CIMB Classic. Ryan Moore Successfully Defends Title

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Ryan Moore successfully defends his CIMB Classic title, winning at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

CIMB Classic

Ryan Moore / Getty Images

Ryan became the first player to defend a PGA title since Tiger Woods accomplished the feat at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2012 and 2013. A last round -5 under par 67 saw Ryan lift the CIMB Classic trophy again, with a winning total of -17 under par, a three shot victory;

“It was incredible to finish the way I did coming down those last few holes.”

“I like to tell myself all the time that `I am a closer. Let’s just do what we can, hit good shots and let’s close this thing’ and I was able to do that.”

Sergio Garcia, Gary Woodland and Kevin Na tied for second place, all at -14 under par.

Gary lost here last year, in a play-off against Ryan, and his final round -5 under par 67 was not enough to catch his opponent this time around;

“The par fives cost me all week, I played beautifully outside the par fives.”

“Hopefully I can ride this momentum and play well next week.”

Kevin birdied three of the first four holes to take a two-stroke lead, but then things started to wrong, a bogey on 13, before losing his tee shot on 17, into a Palm tree. He had to go back and take three off the tee, which finally halted his charge;

“It’s my fault hitting a bad putt and it’s hard to recover from that late in the day. I never got it together before I hit the next shot and you saw what happened.”

“It’s disappointing when you know you had the lead and it’s yours, but Ryan did step it up in the end.”

Sergio was also undone by a Palm tree, he also had to back to the tee, on the par five 10th, that cost him a double bogey seven;

“After nine, I thought I had a chance because I finally got some things going after two or three lip-outs early in the round for birdie.”

“But unfortunately that double bogey kind of stopped me.”

 

Accenture Match-Play. Rose & Rory Out. Magic McDowell Survives Again.

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Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy crashed out of the Accenture Match-Play tournament at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Course on Dove Mountain. Graeme McDowell survived another match where he looked like losing, once again.

Graeme McDowell  (Getty Images)

Survivor G-Mac / Getty Images

Justin went down to Ernie Els, 1 up, while Rory lost to Harris English, on the 19th hole. G-Mac went three down after six holes against  Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan. He then birdied the seventh and eighth to get within one hole, only to then lose the 14th to be two down with four holes to play. Graeme won the 15th and the 17th, and rounding off with  a ten foot putt on the final green to seal a one up win.

He joked afterwards;

“Why do it the easy way when the hard way will do. I just got off to a slow start again, probably less so today. I was quite proud of myself when I got a half on three, so I was only two down after three, as opposed to three down. I tried to go out there today and execute my game plan and try not to give him any room, try not to make any mistakes, try not to give him anything, and he kind of played the same kind of golf back. He played very, very well. 

“I made big putts on 15 and 16. The 16th especially was a massive putt to give me the opportunity.I feel very fortunate again today. I’ve certainly expended all my energy and emotions the last couple of days, but thankfully it’s early in the season and I’ve plenty left in the tank.”

Louis Oosthuizen dumped out Henrik Stenson 4-3, and Webb Simpson dispatched Brandt Snedeker by the same score.

George Coetzee is still doing fine, winning the 21 hole battle with Patrick Reed. Jason Day took even longer to overcome Billy Horschel, 22 holes.

Sergio Garcia is going along smoothly, a 3-1 victory over Bill Haas, while Jason Dufner eliminated Matteo Manassero by 2-1. 

Sergio said he had fun out there today;

“It was good fun, we both played hard. We both tried to play as well as we could to beat our opponent and I was fortunate to be just a little bit better than him today.”

A resurgent Rickie Fowler beat Jimmy Walker 1 up, Matt Kuchar beat Ryan Moore by the same score. Jim Furyk took care of Charl Schwartzel 3-2, and Jordan Spieth was too strong for Thomas Bjorn, beating him 5-4.

Victor Dubuisson continued to impress on his World Golf Championships debut as he overcame Peter Hanson 3 -1 to progress to face former Masters Tournament winner Bubba Watson, who saw off Jonas Blixt at the 17th hole when Jonas lost his ball under a bush. ( would have been ironic if Jonas had got a free drop, wouldn’t it)

Some good match ups tomorrow and any of the remaining players could win, as Graeme McDowell said yesterday, this is a brutal format.

Waste Management Phoenix Open. It’s Bubba By Two.

dragon logo dark  Bubba Watson leads the Waste Management Phoenix Open by two shots on the TPC Scottsdale course going into the final day.

