, realizing just how far he has come in the past few months. Sneds said is was a dream, and hard to put into words;

“Just hard to put into words, to have a stretch of golf like I had the last couple of months, something you dream about. Something you think that you can do, but you don’t really know until you actually put it together, and I have. I’m really enjoying this, and hopefully can parlay this into the best year of my career. The last two weeks, playing great but running into two Hall of Famer’s, really motivated me to go out and prove that I can handle the lead. I definitely didn’t want to do anything but win today, I was out there for one purpose and one purpose only, and I was extremely focused all day. I did a great job of staying patient and I did a great job of playing the golf course the way you’re supposed to play it. I would love to be known as the best American golfer, I’ve got a long way to go to do that, but this is a great start to the year. Couldn’t have scripted much of a better one, except for maybe winning the last two weeks if the guys (Tiger and Phil) hadn’t played.”

Ian Poulter tweeted from his home in Orlando Florida;

“Sneds is officially the best golfer on the planet right now, some serious golf he is playing.”

Chris Kirk was in second place, his great round of -6 under par 66, just not good enough on the day to bring him success. Chris said he felt he had played good golf, but somebody always seems to blitz the course;

” We’ve had a lot of tournaments like that on TOUR this year where somebody has really just kind of blitzed the field. I felt like I played well enough to win a golf tournament and came up a little bit short.”

Rookie James Hahn finished in tie for third place, along with broomstick user Kevin Stadler and Jimmy Walker, all at -14 under par for the tournament.

Sneds and Toby Wilt shared the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am title with Michael Letzig and John EricksonJordan Spieth  and Tony Romo; Patrick Cantlay and Kelly Slater; Brad Fritsch and Huey Lewis were among six teams tied for third, two strokes back.

 

FedEx St. Jude Classic, Three Tied at the Top, Rory slips back.

Rory slides back

Rory McIlroy Lyons/Getty Images

There are three players tied at the top of the leaderboard in the FedEx, St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind. The leaders are at -6 under par for 54 holes with Nick O’Hern completing his round at -3 under par for a total of -6 under par for the tournament. That tournament total was matched by Davis Love 111 and John Merrick who was one of the first round leaders.

There are six players just one shot off the lead, including Rory McIlroy, who somehow managed to rack up six bogeys during his third round, against four birdies. This left him with a total of -5 under par, and still in contention for the trophy on Sunday. The other players tied in second place at -5 under par are, Dustin Johnson, Robert Allenby, Kevin Kisner, Chad Campbell and Kevin Stadler.

In all there are sixteen players within three shots of the leaders, and it will be an exciting final round to watch as all these professional players vie to be on top of the leaderboard at the end of the round on Sunday afternoon. I personally think that Rory will regroup and come out firing on all cylinders on Sunday, especially as he now knows that Lee Westwood has won over on the European Tour in Sweden. Lee  is hot on his heels in the race for the number one ranking, both of them trying to catch Luke Donald.

FedEx St Jude Classic, McIlroy Leads after 36 holes.

 

MEMPHIS, TN - JUNE 08:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the par 3 8th hole during the second round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind on June 8, 2012 in Memphis, Tennessee.

 Rory McIlroy, Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy put his recent troubles behind him as he shot a second round -5 under par 65 to lead by one stroke after 36 holes, at the FedEx St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee. Rory’s tournament total is -7 under par, hot on his heels at -6 under par are three players; J.B. Holmes, who had the best round of the day, a -6 under par 64, Jeff Maggert, one of the first round leaders. Joining them at that mark is Kevin Stadler, who matched Rory’s round of 65 for the day. Rory was full of confidence after his days work;

“You know, it was a really, really good round of golf out there today. I saw a lot of positive signs with my ball-striking. Hit a lot of good iron shots and drivers. So that was something that I was really working on the last couple of weeks and feels like it’s coming together for me. So excited to be in this position going into the week. Could have been even better, could have made eagle on 16, but, you know, to finish strong the way I did was great and it gives me momentum going into tomorrow. It’s nice to see my name on that part of the leaderboard. It’s not nice when you’re struggling to make the cut on a Friday afternoon. It was great. It’s nice to be through to the weekend, obviously. It’s obviously even nicer to be leading and have a great chance.”

J.B. Holmes was pleased with the way he had played;

“I just kind of hit everything. I wasn’t knocking pins down, but I hit them in there pretty close. Made a couple 6-footers, but I putted well. I was hitting it 15, 20 feet and making some putts.”

The other first round leader John Merrick, is now two shots off the lead after his second round score of -1 under par, 69, for a two round total of -5 under par.

There are a host of players at -4 under par for two rounds, including Rory’s playing partner Padraig Harrington who scored another -2 under par round of 68.

Notables missing the cut are, last years champion Harrison Frazar with a two round score of +11 over par.Graeme McDowell, who had another horrendous round to finish with a +8 over par total. David Duval and Jhonattan Vegas both finished with +6 to miss the cut.

Zach Johnson also missed the cut with a two round total of +4 over par, a poor effort by his high standards. Colombian Camillo Villegas at +3, and Robert Karlsson at +4.