Zurich Classic. Two Tied at the Top.

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There are two players tied at the top of the Zurich Classic leaderboard at the end of day 1. Boo Weekley and Brendon de Jonge from South Africa, share the honors with super first rounds, before play was suspended for the day due to inclement weather conditions.

Zurich Classic

Brendon De Jonge / Getty Images

Brendon and Boo both carded -8  under par first rounds of 64 at the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana. The poor conditions gave players the option to lift, clean and place their ball on the fairway.

Boo carded his round in the morning before the weather changed, and then there was some rain which halted play for 78 minutes in the afternoon, leaving twelve players out on the course, who will have to complete their rounds tomorrow.

Brendon,  who is seeking his first win on the PGA TOUR, carded a bogey free -8 under par 64, and said he still left a couple out there;

“I left a couple out there, I think everybody finishes a round and think they could do a little better. But anytime I shoot a 64 I’m not going to get greedy.”

“I feel like my game is solid at the moment. I’m hitting everything fairly well. Nothing exceptional, but it feels like everything’s kind of turning in the right direction.”

Boo hit 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation and required only 26 putts, he also loves being close to home;

“I’ve been struggling with my irons the past month or so and finally I got some shafts that work.’

“I used them in Wednesday’s pro-am and came away feeling really good. Finally, I can control the distance and the trajectory and the numbers.”

“And it helps when you’re really putting well. When you put the two together, you can shoot pretty good. Plus, I’m back on Bermuda grass, I’m close to home, and I love the heat. What’s not to like?”

“You can’t win the tournament today, there’s a lot of golf left. We’re all out here hitting it the same. The difference is who’s hitting it the closest.”

“But I saw the good today. If you don’t hit it good tomorrow, you don’t hit it good. That’s why they call it a four-letter game, GOLF!.”

“I felt like if the putts would have fallen that I hit, I felt like it could have been a 59 easy.”

David Hearn and Sean O’Hair are tied in fourth place, just one shot back at -7 under par.

Sean said he had been pushing it all the way;

“I kind of caught myself pressing on the back nine.”

“Once I got to seven under I was kind of pushing a little bit, forcing a little bit on the greens.”

Freddie Jacobson has continued with his excellent putting performance this season, needing only 20 putts on his way to record an opening round -4 under par 68. He has now extended his no three putt streak to 542 consecutive holes, best on the PGA TOUR.

Volvo China Open. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

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There was a three-way tie at the top of the Volvo China Open leaderboard at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club in Shanghai, China. Kiwi Michael Hendry, England’s David Howell and Bradley Dredge from Wales share the top spot after round one.

Volvo China Open

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David, Michael and Bradley all fired opening rounds of -4 under par 68 to occupy first place in the Volvo China Open.

David, who won the last of his five European Tour titles at St Andrews in October 2013 said he was delighted with his progress with his golf game;

“I’m delighted, it’s a really different test this week.”

“We knew it was firm in practice, but it was hard to work out how difficult it was going to be. The scoring showed people are finding it tricky.”

“I drove the ball beautifully today, really found my rhythm on the range and took it out onto the course so I kept the ball in play well and did a lot of things right.”

“There was a decent breeze out there, but really it’s the firmness of the greens that is making it difficult for everyone. The greens are in great condition and you’ve really got to think your way round.”

“The greens were really firm so the big thing was if you were hitting fairways you had chances.”

“It was never easy getting the ball close to the hole with slopes on the greens and the firmness; it was quite tricky round there.

“This afternoon the wind is going to get up and it will be firmer still, so I’d be surprised if four under was beaten.”

Kiwi Michael won on the Japan Golf Tour last week, and he admitted that the win had provided a welcome confidence boost.

“It makes the game a little easier I think, it’s always nice to play tournaments when you’re in good form.”

The defending champion Alex Levy was one behind the leaders after a -3 under par opening effort, sharing fourth spot with Julien Quesne and Marcus Fraser.

Last weeks winner in China, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, opened here with a -1 under par 71, in his quest for back to back wins on the European Tour.

 

RBC Heritage. Fabulous Furyk Wins.

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Jim Furyk won the RBC Heritage with a fabulous final round at Harbour Town Golf Links.

RBC Heritage

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Jim shot a final round -8 under par 63, to get himself into a play-off for the RBC Heritage title at Harbour Town Gold Links, at -18 under par for the tournament.

Joining him on that final total of -18 under par was Kevin Kisner, who carded a final round -7  under par 64, which sent them into a sudden death play-off. Jim birdied the second extra hole, the par four 17th, to claim the win.

Jim said it was the perfect place to break his win drought, after nine unconverted win 54 hole leads;

“It’s been a little over four and a half years, to be exact, and I think that dropping that putt and getting excited on 17, there was a lot of pent-up frustration.”

“I can’t think of a more fitting place to kind of break that streak and get another win under my belt.”

