Zurich Classic. Two Tied at the Top.

White Dragon GolfZurich Classic of New Orleans Logo

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.

Valspar Championship. Brendon De Jonge Leads at Half-Way.

White Dragon GolfValspar Champ

Brendon De Jonge leads at the half-way point in the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook in Florida.

Valspar Championship

Brendon De Jonge / Getty Images

Brendon carded a second round -2 under pat 69 at the Valspar Championship to sit on top of the leaderboard at -6 under par for the championship.

He was pleased with his performance so far, and hopes it will last for the four rounds;

“Very pleased, feel like my game is in good shape at the moment. Putting four rounds together.”

” I made a soft bogey on No. 6 after driving it perfectly. Terrible tee shot on 7. Got lucky to have a shot. Made a long putt.”

“I made a 50-footer over there on No. 7 and No. 9 was playing straight downwind, so you could get pretty aggressive there.”

“It’s just a fickle course. You don’t want to get too exotic. If the wind blows, it’s tough. Blowing all afternoon. We definitely got a break. We had nine holes out there. Interested to see what happens.”

“Trying to get as far away from golf as I can this afternoon.”

There are five players tied in second place on the Copperhead course, with Jordan Spieth leading the way, carding the low round of the day, -4 under par 67, to post a tournament total of -5 under par.

Joining him on that score are, Henrik Stenson, the highest world ranking player in the field, Ryan Moore, Kevin Streelman and Derek Ernst.

Derek looked for while that he might open up quite a gap from the field, he got to -7 under par, but gathered five bogey’s against his six birdies for a final round of -1 under par 70. He said winning is what it is all about;

“Yeah, you know, that’s what we strive for everyday.”

“We’re not coming out here to not play good.  We’re trying to come out here and win a golf tournament.  That’s what it’s all about.” 

“I put myself in that frame of mind coming into the week and as you think so you become.  That’s what’s happening right now.”

“Sometimes when you get focused and get in the zone it’s fun, almost like it’s unreal.”

There are a whole host of players at -4 under par for the championship, including Ian Poulter and Ricky Barnes.

Ricky, one of the longer hitters on Tour, had a double-bogey on a par 5, the 605-yard fifth hole, and said he really needs to avoid the doubles;

“One bad shot and kind of had to play down another fairway. Really had no other option. If I had another option I probably would have chipped out, gone that way.”

“You know, like I said yesterday, if you only have one bogey around this course you’re going to do OK.”

“I just had one bogey again today. Got to eliminate the doubles.”

 

The Presidents Cup. It Rained On The Presidents Parade.

It rained again on the Presidents Parade at Muirfield Village Golf Course, delaying once again The Presidents Cup.

Anybody's ballgame

Phil Mickelson & Keegan Bradley / Getty Images

The rain delay of 2 hours and 34 minutes could not stop Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradely romping home 4 and 3 in their foursomes match up against Graham DeLaet and Jason Day. 

Phil had this to say in interview about Keegan, and his hybrid shot over the water;

” Yesterday we just felt a fraction off but today we were on, starting on hole 5, we played some of our best golf together.I would be really worried about carrying the water with a hybrid, it was not even a consideration for him. .

Keegan just likes playing this format with Phil;

“I just think that when Phil and I get rolling in this alternate shot, we complement each other so well. And I was saying that I think that we both really enjoy kind of showing off in front of each other. Whatever Phil says, goes, I’m here to be his partner. It was amazing the theory that he had with the second shots into the par 5s, and they fit me a lot better. It really paid off today big time.”

American Team Captain Fred Couples summed it up thus;

“It was phenomenal golf.”

To even the score on the day  Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge got the point back with a 4 and 3 win over Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan.

These are the only two matches that were completed on this soggy Friday in Ohio, play will resume again at 0735 ET on Saturday morning.

The American Team have a one point lead at 4½ points to 3½ points, with these matched still to complete:

Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieth have a commanding 3 up lead over Branden Grace and Richard Sterne through 14 holes.

Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman are 1 up on Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker through 13 holes.

Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar are 3 up over Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel through 12 holes.

 Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama are 4-up over Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson through 11 holes.

