Italian Open. Hennie Still on a High.

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Hennie Otto is still on a high at the Italian Open as he will take a two-stroke lead into the final round on Sunday.

Hennie Otto, par from the tree's / Getty Images

Hennie Otto, par from the tree’s / Getty Images

Hennie had to scramble a par on the last hole from the tree’s, his wayward tee shot found its way into the woods and he had to take a penalty drop, but recovered well to make par. It had been a tough day for Hennie, carding two bogey’s and a double to record a -1 under par 71 third round at Circolo Golf Torino and post a tournament score of -16 under par ;

“It was a rough day to be honest, my back started to tighten after eight holes but I managed to get it round even though I couldn’t swing it properly. I got a little lucky at times as well but you need that in this game if you are going to win a tournament.”

“It’s uncomfortable but not painful enough to stop me playing. I’m not really worried about it. I was in serious pain before the operations but this is nothing like that and I can get it fixed with some stretching and physio just now.”

Scotland’s Richie Ramsay is in second place at -14 under par, a third round -6 under par 66 elevated him into position to make a charge in the final round tomorrow. He has some sympathy for Stephen Gallacher, who was hoping to move into the last automatic pick place for the Ryder Cup;

“It’s a tough one because I know Stevie well and am down at Kingsfield a fair bit where he practices, which is about a mile from his house.”

“It’s a big, big ask for him but he has shown how good a player he is and if he did not qualify automatically he would be an asset to the team, not only because of his ball-striking but his attitude as well. His record at Gleneagles is impressive too.”

“I would hate to be the person to deny him a place on The Ryder Cup but I know if it comes down to it, he plays to win and that’s the same attitude I have to have.”

Bernd Wiesberger is in third place, a further shot back on -13 under par, he too could only post -1 under par 71 in the third round.  English duo of Lee Slattery and Ross Fisher are sharing fourth spot on -11 under par.

Ryder Cup hopeful Stevie Gallacher needs a top two finish to grab that last automatic place, but at -10 under par it is a big ask, but not impossible;

“It keeps me in touching distance, the worst thing I could have done was open up a big gap which was insurmountable. I’ve not done that so a good day on Sunday and I am still right in there. I had about four lip-outs today but they went in on Friday and I holed a couple of good putts at the end so it evens itself out.”

“It’s all to play for. You never know what happens in this game and guys have won from further back than this. I’ll just go out and try and get as many birdies as possible and see what happens.”

“This is the only time in my career that I would be happy not to win a golf tournament. Second will do me fine on Sunday.”

 

Deutsche Bank Championship. 63 puts Ryan Palmer in Front.

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Ryan Palmer has placed himself in front of the field in the Deutsche Bank Championship carding a first round 63.

Deuitsche Bank Championship

Ryan Palmer / Getty Images

Ryan’s -8 under par 63 opening round has given him a shot lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. His flawless 63 upstaged local boy Keegan Bradley who had enthralled the partisan gallery with an early morning round of -6 under par 65, which had him on top of the leaderboard for most of the day.

 

Ryan needed only 21 putts during the day, his putter was certainly hot, rolling in an 18 footer on the final hole, he is hoping for a Ryder Cup pick;

“I don’t know what to say about it. It was one of my best rounds of the year for sure, I don’t think I’ve ever had 21 putts in one round. It’s been building all year. I keep telling myself something is going to happen.”

“I’ve been putting good for a while. My short putting has been good; my lag putting has been better than it has been in the past. It’s been a matter of hitting the iron shots close, giving myself more chances, and I was able to do that today.”

” Tom Watson keeps saying that he wants hot players, guys that are playing well at the end. I feel like I’ve got a shot. I told (assistant captain) Andy North, I’m going to make it hard on you guys this week.”

Keegan had to settle for second place, and is constantly thinking about the Ryder Cup, day and night;

“Every second,  when I’m sleeping, I’m dreaming about it. When I wake up, I’m thinking about it. When I’m on the course, I’m thinking about it. But I’ve just made the decision that it’s going to come up and I’m not going to try to block it out.”

“I’m just going to try to embrace it and be aware of those thoughts. The more I try not to think about it the more it comes in. I’m just embracing it.”

Jason Day, Webb Simpson and Chesson Hadley share third place after their opening rounds of -5 under par 66.

