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. Rory Roars into the Lead

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Rory McIlroy roars into the lead at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen.

Rory McIlroy   (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory recorded a course record at Royal Aberdeen, shooting a first round -7 under par 64, he reported that everything was on from the word go. He even drove the 13th green, while Ian Poulter was still on it;

“Everything was pretty much on. I controlled my ball flight really well which is the key to me playing well in these conditions and on these courses.”

“I’ve been working the last ten days on keeping the ball down, hitting easy shots and taking spin off  it and I went out there today and really trusted what I practiced.”

“I’m driving the ball really well and I feel if I can get driver in my hand and have an advantage on the field I should do it. Going out this morning in these conditions I thought anything in the 60s would be a good score so to shoot something better than that is pleasing.”

“I told Poulter it was a three-wood but it was a driver. He was on the green trying to flex his muscles. I’ve got off to a lot of good starts and tended to fall away. Hopefully that won’t be the case this week.”

“It’s more mental than anything but I am really comfortable with my game at the minute.”

There are two players tied in second place at -6 under par after opening rounds of 65, they are Kristoffer Broberg and Ricardo Gonzalez.

Ricardo is happy with his team Argentina reaching the World Cup finals, and also having his son on his bag;

“I think it’s one of the best rounds of this year and that’s why I’m very happy now. To make 65 on that wonderful course, with my son on the bag, that’s great.”

“I enjoyed the match and maybe this is the key to play well, to relax and enjoy the day. I would like Argentina to win the World Cup and also if I can win here it would be amazing. It’s my dream.”

Defending Champion Phil Mickelson was four shots off the lead after an opening round of -3 under par  68, that featured an Eagle, two birdies and a solitary bogey caused by a three putt on the 18th green.

U.S. Open Martin Kaymer Leads 1st Round.

 

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Marvelous Martin Kaymer leads the U.S. Open at Pinehurst #2 by three shots in the first round.

History not on Kaymer's side

                                  Martin Kaymer / Getty Images

Marvelous Martin shot a first round -5 under par 65, to lead the U.S. Open by three shots at Pinehurst #2. Although this is a great start by Martin, history is not on his side. No player has ever won THE PLAYERS Championship and the U.S. Open in the same year, something to think about.

Martin was modest on his appraisal of his round today;

“Exceptional, like at THE PLAYERS, the 9-under par is not normal. So no one should expect me to shoot another 5-under par the next three rounds, I don’t. So much golf to play, it’s a good start, but it’s nothing more than that.”

” It’s quite nice when you play late on Thursday, that you can watch some golf in the morning and try to adjust mentally. Wednesday night I thought that it’s going to be very, very firm in the afternoon, but actually it was more playable than I thought.”

The leading pack consists of four players, all at -2 under par. One of those, Graeme McDowell said he does not think anyone is going to run a way with this tournament;

” You aren’t going to make 20 birdies out here, it’s simple as that. I think the winner of this tournament is going to make 10 to 12 birdies maximum.”

Kevin Na, also at -2 under par for the opening round, thinks even par can the tournament;

“At the end of the tournament, even par is going to win this championship.”

That means if Martin Kaymer shoots even par from here on in, he will win easily.  I don’t think so.

Brandt Snedeker is in the huge group at -1 under par, he  had six birdies in shooting his opening round of -1 under par 69. Four of those birdies came in his first eight holes, and he easily could have carded a fifth but missed a short birdie putt on his ninth hole;

“I didn’t see that this morning when I woke up, the golf course kind of got me back on the back nine.”

World No. 1 Adam Scott was disappointed in his score of + 3 over par 73.  He thought he struck several good shots that went unrewarded;

“If the conditions are the same, I’d like to play the course in a similar way I did today. I think I can shoot five or six shots better if I played the same as I did today.” 

Phil Mickelson , at even par for the first round reported that he feels he always has a chance;

 “I get a similar feeling that I get at Augusta where I don’t have to be perfect. I can miss shots. I can miss greens and still get up-and-down. I always have a chance.” 

As always, this is the U.S.Open, and anything can happen, and usually does, looking forward to tomorrow, who will miss the cut?

FedEx St. Jude Classic. Ben Hangs On For Victory.

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Ben Crane started the final round with a four shot lead, and hung on for victory in the FedEx St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis.

