Arnold Palmer Invitational. Matt Makes It Again.

White Dragon GolfArnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard Logo

Defending Champion Matt Every makes it again at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Matt Every and Arnold / Getty Images

Matt Every and Arnold / Getty Images

Matt joined Tiger Woods and Loren Roberts as the only players to repeat at Bay Hill, shooting a final round -6 under par 66, and an Arnold Palmer Invitational total of -19 under par, a one shot victory;

“It’s easy to get down on yourself out here, it’s the biggest waste of time because nobody really cares.”

“The last three feet I was begging for it to hang, and I was like, ‘Gosh, these are the ones that always lip out. Be so cool to see this one dive in,’ and it did. Cool moment.”

“I was playing so good, yesterday when I got done, that was the best I hit it in a long time.”

“I told Tiger I’d hold it down for him until he gets back.”

“I’m like, you’re already in the Masters.”

“After Augusta last year, I was really bummed out, I felt really good about my game and then I got there and got my butt kicked. “

“I’ve got to get better because I don’t want to be a guy who can’t compete there.”

“I do want to win more tournaments, though, scratch that I said that, but it’s neat to get them both here.”

Henrik, who finished second at -18 under par, was annoyed at being put on the clock by the officials, on the 15th hole, when he was leading the tournament, and I am inclined to agree with him, what a stupid decision;

“I’m a little bit disappointed with the outcome, but I’m as much disappointed with the PGA Tour officials for putting us on the clock on 15, starting to chase us down the stretch, and that’s not really the way to close out a golf tournament.”

“It’s hard enough to finish out a golf tournament and play those finishing holes without being on the clock.”

“I didn’t see the reason for that really. I didn’t even read my putt more than just one quick look on 15. Three-putted that one from long range. Morgan got a bad time on 16 on the second shot. I kind of rushed my putt from the back fringe.”

“It’s just hard when you don’t feel like you can take the time that you want to take. That surely didn’t help the cause.”

Ozzie Matt Jones finished in third place at -17 under par, with -4 under par 67 final round.

Rory, T11 at -11 under, spoke about the odds of him winning The Masters;

“I guess if you go on form, then probably no. But it depends how far you take that form back and you’ve got to look at previous results there and all sorts of stuff. I’m not a bookie.”

“The main goal was to come here and try to win, couldn’t do that. At least I got a couple of things out of this week, which is good.”

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Henrik Takes Over at the Top.

White Dragon GolfArnold Palmer Invt'l

Henrik Stenson takes over at the top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational leaderboard at the end of day three at Bay Hill.

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik had a -6 under par 66 in the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, and at -16 under par for the tournament has a two shot lead going into the final round on Sunday.

Henrik said he needs to keep playing the same way as the first three rounds, because the ball does not know what it’s doing;

 “The golf ball doesn’t know what happened the previous three rounds, so I’ve got to go out tomorrow and keep the same mindset.”

“I’m not just a pretty face, I’ll try and make that different tomorrow but can’t give any guarantees. I’ll certainly try.”

 

Morgan Hoffmann is in touch in second place at -14 under par, -1 under for the third round saw him slip back;

“Just a really weird day out there, got some mud balls in the fairway, couldn’t control it. Got some weird lies in the bunkers. Brought it back and am decent for tomorrow.”

There are four players tied in third place, all at -13 under par, they are, Matt Jones, Jason Kokrak, Ben Martin and Matt Every.

Jason carded the low round of the day, -7 under par 65, which has given him a chance to get his first win on the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy had to settle for -1 under par 71, and is now seven shots back from the leader, at -9 under par;

“I’m frustrated, I birdied 12 and 13 and got right into the thick of things and then to give three shots back in quick succession was not really the plan.”

“I’m disappointed with the way I finished but I played well for the most part. I need to try to get off to a good start tomorrow, shoot a good score and see where that leaves me.

