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.

Alstom Open de France. Kevin Stadler Leads on Day 1

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American Kevin Stadler leads the Alstom Open de France on day 1 at Le Golf National in Paris.

Kevin Stadler  (Getty Images)

Kevin Stadler / Getty Images

Kevin put together an opening round of -7 under par 64 to lead the French Open in Paris by one shot. He was delighted by his bogey free opener;

“It’s one of my best rounds of the year for sure, to not make a bogey out there is something I didn’t think was possible when I first played it. It’s instantly one of my favourite courses ever, I thought it was spectacular from hole one to the end.”

“They talk about the last four holes but they are doing a discredit to the previous 14. I have always wanted to come over here, the guys in the US tell me it’s one of the best events of the year and it has not let me down. It has been fantastic.”

Close behind after a first round -6 under par 65 is Marcel Siem from Germany, who is just that one shot back. What is interesting is that Germany play France in the World Cup in Brazil this weekend, and it will interesting to see who comes out on top here in Paris between these two golfers.

Marcel admitted he was tired, was feeling the effects of coping with his enlarged family, having recently welcomed his second child into the world. He was also happy that the putts had started to drop for him;

“I was really tired , I can’t wait to go to bed. I said that to my caddie on the third hole, I need to get my batteries loaded up.”

“I always enjoy coming back here, I love the track and had a good start this morning. The putts finally started dropping, last week my putting was horrible, so I am really pleased.”

Stephen Gallacher is in third place, he shot -5 under par 66 in the first round, he actually played his first 14 holes in seven under par, before the wheels came off. Stephen is hoping to qualify for the Ryder Cup;

” I’m trying not to be too outcome-orientated, just think of what I’m doing on the course and hopefully it’s good enough.”

“I missed a putt to go eight under and didn’t do too much wrong on the last couple of holes, but that’s what this course can do. I’ll still take two shots better than my previous best in this event.”

The defending champion Graeme McDowell was six shots off the lead after a first round of -1 under par 70, while his playing partner and US Open Champion Martin Kaymer only managed  to card a +1 over par 72.

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Stacy Lewis Lifts the Trophy,

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Stacy Lewis lifts the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship trophy.

Stacy Lewis

Stacy Lewis / Getty Images

Hometown girl Stacy shot a final  round of -6 under par 65 to win the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship by just one shot at -12 under par. She remarked about being on edge, but loved the way the crowd cheered her on;

“I think a little bit of 18 was relief that it was done because I was so stressed out all day and so on edge just wanting to pull every shot off. But then it was just excitement to hear the crowd react the way they did and just the people just to go nuts. “

“I mean, that’s why I play. I play to get in the heat of the battle, to have that chance to win at the end. That’s why I play. And I want to see where my game is at that point because that’s the ultimate test, because if you can pull it off when the tournament is on the line, you know you’re doing some good things just to pull off those shots.”

Stacy had started the day four shots off the lead of  Michelle Wie, she responded by carding seven birdies against one bogey in her charge to the front;

“Actually I didn’t really know much. I knew when I made the turn obviously I was a few behind. Then coming down to 15 a fan actually yelled like, ‘You’re one behind,’ or something like that and I didn’t know where I stood at that point. So I got an assist there. But then I came off of 17, I saw that Lydia made birdie on 18, so I was glad that I had one more hole to play, I had a chance. I knew if I could birdie 18 and get in the clubhouse that would be a pretty good number.”

“These wins, they don’t get easier, you look at the names on that leaderboard, some great, great players. Lydia I think shot 65 today, Cristie played well. I mean, it doesn’t get any easier. But it’s also fun, it makes me work harder, it makes me want to be better and I think it’s good for everybody.”

Tied in second place at -11 under par were Lydia Ko, Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford. Lydia remarked that Stacy is playing great golf;

“She’s playing some awesome golf. she’s I think one of the most consistent players out on the tour right now. She’s having consistent top tens, like Michelle and I think it’s great that we’re playing in her hometown, and the best thing is she’s World No. 1 and they’re proud to say it.”

Cristie was ruing some missed chances;

 “I mean, I had my chances.  I just didn’t hit a good wedge shot. I actually didn’t hit a couple good wedge shots today and you’ve got to get the ball to the hole if you want it to go in, so I just left a couple short coming in.”

Angela said she had been putting pretty well, and she had enjoyed her tournament;

 “It was very steady, so that was good.  I hit it good all week, and more importantly I was putting well.  I think it’s more fun when you putt good.  So 13 and 14 I’ve had a tough time with for a long time, so they got me again, but it was a good week.”

” I love this place.  I love the community, the sponsors, Walmart, P&G, Pinnacle.  I mean, the whole place embraces us and it’s awesome, so it’s a good week.”

Michelle Wie had a final round +2 over par 73, tied in 8th place.

