Tiger wins Memorial @ Muirfield Village.

Hello, Jack

Tiger Woods & Jack Nicklaus  Halleran/Getty Images

Tiger Woods won the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village on Sunday. Tiger was one shot off the lead when he hit an 8-iron over the back right corner of the green at that par three, that played as the most difficult of the week. When he got to the ball, Woods found it nestled in a particularly scruffy lie in the rough. He was looking at a downhill pitch to a green that was registering 13 on the stimpmeter and a pond lurking ominously several paces behind the pin. Amazingly the ball dropped in for a birdie that paved the way to Woods’ fifth title at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. Tigers winning tournament score was -9 under par.

Jack Nicklaus watched the shot from greenside, and said;

“If he’s short, he loses the tournament. If he’s long, he’s in the water. So he takes a full swing and lands it exactly where he has to land it and it trickled into the hole like a little 2-foot putt.  I have seen a lot of shots in golf but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better one.”

Tiger simply said;

“I went for it. I pulled it off, and for it to land as soft as it did was kind of a surprise because it was baked out and it was also downhill running away from me. It just fell in. I didn’t think it was going to get there at one point. Kind of like 16 at Augusta (in 2005), I thought I was going to leave it short somehow, and then it fell in. I’m sure by Tuesday I’ll be retired and done, and then by the time I tee it up at the U.S. Open, it might be something different. But I’ll let you guys figure that out. I’ll just keep going, keep working on it. This is a process, and just trying to get better. I have a big event in two weeks, and we go back to work next week to get ready.”

 Tiger’s playing partner Rickie Fowler said in interview afterward of Tiger’s shot;

“You hit a good shot to get it inside 10 feet, and it came out perfect, landed kind of right on the crown of that ridge there, and the rest is history.  He loves, obviously, loves, being in the moment, and that’s where he kind of gets down, focuses and hits those shots. It was fun to see. He looked very comfortable and hit a lot of good shots, and like I said, the times where he’s in the moment and in the heat of contention is where he really shines.”

Tournament leader at the start of play, Spencer Levin, sadly finished four shots off the lead, registering another failure for him to go on and win from a promising position.

World number one Luke Donald finished his last round with a -4 under par 68, for tournament total of -1 under par. Luke somehow has to figure out how to be contention from day one.

Memorial Tournament @ Muirfield Village, Spencer Levin hangs on to lead.

Hanging on in Ohio

Spencer Levin Lyons/Getty Images

Spencer Levin hangs on to lead the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village by just one stroke from Rory Sabbatini in the third round on Saturday. He will have on his mind last February at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, when Spencer took a six-stroke lead into the final round only to shoot 75 and finish third. This time, though, he only leads Rory Sabbatini by one stroke at 8 under par and for sure will be looking over his shoulder at the chasing pack of players.

Spencer spoke of his round today;

“I don’t know if I could have done much better. I had some really good breaks, so I’ll take it.  I played pretty solid, but it’s nice to have a couple good breaks. But if you’re going to shoot the low round of the day out here on the TOUR, or any day, you’re going to have a couple good breaks or make long putts or chip in generally.”

 Rickie Fowler, who has finished fifth or better in his last three starts, is three strokes back at 5 under par for the tournament after matching Levin’s 69, and is still a threat in this tournament.

 Tiger Woods, the four-time Memorial champion ran into some trouble on the back nine Saturday, making four bogeys on the way to a 73, but is still in the background  at 4 under, and obviously can not be ignored by anyone. Tiger said;

“I certainly probably shot the highest score I could have shot today considering the way I hit it. But I’m only four back, and out here with the conditions, supposed to be like this tomorrow again, anything can happen.”

Nothing much has happened for Luke Donald in this competition, his performance has been pretty average for the world’s number one player. Luke struggled to +3 over par third round and +3  for his tournament total, that is eleven shots off the pace. Justin Rose is fairing only slightly better at even par for his tournament.

Kyle Stanley Wins Waste Management Phoenix Open

Kyle Stanley won the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in an amazing turnaround from last weeks disaster collapse. Kyle came from eight shots behind the leader, Spencer Levin to win the tournament. Just last week he lost a five-stroke lead in the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open.  Spencer Levin, who started the day with a six-stroke advantage over Webb Simpson, shot a four-under(-par) today to finish at 13-under(-par) in third place.

Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesSCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 05:  Kyle Stanley kisses the trophy after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 5, 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Kyle sais of his victory today;

” I’m not sure what I’m thinking right now. It’s been a great week. You go from a very low point to a high point. I’m not sure I expected to maybe recover this quickly. You know, I’ll take it.”

Asked about last weeks episode, he replied;

“You know, I’m never going to forget that. But I think it makes this one a lot sweeter, just being able to bounce back. You know, I’m kind of at a loss for words right now. I’m very grateful for the support I’ve gotten. It’s unbelievable; unbelievable turnaround.”

Ben Crane finished in second place, one shot adrift of a play-off, he did not think he had his “A” gameface on today;

“I certainly didn’t have my “A” game. I felt my swing was giving me fits out there, and I was just trying to hold it together and I was able to throw a good round at him, but ultimately I just wasn’t sharp. But very thankful for second is an awesome finish, and I just putted awesome all week, and that really is what kind of kept me going.”

