Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Brilliant Ben Martin Wins

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A brilliant putting performance from Ben Martin wins him his first PGA Tour event, the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, in Las Vegas.

Shriners Hospitals For Children Open

Ben Martin / Getty Images

Ben carded a final round of -3 under par 68, which included two birdies and an eagle in his last four holes at TPC Summerlin, to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. His tournament total -20 under par gave him a two shot winning margin of victory;

“It was just an awesome way to finish, I didn’t really feel like I had much going all day, but to finish 4 under in the last four to cap my first win was just awesome.” 

In second place was Kevin Streelman at -18 under par, a -6 under par 65 was not good enough for him to win, but he pushed all the way.

Russell Knox was alone in third place at -16 under par, he was paired with Ben, and was witness to a couple of amazing birdie putts.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Ben Martin Leads

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Ben Martin leads the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas at TPC Summerlin.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Ben Martin / Getty Images

Ben carded a beautiful third round of -9 under par 62, to top the Shriners leaderboard with a three round total of -17 under par. He will now take a two shot lead into the final round tomorrow.

Ben said in interview he could no wrong today;

“It’s just one of those days when you get in the zone.”

“Feels like every single number I had was the perfect number. Every time I grabbed a club it was the perfect number.”

In second place at -15 under par is one of the overnight leaders Russell Knox, he shot -5 under par 66 today, which compared to Ben’s 62, seemed pretty average. He keeps the leader in sight, and with light winds forecast tomorrow, the scoring could be low once again.

There were three rounds of -9 under par 62 today, the last of them came from Jim Herman, who is at -11 under par, and tied ninth.

Jimmy Walker and Andrew Svoboda are tied in third place at -13 under par for the tournament. Jimmy equaled the low round of the day, -9 under par 62. Andrew carded a second successive -4 under par 67.

The top 16 golfers are within six strokes of the lead, including defending champion Webb Simpson, who sits at -12 under par after a round of -4 under par 67 today.

Webb knows he will have to go low tomorrow to have any chance of defending his title;

“I stayed patient and was able to get on a run, it’s going to take a really special round out of me tomorrow because I think we’re going to have light winds.”

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Andrew Putnam & Russell Knox Tied.

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Andrew Putnam and Russell Knox are tied at the top in the second round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Andrew Putnam / Getty Images

Andrew Putnam scored a second round -6 under par 65, to share the Shriners lead at the half-way stage with a -10 under par total.

Andrew was  just two shots off the lead, entering the final round of the 2013 Web.com Tour Championship, where a  top-five finish would have guaranteed him a TOUR card. He was only one round away from fulfilling his dream, but unfortunately shot +5 over par  75 last round;

I wasn’t comfortable in that situation, I felt like my swing was a little loose, so it was good to have one more year on the Web.com Tour.”

“I was able to tighten up my swing a little bit, work with my swing coach and improve a lot from last year to this year.”

Russell feels comfortable on this Las Vegas course, carding -4 under par 67 today, to share the lead at -10 under par;

“I’ve been in this position before on this course the last couple years.”

“I’ve played nicely and just haven’t really played well four days, so I’m off to a good start and hopefully two more good ones to go.”

Andrew Svoboda and Tony Finau are tied in third place, both just one shot off the lead at -9 under par; Andrew with a -4 under par 67 and Tony a -6 under par 65.

Tony is in unfamiliar territory;

“It’s a spot I’m not real familiar with on the PGA TOUR level, but on the Web.com Tour I was able to be pretty successful, so we’ll see how it goes this weekend.”

Funny thing is, if you check out the stats, Andrew Putnam only appears in the putting category, just proves how important putting is.

