Valspar Championship. Senden Squeezes In for a Win.

dragon logo darkValspar Championship Logo Ozzie John Senden squeezes in to win the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook.

John Senden / Getty Images

John squeezed in with two birdies at the death, on the 17th and 18th holes to complete his final round at -1 under par and a winning total of -7 under par. On a wild and windy day at Innisbrook the tournament was always in the balance until John broke through with those two decisive birdies.

 This one-shot victory was John’s first on the PGA TOUR in more than seven years and sends the 42-year-old Australian to the Masters next month. He spoke about the wild conditions;

“I just love the way the course blows, the scoring always stays under double figures here, and I felt if I could just stay in the moment that I was swinging well enough to go out there and give it a shake. I got a little bit busy in the mind going up the last hole. But I managed to hit a nice second shot and the putt was really the icing on the cake when it went down to around two inches.”

Kevin Na, who started the day one shot off the lead, finished in the same place, at -6 under par, and in second place following a disappointing final round of +1 over par 72.

Scott Langley was in third place finishing at -5 under par, a final round -1 under par 70 kept him above the group who were at -4 under par.

That group included Luke Donald, Will MacKenzie and Robert Garrigus, who had led going into Sunday but suffered a nightmare front nine, going out in 41 shots. He eventually ended up with a score of  + 4 over par 75.

Justin Rose carded a +3 over par 74 including a hat-trick of bogeys from the 11th onwards as he completed his tournament on -2 under par, in a tie for 8th place.

Valspar Championship. Garrigus Gallop Cut Short.

dragon logo darkValspar Championship Logo The gallop of Robert Garrigus at the Valspar Championship was cut short on Saturday at Innisbrook. 

A pair of short misses brought Garrigus back to the field a bit on Saturday. (Greenwood/Getty Images)

Robert Garrigus / Getty Images

Robert expensively missed two short putts on his back nine and had to settle for a -1 under par third round of 70 on the Copperhead Course. That reduced his advantage at the top of the leaderboard to a one-shot lead in the Valspar Championship, as he posted -8 under par in the competition.

Robert still managed to enjoy himself out there;

” I had fun, I’m in a good position. If I play a good round tomorrow, if I shoot under par, they’re going to have to come get me.”

Kevin Na had a third round -3 under par 68, for his total of -7 under par for the tournament and holds second place alone. He still suffers from the slow play tag that follows him around;

“I know how to play, I don’t know what people have said, but I don’t think I should be criticized. It’s not fair to me, I already have that stamp on me.”

One of the low rounds today came from third placed John Senden, his third round of -7 under par 64 catapulted him into third spot on his own at -6 under par. John took his putting stroke from the practice green onto the course

“I just was trying to be free, trying to putt like I do on the practice putting green, I took it straight to the golf course today. Very happy to do that. There’s a lot of grain on these greens and ball seems to turn a lot when you’re putting. You’ve really got to take note of way the grain reads.”

” I’ll get out there tomorrow and try to do it again. I can’t control what any other player does, but I can go out there and do the best I can do. Hopefully I can be at the top of the leaderboard round about the end of the day.”

Justin Rose, -2 under par on the day occupies fourth place on his own at -5 under par. Retief Goosen equalled John Senden’s low round of -7 under par and is in the group at -4 under par.

 Luke Donald is at -3 under par, and definitely in position to capitalize on any mistakes the leaders make and perhaps steal a victory. Luke played like his game of old;

“ Kind of a Luke Donald round, that’s kind of what you need around this place. I never thought I was very far off, but around a course like this you need to hit fairways and greens and kind of make it easier on yourself because it’s tricky.”

“I’ve played here enough times, and seeing the scores over the last couple days, I knew a good round would shoot me up the board. So just try to play my own game and post something low-ish to get me back into contention.”

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.

 

 

Northern Trust Open. Sang-Moon Bae Steps up.

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Sang-Moon Bae steps up to take the lead on the 2nd day of the Northern Trust Open at Pacific Palisades in California.

Rock solid at Riviera

Sang-Moon Bae / Getty Images

Sang-Moon  completed a second round of 5-under par  66, giving him a one-stroke lead at -9 under par, before the round was suspended due to darkness, at Riviera Country Club. He said he really enjoyed the experience;

” It was really, really good experience, and I learned a lot, I improved a lot from last year.”

 Aaron Baddeley and Robert Garrigus are currently tied in second place at -8 under par, they have also finished their second rounds, Aaron with a -6 under par 65, and Robert with another round of -4 under 67.

