Northern Trust Open. Goosen Is Going for It.

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Retief Goosen is going for the win at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

Northern Trust Open

Retief Goosen / Getty Images

Retief stamped his Major qualifications all over the Northern Trust Open, carding a third round -2 under par 69, for tournament total of -8 under par, a lead of two shots gong into the final round tomorrow.

Retief said major patience played a big part in his effort today, along with a behaving putter;

“Patience is a big, big key on a course like this.”

“I have the experience, but it’s been quite a long time ago now, 14 and 11 years ago since I won a U.S. Open.”    

“It wasn’t easy out there for me. Mentally-wise, I had to work hard to try and stay positive and focused. But I’m still in the lead, so that’s a good place to be.”

“Just try and play solid tomorrow and keep the putter warm and see what happens.”  

Graham DeLaet is still in second place, his third round -1 under par slipping him  back a bit, to finish at -6 under par on his own.  He feels the pressure of becoming only the second Canadian to win this title;

“I just feel support from 35 million people north of the border, and I’m going to do everything I can for them tomorrow.”

“I’ve slept on either leads or final group pairings before and I know like laying in bed, you’re thinking about what a win can do and this and that.”

“I’m past that now in my career. I know I have to take it one shot at a time. I know the most important shot for me is the one coming up next, that tee shot on one tomorrow.”

Northern Trust Open

Graham DeLaet / Getty Images

“But more than anything, it’s just staying in the moment and knowing that I’m obviously playing good golf right now.”

“I know that this is a tough golf course and it’s a pretty tight leaderboard, and there’s one guy in there that’s going to shoot a good round tomorrow, and I just hope that it’s me.”

There are four players tied in third position at -5 under par, Sang-Moon Bae, Carlos Ortiz, Sergio Garcia and J.B. Holmes.

Sang-Moon is looking forward to the challenge tomorrow;

“I find out where I can hit and where I can’t. So I really look forward to playing tomorrow.”

Sergio rescued a par on thirteen, from the bunker on the 10th green;

“I probably had a couple yards, I would say between the TV tower and the trunk of the tree.”

“The difficult part about it was that I was in a little bit of a downslope in the bunker, ball a little bit above my feet, having to hit like a low, low cut that went underneath the branches. So it just clipped one little branch.”

“But I was thrilled to, I mean, I would have been happy with five, so four was a bonus.”

“It’s kind of been like that, all week I guess. I’ve hit some beauties and I’ve hit some shockers. It was a little bit Seve like, I would guess, the way I saved some of those pars, where you know, it looked like I was going to make bogey or double, something like that.”

“So to be able to kind of get away with it, and manage to shoot the round I shot, under the conditions, which the course was playing really tough, too, so I’m happy with that.”

Hero Indian Open. S.S.P. Has Stranglehold.

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S.S.P. Chawrasia has a stranglehold on the Hero Indian Open competition at the Delhi Golf Club.

Hero Indian Open

S.S.P. Chawrasia / Getty Images

S.S.P. the Delhi Golf Club course specialist carded a third round -2 under par 69, to post -12 under par total and still sits on top of the Hero Indian Open leaderboard.

S.S.P. had his first bogey today, but remains happy with his performance;

“I feel great, I missed a few putts but I’m still happy.” 

“I missed my eight iron on the 17th hole, or else I would have still been bogey free.” 

“I want to think and play positive on the final day. The final round is always special so I will play aggressively.” 

“I played my own game and I am not thinking that I’m playing match play. If anyone is coming closer, let them, I just want to focus on my own game.” 

In what appears to be a two-horse race, Siddikur Rahman looks to be the only player who has a chance of mounting a challenge, his -10 under par total could have been better. He shot a -1 under par 70 today, which sadly included a double bogey;

“It was a good day, I had a nice rhythm and picked up a couple of shots until the double bogey.” 

“I managed to recover well and made a great par save on 17, and then managed to birdie the last so overall I am happy with one under today.” 

“The birdie at the last was very important. Anything can happen in this game, I am looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully I can play the way I did on Thursday.”

“I tried not to look too much at what S S P was doing today, I tried to focus on my own game and keep hitting the greens in regulation and try to make some birdie putts.”

Marcus Fraser is alone in third position at -7 under par, a third round -4 under par 67 moving him up the leaderboard.

Lowest round of the day came from Daniel Chopra, a -6 under par 65, but that total still leaves him six shots off the pace.

 

ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Lydia and Ariya Lead.

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Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn share the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open lead at Royal Melbourne in Australia.

ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

Ariya Jutanugarn / Getty Images

Ariya and World number one Lydia will start the final round of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open with a one shot advantage over their rivals. Both ladies sit atop the leaderboard at -7 under par for the tournament, but in the withering heat today both of them could only card  third rounds of -1 under par 71.

Lydia was asked if she would take that score for tomorrow, on those firm and glassy greens, and said she would jump at the offer;

“Yeah, I would in that heat.”

“They’re really hard. I’m scratching my head over a three-footer or a thirty-footer.”

