Honda Classic. Two Players at the Top

White Dragon GolfThe Honda Classic

Two Players are tied at the top of The Honda Classic leaderboard after round 1 at PGA National Golf Club in Florida. Alex Noren, Sweden and Webb Simpson, USA, have a one shot advantage over the field.

The Honda Classic

Webb Simpson / getty

Webb reckons this is one of the toughest golf courses;

”When you stand on certain tee boxes or certain approach shots, you remember that, man, this is one of the hardest courses we play all year, including majors.”

Alex came to the USA to gain some experience, and it’s working;

“I came over here to try to play some more American-style courses, get firmer greens, more rough, and to improve my driving and improve my long game.”

”So it’s been great.”

Five players are tied in third place at -3 under par, Morgan Hoffman, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger, USA, with Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa and Mackenzie Hughes from Canada, all had opening rounds of 67.

Justin summed up his day;

“Some of those holes, you’re just kind of holding on for dear life” 

A lot of players, including Tiger Woods, even par 70 today and Rory McIlroy, +2 over 72 have been critical at the state of the greens on the Champion Course;

Rory spoke about the crusty greens;

“They looked more like Sunday greens than Thursday.”

“They are pretty crusty. They are going to have a job keeping a couple of them alive.”

Tiger commented;

“It’s going to get more difficult because these greens are not the best.”

“Some of these putts are a bit bouncy, there’s no root structure.”

“You hit shots and you see this big puff of sand on the greens, so that shows you there’s not a lot of root structure.”

But apparently Brad Nelson, PGA National’s director of agronomy is happy with the greens, where on the first day of play only 20 golfers broke par;

“Our goal is to be really, really firm, and we feel like we are in a good place for where we want them to be going into the weekend.”

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L.E.T. Ladies Classic Bonville. Holly Clyburn Leads.

 

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 Holly Clyburn from England leads the  inaugural  Ladies Classic Bonville, Australia, setting a new course record at Bonville Golf Resort.

Ladies Classic Bonville

Holly Clyburn / getty

Holly set the course record with a bogey free -5 under par 67 to lead the inaugural  Ladies Classic Bonville in Australia;

“It’s been nice to go and play some free golf and shoot 67, which was not very stressful.”

“I still had 32 putts out there and hit 17 greens, so it was probably the worst I could have shot, but I wasn’t getting greedy, because it’s not an easy golf course and it can turn you upside down.”

“You can’t switch off at any point. The grain is really strong out there. You’ve got to put it in the right areas and that’s what I did. You’ve just got to be careful.”

Sharing second place at -3 under par, after rounds of 69 are Valdis Thora JonsdottirIceland and Marta Sanz Barrio from Spain.

Marta had a great day with her putter;

 “I wasn’t hitting it great, but the putter was hot.”

Valdis was trying not to lose her temper;

“This course is just about being patient, as you can easily lose your temper.”

Hannah Green and Steph Na , Australia, are in an eight-way tie for fourth place on -2 under par, with Sharmila NicolletIndia, Xi Yu Lin, China, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, DenmarkAna Menendez, Mexico, Olivia CowanGermany, and Céline Boutier from France.

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Qatar Masters. Three Tied at the Top.

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Three players are tied at the top of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters leaderboard after the 1st round at Doha Golf ClubGrégory Havret, France, with Eddie Pepperell and Aaron Rai from England lead.

Qatar Masters

Eddie Pepperell / getty

Eddie, Aaron, and Grégory all carded first rounds of -7 under par 65 in the calm conditions at Doha Golf Club, and lead the tournament by one shot.

Eddie has a new coach;

“I’ve made some changes this week with personnel so I’ve been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.”

“I’m looking forward to the weekend but even more so moving forward to the rest of the season.”

“I want to push forward and I just feel like my game has been hitting ceilings a bit. I want to break through that.”

Grégory has gained confidence with his putter, and that was the key;

“I was putting well and that’s definitely the key, last week I didn’t play much different and I missed the cut by a lot.”

“As soon as you feel your putting is not able to compensate for your mistakes you put more pressure on your driving and your iron shots and then it can be a disaster as you try things that you normally don’t.”

“It’s all part of the process, if you putt well you feel comfortable.”

Aaron made it to the European Tour via three wins on the Challenge Tour last season;

“I drove it well and then gave myself a lot of opportunities with the approach play, didn’t miss too many greens.”

“Gameplan-wise, you have to be doing something right and playing some good golf to shoot a 65 so I’ll just continue in the same vein and try not to change too much.”

Oliver Fisher, England, Edoardo Molinari, Italy, Alvaro Quiros, Spain and Marcel Schneider, Germany, are all sharing  fourth place, shooting -6 under 66 for their opening rounds.

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Honda LPGA Thailand. 4 Way Tie at the Top.

 

White Dragon GolfHonda LPGA Thailand

There is a 4 way tie at the top of the Honda LPGA Thailand after the first round at Siam Country Club Old Course in Thailand. Lexi Thompson and Jessica Korda, USA, Minjee Lee, Australia, and home town girl Moriya Jutanugarn from Thailand share the lead.

