The Quest for the Green Jacket. Day 1 Super Spieth Shows The Way at The Masters

White Dragon GolfThe Masters

The quest for the Green Jacket has begun, and at the end of Day 1 super Jordan Spieth sits on top of The Masters leaderboard at Augusta.

The Masters

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan opened his account at The Masters with a superb first round of -8 under par 64, to sit on top of the leaderboard with a three shot lead at Augusta. He also becomes the youngest player ever to lead this tournament after the first round.

The fast start has worried his opponents, but has excited Jordan;

“I was excited about the way I struck the ball, I’m excited about the start.”

“It capped off a really fun round.”

“I played well last year, but I never broke 70.”

At the other end of the age scale Ernie Els is among the players all tied in second position after scoring -5 under par 67 for their opening efforts. Charlie Hoffman, Justin Rose and Jason Day complete the quartet sharing second spot.

Nobody would appreciate winning The Masters more that Ernie, he wants to leave Augusta wearing the famous Green Jacket;

“That’s the plan, we’ll see what happens.”

“I just felt comfortable, I felt at ease for some reason.”

“There’s definitely a different kind of mind‑set in the whole family coming up here, it’s more of an enjoyment.”

“We kind of are running out of time a little bit here, so we are really trying to enjoy what we’ve got left out here.”

“It’s been 21 years coming to Augusta. It’s been unbelievable, but nothing lasts forever. Samantha had a great time at the Par 3, and I just have a different appreciation, I think, for the place.”

This group is followed by Russell Henley and Sergio Garcia, both on -4 under par for the day.

Rory McIlroy’s opening tee shot, was the longest shot hit at Augusta all day, he finished at -1 under par, which would have been OK, except he is now seven shots off the lead, but he said he will just have to play better in round two;

“Today was a pretty good day. I feel like I can do better. But happy after Day 1 and go out and just try and do a little bit better tomorrow.”

“I haven’t put too much pressure on myself. Look, I obviously know what I can achieve this week, but I’m not letting myself think about it too much.”

Tiger was two shots further back after a first round +1 over par 73.

Tom Watson today became the oldest player to break par at The Masters,  shooting a marvelous opening round -1 under par 71.

The Masters

Tom Watson / Getty Images

The opening tee shots came from Arnold, Jack and Gary.

The Masters

Arnold, Jack and Gary / Getty Images

 

 

Kia Classic. Mirim Lee Leads

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Mirim Lee leads the Kia Classic at Aviara Golf Club in California.

Kia Classic

Mirim Lee / Getty Images

Mirim  said patience was the key for today’s success, -6 under par 66;

“I think comfortable, just I think patience, patience, patience.”

“I’m still a rookie out here, but I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience and played in a lot of tournaments to know that I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, so over the last stretch of holes, I just played my own game, stayed in the moment, and to be honest, I didn’t even know what I shot until I signed my scorecard.”

“I was like, Mike, is this right, 66? But I have grown to learn that that’s how I play my best golf, and I’ve been able to channel that throughout this week.”

“I still want to do my best to stay calm, obviously last week at the Founders I had a really good third round and I was second or third place going into the last day, and I got a little ahead of myself, and I shot 2‑over the last day.”

“So I just want to stay calm, hold on to my last couple rounds here, and just play golf.”

Alison Lee also sot -6 under par 66 today, and is in second place on her own at -15 under par;

“I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience and played in a lot of tournaments to know that I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself.”

“So, over the last stretch of holes, I just played my own game, stayed in the moment, and to be honest, I didn’t even know what I shot until I signed my scorecard.”

Sakura Yokomine and Cristie Kerr share third place at -13 under par.

Si Re Pak equaled the course record -8 under par 64, and sits T5 at -12 under par for the tournament;

“I had a shoulder injury last year, and this is my third event.”

“I wasn’t expecting anything, just each week hopefully get better. My game is getting together.”

“But until yesterday it wasn’t really great, but today it was happening, so it really helps a lot. It was really fun.”

World number one Lydia Ko is also T5 at -12 under par, and keeps the under par round streak going with -5 under par 67 today. Her her consecutive rounds under par streak now stands at 27;

“I played with Katie Burnett today and we both made a good share of birdies, and that’s what I’m going to try and do tomorrow with the other girl that I’m going to play with.”

“It’s a tough course. You can get really lucky and make a lot of great putts, and I think the person that is going to hole a lot of putts tomorrow is going to be the winner.”

“Just being packed up towards the leaderboard, you never know who’s going to be the winner.”

 

 

Valero Texas Open. Aaron Plays Badly, Jimmy Jogs Along at the Top.

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Poor Aaron Baddeley played badly, while Jimmy Walker jogs along at the top of the Valero Texas Open, at TPC San Antonio.

Valero Texas Open

Jimmy Walker / Getty Images

Jimmy shot a third round -3 under par 69 to top the Valero Texas Open leaderboard with a -9 under par total, and a four shot lead going into the final round on Sunday. The only thing going against Jimmy is the fact  that no 54 hole leader has gone on to win this year.

