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

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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.”

 

CIMB Classic. Moore and NA Tied for Lead.

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Defending Champion Ryan Moore and Kevin Na are tied for the lead at the CIMB Classic at Kuala Golf and Country Club.

CIMB Classic

Defending Champion Ryan Moore / Getty Images

Ryan carded -5 under par 67, to post a 54 hole total of -12 under at the CIMB Classic, he shares the top spot with Kevin Na, who also had -5 under par today to equal the -12 under par total.

Ryan reported that last year’s playoff victory over Gary Woodland, on this course, gave him the belief that he can do it again Sunday. He also spoke about the constant delays, stopping and starting due to thunderstorms, which have halted play for long periods all three days;

“It can only be a positive, I’ve been here and done it on this course, so that should give me that little extra confidence going into tomorrow.”

“It’s tough on all of us, starting and stopping, it’s like another round of golf. You are starting again and you don’t have that rhythm and momentum of your round.”

Kevin said the opposition was tough;

Sergio, Ryan Moore, Kevin Streelman, Chappell, any of those guys can get out there and play well.”

 “You can’t set yourself an opponent, you have to play the golf course.”

Sergio Garcia shares third place with Billy Hurley 111, both on -11 under par. Sergio twice had to take penalty shots, but both times managed to save par;

I’m not trying to hit shots like that but sometimes it happens, after the rain, the greens were much slower, and I three-putted on eleven for bogey, and then I made some nice saves.”

Lee Westwood was hurt most by the rain delay, he was in contention at -9 under par when the course was cleared for a thunderstorm, but had four bogeys in eight holes after the resumption.He finished the day with a +2 over par 74, and at -5 under par for the tournament is now out of contention.

CIMB Classic. Rikard Karlberg Leads

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Swede Rikard Karlberg leads the CIMB Classic after the first round at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Malaysia.

CIMB Classic

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Rikard shot a first round -7 under par 65 at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, to take a two shot lead into the second round.

Returning from an injury Rikard said he just relaxed, and had some fun, but the lingering viral infection has affected his season;

It gets you a little bit stressed out, I just stopped almost enjoying the game. I was a little bit frustrated before the two last tournaments coming into this week.”

“Just enjoy it and have fun out there made a big difference to me, so I haven’t really thought about it as a big event.”

Tied in second place are Billy Hurley III, Brian Stuard and Angelo Que, all with opening rounds of -5 under par 67.

Top ranked player in the field is Sergio Garcia, he opened the competition with a -3 under par 69. He unfortunately is still suffering from putting problems, which I think is entirely down to that claw grip that he uses;

“It was one of those day where instead of lipping in, they seemed to lip out, and I probably had at least four or five putts that looked like they were going to go in and didn’t.”

Davis Love 111 is another player who had a good start, posting a -4 under par 68 first round, to sit in a tie for fifth place, he said he was taking it easy;

“I was a little tentative on some shots and not real sure what to do, I made some bad swings, but all in all you take 4 under if you haven’t ever seen the course before, so I’m pretty happy with it.”

“I don’t feel real good about a couple of those tee shots I hit. Physically, mentally I’m great. I’m relaxed now. The pressure is off of last week and all the excitement. Somebody else is cleaning up the mess, and I can go play.”

 

 

Tour Championship. Billy and Chris Show the Way.

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Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk, the in form people, are leading the Tour Championship together, tied at the top of the East Lake Golf Club leaderboard.

TOUR Championship

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Billy and Chris both recorded opening rounds at The TOUR Championship of -4 under par 66 at East Lake Golf Club. Although Billy’s wife Brittany is expecting a baby any time soon, she told him to keep playing golf;

My wife is totally on board, she’s a golfer. She understands what this victory and FedExCup Playoffs and what it all means. I’ve probably got the greatest wife out here.”

“There wasn’t much discussion. I brought up the question. She said you’re staying.” 

