The Open. Rory Racks Up 3 Rounds in a Row.

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Rory McIlroy racks up three rounds in a row at the top of the leaderboard in The Open.

Twin eagles power Rory to big 54-hole Open lead

A jubilant Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory carded two Eagles in a third round of -4 under par 68, which sent him soaring over the field at -16 under par for The Open championship at Royal Liverpool. It also gives him a six shot lead going into the final round tomorrow, and he spoke about the Grand Slam of Major titles;

“Not a lot of people have achieved the career grand slam and if everything goes the right way tomorrow, to get three-quarters of the way there is some achievement by the age of 25. It would mean a lot of hype going into Augusta next year.”

“I’d be in pretty illustrious company so it would mean an awful lot. I never thought that I’d be able to be in this position. I didn’t think that I’d even have the chance at 25 to go for three legs of the grand slam so I’m going to try to put all of that out of my head”.

“It would be way too much to think about and way too much to ponder. First things first. Just play a good solid round of golf tomorrow and if that means that I’m going to Augusta next year with a bit of hype, then so be it.”

“It was a day of patience for me, I didn’t get off to the best of starts. I knew that there were some good chances coming up. Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9 were playing more difficult than Friday. I knew on the back nine we could make up some ground. This is where the golf course plays into my hands.”

Nearest competitor is Rickie Fowler, a third round effort of -4 under 68 put him alone in second place at -10 under par. Rickie is hoping to be able to put some pressure on Rory;

“He always has that firepower to make things happen, you just never know when it’s coming.”

“Maybe I can put a little pressure on him, unfortunately I did make those rough swings coming in. But I’ve been swinging great. I’m definitely looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and see if I can put the same start on Rory as I did today.”

“It was just a matter of time before the two of us found a way to sneak into a final group together. We both want to beat up on each other as bad as possible.”

Tied in third place are Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson, both at -9 under par for the tournament.

Sergio admits the difficulty of the task ahead of him if he is to catch the leader;

“I was trying to shoot as low as possible, Rory obviously had a great back nine and finished really, really well. We’ll give it a shot. If he plays like he’s been playing, it’s going to be difficult.”

Justin Rose made some headway today, a -3 under par 69 moving him to -5 under par for the competition, but not good enough to challenge for the honors.

The Defending champion Phil Mickelson shot a -1 under par  71 on Saturday and is now -1 under par for the tournament, a long way from the top of the board. Tiger Woods shot another over par round, and is sits at +3 over par for the championship.

The Open. McIlroy Marches On, No Hoylake Horrors.

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Rory McIlroy marches on at The Open, having banished the Friday Failures, there were no Hoylake horrors.

Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory exorcised the Friday fall-out at Royal Liverpool by firing a second successive round of -6 under par 66, at The Open, to post a midway tournament total of -12 under par at Hoylake, and a four shot lead. He is where he wants to be, in control and did not even think about the Friday failures;

“You’re battling yourself, you’re batting your emotions, your mind. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself, you don’t want to look at what anyone else is doing. You want to control what you can control.”

“It was just another solid round of golf, I didn’t have that in my head at all. Going out there, I just wanted to play another solid round of golf, stick to my game plan, stick to doing what I do well, which is take advantage of the par 5s, maybe take advantage of some of the other holes that are downwind. That’s all I was thinking about.”

Dustin Johnson is in second place on his own, he carded the days best round, a -7 under par 65, giving him a -8 under par total.

There are six players tied in third position, all at -6 under par for the tournament, they are; Francesco Molinari, Ryan Moore, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen.

Justin Rose had a -2 under par round today, leaving him on that score for the competition, ten shots adrift of the leader Rory, and not much chance of catching him. Phil Mickelson is at level par, while Tiger Woods shot +5 over par 77 to be at +2 for the Championship, both of these players will not be challenging to top of the board, but they did make the cut.

Tiger had been battling a wayward driver;

“I didn’t hit the driver very good today, I was trying to be a bit more aggressive and do that. With the wind the way it was, I could take some of the bunkers out of play and get it down where I could hit sand wedge into the green.”

“I figured today would be a chance to go out there and be aggressive and do that, and just didn’t drive it well.”

Tom Watson also made the cut on the same +2 over par total, and is looking forward to the week-end, the weather is supposed to change dramatically;

“I came over here with a purpose to play my best golf and play on the weekend, let’s see what happens on the weekend. See if the old guy can maybe get it rolling a little bit.”

