AT&T Byron Nelson. Aussie Steve Bowditch Leads

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Aussie Steve Bowditch leads the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Four Seasons Resort in Texas.

AT&T Byron Nelson

Steve Bowditch /Getty Images

Steve shot a first round -8 under par 62 to lead the AT&T Byron Nelson to sit on top of the leaderboard with a two shot lead, courtesy of some long-range putting success;

Steve lives in Texas now, but does not quite have the home town pulling power with the galleries. He spoke about settling in The Lone Star State;

“I basically threw a dart at the map when I first came over here in 2005, and then ended up marrying me a Texan, so I’m stuck now.”

“Probably my best putting in the way of longer putts made, I typically don’t make a lot of longer putts.”

“You always want to play well, but I guess it is a little more special when you have everyone around that only get to see you play golf once a year.”

“It feels different when I tee off now versus when I was out there then.”

“Obviously, off the course I prepare hard for this and would like to play well and get in contention. But when I’m inside the ropes, it’s just another week. Back then, it was the biggest tournament I’ve ever played in.”

Jimmy Walker is in second place on his own, at -6 under par after his 64, he said some excellent iron play helped him birdie the last three holes;

“I’m a Texas guy and lived here a long time, so yeah, winning in Texas is cool.”

“It was a nice finish. Good iron shots.”

James Hahn and Ryan Palmer share third place, both at -5 under par. Ryan had been letting his caddie do the club selection, but not today;

“We’ve had a good year. We’ve been playing well, so why change that up? “

“You know, it gives me more confidence to hit the shots I want to hit instead of relying on what he’s telling me.”

Ryan missed the cut at last weeks home tournament at Colonial, and wanted to make amends, especially to the fans who gave him a hard time on Twitter;

“I needed a good kick in the butt.”

“Took me a few days to get over it, being my home course at Colonial and the way I played.”

“Plus, I wanted to kind of shut up all the fans that wore me out on Twitter. Hopefully, I calmed them down a little bit.”

James likes to copy other people’s swings, to get the results he wants, this week he copied Charl Schwartzel’s fade swing, instead of his usual draw;

“I got bored, I was missing the ball left. I like the extra distance off the tee but I do want to hit more fairways.”

“Depending on how it goes this week, it could be Charl one day and Justin Rose another day and just kind of go through the list.”

“There’s about a million swings on the Internet. Just trying to figure out who is hot for the week.”

Jordan Spieth had a poor day in front of his home fans. Not as bad a day as Rory McIlroy suffered in his hometown event, Rory carded a +9 over par opening round today. Jordan was still unhappy with his -1 under 69;

“I just didn’t give myself enough looks inside of 15 feet today.”

“That’s the only reason I’m at one under and not better. I felt comfortable driving the ball and striking it.”

Crowne Plaza International. Chris Kirk Crowned King of Colonial

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Chris Kirk was crowned King of Colonial Country Club winning the Crowne Plaza International on a sunny Sunday.

Crowne Plaza International

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Chris carded a final round -4 under par 66, to post a winning total of -12 under par to win the Crowne Plaza International at Colonial.

Chris had not played well, especially with the driver, so elected to use a three wood on the last tee, a sensible play;

“I just didn’t think I was going to hit it anywhere on the planet, to be honest with you. It didn’t really feel like I was swinging that great early on in the week but somehow I was able to get it done.”

“I was as nervous as I’ve ever been today for sure, those up and down on the last couple of holes and especially making that putt on 18 was pretty sweet. Something I’ll never forget.”

“Kind of surprised that I’m sitting here with y’all at the moment.”

“To be able to do it when I didn’t really feel like I quite had it, is a huge step for me.”

“Just to be a part of the history of this tournament is really just amazing to me.”

Chris is an admirer of Ben Hogan, and now his name will also be engraved on the Wall of Champions;

“He’s always been the standard and still is, and will be for a long time, I would imagine, to now have even just a little bit of an association with him is very special.”

Three players all tied for second place at -11 under par, Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth and Jason Bohn.