“There’s a lot of quality players above me. I would need to get off to a very fast start to win, 30 or 31 on the front nine, it’s possible; just try to start better and go from there.”

Daniel Berger scored an amazing Albatross, holing a 4-iron from 237 yards for a two on the 549 yard par 5 sixth hole. Daniel played the par fives in -6 under on Saturday, en route to a -4 under 68, and T23 at -7 under par;

“It was kind of right on that borderline between going for it and not going for it.”

“Little bit on the downhill lie. You know, my caddie gave me the confidence to go for it.”

“The joke between me and my caddie, how many albatrosses are going to be on that hole today.”

“It was special, especially over here, Mr. Palmer’s event.”

Daniel recorded a 2, 3, 4 and 5,  a combined -6 under par on the par fives and by doing so, started a new page in the golf history books, albatross, eagle, birdie and par, he is the first player to achieve that amazing feat.

I still can not understand why all the American TV commentators refer to an Albatross as a Double-Eagle, even mathematically it does not add up. Given that an Eagle is -2 under par, a Double Eagle would equal -4 under par. An Albatross is -3 under par.

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Morgan Hoffmann Still The Man.

White Dragon GolfArnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard Logo

Morgan Hoffmann is still the man at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, topping the leaderboard for the second day running.

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Morgan Hoffmann / Getty Images

Morgan had a second round -7 under par 65 to extend his lead at the top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational to three shots with his -13 under par tournament total.

Still chasing his first PGA Tour win, he thinks it is about time he had some wins;

“I would have liked to have won a few times by now, I’m behind my schedule.”

“It’s frustrating but it’s obviously the most;  the best guys in the world are playing on the PGA TOUR and I mean I’m so lucky to be out here and grateful but I’ve seen myself a little higher up than what I’ve performed.”

‘I’m trying to birdie every hole out there, so it was good.”

”Just hitting great putts and good shots into the greens really helps. It’s nice to hit some greens for a change. This year hasn’t been that great, and it’s a good change.”

Three players are tied in second position, all at -10 under par for the competition, Matt Every, Henrik Stenson and Harris English all carded -6 under par 66.

Henrik, the World number two sunk a 42 ft birdie putt on the par three 17th;

“Of course it’s a huge bonus to make one of those.”

“I was putting lovely all day, especially the ones on my birdie attempts from further away. I kind of left myself some smelly ones. I holed out nicely.”

“I would have been happy with two-putt, of course but that was nice to see that one go in and hit another solid putt on 18 and made another birdie.”

Harris would like to get into the field at Augusta, and is benefiting from the inspiration;

“It’s definitely inspiration.”

“My rookie year, my second year, I probably wouldn’t have thought of it. It’s easy to kind of let things slip away when you’re in that position. I wanted to take the next step and actually make that round mean something.”

”Got to keep the pedal down and keep aggressive.”

“Lot of my friends are going to be there, lot of Georgia guys playing. I want to be right there on-site.”

World number one Rory McIlroy has made a move, his second round of -6 under par 66, giving him a -8 under par total, and tied in sixth place with three other players;

“It was good, I think each and every day I’m feeling a little more comfortable especially on the greens.”

“It would be nice to finish the round off a little better, but still a good score and sets me up well for the weekend.”

“Obviously we played in the morning so we got the best of the greens and easier to trust the lines you pick for yourself but happy with how I putted today and putt like that over the weekend I’ll have a chance.”

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Morgan Hoffmann Leads.

White Dragon GolfArnold Palmer Invt'l

Morgan Hoffman leads the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, but it was emotional day,  finding out earlier  that his grandmother had passed away.

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Morgan Hoffmann / Getty Images

Morgan shot a first round -6 under par 66 to lead the Arnold Palmer Invitational by just one shot. He spoke about how quickly life passes you by;

“Appreciative, I think of just being alive, you know, and how you take things for granted and take people for granted and it’s just crazy how quick life goes.”