Hunter Mahan, Rory McIlroy and Jimmy Walker, the top three in the FedExCup standings last week were grouped together on Friday.

Rory carded -1 under par 70, the same as Jimmy while Hunter, last weeks winner, could only post +2 over par 73. Phil Mickelson fell to +3 over par 74,  he has qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola every year of his more than two decades on the PGA TOUR, that streak looks in serious jeopardy this season.

Italian Open. Otto Hennie Takes Control.

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South African Otto Hennie takes control of the Italian Open in Torino, Italy.

Italian Open

Otto Hennie / Getty Images

Otto carded a stunning second round of -10 under par 62 at Circolo Golf Torino to post a mid way tournament score at -15 under par, a three shot lead.

Otto told reporters that although it was special to shoot 62, the thought of 59 never entered his head;

“It’s always special to shoot a 62 but a 59 never even crossed my mind. I didn’t really think about my score until my caddie said if I made par on 17 we would have been on course for a ten under par round.”

“I really played well, hit some good shots and the greens were running well so you were able to make some putts. Something about courses in Italy suits my eye and it would be great to win the tournament. Hopefully I can keep it up and keep going over the weekend.”

Bernd Wiesberger is in second place, three shots back at -12 under par after recording a very respectable -6 under par 66, and Ross Fisher is in third place at -9 under par, he also scored -6 under par 66 in his second round.

Stephen Gallacher needs to finish in the top two on Sunday to move into the last automatic pick for the Ryder Cup, which would knock out Graeme McDowell. The task was made even harder when Otto had posted his second round score before he had even teed off, he responded well carding -7 under par 65, but it still leaves him a long way back at T9;

“When you tee it up 15 and 12 behind you know you’re going to have to be more aggressive and make some birdies so I was delighted to shoot 65 with a double bogey in the end”

“It would be nice to follow it up with more of the same. I knew I had to go low at some stage and I’m just delighted to get on a run on the back nine. I don’t think I could say on air what I was thinking when I saw the leaderboard at lunch.”

“It was a strange feeling. I was looking at the guy who was second to be honest to try and catch him up a bit and a couple more 65s at the weekend and we will see what happens. There are two more rounds and a lot can happen in golf. Just to be in with a shout on Sunday is all you can ask.”

Italian favorite Francesco Molinari could only manage a second round of even par 72, he is now T16 at -6 under par for his National tournament;

“It’s a step back but there are two more days so let’s see what happens at the weekend. It’s a course that’s hard to go under par day after day, if you miss a few fairways you can get into trouble.”

 

 

 

Italian Open. Molinari Flying The Home Flag.

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Francesco Molinari is flying the home flag in the first round of the Italian Open in Torino Italy.

Italian Open

Francesco Molinari / Getty Images

Francesco shot an opening round of -6 under par 66, he was joined at the top of the leaderboard on that score by Bernd Wiesberger.

Francesco has a Ryder Cup spot on his mind after European Team Captain Paul McGinley admitted Francesco is “very much in my mind” for one of the three wild cards that he will announce on Tuesday;

I had a chat with Paul when he got here and I think the good thing is that he knows what I can bring to the team because he has seen me as vice-captain on the last two teams.”

But it’s up to me to prove that I really want it and am playing well enough. I think anything less than a win would not be enough so I have to aim for that.”

Bernd, a two-time European Tour winner has plenty of Gleneagles experience, capturing fourth place in the Johnnie Walker Championship their last year, he also spoke about the Ryder Cup;

Paul knows I play well at Gleneagles and I like the course, but I am pretty far down the list (23rd) and even if I win it would be a surprise to get that call on Tuesday.” 

“The first three days at Valhalla gave me a lot of confidence knowing I could get into that position and be in the last group in a Major. I probably should have tried to make more of a move in the final round but I didn’t drive the ball that well that day and couldn’t really get it going.

“It was actually the first time I have had a really good performance in America as well so it was a big, big week for me and a pretty cool experience to be out so late on a Sunday in a Major.”

There are five players all tied at -5 under par for the tournament; American John Hahn, Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin, Scotland’s Richie Ramsay, England’s Richard Bland and South African Hennie Otto.

