BMW Championship. Horschel Flying High, Rory In Retreat.

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Billy Horschel is flying high at the top of the BMW Championship leaderboard at Cherry Hills Country Club.

BMW Championship

Billy Horschel / Getty Imges

Billy carded a third round -7 under par 63 and sits on top of the BMW Championship leaderboard with a three shot lead going into the final round at -13 under par.

Rory McIlroy went the other way lamely signing for a +2 over par 72, which leaves him nine shots off the pace and languishing at T10.

BMW Championship

A Sad Rory McIlroy / Getty images

A four putt triple bogey at the par 3 12th hole ended any hopes Rory had of lifting this particular trophy.

At the other end of the scale Billy sunk a 32-foot birdie putt on the 18th Saturday to post a 7-under 63 and take a three-shot lead over Ryan Palmer in the BMW Championship, he spoke about the positives;

“There were a lot more positives from last week to take than just one bad swing on the last hole. So, I knew coming in that I was going to play well.”

Ryan is not that far behind, scoring -3 under par 67 in his third round giving him a -10 under par tournament total;

“Rory, he’s No. 1 in the world, and Sergio has been up there for years, so, for me to come out and hang in there and play well, I’m taking the next step in my career, I think.”

Third place is shared by Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson, both have -8 under par totals, but will have to go low tomorrow to catch the leader.

Morgan Hoffman posted the low round of the day, a magnificent -8 under par 62, but can only boast a -4 under par total. Knowing he had to finish this week in the top three to make it to the Tour Championship next week, today he just went out and played golf, and at one point in the round was thinking of a 59;

“I don’t have anything to lose, so I was just trying to have some fun. It was possible with three more birdies coming in.”

“We were feeding off each other a bunch, we were joking around the whole day. Kind of just messing with each other, which is a lot of fun out there. It really helped our game.”

Morgan is actually just four shots out of third place. If he can go really low once more he could well make it to next week;

“I’m going to be going low and being as aggressive as I can, there’s no reason not to.”

Phil Mickelson withdrew from the BMW Championship, bringing to an end to his worst PGA Tour season in more than 10 years. He quit after two days so that he could rest up before the Ryder Cup;

“My primary goal is to rest and prepare for the Ryder Cup. Without a chance to contend at the Tour Championship, the most important thing for me now is to prepare for the Ryder Cup.”

BMW Championship. Sergio Soars.

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Sergio Garcia soars to the top of the BMW Championship leaderboard at Cherry Hills Country Club.

BMW Championship

Sergio Garcia / Getty Images

Sergio sunk a clutch putt on the 18th green to put some distance between him and the chasing pack of players at the BMW Championship. A superb second round -6 under par 64 gave Sergio his breathing space at the half-way stage of the tournament at Cherry Hills Country Club, posting a tournament total of -8  under par. A pulled second shot into the par five 17th, which ended in the lake, was rescued with a one putt par.

He was bothered by a strange medical condition with his left ear, but it clearly didn’t affect his golf;

“It’s happened before, but usually I kind of blow it and it gets back, but for some reason, it just didn’t feel quite the same. And it still doesn’t, but it’s definitely better. It shouldn’t be too big of a deal.”

“Obviously, it helped, because then I made 2 on the next hole.”

“It’s only Friday, so we still have two days to go, but it definitely helped my frame of mind going into the 18th tee, which today was playing quite hard. So it was nice to be able to get that up-and-down and then play 18 really well.”

“After a couple weeks where I didn’t play my best, and I didn’t feel quite that comfortable, it’s nice to at least put two solid rounds together here. I’m looking forward to playing well on the weekend, too. And then, obviously, get ready for the Ryder Cup.”

Ryan Palmer is alone in second spot, just one shot behind at -7 under par, a late run of birdies, on 13, 14 and 17, 18 helped him to his -6 under par 64. He thought the rains had made the greens softer, and more accessible and he was right;

“It was a great way to finish, I was glad I was one of the ones that shot low.”

Rory McIlroy and Billy Horschel are tied in third place at -6 under par. Rory was not too happy with his round overall, but was happy to birdie three of the last four holes;

“I feel much better coming off the golf course because I birdied three of the last four holes. I sort of struggled to get anything going today. It was a little cooler, so the ball wasn’t going quite as far, a little bit of wind, even though the course was softer, it still played pretty tough.”

Phil Mickelson is probably playing his last PGA TOUR event of the season, he needs to finish about fourth to qualify for the TOUR Championship but is 14 shots behind and in a tie for 63rd in the 68-man field.

Jason Day had to retire on the ninth hole, citing a back injury, but hopes to be ready for the TOUR Championship.

BMW Championship. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a three-way tie at the top of The BMW Championship leaderboard at Cherry Hills Country Club.

BMW Championship

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy was one of the trio, but should have been out in front, two late bogey’s at Cherry Hills Country Club meant he had to share the lead with Gary Woodland and Jordan Spieth.

