Memorial Tournament, Casey Leads, Rory; 63 to 78 ?

dragon logo darkthe Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance Logo

Paul Casey leads the Memorial Tournament as Rory McIlroy goes from 63 to 78.

Casey leads at Memorial

Paul Casey / Getty Images

Paul opened up a gap at the top of the Memorial Tournament leaderboard as he recorded another -6 under par round of 66, giving him a three stroke lead over the field at -12 under par. He was definitely over the moon with his excellent round;

“I was ecstatic with the way I played, there was a couple of mistakes in there but that’s Muirfield Village. It’s a tricky golf course and you don’t need to do a lot wrong to make a mistake.”

“All I focused on was just trying to hit fairways and give myself great birdie opportunities, and just take my chances where I could and pay respect to the golf course where I had to and see what happened.”

Bubba Watson is three shots back, occupying second place on his own at -9 under par, following an erratic round of -3 under par 69. He managed to compile 5 bogey’s, 6 birdies and 1 Eagle in a topsy-turvy round, even playing one shot off the tarmac path. He said it is all a learning curve;

“It’s a learning process of how to be a Masters champion, how to deal with the pressures of that and also the pressures of being a dad for the first time. Right now I’m handling it, and I understand what it takes to be a dad and husband.”

Third place belongs to Chris Kirk, at -8 under par, after his -2 under par round of 70. Martin Flores and Hideki Matsuyama are tied for fourth at -7 under par.

Rory McIlroy totally collapsed, signing for a second round of 78, he thinks it is not too disastrous;

Rory McIlroy

Rory / Getty Images

” I missed fairways; that was the big thing, I didn’t realize how thick the rough was until I got in it today, it’s thick. I hit a decent drive on 10, was just in the rough, couldn’t get to the green, made bogey there. And then I just kept missing fairways and making it tough for myself. And obviously that little three-hole stretch — 13, 14, 15 — didn’t help. Take those three holes out of it, then it wouldn’t actually have been that bad a day.”

“These little runs I’m getting on where it gets away from me, I was able to avoid that last week. Not so much this week. It’s not disastrous, even though I had such a bad day, I’m still in with a chance, depending on what the guys do this afternoon. So going into the weekend, not exactly where I want to be. But could be worse.”

Phil Mickelson carded a -2 under par 70 today, to at least make the cut, but his poor form really continues;

“I’ve had a little rough go, although my game feels good, I still have some challenges mentally and finishing the round yesterday, that’s a great example there. If I finish that round off, I’m up there top two or three. So it’s little things like that, that are making the big difference between where I’m at, 30th, and top 5.”

My game is feeling good, it actually is feeling good. I just have some challenges, and I’m glad I’m playing this weekend. It will give me two more rounds on a good golf course to see if I can have something to build on.”

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Adam Scott Soars.

dragon logo darkArnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard Logo Adam Scott soars at the Arnold Palmer invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando.

Scott scorches Bay Hill

Adam Scott / Getty Images

Adam scorched round the Bay Hill course in an opening round of -10 under par 62, to easily top the leaderboard. He put his record equaling score down to a good day with the putter;

” I made a lot of putts today, and a lot of putts from considerable length. I hit a lot of nice shots, too, but it wasn’t like I was hitting it four feet. I had a round like this in Australia at the end of last year, in the first six holes, I didn’t hit it outside five feet. There’s a lot of different ways to get the ball in the hole. But it’s good for the confidence. It’s what I wanted. I sat in here yesterday and said I’d like to make some birdies and build the confidence. And today is a good start to that.”

Before the round he was feeling unwell, it has all changed now;

“It’s hard to say that I’m sick, I feel actually better now than when I woke up. Just a bit under the weather. I can’t complain. Hopefully, with a solid round tomorrow I keep myself right in this golf tournament. Like at any event, you want to start and put yourself right in it from the get-go and I’ve done that here.”

