Waste Management Phoenix Open. Hideki Beats Rickie In Play-Off

White Dragon GolfPhoenix Open

 

Hideki Matsuyama beat Rickie Fowler in a play-off for the Waste Management Phoenix Open title at TPC Scottsdale.

Waste Management Phoenix Open

Hideki Matsuyama / Rob Schumaker

Hideki, from Japan, and Rickie went through a play-off lasting four holes, 18 twice, then 10 and the last was 17,  where Rickie made bogey to end the contest.

 

Both players had finished the Waste Management Phoenix Open with -14 under par totals, and both of them carded -4 under par 67 in the final round, forcing them into the play-off.

Rickie had his whole family out in support, plus of course the partisan galleries, and Hideki was aware of who they wanted to win;

“They were for Rickie, weren’t they?”

 “I’d say 99 percent of the gallery were cheering hard for Rickie. That gave me the motivation to go out and do it.”

“Even after the 15th  it didn’t look very good, and then Rickie opened the door for me and I was able to walk through it. It feels really good.”

Rickie got all emotional after the loss;

“I mean, the hard part is having, you know, all my friends and family and grandpa and my dad who haven’t seen me win.”

 “I’ll be all right. With how good I’m playing, I know I can win. That’s the hard part.”

Harris English was in third place, at -12 under par for the tournament, two off the pace set by the leaders.

Danny Lee faltered in the last round, shooting +2 over par 73 to end his hope of lifting the trophy, returning a final total of -11 under par, and fourth spot on his own.

Phil Mickelson could only manage a last round of even par, and T11, no barnstorming finish from him, the putter was not working;

“I tried on the front nine to get to some of these pins, and I kept short-siding myself and shot 1 over, and realized you just can’t force it out there.”

” It didn’t help that his putter cooled after a hot, six-birdie third round. He made 125 feet of putts on Saturday, and less than half of that (58 feet) on Sunday, when he needed 31 putts, his high for the week.”

“I hit a lot of good shots, I didn’t shoot the number this week probably that I felt I could, or should, but I feel my game is right where I want it.”

 

Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Danny Willett Wins.

White Dragon Golf

Danny Willett wins the Omega Dubai Desert Classic  at Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Danny Willett / Getty Images

Danny won the  Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a last round -3 under par 69, and a tournament total of -19 under par.

Danny was over the moon with this hard fought one shot win, and a much needed birdie at the last. This result could put him in the top 15 of the World Rankings;

“I’m ecstatic, you can’t buy that feeling, coming down the back nine, the last three holes, in contention in a golf tournament.”

It’s something that you can’t pay for in life. You’ve got to earn it.”

“Coming down the last with all the situations that were going on. It’s just nice to know that I can dig deep there and produce.”

“You’d love to win by five or six every time you win, but when you win in that fashion, it does feel that little bit extra special.”

“It’s a relatively daunting last hole. I needed to make a four to win. So I’m just delighted with how I dug deep and found it.”

Sharing second place were Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Andy Sullivan, with -18 under par totals . Andy with a final round -4 under 68 and Rafa -3 under 69. This the second time in succession that Rafa has placed second, he will surely win soon.

Andy acknowledged Danny making that last putt to win, after he had just made his birdie putt to catch him;

“Fair play to Dan, holing that putt, that was a tough putt.”

“When you hole that putt on the last, you feel you’ve given yourself a sneaky chance. But Dan is a quality player and you expect him to step up, and he did.”

Rafa was satisfied with being second again, but the win would have been nice;

“Finishing second again, it’s a great position. It’s been a fantastic tournament.” 

“I played really well and I’m proud of myself.”

“I’m obviously disappointed I didn’t get to win, but I know that playing like this, it’s around the corner.”

Byeong-hun An and 2011 champion Alvaro Quiros both finished with rounds of -7 under par 65, for -16 under totals, to be three behind the winner, and T4.

Rory McIlroy joined them at -16 under also carding one of the low rounds of the day at -7 under par 65, he finally came to life eventually finishing T6 with Henrik Stenson.

Rory admitted he made too many mistakes;

“It’s sort of a week of what could have been, there was a lot of really good golf in there.

“I played a lot of great shots and made a lot of birdies, but just made a few too many mistakes.”

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Danny Lee Leads, By Three Shots.

White Dragon GolfPhoenix Open

Danny Lee, from New Zealand has a three shot lead after 54 holes in the  Waste Management Phoenix Open, at TPC Scottsdale.

