HP Byron Nelson Championship. It’s Todd With The Trophy

 

dragon logo darkHP Byron Nelson Championship

Brendon Todd won his maiden PGA Tour victory at the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons.

Brendon Todd / Getty Images

Brendon shot a final round -4 under par 66 to lift his maiden PGA Tour trophy, with a tournament total of -14 under par. He reckoned he scored his pants off, even playing left handed with the back of an iron because of the close proximity of a tree;

“I absolutely scored my pants off, I have a great short game and even I’ll say it was special this week. The only thing I could say I drew on is my brother-in-law is left handed and I putted with his left-handed putter before and I’m pretty good at it. So I tried to use that stroke.”

“I asked my caddie walking off the 17th tee where I was, he thought I was two up so I knew that was a big putt and I jammed it in there. It feels amazing, a big monkey off the back. It’s been a tough career so far with a lot of ups and downs but I’m excited to be on top right now.”

“Going to Augusta for the Masters is a dream come true. Going to the University of Georgia, we got to play there once a year in college and that’s a special place, so excited about that.”

Mike Weir finished in second place at -12 under par, a remarkable comeback for the 44 year-old Canadian. Mike was happy with  his effort, he tried his best to win;

“Best golf I played in a long time. I was happy with the way I played. I was definitely determined to try to win today, but I can feel good about the way I handled things out there. No doubt about it, I was nervous.”

“It was great to have my wife here, no doubt.  Gave myself a couple of good looks coming in and just wasn’t meant to be. But I’m happy with today.”

“I know hard times, I’ve had plenty of hard times in my career. It took me seven years out of college to get on the PGA TOUR, missing cuts on the Asian Tour, Canadian Tour, all around the world. So I knew I could rely on that and I knew I could dig deep within myself to putt myself out of things. This has taken a long time and it’s only one week, but this week was great and very satisfying.”

“I played solid golf probably better today than the other three days. It just shows you that the things you’re working on your game, when they show up under the heat of competition and stress, that you’re doing the right things.”

Great to have you back in the mix Mike.

Charles Howell 111 and Marc Leishman tied for third spot, both finished at -10 under par for the tournament.


Valspar Championship. Garrigus Gets Ahead.

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Valspar Championship Logo

 

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.

 

 

RBC Canadian Open. Snedeker Siezes Title.

Brandt Snedeker seized the opportunity to take the RBC Canadian Open title, thanks to the withdrawal of his friend Hunter Mahan. who had to rush home to be beside his wife, he was leading the tournament at the beginning of play.

Heating up

Brandt Snedeker / Getty Images

Brandt had a final round of -2 under par 70, at Glenn Abbey Golf Club, which was good enough for him to wrap the RBC Canadian Open title at -16 under par.

Brandt was ecstatic to win this title, his caddie is from Canada;

” Just ecstatic right now, this is a tournament I said early on in my career I wanted to win just because my caddie, Scott Vail, is actually from Canada and it’s his national open. It meant a lot to him, meant a lot to me. Third-oldest tournament on TOUR and it’s got some great history to it, and now to put my name on that trophy it means a lot. It feels great to get a win, to validate all the hard work I’ve put in over the past three months where I haven’t played my best and know that I’m working on the right stuff and able to hold up under some pretty serious pressure this afternoon. To win a tournament like this with those pivotal holes coming down the stretch means a lot. I hung in there really well and made the key putts I needed to and I was able to survive, that’s what today is all about.”

Hunter Mahan’s wife Kandi gave birth to daughter Zoe Olivia Mahan early Sunday in Texas, and Brandt said he would be sending the baby a very nice gift, in recognition of her good timing;

” Zoe will be getting a very nice baby gift from me, I can’t thank Kandi enough for going into labor early. I don’t know if I’d be sitting here if she hadn’t. But that is a way more important thing than a golf tournament. I missed a golf tournament when my first was born, and it was the best decision I ever made. I’m sure Hunter would say the same thing.”

Dustin Johnson, William McGirt, Matt Kuchar and Jason Bohn were all tied for second place at -13 under par.