 

Travelers Championship. Kevin Crushes It.

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Kevin Streelman crushes the course to win the Travelers Championship.

 

Kevin Streelman

Kevin Streelman / Getty Images

Kevin carded seven birdies in a row to score a final round of -6 under par 64, and win the Travelers Championship with a -15 under par total.

“It’s probably my favorite nine holes on the PGA Tour, but you can’t plan for something like that to happen. It just kind of falls into place. I had 10 one-putts in a row, that’s something I’ve definitely never done before. I didn’t have too many expectations coming here.”

“I knew when that putt fell on 16 that something kind of special was happening. I was thinking about her (Sophie) on those last couple of putts. I was thinking, `You know what? If these go in, great. If not, great. She’s going to love me either way and we have a nice family vacation coming up either way.”

“When you’re in the zone like that, when athletes talk about being in the zone, everything is really slow, and it’s really clear and concise, and it’s very vivid, the lines are easy to see. The hole seems to appear bigger. It’s almost to a point it doesn’t matter how you read the putts because you just know they’re going in before you hit them.”

Sergio Garcia and K.J. Choi tied for second place, at -14 under par, Sergio said it was just not his day;

“At the end of the day he played really, really well, I feel like I played quite nicely and it just wasn’t my time.”

 

 

Irish Open. Wire to Wire Win for Ilonen

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A wire to wire win for Mikko Ilonen at the Irish Open on Fota Island Resort course.

Mikko Ilonen is presented with the trophy by Enda Kenny TD, An Taoiseach, and George O'Grady  (Getty Images)

Mikko Ilonen (center) / Getty Images.

Mikko completed a wire-to-wire victory by winning the Irish Open at Fota Island Resort, a -1 under par 70 last round was enough to keep his one shot advantage, and lift the trophy with his -13 under par total. Mikko’s victory was inspired by the wire to wire win of Martin Kaymer at the U.S. Open;

“It was very much a Martin Kaymer inspired win, I sent a message to him last week that I really enjoyed watching golf. I very rarely enjoy watching golf; I would rather play golf, but Martin’s win inspired me. It was nice to keep that lead all the way.”

“I made sure that I paced myself well and I’m not too quick with things and keep my head up no matter what happens, and I kept on doing the same thing all the time, tried to hit the fairway. I hit a lot of greens today and kept okay pace with my putting.”

“I looked back on the 18th green and I couldn’t believe how many people there were.  It’s nice to see , it was a very humble moment. I had a number in my head all week that I tried to get to and I missed it by a mile.” 

He is definitely excited by the prospect of returning to Royal Liverpool for The Open next month;

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot since I qualified off the Order of Merit last year. I am looking forward to it and hope I can keep this run going. I would like to go in between those big crowds on Sunday, so that means I need to be a little bit better than 16th.”

 Edoardo Molinari was in second place, at -12 under par, a -4 under par 67 final round taking him up the leaderboard.

Three players tied for third place, Kristoffer Broberg, course record holder, Danny Willett and Matthew Baldwin finished at -11 under par. Danny could only return a final round of even par 71, after his record 64 yesterday, he had to be disappointed.

Edoardo, Danny and Matthew have also qualified for  The Open at Hoylake after securing the three available places via the new Open Qualifying Series. Mathew edged out Kristoffer, due to his better world ranking.

Graeme McDowell struggled in the final round returning a score of even par, to dash his hopes of a home victory. He blamed a poor putting performance;

“Perhaps one of the worst putting weekends of my career when in contention. I let a lot slip away yesterday and continued in the same vein today.”

“So I’m kind of focusing on the big picture this week, looking at the summer and looking at the two Major Championships coming up and Ryder Cups and all kinds of fun things to look forward to. My game is in great shape and there are a lot of positives this week.”

Travelers Championship. Ryan Wants More Chips.

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Ryan Moore chipped in for Eagle as he ascended the leaderboard at the Travelers Championship.

Ryan Moore carded a 66 to take a one-shot lead on Saturday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Ryan Moore / Getty Images

Ryan carded a third round -4 under par, which included a chip in for eagle at the par five 6th hole. He now sits atop the Travelers Championship leaderboard at -13 under par, a one shot lead. He reported that he likes the grass here, and is used to chipping well on it;

“It’s just funny how weeks go. This is the type of grass and everything I grew up on, and I think I’m comfortable with chipping and the putting aspects on this golf course and I think that’s where the success comes from.”

“Today was a great examples of ‘It doesn’t have to be pretty’ to shoot a great golf score. I honestly didn’t feel great all day hitting the ball, but drove it well enough to kind of keep myself out of trouble.”

“I generally don’t tend to over practice here in general, but I’ve even cut back a little bit, I think it’s good. I’ve kind of showed up every day with a good focus and just ready to go play golf.”

