Valspar Championship. Garrigus Gets Ahead.

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Robert Garrigus gets ahead in the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook on day 2 taking a three shot lead into the week-end.

Garrigus leads at Valspar

Robert Garrigus / Getty Images

Robert can not remember a better performance going into the week-end than the one he put together on day 2 at the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead course. He shot a second round -5 under par 66, to finish the day three shots ahead on -7 under par for the tournament;

“It’s the fishing, I think that puts me in a good frame of mind because I’m clear and not thinking about anything, just going out and having some fun. I probably hit one of the top-five shots of my life there on sixteen, out of the trees. Hit a low, cut 5-iron, then rose it up over the pine tree and cut it 40 yards and hit to ten feet. That’s just one of those shots that when you’re playing good and everything is rolling, you kind of expect it. It was a lot of fun to try it, and to pull it off was even better. I’ve spent half my life in the trees. I’ve had a lot of practice.”

Kevin Na is in second place, a second round -3 under par 68 gave him a total of -4 under par for the tournament. That was good enough for second spot alone.

Highest-ranked player in the field, Justin Rose shot a second round -3 under par, and joins Matt Every, Pat Perez and Matteo Manassero, all tied in third place at -3 under par.

Justin finally got some momentum going;

“I got some momentum going today, I worked my way into the tournament early. To finish strong with my round yesterday I think helped give me some momentum into day. It’s exactly how I needed to flow into the tournament.”

During the round today Pat Perez  was the first player to reach -5 under par for the tournament, until he missed two drives well to the left. The first was in the trees at No. 6, and then another wayward drive went out of bounds on No. 7. Both of them led to double bogeys, though Pat shrugged off the disappointment;

“Just move on and keep going.”

Danny Lee went from first to worst. He was tied for the lead Thursday, and then shot +8 over par for 79, and miss the cut. The cut was at +3  over par,  and because 84 players advanced, there will be a 54-hole cut to top 70 and ties on Saturday.

The list of players missing the cut was pretty impressive, they include;

Ernie Els, Mike Weir,  Camilo Villegas, Webb Simpson, Geoff Ogilvey, D.A. Points, VJ Singh, Angel Cabrera, Kyle Stanley and the wild man himself, John Daly, who propped up the whole field.

 

 

The Memorial Tournament. Kooch Claims it.

A smiling Matt Kuchar, Kooch, claimed the Memorial Tournament title at Muirfield Village Golf Course on Sunday.

Another reason to smile

Smiling Matt Kuchar / Getty Images

Matt fired a 68 on Sunday that included a 21-foot birdie on the 72nd hole and allowed him to claim the win at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. His last round of -4 under par gave him a tournament total of -12 under par, to win by two shots over the field.

Kevin Chapple was in second place at -10 under par, he matched Matt’s final round score of -4 under par 68, but it was not enough to snatch the victory.

Kyle Stanley was alone in third place at -7 under par, after his final round of -1 under par 71.

Both of the World’s best players, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, ranked No. 1 and 2,  finished well back in the pack. Tiger, who was the defending and five-time Memorial champ, shot 8 over and was tied for 65th. While Rory was two strokes better as strangely each player only broke par once in the four rounds at Muirfield Village Golf Course.

Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Billy’s Birdie Blitz Wins It.

Billy Horschel’s six consecutive birdie blitz set up his first US PGA Tour victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, played on the TPC Louisiana golf course.

Finally the one

Billy Horschel / Graythen / Getty Images

Billy Horschel won the Zurich Classic with a final round of -8 under par 64, and tournament total of -20 under par. Billy needed to make a birdie on the 18th to win, but was a long way from the cup. D.A. Points had a five foot putt left for his birdie and that would have tied the scores. Pulling  on his powers of positive thinking, Billy told himself if he wanted to win here and now this 27 ft putt had to go in;

“I hadn’t made a long one all week and I said, I’m due. I was like, If it’s my time, this putt needs to go in.”

It did, and the celebrations began;

“I know it was pretty intense, there was a lot going on. It’s celebration time now.”

There were two weather delays during the final round, the second delay, for lightning, happened just before Billy could take his second shot on the 18th hole. That gave him the all important 52 minutes to reflect on what was at stake. As history now tells us, it did not alter Billy’s commitment one little bit;

‘ For some reason it puts me at ease a little bit. You don’t know how long your delay is going to be so you’ve just got to go with it and just wait it out. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t as hard as it could have been.”