Dustin was tied for the lead after a birdie on the  16th, then he inexplicably drove his tee shot out of bounds on the par four 17th. The reload found a fairway bunker and his attempted escape shot hit  the lip of the bunker, en route to a triple-bogey 7. He finished the final round with a -2 under par 70, and not feeling too happy with his day;

“I was playing really well, really confident, swinging the driver really good. So you know, it’s a driver hole for me, and I just blocked it a little bit. Made a poor swing. Not too happy, but I felt really good with my golf game. It’s nothing, nothing to worry about. I’ll go get them next weekend.”

David Hearn was the top Canadian player, shooting a final round +1 over par 73, to tie for 44th place at -4 under par. Mike Weir was tied for 49th place at -3 under par after a last round of even par 72. Mike said he is missing too many short putts;

” I’m playing fine. Just missing too many short putts. I missed a number the last couple days inside 6, 7 feet, just missing way too many of those. You need those to keep your round going sometimes and I just didn’t capitalize when I had opportunities.”

 

RBC Canadian Open. Its Super Snedeker.

Brandt Snedeker shot a super third round of -9 under par to lead the RBC Canadian Open at Glenn Abbey G.C. in Ontario.

Surreal Saturday

Brandt Snedeker / Getty Images

Brandt sits at the top of the leaderboard going into the final round tomorrow with a tournament total of -14 under par. He was surprised not to see Hunter Mahan anywhere on the board,  Brandt was on seventh tee when he noticed something wasn’t quite right, but his caddie guessed right;

” I looked at my caddie, and I go, `What’s going on? He goes, `I think Hunter had to leave because his wife went into labor. Kind of left the tournament wide open, Hunter was going to be hard to catch because he was playing so good. The way he drives the golf ball on this golf course, he was going to play really well on the weekend. For me to catch him, I knew I was going to have to shoot something really low. I know how to handle it and I know what to expect tomorrow especially on a golf course like this. I’m not too concerned about my number right now. I know what I have to do tomorrow. You always feel like you’re exactly one swing away from hitting something off the planet or something like that. I felt like I managed my game really well today.”

Hunter withdrew before he was scheduled to tee off Saturday, in the round that was delayed 80 minutes because of lightning;

” I received exciting news a short time ago that my wife Kandi has gone into labor with our first child. Kandi and I are thrilled about the addition to the Mahan family and we look forward to returning to the RBC Canadian Open in the coming years.”

 David Lingmerth is in second place at  -13 under par, a stroke back after his third round of -7 under par 65.  Matt Kuchar and Jason Bohn were in third place at -12 under par. Matt with a  -8 under par 64, and Jason a -6 under par, 66.

Matt ccommented on Hunter’s good news;

” The birth of a child is a truly magical, special thing. You may get it once in your lifetime. It just doesn’t happen that often. Hunter right now is playing some of the best golf in the world. It kind of gives the rest of us a chance with him not in the field.”

Dustin Johnson also shot a -9 under par 63, which was good enough for a tie of fifth place at -11 under par, along  with John Merrick, Greg Owen, Charley Hoffman and Kyle Stanley .

David Hearn was the top Canadian performer, carding a 68 to reach -5 under par, he just made the cut Friday by birdieing his final three holes;

“I felt good yesterday finishing the way I did, I didn’t play my best getting to the weekend but it’s a pretty tight leaderboard.”

Mike Weir was at -3 under par after a +1 over par round, he was not too impressed with his performance;

“It was kind of adventurous and not very profitable at all, didn’t make anything again and struggled a little bit at times. Just never seemed to get in the flow of the round.”

There will be no Canadian winner this year.

Canadian Open. Mahan Makes A Move, On Moving Day.

On moving day Hunter Mahan makes a move in the RBC Canadian Open at Glenn Abbey G.C. in Ontario, Canada.

Mahan makes move

Hunter Mahan / Greenwood / Getty Images

Hunter had a second round -8 under par 64, to lead the RBC Canadian Open by two shots at -13 under par for the tournament. Last week he finished in ninth position at The Open, and said he built on that solid performance;

“I kind of built off last week, I got some good things I’m doing with my swing and everything, and feel good about that. I’m just going out there and really trying to trust my game. Just allow things to happen and not get in the way of myself and be as present as I can and keep my head up and keep moving forward and just kind of letting my abilities and everything that I’m doing in my game, let it try to come out. The course is in great shape, tee to green it’s fantastic. The greens are rolling pretty true. If you hit it well out here, par fives, you can attack the par fives. It’s a fun golf course to play. I think they did a good job with the setup here because they could have grown the rough up and made it really difficult, and it’s tough to come back from a major and play the next week, especially when it’s a hard golf course. It’s really a mental grind. But I think the golf course setup is fantastic because it’s still playable but it’s still difficult and still challenging.”

