Deutsche Bank Championship. Henley Hits the Top.

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Russell Henley hit the top of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston at the end of round three.

Deutsche Bank Championship

Russell Henley / Getty Images

Russell shot a third round -6 under par 65 to top the Deutsche Bank Championship leaderboard with a score of -12 under par. He said be believes in himself and thinks he can add to his two PGA Tour titles;

“I believe in myself, and I think hopefully you’ll be seeing more of me in the future, but this game is so hard, I don’t know.”

“You’ve got to play all four rounds out here on TOUR and I expect everybody out there to go play well tomorrow. Everybody is so good at this level and it’s so hard to compete and beat these guys.”

“Rory is having a great year, and a lot of guys are playing well. So it’s so far off, so much golf we play, to be thinking about too much. But I’m not really going to be keeping an eye on anybody.”

“One time I birdied the last five holes and shot 29 on the back nine, one time I tried to hold it together the last couple of holes and won in a playoff. There’s a lot of ways to win.”

“But I’m trying to not focus on that. I’m just trying to really enjoy it. Nobody is really expecting me to be sitting here right now. And that’s kind of how I like it.”

Billy Horschel is still hanging around, today’s -4 under par 67 good enough to give him second spot on the leaderboard at -11 under par, just one shot back, without he said playing too well;

“I didn’t hit it nearly as good as I did the first two days, at least in my liking. And I just knew, if I just kept making pars, not making any mistakes. I knew I was going to get some birdies somewhere in the round and it just happened to be the last three holes.”

“I played really solid. Me being patient today was hopefully a sign of me maturing a little bit and growing up as a golfer. So that’s a good sign for me and hopefully I can keep doing it tomorrow.”

Jason Day and Chris Kirk are joined in third place by the big gun Rory McIlroy, all at -10 under par for the tournament. An amazing turn-around from Rory, yesterday all over the place, today -7 under par 64. Chris Kirk also recorded the same 64, Jason a little more modest at -2 under par, struggles with the back nine;

“The front fits my eye, I like the front nine. The back nine you’ve got to pay a little more respect, because I think it’s a little tougher.”

Throughout the PGA TOUR normally the harder holes are towards the end of the round. But this course, I wouldn’t say it’s the toughest finish on TOUR, 16, 17 and 18 you can definitely shoot up the leaderboard if you’re playing well.”

Rory is feeling quite calm about his position in this tournament going into the final round;

“I’ve been in this position quite a lot recently, so I know how it’s going to feel tomorrow.”

“It feels normal, it feels like it’s what I’m supposed to do. It’s my job to go out there and shoot good scores. I’m not getting too excited about it. I’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow if I want to win this tournament.”

Italian Open. Hennie Has the Trophy.

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Hennie Otto has lifted the Italian Open Trophy at Circolo Golf Torino in Italy.

Italian Open

Hennie Otto and Trophy / Getty Images

Hennie lifted the Italian Open Trophy after completing his final round of -4 under par 68, which gave him a two shot victory total of -20 under par. The two back operations are now a distant memory, like his previous win at this tournament in 2008;

“I was playing well before the injury but it is a surprise to win so soon. Golf is not perfect and to come back after the operations and win in my second week, I will take that any day.”

“I don’t know what it is about Italy, sometimes some golf courses just suit your eye and that was the case again for me this week. It just felt good this week and I was comfortable on this course. “

“The first two rounds were good because my back was no problem, then yesterday after the tenth it started to stiffen up again, that’s why I hit so many weird shots. But I kept my composure and today wasn’t easy because the guys played so well with some of them trying to get The Ryder Cup spots.”

“I really hope Stevie makes it, he deserves it and has proved himself this week.”

David Howell carded a marvelous -9 under par 63 to take second place with tournament total of -18 under par. His effort stopped Stevie Gallacher from earning an automatic Ryder Cup spot;

“I really hope Stephen gets a pick because he would make a fantastic Ryder Cup player. It was a supreme effort and if a captain needs an example of a player in form who can play under pressure he has had it this weekend.”

Stevie Gallacher was so close to that second place he needed, finishing in third place just one shot back at -17 under par. A brilliant final round of -7 under par would have been good enough to qualify on any other day;

It was a tall order but I am proud of myself the way I have played, I’m delighted with 17 under, it looks just a little short but there is nothing I can do.”

“When it comes down to someone else’s opinion, I wanted to qualify myself just to take that away. There are four or five guys that are worthy of a wild card so it’s just what Paul sees.”

“At the end of the day I haven’t done enough, we all had the chance of the start of the year and there are nine guys in the team at the moment who have qualified. There are three picks to come and I just hope that I have done enough to get one.”

“I was still trying to win the tournament as well and it was strange knowing that second could do it, but I gave it my best shot and I hope Paul likes what he sees.”

Paul McGinley hailed Stephen’s “terrific performance” but explained he would assess all his options in a “cold way” after the Deutsche Bank Championship finishes at TPC Boston on Monday evening.

Deutsche Bank Championship. Two Tied at the Top.

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Jason Day and Ryan Palmer are tied together at the top of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston.

Deutsche Bank Championship  Deutsche Bank Championship

Ryan Palmer and Jason Day both posted tournament totals of -8 under par at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Ryan carded an even par second round of 71, while Jason made up ground with his -3 under par 68. Jason has a chance to win for a second straight week, taking the least putts of anyone in the field, needing  just 47, including 25 in the second round.

He mentioned the times he has been in a good position, and how he is now comfortable with being there, finishing second last week;

” The times I put myself there, the better I feel and the more comfortable I feel playing in final groups. I’m just going to keep trying to do the work, stay aggressive to my targets.”

“You get yourself above the trees, it can be very difficult to judge how much wind there is, and if you get too far below the trees, it doesn’t get hit by the wind at all. It played tough today. I played good on the front nine, played kind of average on the back nine. But I got it in.”

Ryan spoke about the Ryder Cup spots, and how happy he was to finish the round at even par;

“I don’t think we ever had this many guys trying to get three spots. I think there’s five or six guys he’s looking at, or whatever it is. Hopefully, I’ll be there standing, I don’t know.”

‘It could have gone the other way real quick, I was glad to get that last birdie on 18 and salvage even par.”

“I just struggled hitting some crisp iron shots. I had a lot of good putts, a lot of good saves, some good long birdie putts. But it was a grind today. I didn’t have it all. But I fought hard and stayed patient. And I was able to get in at even par.”

Tied in third place are Matt Kuchar and Billy Horschel, just one shot back of the leaders at -7 under par for the tournament.

Matt’s round  featured six consecutive birdies around the turn, but his thoughts are concentrated on his caddie Lance Bennett, whose wife, Angela, died of a seizure Wednesday. All players were offered a chance to donate to a trust fund for the 4-year-old daughter of  his caddie. Matt decided to play to raise awareness and get the tour involved in helping the family.

‘You never know how things will work out in the game of golf, but it felt like there’s some fate working, as well. The funeral is coming up and some things that will be difficult. But right now, I feel like there’s some inspiration and some fate working.”

Phil Mickelson, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Ernie Els and Bubba Watson all made the cut, which had been set at +3 over par.

 

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.”