Escape artist

Bubba blasting from the desert / Getty Images

Bubba found only two fairways on his back nine but still carded a third round -3 under par 68, to lead the tournament at -15 under par. His drive on the par five thirteenth went into a desert bush and settled next to a burrowing animal hole, that would have interfered with his swing, giving Bubba a free drop;

“Right next to my ball was a burrowing animal hole and my club was going to hit it at impact. It was a big hole and the club would get caught on it, so, I got a free drop and could easily wedge it out. I was looking at a twenty or thirty yard shot. I held it together, stayed focused on what I was trying to do. Made a nice up-and-down on seventeen for birdie. Tough lie on eighteen and somehow two-putted to have a little lead. Luckily, nobody went crazy on me.”

Bubba is worried about slow play, he wants to watch the Super-Bowl;

“The back nine just got real slow and sluggish and I just kind of lost focus a little bit on my tee shots. We need to be under five hours tomorrow. I want to watch the Super Bowl.”

Kevin Stadler, a Scottsdale resident,{ lucky boy, I love the place} is in second place at -13 under par, following his third round of -4 under par 67.

“It was packed out there, it’s something you only experience once a year.”

Ryan Moore carded a -7 under par 64 to join Harris English and Hideki Matsuyama at -12 under Par.  Brendan Steele who roared round in -9 under par 62, the best round of the week, Matt Jones, and 2010 winner Hunter Mahan are tied at -11 under par.

Ryan casually mentioned his putting, a man after my own heart;

“Made a couple bonus putts.”

Hunter didn’t make a par on the back nine until the 18th hole, birdies or bogey’s up until then.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson is way down the score board, his third round +1 over par 72. Phil amazingly made a double bogey on the par three sixteenth, when he half-shanked his tee shot left on the 128-yard hole. He followed that with a weak flop shot into the bunker, blasted to eight feet and two-putted for a double bogey five.

Phil summed it up thus;

“It was a gap wedge. It was pathetic, I don’t even know what to say. I don’t remember ever hitting a shot like that even in practice.”

Looks like Lefty will be handing the trophy over to another left-hander.

Two Tournaments in Two Weeks in Hawaii; Seem Like Heaven to You ?

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Logo ImageDoes two tournaments in two weeks in Hawaii seem like heaven to you ? Well it apparently does not suit everyone.Twelve of the thirty players who teed it up at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course have opted to miss next weeks Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, a short island hop away.

2012 SOIH winner Russell Henley

Russel Henley, last years winner / Stan Bedz PGA

Last years winner Russel Henley carded  26 birdies against only two bogeys during the tournament, the only real defense the Waialae Country Club has is the wind. If it doesn’t blow then low scores are the order of the day.

Weather conditions this year are predicted to be similar to last years event, sunshine periodically shrouded by passing clouds and the occasional rain shower are expected, as are manageable trade winds and seasonable highs right around the 80 degree mark.

Excuses are the usual, Jonas Blixt ho has missed the cut and finished T-54 in his two tries at Waialae Country Club commented;

 “It just doesn’t fit me. I just don’t hit enough fairways to compete there. I’m just not very good at it. Honestly, we want to play, if I could play every tournament, I would, but you just can’t play them all.”

This from Martin Laird;

“It doesn’t set up well for me, if you don’t hit right-to-left you’re at a disadvantage. My high fade is not the ideal shot there.”

Apart from Jonas and MartinDustin Johnson has also pulled the plug. along with nine others who have chosen to play the Hyundai, but not the Sony. The missing in action list is pretty impressive;

Brandt Snedeker, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson, Gary Woodland, Ryan Moore, John Merrick, Kevin Streelman, Patrick Reed, and Billy Horschel.

Seems like John Merrick just likes to play on the mainland;

“I just really love the West Coast events, I’ll play Humana (the week after the Sony), San Diego, Phoenix, Pebble Beach, and LA. You just have to pick your spots.”

Ryan Moore also prefers to go home;

 “For me, it’s 100 percent a scheduling matter.”

Billy Horschel has a corporate commitment to CVS;

 “Six months ago we gave them some days for an outing at TPC Sawgrass for a military event, and we came up with next Friday.”

Patrick Reed just feels knackered;

“I feel like we’ve walked over Mount Everest this week, it’s just very hilly. Besides, the Humana (and Palm Springs) area is one of our favorite places, I’ve had success at Torrey and I want to be well-rested going into those.”

So, who is going to play the Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club in lovely Honolulu, take a look at this bunch;

Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner, and Jordan Spieth, these guys alone are worth the entrance money.

To tell you the truth I could easily live in Hawaii, visited there four times and loved every minute.

Nedbank Golf Challenge. Donaldson Dominates.

Jamie Donaldson dominates at the Nedbank Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa.