STATISTICS

Category Player Statistic
Strokes gained: tee-to-green Tony Finau 5.31
Driving distance Tony Finau 336.8 yards
Driving accuracy Steven Alker, Hudson Swafford 23 of 28 (82.1 percent)
Greens in regulation Martin Laird, Webb Simpson 32 of 36 (88.9 percent)
Strokes gained-putting Carlos Ortiz 2.79
Putts per round Kevin Kisner, Andrew Putnam, Andrew Svoboda 26.5
Total birdies Russell Knox, Spencer Levin 14

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Two Tied at the Top

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There are two players tied at the top of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Stewart Cink and Martin Laird lead at TPC Summerlin.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Shriners Hospitals For Children Open

Leaders Stewart Cink and Martin Laird / Getty Images.

Stewart Cink and Martin Laird both shot -7 under par 64 in the opening round of the Shriners, to lead by just one shot at TPC Summerlin.

Martin finished third at the Frys.com Open, and is in good form;

“I like to just go out and play aggressive. It sets up for my style of golf, I like to hit driver as much as I can, and this is a golf course that allows me to do it.”

Stewart carded seven birdies and no bogeys, and would like to be able to do that for every round;

“I told my caddie, joking around, if we just do that every day for the season, we’ll be OK, but it’s not going to happen.”

Russell Knox is in third place at -6 under par after his round of 65, he thought his round could have been better,  as he was 7 under par after 11 holes today;

“I was a little disappointed in myself because I got a little too ahead of myself, a little too nervous for some reason.”

“I kept saying, ‘This is ridiculous. This is the first round. Just go for it.”

Five players returned scores of -5 under par 66, Bo Van Pelt, Hideki Matsuyama, Jarrod Lyle, Brian Stuard and Andrew Svoboda.

Jarrod continues his rehabilitation to the PGA Tour after his leukemia battles;

“I feel like I’m a rookie again. I feel like I’m coming out and seeing these guys for the first time after watching them on TV, which is what I’ve done the last two years.”

 “I was laying flat on my back two-and-a-half years ago, so it’s nice to be out walking and playing golf and making birdies again.”

 

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Wonderful Webb Wins.

A wonderful performance from Webb Simpson saw him easily win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.

Turning the tables

Webb Simpson / Getty Images

Webb carded a final round of -5 under par 66, to take his tournament total to an unassailable -24 under par, a six shot victory over his nearest rival.

Winning a tournament for the first time since the 2012 U.S. Open, Webb knew it would take something really special to catch him;

“One over through three yesterday and 2 under today felt like a huge difference, and it was because it really let me slow down and pace myself, and you know, try to let the guys come after me. As we were going kind of middle of the round, pins were tough, greens were drying out and I knew it would take a really special round for somebody to shoot 7, 8 under. So, I felt like I was in control, and I asked my caddie, once I hit it on the green on 17 where we stood. And I was just thankful that I was able to kind of manage my golf ball the last couple rounds.”

Second place was shared between Ryo Ishikawa with a last round -6 under par 65 and Jason Bohn with a -5 under 66, to finish six shots off the pace at -18 under par.

Ryo was very pleased with his performance;

“I’m very confident with my long game and getting better with my short game, so my game is good now. I’m pretty happy with the result. I’ve played well these two months, I had a great start. Definitely a great start.”

Charley Hoffman had a -7 under par 64 which elevated him into fourth position on his own at -17 under par. He said he was happy to finish so well up the leaderboard;

“When you get that far up the leaderboard every putt you make is worth big dollars and big FedExCup points. So, to get the year started off on the right foot, you always want to make those putts. I haven’t played well here in probably five years, so it’s nice to finally put a decent round together. It was one of those rounds you look back on and it could have gone really low, but all in all, 7 under on the final day is not bad.”

 

 

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Webb Simpson has a four shot lead going into the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.

Webb Simpson during the third round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Webb Simpson/ A/P

Webb shot a -4 under par third round of 67 to take control of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin with tournament score of -19 under par.