Stephen Gallacher, another Ryder Cup hopeful headed straight to the range after an opening round that featured four birdies and four bogeys, posting an even par round of 72;

“I’m a bit disappointed because I threw away a couple of shots midway through my round, but it’s okay for the first day and I am only one good score away from the top of the leaderboard.” 

“I know I have to finish first or second, that’s not going to change, so I’m not putting any pressure on myself. Once you get out on the course you just try to birdie every hole. That’s the easy part. It’s when you finish you think about the Ryder Cup.”

 

The Barclays. Heroic Hunter Wins It.

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An heroic last round wins The Barclays for Hunter Mahan at Ridgewood Country Club.

The Barclays

Hunter and Family / Getty Images

Hunter put together a final round -6 under par 65 to taste sweet victory in The Barclays with a winning total of  -14 under par, a two shot margin over the chasers.

The family turned up unexpectedly to share in the celebrations, which was a great occasion, and Hunter hopes Tom Watson was taking note;

“To get a win in an event like this and the timing, it feels unbelievable, so I’m extremely proud of myself. I felt great the last few weeks, my game was starting to come around. I knew this was around the corner, but to do it, and to do it today with a 65, feels great.”

“I have no idea what he’s thinking or if he has any sort of strategy, but I think a win is a good step in the right direction. I just felt good about how I was playing going into this week, I just stayed calm in my head.”

“This means a lot and this is kind of the biggest win in the sense of what comes with it, having a chance to win the FedEx Cup, a lot has changed from Saturday and Sunday, that’s for sure.”

“I think every player dreams about that, when you have a child, for them to come out on the green. It wasn’t the last group or anything but felt good to see them. They always make everything special.” 

Hunter’s wife Kandi and daughter Zoe just knew they had to be there;

“It’s just great to be together no matter what, and if Hunter did win, we’d definitely wanted to be there. So we decided we wanted to go. Me and Zoe decided we wanted to go.”

Three players tied for second position at -12 under par for the tournament, Cameron Tringale, Jason Day and Stuart Appleby. Stuart also carded a -6 under par 65 to elevate himself up the leaderboard and post the leading score in the clubhouse when he finished.

Jason, who is recovering from a thumb injury is in fine form at the moment;

“I definitely had a shot today, it’s so close. Like it’s just in my fingertips and I can touch it. But Hunter played that much better than all of us and he deserves to win. When you play great on the back nine on a Sunday in a Playoff event, you’re doing something right.” 

“You’ve just got to take your hat off to him because he played well to win the tournament. I didn’t lose it, which was a good thing. I played well, tried my best and wasn’t good enough.”

“I really want to give it a shot at winning the FedExCup. That’s the ultimate goal, and you can’t do that without winning tournaments.”

Cameron celebrated his 27th birthday in style, with a final round -5 under par 66, which should have been better, a bogey on the last cost him second place on his own;

“I just played with a peace that surpassed understanding today, I didn’t feel nervous out there. I felt comfortable and I felt like I was in control of what was going on. I’ve just got so much to be grateful for; no matter how this day turned out, it was going to be awesome.”

Lets not go into the Jim Furyk saga.

Czech Masters. Jamie Donaldson Wins.

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Jamie Donaldson wins the  D+D REAL Czech Masters, and also earns his Ryder Cup place at Gleneagles.

Czech Masters

Jamie Donaldson / Getty Images

Jamie shot a last round -4 under par 68 to post a winning -14 under par Czech Masters tournament total at the Albatross Golf Resort in Prague.

Jamie needed at least a top-seven finish to secure a place on Paul McGinley’s European Ryder Cup Team, but earned his place in style by winning;

“This is big, it’s been an amazing week. Winning is everything: wins shoot you up world rankings, Race To Dubai, all sorts. Its massive – those three last holes coming in there were really tough with the wind blowing, so I’m just really happy to seal it.”

“I didn’t get here until late; I needed to play well either this week or next week, or both, to guarantee my place in The Ryder Cup Team so there was a lot on the line and this week I played really well, so that’s great.”

“It’s so difficult to get into the team, the lads are playing so well. You know that you have to play well to secure your place and it did come down to the wire. But that’s how it is to get into the team, I played as well as I can play for 18 months, and then a couple of slow events and you rocket down the list, so it’s great to come here and play so well and do enough to get into the team.”