Aaron thinks it is a strong test on the dry and firm course;

‘ It’s a strong course, especially when it’s dry and firm like it is. If you miss it out of position, it’s really hard to get the ball up-and-down. Today was good, because I made a couple good saves, but coming in I had some good looks and made them.”

Robert likes this course;

“I have pretty good willpower, so as soon as I stepped on the first hole this week, I’m like, `I absolutely love this place, and I’m really starting to like it,”

First round leader Dustin Johnson  dropped shots and also missed several good looks inside twelve feet. He was at – 6 under par following his second round of -1 under par 70, leaving him tied in fifth spot. Dustin put his poor effort down to some errant drives;

“I played pretty solid today, just hit a couple of bad drivers on the back, but that’s going to happen. But I still had a lot of really good looks at birdie and just couldn’t capitalize on any of them.”

WGC Accenture Match-Play, Semi’s Finalised

Four for the show

Jason Day Vs Hunter Mahan  Matt Kuchar Vs Ian Poulter / Getty Images

WGC Accenture Match-Play semi’s have been decided, Jason Day will play Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar will face Ian Poulter at The Golf Course on Dove Mountain, for a place in the final.

Jason Day beat off the challenge of Graeme McDowell, while Hunter Mahan had a tough task in ousting Webb Simpson.

Matt Kuchar took care of Robert Garrigus and Ian Poulter had a real old tussle with Steve Stricker.

Ian took control of the momentum of the match when he sunk a 40ft putt on the third hole, Steve Stricker laughed when the putt rolled in, but was not laughing when his own four foot birdie attempt missed and he lost the hole. Ian joked about the putt, which was reminiscent of his Ryder Cup putt against Phil Mickleson;

“It was 40 feet, left-to-right, right-to-left, right-to-left again, hopefully slowing down on the ridge, taking a left-hand turn, down the slope and then chucking a little left to right at the end to drop it, it was really nice.”

Ian was three up with three holes remaining when he missed the green to the right. Steve came up short and chipped to about three feet. While Ian was studying his chip to the green, a fan standing near Ian said;

“Pick it up.”  so Steve did just that.

Ian, the highest remaining seed left in the tournament, said of the incident;

“I think it was close enough, anyway, but for a split second, it was a little off-putting, and I guess I had to hole a 12-footer to finish the match.”

The semi’s tomorrow look like being enthralling contests, and I look forward to them.

 

Accenture Match Play Championship, Luke Donald and Justin Rose the Big Losers today.

Both Luke Donald and Justin Rose tumbled out of  the Accenture Match-Play Championship at Dove Mountain today. Luke crashed out & and 6 to Scott Piercy and Justin Rose fell to Nicolas Colsaerts 4 and 2.

Ian Poulter beat Bo Van Pelt 3 and 1 while Matt Kuchar dispatched Sergio Garcia 2 and 1. Louis Oosthuizen, an inform favorite for this competition fell to Robert Garrigus 3 and 2.

Shane Lowery continues his good form, beating Carl Pettersson 6 and 5, while another Irishman Graeme McDowell beat off the challenge of Alex Noren 1 up through twenty holes.

Bubba Watson continues his good form, beating Jim Furyk 1 up through twenty-two holes, a tense and tough struggle. Chucky Three Sticks could not continue where he left off when beating Tiger Woods,he fell to Gonzalo Fedez- Castano 6 and 5.

Martin Kaymer is still  in good shape as he defeated Raphael Cabrera-Bello.

This turning into a very interesting tournament, with so many top players falling over in the early rounds, there are no bookies favorites now, it is anybody’s tournament.

This how the match-ups are for tomorrow;

Match 49 (1st tee)
Match 49: 9:10 a.m. ET (7:10 a.m. local)
ROBERT GARRIGUS (2-0) vs. FREDRIK JACOBSON (4-3)

No player has made more birdies this week than Garrigus, who has 14 in his first two rounds at Dove Mountain. Garrigus has won 12 holes and lost just five. Although the 35-year-old Garrigus hasn’t played in a match play format in 18 years, he likes the challenge. “It’s a fun, fun format for me, especially if I’m rolling it well, and I am.” Jacobson’s opponents have made just two birdies against him.

Match 50 (1st tee)
9:22 a.m. ET (7:22 a.m. local)
NICOLAS COLSAERTS (2-1) vs. MATT KUCHAR (11-3)

Colsaerts will have the distance advantage off the tee; he and Bubba Watson are the only two players averaging more than 300 yards in driving distance this week. “If I’m on, I’m going to give myself a lot of birdie tries,” Colsaerts said. But he and Kuchar each have made an equal number of birdies this week (eight) and Kuchar doesn’t get phased by being outdriven.