The Open. Rory on Route 66.

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Rory McIlroy produced another magical Thursday first round, this time a flawless route 66 at The Open, in glorious weather at Royal Liverpool.

Rory McIlroy is looking for the third leg of the career Grand Slam. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

 

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory carded a -6 under par 66 at Hoylake to sit proudly on top of the leaderboard of The Open Championship. He reported that he was more relaxed on a Thursday, we will see tomorrow if he can hold it all together;

“Any time you shoot 66 at The Open Championship, you’re going to be pleased. We had perfect scoring conditions out there this morning. There wasn’t much wind early on and there were plenty of opportunities to make birdies and I was able to take a few of them.”

“It’s another great start and, yeah, looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow. Whenever I go out and play on Thursdays there are not really many expectations. You’re going out there and you’re trying to find a rhythm and you’re just trying to play your way into the round.”

“When you go back out on Friday after a good score you know what you can do, so you’re going out with some expectations compared to Thursday. I think I’ve just got to approach it like that, start off trying to hit solid shots the first few holes and play my way into the round, just like I did today.”

In second place on the leaderboard is Italian Matteo Manassero, who is just one shot behind after his opening round of -5 under par 67. Matteo likes this course, which bodes well for his first Major success;

“I like the course, it’s fair, flat, where you hit your shot it’s going to roll on that line. If I ever win an Open, I don’t think I’ll win it on a golf course that I don’t like. So the fact that I like it, it’s already a good thing.”

“The main preparation for The Open, I’ve done it in Aberdeen and it was just the best preparation I could’ve had. We had strong wind, little wind, calm wind, different directions of wind and the course was firm. It was really linksy. I put myself in a very links frame of mind.”

There is bunch of seven players tied in third spot, including another two Italians, Francesco and Edoardo Molinari. All of this chasing pack are on -3 under par.

Tiger Woods recorded a -3 under par 69 and is tied in tenth position at the end of day one, and said it was a positive start;

“I knew I could do it. That’s why it was so important for me to play at Congressional. At Congressional I made some terrible mistakes mentally. My decisions weren’t very crisp and I wasn’t decisive enough. Today was totally different and consequently I shot a better score.”

“I’m getting stronger, I’m getting faster, I’m getting more explosive. The ball is starting to travel again and those are all positive things.”

Last weeks winner Justin Rose settled for an opening round of even par, while defending Champion Phil Mickelson returned a first round +2 over par 74.

 

Quicken Loans National. Still Four at the Top Day 2.

 

dragon logo darkQuicken Loans NationalThere are still four players tied at the top of the Quicken Loans National.

Oliver Goss is bombing it at Congressional, averaging 323.1 yards per drive during the first two rounds. (Jeff Haynes/Getty Images)

One of the four, Aussie Oliver Goss / Getty Images

Oliver shot a second round -5 under par 66 to share top spot on the Quicken Loans National leaderboard with a -6 under par total at Congressional.

He is joined on that score by, Marc Leishman, Ricky Barnes and Patrick Reed. Yesterday’s leader Greg Chalmers crashed down the leaderboard, recording a second round of +7 over par 78, to finish the day at +2 over par, just one shot inside the cut-off mark.

Oliver was lucky to be in the tournament, an over zealous security guard had refused to let him in the locker room;

“The security guy was like,’Hey, where’s your credential. I said, ‘I don’t have a credential, but I’m a player and I’ve got an exemption.’ He said, ‘Well, I can’t let you in.’ I was like, ‘I’m a player, though.’

“Still wasn’t good enough for him, which shows just how good the security is around here !! I got a credential now so I’m all set.”

“The main difference is you’re playing against the best in the world, the depth is just crazy. Obviously, you’re playing for a purse, and honestly, I really don’t feel that much different out there.” 

“You’re still playing the game of golf, and that’s all I’m really feeling at the moment.”

Actually the other Aussie Marc Leishman does not know Oliver;

“I haven’t had a whole lot to do with him, I spoke to him a little bit last week, actually, at the Travelers. We have a practice round lined up next week at the Greenbrier so I get to spend a bit more time with him there.” 

“But who knows, we might have a tee time on the weekend.”