John Merrick is in second place after he equalled the course record of 62, a -10 under par extravaganza, for a total score of -11  under par. John explained it like this;

“It was a great day, I got off to a good start, hit it over the green on two and chipped in for eagle, and that kind of calmed me down. I hit it well and made a lot of putts. I’ve had stretches of good play, you know, it’s tough out here, it’s competitive. You’ve got to be on for four days, and I’ve had some good rounds here and there a couple days, and you just need to put four rounds together out here. My game has been feeling pretty good. Everything kind of clicked today.”

Bubba Watson is in third place alone at -9 under par, his second round -5 under par 67 had a couple of bogey’s, but most strangely he could only make par on the two par fives at the end of the round;

“I haven’t been in too much trouble, when I hit it in the rough I have a decent lie or miss it in the right spot so I can hit the green in regulation. I missed three greens in two days, so I’m just hitting my irons well, playing smart golf, and then I made a few putts.”

Mike Weir,  the great Canadian hope, followed his opening round 73 with a second round of -5 under par 67, to move into a tie for 26th at -4 under par. Mike was happy to have given the home crowd something to cheer about;

” It was a great day, it was one of those rounds that could have been really anything. I could have been 10 under pretty easily, I think. But played great, and it was exciting to do that for the fans. Yesterday was so dull, one birdie and nothing happening at all, so it was great to feel that kind of support out there and give them something to cheer about.”

Notables missing the cut included; Luke Donald, one of Canada’s best Graeme DeLaet, Stephen Ames, and  Robert Karlsson.

 

 

The Honda Classic, Luke Guthrie Leads by One.

Guthrie stands alone

Luke Guthrie / Getty Images

The Honda Classic second round was dominated by Luke Guthrie, shooting -7 under par, 63 to lead by one shot on the              PGA National Champion Course at Palm Beach. His tournament total of -9 under par is just one shot ahead of Michael Thompson, alone in second spot, who had a -5 under par second round of 65.

Luke said he had no idea about Rory’s situation;

” I had no clue, I was just kind of going about my business out there.”

Tied in third place at -7 under par are Boo Weekley and Graham DeLaet, Boo with a second round of -3 under par 67, and Graham with a  -2 under par round of 70.

There are six players tied in fifth place at -6 under par, they are; Lee Westwood, Geoff Ogilvy, Doug LaBelle 111, Justin Rose, Sean O’Hair and Chucky Three-Sticks.

Rory McIlroy was forced to withdraw due to pain in his wisdom tooth, there are some conflicting stories around about why he actually quit, he was -7 over par through eight holes of his second round at the time. The pain in the tooth statement came form Rory’s management company, make what you want with that. With Tiger Woods just making the cut on the number it represents another poor start to a tournament for the stars of Nike. It was Rory’s third missed cut in a row. Tiger felt he just did not hit the ball very well today;

” Well, I didn’t hit it anywhere near as good as I did Thursday, I didn’t have it today. I had it going early and then I would lose it.”

 

Overnight leader Camilo Villegas  shot a second round -7 over par, 77 a mighty difference of 13 strokes from his opening round of 64,  to miss the cut by a shot.

Other notables missing the cut were, Major winners Louis Oosthuizen and David Duval, followed by Mike Weir, Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey.

Farmers Insurance Open. K.J. equals Brandt Snedeker for Lead

K.J. Choi has never liked Torrey Pines. In fact, he even sat out last year’s Farmers Insurance Open, as Brandt Snedeker went on to win. This year though he opened with a -7 under par 65 to tie defending champ Brandt Snedeker for the first-round lead. K.J. took on the tougher South Course in perfect conditions, but the forecast is not looking too good with rain predicted for Friday.

K.J. said in interview;

” The course is pretty long, the greens are pretty hard, so I felt like the course didn’t really fit me too well before, but I found something on the range this morning. Surprisingly, today all of my iron shots were kind of stopping into the green.”

Brandt Snedeker is also bemused why he always seems to play well, although the course does not set up well for him;

“It’s funny, you look at all the golf courses I should play well on, this should not be one of them. This is a long, difficult golf course with lots of rough and hitting a lot of iron shots. My strength is driving and putting, so it doesn’t really add up well around here, but for some reason, it’s been good to me.”