“I won’t find out on the course, because my focus may be taken away from the task at hand. But after the round’s over with, I will be flying home, spend a few hours and then flying back later that day or the next morning before the round of golf.”

“Having a chance to win $10 million and our first child on the way, it’s pretty amazing, especially the time of year that it’s happening.”

“Listen, Hunter Mahan did a great thing last year pulling out, but I would think if he was in my position with winning, having a chance to win, roughly $10 million more, if you had the TOUR Championship winner’s check and everything, I think it would be maybe a no brainer to stay put and keep playing and go home in between rounds.” 

Chris mentioned the solid rounds they both played today, and how good it was to go round with Billy;

“We both had a solid day, Billy’s obviously been playing some pretty incredible golf with winning last week and finishing second the week before.  And I’ve been doing all right myself.”

“So it was a comfortable pairing for both of us, I think, and the golf course played really, really well. It was tough, but very fair. And we both had it going pretty nice.”

There are four players tied in third place, Jim Furyk, Jason Day, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed, all on -3 under par for the tournament.

Patrick is in the unenviable position of choosing which caddy to use, wife Justine, who has recently given birth to their son, or  her brother Kessler, who him helped win two tournaments when Justine was not available;

“Depends on how Justine feels, what her comfort level is and what she feels like doing.” 

“I mean, whether she’s caddying or whether Kessler’s caddying, I know I can play well. I’ve won with both of them, played some great golf with both of them.”      

“Obviously it’s more of a family decision on what we feel is most comfortable not only for us but also for little Windsor Wells.”

The gathered media could only ask Bubba who was longest off the tee, him or Rory, great answer from Bubba;

“Who cares. Ask Rory. He could care less, too. Listen, all we want to do is win. We’re trying to win golf tournaments. Jim Furyk’s record, Corey Pavin’s record’s a lot better than Bubba Watson. So I wish I hit it like them, I guess.”

Rory had a slow start to this tournament, currently at -1 under par, along with Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler and Ryan Palmer.

BMW Championship. Billy Lifts BMW Championship Trophy.

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Billy Horschel lifts the BMW Championship Trophy at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver.

BMW Championship

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Billy held it all together while those around him faltered, his final round -1 under par enough to give him the BMW Championship with a -14 under par tournament total.

Last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship he was tied second, a win this week, what is his prediction for the The TOUR Championship next week ?;

“I’m not going to go ahead and guarantee a victory right now, but I will say that I’m probably going to play very well and I will have a chance to win on Sunday.”

“You want to keep saying negative things to me, that just adds fuel to my fire, I’m going to stick it to you every time. If I was a betting man, I would put some money on me.”

Billy was not too impressed with his -1 under par final round effort;

“I didn’t have my great stuff, I had been holding it for way too many holes. I just felt like, you know, I can sort of relax now.”

Bubba Watson had to settle for second place, a last round -4 under par 66 not good enough to make a challenge, finishing two shots behind at -12 under par, he laid the blame on poor putting;

” You’re going to have weeks like that, and I’ll take it. It’s one of those things where I had a shot, second place is a start in the right direction.”

“10 million bucks worth of putts wouldn’t be too bad.”

Morgan Hoffman took third place, a superb last round of -7 under par 63 and -11 under par total, it was also good enough to get him into the top 30 for The TOUR Championship next week, his first ever appearance. He will also get to play the Majors, with friend Rickie Fowler;

“It means the world to me.”

“It’s going to be really exciting to play in the majors with him next year, it’s always been a dream of mine to play in the Masters.”

“I didn’t really hit it much better on the weekend than the first two days.”

 

Sergio was cruising along and seemed almost certain to catch Billy, or at least bring some pressure to bear, unfortunately he failed miserably when he carded an eight at the par 5, 17th, some very poor chip shots costing him dearly, and he was only 89 yards from the green.

He tweeted;

“Shame about the 17th today but still very happy with the week. Looking forward to the @playofffinale!”