Patrick Reed has had his mind on other things recently, the birth of his baby daughter, and is looking forward to having wife Justine back on his bag;

“After our last win, we’ve been itching for our little girl to come see us, and now she’s finally here, so it’s been great. It’s been better for me probably than golf-wise, that’s for sure.”

“She’s going to come back, just whenever she feels more comfortable and whenever we feel like it’s the right time with the baby and everything.”

Justin Rose is at -3 under par for the tournament, shooting a second round -6 under par 65. He is sharpening up his game to take a tilt at another Major, The Open, at Royal Liverpool. The Claret Jug has been on display at Congressional Country Club this week;

“When you walk past a major championship trophy, you dream about what it would be like, and I’ve been lucky enough to feel it once. And your home open, for example, you see it, and it does sort of give you goosebumps. As a kid you dream about it so much, but now walking past it, you know it’s somewhat of a reality and you do have a chance to pick that thing up.”

“Obviously here to play good this week and that’s on the mind for sure. Today was obviously a great round of golf.”

Biggest news of the day was that Tiger Woods failed to make the cut, he followed his first round 74 with second round of 75, to finished at +7 over par for the tournament. He looked to be swinging well, I suppose he is just a little out of touch after that long lay-off.

 

Quicken Loans National. Greg Chalmers Leads on Day 1.

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Greg Chalmers leads the Quicken Loans National on the 1st day at Congressional.

Greg Chalmers’ putter was red-hot during his opening round, netting a strokes gained-putting figure of 3.308. (Justin Heiman/Getty Images)

Greg Chalmers / Getty Images

Greg Chalmers shot a first round -5 under par 66 on the par 71 Congressional layout, where only 26 players from the starting 120 broke par.

Greg said it was definitely not an easy course;

“I didn’t think it was easy at all, I played really well, and I think anybody who plays really well can shoot a low score. You just have to be coming out of the fairway, and I did that the majority of the time today.”

Ricky Barnes and Freddie Jacobson are tied in second place at -4 under par after their opening rounds of 67. Patrick Reid, Eric Compton, defending Champion Bill Haas and Tyrone Van Aswegen are all sharing fourth spot at -3 under par.

Of course the big news of the day is really about those who did not do so well, and in particular Tiger Woods. Tiger made his long awaited comeback since surgery. Apart from a few who have spent the last few days saying how well Tiger is swinging, the reality is he is just like the rest of us, he needs time to get back to his best. Today he shot a +3 over par 74, of which he was pretty proud saying he and the other celebrity players fought hard;

We were all kind of looking to break 80, it was a bit of a fight today for all of us, but we all hung in there. I made so many little mistakes, so I played a lot better than the score indicated.”

“The back’s great, I had no issues at all, no twinges, no nothing. It felt fantastic. That’s one of the reasons why I let go on those tee shots. I hit it pretty hard out there.”

Tiger played alongside Jason Day and Jordan Spieth, and that trio of top-10 players combined for six bogeys in two holes.

Jordan also shot a +3 over par 74, the same as his hero Tiger;

“It was cool playing the first one back. I love playing alongside Jason, as well. We are all rooting for each other, and that’s a good feeling. It was hard to root for each other because it just looked like the lid was closed on the hole. But once we all started hitting a couple fairways, it got better at the end.”

 

 

Volvo China Open. Levy Lifts the Trophy

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Alexander Levy lifts his first European Tour trophy, winning the Volvo China Open at the Genzon Golf Club.

Alexander Levy  (Getty Images)

Alexander and Trophy / Getty Images

Apart from a wobble during the final round, carding a double bogey six on the fifteenth hole Alexander cruised to victory. A last round -3 under par 69 was enough to see off the challenge of Tommy Fleetwood, at one point the lead was only one shot. Alexander replied to his double on 15 with birdies at 17 and 18, to post the winning score of-19 under par;

“I didn’t feel pressure, it was a difficult putt, difficult pin position, my ball was in the divot. It was a difficult shot, I made double bogey but I knew I was playing well and I was only thinking about my game.”

“I hit one of my best shots on 17. I didn’t feel pressure on the golf course because I’m confident. I just played my golf and focussed on the target. I saw Tommy made a birdie on the 17th but I like the pressure.”

Of the smile that he has been wearing all week, Alexander had this to say;

“You need to take the pleasure on the golf course and keep the smile because if you are upset about a missed shot or not lucky because you make a lip out or something like that, it’s not good to have this feeling on the golf course. You need to enjoy and have the smile.”

