Franklin Templeton Shootout. Matt & Harris Win.

White Dragon GolfFranklin Templeton Shootout

Matt Kuchar and Harris English win the Franklin Templeton Shootout at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida.

Kuchar, English win Franklin Templeton Shootout

Harris English, Tournament host Greg Norman, and Matt Kuchar / getty

Matt and Harris Eagled the par five 17th, which gave them the a one shot advantage heading down the last, they held on to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout with a Better Ball last round of -7 under par 65, and a tournament total of -28 under par.

Matt spoke of the Titanic battle that went on all day;

“It was back and forth all day, we got off to a nice start, but we knew the battle was on when Jerry eagled the first.”

Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker were second, at -27 under, they also had a final round -7 under 65.

Third place went to Charlie Hoffman and Billy Horschel, shooting -11 under par 61 in the last round, for a -26 under par total.

 

UBS Hong Kong Open. Two Tied at the Top.

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There are two players tied at the top of the UBS Hong Kong Open leaderboard, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Spain,  has been joined by Sam Brazel, Australia.

UBS Hong Kong Open

Rafa Cabrera Bello / getty

Rafa could only manage a third round of even par 72 in the UBS Hong Kong Open, which allowed Sam Brazel to catch him at the top of the leaderboard. Sam carded -3 under par 67 to be tied at the top with a -11 under par total, at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

Rafa admitted it had been a colorful round;

“Today my score has all colors of the rainbow in it.”

“There’s been a lot of positives and a lot of negatives.”

“I was trying to find a stable day where I was just playing solid like I had these past two days. Staying patient, waiting for the birdies to come and I end up going up and down all day.”

“The best thing is I’m still in it. I’m still leading.”

“Of course it would have been nicer to have a few to spare but I still would have needed to play great tomorrow and I’m still in a position.”

UBS Hong Kong Open

Sam Brazel / getty

Sam is looking for his maiden Tour victory;

“It would mean the world to win.”

“But there’s 18 holes to go and I’m just going to approach it one shot at a time and try and enjoy the moment. Just learn from the experience.”

“I started a little nervous on the first but I guess that’s the situation you’re in. I felt the nerves a little bit at lunch time and just sort of grounded it out and it was fun out there.”

Tommy Fleetwood, from England, is in third place, he scored a third round -3 under par 67, to be at -9 under for the tournament;

“It would be great to win tomorrow, I haven’t won for a long time and it almost feels like I have had a year out of the game because I was playing dreadful from mid-2015 to the middle of this year.”

“I’ve sort of been on a path since August, if you like, getting my game back. I was just playing dreadful. Just rubbish. My game’s been coming back and I’ve had some good results towards the end of the year.”

“I went back to my old coach and I’ve had one of my best mates on the bag since July. Things have just turned around. I’ve worked hard.”

“We had to make some changes and we had to put a lot of hours into it. It began to show and I’ve been having a nice time on the course.”

“Caddie and coach have made the biggest difference and I’ve been enjoying my job again.”

Franklin Templeton Shootout. Matt & Harris Take Over at the Top.

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Matt Kuchar and Harris English take over the top of the Franklin Templeton Shootout leaderboard at -21 under par at the end of the second round in Florida.

Kuchar, English pull ahead

Matt Kuchar / getty

The second round consisted of Modified Alternate Shot,  Each player hits a drive on every hole and one drive is selected. The player whose drive is NOT selected hits the second shot, and they alternate shots until the ball is holed.

That format suited Matt and Harris, -6 under par 66 today, they have a unique team;

“It’s a unique pairing that way and there’s a decent rivalry, but I think both of us look at it as more respecting each other’s game.”

“We have very similar laid back, easygoing personalities. Just kind of we let that bit slide and just try to play some good golf together.”

“Nice to have a one-shot lead, but that’s no great cushion against guys like Stricker and Kelly that can really do some scoring.”

First round leaders Jerry and Steve are just one shot back at -20 under par, -4 under 68 today, to be in second place.

Jerry explained why they were behind the leaders, length off the tee;

“He was 50 yards past me.”

Steve added;

“There’s just a lot of offense on that team.”

Charles Howell 111 and Rory Sabbatini -3 under 69 today, are tied in third position with Kevin Chappell and Kevin Kisner, -4 under 68, both teams at -16 under par.

The final round tomorrow is  Better Ball, where each player plays through every hole using his own ball.

The player whose score is the lowest on each hole will be the team score for that hole.

 

Dubai Ladies Masters, Pink Friday Led By Felicity Johnson.

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Felicity Johnson led Pink Friday, at the Dubai Ladies Masters, where  everyone wore Pink to help raise awareness of breast cancer and support the Al Jalila Foundation and Brest Friends,

Dubai Ladies Massters

Felicity Johnson / getty

Felicity shot one under the course record, a bogey free -8 under 64 to lead the Dubai Ladies Masters at Emirates Golf Club, to post -7 at the top of the leaderboard, with one round to go.

Felicity, from England required only 24 putts for the round;

“It was a great day for golf this morning. I hit a lot of really close iron shots. I holed out really well with my putts in but I had probably seven birdie putts within four feet, so that always makes the game a little bit easier.”

“All the ones I hit close, I converted, so 24 putts. Hitting a lot of good iron shots, you’re going to have a good score.”

“I’ll be in a good position for tomorrow. Obviously today, it’s only a three-round event, so you try to put yourself in a good position heading into the final day. I think I did that pretty well.”

1st round leader Florentyna Parker, also from England settled for an even par 72 second round, but is in touch with the leader at -5 under for the competition.