Obviously Rory was not happy with conceding those two late bogey’s,

“I’m a little frustrated coming off the course, because I feel like it should have been better than what I finished. But you can see by the scores, it’s pretty tricky out there, so a 67 is a really good start, even though it could have been a bit better.”

“The scoring isn’t that good out there, not that it’s not good, it’s just not that low. It’s tricky. It’s playing a little bit like a U.S. Open. I wouldn’t say it’s quite as difficult as that, but it’s thick rough, especially around the greens, and firm greens. That’s what they need to keep the scoring the way it is.”

“It’s tricky. It really is, the altitude, we’ve had a couple of days to adjust to that. It’s fine. But these greens have gotten so much firmer over the last 24 hours. I think that’s what is giving the guys just a little trouble out there.”

Jordan praised his short game for his good score;

“Today, I had a good short game. I kind of almost feel like I’m back at a U.S. Amateur or a college event this week.”

“This is one of the very few events where I may have more experience than a lot of guys. So I’ll take that mental attitude the next few days.”

Gary mentioned the firmness of the course;

“Probably the firmest golf course we have ever seen, the greens, they’re concrete out there. So if we don’t get any rain, it can be pretty interesting by the weekend.”

“I drove the ball well, with the altitude, when I’m hitting it in the fairway, I’m giving myself wedges into holes. I’m able to kind of get in there and be a little more aggressive.”

“If you’re laying back today, the greens are so firm, you’re hitting long irons into these holes. The ball’s not stopping. So, it’s nice to be able to drive the ball in there and get wedges in your hand.”

” I’m still trying to win this thing, that’s the beauty about the FedExCup. You adjust after next week, so the goal is to move up as far as you can, and be in the top five going into next week, and you control your own destiny.”

Phil Mickelson shot an opening round of even par 70, and  is T22 in this tightly packed leaderboard, he also spoke of the hard conditions;

You’re able to hit driver on every single hole if you want,  if you miss it, you have some real problems.”

“You just can’t stop it, you can’t hit it high enough or soft enough or get enough spin on it to get the ball to stop unless it’s just straight uphill.”

 

Deutsche Bank Championship. 63 puts Ryan Palmer in Front.

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Ryan Palmer has placed himself in front of the field in the Deutsche Bank Championship carding a first round 63.

Deuitsche Bank Championship

Ryan Palmer / Getty Images

Ryan’s -8 under par 63 opening round has given him a shot lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. His flawless 63 upstaged local boy Keegan Bradley who had enthralled the partisan gallery with an early morning round of -6 under par 65, which had him on top of the leaderboard for most of the day.

 

Ryan needed only 21 putts during the day, his putter was certainly hot, rolling in an 18 footer on the final hole, he is hoping for a Ryder Cup pick;

“I don’t know what to say about it. It was one of my best rounds of the year for sure, I don’t think I’ve ever had 21 putts in one round. It’s been building all year. I keep telling myself something is going to happen.”

“I’ve been putting good for a while. My short putting has been good; my lag putting has been better than it has been in the past. It’s been a matter of hitting the iron shots close, giving myself more chances, and I was able to do that today.”

” Tom Watson keeps saying that he wants hot players, guys that are playing well at the end. I feel like I’ve got a shot. I told (assistant captain) Andy North, I’m going to make it hard on you guys this week.”

Keegan had to settle for second place, and is constantly thinking about the Ryder Cup, day and night;

“Every second,  when I’m sleeping, I’m dreaming about it. When I wake up, I’m thinking about it. When I’m on the course, I’m thinking about it. But I’ve just made the decision that it’s going to come up and I’m not going to try to block it out.”

“I’m just going to try to embrace it and be aware of those thoughts. The more I try not to think about it the more it comes in. I’m just embracing it.”

Jason Day, Webb Simpson and Chesson Hadley share third place after their opening rounds of -5 under par 66.

Hunter Mahan, Rory McIlroy and Jimmy Walker, the top three in the FedExCup standings last week were grouped together on Friday.

Rory carded -1 under par 70, the same as Jimmy while Hunter, last weeks winner, could only post +2 over par 73. Phil Mickelson fell to +3 over par 74,  he has qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola every year of his more than two decades on the PGA TOUR, that streak looks in serious jeopardy this season.

The Barclays. Two at the Top, Rory Recovers.

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There are two players tied at the top of  The Barclays leaderboard, Adam Scott and Cameron Tringale riding high, while Rory McIlroy recovers to comfortably make the make cut.

The Barclays

Adam Scott / Getty Images

Adam followed his first-round 69 with a second round -6  under par 65 for a -8 under par total, which he said could, and should have been better;

“I played the par fives in one over today, so I could find four there for you, and missed so many 10‑footers it felt like. It felt like it could have been a whole lot better. I hit it so close to the hole all day and it felt like I missed most of my putts. I’ve got to take the positives but hopefully a few more go in over the weekend.”

 Cameron made a slow start and was 3 over par on his first three holes Friday, but made six birdies and no bogeys to complete the round to post a total -8 under par;

” I kind of got behind the 8‑ball early and just kind of kept my head up and kept playing. I knew I was swinging well and if I gave myself some chances, I could make birdies. That’s pretty much what I did. “

Three players are sharing third spot, all on -7  under par for the competition, Kevin Chappell, Brendon Todd and the evergreen Jim Furyk.

