ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters. Sophie Giquel-Bettan Leads.

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Sophie Giquel-Bettan leads after the 1st round at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters in a heat wave at Buckinghamshire Golf Club in England.

ISPS Handa Ladies Eueopean Masters

Sophie Giquel-Bettan / Getty Images

Sophie, from France, shot a 1st round -6 under par 66, to take a one shot lead at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters, and was happy that the scorching temperatures in the Pro-Am yesterday had eased back for the opening round today;

“It was a great day, yesterday I played the Pro-Am and it was 36 degrees, (97F). It was so hot and this morning it was 20, 22 (72F) with just a little breeze, so perfect conditions.

 Sitting one shot behind the leader at -5 under par are South African Ashleigh Simon, Italian Sophie Sandolo,  Swede Josephine Janson and Nontaya Srisawang from Thailand.

Ashleigh was happy with her putting, and her Eagle;

“I got off to a nice steady start and birdied my third hole of the day. I eagled the par 5 14th after I holed a nice bomb from the back of the green and gave myself some nice chances coming in and birdied 17 and made a good par on 18.”

“All of the par fives are pretty much reachable so if you play those well you can be four under. It was a steady start.”

Nontaya was happy with the run on the ball in fairway due to the very dry conditions;

“The condition of the course is really dry and we can get distance on the tee shot so you can hit onto the greens with short irons and if you make a putt then you will make a good score.”

“The conditions today were not really hard, not really windy.”

The first English ladies on the leaderboard are  Charley Hull and Trish Johnson, they are part of a large group two strokes off the pace, at -4 under par.

Charley putted well, but was concerned about incorrect club selection, but overall was happy with her round;

“I’m happy because I putted pretty well today. I just kept coming up short with my irons. I struck it well but kept miss-clubbing myself.”

“I feel like I’m so used to my American distances that now when I’m in a tournament I keep thinking I’m going to hit them a bit further but I don’t.”

“Although I’ve been in England for two weeks we’ve just been mucking around with my friends, so I’ve hit some massive fades, but I’m pretty happy with the way I’m playing.”

A persistent back injury has hampered Trish of late, but she feels better now, and has received some benefiting coaching;

“I had a lesson a couple of days ago with Stuart Brewer, the father of Ben Brewer, who caddied for me in Holland.”

“There was some stuff that I really needed help with.”

U.S. Senior Open. Jeff Maggert Wins

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Jeff Maggert wins the U.S. Senior Open at Del Paso Country Club, Sacramento, in California.

U.S. Senior Open

Jeff Maggert / Getty Images

Jeff came through to win the U.S. Senior Open, with a final round -5 under par 65, to post a -10 under par tournament total, and a two shot victory.

It was no fluke result, Jeff, along with Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer, have combined to win the last eight Majors. Jeff 2, Colin and Bernhard 3 each;

“It’s satisfying just because the guys out here on the Champions Tour are the same guys that I was trying to beat 20 years ago.”

“I had a lot of good runs in the U.S. Open over the years and probably lacked a little maturity to pull it off.”

“But certainly, now that I’m an old guy, I’ve learned a lot and was able to just steady myself and play well.”

The defending Champion Colin came in second here, coming from the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. A last round -4 under par 66 not quite good enough this time around. He is now taking an overnight flight to London, via Los Angeles, to try and qualify for next month’s The Open at St. Andrews. Hope Colin chose to fly with American Airlines out of L.A. they have the best flight;

“To come here tired, very tired, and to put a good performance up, it’s always nice when you are defending a title, to defend it properly.”

“I did more than that. I nearly got it here.”

Grant Waite and Bernhard Langer tied for third place at -7 under par.

Bernhard congratulated Jeff;

“He was in beautiful rhythm, and he drove the ball magnificent.”

“If you can drive the ball well, you set yourself up. He hit good iron shots on top of that.”