The par-4 12th hole at TPC San Antonio turned out to be the turning point of the round, Jimmy hit driver off the tee and watched as the ball disappeared into the left bunker. They could not see it in the bunker, but started digging, and eventually found it deep in the sand and managed to just get it out;

“I’m in there digging, I’m moving earth and I can’t find the ball, really? is it here? it’s here. I don’t know. It was kind of hectic.”

“I didn’t really know what to do, I didn’t know if the play that I made was going to be right. It was way under there.”

“So that was a bummer, but I got it out somehow and then hit a good shot up there and thought if I made the putt that would have been gigantic. Making five was good there.”

“I view tomorrow that I have to go out and play a good round because, you know, seeing, it’s just hard.”

“You can get on the wrong side out here pretty quick, it’s that kind of golf course, it’s hard.”

“So you have to really concentrate and hit the golf shots you need to hit. So that’s what I have to do tomorrow.”

Jordan Spieth is in second place at -5 under par for the competition, he also had problems with the tee shot on twelve, finding a bunker and ended up with a five;

“I think driver was the right decision, but where I went wrong with it is instead of ripping the drive, I tried to just bleed a fade off the bunkers and take some off.”

“And that’s just what I do on the weekends when I get in trouble. I’m trying to do a little too much.”

Jordan then went on to double bogie the 16th and finished the round with a -1 under par 71;

“I just made a bad swing, if it had gone against the grandstands I would have been left with that same up and down I had the second time.”

“It was kind of a stroke penalty bad break on it. All-in-all, I didn’t deserve a good one with that swing.”

“For me, I’m not necessarily looking at it as a shootout, if we were both 9-under or six shots clear of anybody else, I’d agree with you.”

“But tomorrow is about me just going out there and off the bat trying to play a good, solid round of golf and gain some momentum.”

“If it happens to be where we get into a shootout it’s going to be fun. Fun for the people watching us, and even more for Jimmy and I to be out there dueling it out.”

Billy Horschel has claimed third place on his own, he also had a third round -1 under par 71, for a tournament total of -3 under par, he finished the day with some momentum, three straight birdies;

“I needed it because I actually played really well for most of the round.”

“Fortunately I hit some good shots on the front side and got rewarded for it with the wind dying down and the ball landing real soft on the greens compared to the last couple of days.” 

“I hung in there, I made some good par saves at 14 and 15. I told my caddie we need to make at least two birdies coming in. It was nice to make three. I’m right where I need to be going into tomorrow.”

Aaron finished the day at -1 under par for the tournament, after his disastrous +4 over par 76.

Kia Classic. Morgan Pressel Shoots 64 to Equal Record

 

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Morgan Pressel shoots 64 to equal the course record and to share the lead in the Kia Classic at the half-way point at Aviara Golf Club in California.

Kia Classic

Morgan Pressel / Getty Images

Morgan carded a second round -8 under par 64 to top the leaderboard at -10 under par with Mirim Lee at the Kia Classic.

Morgan spoke of her stress free round, hitting it in close and putting very well;

“It was definitely stress free, I hit almost every fairway, and I think 16 or 17 greens. And I had a chance of birdie on almost every hole”

“I think there was one hole I had a par putt of two feet, so that was nice. I just hit it where I wanted to hit it today.”

“It’s been a while since I’ve kind of been confident knowing where the golf ball would go, and so it was nice to swing freely out there today and have the result that I did.”

“I mean the greens are difficult and tough to read, and they are bumpy, especially later in the day. So that kind of puts it all in perspective as how difficult the greens are out here.”

“But early on I made a couple of really long putts, you kind of feel like your stealing them when they go in, so that was nice.”

“I was hitting it close too, so I gave myself a lot of opportunities, and certainly some of them went in, and I had one that was a kick in, that was nice too.” 

Alison Lee and Christie Kerr are tied in third place, just one shot behind at -9 under par, while  Maria Hernandez, Sakura Yokomine, Hyo Joo Kim and Brittany Lang are together in 5th position at -8 under par.

Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko are currently at -7 under par for the tournament, Stacy with -3  69 today and Lydia -2 under 70. They are tied in 9th place with Alison Walshe.

Lydia has now recorded 26 consecutive rounds of golf under par, and  she is just three rounds away from tying the LPGA record of 29, held by Annika Sorenstam.

It’s not something that Lydia spends too much time thinking about;

“You know, you don’t know because at the end of the day it’s just you’re talking about that round and that tournament and how well you finished.”

“But I guess it’s been pretty good and I’ve been playing pretty solid the last couple of weeks, especially when we went down under, Australian, New Zealand to Singapore.”

” So yeah, you know, it’s a  pretty cool streak, but you just never know, and I’m not going to be counting.”

 

Trophee Hassan 11. Four-Way Tie at the Top

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There is a four-way tie at the top in the Trophee Hassan 11 at the Golf du Palais Royal course in Morocco.

Trophee Hassan 11

Richie Ramsay / Getty Images

Richie Ramsay had a second round -6 under par 66 to join Richard Green, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Oliver Farr at the top of the Trophee Hassan 11 leaderboard on that score.

Richie has missed a few cuts recently and is happy to be playing some good golf;

“The last few months have been frustrating.”