He actually said he was not comfortable with his lead;

“This is a golf course where guys can shoot, as we’ve seen this week, 8, 9, 10, 11 under, so, I have to go out with a mindset of attacking and trying to make birdies. I think the key tomorrow is to, No. 1, stay patient again in case I do get off to another slow start. The conditions were perfect, I knew guys were shooting low numbers. I felt like I was playing good enough. I just was shooting pretty bad, parred 9, dropped the shot at 11. So, it was frustrating. But my caddie just told me to stay patient and let the birdies come. And that’s what happened. I made some putts coming in.”

Chesson Hadley is on his own in second place at -15 under par, Hadley was stoked with his birdie on 15 and then a hole-out for an Eagle on the par-5,  16th hole;

” They waved us up on 15 and I just roasted a driver up there, I think it hit perfectly into the hill and dribbled up there to about 10 feet. I hit a good putt. It was just a little to the left, so it was a nice tap-in birdie. So that was good. Then I drove it right on 16, and I laid up to the perfect number. And my first thought when I hit it was, `Please go a little.’ Then I saw it take the first bounce and it looked like it just one hopped right in the bottom of the stick. That was huge.”

Chesson and Webb  are both from Raleigh, N.C. so Chesson is looking forward to playing with Webb tomorrow in the final round;

“Webb and I grew up playing together, he’s always been more successful earlier than I have been. And you know, he’s been such a good role model and just influence for the game as far as his faith is concerned. I’m just looking forward to playing with him tomorrow.”

Third place belongs to Jeff Overton, his -3 under par 68 giving him a tournament total of -14 under par, Jason Bohn is in contention at -13 under par, and tied in fifth at -12 under par is Sean O’Hair.

Sean admitted to going through a humbling period in his golf career;

“It was a tough time this year, especially late, because I was realizing I was going to lose my card. I had to get my mind right going into those Web.com Tour events. I knew I had a good opportunity to get my card back, but I had to be in the right spot mentally. I almost felt like I had an identity crisis this year. I was going out on the golf course and trying this and trying that. I didn’t know who I was as a player.”

 “I was disappointed going into those events { Web.com} and I think if I kept that attitude, I wouldn’t have gotten my card back. I’m seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, I really feel like I might be playing some of the best golf life right now. I really feel good.”

Keep up the good work Sean.

 

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Webb Weaves Magic.

Webb Simpson weaves his magic at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to lead by four strokes at TPC Summerlin, in Las Vegas, Nevada

Webb Simpson, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open 2013

Webb Simpson / Getty Images

Webb fired a second round -8 under par 63 to accumulate his -15 under par tournament total, taking advantage of the perfect scoring conditions. he was amazed at how far the ball was travelling;

“The ball is really going far, I was wondering why the scores were so low yesterday morning because I thought the ball might go a little shorter. But the ball was getting out there and the golf course played a little shorter than I thought it would, and I just putted well and kept going. There’s no wind, no clouds in the sky and it’s really quiet, so it’s easy to kind of daydream. You’ve really got to focus on what you’re doing and talk to your caddie, at least for me. I talk to him about what we’re trying to do here, where we’re trying to hit the ball.”

J.J. Henry followed his course-record 60 with a second round of 71, leaving him tied in second place at -11 under par. With him are  John Senden, Jeff Overton, Chesson Hadley and Jason Bohn.

John Senden said he was looking for birdies;

“I need to keep on making birdies out there, it’s not as much building a score, it’s just about doing a great job on making birdies, and if that’s good enough to do it, well, hopefully it’ll be me.”

Chesson said it had been a great day, and is looking forward to the week-end;

“It was a great day, it’s been a fantastic start to the week, and to be at 11 under and to have a chance going into the weekend is awesome. I’ve been in this position before as far as Web.com Tour, and certainly a little bit different stage out here on the PGA TOUR. Just looking to manage the nerves tomorrow and just realize it’s just golf, and let’s just go have some fun.”

J.J. was very disappointed with his performance;

“I was 11 shots higher and I honestly don’t feel like it. I didn’t hit it quite as good as yesterday, but the putts just didn’t fall like they did yesterday. All in all, I was a little bit disappointed, but still two rounds to go. I’m right in the thick of things.”