Bernhard is paying well in what would most probably be his last year on tour, the ruling banning anchoring of the broomstick putter comes into effect next year, and we all know that can not use a conventional putter. It is a shame because he is a great player, with a good attitude.

 

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Na Yeon Choi Wins.

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Na Yeon Choi, from South Korea,wins the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club.

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Na Yeon Choi and Trophy / Getty Images

Na Yeon has a final round -2 under par 69, to lift the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship with a -15 under par total.

Na Yeon hit her favorite 8 iron from 145 yards from the 16th fairway to score an Eagle, and take the lead in the Championship;

“I hit 3‑wood and I hit 8‑iron to the pin, was like 145.” 

“I mean, today, especially my putting didn’t really work and but still I tried to keep focus my shot and swing, and then I kept hitting well and then after 16, after I hit the second shot, I knew this is going to be good.”

“I felt really good, you know, feeling after the impact. So when I holed the finish, I thought it’s going to be good, but I didn’t expect like go in.”

“So I was very happy after that shot, but like unfortunately I couldn’t see the ball going in. I just heard a lot of screaming around the green.”

Mika Miyazato, from Japan took second place, two sots back at -13 under par, she said there was no pressure to recover from her winless streak;

“Not pressure for me, just calm, just played more focused in my golf game today.”

“I had a great round today so I really excited, Stacy and Brittany, it’s nice playing with them, so I’m very disappointed but it’s still fun.”

Azahara Munoz, Stacy Lewis and Anna Nordqvist all tied for third place at -12 under par.

Defending Champion Stacy knew she needed something special after Na Yeon had eagled the 16th;

“I knew I needed to make eagle there and just didn’t quite get the drive down there to do that.”

“We had about 212 yards to carry the bunker, and I just felt with that wind off the lie I couldn’t get it over the bunker.”

“I could get it on the front right part of the green, but it didn’t really do me any good. I thought the best opportunity to do something was to lay up.”

“When somebody holes out, it’s one of those things, that it’s kind of meant to be.”

“It’s tough, but, honestly, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been in this position, a few months really, so you can’t be too upset.”

“I played some great golf this week and it’s coming around at the right time. We’ve got some big tournaments coming up here in the next few weeks.”

Lydia Ko, world number two finished T6, at -11 under par, with a fabulous bogey free last round -8 under par 63. If only she had been in that kind of form for the first two rounds!!

“I think I’ve been hitting the ball really well the last couple days. Just the first day my tee shot was a little off and that created three bogeys with it, but other than that I’ve been hitting the ball really well.”

“My tee shots were good the last two days so in a way I was playing good and my score wasn’t up to that.”

” But today I got some putts rolling and I shot in well with three under the first three holes, and when you get in a good momentum like that it gives you a good confidence for the day.”

 

 

Players Championship. Bubba Wins in Play-Off.

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Bubba wins the Players Championship in a play-off at TPC River Highlands, beating Paul Casey on the second extra hole.

Players Championship

Bubba & Trophy / Getty Images

Bubba beat Paul in the play-off at the second extra hole at the Players Championship after they had both carded -16 under par for the tournament. Bubba with a final round -3 under par 67, and Paul -5 under 65.

Bubba recalled winning here in a play-off in 2010;

“I proved to myself in ’10 that I could win under pressure in the playoff; I proved to myself that I could mess up 17 and still have a chance to win, and so I knew that if I just kept my head down and kept doing what I needed to do, I could still have a chance to win, and that’s what I did.”

Paul spoke about being in the bunker off the tee in the second extra hole, and trying too hard;

“Right in between clubs, 7-iron would have never made it, and I’m trying to take maybe 10 yards off the 6-iron, which is a lot to take off a 6-iron, and I just made a poor swing.”

“I could have maybe busted a 7-iron to get back there, but it was just awkward. Maybe I should have hit it longer off the tee.”

“I’ve won enough around the world to know what winning feels like, I also know what coming in second feels like. I’ve done that a lot.”