Match 53 (1st tee)
9:34 a.m.ET (7:34 a.m. local)
SHANE LOWRY (2-0) vs. GRAEME McDOWELL (5-6)

For the second time this week, G-Mac faces a foe from Ireland, having already beaten Padraig Harrington. And for the second time this week, Lowry faces a foe from Northern Ireland, having upset Rory McIlroy. The two were expected to have dinner together Friday night. “A good craic and be a bit of banter,” Lowry said. McDowell has the experience edge, but he doesn’t think it’ll be a factor against Lowry. “If Rory didn’t intimidate him, I suppose what chance do I have?” McDowell said. The two practiced together earlier this week, with McDowell winning the stakes. “Hopefully I can continue that role tomorrow,” he said.

Match 54 (1st tee)
9:46 a.m. ET (7:46 a.m. local)
BUBBA WATSON (7-3) vs. JASON DAY (5-2)

Watson is the only player ranked in the top 10 in the world who remains in the field. He’s also played more holes than anybody else this week (39). Of those 39 holes, he’s only trailed after one hole. Both players are long off the tee, so Day doesn’t expect to give up much ground in distance. “I’m driving the ball really, really nicely,” he said.

Match 51 (10th tee)
9:10 a.m. ET (7:10 a.m. local)
SCOTT PIERCY (2-0) vs. STEVE STRICKER (14-9)

Piercy is coming off a surprisingly easy 7-and-6 win over top-seeded and world No. 2 Luke Donald. The Accenture Match Play Championship rookie now faces another former champion in Steve Sticker, who was taken to 21 holes by Nick Watney in the second round. Stricker acknowledged that while he wasn’t surprised to see Piercy win, the lop-sided nature of that victory “does catch your attention.” Piercy played his 12 holes on Friday in 7 under, too. “Maybe he used them all up today.”

Match 52 (10th tee)
9:22 a.m. ET (7:22 a.m. local)
TIM CLARK (7-7) vs. IAN POULTER (20-9)

These two players couldn’t be more different — the flashy Poulter and the steady-Eddy Clark. Poulter, who made seven birdies and no bogeys in beating Bo Van Pelt 3 and 1 in the second round, has prospered at Dove Mountain, too, winning in 2010 and reaching the consolation finals five years earlier. Clark, on the other hand, has never advanced past the third round and admits the 7,791-yard course is a challenge for a man who ranks 176th in driving distance. “On a day like today, I just accepted that and went about hitting good wedge shots,” said Clark, who beat Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen 3 and 2, “Sometimes if I can do that maybe I can get under the skin of my opponent.”

Match 55 (10th tee)
9:34 a.m. ET (7:34 a.m. local)
GONZALO FERNANDEZ-CASTANO (2-1) vs. WEBB SIMPSON (2-1)

Both players lost in the first round a year ago as they made their Accenture Match Play Championship debuts. In fact, until Fernandez-Castano, a former Spanish Amateur champ, beat Francesco Molinari 2 up on Friday morning he had never won a match as a pro on the 18th hole. “I’m starting to love (match play) again,” said Fernandez-Castano, who has made fewer bogeys than anyone in the field. Simpson, who has been sick most of the week, has only hit 50 percent of his greens in regulation, including just 10 in 18 holes on Friday, to rank last among the players remaining. He’s an opportunistic putter, though, which has carried him through the week.

March 56 (10th tee)
9:46 a.m. ET (7:46 a.m. local)
MARTIN KAYMER (11-5) vs. HUNTER MAHAN (12-4)

These two know what it takes to win at Dove Mountain. Mahan is the defending champion while Kaymer reached the title tilt in 2011 before losing to Luke Donald. The two have history, too — Kaymer beat Mahan 2 and 1 on the way to his runner-up finish in 2011. “It was a tough, really tight match, and he became a lot better player the last two years,” Kaymer recalled. “I have a lot of respect for him.” Mahan has wielded a hot putter this week taking just 44 rolls over 29 holes. “Confidence is high,” he said. “I know I can play this place well and I know I can beat anybody on any given day.”