Ryo Ishikawa and John Merrick opened their accounts with first rounds of -7 under par 65’s to be tied in second place.  Both of them were a massive 10 shots behind Adam before they even hit their first shot tee of the tournament.

John reckoned that round took the pressure off, and was also celebrating his birthday;

“That took the pressure off, you’re already ten shots behind, so it’s not like you’re protecting anything. But this isn’t the Bay Hill I remember. I don’t usually play golf in Florida without 20 mph wind.”

“I think being my birthday today I kind of just walked out here with a smile on my face, knew it was going to be a good day regardless, and maybe didn’t worry much about how I was going to play. It worked out, I made some putts. I haven’t been doing that lately in my rounds. It was nice to make some putts; that was kind of the difference in my round.”

Ryo was pretty happy with his opening round;

“It was a pretty comfortable round for me.”

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano had his best round of the year with a -6 under par 66 round, for fourth pace alone. Brandt Snedeker and Paul Casey were among a group of six players at 67 after completing rounds of -5 under par.

There is a long way to go, but if Adam records another low round tomorrow, the pressure will be on the others.

Bubba Watson has been forced to retire from the competition, his allergies have taken over his body, he tweeted via @BubbaWatson.;

“Just wanted to tell my fans I’m sorry I had to withdraw from @APinv this week. My allergies have taken over! “It’s hard to focus when you’re heads all discombobulated from medicine and pollen.”

Honda Classic. Rory Mac Still on Track.

dragon logo darkThe Honda Classic LogoRory McIlroy is still on track to win The Honda Classic, leading the competition on  the PGA National course at Palm Beach Gardens.

In driver's seat at Honda

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory shot a -4 under par 66 to maintain his momentum at the top of the leaderboard at The Honda Classic, with a -11 under par total. He spoke about his implosion last year and thinks maturity has helped him overcome those difficulties;

“It’s a different end of the spectrum I guess, I wasn’t quite comfortable with my golf swing. I was still tinkering with equipment. I just wasn’t feeling in control of, you know, what I needed to be in control of. This year is obviously a lot different. I think it’s just a sign of a little more maturity, not really trying to force the issue or press. I knew that with the way I’m playing and the confidence in my ability, I would be able to get those shots back. I didn’t panic.”

“When you’re not quite in control of your swing, your confidence can sort of go in peaks and troughs. When you hit a few good shots, your confidence can go up quite quickly but then you hit one bad one, it can sort of go down again and that’s where I was sort of most of last year. Now I feel I’m happy with where my swing is, and even if I do hit a loose shot, I can get over it much quicker and much easier because I have the confidence in what I’m doing. I’m playing well and I’m comfortable.”

Brendon de Jong is in second place after his super second round -6 under par 64, which elevated him to -10 under par overall. Brendon, who has never won on the PGA TOUR,  will be in the last group Saturday, alongside Rory. He mentioned the wind picking up in the afternoon;

“I think I might have got a little bit of switch in the wind. I feel very comfortable, I’ve been out here long enough now. I’ve played quite a bit with Rory. I know obviously what a great player he is. I feel very comfortable. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

In third place at -8 under par is Russell Henley, who carded a second round -2 under par 70, to stay in touch with the leaders.

Among those making the cut on the number, at even par were some dignitaries; Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, V.J. Singh and Paul Casey.

Tiger reported;

“I hit it good enough to shoot probably at least three or four lower than I did. I had so many looks where I just missed, and I just need to read them a little bit better than I did today.”

Sergio is struggling;

“It’s just been a little bit of a struggle, it’s just one of those weeks where you just don’t feel it. I wish I could put my hand on what it is. I just didn’t feel comfortable starting out, but I have to be happy with the finish and hope for a decent weekend.”

There were also a couple of big names on the missed cut column, Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson. Phil was +1 over par and Henrik was +9 over par for the first two rounds.

Turkish Open. Three Tied At The Top, 1st Round Play Suspended

There are three players tied at the top of the leaderboard on the opening day of the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal course in Antalya.