“My little boy is right behind you, 20 yards away sucking his finger, so I look at him, and it kind of makes everything pale in comparison.”

Brian Harman was in third place at -15 under par, one shot off the play-off, a last round -1 under par 69 not helping his cause. Graham DeLaet was fourth at -14 under par, he too had problems with the fairway bunker on 18, in regulation play;

“Yeah, I was just exactly in between clubs.”

“It would have had to be a perfect 6-iron, but it felt like 5 was a little too much, and 5 kind of brought in the lip, and I just barely clipped the lip. I actually hit a decent shot.”

“It was close to being really good, but it was also close to being really bad. So where it ended up, I guess I’d take it.”

Grabbing places at St Andrews in The Open were; Luke DonaldBrian Harman, Graham DeLaet and Carl Pettersson.

Luke, who has qualified for every The Open championship since 2002, except one that he missed, in 2008 with an injury, is delighted to have qualified again this year;.

“Obviously I thought about it the last couple of holes.”

“I knew I was in a good position. I was trying to make one more birdie really to be honest. Thirteen under, I thought that would definitely secure one of those top four spots.”

He also tweeted;

Really enjoyed my week at the @TravelersChamp, fun course and great support. Grabbing a spot at @TheOpen a nice bonus 🏼

BMW International Open. Pablo Larrazábal Wins

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Pablo Larrazábal wins the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried, in Germany.

BMW International Open

Pablo Larrazábal / Getty Images

Pablo had a bogey free final round of -6 under par 66, to win the BMW International Open title with a -17 under par total, a one shot victory.

Pablo said he was worn out after his great effort, the victory was due to some great putting;

“I’m very tired.”

“I knew that I was in a good position, and I knew that I had to start very fast. I had to start with a few birdies in the first few holes, and I started very well.”

 “I think I was five under for the front nine, hitting the ball great, as good as I’ve hit it all year, and my putting was awesome. I made a lot of great putts.

“Coming in, it was tough. You have a lot of holes with a lot of trouble. 

Something else for Pablo to celebrate, he is getting married to his partner Gala Alten in August, it will be a dream come true;

“In two months I will be a married man.”

“This is awesome; being with her again around Munich and around this beautiful golf course, it gave us a lot of great memories and being married to her is a dream come true.”

In second place was Henrik Stenson, at -16 under par for the tournament, a -7 under par 65 today proved that he had recovered from the tough week at the US Open. Who has ever heard of removing stones from the bunker, in a Major Championship, really.

Henrik also putted very well on these perfect greens, carding an Eagle on the par five 11th, and nearly repeated it on 18;

“I hit some great shots and took full advantage of those two holes and thought if I could post a low number in the clubhouse, see what happened.”

“I came out there, hit some nice shots and took advantage with a good putter. There is not much to be disappointed in today.”

“I had a long range chance on 17 that looked good and an eagle chance on the last, but it was a tricky line and didn’t get the read right.”

Chris Paisley shot a -1 under par 71 in the final pairing to take third place  on -15 under, his first European Tour top ten finish, while English compatriot, and overnight leader James Morrison sadly signed for a last round +5 over par 77, which sent him crashing down the leaderboard.

Chris tweeted;

“Hope everyone enjoyed watching as much as I enjoyed playing! Happy your bets came in and delighted to finish 3rd! Thank you all so much!”

 

 

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Na Yeon Choi Takes Control.

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Na Yeon Choi takes control of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club, at the completion of round two.

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Na Yeon Choi / Getty Images

Na Yeon shot -8 under par 63 in the second round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, to move to the top of the leaderboard with a -13 under par tournament total, and will take a two shot lead into the final round tomorrow.

She recorded an Eagle 3 at the par five 18th hole, and said that was her lowest nine-hole score, 29. Undecided on what club to take for the approach to 18, the tee shot had ended up in the first cut. The 3 wood found the green, and she then dropped a 45 foot putt;

“Actually beginning of this week I felt really good about my swing and putting, so I felt like pretty confident with this tournament and this week.”