D.A. Points had to settle for second place with his -19 under par total, his last round of -7 under par 65 just not quite enough to get him back into the winners circle. Darren won the Shell Houston Open last month, beating Billy and Henrik Stenson. He was full of praise for Billy and the way he played;

” When a player goes out and shoots eight under and birdies the last hole to win, hats off to Billy. He’s played great all year. He was one shot shy of me at Houston and I’m a shot shy of him here. It’s just the way it goes.”

Kyle Stanley shot a solid -5 under par, 67 to finish in third position, with his total score of -17 under par.

The  14-year-old Chinese amateur Guan Tianlang finished in 71st spot, after making his second cut in two PGA TOUR events, the first coming at the Masters Tournament.

Lucas Glover, the overnight leader, seemed to suffer from the two weather delays, coming back from the first delay of 2 hours and 54 minutes, Lucas two putted for par and then never recovered his composure. He finished tied in fourth place at -15 under par, with Bobby Gates, five shots off the lead of Billy Horschel.

You can assume that Lucas had his mind on other important things going on, like the impending birth of his child, and the well-being of his wife.

 

 

Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Lucas Still Leads

Lucas Glover still leads the Zurich Classic of New Orleans after the third round at TPC Louisiana, firing a -2 under par round for a -14 under par total.

Blast from the past

Lucas Glover / Graythen / Getty Images

Lucas is in control of the Zurich Classic, taking a two shot lead into the final day, that is unless he gets a call from his expectant wife. Lucas has said he would immediately leave the event if his wife went into labor. Today Lucas survived the blustery conditions, and also extended his lead at the top.

“Some windier conditions than expected, but started up one, now I’m up two, so can’t be too upset. The good stuff is still there.It’s always nice to close with a birdie, I would have liked to have had one better but that was a pretty average putt.”

Trailing by two shots are; Kyle Stanley, Jimmy Walker, Billy Horschel and D.A. Points are all tied for second place. Kyle said he did not encounter the windier conditions, due to an early tee time, more than two hours ahead of the tournament leaders;

” Not much going on out there, not a lot of wind, so you could pretty much take dead aim and hit a lot of pins.”

Guan Tianlang, the young Chinese amateur player  shot a 77 to drop to +2 over par,  last among the 71 players who made the cut. He admitted it was not a very good round;

“I didn’t do pretty good, it was not a very good round.”

Boo Weekley, who just one shot behind Lucas at the start of play, finished four strokes adrift at the end of play. Boo said his game had been a little off today;

“I was a little off, I had some good looks early in the round and just kind of got down on myself with the putter.”

Barring a call from the hospital, Lucas should be able to wrap up his first tournament win in two years tomorrow, good luck Lucas, with the trophy challenge and the baby challenge.

 

Kyle Stanley Wins Waste Management Phoenix Open

Kyle Stanley won the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in an amazing turnaround from last weeks disaster collapse. Kyle came from eight shots behind the leader, Spencer Levin to win the tournament. Just last week he lost a five-stroke lead in the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open.  Spencer Levin, who started the day with a six-stroke advantage over Webb Simpson, shot a four-under(-par) today to finish at 13-under(-par) in third place.

Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesSCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 05:  Kyle Stanley kisses the trophy after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 5, 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Kyle sais of his victory today;

” I’m not sure what I’m thinking right now. It’s been a great week. You go from a very low point to a high point. I’m not sure I expected to maybe recover this quickly. You know, I’ll take it.”

Asked about last weeks episode, he replied;

“You know, I’m never going to forget that. But I think it makes this one a lot sweeter, just being able to bounce back. You know, I’m kind of at a loss for words right now. I’m very grateful for the support I’ve gotten. It’s unbelievable; unbelievable turnaround.”

Ben Crane finished in second place, one shot adrift of a play-off, he did not think he had his “A” gameface on today;

“I certainly didn’t have my “A” game. I felt my swing was giving me fits out there, and I was just trying to hold it together and I was able to throw a good round at him, but ultimately I just wasn’t sharp. But very thankful for second is an awesome finish, and I just putted awesome all week, and that really is what kind of kept me going.”

Spencer Levin was left to rue what could, and should have been, he said he had tried his best;

“I don’t really know. I felt all right early, and I don’t know, I just didn’t have it, I guess. I just maybe tried a little too hard. I don’t think I felt real, I felt calm, I just I don’t know. I just was looking ahead too much and maybe trying a little too hard, I guess. I didn’t have it, but still, going to 17 and 18, I had long putts, but they both almost went in. You can always say that. But still, I had a chance after doubling 15, but what are you going to do? I tried my best.”

If this is the way the season is going to go, I am really looking forward to the next tournament, anything could happen.

