Honda Classic. Two Players at the Top

White Dragon GolfThe Honda Classic

Two Players are tied at the top of The Honda Classic leaderboard after round 1 at PGA National Golf Club in Florida. Alex Noren, Sweden and Webb Simpson, USA, have a one shot advantage over the field.

The Honda Classic

Webb Simpson / getty

Webb reckons this is one of the toughest golf courses;

”When you stand on certain tee boxes or certain approach shots, you remember that, man, this is one of the hardest courses we play all year, including majors.”

Alex came to the USA to gain some experience, and it’s working;

“I came over here to try to play some more American-style courses, get firmer greens, more rough, and to improve my driving and improve my long game.”

”So it’s been great.”

Five players are tied in third place at -3 under par, Morgan Hoffman, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger, USA, with Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa and Mackenzie Hughes from Canada, all had opening rounds of 67.

Justin summed up his day;

“Some of those holes, you’re just kind of holding on for dear life” 

A lot of players, including Tiger Woods, even par 70 today and Rory McIlroy, +2 over 72 have been critical at the state of the greens on the Champion Course;

Rory spoke about the crusty greens;

“They looked more like Sunday greens than Thursday.”

“They are pretty crusty. They are going to have a job keeping a couple of them alive.”

Tiger commented;

“It’s going to get more difficult because these greens are not the best.”

“Some of these putts are a bit bouncy, there’s no root structure.”

“You hit shots and you see this big puff of sand on the greens, so that shows you there’s not a lot of root structure.”

But apparently Brad Nelson, PGA National’s director of agronomy is happy with the greens, where on the first day of play only 20 golfers broke par;

“Our goal is to be really, really firm, and we feel like we are in a good place for where we want them to be going into the weekend.”

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Farmers Insurance Open. Jason Day Wins Play-Off.

White Dragon GolfFarmers Insurance Open

Jason Day, Australia, wins the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in California, beating Alex Noren, Sweden, at the sixth extra hole.

Day outlasts Noren to claim win at Torrey Pines

Jason Day / getty

There no spectators allowed in to watch, because the Health an Safety controlled management refused to pay for the security people, so Jason’s family were the only gallery for the longest playoff in the tournament’s 67-year history. Who really needs a crew of security people to watch two guys play a hole of golf.

It had been a while since Jason had lifted a trophy, a par winning it, while Alex made bogey on the par five 18th;

“It’s been a long time coming.”

 “Last year wasn’t the greatest season for me. I worked very hard to try to get back to this position.”

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 29: Jason Day of Australia poses with his wife, Ellie Day, his children, Dash and Lucy, and his caddie, Rika Batibasaga, after winning the Farmers Insurance Open on the sixth playoff hole at Torrey Pines South on January 29, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

The Day family / getty

 

Farmers Insurance Open. The Play-Off Carried Over Until Tomorrow

 

White Dragon GolfFarmers Insurance Open

The Farmers Insurance Open ended in a three-way tie at the top, Jason Day, Australia, Alex Noren, Sweden, and Ryan Palmer, USA , all with -10 under par totals at Torrey Pines Golf Course, in California.

Day and Noren go head-to-head

Jason Day / getty

Jason carded a final round -2 under par 70, Alex +1 over 73, and Ryan even par 72, to tie for the Farmers Insurance Open top spot at -10 under par.

A three-way sudden death play-off started on the par five 18th, Ryan was eliminated with a par there, against the birdies of Jason and Alex.

Jason and Alex birdied again second time around. The next  two play-off holes, 16 and 17 and  were all halved with pars, and the 18th, the fifth play-off hole was halved with birdies.

By this time the darkness had descended, and the players will have to return tomorrow morning to settle the issue.

Alex said;

“It’s too dark. I could barely see the last putt, but it’s very enjoyable.”

“This is what I play for. I’m excited.”

Jason too mention the lack of light, not being able to see his ball on the green from the fairway, turning to his caddie;

“I can’t see it.”

“I’ll play all day tomorrow if I need to, to get the win.”

They will start again tomorrow at the par five 18th, and if recent play-off history is any indicator, it could go on for some time.

Defending champion Jon Rahm, Spain, fell away, carding a disastrous last round +5 over par 77, for a -2 under total. Tiger Woods finished in a tie for 23rd place, at -3 under par.

 

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Farmers Insurance Open, Alex Noren in Front.

White Dragon GolfFarmers Insurance Open

Alex Noren, Sweden, is in front at the Farmers Insurance Open after 54 holes at Torrey Pines South Golf Course in California

Noren alone at the top

Alex Noren / getty

Alex put in a third round -3 under par 69 to post -11 under par at the top of the Farmers Insurance Open leaderboard;

“I’ve been under the radar for most of my career.”

“I don’t care too much if they know me or not. It’s quite nice if they don’t know me.”

“All I’m trying to do is play some good golf and my goal is to win a tournament.”

“I kept my cool, I think that’s about it.”

“You don’t have to hit every shot perfect, you’ve got to just manage your way around, and obviously it helps being up there before.” 

“It is a different feeling but it’s a nice feeling.”

“You’ve got some adrenaline, and everything is on the edge. It’s just what I’m looking forward to every time I tee up so it’s going to be fun.”