Brandt SnedekerHelen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

By contrast Phil Mickleson could manage only even par on the easier North Course, and he is tied for 90th place with a round on the tougher South Course coming up. Phil has no illusions about the task ahead of him if he is to make the cut;

” I’ve got to shoot something in the 60s, and if I can get a couple of putts to go, I putted very poorly, I’ve got to get that putter going. If I can putt well, hopefully, the mid-60s. I’ve been playing better than this, and there’s no excuses. Very lethargic off the first tee, I’ve got to get my head a little bit more focused on the shots, and I haven’t been as mentally focused starting out. So, hopefully, I’ll be able to turn that around tomorrow and start a little bit more effectively in the future. It’s going to take some exceptional golf over on the South, but three of the rounds are on the South, and there are some low scores out there if you play the course right and effectively. There’s probably half the holes where you’ve got to play for par and the other half you can make some birdies. 

Tiger Woods said he thought he had done a good job shooting -4 under par 68 for his first round at the Farmers;

“After being 1 under and then 1 over, to battle back and get to 6 at one point was a good job. It is different this tournament, because we didn’t play this fast, we had some rain overnight last night, but still these fairways are zipping. At least the greens are receptive. The greens are a little more receptive than in the practice round. I knew I had two par fives on the front side so I could get it down to par, and then maybe get two or three on the back, I thought that would be a good score. And lo’ and behold, I get it rolling. Get to 6 and a chance to go to 7, so it can change quickly. But, we had the perfect conditions for it. We couldn’t ask for better conditions to score than we had today.”
There are eight players tied in third place at -6 under par, Josh Teater, Adam Hadwin, Luke List, Ross Fisher, Billy Horschel, Chucky Three Sticks, Mike Weir and Scott Stallings. Tomorrow’s bad weather will soon sort that bunched pack, it will be an interesting days play.

Humana Challenge, Three Tied at the Top

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There are three players tied at the top of the leaderboard at the Humana Challenge event at PGA West ,  La Quinta California, the event that was formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic.

Jason Kokrak, Roberto Castro and James Hahn share the top of the leaderboard at -9 under par with rounds of 63.

Jason said he was concentrating on getting the ball in the fairway;

“I just tried to put it in the right spots, put it in the fairways, out there, that’s key. They’re tighter fairways and if you can be in the fairway, you’ll have a good opportunity for birdie.”

Roberto Castro had nine birdies at PGA West’s Jack Nicklaus Private Course, and James Hahn had nine birdies on PGA West’s Arnold Palmer Private Course. 

James said he was happy with his day, especially the two chip-ins;

” It was a great day, chipped two in. Hadn’t done that since I was 9.”

Russell Henley, who won the Sony Open in Hawaii last Sunday, shot a round of -8 under par, 64 on the Nicklaus Course, he said it was a perfect day;

” It was a perfect day, the weather is perfect, the greens were true. So, it’s just trying to stay patient and let the birdies come to me.”

Phil Mickelson made his first tournament start since tying for second in early November in the HSBC Champions in China, the only event he played in after the Ryder Cup, he finished at even par, after a miracle shot at the par three twelfth. His tee shot flew to the left, leaving him behind a  tall tree blocking his path to the green.  A full blooded swing flop shot climbed miraculously nearly straight up and over the 25-foot tree and stopped 2 feet from the hole. It helped him salvage his par on the hole and eventually his round. Phil spoke later about that shot;

“That was one of my better wedges, but, as I was telling my partner, `You hit it there as much as I do, eventually you’re going to learn how to hit those shots.’”

Referring to the tee shot that lead up to it, Phil just said;

” It was just very bad timing, quick from the top, lower body fast, just a bad swing. I did the same thing on the next par 3 with the same club. Only it went the other way. I made par both times, though.”

I just wish I could get away with a bad shot and make par, my bad shots are usually terminal.

Mike Weir,  opened with a -5 under par round of 67, the 2003 Champion has unfortunately missed 16 consecutive cuts,he was pleased to get of to a good start here;

“I drove it well and putted well and everything was pretty good. It was a nice solid round to get off to a good start.”