Tommy Fleetwood fired a last round -4 under par 68, but in the end it was not good enough to catch the runaway leader. He congratulated Alexander on great play;

“We aim for wins, but today I didn’t really have a chance. I had to play outstanding golf, but Alex has led from Friday, and that’s one of the hardest things you can do. What a performance from him.”

Alvaro Quiros finished third, his expected charge in the last round did not materialize, he carded a par round of 72, and final score of  -13 under par. Six shots behind his playing partner, and the man he was trying to catch, Alexander.

Henrik Stenson, who needed to win here to overtake  Tiger Woods at the top of the World Golf Rankings carded a final bogey free round -7 under par 65, to finish T5. He really wants that number one spot;

“It’s really tight and I just need to play better if I want to get to that spot. And I should have to play better than I have done earlier on this year if I want to get to world No. 1, that’s for sure,”

Low round of the day went to Anders Hansen, a -9 under par 63. He finished alongside Henrik and Ian Poulter.

W.G.C. Cadillac Championship. Reed Resplendent.

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Patrick Reed was resplendent in winning the WGC. Cadillac Championship at Doral, on the Blue Monster.

Wrap-up: Reed earns third TOUR title

Patrick Reed / GettyImages

Patrick has proved what he has always believed, that he belongs among the best in the world. He has won the WGC Cadillac Championship trophy, his third Tour win in seven months, shooting a final round of even par 72, to post -4 under par.

When asked on live TV what he thought about his achievement Patrick proudly answered;

“I just don’t see a lot of guys that have done that, besides Tiger Woods, of course, and all of the other legends of the game. I believe in myself. Especially after how hard I’ve worked, that I’m one of the top five players in the world. To come out of a field like this and to hold on wire to wire like that, I feel like I’ve proven myself.”

Tied in second place at -3 under par were Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson. Bubba had a fine last round of -4 under par, and then admitted that this course scares him;

“I’m where I want to be, my ball striking I wish was a little bit better. But certain golf courses just scare me half to death and around here scared me a lot but I played it really well this week.”

Jamie said he has always been a late developer, but he is happy with where he is right now;

“I’ve always been pretty much a late developer in most things, really. I left school before I could develop any there!  So I had to play golf, really. My career has been up and down for me.  Early on, I started off pretty good and then I had a big loss for four years after injury, and then I just had to regroup and do things that worked and work hard and keep believing. I just forced the wheel the other direction, and that’s what it’s done.  I’ve found something that was working and just kept doing it and kept getting better at doing it, and then here we are getting better, again, so I’m happy.”

Tiger Woods, who started the day in contention said the pain in his back intensified after his bunker shot on the sixth. A nasty lie leaving him with his left foot in the bunker, and the right pressing  against the lip of the bunker;

” That’s what set it off and then it was done after that. Just see if I could actually manage, keep the spasms at bay.”

He carded a final round of +6 over par 78, with a total of +5 over par, dropping him twenty-one places to T25. Tiger also failed to make a birdie in a final round for the first time in his career, and the lead up to the first Major is not going well;

“If I feel good, I can actually make a pretty decent swing, you saw it Saturday. But if I’m feeling like this, it’s a little tough.”

World Golf Championship. Calm Restored at Cadillac.

dragon logo darkWGC-Cadillac Championship

Calm was restored at the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral on day three of the contest around The Blue Monster. Patrick Reed has the lead going into the final round.

Patrick Reed could be taking home his third trophy in seven months Sunday at Doral. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Patrick Reed /Getty Images

In much calmer conditions Patrick turned his game around in four holes Saturday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, finishing up with a -3 under par 69 and a two stroke lead at -4 under par. He said he was not bothered that Tiger was close behind;

“That’s fine, I’ve seen Tiger a lot on the driving range. Never had the opportunity to play with him and I still haven’t been able to play with him. Whenever he’s close to the lead, he’s a guy you have to watch out for. But at the same time, I have to go and just play my own game.”

“If you have a 54-hole lead, that means you’re playing the best golf of the group through three rounds. Tomorrow is Sunday, but at the same time, it’s another round of golf. We’ve won twice since August, we’ve played great. And if I continue doing what I’m supposed to be doing, come Sunday afternoon, hopefully we’re holding the trophy.”