One shot back at -10 under is Ryan Palmer, in second place after his third round +1 over par 73;

“There’s only one round left so there’s no reason to go out and try to hold on.”

“I’m going to go out there and try to win a golf tournament.”

“It’s a great feeling to be back in this position and I’ve got the game to do it.”

“Hopefully I can go out tomorrow and give my son, Mason, a big birthday present, tomorrow being his 11th birthday.”

J.B. Holmes, -7 under 65 today, and Michael Kim, who went to  Torrey Pines High School, carding -2 under 70 today, share third place at -9 under par.

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BMW PGA Championship. Alex Noren with a 62 Wins.

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Alex Noren, from Sweden, shot an amazing final round of 62 to win the BMW PGA Championship, on the revamped West Course at Wentworth Golf Club, in England.

BMW PGA Championship - Day Four : News Photo

Alex and Trophy

Alex had carded eight birdies in his first sixteen holes, to tie the leaders, and then made Eagle on the 18th to seal victory at the BMW PGA Championship, with a -10 under par 62 final round, giving him a tournament total of -11 under par.

Alex said he had no intention of winning this tournament this morning, but gave his best ever putting performance today;

“It feels amazing and crazy because I had no intention of trying to win this morning.”

“I didn’t even think about it when I came off the course quite angry yesterday after playing a good round and chipping it into the water from the back of the green on 18.”

“It’s a great feeling now but it feels unreal.”

“It’s a tough course mentally coming down the stretch. It’s not super narrow but it’s just if you hit it a little bit wayward it can cost you.”

“I putted probably the best I’ve ever putted.

Francesco Molinari, Italy, was in second place, two shots back at -9 under par, with a last round -4 under par 68;

“Bittersweet, obviously. I’m happy with my performance today.”

“Alex did something quite special so it was hard to beat, really.”

Three players tied in third place at -8 under par, Nicolas Colsaerts, Belgium, -7 under 65 today, Henrik Stenson, Sweden, -4 under 68 and Hideto Tanihara, Japan, -4 under 68 in his final round.

Nicolas said he should have had ten under;

“You know what, I had it on a string all day. It could have been ten under except for one bad swing on 15.”

Henrik said he just made too many mistakes;

“Too many unforced errors and this was definitely the best chance for me to win this tournament over all the years I’ve played it.”

 

Wells Fargo Championship. Reed Rises To The Top.

 

White Dragon GolfWells Fargo Championship

Patrick Reed rises to the top of the Wells Fargo Championship leaderboard after 54 holes at Eagle Point Golf Club.

Reed leads at Wells Fargo

Patrick Reed / getty

Patrick made birdie on his last two holes to take the lead in the Wells Fargo Championship, shooting -5 under par 67, for a -8 under total for 54 holes.

Patrick said the change in putting fortunes for him came when he reduced the amount information about the putts, ignoring the green reading book the players are given these days;

 “I used to read the putts and also [caddie Kessler Karain], and I used to use a green-reading book.”

“I just felt like there’s too many eyes and too much thought process going into putts on trying to figure out the read.”

“I’ve done that pretty well all week, I have my green-reading book with me just to kind of confirm, not really to go off of it, just to make sure I’m seeing what the book is saying and just kind of going from there.”

Personally I must say I do not agree with giving the players maps of the greens, showing which way the slopes were  going. Players should read the putts for themselves, not have caddies lying down on the green, and then having a discussion on which way to make the putt, it is too time consuming.

Sharing second place, just one shot back are Alex Noren, from Sweden, -3 under par 69 who missed a 5ft birdie putt on his last hole to claim a share the lead, and Jon Rahm, Spain, who also scored -3 under par. Both players have tournament totals of -7 under par.

There are four players tied in fourth spot, at -6 under, Seung Yul Noh, -5 under 67 today, Brian Harman -2 under 70, Vaughn Taylor -2 under 70 and Francesco Molinari even par 72 again today.

Wells Fargo Championship. Francesco Molinari Has 1st Round Lead.

White Dragon GolfWells Fargo Championship

Francesco Molinari, from Italy, has the 1st round lead at the Wells Fargo Championship at Eagle Point Golf Club.

Wells Fargo Championship

Francesco Molinari / getty

Francesco shot an opening round of -6 under par 66 to lead the Wells Fargo Championship, by one stroke, with a chip in birdie at the last hole,

“I played well and gave myself lots of chances.”

“I missed some makeable ones but then I holed some longer ones which is always nice. I’m really happy.”

“I enjoyed being out there and playing. I enjoyed even the challenging shots they have out there.”

Four players are then tied in second place at -5 under par following their first round scores of 67; Alex Noren, Sweden, J.B. Holmes, Grayson Murray and Brian Campbell, all from U.S.A.

Making his come back here is World number one Dustin Johnson, he fell down some stairs a month ago and has not played since. He carded -2 under par 70 to be T 15, and was happy with his play;

“Since I hadn’t played in so long, I’m happy with the way I played.”

“I didn’t score that great, didn’t really hole that many putts, but other than that, I played really well. I think I hit 16 greens and I hit the ball great.”