“My whole family texted me and said, ‘Nanny is playing golf with pop up there,’ which was pretty cool.”

“So I just went out there and had a good mentality today.”

“I’m 25 and feels like I was 5 roller skating with my sister yesterday, you know.”

“The best players that I see out here come out and have one shot that they’re hitting for the most part of every round.”

 “I figured it’s time to bear down and get something going.”

There are five players tied in second Place at -5 under par, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na, Ken Duke, John Peterson and Ian Poulter.

Kevin Na is a great fan of Arnold Palmer;

“He’s the king, there’s a lot to learn from him when he played and when he was not even playing.”

“It was just awesome to watch what he’s done in major championships, what he’s done for the game, the fans. It was fun to watch.”

Adam Scott, Brandt Snedeker, Billy Horschel, Keegan Bradley and Hunter Mahan are among a large group who are another shot back at -4 under par.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy was playing Bay Hill for the first time and opened with a -2 under par 70.

It was OK, considering he had 34 putts after hitting 17 greens in regulation;

“I was just trying to stay as patient as possible.”

“I know I was hitting a lot of greens, giving myself a lot of chances. But I guess when the greens are like they are you’re going to have to stay patient because you’re going to hit good putts that don’t go in and I felt like I didn’t really trust myself, you know, with some of the putts that are there today.”

“I didn’t trust the reads and just was sort of in two minds quite a lot.”

“If you can play the par fives at all it’s a big advantage.”

“Even par today wasn’t what I was looking for. Again, hopefully I can do better on those over the next few days.”

Arnold Palmer’s grandson Sam Saunders is playing in the event for the first time not on a sponsor exemption, and he also opened with a -2 under par 70.

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Shell Houston Open. Cink and Hass Tied at Top

Stewart Cink and Bill Hass are tied at the top of the leaderboard in the Shell Houston Open, at the Redstone Golf Club in Texas.

Anyone's game

Stewart Cink & Bill Hass / Halleran / Getty Images

 Bill Hass and Stewart Cink lead the competition by just one shot at -11 under par for the tournament. Stewart shot a -4 under par round of 68, while Bill Hass went one shot better at -5 under par 68 to tie at the top.

Stewart is fired up for the duel tomorrow, stating that he can’t wait;

” Tomorrow is a great learning opportunity for me to get out there and be nervous and perform and try to stay in the moment and let it happen, I can’t wait.”

Bill, was a co-leader after 36 holes at Bay Hill last week, today he made seven birdies over his last 13 holes to catch Stewart. Bill is under no illusions about how tough it is going to be tomorrow, there are 20 players separated by just four shots on a course where birdies are available, but the slightest miss could prove to be the unraveling of a good score;

” Tomorrow you’re going to have to play very well, you can’t just hang on and hope everybody else will fall back.”

Steve Wheatcroft was tied for the lead when he shanked a shot from the greenside bunker on the 18th, the ball coming out at a 45 degree angle, missing the green completely. Steve said of that bunker shot;

“If you don’t catch it perfectly, it runs across the green into the water, I opened the club face just trying to hit a high soft one and obviously I missed most of the club face.”

Steve is one of four players just one shot back, they are; Ben Crane, D.A. Points and Jason Kokrak, all of them at -10 under par.

The list of players at -9 under par is even longer, nine players to be exact, it is going to be exciting to watch this shoot-out tomorrow.

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Tiger Trounces the Course. Justin suffers the Jitters.

Logo Image

Tiger Woods trounced the Bay Hill course in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, shooting a third round -6 under par, 66. Meanwhile Justin Rose, who seemed to be cruising with a two shot lead, suddenly suffered a severe case of the jitters.

Can he be stopped?

Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler / Greenwood / Getty Images

Tiger putted like a champion today, it helped him to his -6 under par round and a tournament total of -11 under par, a lead of two shots over the field. The man looking most likely to mount a serious challenge to Tiger is Rickie Fowler, no slouch himself today, with a third round of -5 under par, which elevated him to -9 under par and in a tie for second place. He will also play with Tiger for the final round, something that he could not handle last year when he faced the same task. He shot a last round 84 that day, compared to the winner Tiger Woods, who came home in 67.

Tiger said he now knows how to fix his game while out on the course;

” I just understand how to fix my game, it’s taken me a while. I was hurt for a long time. The changes to make the swing from where I was to now is a pretty big change.I hit a bad shot here and there, and that’s easy to fix. I know what my fix is going to be and that makes a big difference. I’m much more comfortable, but also I think that I’m feeling pretty good physically, that was huge. I’ve had one more year of working on my game, and here I am. Just because I’ve won here doesn’t ensure that I’m going to win the tournament, the conditions are different. The game might be different. But the objective is still to put myself in position to win the golf tournament and somehow get it done on Sunday. Over the course of my career, I’ve done a pretty decent job of that.”

Rickie remembers that bad day at Memorial;

” After Memorial, I’m looking for a little redemption, I’m feeling good about the pairing, about my game. I’m going in there with the attitude that I have nothing to lose and we’ll see what happens from there. He’s definitely the guy to beat but I’ll be right there to see what’s going on. With him having leads on courses he loves like this and Torrey Pines and Doral, and I’m sure there are others, he’s basically never lost with a lead in the final round. So I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing if we can go do that.”

Tied in second place with Rickie are jittery Justin Rose and John Huh, Justin with an even par round and John a -1 under par round.

There are five players another shot back at -8 under par for the tournament, they are; Thorbjorn Olesen, Gonzalo Fedez- Castano, Jimmy Walker, Ken Duke and Bill Haas.

To be honest I can not see anybody challenging Tiger for this title, it is his for the taking. Winning would move him to the top of FedExCup leaderboard, becoming the first player to hold the top spot in five different seasons. Additionally, he’d match Sam Snead as the only other player to win the same tournament eight times and of course he would move back to No. 1 in the World, for the first time since Oct. 30, 2010.

Nobody is going to stop Tiger.

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Rosey Rises to The Top.

Englishman Justin Rose fired in a first round -7 under par 65, and rose to the top of the leaderboard, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, leading the field by two shots.

Rosy outlook

Justin Rose / Cannon / Getty Images

Justin was playing in the group with Tiger Woods at Bay Hill on Thursday, he  put on a clinic with the putter and ran off four straight birdies late in his round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, presented by MasterCard.

Justin did not see this coming, saying;

“If you had said I would shoot a 65 on the range this morning, I would have probably said, `How many holes have I played?’ And that didn’t change much, the first five, six holes out there were a grind.”

The difference today was Justin’s putting;

I dedicated myself at making a few changes and getting better at that part of the game. I’ve had some good days, no doubt. And today was probably the first real hot day I’ve had with the blade in a long, long time. We all know it’s about consistency and that’s what I’m still working towards. It’s just fun to know that I obviously can do it, and I enjoy a lot of confidence from that.”

John Huh is in second place, at -5 under par, he  had a chance to catch Justin late in the afternoon, but required a birdie on the final hole to do so. Unfortunately John found a fairway bunker on No. 9 and took a bogey for a -5 under par round of 67.

John Rollins and Brad Fritsch were at -4 under par with rounds of 68, to be tied in third place.

Tiger Woods had two uncharacteristic bogeys from greenside bunkers and definitely did not  hit the ball as well as he did when he won The Honda Classic two weeks ago. It was his putting that kept his round reasonable, tied in fifth place after a round of -3 under par, 69.

“It was one of my good ones, days happen like this. It was cool this morning, and it just didn’t work out. But I scored well, and I kept myself in the tournament. I’m right there. Justin played a beautiful round of golf today. He had every single facet of his game working, so we had a good time out there. I got a lot out of this round, and I threw away a few shots as well.”