Danny Lee carded a 4-under 67 and leads by 3 shots heading into Sunday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Danny Lee / Getty Images

Danny carded a third round -4 under par 67 to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open by three shots at -13 under par. He spoke a about a great putting day, and is looking for another good day tomorrow. Danny’s “good friend” Ha Na Jang has just won the Coats Golf Championship in Florida, this could be an omen;

“It was a really good putting day.”

I’ve been putting it really well, I am very confident with my putting.”

“Obviously I have never been in this situation before, but I am not going to think about it that much.”

I’m just going to go out there and have another best day tomorrow.”

Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler are tied in second place, those three shots back at -10 under par. Hideki -3 under 68 today and Rickie seemed to struggle for his -1 under par 70;

“I just didn’t get much out of the round.”

“Just kind of managed it well and played with what I had to get around.”

Through a translator Hideki said he had struggled with his putting;

“I didn’t putt very well today.”

“I didn’t drive the ball very well, but I did get it around. I’m happy with that.”

Boo Weekly and Bryce Molder are tied in fourth spot, both at -9 under par for the tournament. Boo with a very nice -6 under 65 and Bryce one better, -7 under 64.

Crowd favorite Phil Mickelson is alone in sixth place at -8 under par, -6 under 65 today lifting the super star up the leaderboard. Some Mickelson magic tomorrow could work wonders. Something like the spell he cast on the par five 15th today, where made a very unlikely birdie,  his hybrid approach from 255 yards went so far right that it crossed the lake and ended up in the 11th fairway. He recovered by hitting a wedge to 15 feet and then made the putt;

“It was the worst shot of the year and I ended up making a birdie.”

Coats Golf Championship. Ha Na Wins Maiden Tour Victory.

White Dragon Golf

Ha Na Jang wins the Coats Golf Championship in Florida, her maiden LPGA Tour victory.

Coats Golf Championship

Ha Na and her first LPGA Trophy / Getty Images

Ha Na crammed everything into her maiden LPGA Tour victory at the Coats Golf Championship, including an Albatross. A final round of even par 72 for a -11 under par tournament total was good enough to claim her first win on tour, and a wire to wire win at that. The final putt was followed by a big fist pump celebration, which was admired by Lydia Ko;

“Yeah, I’ve never seen that before. I don’t know how anyone can beat that. It was almost kind of like James Hahn’s Gangnam Style a few years ago.”

“But no, that’s a pretty cool ceremony. I don’t know who would think of that. But yeah, obviously she loves doing it to celebrate, and you can see by her fist pumps during the round, too.”

Ha Na spoke about the celebration;

“I tried on No. 12 on the tee, and after the shot, and I tried like this, and some people were like, ‘You’re really funny, your swing!’”

 “Okay, I’ll try it at Ocala in tournament, so it’s no problem, yeah.”

Brooke M Henderson, from Canada, was in second place on her own at -9 under par, she also carded a final round of even par.

Third position was shared between In Gee Chun, Sei Young Kim and world #1 Lydia Ko, all at -7 under par for the competition.

In Gee was -2 under today, Sei Young -1 under, but Lydia carded a last round +3 over par 75, to drop out of contention.

Lydia bemoaned putts not dropping;

“I feel like during the middle of today’s round I didn’t hit the ball very well.”

 “Overall I’ve been striking the ball really good even in the rain today, so that’s a positive, and I feel like I’m stroking the ball well with the putter.”

“Not many dropped, but that’s another thing.”

 

 

Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Danny Willett On Top.

White Dragon Golf

Danny Willett is on top of the  Omega Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard after 54 holes at Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Danny Willett / Getty Images

Danny moved to the top of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard with a brilliant bogey free-7 under par third round 65, to give him a one shot lead with a -16 under par total.

Danny spoke about his great round, being under control, and his mental approach;

“It was good, I played great golf today.”

“I played really well yesterday and kept the foot down and could have been a couple better today. I’m delighted. I kept the ball under fantastic control with some crosswinds and did everything right really.”

“I had couple of hiccups in there today where it could have been a little different but I kept the head on and kept moving forward.”

“I think mentally, I feel like I’m very much in control of myself, which obviously helps. And swing-wise, I’ve got a few things that I’m trying to do.”

“I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible and let the mind be a little bit calmer, and it seems to be working so far.”

“It’s a great golf event. I think the atmosphere around this golf course is fantastic, second to none. There are little gathering areas around tee boxes and greens, and we get a lot of support.”

Rafa Cabrera-Bello is the man in second place, at -15 under par, just one shot adrift. A third consecutive round of -5 under par 67 keeping him firmly in touch of the leader.