 

Ben Crane / USATSI

Ben stumbled to a final round +1 over par 73, but had enough to hang on and win the FedEx St Jude Classic by one shot. His phone lit up with text messages pouring in;

“Oh my gosh, it just keeps going, how many can a phone hold? This is so much fun. I was just so nervous, so excited, so thrilled that my game has come around. I did a lot of praying, lot of thanking God for some fun days.”

“This win is different for me, I want to treat it differently and I really want to enjoy it. I don’t want to act like there’s five more behind it.”

“This has been a really tough year, I had to finally become OK with golf not being in the picture. I just felt like things were going in that direction and so I just got to the place where I said, ‘Lord if it’s not golf, I will love You.’ But if it is that would be really fun.”

Troy Merritt was in second place, his finishing round was also disappointing, a -1 under par 71, but -9 under par for the tournament was a good score.

“I hit the ball actually pretty similar to the way I’ve been hitting it most of the year, I made a lot of putts this week. That’s what you have to do out here if you want to contend and be there on Sunday afternoon.”

“Ben played great, hats off to him. Well deserved. He’s been struggling for a little while. Very happy for Ben.”

Webb Simpson had one of the lower rounds of the day, a -4 under par 66, which got him into a tie for third place with Carl Pettersen and Matt Every.

Webb is finding some form after a lean spell;

“It’s what I’ve been looking for, for a few months now, it seems. I came in this week feeling good after three weeks off, put together a good weekend and finally got some birdies there on Sunday.”

Phil Mickelson ended the tournament at -6 under par, tied in 11th spot. He is feeling good about his prospects in the U.S. Open;

“Pretty good, The way I drove the ball the last two rounds, I had an opportunity to shoot really low. My iron play was poor and my putting was pathetic. Sometimes I just have to change it up to get a little bit different feel.”

FedEx St Jude Classic. Round Three Incomplete. Crane Still Cruising.

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The weather is still causing havoc in the third round of the FexEx St Jude Classic, but Ben Crane is still cruising at TPC Southwind.

The skies were friendly enough Saturday to allow the final group to play more than six holes. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Ben Crane / Getty Images

Ben has only completed six holes of his third round at TPC Southwind, and is -1 under par on the day. His -13 under par total is still four shots ahead of the field. Play will resume at 7 a.m. local time Sunday, but Ben is in for a long haul, he will have 30 holes remaining tomorrow.

He began his third round at 4:50 p.m. on Saturday, that’s more than 24 hours after he  completed his second-round -5 under par 65, but started where he left off, making a 20-foot birdie putt to reach his -13 under par total;

“That was a fun surprise, I’m thankful it hit the hole.  At the beginning of the week, I never thought I would have been here.”

Troy Merritt is in second place at -9 under par for the tournament, he has completed seven holes of his third round and is currently -2 under par for the round.

Troy joked about getting out of bed early in the morning was the hardest part of the day;

“Other than that, I just hope to get it all in. I’ve made a lot of putts, I think I only missed two putts inside of 10 feet. Been rolling it well. Been keeping stupid in the bag pretty well and things have gone my way for the most part.”

 Troy has pledged $100 per birdie to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He led the field with 15 birdies in the first two rounds, and made two in seven holes in the third round.

“It’s a little extra incentive, it’s for a very good cause for the kids over at St. Jude’s.”

Sitting in third place at -8 under par is Peter Malnati, he also has completed seven holes of his third round with a -1 under par return on his efforts;

“If anything, today was kind of cool because we went out there in the second-to-last group and it was kind of low-key because it was so late in the day, there wasn’t a lot going on. It was probably helpful, honestly. What I need to do is to stay focused on my plan, and to have these distractions is just an added reminder to do that.”

“To get in this position I’m playing some good golf, so my confidence is pretty high and I believe in myself. For the first time all year, I feel like I belong there. There are some nerves, but I think that’s a good thing. I feel really composed.”

Phil Mickelson has finished nine holes of his third round, still at even par for the day and sitting at -5 under par for the tournament. His play is still pretty erratic, and he was upset at not making a birdie at the par five 16th, he even had to sink a 16 footer for par;

“I had a chance to get up and down, I think if I had birdied 16 I might have gotten one more with a little bit of momentum. I’m certainly not that far back, but I do need to get off to a quick start. I got to get a good front nine here this third round and get off to a fast start.”

Biggest name to miss the cut was Lee Westwood, there has been no explanation as to what went wrong.

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

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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.”