 

RBC Canadian Lift,Clean & Place Open

TOUR Report: RBC Canadian

William McGirt & Scott Piercy/getty images

Once again they are playing lift, clean and place at the RBC Canadian Open on the Hamilton G&CC, with William McGirt and Scott Piercy sharing the lead after round two. Scott could not match yesterdays recording equaling round, but his -3 under par 67 got him to -11 under par and still top of the board. Sharing that spot is William McGirt, whose -4 under par 66 went nicely with his first round 63 and also on -11 for the tournament. Tim Clark had the best round of the day, another record equaling -8 under par 62 and tied for fourth place, with Vijay Singh. Alone in third spot is Robert Garrigus, with a tournament total of -10 under par.

Scott spoke about the pressure of coming off a 62;

“You shoot 62 and think, oh, I’ve got it. You expect to shoot another 62, which is;  to shoot 62, you’ve got to have things going for you. You’ve got to be making the putts. You’ve got to get the right bounces. I think you’ve got to be realistic with your expectations. When I shot 62, my expectation was to hit fairways and greens, and it just happened. Knowing that it’s generally tough to follow up a course record, I just wanted to hit a bunch of greens, a bunch of fairways, and let it happen again. I like to be aggressive and shoot at things, because the greens are so severe in spots, you want to be below the hole, putting up into them. Here it’s more playing for pars and hoping that the birdies fall.”

William McGirt is relishing the uncharted territory he finds himself in;

” I’ve never been in this position out here, I was in the next to last group at Tampa this year. It was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it. Yesterday it seemed like I hit a lot of really good iron shots. I did hit a couple close today, but I wasn’t quite as close yesterday, so it was a little tougher to make putts. But I did sneak it by them on 8 in the front of the green, so it was a bonus. All in all it was pretty solid. Hit a lot of fairways and greens, and fortunately I made some putts.”

This year Tim Clark has managed to miss the cut four times and was disqualified from another event, this was all due to him recovering from wrist surgery, he said of his round today;

” The only way to get better was to come out here and play tournament golf. I could feel I was getting better every round I played. I don’t think I came back too soon, I think it’s what I needed to do. Obviously being soft you’re able to go at a lot of flags and make a lot of birdies.”

With all these record breaking scores and the easy soft course conditions, you have to wonder why the authorities allowed these top professional players to, lift, clean and place. Professional players will always take advantage of easy conditions, why make even easier for them. This competition is the Canadian Open, a searching test of golf for the best of players, well it’s not much of a test at the moment. Even at my club, Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club, we never play lift, clean and place, it is always play the ball as it lies.

Given the easy conditions it is sad to see Canadian Mike Weir missing the cut of -1 under par, in his national tournament, but he is not alone in the big name casualties. Last weeks Open Champion Ernie Els has also missed the cut this week, much to everybody’s surprise.

Mike has failed to make the cut in all his eleven starts this year and does not seem to know what the problem is, or how to fix it;

” I don’t know,I need a little time to think about it, and see what I can draw on it and see what we can get ready for next week.”

RBC Canadian Open, Scott Piercy shoots 62, to lead

Scott Piercy/NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Scott Piercy shot a record equaling opening round of  62 to lead the RBC Canadian Open by just one shot at the Hamilton G&CC · Ancaster, Ontario, Canada course. He leads by  one stroke from England’s Greg Owen and William McGirt of America. Scott said about his opening effort;

 ” Hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens today. I was rolling the ball well, and obviously you gotta make some putts, too. I hit it solid out there. I think I only missed a couple of greens, and ball striking round here with the rough being so penal is a must to shoot well.”

Greg Owen was happy with the way he putted today;

” Obviously I putted pretty well. I think you shoot 63 you have to putt well, so that was the strength of my game today, which is unusual. You know, just gotta keep it in play, hit the fairways. It’s not a long golf course. Hit the fairways and then give yourself as many chances as you can, and that’s what I did today. Got off to a rough start, but I played pretty solid from then on.”

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Ernie Els 2012 Open Champion/Martin/Getty Images

Ernie was off target toady;

“It’s a scoring golf course if you get it in play, which I didn’t do enough of today. It’s not that I didn’t have some great chances, I was just a bit sluggish today, trying to find that rhythm to my swing that I had last Sunday at the British Open. But, it wasn’t quite there today.”

Ernie finished the day at +2 over par, alongside Canadian favorite Mike Weir. They will both need to put in great rounds tomorrow if they want to contest this title.

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