“This is a tournament I really want to win and I know it’s a tournament I can win.”

Ozzie Aaron Baddeley is in second place at -12 under par for the tournament, he thinks it is possible to birdie every hole here;

“Around here you feel like you should birdie every hole. There are a lot of birdie holes out there.” 

Sergio Garcia, K.J. Choi, Scott Langley and Michael Putnam are all tied for third position at -11 under par.

Sergio is enjoying his golf, but not the exit of Spain from the World Cup in Brasil;

“It’s been a solid season so far, there’s no question I’d like to have played better at the Masters and last week at the US Open.”

“We’ve had such great six years with two European Cups and one World Cup. I wasn’t expecting for the team to not get through the group stages, but I thought the season was getting very long,  maybe they get to the quarterfinals, semifinals, they would play very well. But it’s different out there in South America for the European teams, so it was a little disappointing on that aspect. But there’s nothing that I can do.”

Sergio Garcia / Getty Images

 

U.S. Womens Open. Michelle Makes a Move.

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Michelle Wie makes a mighty move in the U.S. Womens Open

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Michelle Wie /Getty

 

Michelle shot a second round -2 under par 68 to lead the U.S. Womens Open at -4 under par at Pinehurst #2. That gives her a mid-way lead of three shots over the field;

“I can’t complain. End of the day yesterday I was thinking if I just did this again, that would be nice. But always finishing with two birdies is always great. It’s a grind out there. It’s not easy. Really grateful for the par putts that I made and some of the birdie putts that I made. I can’t complain, I’ll take it.”

“I’m just going to go out there and have fun, I’m really grateful for the opportunity that I have. Being in contention, having the clubhouse lead for now, I’m just really excited for the weekend. I’m really excited that I have chance and I’m going to have a lot of fun this weekend.”

 

In second place is Lexi Thompson, she also carded a -2 under par 68 today, giving her a -1 under par tournament total. Lexi was very happy with her performance today;

“Today went very well for me, I just stayed within one shot at a time and did my routine and had fun in between shots. Not really, didn’t really get stressed out about the bad shots, just went to the next one, go find it and I think that’s all about U.S. Women’s Opens. You just have to stay patient and there was a few birdie holes on back nine for me, on my second nine. So I knew I could make a few birdies there.”

Tied in third place on even par for the two days are, Amy Young, Minjee Lee and Stacy Lewis.

Stacy slipped back recording a +3 over par second round, poor putting was one of the problems;

” I didn’t hit the ball very good to start, then the putting just didn’t help. At a U.S. Open you’re going to have to make some five and  six footers, and that’s what I didn’t do today. I hit some bad iron shots but I didn’t leave myself in that bad of places, I just didn’t putt very good, but I played really good the last five holes. So I hung around and that’s what you’ve got to do at this tournament.”

“I like it when you’ve got to hit shots and think your way around and be patient. I like having those driveable holes, just to make it a little bit fun for everybody and kind of switch it up. But the USGA will keep doing that, they will keep switching things up. I hope it’s harder. I think four shots on a harder golf course is a good spot to be.”

Little Lucy Li waved good-bye to the big time, for now anyway, shooting another +8 over par round to miss the cut with her score of +16 over par. She can now go back to being an 11 year-old;

“I don’t care about the score, it was a lot of fun. I guess that it was fun because I had two great playing partners. They were really nice. I guess because I did a good job of staying patient and going to the next shot and not caring about what happens.”

Lucy Li, 11, is interviewed after her second round of the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

Lucy Li / Getty Images

 

Irish Open. Ilonen Leads in Ireland.

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Mikko Ilonen leads in Ireland at the Irish open at the Fota Island Resort.

Mikko Ilonen  (Getty Images)

Mikko Ilonen / Getty Images

Mikko carded a course record -7 under par 64 at Fota Island Resort to establish a two shot lead after the first round of the Irish Open. He recorded eight birdies and one bogey, and said patience was the key;

“It was a slow start really. The first sort of four or five holes I felt like I can’t get anything going, but I stayed patient and then the birdies kept coming. In the end I managed to hit a couple of good putts which was nice.”

There are three players tied in third position at -5 under par following their opening rounds of 66. Marcel Siem, Robert Karlsson and Magnus A Carlsson sharing.

Robert really enjoyed his day;

It was nice, I’m very, very happy. I worked quite hard when I’ve been at home since the Nordea Masters, so it’s been nice to keep it going. I’ve done a bit of work with my coach and things are coming together quite nicely. The long game was very, very good today.”

Graeme McDowell is back in a tie for 9th place in the log jam at -3 under par, while three-time major winner Padraig Harrington returned a -2 under par score of 69, which was matched by the defending champion Paul Casey.