I felt pretty good after yesterday; I’ve had a lot of birdies here all week. I’ve dropped too many shots, which stopped me from moving away a little bit, so today everything came together.”

“I had a great first three holes and felt very relaxed. I just had to slow things down, take my time and allow myself to play good shots all the time, as opposed to some of the time, and that went my way and worked well and enabled me to win.”

Welsh countryman Bradley Dredge finished in second place with a -12 under par total after his disappointing final round of even par, he can at least console himself knowing that this finish and the earnings of €277,770 in the last fortnight will ensure he regains the playing card he lost in 2012;

“Mixed feelings because again there was the chance to win there, I had a two shot lead going into the last round. Both the guys got off to great starts today and I played nicely, but just didn’t putt as well today.”

“I was trying to keep the pressure on and try to force the other guys into mistakes, but to be fair to Jamie he played great and I’m pleased he’s secured his place in the Ryder Cup.”

“It’s been a great two weeks in terms of two seconds. Two firsts would’ve been better. Slightly disappointed I didn’t win one, but I’ll have a few more chances before the end of the year, and see how that goes.”

Tied in third place at -11 under par were Søren Kjeldsen and Merrick Bremner, while Ryder Cup hopeful Stephen Gallacher finished in a tie for 7th, and was disappointed with his +1 over par final round;

 “The week went pretty well, bit disappointed with today, I didn’t really play that well, but top ten if you’re not firing is quite good.”

“My goal this week was to win it or try and finish as high up as I could. I was in contention in the second last group, if you then play well you can win, if you don’t and still finish top ten, then you’ve got it round well. I’m off to Italy, home for a couple of days, and then I’ll be heading there.”

 

 

The Barclays. Furyk in the Frame, with Digger Day for Company.

White Dragon GolfThe Barclays

Jim Furyk has put himself in the frame to win The Barclays, with Aussie Digger Day for company.

The Barclays

Jim Furyk /Getty Images

Jim Furyk and Jason Day lead The Barclays at the 54 hole stage with a tournament total of -9 under par. Jim had a third round -2 under par 69, while Jason went one better a -3 under par effort.

Jim is not thinking about the six previous times he had failed to convert;

” It’s part of my; I don’t want to say my golf history, but it’s part of my golf game and what’s going on. I don’t really block anything out. It’s done. It’s over.”

 “I’ve thought about those situations and how I could handle them better. Just put it behind me and try to use it to my advantage in the future.”

“I don’t need any motivation. Sitting tied for the lead in a big of golf tournament on a golf course that I really enjoy playing and have a lot of respect for. I think it’s a great golf course. No extra motivation needed. I’m just happy to be in a good spot and looking forward to tomorrow.”

Jason had a wild ride during this third round of -3 under 68, which included a double-bogey on the par five 13th, and a bogey on the par five 17th. It was a case of what could have been;

“Oh, it feels great, obviously the hard work that I’ve put in since the WGC, just to be able to get the all‑clear to go out there and not let the thumb injury kind of hinder what you’re trying to do in practice. At the end of the day when you have an injury and it’s slowly not going away, you kind of play little games in your head.” 

“You’re thinking, ‘OK, when will I be back fully healthy? When can I practice again? Will I ever play the game again?” 

“Since it’s been a stop-start year, to be able to work hard and get yourself into contention, maybe to even win the FedEx Cup at the end of the playoffs would obviously cap off a great year. This is only my 12th start of the year. There’s still a lot of good golf ahead of me this year.”

The Barclays

Jason Digger Day / Getty Images

Hunter Mahan is alone in third place, a third round -3 under par 68 giving him a -8 under par tournament total. He said his round was relatively stress free, and hopes this result will improve his chances of a Ryder Cup pick;

“I just felt like I had good looks and if I didn’t make them, then they were tap‑ins. I was hitting fairways and greens and I was putting for birdie all day. I don’t want to say an easy round, but it wasn’t too stressful, I guess.”

“I know a win would definitely improve my chances. So you know, right now, it’s just with the FedEx Cup playoffs and everything, a win means a lot from a points perspective and everything else. Got to be aggressive and go out and try to win.”

The final round of this opening FedEx Cup playoff event is shaping up as a shootout, there are 15 players who are separated by three shots.