“It’s what happens when you’re not just mentally sharp.”

Ryan Palmer had it going, until the 12th, which he bogeyed, then followed that with a double on 13th and two more bogey’s at the end, on 15 and 18.

He finished with a +1 over par 71 and -9 under par total, a rare shank started the rot;

“It wasn’t very good, obviously, it came out straight right.”

“You know, it’s a fickle game.”

Rory McIlroy tweeted that just in case you missed his four-putt yesterday, he did it again today.

This is how the top five line up for next weeks TOUR Championship

1. Chris Kirk 2. Billy Horschel 3. Bubba Watson 4. Rory McIlroy 5. Hunter Mahan

The strange thing is Dustin Johnson is in 30th place, the last qualifying spot, and he can not play, so why can they not call up the next man in line. Stuart Appleby ?

 

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

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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.

W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational. Rory Resplendent.

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Rory McIlroy was resplendent in winning the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, overcoming a three shot deficit to win by two shots, and in doing so became World Number One again.

WGC Bridgestone Invitational

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Rory returned a final round of -4 under par 66 to post a winning total -15 under par to win the WGC Bridgestone Invitational by two shots, again, over Sergio Garcia. At the post match interview Rory stressed the importance of his well-behaved driver;

“If you’re hitting arguably the hardest club in your bag that well, then the other stuff should sort of fall in line. Whenever I drive the ball well, I always put myself in positions where I can attack flags and try and make birdies, but when I’m swinging it well with a driver that sort of funnels through the rest of my game.”

The big thing for me is if you let it affect you mentally, it makes it more difficult, if you can stay strong mentally when you’re going through the struggles you always seem to come out the other side OK. It’s when it affects you mentally you can start to lose confidence, then you’re losing confidence in your swing. It can spiral out of control, kind of like I did last summer.”

“It’s the most comfortable I’ve ever felt trying to close out a golf tournament out there today. I felt normal. I felt like it was the first round or the second round. It didn’t feel like a fourth round. What I am really proud of this week is following on from The Open with a performance like this.”

“I said straight after I did not want any let down, I wanted to keep going and performing until the end of the season. It’s great to come to one of my favourite tournaments of the year and to perform like this I am pretty satisfied.”

Sergio’s putting problems resurfaced, he carded a +1 over par 71, for his -13 under par total;

“I didn’t feel comfortable on the greens at all, with the spin of the greens changing quite dramatically after the rain, they got a little bit;  they were quite slow for the last three days.”

“I started kind of second-guessing myself every single putt, and because of that, I didn’t; the good putt I hit, I misread, and the bad ones, obviously, weren’t going the right direction either.”

Marc Leishman finished in third position on his own at -13 under par, another steady round of -3 under par 67, keeping him near the top of the leaderboard, where he has been all week.

Adam Scott missed his chance to stay at World Number One, shooting a last round +1 over par 71, to finish in a tie for 8th, he bogeyed three of his final five holes;

“I was pretty scratchy every round this week, so I was scrambling a bit, and that was good. But just lost my rhythm a little bit on a couple of holes on the back nine. Couldn’t scramble hard enough.”

” It’s all good, it’s been a lot of fun. Obviously, Rory’s in incredible form at the moment. He’ll be the man to beat next week, by the looks of things, and I’ll be gunning for him for sure.”

Phil suddenly found some real form with a final round -8 under par 62, and a T15 place, so he could be a contender next week at the PGA;

“This was a big day for me heading into next week because I feel like I’m not trying to search and find it on Thursday. I feel like my game is right there. I feel like I found what I’m looking for. I just have to keep it going and build on today’s round and put together four good, solid rounds.”

“I don’t know what will happen next week, but if I play well, I’ll look back to today’s round as being the key point.”

Tiger had to withdraw from the tournament, citing back problems, it is unlikely that he will appear next week.