Jason Dufner and Hunter Mahan are tied in second place at -2 under par for this tournament, Hunter thinks it will go down to the wire;

“The tournament will not be over until the last putt drops on eighteen. That always happens, but it seems like you just can’t coast in here. You can’t have a big enough lead going into eighteen this week. So I don’t think anyone is going to be too bothered if someone gets out to a three, or four-shot lead, because there’s so much golf out there. And there’s so much that can happen, good and bad.”

Tied in fourth place are Jamie Donaldson and Tiger Woods, both at -1 under par. Tiger did what he wanted to do, get back into the tournament. A third round of -6 under par 66 certainly did that;

“It was nice to get back in the tournament again Now it’s playing more like a normal course. I held it together yesterday, a long day, tough day, and that gave me a chance today.I figured, hey, I’m only six back. That’s definitely doable, especially with the conditions and how difficult this golf course is playing. If I just get back to even par for the tournament, I’ll be right there. And I did one better.”

Dustin Johnson,  Miguel Angel Jimenez and Zach Johnson share sixth place at even par for the three rounds. The weather conditions still hold the key around here, if it starts to blow again anything could happen. Another calm day and the winner will come from the top five.

Darness Descends at Doral, WGC Championship.

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Darkness descends on The WGA Championship at the Blue Monster course at Doral, suspending the first round.

Harris English had the lowest round of the few who completed Round 1 on Thursday. (Greenwood/Getty Images)

Harris English / Getty Images

Harris English was one of just six players to finish the opening round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship after inclement weather delayed play at Trump National Doral. When the horn blew there were five players tied at the top the leaderboard on -3 under par. The only completed round was Harris English, the other four still to finish the opening round are; Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan, Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed

Harris explained how important it was to finish today, and not to come back in the morning to finish the round, and then continue with the second;

“It was getting really dark, very quickly, but I wanted to finish the hole, it really changes the way you approach the day, waking up and playing one hole at 8 in the morning and then waiting around for three or four hours for your tee time is tough to do. That way in the morning, we can have a normal day.”

Tiger Woods was +2 over par through ten holes, but said he was feeling a lot better, but he will have to play 26 holes tomorrow;

“Felt a lot better today, should be a long day for all of us. Hopefully I can get back out there in the morning, play well and work back to even par by the end of the first round, then shoot a low one in the afternoon.” 

Rory McIlroy was at -1 under par through fourteen holes, but there is a long way to go in this tournament and as usual anything could happen.

Honda Classic. Rory Rolls On.

dragon logo darkThe Honda Classic Logo

Rory McIlroy rolls on at the Honda Classic taking a two shot lead into the final round at PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, in Florida.

Rory McIlroy will take a two-shot lead into the final round at PGA National. (Smith/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory carded a third round -1 under par 69 to keep his nose in front of the chasing pack, posting a total of -12 under par. The 2012 winner at PGA National, is looking to go wire to wire here. Rory spoke about not making mistakes;

” It’s all about not making mistakes, it’s about limiting the damage. You’re going to make a few bogeys out there. If you limit those, hit fairways and greens, that’s what I’m going to try to do tomorrow. There’s still eighteen holes to go, but I’m feeling comfortable with where I am.”

Russell Henley is in second place at -10 under par, his third round -2 under par 68 contained an Eagle 2 at the par four 14th hole. He is trying to ignore what Rory is doing;

” I’m trying not to pay attention to what Rory is doing, obviously, he’s playing great and he’s been in this situation a little bit more than me. But I still have a lot of confidence and I’m just going to try to play my game and not worry about what he’s doing too much.”

Russell Knox carded a third round -2 under par 68, for -9 under par total, and he is the only player among the top eight who has never won on the PGA TOUR.

Tiger Woods put together his best round for a while, a -5 under par 65, that shot him up the leaderboard to T17. He declared he is still in the hunt, even though he is seven shots off the pace of Rory;

“Today was a positive day, hit the ball well and made some putts and got myself back in the hunt.”

Brendon de Jong fell away badly while playing alongside Rory, he collapsed with a third round +6 over par 76, taking him out of contention. He is now T24, a drop of 22 places on the day;

“It was just unfortunately one of those bad days, it’s going to happen if you play this game for long enough. I just hit too many bad shots, I was putting for too many pars on this golf course.”