CIMB Classic, Malaysia, Wonderful Watney Wins

           

Magic in Malaysia

Nick Watney/ Getty Images

Nick Watney shot a course record last round on Sunday of -10 under par, 61 to win the CIMB Classic at The MINES Resort & Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a tournament total of -22 under par. Nick had a chance to go for a 59, but a wayward tee shot on eighteen left him with a difficult approach to the green from the left rough. His effort failed to reach the green, and he was then left with a long pitch shot for par, he failed in his attempt and dropped a shot at the last. That mistake left Bo Van Pelt needing to finish with a birdie to tie Nick at -22 under par. Bo was seeking back to back wins after his victory last week in Australia. Bo also missed the fairway on eighteen, then his approach landed in the green-side bunker, and he got up and down for par, to tie second place with Robert Garrigus, who birdied eighteen for his -21 under par tournament total. Both players had last round scores of -6 under par 66.

Tiger Woods made the charge he promised after his disappointing error strewn second nine on Saturday. Tiger had a last round score of -8 under par 63, and finished just three shots off the lead, tied in fourth place, after starting ten shots adrift of the final pairing of Van Pelt and Garrigus. Sharing fourth place with Tiger was Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge, who had a final round of -5 under par, 66, and Chris Kirk who had an average last round of -4 under par 67.  Another really low round came from Carl Pettersson with a -9 under par last round effort, giving him seventh place on his own.

CIMB Classic, in Malaysia, Tiger Tumbles Down

 

 

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods/Eurosport

Tiger Woods tumbled down the leaderboard at the CIMB Classic at The MINES Resort & Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, shooting a third round -2 under par,69. Tiger had cruised through the front nine, reaching the turn in 30 strokes, after five birdies and four pars, but suddenly his round unraveled on the back nine as he dropped five shots to offset two more birdies on another stifling day in Kuala Lumpur. Tiger managed to put his ball into lakes, bunkers and onto cart paths to stall his third round charge, he said it was due to bad swings;

“I made a couple of bad decisions, bad swings on top of that, just all-in-all made too many mistakes and on a golf course that is playing this benign, you can’t afford to do that. I’m going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow, something similar like Bo did today, but probably being this far back, I’m going to need some help, a great round tomorrow might not win that’s the only problem.”

The round of Bo Van Pelt Tiger referred to was a super -9 under par 62, which puts Bo in a share of the top leaderboard at -16 under par with Robert Garrigus. Roberts third round was a conservative -2 under par 69.

At one stage Bo was thinking of a magical 59 but things went wrong for him;

“Obviously disappointing to finish with a double, but I look back on the 17-and-a-half holes I played well, and you know, hopefully that will carry over into tomorrow, not the last half.”

Chris Kirk is alone in third place, after his sparkling round of -8 under par 63. This golf course is playing so easy that there could be some really low scores again tomorrow, but Tiger can only hope the leaders fall over if he is to win from tenth place.

 

 

 

 

 

Coca Cola Tour Championship, FedEx Cup. 3rd Round Its Rose & Snedeker

Justin Rose and Brandt Snedeker are tied at the top of the leaderboard at the Coca Cola Tour Championship & FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Fit to be tied

Justin Rose & Brandt Snedeker/getty images

Justin Rose has maintained his presence at the top end of the leaderboard with a -4 under par third round of 66, for a tournament total of -8 under par.  He says he still would need some help to win the FedEx cup though;

” Little help from my friends”  (For example, he would  need Rory McIlroy to finish lower than 17th, that’s asking a lot. )” And Brandt, you’ve got to give him credit.I know he got off to a rough start on Thursday, and to climb back and tie for the lead being in that sort of vital top 5 is a wonderful performance. So he’s going to be the one out of the two of us thinking about it overnight.”

Justin is just concentrating on winning the Coca Cola Tour Championship;

“The whole year we’ve been grinding for the FedExCup, and it’s still possible. It’s not an easy golf course. Things can happen out there. But for me, it’s about one tournament. I wish I would be in the situation that Brandt’s in. I would trade him, but obviously, that’s the position I’m in.”

Brandt Snedeker said of his round;

” Probably one of the best rounds I’ve played this year. My first goal for this week is achieved, and that is to have a chance going into Sunday. I think something like 90 something percent of the PGA TOUR winners come from the last two groups, and that’s where I want to be in those last two groups. So I know get I get a chance to do that tomorrow, and it should be a lot of fun. I think the biggest thing tomorrow is going to be how patient you can stay because this golf course eats guys up that don’t stay patient. With all that extra stuff that goes with the FedEx Cup Championship and the TOUR Championship, there are so many reasons to get antsy. It’s just not putting more pressure on the shot than there already is, there is no make-or-break shot tomorrow. Every shot tomorrow is the exact same as it was today, and the exact same as it was on Thursday, to really embrace that.I did a great job today of staying patient. I missed four putts on the first four holes from inside 15 feet for birdie. You don’t have those kind of opportunities around here very often. I did a great job of staying patient, and when you do that, you tend to have some success.”