Paul Casey   (Getty Images)

Paul Casey / Getty Images

Paul Casey, Darren Fichardt and Steve Webster were all at  -7 under par for their unfinished first rounds of The Turkish Open when play was suspended for the day due to darkness. There had been a three-hour delay before play could commence, overnight thunder storms refusing to disperse in time.

Paul reported that he liked Monty designed courses, and that all bodes well for him in this tournament;

“I seem to play very well around Monty’s golf courses, I won in Bahrain a couple of years ago and then Carton House this year. I do enjoy his golf courses. I have no idea why, but maybe the fact that you can be incredibly aggressive does bode well for me. I made a very aggressive start with eagle at the first hole and this is a golf course that seems to offer a lot of opportunities starting out. I probably aim for the stick probably too frequently, but you could get away with it today. If you have an opportunity to go at flag and a good yardage, you have to take it. It was foot flat to the floor today and just fire at the pins, take advantage of the soft conditions we’ve got and see what happens. The field is exceptionally strong and with the layout of the golf course, and the way it is set up, I fully expect somebody is going to get to maybe 20 plus under par this week.”

Ricardo Gonzalez and Thorbjørn Olesen were two players who managed to finish their first rounds,  each signing for a pair of -6 under par 66’s, and currently tied in fourth spot.

Tiger Woods made a more reserved start with two birdies and a bogey in his first 11 holes taking him to -1 under par,before the darkness descended on the Montgomerie Maxx and play was suspended for bad light.

Play will resume at 8am local time on Friday morning, with the players finishing the first round before beginning round two, and with the tee-times the same as round one.

Euro Tour. KLM Open. Pablo and Miguel Spanish Duo Share Lead.

The Spanish duo of Miguel Angel Jiménez and Pablo Larrazábal share the lead at the KLM Open at the half way stage in Holland.

Miguel Angel Jimenez  (Getty Images)

Miguel Angel Jimenez /Getty Images

Miguel fired a bogey free -3 under par 67 for his total score of -9 under par for the tournament. He is hoping that it will be his turn to win this week, after missing out last week in Switzerland;

“This course suits me, it’s not a very long course but you have to have the ball in position. I like this kind of links course and I feel very comfortable with my game. I didn’t manage to get the win in Switzerland last week, but maybe this week it will be my turn, I hope so.”

Pablo had two bogey’s in his second round -4 under par 66, to also reach -9 under par for the tournament at the Kennemer Golf Club, He said he had lost count of the putts he had missed on the back nine in a wet afternoon. Playing with Miguel tomorrow would be good, and a lot of fun;

“I’m happy, I’m hitting the ball as good as ever. I don’t know how many putts I missed today on that back nine. But I am on top of the leaderboard at the moment, the conditions were not good this afternoon, it was raining all the way so I am very happy with my game. It’s always good, we spend many practice rounds together, maybe 95 per cent we play together. We know each other well and have a lot of fun. We have a lot of dinners together.”

Simon Dyson, who won at Kennemer in 2006 and 2009 shot a bogey free -7 under par 63 second round, to finish tied in second place at -8 under par. Simon reported that he had a really solid round, and knows he can play well here;

“I’ve done well in previous years and played well around it today. I played really solid apart from the last two holes and never looked like making bogey. I hit a poor tee shot on the eighth, which was my 17th, and the lie determined the shot I had to play. I had quite a lot of room to pitch it on the green but had a terrible lie so had to play a little bump and run, a proper links shot, and managed to play it well. 
On the last I didn’t quite strike the chip as I wanted to but it was nice to roll the putt in and have a bogey-free round.”

Joining Simon in second place are Oliver Fisher and Julien Quesne, both players had a second round score of -5 under par 65, Julien bogey free and Oliver carding one bogey.