Spencer Levin was left to rue what could, and should have been, he said he had tried his best;

“I don’t really know. I felt all right early, and I don’t know, I just didn’t have it, I guess. I just maybe tried a little too hard. I don’t think I felt real, I felt calm, I just I don’t know. I just was looking ahead too much and maybe trying a little too hard, I guess. I didn’t have it, but still, going to 17 and 18, I had long putts, but they both almost went in. You can always say that. But still, I had a chance after doubling 15, but what are you going to do? I tried my best.”

If this is the way the season is going to go, I am really looking forward to the next tournament, anything could happen.

TPC Scottsdale · Scottsdale, Arizona 3rd round

Spencer Levin takes a six-shot lead into the finale at TPC Scottsdale, where he stands 18 holes away from the first PGA TOUR victory of his career. His nearest rival is Webb Simpson and one shot further back is Bubba Watson. Barring any repeat of last weeks final hole collapse of Kyle Stanley this Waste Management Phoenix Open tournament is done and dusted.

Don't look back

Petersen/Getty Images

He was really pleased with another good round today;

“I felt like I played solid, I felt like I was in control of my ball most of the day, and I’m pleased. Coming out there, I’ve never had a big lead like that starting the day, and I thought I played well. Overall I’m pleased about it.”

Webb Simpson was still trying to sort out his errant swing;

“We’re just going to see how things are going I think starting out, see how I’m swinging, It’s hard to be aggressive when you’re not swinging well. If we can go figure something out on the range and I’m feeling good, then we’ll be firing at pins and trying to win this thing.”

Talking about his bogey on the short par four 17th Webb lamented;

“I hit my 3 wood exactly where I was trying to hit it. It actually went a little further than I thought it would go, and I went up, and I knew how fast that chip was. I watched Ryan do the same thing in front of me, but I thought if I just land it on top, it’ll be perfect, and as soon as I hit it, I thought it was perfect. I never even thought it might go in the water, and it kept going and kept going and kept going and went in the water. It’s just a bummer.

Phil Mickelson carded his best round of the week but is still  a distant eight strokes off the pace. Phil was happy with his improvement after working with his swing coach Butch Harmon in the morning;

“We had a really good session and I was able to feel much more confident,” Mickelson said. “I hit a lot of good shots, especially early on, and made some birdies.”

Asked how he would approach the last round, Phil said;

“Just shoot a good round, because out here when you start making mistakes or hitting a bad shot, it’s very hard to turn it around with water and trouble everywhere. And there’s also an opportunity to make birdies and eagles so, if I get a hot hand and put on some pressure, you never know what might happen.”

Waste Management Phoenix Open,2nd round

Spencer Levin has open a three shot lead over his nearest rival at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale shooting a second round 63 for a total  of -14 under par, before play was suspended because of darkness.

 

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In second place, three shots behind  is Harrison Frazar who is at -11 for 15 holes. He is the only contestant who is any way near Spencer who is in total control of the tournament after two rounds, echo’s of last week with Kyle Stanley.

Spencer said of his round;

“Everything was pretty good today, my putting and chipping feels real solid. I felt pretty good going into my second round and it didn’t  feel like a second round.”

Phil Mickelson, who attended nearby Arizona State University got one of the loudest cheers of the day when he birdied 16. Mickelson finished with a one-under 70 as he parred 18 in fading light. His group was allowed to finish  the round because Mickelson putted out first on 17  and then sprinted to the tee on 18 to get his drive off before the horn sounded, so the entire group could get to complete the final hole. Quick thinking Phil.

Levin & Stanley lead 1st round at Torrey Pines

Spencer Levin and Kyle Stanley lead the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Both American players shot 62 for rounds of -10 under par on the easier North course. The best score of the day on the tougher South course was from Marc Turnesa with a 66 for a total -6 under par for the tournament.

Fijian Vijay Singh and Aussie Greg Chalmers shot 64 and 65 respectively, on the North course, to finish the day comfortably in touch with the leaders. Left hander Chalmers had an eagle three at the par five 18th, with a putt of 48 feet, which really gave a lift to his opening round and a nice way to celebrate Australia Day.

Phil Mickelson had a tough day on the South course shooting a +5 over par round of 77, and seemed really out of touch, and will need an exceptionally low round tomorrow when he tees it up for the easier North course.

He was asked about his driving performance, and what driver was he using today, this is his reply;

“I am using our new Razr Hawk driver. I didn’t use it the first round last week, and it was a mistake. I don’t know what I was thinking, I worked with it. I felt good with it, I just didn’t want to make any changes from the previous season.”

He also spoke about his putting woes;

” There is no shortcut in putting, that no matter what method you use. You still have to see the line and you still have to match it up to the proper speed. And I think that for me I was looking for a shortcut with the belly putter. I found what was best for me was to go back to how I was putting as a kid, growing up with a blade style putter. And an aggressiveness that I had at a younger age.”

Mickelson full interview at Farmers Insurance Open