Jim explained that he thinks it is just experience which helps him to keep contesting tournaments;

“There’s an argument, probably experience and pacing yourself probably comes into play.”

 ” I just keep seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that, hey, I’ve got all this time off coming up and I’ve been playing well, let’s try to keep it going, and I’ll be cooking breakfast and taking the kids to school here for a couple months.”

“I look forward to that and it makes it easy for me to play these last four events, because I want to play well, it’s an exciting time of the year and I know that you’re going to have a bunch of time off come the fall.”

Rory shot a -6 under par 65 today, to move to -3 under par for the tournament, and is now only five shots off the leaders. He reported that it was just practice that got him comfortable with his swing again;

“I went to the range yesterday afternoon, worked on a couple of things and just got comfortable with my swing again.”

“After not really touching a club before this week I felt a little bit rusty out there yesterday. It didn’t take long, maybe an hour on the range to sort of get things back on track, and I’m glad I did it because i played really well today.

“I’m going to have to get off to a fast start tomorrow to try and catch those guys before they go out on the golf course.” 

Phil Mickelson was one of twelve players who made the cut at +1 over par, on a strange day where he missed a very short putt, and played a shot from the hospitality area, which unfortunately led to a bogey;

“My drop was going to be in hay, I had a clear lie on nice ground there and played it. It wasn’t hard to make contact, it was hard to hit it on that skinny little green and get it to stop. That was it.”

Phil Mickelson thrills fans with shot from hospitality area at Barclays

 

The Barclays. Bo Bounces to the Top, McIlroy Makes a Mess.

Best golf putter by white dragon golfThe Barclays

Bo Van Pelt bounces to the top of The Barclays leaderboard, while Rory McIlroy makes a mess of his first round.

The Barclays

Bo Van Pelt / Getty Images

 

Bo opened The Barclays tournament with a -6 under par 65, which included an Eagle at the 594 yard par five 17th, the easiest hole on the course. He actually reported that he got off to a bad start to the year;

“Got off to a horrible start to the year but my game got better as the year went on.”

In a tightly compacted leaderboard there are eight players tied in second place, all carded first round scores of -5 under par 66. One of those guys, Englishman, Paul Casey, did his chances of a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup a power of good.

Rory made the understatement of the day after his +3 over par 73 first round at Ridgewood Country Club;

“I just wasn’t very good. It’s very important here, if you are going to miss greens, miss it in the right spots, because I missed it in the wrong spot a couple of times today and it’s really tough to get it up-and-down.”

“I think it’s more to do with just not putting the adequate time into my game over the past week for obvious reasons. Fatigue isn’t playing a part, it’s I think just not putting the time in that I probably should have over the past week and I think I allowed myself that and deserved that. But this is the sort of consequence of it and I need to work hard on it this afternoon and go out Friday and shoot a good number.”

“A score like this would be tougher to take if I had not just come off the weeks that I had. But at the same time, I want to play well and I want to give myself chances to win tournaments. There are chances on this golf course to make birdies.  I feel like I can do that.”

Phil Mickelson also struggled during the opening round, shooting an even par 71;

“The golf course is just in great shape but the rough is very thick, and I missed a few too many fairways today, but had an okay start. Even par isn’t what I wanted but it was still a nice day on the golf course. I can’t get over what great shape the greens are in. They are just spectacular.”

PGA Championship. Magnificent Rory McIlroy Makes It His.

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In one of the best finishes to a Major tournament, in gathering gloom at Valhalla in the PGA Championship, Rory McIlroy came through to make it his and picked up the Wanamaker Trophy.

US PGA Championship

Rory & Wanamaker Trophy / Getty Images

Rory carded a final round of -3 under par 68, to win by one shot at -16 under par, holding off a great challenge from a resurgent Phil Mickelson.

In a strange twist the final two groups played together down the final hole, because of the darkness closing in. There was some discussion about this turn of events, the TV pundits saying it would have to be the players decision to do this, but it appears that it was the officials who forced them to go ahead. Not all of the players agreed with this ruling.

Rory just wanted to get it done before nightfall;

” I wanted to win this thing and get out of here, I never dreamed I’d have a summer like this.”

Phil had a fine last round -5 under par 66, and so nearly made it, posting -15 under par, a remarkable effort from the other generation.

Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler tied for third position at -14 under par.

Apart from the muddled final hole everyone was in agreement about the quality of this competition.

Unforgettable” and “riveting ” said TV anchorman  Jim Nantz. His commentating partner for the day, Nick Faldo enthused, “There’s plenty of color, plenty of characters. It’s fantastic, electrifying.”

Another TV pundit Peter Oosterhuis replied to that comment “And plenty of talent” 

From Brandel Chamblee on Twitter, “One of the best majors I’ve ever seen.”

There will be plenty more comments about this tournament, quotes from players, but for now I just want to get this story out there.