Top placed Dutchman is now Joost Luiten, a second round -5 under par 65 got him into a tie for seventh place at -6 under par. Missing the cut were Paul Casey and Padraig Harrington. Paul had shown signs of recovery lately but has slipped back, Padraig continues his disappointing season.

EURO Tour. Omega European Masters. Anirban Lahri Leads.

Anirban Lahri leads the Omega Masters European Tour event in Switzerland at the stunningly beautiful Crans-sur-Sierre.

Anirban Lahiri   (Getty Images)

Anirban Lahri / Getty Images

Anirban, from India, shot an opening round -8 under par 63, to lead the Omega European Masters by two strokes from a chasing pack of three players. He had to play through the pain barrier because he is still nursing a twisted knee, an injury he received after falling awkwardly four weeks ago. There is a sense of  déjà vu here as Anirban also held a share of the first round clubhouse lead last year, only to miss the cut when the weather turned on day two. He mentioned his knee and the missed cut last year;

” I’ve a history with my knee as I tore my ACL when I was 15 so it was tough. I didn’t hit balls for 15 days. Monday was probably my fourth round in a month. I came in with no expectations and just wanted to enjoy my golf and that’s probably what’s happening out there today. It was a tough pill to swallow last year but I’ve learnt a lot from that. The weather was so much colder and it was a big adjustment for me. It was a harsh lesson, but a lesson for life nevertheless.”

Tied in second place at -6 under par with rounds of  65 are the very experienced Miguel Angel Jiménez, the still slowly improving Paul Casey, and recent winner Tommy Fleetwood.

Tommy missed the cut the week after his recent win at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, but feels better about himself now;

“I felt a lot better about my game from Monday onwards, it was a hard week.  I wasn’t prepared for how hectic it would be. It was my first win and hard to take and it was a big comedown but hopefully I’ll be more prepared for my next win.”

Miguel is making his 25th consecutive appearance in the event, and is also the 2010 winner. He was satisfied with his opening effort and also said he knows this course like the back of his hand;

” It is a very nice start, I played very well today. I can play this course with my eyes closed!”

Thomas Björn took the title out of Miguel’s grasp last year, and he is just one shot further back at -5 under par.

 

The Irish Open. Casey Captures Title at Carton

Paul Casey captured The Irish Open title at Carton House Golf Course with a brilliant closing round in tough conditions of -5 under par 67 for total of -14 under par and a three shot win.

Paul Casey  (Getty Images)

Paul Casey / Getty Images

Paul returned to form in sensational style since his problems with form and fitness since winning his last European Tour title two and a half years ago. He really enjoyed the sweet redemption;

“It’s incredibly sweet, it’s been a while and when that putt went in half of it was relief and half of it was satisfaction. What a grandstand finish, winning an Irish open is an absolute dream. I was feeling wet when it rained. It was a shaky start, I didn’t hit the ball particularly close going out but when the putts did start to go in I got on a bit of a roll. I love playing in Ireland, I always have. The Irish Open has great history,  just looking at Seve’s name on the trophy. We’ve had some interesting weather but they’ve turned out as Irish fans always do and I love playing in front of Irish crowds, I’m looking forward to coming back.”

Overnight leader Dutchman Joost Luiten, struggled in the final round carding a +3 over par 74, to tie for second place with  England’s Robert Rock, both players finished on -11 under par. Joost was happy to finish in second place;

All in all, a good week, second place is always good, but if you go in the last round as the leader, you want to have more, but sometimes you can’t.”

Robert said he wanted to win, but it was a good performance;

“It’s as good as I’ve done in a while. When you’re that close, you want to win, but Paul played the better golf around the important part of the day where the rain came down. There were some shots I should have played better; things to work on.”

Spain’s Pablo Larrazábal finished fourth place, after a closing +4 over par 75, with former Ryder Cup captain José María Olazábal a shot further back in a share of fifth position on-8 under par, with Shane Lowery, Gareth Shaw, Alvaro Quiros and Rafa Cabrera-Bello.