“It’s really tough, and because the hole is so tight, the lip-outs, they hurt. They’re not nice here.”

“The greens are one of the hardest parts and because they are so firm, it affects the shots that are coming into the green also.”

“On a course like this, unless you really get going on a putting streak, you’re not going to make seven, eight birdies and shoot the most incredible eight under.”

“I think this course you really have to play smart and when you have those chances, try to grab it because birdies are hard to see.”

Power hitter Ariya has had chances before to win this year, and will do her best again here;

“I’ve had the chance to be the leader before, but my plan is to do my best. Whatever happens, I’ll just take it.”

Amy Yang is alone in third place, at -6 under par, following her third round -3 under par 70.

Aussie Katherine Kirk and Julieta Granada from Paraguay share fourth spot on the leaderboard at -4 under par, both with -3 under par rounds of 70.

Katherine reported that birdie making did not come easily, but she wants to hold the  Patricia Bridges Bowl tomorrow;

“It’s not easy to make birdies out there and I made six today and I’m still kind of a little puzzled as to how.”

“I know I made two long putts, so they’re just bonuses. I think that was probably as good as it was going to get today.”

“I’d be very honored. I actually had the pleasure of travelling on an Australian team in 2002 to Malaysia to play the World Amateur Teams Championship, and Patricia made the trip and she’s just an incredible lady,”

“I’d be delighted to hoist the trophy and certainly proud to fly the flag for Australia tomorrow.”

 

Northern Trust Open. Retief Revels at Riviera.

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Retief Goosen revels in the tough Northern Trust Open conditions at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

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Retief Goosen / Getty Images

The Major Champion Retief sits on top of the Northern Trust Open leaderboard at -6 under par following his second round -1 under par 70

The conditions have been likened to a U.S. Open by Retief, and other players, firm very quick greens, and some of the holes are extremely difficult to par, let alone get a birdie;

“The greens are definitely becoming, you know, U.S. Open greens.”

 “They are getting firmer and quicker. Some of these holes, if you get away with a par, it’s a good score.”

“It’s been such a long time since I’ve last been in contention, who knows how my game is going to hold up?”

“But I’m feeling good, my back is feeling great. So if the nerves can hold, just continue to make good golf swings and make a few good putts, who knows?”

Who knows indeed, just take a look back at last year when Bubba Watson came through to win with a pair of 64’s on the weekend. That does not look likely in these conditions, but who knows.

In second place are three players, all on -5 under par, and just one shot back, Ryan Moore, Justin Thomas and Canadian Graham DeLaet, who carded one of the lowest rounds of the day, -4 under par 67. Ryan had a second round -3 under par 68 and Justin -2 under 69.

Ryan stated that to get close to the pin you need a lot of luck;

“There’s a few out there today, if someone got it inside 10 feet, I mean, it’s an accident.”

“It’s luck to get it around a couple of these holes. As firm as they are, they are where they normally put the pins here but they are firm and bouncy and it’s a little breezy.”

“It’s a great test of golf right now.”

Graham reported that you have to be the real deal to get it around this course, and he thinks Justin, who he played with today has the credentials;

“You can’t fake it around this place.”

“It’s a good, solid traditional golf course. It’s pure golf. But the 10th hole, everybody talks about, it’s a 300-yard hole that’s like a chess game.”

” Just to make a four there, you’d take every single day.”

“But the finishing hole is great and everything in between, there’s just no let up on the golf course and you have to hit quality shots all the way around.”

“It was a lot of fun.”

“Justin Thomas is a hell of a player. He’s the future of golf. He’s your prototypical new young star: Bombs it and does every part of the game well. It was a pleasure playing with him today.”

Rookie Thomas has played here as an amateur, and has some good memories of the course;

“I loved the course as soon as I got here, so a lot of good memories that came back.”

“I’ve only played one major but from my experience and from what I’ve heard from others, this is very U.S. Open like, I would say.”

“It’s very firm, and being in the fairway is such a huge premium, and all the spin you can get on it is really important.”

 

 

Hero Indian Open. Home Hero S.S.P. Hangs On.

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Home hero S.S.P. Chawrasia hangs on to the lead at the half-way stage in the Hero Indian Open.

Hero Indian Open

S.S.P. Chawrasia / Getty Images

S.S.P. the Delhi Golf Club course specialist shot a second round of -4 under par 67, to lead the Hero Indian Open with a bogey free -10 under par total.

He intends to stay playing aggressive for the rest of the tournament;

“I’m playing very well the last two days.”

“I feel good and aggressive, I will do the same on the last two days. I’m very happy because I saved a lot of pars. It wasn’t easy to keep the bogeys away from my card, I had to make a lot of saves.”

“It is tough when the wind changes direction but I know how to handle it here.”

“I played well through the 2014 season and I started well this year as well, so I’m feeling very confident. I’m very excited for the next two days.”