Dubai Ladies Masters

Florentyna Parker / getty

Florentyna is missing a win and thinks this could be her chance;

“It was really windy out there, but I managed to keep it going. I birdied the 17th, which, I think, was very important to make sure I get into the last group.”

“I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve had a great season and the only thing that’s missing is me winning.”

“So that’s what I’ve got to go for.”

Third place is shared between Emily Kristine Pedersen, from Denmark and the still in fine form the winning teenager from IndiaAditi Ashok, both at -4 under for the tournament.

UBS Hong Kong Open. Rafa Remains at the Top.

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Rafa Cabrera Bello remains at the top of the UBS Hong Kong Open leaderboard at Hong Kong Golf Club.

UBS Hong Kong Open

Rafa Cabrera Bello / getty

Raffa, from Spaincarded -5 under par 65 today to still be leading the UBS Hong Kong Open, with a -11 under par total, and will take a three shot advantage over the field into the week-end.

Rafa has yet to win on Tour since 2012, but has the confidence he will do it soon;

“I know I will win again, I’ve won before. I just need to keep giving myself chances.”

“I have been working on some mistakes that maybe I have done on other occasions.”

“I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong not to get the win, so it will happen. Hopefully it will happen in two days’ time.”

“I managed to play well again, I played solid and put myself in very few risky positions. I felt in control again and just managed to keep up the good work like yesterday.”

“I felt I paid my dues here other years as well, from not knowing the course and not playing it smart enough.”

Sam Brazel, from Australia holds second place at -8 under par, signing for a second round -4 under 66.

Sharing third place at -6 under par are, Tommy Fleetwood, -2 under 68 today, Justin Walters,-3 under 67, Paul Peterson, -2 under 68 and Danny Willett -4 under 66.

Masters Champion Danny had given his aching back a rest recently;

“It’s nice to be in this position after the last few months, but it was nice last week, after DP World we obviously took a couple of weeks off because of the back and stuff and rested it well.”

“Actually took some proper time off, which I’ve not been able to do for a while. That was really nice.”

“Then came out here, probably as fresh as I’ve been for a month and a half, which is nice, and it’s probably showed mentally more than anything. The frustrations, even when you hit bad shots, you don’t let it get to you as much as I did probably in the previous couple of months.”

“We played pretty well yesterday and didn’t take loads of chances and played just nice and steady again today.”

“It’s a golf course where you’ve got to put your ball in position off the tee. You can take a few things on but as soon as you get in the rough around here, you’ve not got much control of your golf ball.”

“The greens are a bit firmer this year and obviously then with a few tight pins, it makes it more difficult.”

Franklin Templeton Shootout. Jerry & Steve Lead.

White Dragon GolfFranklin Templeton Shootout

Jerry Kelly & Steve Stricker lead after the first round of the Franklin Templeton Shootout  at Tiburon Golf Club, Florida.

Franklin Templeton Shootout

Jerry & Steve / getty

Each player hits a drive on every hole and the best drive is selected. Each player then plays a second shot from the spot where the selected drive lays, and the best second shot is selected. This process is repeated until the hole is completed.

Steve Stricker returned to golf from a long layoff,  to team up with Jerry Kelly and take the first-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout with a Scramble of -16 under par.

Steve said it was a great team effort;

“It was just a great team effort today, we both played well. We both kept the pedal down all the way around, we never let up.”

“We made a lot of good birdies, threw in an improbable eagle at the sixth hole, but other than that, it was just good, solid golf all the way around, all the way to the end.”

“Usually we have little hiccups here and there or a little lull period, and today that never happened. We just continued that good play every hole really.”

Jerry said it is really about rolling in the putts;

“We know everybody’s going to get in the fairway and get on the green in this format, so it’s really rolling in the putts.”

“I just need to do my job and hit solid putts, so he can see where the line is and make it like he does.”

Harris English and Matt Kuchar are in second place with a -15 under par total.

Charles Howell 111 teamed up with Rory Sabbatini, to claim third place at -13 under par.

Charles spoke about the old boys at the top;

“I think both of their biggest concern is that they have a big enough wheelbarrow for the Senior Tour.”

“They’re going to need some good tires and make sure they last the whole year.

 

UBS Hong Kong Open. Rafa Cabrera-Bello Leads.

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Rafa Cabrera Bello leads the UBS Hong Kong Open after the first round at the  Hong Kong Golf Club.

 Hong Kong Golf Club

Rafa Cabrera-Bello / getty

Rafa shot -6 under par 64 to lead the UBS Hong Kong Open after the first round, a good turn of play that has not seen him miss a cut in 2016.

An Eagle on his last hole was the icing on the cake for Rafa, along with some good putting;

“That was nice, I had perfect distance, hit a really good shot and was surprised to see it go in. But I had never really finished a round like that and it felt nice.”

“I played really smart today, made very little mistakes. I hit every green, didn’t get myself in trouble off the tee.”

“I was in control of the round all day and putted nicely too, so it was nice work out there.”

“It’s all about position, position, position and rolling one or two putts and I did that very well today.”

Sebatian Gross holds second place at -5 under par after his opening 65.

There are then ten players tied in third place at -4 under after first rounds of 66. Defending Champion Justin Rose, is still struggling with his golf, even par 70 today, and he has now switched to the feeble claw grip for putting. Watching his putting performance today any sane man would tell him that to get a positive putt, he needs a positive grip.

Get in the Hole: Master Putting Manual by [Robbins, Pete]