Jason had an incredible round of -7 under par 63, and agonized over his last putt, that lipped out and would have given him a 62, and also a place in a play-off. He absolutely thought the putt was dropping in;

“I totally thought I made it.”

“I was hitting good shots and I was making putts, it was playing very soft and you could play very aggressive, so I just kept trying to push the pedal down and keep firing at flagsticks.”

Jordan made a mistake at the 184 yard par three 16th, all pumped up by the crowd he airmailed the green with a 7 iron;

“I just took the wrong club, you’ve got to hit 8-iron there below the hole. Tried to hit a 7 and kind of punch it in there, maybe get it a little too close to the hole.”

“Ninety nine percent of the time, I make the right decision and stay below the hole. We made the wrong decision today, and it cost us.”

“For being on my third year and being in that position a lot, it was a mistake that shouldn’t happen.”

Brandt had the opportunity of a birdie putt at the final hole, from about 12 feet, that would have put him in a tie for the lead,  and force a playoff. But he sadly pulled it;

“I’ve seen that putt hit here a thousand times, I know exactly how you’re supposed to hit and it was my worst putt of the day.”

“Disappointing because that’s kind of my strength and to hit a bad putt like that when it matters is doubly hard.”

The International leaderboard had a very Stars and Stripes look to it, the best International players were Canadian Adam Hadwin, and Englishman Ian Poulter both of them in a group tied at -10 under par.

Poults could only manage a final round of even par, and is stuck with that under achievers tag again;

“I’m just disappointed that obviously I didn’t get the job done, I really should have and I didn’t do it. I didn’t play well enough today.”

The others in the -10 under group were; Pat Perez, Kevin Kisner and George McNeill.

Crowne Plaza International

Chris and Trophy / Getty Images

 

 

Crowne Plaza International. Kevin on Course at Colonial.

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Kevin Na is on course for victory at Colonial, in the Crowne Plaza International.

Crowne Plaza International

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Kevin will take a one shot lead into the final round of the Crowne Plaza International at Colonial. He had a third round score of -1 under par 69 for a total of -11 under par. The tee times have been moved up again for tomorrow due to a rainy Sunday forecast.

Kevin thinks there is a low round hiding out there somewhere, and he is worried that the low round of the day will win the title;

“It’s out there but it’s hiding somewhere, it’s hard to find because you have to be so precise off the tee, second shots, putts and everything.”

“I know the hole locations tomorrow are going to be difficult. So honestly, I don’t really see a 61 or 62. Maybe a 63 or 64. Maybe.”

“Not as much fireworks as the first few days, but overall I was pleased.”

“I’ve had a pretty successful career except I think I lack in wins, I think it’s time for me to catch up to that number that I need to be at.”

Poults is seeking his first stroke-play win in the U.S. and will be in a good frame of mind if his team Arsenal win in the English Premier League tomorrow. He is currently in second place at -10 under par;

Crowne Plaza International

Ian Poulter / Getty Images

“It’s very easy to think too far ahead, there’s a few good guys right behind that are only a couple of shots off. I just have to focus on the first hole tomorrow.”

“I won’t be thinking anything past that, to be honest.”

“I can always deal with another plaid jacket in my closet. It will look just fine with my outfit tomorrow.”

“Hopefully we can get some golf in tomorrow, we’re going to have to wait and see what the weather’s going to do with us.”

Kevin and Poults are aware that they have lots of company in the quest to sport the tartan jacket, there are sixteen golfers are within five strokes of the lead.

Charlie Hoffman is in third place, despite his bad back, at -9 under par following his -4 under par third round of 66, saying it was the best he could have done;

“I probably couldn’t have shot much lower than I did.”

“I think we’ll play probably into Tuesday if need be.”

Defending Champion Adam Scott is trying to become the first player to successfully defend this title, Ben Hogan is the only player so far to do so, he actually did it twice.

Adam is four shots off the lead T10 at -6 under, but once again mentioned the putting;

“I’m going to need a round where they do all go in tomorrow, obviously it’s about giving yourself a lot of chances out there.”

“But you’ve got to make some putts, and as long as I keep hitting good ones, they might go.”