Siddikur Rahman, from Bangladesh, is keeping the leader company, just one shot back in second place with a -9 under par total. A second round -3 under par 68 included a disappointing double bogey;

“I was a little bit disappointed with my double bogey because I had a good number of birdies.”

“I really enjoy playing here and I want to keep the same rhythm in the next two rounds. You will definitely have some pressure but I always try my best to avoid it.”

Joakim Lagergren and Chapchai Nirat, both shot level par rounds of 71 to share third place on -6 under par.

Maybank Malaysian Open winner Anirban Lahiri carded the low round of the day with a -6 under par 65 which contained only six pars as he moved into the top ten. It would have been much better, except for the three bogey’s.

Prayad Marksaeng and Abhinav Lohan took the tally for aces on the 2015 Race to Dubai to a whopping 15, there does seem to be a lot of Aces around this year.

ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open. Three Young Ladies Share the Lead.

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Three young Ladies share the ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open lead at Royal Melbourne Golf Club at the half-way stage.

Lydia Ko,18 Ariya Jutanugarn, 20 and Ha-Na Jang, 22 have grabbed the lead in Australia.

ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

World number one Lydia shot another -3 under par round to share the -6 under par lead at the ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open. On a day at Royal Melbourne where early morning fog caused delays, and the difficult Composite Course caused its own problems, rounds were taking up to six hours, and only one player broke 70. That lady was Ha Na, with her -4 under par 69 today, while Ayria carded -2 under par 71.

Lydia chipped in for an Eagle, with a 9 iron on the par four 15th, her second consecutive day with an eagle;

“I made on eagle on 14 yesterday and then I was angry that I came off with a par today.”

“I felt like it was a hole that I could easily come off with a birdie. I was kind of angry and that kind of anger led me to hit an aggressive drive on the 15th.”

“I was on the left edge of the fairway and I had 136 or something like that and I said ‘eight could be a little long,’ so I decided to punch a nine iron, and it landed just left of the pin and the mouth kind of feeded it right to the hole.”

Ha Na, in her maiden LPGA Tour season, has decided to keep it simple;

“I think only very simple thinking, fairway and green and then two putts and that’s it, no more thinking.”

Ayria is just enjoying life on Tour;

“I’ll just enjoy it and have fun, it’s why we play.”

Another youngster 18 year-old Charley Hull is alone in fourth spot, just one shot back at -4 under par for the competition, following back to back rounds of -2 under par 71.

Local legend, and defending champion Karrie Webb had a battle to make the cut, a par on the last got her into the weekend, but 11 shots off the lead;

“It’s actually hard to get in there and fully trust what you’re doing when you do hit a good shot and it goes over the back.”

“But I need to do that more. At this stage I’m not thinking about a result, I’m thinking about bringing on to the course what I’m doing in practice.”

Among those missing the cut were past winners Yani Tseng and Dame Laura Davies, while Sarah Jane Smith, Stacey Keating and last weekend’s RACV Ladies Masters winner Su Oh will all get a sleep-in.

Northern Trust Open. Six Players Tied at the Top.

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There are six players tied at the top of the Northern Trust open at Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades.

Northern Trust Open

Nick Watney / Getty Images

An in form Nick Watney is joined at the top of the Northern Trust Open leaderboard by Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, James Hahn, Daniel Summerhays and Derek Fathauer, all carding opening rounds of -5 under par 66.

For Nick, the second place finish last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday certainly was disappointing. At least he gave himself a chance to win, though, and that’s where his focus needed to be;

“It was just a bit of self-reflection, I guess.”

“My wife may say different but after about 12 hours I said, OK, obviously I would have liked to have won but I did a lot of good things so let’s move on.”

“It’s my fifth week in a row, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, really. Started off great, pitched in on the seventh from right of the green, where walking up there, you’re looking at bogey; and then I birdied the eighth hole from the middle there.”

“Got some good breaks but I’ll take it.”

“Today I had a few 5- or 10-footers for par that I made, that when you’re playing well you make those and you keep momentum.”

“I think that’s probably the biggest difference. Over the winter break I tried to work hard on my game, and I think I did, but you never quite know until you’re in competition.”

“An attitude adjustment also helped,  just realizing how lucky I am to play the TOUR and trying to enjoy every event that I get to play.”

The two Major winners Retief and Vijay managed to roll back the years and posted good opening scores, Vijay is now playing pain free;

“I’m finally not hurting as much as I did the last five years.”

“That’s a big part of playing good golf. You’re not hurting, you can go out and play and you’re comfortable.”  

“Right now, nothing hurts. The golf swing feels good, and I’m happy to be playing.”

Retief, who played alongside Vijay said the two old timers played very nicely together, and he is especially happy with his putter at the moment;

“It was nice to play with Vijay, he played very solid, too, and he putted really good. So it’s nice that the two old boys played so well.”

“Like I say, at Torrey, I felt like I was starting to make a few good strokes. Although I wasn’t making much, but just felt like the putter was sitting nice for me, and today especially, you get those days when you put a putter down it’s aiming where you want it to go.”