As far as tomorrow goes Rory McIlroy thinks 10 under is a good target score, but is aware the other guys want to win as much as he does;

” They’re not up at the top of the standings for nothing, they’re playing well. They’ve played well the last few weeks. So, yeah, I knew coming in here if I won, I’d win everything, and that’s still my attitude going into tomorrow. It’s going to be one of the most exciting Sundays of the year. There are a few guys still in it with a chance to win the FedExCup to win this tournament., so looking forward to it. Great to be in the mix, only three back, so I’m excited about the prospect of a very exciting finish tomorrow. You go play the first hole, and you see how you do there. Then you play the second, and you see how you do there. It’s all you’re really doing. That’s the way I feel like I have been playing for the last few weeks.”

Tiger Woods, Robert Garrigus, Matt Kuchar and Bo Van Pelt are only four shots back. Tiger said he is not just here for the money;

That’s not why we play. I’m playing for the W, and tomorrow I get a great shot at it. You know, all the money and awards and all of that stuff, that comes along with winning championships. That’s the way I’ve always looked at it, and right now I’m four back. If I win the golf tournament, everything’s kind of taken care of. I’ve done it before, I’ve been out here a long time, and just claw your way back into it, and usually it will take a round in the 60s. I figured the guys aren’t going to go out and run off and hide on this golf course. It’s just playing too difficult.”

Ryan Moore, Bubba Watson and Jim Furyk are still there at -5 under par, and the last of the possible winners are Luke Donald and Zach Johnson, they are at -3 under par and both of them would need an exceptional round tomorrow.

BMW Championship, World Number One Rory McIlroy Wins Again.

Driving away

Rory McIlroy/Little/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy, the World number one, won the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick, Carmel Indiana on Sunday with a strong final round of -5 under par, 67 and a tournament winning total of -20 under par. This is back to back wins for Rory and the third win in his last four starts. He won the PGA Championship last week, this now gives him four wins on the season. Rory said he is confident and playing well;

” I’m just on a great run at the moment. I’m playing well, I’m confident, just hope to keep it going. It’s great to be able to win events like this where the quality of the field is so good. The more you put yourself in this position, and the more you win and the more you pick up trophies, it becomes normal, and it feels like this is what you’re supposed to do. I don’t think I’m quite there yet, but I’m getting to that stage where I’m thinking, this is what I should be doing. I should be lifting a trophy at the end of the week. It’s been great, the last four, five weeks have been incredible, some of the best golf that I’ve ever played. I’m going to try and keep the run going for as long as possible.”

Two shots adrift of the leader were Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson, who tied for second place at -18 under par. Tiger Woods and Robert Garrigus finished tied for third spot with a tournament total of -17 under par.

Lee Westwood commented about Rory;

” I played with him when he was 13, and you could see it then. He’s just maturing all the time, as he will do. And he’s a very, very good player.”

Vijay Singh, who started in the final group on Sunday with Phil, slumped to a disappointing +1 over par last round of 73, finishing the tournament at -15 under par, five shots back of the winner.

Phil also praised Rory;

” A lot of people stayed neutral and Rory geared ahead “

Tiger Woods was also complementary;

” Rory is putting on a show out there, and we’ve got one more tournament. He’s going out there and is up near the lead and posts a good number. He’s doing the things he needs to do, and as he said yesterday, he’s feeling very confident about his game. Right now he’s just really played well, and he’s making a ton of putts. That’s a great combo.”

Final Standings for the FedEx Cup, the Tour Championship by Coca Cola at East lake Golf Course in Atlanta Georgia, to be played September 20 – 23, 2012.

 

1 Rory McIlroy
2 Tiger Woods
3 Nick Watney
4 Phil Mickelson
5 Brandt Snedeker
6 Louis Oosthuizen
7 Dustin Johnson
8 Lee Westwood
9 Zach Johnson
10 Jason Dufner
11 Bubba Watson
12 Sergio Garcia
13 Steve Stricker
14 Keegan Bradley
15 Luke Donald
16 Matt Kuchar
17 Carl Pettersson
18 Jim Furyk
19 Bo Van Pelt
20 Robert Garrigus
21 Adam Scott
22 Ernie Els
23 Hunter Mahan
24 Justin Rose
25 Webb Simpson
26 John Huh
27 Rickie Fowler
28 Ryan Moore
29 John Senden
30 Scott Piercy