Jamie Donaldson  (Getty Images)

Jamie Donaldson / Getty Images

Jamie carded a -5 under par 67 in round three of the Nedbank Golf Challenge to lead the tournament at -16 under par, a three shot advantage going into the final round. It would have been a shot more had he not bogeyed the 17th hole, he said he was between clubs;

“I was in between clubs and it put me in trouble but in the end I came out with a good five. I’m still in a strong position and I’ve got to go out there tomorrow and play really good golf.  It’s a tough field, a lead of three doesn’t mean much among these guys.”

Thomas Björn and Ryan Moore are tied in second place at -13 under par, Thomas thinks he still has a chance tomorrow in the final round, if he can go low;

“I got off to a good start and played solid golf. That’s what you need to do on this course. If I can shoot 66 or 67 tomorrow, I’ll give myself a chance. But you have to play sensible golf, not try and chase down the leader.”

Ryan, a recent winner on the US PGA Tour, carded a -3 under par 33 front nine, before picking up two further shots on the back to complete a -5 under par 67 third round.

Five shots off the lead at -11 under par for the tournament are Thongchai Jaidee, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson.

Henrik will be ruing his compounded error, twice finding the water en route to a double bogey seven at the par four ninth hole.

Sergio produced one of the shots of the day, to chip in for an Eagle 3 at the par five 14th hole, and followed that with birdies at 16 and 17. While Thongchai went bogey free in his round of -6 under par 66.

Nedbank Golf Challenge. Jaime Donaldson Leads.

Jaime Donaldson leads the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa.

Jaime Donaldson / Getty Images

Jaimeshot a second round -6 under par 66 at the Gary Player Country Club to lead the tournament at -11 under par, and by three shots from his nearest rival. He said he had nicely but it had been a long day;

“I’ve played very nicely for the first two rounds and hit a lot of good shots so I am happy with the way I am playing. We had to play six holes of the first round and then back out after a 45-minute break for the second, so it’s been a long day.”

He carded one bogey, in a strange way when his shot from a fairway bunker at the par-5 10th hole unfortunately struck the lip of the bunker. and then his club, to cause a penalty. Jaime laid up with his fourth shot, and then managed to get up and down from 150 yards;

“These bizarre things happen and you just have to get on with it, in the end it was a good six!”

Tied in second place are Ryan Moore and Henrik Stenson, both on -8 under par at the half-way stage of the competition.

Defending champion Martin Kaymer and Denmark’s Thomas Björn are a shot further back, at -7 under par, while the eventual first round leader, after the resumption of play, Sergio Garcia slipped back in the second round with a +1 over par 73.  He shares ninth place with Luke Donald and a host of other players at -5 under par.

Before the start of play there was a moments silence for Nelson Mandela. The European Tour and Sunshine Tour announced plans to move up next week’s Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban, to a Wednesday-Saturday schedule in order to play four rounds before the state funeral Sunday, December. 15th.

CIMB Classic. Its Moore On Monday.

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Ryan Moore won the inaugural FedEx Cup event in Asia, the  CIMB Classic, on Monday morning in a play-off at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and County Club.

Worth the wake up

Ryan Moore / Getty Images

Ryan had to fight hard just to get into the play-off with Gary Woodland, hitting his fourth shot to within a couple of feet from 60 yards in Sundays floodlight finish. Gary was on the green in three, with a birdie putt of about eight feet, it slipped agonizingly passed, and Ryan made his par putt.

In the play-off Ryan hit an eight iron third shot to the 18th par five green to about five feet, setting up a birdie attempt, which he duly converted. He said that he had been out practicing that exact shot out on the range before play;

 “I had a great opportunity there on 18 with my third shot and it was just an absolute perfect number. It was coincidentally the exact shot I was working on on the range. I’ve always enjoyed playing in the fall. I’m not sure why, it’s actually kind of funny, I won a week before my son was born last year; I won a week after his birthday this year. Now that it counts, now that it’s a full FedExCup event and counts as a win on the PGA TOUR, it does so much for you. To get a win this early in the season, it’s just incredible, to be able to get some FedExCup points racked up,” 

Gary was still talking about the missed opportunity on Sunday, saying in the daylight today he could see the extra break in the putt that he missed in the gloom;

“Obviously I’d like to make that putt, I hit it where I wanted to, it just broke more. I can see it now, it was a little lighter out right now, I can see it broke a little more, but it is what it is. I put a lot of hard work in, it’s been a process with the changes I’ve made, switching to Butch and his son, and it’s finally starting to come together, which is nice. I put a lot of work in on the short game, a lot of work on the middle game, and we’re starting to put it together now.”