Waste Management Phoenix Open,2nd round

Spencer Levin has open a three shot lead over his nearest rival at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale shooting a second round 63 for a total  of -14 under par, before play was suspended because of darkness.

 

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In second place, three shots behind  is Harrison Frazar who is at -11 for 15 holes. He is the only contestant who is any way near Spencer who is in total control of the tournament after two rounds, echo’s of last week with Kyle Stanley.

Spencer said of his round;

“Everything was pretty good today, my putting and chipping feels real solid. I felt pretty good going into my second round and it didn’t  feel like a second round.”

Phil Mickelson, who attended nearby Arizona State University got one of the loudest cheers of the day when he birdied 16. Mickelson finished with a one-under 70 as he parred 18 in fading light. His group was allowed to finish  the round because Mickelson putted out first on 17  and then sprinted to the tee on 18 to get his drive off before the horn sounded, so the entire group could get to complete the final hole. Quick thinking Phil.

Snedeker Wins Farmers Open Golf Playoff After Stanley Stumbles at Last Hole

Kyle Stanley blew a three-shot lead on the final hole at the Farmers Open at Torrey Pines. Stanely  made a triple-bogey 8 at the par-5 18th hole, allowing Brandt Snedeker an opportunity in a play off, which he had never expected.     Snedeker then collected his third career victory when Stanley, who was seeking his first win, missed a five-foot par putt on the second extra hole.

Talking about his victory Brandt said; “You never want to see anybody go through that, not even your worst enemy on the planet.  But he’s an unbelievably talented player, and the sky’s the limit for him. I hope he does not beat himself up too much over this.”

Asked about his last hole meltdown Stanley admitted; “Looking back, I don’t really know what I was thinking. It’s not a hard golf hole, it’s really a pretty straightforward par-5. I could probably play it a thousand times and never make an 8.”

He was in tears during his post match interview, but tried to remain positive;

“It’s just tough to swallow right now. I just need to be patient. One of my goals coming into this year was to just keep putting myself in position, and I’ll do that.”

Kyle Stanley builds five-shot lead at Torrey Pines

Kyle Stanley  opened a five-shot lead in the Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday. even though  he missed a 4-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have broken the 54-hole tournament record set by Tiger Woods in 1998. That record of course was set before Rees Jones beefed up the South Course for the 2008 U.S. Open.  On the 526-yard 13th hole Kyle blasted a tee shot so far down the hill that he only needed a soft 7-iron into the green, leaving the ball just 15 feet below the hole just on the fringe leading to a two-putt birdie. On seeing the tee shot his playing partner Sang-moon Bae turned to him and said with a smile; “Are you playing this as a par 4?”

Kyle’s round of 68 gave him a 54 hole total of -18 under par and feeling happy with his days work;  ” This is something you dream about as a kid. But there’s still one more round. I’m very pleased, I’m putting really well and driving it well and hitting my irons well. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, I’m pretty relaxed, pretty comfortable and I really like this golf course.

 

Doing things right

Dunn/Getty Images

Kyle Stanley’s nearest challengers are John Huh and John Rollins, both a daunting five shots off the top at -13 under par for the tournament.

It will be interesting to see if Kyle can remain cool, calm and collected in the final round

Levin & Stanley lead 1st round at Torrey Pines

Spencer Levin and Kyle Stanley lead the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Both American players shot 62 for rounds of -10 under par on the easier North course. The best score of the day on the tougher South course was from Marc Turnesa with a 66 for a total -6 under par for the tournament.

Fijian Vijay Singh and Aussie Greg Chalmers shot 64 and 65 respectively, on the North course, to finish the day comfortably in touch with the leaders. Left hander Chalmers had an eagle three at the par five 18th, with a putt of 48 feet, which really gave a lift to his opening round and a nice way to celebrate Australia Day.

Phil Mickelson had a tough day on the South course shooting a +5 over par round of 77, and seemed really out of touch, and will need an exceptionally low round tomorrow when he tees it up for the easier North course.

He was asked about his driving performance, and what driver was he using today, this is his reply;

“I am using our new Razr Hawk driver. I didn’t use it the first round last week, and it was a mistake. I don’t know what I was thinking, I worked with it. I felt good with it, I just didn’t want to make any changes from the previous season.”

He also spoke about his putting woes;

” There is no shortcut in putting, that no matter what method you use. You still have to see the line and you still have to match it up to the proper speed. And I think that for me I was looking for a shortcut with the belly putter. I found what was best for me was to go back to how I was putting as a kid, growing up with a blade style putter. And an aggressiveness that I had at a younger age.”

Mickelson full interview at Farmers Insurance Open