Deutsche Bank Championship. Kirk Wins, Beam Me Up Scotty.

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Chris Kirk had a “beam me up Scotty” moment as he won the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on Monday.

Deutsche Bank Championship

Chris Kirk / Getty Images

A final round of -5 under par 66 gave Chris a -15 under par winning total, and a two shot victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He said it was a big moment in his life, not just winning but maybe a Ryder Cup place;

“Biggest win I ever had, I may be a little bit more calm, but I was still freaking out a bit inside.”

“I definitely put myself in contention for one, if I get picked great. If not, I’m still happy with my win today.”

 

Three players tied for second place, at -13 under par, Geoff Ogilvy, Russell Henley, and the man everyone assumed would at least force a play-off, Billy Horschel. On the final hole the par five 18th, Billy was attempting to reach the green in two shots, to have a crack at an Eagle putt that would have won him the tournament. Instead he crumbled as he hit the worst the shot of his life, dumping the ball into the hazard short of the green, and taking a penalty drop, followed by a bogey score.

Rory McIlroy did not produce the expected charge, he cared a final round -1 under par 70 to finish in a tie for fifth at -11 under par.

So now it goes to Cherry Hills and all the usual suspects will be there, including Phil Mickelson.

Deutsche Bank Championship. Henley Hits the Top.

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Russell Henley hit the top of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston at the end of round three.

Deutsche Bank Championship

Russell Henley / Getty Images

Russell shot a third round -6 under par 65 to top the Deutsche Bank Championship leaderboard with a score of -12 under par. He said be believes in himself and thinks he can add to his two PGA Tour titles;

“I believe in myself, and I think hopefully you’ll be seeing more of me in the future, but this game is so hard, I don’t know.”

“You’ve got to play all four rounds out here on TOUR and I expect everybody out there to go play well tomorrow. Everybody is so good at this level and it’s so hard to compete and beat these guys.”

“Rory is having a great year, and a lot of guys are playing well. So it’s so far off, so much golf we play, to be thinking about too much. But I’m not really going to be keeping an eye on anybody.”

“One time I birdied the last five holes and shot 29 on the back nine, one time I tried to hold it together the last couple of holes and won in a playoff. There’s a lot of ways to win.”

“But I’m trying to not focus on that. I’m just trying to really enjoy it. Nobody is really expecting me to be sitting here right now. And that’s kind of how I like it.”

Billy Horschel is still hanging around, today’s -4 under par 67 good enough to give him second spot on the leaderboard at -11 under par, just one shot back, without he said playing too well;

“I didn’t hit it nearly as good as I did the first two days, at least in my liking. And I just knew, if I just kept making pars, not making any mistakes. I knew I was going to get some birdies somewhere in the round and it just happened to be the last three holes.”

“I played really solid. Me being patient today was hopefully a sign of me maturing a little bit and growing up as a golfer. So that’s a good sign for me and hopefully I can keep doing it tomorrow.”

Jason Day and Chris Kirk are joined in third place by the big gun Rory McIlroy, all at -10 under par for the tournament. An amazing turn-around from Rory, yesterday all over the place, today -7 under par 64. Chris Kirk also recorded the same 64, Jason a little more modest at -2 under par, struggles with the back nine;

“The front fits my eye, I like the front nine. The back nine you’ve got to pay a little more respect, because I think it’s a little tougher.”

Throughout the PGA TOUR normally the harder holes are towards the end of the round. But this course, I wouldn’t say it’s the toughest finish on TOUR, 16, 17 and 18 you can definitely shoot up the leaderboard if you’re playing well.”

Rory is feeling quite calm about his position in this tournament going into the final round;

“I’ve been in this position quite a lot recently, so I know how it’s going to feel tomorrow.”

“It feels normal, it feels like it’s what I’m supposed to do. It’s my job to go out there and shoot good scores. I’m not getting too excited about it. I’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow if I want to win this tournament.”

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.

Best golf putter by white dragon golfThe Barclays

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.

 

 

PGA Championship. Rory Hangs On.

White Dragon GolfRory hangs on to the lead at the PGA Championship at Valhalla.

PGA Championship at Valhalla

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy hangs on to the lead at the PGA Championship after a late charge at Valhalla Golf Club saw him post a third round -4 under par 67  for a one shot advantage at -13 under for the tournament. Three late birdies at 15, 16 and 18 has given him that one shot lead to take into the final round tomorrow. Rory admitted that the chasing pack closed up on him today, and was thankful for those late birdies;

“The guys got pretty close to me at The Open and today and I was able to respond on the back nine. It’s not the biggest lead I’ve ever had but I am still in control of this tournament and it’s still a good position to be in.”

“I just knew I needed to make a couple of birdies coming down the back nine to keep the lead or at least be tied. The two birdies on 15 and 16 were huge.”

“It’s where I want to be, it’s the best place to be in a tournament. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

The surprise package in second place is Bernd Wiesberger, who shot one of the low rounds of the day, a -6 under par 65 and hold second on his own at -12 under par. Playing alongside one of his hero’s, Phil Mickelson, inspired him today;

“It was a dream come true really, going out there with Phil, one of my heroes. I played beautifully today, I didn’t miss a lot of shots, set up a few nice opportunities on the last few holes especially. I’m very proud of myself the way I played.”

“It’s a completely new situation for me, only my second cut in a Major in six attempts, so I am quite a rookie in this particular situation. I have driven it really nicely this week and if I can do it again it will settle down the nerves and I am going to have fun tomorrow.”

Third spot belongs to Rickie Fowler, at -11 under par, Rickie carded a -4 under par  third round.

Tied in fourth is Phil Mickelson and Jason Day, both at -10 under par, and by no  means out of contention.

Jason made an incredible par from a swamp area on the 500 yard par 4 2nd hole, hitting with his shoes off;

“I was too lazy to actually get my shoes thrown over the creek. I either hit it in my bare feet or put my shoes on and have to take my shoes off. I was like, ‘We’re going to be behind, way behind. So I may as well hit it with no shoes on.’ It was a great four there, a lucky four.”

PGA Championship

Jason in the Jungle / Getty Image

Phil is suddenly enjoying his golf;

It’s so fun for me to be back in the thick of it, have a chance, being in contention heading into Sunday and not having to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning to tee off, if I get to tee off. So it’s been a nice change.”

” I need to play aggressive and make some confident swings early on and make some birdies. I’m going to be trying to make up ground on some guys that are playing really good golf and will be making birdies tomorrow. So I’ll have to make a lot of them.”