The organizers have made a 54-hole cut, to reduce the field to top 70s and ties. Those players who will not play on Sunday are; Jarrod Lyle, Harrison Frazar, Steve Wheatcroft, Chad Collins, Patrick Rodgers, John Peterson and Kyle Reifers.

LPGA Kingsmill Championship. Minjee Lee Rookie Winner.

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Minjee Lee became the third rookie winner this year winning the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia with a final round -6 under par 65 and a -15 under par total.

Kingsmill Championship

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For 18 year-old Aussie Minjee this was her first LPGA Tour win, and she was definitely delighted;

“I didn’t think this moment would come this year, so I’m stoked to have won.”

“Just because I won in my rookie season, I feel like I could probably do it again. It just kind of gives me confidence that I can play out here and win out here.”

“On the 18th, I looked at the leaderboard and I saw Alison made birdie, so I kind of thought, I’ll just do everything I can in my control.”

 “I just knocked it on and two‑putted for par.”

So Yeon Ryu finished second, a -4 under par last round gave her a -13 under par total. She said she had played perfectly this morning, but did not finish strongly;

“Sometimes early morning my body is still not awake, but this morning my body condition was even better than yesterday.”

“So I pretty much made every shot and every putt. So, yeah, perfect this morning.”

“On 16 and 17, I felt like I hit two good putts, but they didn’t go in, and on 18, I just kind of gave up on myself and I shouldn’t have done that. I should have finished strong.”

Another rookie Alison Lee claimed third place, a -2 under par final round giving her a -12 under par tournament total. To play in the U.S. Open Alison will try to get into a qualifier on Tuesday in California.

LPGA Kingsmill Championship. Rain Delay Means Monday Finish.

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A rain delay has forced the Kingsmill Championship into a Monday Finish, with Minjee Lee leading, having completed 15 holes.

Kingsmill Championship

Minjee Lee / Getty Images

Minjee is part way through her final Kingsmill Championship round, having completed 15 holes and currently -7 under par for the round. Her tournament total is -16 under par, and she knew she was at the top, but just wants to get out there tomorrow and finish off;

“I knew I was right there, I still have some work to do tomorrow, but just kind of gave myself opportunities, played smart golf. I didn’t do anything crazy.  Just my putts seemed to drop.”

“Hopefully if I can get the win tomorrow then I won’t have to go to the U.S. Open qualifying.”

Nearest challenger is Alison Lee at -12 under par after 14 holes, and -2 under on her final round, four shots adrift with four holes to play, and realistically not much chance of catching the leader.

Alison suffered a nose bleed out on the course today, after some attention she carried on and made birdie on the next hole;

“I’ve had a nosebleed every day since I’ve been here, just happen to have gotten it on the course today.  Thankfully it didn’t last too long.”

“I know I’m going to have to play aggressively being four strokes behind Minjee.”

“I know exactly what I have to do tomorrow if I want to take this. It’s all up to me.  It’s me against the golf course.”

” No matter what Minjee does, I just have to play my best.”

There are five ladies tied in third place at -10 under par and do have some chance of catching second place Alison, but the way they are playing in does not seem feasible.

Paula CreamerHoo Joo Kim, So Yeon Ryu, Perrine Delacour and Suzann Pettersen, Suzann is in the clubhouse with her score.

Lydia Ko and Inbee Park have both completed their last rounds and are T16 at -5 under par for the competition.

More to follow on Monday.

L.E.T. Buick Championship. Shanshan Stretches Lead.

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Shanshan Feng stretches her lead in the Buick Championship to seven shots at Shanghai Qizhong Garden Golf Club in China.

Buick Championship

Shanshan Feng / Getty Images

Shanshan carded a third round -3 under par 69 to extend her lead in the Buick Championship to a massive seven strokes going into the final round tomorrow with a -15 under par total.

After the cut was made the leading 50 players and ties on Friday evening, the professionals were drawn with amateur partners for the additional team better ball competition being played simultaneously over the weekend,  a somewhat novel format on the Ladies European Tour which has excited both the professionals and amateurs.