” And then I just realized I shoot 29 on the back nine today, and that was my record.”

 “I mean, on the course I didn’t think about any score, any number out there, I just tried to be more independent player out there, and after 18 holes I got the score, I’m very satisfied.”

“I got the 3-wood out first, then changed it to a pitching wedge and then back to 3-wood because there is a small gap to the right side of the green.”

 “But the wind helped me a lot, wind was a little bit helping right to left, so I just hit 3-wood.”

“I mean, I couldn’t hit a 3-wood if today is Sunday, but today’s like Saturday and I feel good about my swing so I just hit it.”

Tied in second place at -11 under par are Mi Jung Hur, -3 under 68 today, and Anna Nordqvist with a -5 under 65.

Anna was disappointed that more putts did not drop for her today;

“I felt like I hit a lot of good putts today, just couldn’t get some of them to drop and it’s always nice to finish with a birdie.”

” I played really good today, hit my irons really good so I gave myself a lot of chances.”

” It’s just late.  Tried to keep my attitude up and keep my patience and my energy up.  It was nice to get one on the last, get one shot closer to Na Yeon Choi for tomorrow.”

The defending Champion, Stacy Lewis is in a group at -9 under par, four shots off the pace, and just loves the support she receives out here from the gallery;

“I think that cheer on 17 was louder than 18 last year.”

“We’ve got more people out here this year and I love this tournament, I love coming back here, so it never gets old.”

Stacy is joined in fourth place by Brittany Lincicome, Amy Yang and Mika Miyazato.

World number one Inbee Park missed the cut, while rival for the top spot Lydia Ko progressed to the final round, but at -3 under par is ten shots from the leader.

 

Travelers Championship. Brian Harman Ahead of Bubba.

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Brian Harman is ahead of Bubba Watson as they go into the final round of the Travelers Championship, at TPC River Highlands.

Travelers Championship

Brian Harman / Getty Images

Brian shot a bogey free third round, in the rain, -5 under par 65, to top the leaderboard on the third day of the Travelers Championship with a -14 under par tournament total.

He will take a one shot lead into the final round tomorrow, where he will be paired once again with that other lefty, Bubba, who preceded him as a standout left-hander for the University of Georgia Bulldogs. Brian is looking forward to having some fun once again with his rival, and friend, Bubba;

“Bubba’s a lot of fun to play golf with.”

“He was a little before me at Georgia, so I always looked up to him, was always really proud of the way he was doing and we were always rooting for him at Georgia.”

“I’ve never played particularly well in the rain, but I try to look at today and we got a break.”

“The weather was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.”

Bubba shares second place at -13 under par with Graham DeLaet; Bubba got lucky, to shoot -2 under par today while Graham cruised round the course in -6 under par 64.

Bubba mentioned Brian after their round today, and also the lucky bounce off a tree;

“He’s a solid player, it sounds funny saying this, but he’s like a little bulldog.”

“It hit the tree and everybody roared, I had to ask the camera guy, and he said it was in the bunker.”

Graham had back surgery for a pinched nerve in 2011, a problem that he says still bothers him;

“The last couple months I’ve been moving really well and feeling a lot better.”

“My golf game is coming around too, which is nice.”

Lurking behind the top three is a group of three players on -11 under par, Paul Casey, Zach Johnson and Brandt Snedeker.

Brandt had been having some problems with his putting, which was frustrating, but today he carded a -7 under par 63;

“Funny, people gave me a hard time about my putting last year and it was bad, as bad as it’s ever been on Tour”

“But the thing is, I was hitting it the best I’ve ever hit it on Tour. So it was frustrating to say the least.”

“The putter’s been consistent all year.”

There is a storm moving into to Connecticut, and officials said Sunday’s final round will be played in threesomes, going off the 1st and 10th tees beginning at 11:30 a.m. So Bubba and Brian will be joined in the last grouping by Graham DeLaet.