“This is my favorite event. I love being here. And outside of winning another major championship, this is the perfect place to do it.”

“In 2010 when I won in Tampa, I said I was happy but I was more relieved, this week, for one reason or another it’s not really relief at all. It’s zero percent relief and 100 percent joy. It felt really good.”

“I’ve let so many slide by, I really kind of dug deep today, and I got it done.”

Kevin Kisner who had the shot of the day came as close on Sunday as any South Carolina native ever has in 47 years to winning the RBC Heritage, his home state’s annual PGA TOUR event, he tied with Jim after shooting a final round -7  under par 64;

“I knew the scores were going to be low, and I managed to shoot low.”

“But every time I looked up on the back nine, Jim was making another birdie.”

“You don’t expect a guy of Jim’s caliber to miss an eight footer straight up the hill.”

“I never felt like I was in the lead. I was always chasing, it was never like I was going to win at any moment. I had a chance, but man, I’m just proud of the way I handled it down the stretch.”

Troy Merritt finished in third place, at -16 under par, after a mediocre -2 under par last round of 69, a sad end to his great attempt to winning this title.

 

Shenzhen International. Kiradech Wins In A Play-Off

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Kiradech Aphibarnrat wins the inaugural Shenzhen International at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

Kiradech Aphibarnrat / Getty Images

Kiradech and Chinese teenage sensation Li Hao-Tong were tied at the top of the Shenzhen International leaderboard at -12 under par at the end of the final round.

Li Hao-Tong had set the clubhouse lead after his last round -5 under par 67, and then at back to see if anyone would catch him. Kiradech did, but his final round of even par only matched the top score, the players then went into a sudden death play-off, starting at the par four 18th. A birdie for Kiradech gave him the inaugural Shenzhen International title, with the best putt of his life;

“Special thanks to my caddie, he was always pushing me.”

“When we were two behind on the last two holes he said you have not lost, we have not signed the scorecard yet and he was completely right and I just got the job done.”

“I had a chance to win in 72 holes but the putt in the play-off is the best putt I have ever made in my life.”

“I’ve been struggling for a year. I lost my coach, changed my equipment. It’s a big changing time after I won.

“It’s been like that for a while. I haven’t been at the top of the leaderboard but finally I had the chance to do it. It was tough to stay there.”

It would have been fantastic for teenager Li Hao-Tong to have won on home soil, he made six birdies in windy conditions, and in the end congratulated the winner;

“I made a lot of birdies again. But the Thai guy played so well. Congratulations for him.”

Tommy Fleetwood was third, one shot behind at -11 under par for the tournament, a last round -3 under par 69 lifting him above the posse of players at -10 under, which included Peter Uihlein.

Peter was happy with the result, saying he had made some changes to his wing;

“It was my first tournament trying to do some new stuff with my swing. I’ll take it. It’s one of those things that might take a little while under pressure to get used to.” 

Low round of the day came from Alvaro Quiros, -9 under par 63, he had a chance to post the European Tour’s first round of 59, but bogeys on the 12th and last holes were the only blemishes of an effort that featured a sensational 11 birdies;

“A 63 in any golf course in the world is a good score.”

Bubba Watson also finished well, carding a final round -7 under par 65, and wished his putting had been better the first three days;

“I wish I would have putted better in the first three rounds.”

“I putted well in the last round. All in all it was a good test. It shows me what I need to work on. It shows me that I can play outside the US, especially today.”

 

 

Lotte Championship. Play-Off Win for Sei Young Kim.

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Sei Young Kim won the Lotte Championship in a play-off against Inbee Park in Hawaii.

Lotte Championship

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Sei Young Kim and Inbee Park were tied at -11 under par for the Lotte Championship title at the end of the final round.

Sei Young won the first play-off hole, the par four 18th, with an Eagle, holing put from 150 yards, to lift the trophy.

Sei Young carded a final round +1 over par 73, in wind gusting to 30 mph, at Ko Olina to match Inbee at -11 under par at the top of the leaderboard. Inbee had completed her last round with a -1 under par 71.

She had this to say about her dramatic win;

“I still can’t believe what just happened.”

“After the ANA, I had a tough time sleeping because that was my first opportunity to win a major tournament on the LPGA tour.”

“At the same time, I saw the possibility and the potential that I belonged there, and that I can win a major championship in the future.”

“I am pretty relieved that I think I can go to sleep tonight. Throughout the round today, I was telling myself, I don’t know if I can live with myself if I make the same mistakes in two consecutive weeks.”

“Today, I didn’t see it coming, I don’t know what I’ve done again to deserve this.”

“I feel like every time I win a tournament, I have to do something crazy, or overcome some type of obstacle. I don’t know why it keeps happening, but it feels good.”

Inbee had to admit she was beaten by a good player;

“She’s a great player, I think she’s a great fighter.”

