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.

The Honda Classic. Michael Thompson Comes Up Trumps.

A bear of a win

Michael Thompson / Franklin / Getty Images

Michael Thompson came up trumps in The Honda Classic at PGA National Champion Course, Palm Beach Florida. Young gun Michael cruised to a two shot win over the more experienced Geoff Ogilvy, with a last round of -1 under par and a tournament total of -9 under par. The win gets Michael into his first World Golf Championship next week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral, and qualifies for two more WGCs this year at the Bridgestone Invitational and at the HSBC Champions. He is also now  in the PGA Championship, gets to start next year in Hawaii and earned a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR.

Michael said in interview that the whole week had been magical, something he had been dreaming about for a long time;

“This week was magical, just had a groove and kept feeling it. This is everything, this is a childhood dream come true. I’ve dreamed of playing out here since I was 7 years old and to win, it’s just unbelievable. I just can’t put it into words, the whole day was awesome.”

He particularly enjoyed walking up the eighteenth fairway after his second shot on the par five landed in the greenside bunker, giving him the opportunity of an up and down birdie, and he did just that;

“That for me kind of sealed the deal, it allowed me to walk up the fairway and enjoy the experience, see the crowd and just finish strong.”

Geoff Ogilvy will also be at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral, thanks to putting together four good rounds of golf, for his total of  -7 under par.

Geoff admitted that he had already given himself next week off;

“I kind of penciled in a week off, so it’s nice, and it gets me back in the mix for the Masters.”

Geoff was also full of admiration for Michael, and the way he played this golf course;

You don’t have to do much wrong to be making a bogey out there, so it’s pretty impressive, it’s a great effort really. As you see by the rest of the scores, it’s a very hard golf course and it seems to get progressively harder in some ways. There’s a disaster waiting everywhere. There’s a lot of golf courses on tour that it might be easy to close out a golf tournament, or easier, but this is not one of them.”

Luke Guthrie, Michael’s sparring partner at the top of the leaderboard for most of this event fell back during the last round, carding a miserable +3 over par 73, and a tournament total of -5 under par, but it still left him alone in third place.

 

Euro Tour, WGC-HSBC Champions, China. It’s Oosthuizen and Scott

Louis Oosthuizen  (Getty Images)

Louis Oosthuizen/Getty Images

Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott lead the World Golf Championship, HSBC Champions event at Mission Hills, China, with opening rounds of -7  under par, 65, in the calm and excellent low scoring conditions. Both players finished with Eagles on their last hole, the par 5 ninth.

Louis said he did not think that there was a low score to be had;

“I don’t think I saw a really low number out there but once you look at the leaderboard and see the guys are firing it up, all of a sudden you started seeing birdies. I played well, I made five birdies on the par fives, and that got the round going, and then I made two more birdies. I hit a few bad iron shots, but made good up and downs for pars and just glad to have a bogey-free round. I’m always happy with that. There are three rounds left and a lot of golf to be played. The main key is to try to put myself in a spot to win it on Sunday. If I can keep doing what I’m doing on the par fives and hitting fairways, you’ve got a good chance.” 

Adam Scott, he of the long putter, which could be banned shortly, is seeking a win before the ban arrives. Adam, the eight-time European Tour winner said he was having a solid day, that turned into a good day;

It was a solid day that all of a sudden turned into a really good day. I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up finishing close on the last couple holes and I took advantage of that. With five par fives, it sets up well for my game, and the plan is to just take advantage of the fives and hopefully hang in there with the leaders all week.”

Phil Mickleson, who also managed to eagled the ninth, says his game feels really good. Phil joined the group at -6 under par, with his round of 66;

 “My game feels really good, It’s gotten better each week since the PGA Championship and hopefully I can carry on. I certainly feel confident that I will be able to.”

Bubba Watson, Peter Hanson and Shane Lowry are the other players who completed their opening  rounds in 66. It certainly looked like Shane was going to be the clubhouse leader after he bounded into a clear lead when he holed a six footer for birdie at the 15th and gained another shot from ten feet at the 16th. Unfortunately Shane failed to save par from the green-side bunker on seventeen, and then also hit it into the sand on the last, finishing with two bogeys for his 66.

Shane said he was disappointed to finish like that, but he was happy with his position;

I’m happy with six under and I’m in a good position with three days to go. Obviously was very disappointed bogeying the last two, I felt like I had the ball on a string all day and felt like it came very easy to me today.  Just to bogey those last two was disappointing but six under is a good score out there, and I’m looking forward to the next few days.”

Luke Donald has made a good start to this tournament, a -4 under par 68, a good solid start, Luke has a good record in the WGC, and could figure in this one.

Els vs Donald @ ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY

Ernie Els, ranked 65th in the world a week ago, is in the field for this week’s World Golf Championships, Accenture Match Play Championship, this is because Phil Mickelson isn’t playing.  Phil is spending the week on a family vacation, that meant Els nabbed the final spot in the tournament. Ernie joked on Monday;

“I’ve got some good red wines I can give him, and I definitely will buy him a dinner whenever he wants it.”

Mind you Ernie’s record in this competition has not been too good recently. Each of the last two years, he’s gone out in the second round, and three of the four years prior to that, he was eliminated in the first round. This years first round opponent, in Wednesday’s opening round,  is none other than world number one Luke Donald, last years the defending champion.

When questioned why he seems to struggle in this tournament Ernie replied;

“The format is different, over an 18-hole match, it feels quite fast. I’m kind of sometimes a slow starter and getting into the match. I felt on a 36-hole match like we had at Wentworth, I could feel I could get wired in. I felt my game could stand up for a long period of time, and maybe grind the guy down a little bit. I think that’s why I had such a good record there.”

Talking about his match up with Luke Donald for the first round Ernie said;

”Obviously he’s in great form, he had an unbelievable year last year and becoming world No. 1. He’s got a lot going for him. It’s not like I’m the worst match player in the world. I think I know what I need to do. You’ve  got to keep the ball in play. You’ve got to keep it in play on every single hole, because he’s going to be in every hole.”

Good Luck Ernie, I think you are going to need it.

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