Third place belongs to Andy Sullivan, and at -14 under par for the tournament is definitely in contention. He stayed within sight of the top with a bogey free -6 under 66 today, in fact he has not recorded a bogey since his first hole on day one, which was a double at the tenth.

Rory McIlroy had a -4 under par 68 today, which doubled his total to -8 under par, and he now has little hope of winning this tournament.

 

Waste Management Phoenix Open. James Hahn Leads Suspended Round 2

White Dragon GolfPhoenix Open

The second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open may have been suspended, but it wont change the top of the leaderboard, where James Hahn sits alone at TPC Scottsdale.

James Hahn tallied a 6-under 65 during Round 2 of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

James Hahn / Getty Images

James fired a bogey free second round -6 under par 65 to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open at the close of play on the second day, with a -10 under par total.

James said he was having fun making all those birdie putts on perfect greens;

“I’m having fun out there.”

“Making a lot of putts, hitting a lot of fairways, giving myself many opportunities to make birdie.”

“It’s the one week out of the year where you’re allowed to do anything you want and not get fined.”

“It’s good for golf, good for the game, good for the fans that come out here.”

“They support the golf tournament, so might as well give them a show.”

“Sleeping in my own bed this week, live about 10 minutes away, I have played this course a hundred times.”

“The only thing different about the course today, as any other day, is the greens are better.”

Rickie Fowler, and Kiwi Danny Lee are tied in second place, both at -9 under for the tournament, Rickie with -3 under 68 today and Danny -5 under 66.

Sharing fourth position are Shane Lowery, Harris English and Hideki Matsuyama, all on -7 under par.

Bubba Watson, currently T13 at -4 under, has had to apologize to all and sundry, his pre-tournament comments about the course, and his sponsors must have ruffled some high-flying feathers. I wonder who wrote this script for him;

“I used the wrong words, I have nothing against the fans and the tournament.”

“The fans have been great. I love coming here. I’ve lived here every winter for eight years.”

“This is a beautiful place. And the reason why I’m here is because of the excitement around this golf tournament. The fans have been great.”

“I used words that I shouldn’t have used. I didn’t explain myself well. My wife says that too when I go home. I don’t communicate very well.”

Coats Golf Championship. Round 3 Suspended Due to Darkness. Lydia and Ha Na Lead.

White Dragon Golf

Lydia Ko and Ha Na Jang lead the Coats Golf Championship, as darkness duly suspended round 3 in Florida.

Coates Golf Championship

Lydia & Ha Na / Getty Images

Lydia and Ha Na are tied at the top of the Coats Golf Championship as darkness brought round three to an early end. Both ladies have tournament totals of -7 under par, with Lydia completing six third round holes, carding one birdie, and Ha Na at even par though her six holes.

In the late gloom of the day,  Lydia backed off a putt, because she was not sure if the ball had moved, and having been caught before in that situation the rules had to be confirmed;

“Yeah, I wasn’t sure because it’s obviously getting a little dark, and with the steepness of the greens, you never know if it does move or not, and I kind of was hovering over it going back and forth, so I don’t know if that action was making it look like it moved or not.”

 “The rules, we cleared everything, so now I can just go to bed and have a good dinner and come out here early, but this happened to me last year at this tournament, the second round or something, and it happened at KPMG, too, so I just wanted to clarify it so it wouldn’t be a problem tomorrow.”

Five ladies are tied in third position at -6 under par, with none of them having completed their third rounds; Kim Kaufman, Sei Young Kim, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda and Haru Nomura.

Kim Kaufman knew it was going to be a long haul today;

“We knew it was going to be long, and we were ready for that. It was kind of the same thing we did last year.”

“We knew early it was going to be kind of a fight, and then with about seven holes left this morning, I thought, okay, let’s make some birdies, and we just continued that in the afternoon.”

“I just played well, started to hit my irons really well.”

Lexi got up early, played a couple of holes, and then sat around waiting to start again;

“It was just an early wake-up call to play two holes and then wait around until 3:00 p.m. to warm back up.”

“But it is what it is, you can’t control the weather, and I just tried to make the best of it on the holes that I did play.”

Jessica said it was hard to try and plan your day;

“It’s just hard to time out your day.”

“I think we came back out and played two and a half holes this morning and then had most of the afternoon, morning off and then back to play six holes.”

“So I think just timing it all and keeping your energy levels up has been a little bit of a challenge.”

It will be a marathon day tomorrow with the leaders having to play 30 holes to complete the tournament, it will be survival of the fittest, depending on the weather of course.