Shanshan said she was initially apprehensive about playing alongside an amateur;

“I would say at the beginning I was a little bit nervous. It was my first time playing with amateurs in the same group in a professional tournament, so that was fun.”

“After a few holes I thought my amateur did really well, because he saved me maybe two shots on the first three holes.”

“He did very well and then I started to be more relaxed and make birdies. The bogey on the last hole was a little sad but I still did pretty well overall.”

Sharing second place are Hyeon Seo Kang and Marianne Skarpnord, they are both at -8 under par for the tournament.

Marianne said she had been putting very well, on the front nine;

“I’ve been putting well on the front nine, both yesterday and today but on the back nine it’s like it goes cold and I don’t make anything.”

“I had four or five putts within three and a half metres on the back nine and didn’t make any of them, so it was not completely useless but could have been a lot better.”

Charley Hull is in a large group back at -5 under par, with all thoughts of winning gone, she was happy to have some fun playing with the amateurs;

 “I played a lot better because I hit more fairways with my driver so it was easier for me to hole putts because there was less pressure on myself.”

“I enjoyed the format, because it was nice and not too intense playing with an amateur, so that was fun.”

 

The Players. Day 2. Two Tied at the Top

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There are two players tied at the top of The Players, Jerry Kelly and Kevin Na both had good rounds today, while some big names failed to make the cut.

The Players

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Kevin and Jerry hold a two shot lead at -8 under par for 36 holes at The Players at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.

Jerry with a magnificent -7 under par 65 against Kevin’s more modest -3 under par 69 to both get to -8 under par for the tournament.

Kevin has overcome a terrible bout of “The Yips” which at times prevented him from taking the club back;

“I had the yips, that’s what it was.”

“A lot of the guys when you have that, they fall off the planet.”

“They play poorly and nobody really sees and hears about it. But the weird case was, I was playing some of my best golf and I couldn’t take the club back.”

“How does a guy not take the club back every time he hits it, and it goes down the middle?”

“I don’t know. Do you want to open up my brain and check it out? I don’t know. I try to not think about it. I got over it.”

“Having the yips, I think because I went through that, I’m a better player now.”

“I hope people get over that and see me as just a guy that’s playing well on TOUR versus a guy that couldn’t take the club back.”

Bernhard Langer is a player who could not control the putting yips, which is why he uses the Long Putter. Not sure if Bernhard will retire from golf at the end of this year, when long putters will be banned. On the other side of the coin, Bernhard holds the record for the most birdies made at the treacherous 17th in The Players, some 25 of them in his career. Ironically he also holds the record for the longest putt holed at the 17th, 59 feet 9 inches. Sadly He missed the cut here this year.

The Players

Jerry Kelly / Getty Images

Jerry carded a -7 under par 65 second round, and reported that he lives on adrenaline;

“I enjoy adrenaline, I am 48. I know it almost ravages the body as much as it helps it as you start getting older, but I would like to hang out for another couple of days and have some fun with it.”

“I figured I would have another chance at this golf course, I didn’t think it would be that long, but it’s just strange. This whole career has gone by in the blink of an eye.”

There are four players tied in third place, two shots back at -6 under par for the tournament, Branden Grace, David Hearn, Chris Kirk and the ever-present Rickie Fowler.

Rickie could have had second place on his own, but a loose shot on the par 5 16th found water, leading to a bogey.

Rickie and Ian Poulter were tied in a magazine survey with 24 percent of the vote, for the most overrated player on tour. Rickie was not worried about the comments of his peers;

“If there’s a time where I need something to kind of give me a kick in the butt, then I can think of that and it will put me in the right frame of mind to go out there and take care of business.”

 World number one Rory McIlroy stumbled a bit today, he too could have been better except for a trip to the water. He finished with a -1 under par 71 and a -4 under par total;

“A lot can happen, and I feel like I’m in a decent position.”

Tiger made the cut on the number, but Phil Mickleson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald all had to go home early.

Phil was left wondering how he ever won here;

“I was thinking to myself as I was walking around, `I can’t believe I’ve actually won here,’ you know?”