I.K. Kim bogeyed the final two holes of her day for a +2 over par 74 that left her two strokes back at -9 under par, and alone in third place.

This event was completely dominated by South Korea, at the finish their players occupied the top five positions on the leaderboard, that must be some kind of record.

RBC Heritage. Can Troy Triumph Tomorrow ?

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Can Troy Merritt triumph tomorrow? that is the question on everyone’s mind at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links, as he holds on to top spot of the leaderboard today.

RBC Heritage

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Troy carded a third round -2 under par 69 at the RBC Heritage to maintain his place at the top of the leaderboard, going into the final round tomorrow with a three shot advantage at -14 under par.

The pressure was getting to him, as he spoke about the fear, and dropping a ball in the water;

“I was starting to feel the fear and being afraid, like I would when I was an amateur.”

“It’s not a bad fear, it’s the fear of being caught. And I think it’s worked for me in the past. “

“You go out there, play solid golf, take care of your business and you see how the other guy is doing.”

“I had a little bit of a tug with a 6-iron, and unfortunately watched it splash in the water, but it was a spectacular splash. I enjoyed that.”

“I ground out a six-footer for double. You don’t want to walk off that hole making 7, when you’re playing pretty solid.”

“It was a spectacular splash. I was going to try and get the momentum back, and I was able to do that.”

“Just play solid golf, put as much pressure on them as I can, make them try and take some risks, and just try and make pars, throw in an occasional birdie, and make them come and get me.”

There are three players tied in second place at -11 under par, including the defending champion Matt Kuchar, along with Brendon Todd and Kevin Kisner.

Low round of the day went to Brendon, a -8 under par 63, Kevin was -4 under today and Matt -3 under.

Matt had to overcome a double-bogey 5 after hitting a tree on the seventh hole, but he bounced back with birdies on the next two holes;

“There’s a tree that hangs out over the green protecting that, and it was a Dikembe Mutombo swat away from the basket, that was tough.”

Kevin is going to stick to his game plan;

“I’ll try to stick with the process, the kind of things I’ve been doing, and hopefully the results will come.”

“Whatever happens, happens. If I keep playing like I’m doing, hopefully I’ll have a chance.”

Jim Furyk, No. 10 in the world, was four shots behind the leader at -10 under par, with Masters Champion and FedExCup leader Jordan Spieth another stroke back at -9 under.

Jordan does not intend to go away quietly;

“Tomorrow I’ll be happy to be kind of in this quiet zone, coming from behind and hopefully making some noise.”

“I’m going to be really aggressive. If it doesn’t work out, then it was still a great stretch. And if I get out there and hit the shots that I want to hit, then I’ve got a possibility of contending again.”

 

 

Shenzhen International. Kiradech Lets Slip A Tidy Lead.

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Kiradech Aphibarnrat let slip a tidy lead in the Shenzhen International, although he will still have a two shot lead going into the final round at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

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Kiradech had built up a five shot lead during the third round of the Shenzhen International, until he came to the last two holes. He he double-bogeyed the par five 17th and dropped another shot at the last, a par four, to card -4 under par 68, and still be at the top of the leaderboard at -12 under par.

Really poor putting was the main culprit;

“I’ve been striking the ball so well in the first three rounds. It’s a good way to start.”  

“First, I made three straight birdies to jump up at the top. I was still hitting the ball great on the back. Then I made a big mistake on last two holes, not the way to finish.”

“I lost the focus on the short putt on 17, that is the big turn, the big key for me after Peter made birdie, and we swung three shots on that. That’s a big move. But I made a mistake and I lost some concentration.”

Peter Uihlein was the beneficiary of Kiradech’s loss of concentration, he scored a -1 under par 71, which gave him a -10 under par total, to be just two shots adrift. He admitted he played poorly today;

“I just made too many sloppy bogeys. Four bogeys, a bit rough, five birdies and missed a couple pretty easy ones.”

Pablo Larrazábal is in third place, shooting -7 under par 65, to move him up the leaderboard with a -9 under par tournament total;

 “My game was brilliant today. I missed two shots, the second shot on 17 and the second shot on 18, but I played very solid.”  

“I made only one long putt. I made a two putt on 11, and then I made I think five birdies from four feet.”

19 year-old Hao-tong Li, from China, is in a group of five players on -7 under par for the tournament, along with Emiliano Grillo, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Ford and Scott Hend.

Hao-tong played alongside Bubba Watson, and enjoyed the experience;

“He’s pretty nice guy, so I very much enjoyed playing with him.”

“I hit a lot of greens and made a lot of birdies. I was pretty lucky also.”

Bubba did not play as well as his young playing partner, carding +2 over par for the round, but he did give some praise to the young Chinese player;

“He’s hitting the ball really well. He’s making a lot of putts. The key around a golf course is a lot of putts and he made a lot of putts today.”