Honda LPGA Thailand

Lexi Thompson / getty

Lexi, Jessica, Minjee and Moriya all recorded first round scores of -6 under par 66 to lead the Honda LPGA Thailand by one shot.

Moriya is trying to become the first lady from Thailand to win this event;

“I had a good start today, it was better than I expected, I just rested this off-season and ate Thai food at home.”

Lexi was happy to get off to a good start here and was very happy with her putter, requiring just 28 on the day;

“I eagled the first hole and then birdied the second and it was great to get off to a good start.”

“This golf course is a lot of just hitting it in the fairway. Once you’re there, it is also about the second shot.”

Minjee also had a good day with the putter;

“I hit it really solid today, I hit a lot of solid putts so I’m pretty happy with today.”

Jessica is returning to golf after some surgery;

“It’s nice, it’s really, really nice, definitely a lot of rest, but it’s just nice to be out there and be able to hit the shots again.”

“I had a strong finish last year, and just kind of cap that off and then start today it’s pretty nice. Started with an eagle, too, and I was like, damn.”

There are six ladies in a tie for second place at -5 under par after rounds of 67. It is a very compacted leaderboard, lets see if someone can break way tomorrow.

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Genesis Open. Bubba Watson Wins.

White Dragon GolfGenesis Open

Bubba Watson wins the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California, the third time he has won the event.

Bubba wins Genesis Open

Bubba Watson / getty

Bubba won the Genesis Open with a last round -2 under 69 to post the winning score of -12 under par, his 10th career PGA TOUR victory;

“It’s unbelievable.”

“To do it twice was amazing, and then have a chance on the back nine on Sunday to do it again, and then to pull it off, that’s very special.”

“My goal has always been to get ten wins.”

 “Double-digit wins? I am thrilled. Nobody thought Bubba Watson from Bagdad, Florida, could ever get to 10 wins.”

“Let’s be honest. No lessons. Head case. Hooking the ball. Slicing the ball. Can’t putt.” 

“So many emotions going through my head right now.”

“You never know if you’re going to play good again. You never know if you’re going to lift the trophy.”

Kevin Na, and Tony Finau share second, both carding -2 under 69 today, for a -10 under par total.

Scott Stallings3 under 68 today, tied with Patrick Cantlay, even par 71, for fourth place at -9 under par.

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NBO Oman Open. Joost Luiten Wins.

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Joost Luiten, Holland, wins the inaugural NBO Oman Open at Al Mouj Golf course in Oman.

NBO Oman Open

Joost Luiten / getty

Joost won the NBO Oman Open with a final round  -4 under 68, giving him a -16 under  par total and a two shot winning margin;

“This is why you play golf, to hold trophies, it’s been a great week.”

“It’s always tough to win out here, all these guys are so good and they keep putting pressure on you.”

“Down the stretch I hit some nice shots, I made some nice putts and it was a nice battle with my friend Woody.”

“I need to win another couple to get into the Ryder Cup Team but it’s a great start to the year for me.”

Chris Wood, England, was in second place at -14 under par, a last round -3 under 69 not enough to claim victory here;

“You play poorly for six or eight months without ever thinking you’d put yourself in contention in a tournament and then when you do you’re gutted when you don’t win.”

“I’m pretty down really but in the grand scheme of things it’s night and day to how I’ve been.”

“After a couple of days I’m sure I’ll reflect and see it’s a big step in the right direction this week.”

“Joost played great to shoot four under. He’s a good mate of mine. I’m annoyed that I haven’t won but I’m pleased for him. We spend a lot of time together so it’s great to see a friend win.”

“On to Qatar where I’ve won before. Given I’ve turned up at most events with no confidence, I probably feel like I can go to an event next week with a little bit of confidence.”

Julien Guerrier, France, finished a shot behind in third place at -13 under, a poor last round of -1 under 71 meant he was never really in contention for the title, poor putting was the culprit;

“I didn’t start really well, I missed a few putts and if I’d made some putts it would have been different as I’d feel more positive about my round but it was tough.”

“To finish third is good. I had appendix surgery before Hong Kong so I missed the first three events so now I’m happy.”

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LPGA ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. J.Y. Wins, Wire to Wire.

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J.Y. Jin Young Ko, South Korea, wins the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open with a wire to wire performance at  Kooyonga Golf Club in Australia.

 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

Jin Young Ko

J.Y. carded -3 under par 69 to win the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open with a wire to wire victory, and a -14 under par tournament total, giving her a three shot winning margin. She also  became just the second person to ever win on the LPGA Tour in her debut as a member, and the first since 1951. 

Hyejin Choi, South Korea, was second at -11 under par with a last round -5 under 67.

The best of the home players was Hannah Green from Australia finishing in third place at -10  under par, she had a final round of -3 under 69.

Low round of the day went to Katherine Kirk, Australia, -7 under par 65, for fourth place on her own at -9 under par, she had a  hot putter that  lifted her;

“I didn’t make anything the first three days, so I guess maybe I was due to make some today.” 

“The girls were playing well at the top, so I don’t expect to have a chance, but just happy I finished well today.”

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