“You just want to go out and play and I’ve had a few niggling injuries. I’ve just tried to stick to my guns and make sure I stretch and have a good practice routine.”

“That builds up and slowly but surely it comes around and today was the day it happened. Hopefully it can stay for the weekend.”

Oliver came through the Challenge Tour at the first attempt last year, but has had a challenging start to the European Tour;

“It’s my first time here and it is absolutely fantastic to play in the King’s garden, it’s spectacular, that’s all I can say,” 

“This year has been great; each week there are new challenges. Dealing with everything is tricky but I’m enjoying it.” 

“Being in a share of the lead is great. It’s what we prepare for and practice for. We are only halfway through but hopefully I can be there on Sunday.”

Rafael had recently broken a toe, and had been wearing tennis shoes on the course, today was the first time out back in his golf shoes;

“I broke my pinkie toe on my right foot, not even a funny story, just banging it on a table.”

“I had to play in Puerto Rico in tennis shoes and could barely tie them. I then managed to get some really wide, and big shoes to wear in Tampa, and today’s the first day it has been OK to wear the proper golf shoes.”

“I’m pleased it didn’t bother me too much.”

Richard had taken a break from golf since his last appearance, which was in Thailand;

“I had a bit of break since Thailand and have not played a lot of golf.”

“I got myself ready for this week and to find myself six under after two rounds is great.” 

“I was pretty happy with the form in Thailand and the tournaments leading up to that. I’ve still got the same swing thoughts and mental thoughts, so it has carried on this week.”

Marcel Siem and Alexander Levy may have seen their Masters hopes vanish, poor second rounds have dashed their hopes of a Trans-Atlantic flight to the States.

 

Adam Scott Back to Broomstick.

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Adam Scott is considering going back to the Broomstick Putter to try and win another Major, The Masters, again;

The Masters

Adam Scott and Broomstick / Getty Images

Adam Scott got to number one in the world, and won a Major, the 2013 Masters, all with the soon to be banned Broomstick Putter. He had recently reverted to using a conventional putter, but could not find one that suited him. Sadly he did not try a White Dragon Putter.

Adam thinks this is the only way he can ever win another Major, so it is the smart thing to do;

“Putting with a longer putter is maybe the smarter thing to do.”

“I don’t know. It’s all about the lag putting. It’s such a difference in weight of club and stroke and everything. I’m just trying to figure it all out.”

“It’s not exactly where I want to be, but it doesn’t matter when it comes to the Masters.”

“I’ve got two weeks and a really clear idea of what to work on.”

Do you think this is a small hint that Adam intends to retire from professional golf ? Why would you carry on playing if in your mind you can not win. Mental Attitude is everything, if Adam has convinced himself he has problems using a conventional putter, the chances of holing putts are slim, especially the important ones.

Personally I hope Adam uses a short putter at The Masters, and also that he continues to play great golf, as we all know he can.

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Matt Makes It Again.

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Defending Champion Matt Every makes it again at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Matt Every and Arnold / Getty Images

Matt Every and Arnold / Getty Images

Matt joined Tiger Woods and Loren Roberts as the only players to repeat at Bay Hill, shooting a final round -6 under par 66, and an Arnold Palmer Invitational total of -19 under par, a one shot victory;

“It’s easy to get down on yourself out here, it’s the biggest waste of time because nobody really cares.”

“The last three feet I was begging for it to hang, and I was like, ‘Gosh, these are the ones that always lip out. Be so cool to see this one dive in,’ and it did. Cool moment.”

“I was playing so good, yesterday when I got done, that was the best I hit it in a long time.”

“I told Tiger I’d hold it down for him until he gets back.”

“I’m like, you’re already in the Masters.”

“After Augusta last year, I was really bummed out, I felt really good about my game and then I got there and got my butt kicked. “

“I’ve got to get better because I don’t want to be a guy who can’t compete there.”

“I do want to win more tournaments, though, scratch that I said that, but it’s neat to get them both here.”

Henrik, who finished second at -18 under par, was annoyed at being put on the clock by the officials, on the 15th hole, when he was leading the tournament, and I am inclined to agree with him, what a stupid decision;

“I’m a little bit disappointed with the outcome, but I’m as much disappointed with the PGA Tour officials for putting us on the clock on 15, starting to chase us down the stretch, and that’s not really the way to close out a golf tournament.”

“It’s hard enough to finish out a golf tournament and play those finishing holes without being on the clock.”

“I didn’t see the reason for that really. I didn’t even read my putt more than just one quick look on 15. Three-putted that one from long range. Morgan got a bad time on 16 on the second shot. I kind of rushed my putt from the back fringe.”

“It’s just hard when you don’t feel like you can take the time that you want to take. That surely didn’t help the cause.”

Ozzie Matt Jones finished in third place at -17 under par, with -4 under par 67 final round.

Rory, T11 at -11 under, spoke about the odds of him winning The Masters;

“I guess if you go on form, then probably no. But it depends how far you take that form back and you’ve got to look at previous results there and all sorts of stuff. I’m not a bookie.”

“The main goal was to come here and try to win, couldn’t do that. At least I got a couple of things out of this week, which is good.”