Rory McIlroy slumped to an opening round of +3 over par 74, and will have to pay really well tomorrow if he is to make the cut;

“I still drove the ball great and got in the positions that you need to, but short-sided myself a couple of times, hit a couple of loose shots with my wedges and could not get a putt to drop.”

“I was pretty sloppy with the scoring clubs so I might head to the range this afternoon to work on those. I need to do better tomorrow to be here for the weekend.”

 

Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. Inbee Park Prevails.

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Inbee Park prevails at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, shooting a fantastic 61 in the final round at Grey Silo Golf Course in Canada to win the trophy.

Inbee Park

Inbee Park / Getty Images

Inbee shot a fantastic final bogey free round of -10 under par 61 to lift the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic trophy with tournament total of -23 under par.

Inbee reported that the winning feeling never gets old, and she is really motivated to get that Number one slot back again;

“It never gets old. Obviously, my last win on the LPGA Tour was last year about this time a year ago and it sure felt longer than a year. I came really close a few times, but I couldn’t hold the trophy for last year, so just really happy that I finally got that down.”

“Seems like today, you know, I put my putter behind the ball and it just went in the hole. It’s just one of those days where I don’t really need to try hard to make it go in.”

“You think I’m motivated now?  I think definitely I really kick started maybe the last week. Gave me some kind of motivation to go lower and harder on myself. Just, you know, I played great golf, just not enough. It was actually good motivation that I had last week and even though I didn’t get to keep that spot, it’s fine.  I feel like I’m playing better golf and I’ve got a lot of confidence from this week.”

“The putter is definitely the key. I’ve been hitting the ball consistently all year, just my putter’s just not been wanting to do its job. This week obviously it did its job.”

Cristie Kerr was in second place, three shots behind at -20 under par, she carded a last round -8 under par 63, and could not believe she still so far off the lead;

“I never looked at the scoreboard until I came off 17, you know, with a reachable par five to see where I was, and I was three back and I was stunned because I was 7 under for the day, you’d think you’d be close.”

 “Last two days, the last two days, I mean, I guess that second round where I shot 2‑under kind of hurt me, but this kind of golf course you’ve got to have four really stellar days and I had three really stellar days.  There’s only one winner so I have to be pleased with my performance.”  

Shanshan Feng was third placed finisher with a -18 under par total, she had a modest -3 under par 68 today and could not keep up with the low scoring of the two leaders. Lydia Ko and Belen Mozo were tied in fourth, at -16 under par.

 

Lyoness Open. Lundberg Lifts Trophy.

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Mikael Lundberg lifts the Lyoness Open trophy in a sudden death play-off against Bernd Wiesberger.

Mikael Lundberg  (Getty Images)

Mikael Lundberg / Getty Images

Both players had finished the competition at -12 under par, with Mikael carding a superb -7 under par 65 last round, to deny Bernd Wiesberger a home town win at Diamond Country Club.

I am not sure about the ethics of using a par three as the first play-off hole, but that’s what they did. Both players were on green with their tee shots, Mikael forty feet from the pin, Bernd was left with just 18 feet. The longer putt dropped in and the shorter one was missed.

Mikael played and putted well, and everything just fell  into place for him;

“Today just started off really well on the first couple of holes. I made some really nice putts that changed the whole attitude. I tried not to look at the leaderboards and do my thing because they are great players and they had some par fives coming up which I thought they would birdie, so I just tried to put a good number out there and hopefully it was going to take me somewhere close.

“It’s fantastic considering I’ve had to go back to the Tour School the last four years. As for the play-off, what can I say? I didn’t hit a great shot and Bernd hit a fantastic shot but that’s golf. Luckily I had almost the same putt on the 72nd hole so I had the line a little bit, but to hole that putt was fantastic.”

Bernd had gambled by not playing the US Open qualifier at Walton Heath, and needed to win here to be certain of qualification. He now has to wait and see the results from FedEx St Jude Classic on the US PGA Tour.

He said he was very proud of the way he performed at home this week;

“I can be proud of myself this week, I played good, not great. It would be nice to get a chance to play the US Open and if I get there I will be in good form as well.”

“I was happy to take the lead and I had it in my hands, I threw it away a little bit, I hit five bad shots on the 16th which cost me. I hit a better shot in the play-off but he made a great putt. He has not been in the winner’s circle for a while, he deserves it, but I lost it a bit. I would have taken getting into a play-off at the beginning of the day, but it’s a bit cruel now.”

The defending champion Joost Luiten finished in third place at -11 under par, a poor final round of even par dashed any hopes he had of retaining his title from last year.

He was obviously disappointed that he let a two lead at the start of the day slip away;

“I didn’t play great, didn’t get any good breaks and nothing went my way. It was one of those days. If you are two clear you want to win and finish it off and if you don’t do that you’re disappointed.”