Tough tasks ahead

The Captains, Nick Price & Fred Couples / Getty IMages.

If the yet to be completed rounds finish as they are at the moment, the difference will only be one point.

CIMB Classic, Malaysia, Wonderful Watney Wins

           

Magic in Malaysia

Nick Watney/ Getty Images

Nick Watney shot a course record last round on Sunday of -10 under par, 61 to win the CIMB Classic at The MINES Resort & Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a tournament total of -22 under par. Nick had a chance to go for a 59, but a wayward tee shot on eighteen left him with a difficult approach to the green from the left rough. His effort failed to reach the green, and he was then left with a long pitch shot for par, he failed in his attempt and dropped a shot at the last. That mistake left Bo Van Pelt needing to finish with a birdie to tie Nick at -22 under par. Bo was seeking back to back wins after his victory last week in Australia. Bo also missed the fairway on eighteen, then his approach landed in the green-side bunker, and he got up and down for par, to tie second place with Robert Garrigus, who birdied eighteen for his -21 under par tournament total. Both players had last round scores of -6 under par 66.

Tiger Woods made the charge he promised after his disappointing error strewn second nine on Saturday. Tiger had a last round score of -8 under par 63, and finished just three shots off the lead, tied in fourth place, after starting ten shots adrift of the final pairing of Van Pelt and Garrigus. Sharing fourth place with Tiger was Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge, who had a final round of -5 under par, 66, and Chris Kirk who had an average last round of -4 under par 67.  Another really low round came from Carl Pettersson with a -9 under par last round effort, giving him seventh place on his own.

The McGladrey Classic, Tommy Gainey shoots last round 60, to Win

Tommy-Gainey

 Tommy Gainey/Sam Greenwood Source: AFP

Tommy Gainey shot a last round of -10 under par, 60, to win his first PGA Tour event,  the McGladrey Classic, at  Sea Island’s Seaside Course in Georgia. Had Tommy made a birdie on the last hole  made he would have become just the sixth player in PGA Tour history to record a round of 59 strokes, his winning tournament total was -16 under par.

Tommy is known throughout golf for his unconventional swing and wearing two gloves, but he is very proud to be the Champion  here;

“I get bashed all the time about my swing, the only thing that matters is right before impact on the downswing.  Oh, man, I tell you, you’re out here on the PGA Tour. you’re playing with the best players in the world. Ninety-nine percent of these guys have already won, and won majors, big tournaments. The only show I can say I’ve won is the ‘Big Break.’ Now I can sit here and say I’ve won the McGladrey Classic here at Sea Island, and I’m very proud to be in this tournament and very proud to win. And wow, it’s been a whirlwind day. I didn’t know having 24 putts and shooting 60 would be like this, so I’m pretty stoked about it. You got future Hall of Famer’s chasing me; chasing me now. I’m Tommy Gainey, I’m `Two Gloves.’ I shot 60 today and you got Jim Furyk, Davis Love III and David Toms chasing me. I mean, I was nervous. I was paying attention, and you know, it just worked out for me. I wasn’t thinking about 59, see, all I did all day was just try to make birdies,  and a lot of birdies, because when you’re seven shots back, your chances of winning a PGA Tour tournament with the leaders, Davis Love III and Jim Furyk,  it don’t bide in your favor, man. I’m in this position, and man, it feels like I’m in a dream. I’m just waiting for somebody to slap me upside the head or pinch me or something to wake me up.”

I did say yesterday that Jim Furyk and Davis Love 111 could spend the day watching each other, and not notice an outsider coming up on the rails, well done Tommy.

David Toms was in second place, coming home with a last round -7 under par, 63,and -15 under par for the tournament, while Jim Furyk was another shot further back at -14 under par total, and another dismal finish to a tournament this year.

David Toms got ahead of himself when driving off the last tee, he drove it into a bunker and admitted he was thinking about what kind of putt he would have to make birdie, and tie Tommy;

 

“I was thinking about what kind of putt I was going to have before I ever hit the fairway, you get ahead of yourself and that’s what happens.”

Jim Furyk came up short again, in third spot at -14 under par;

“You know, I’m disappointed, I did battle. I think at times it’s probably a little harder, you see the first guy to post, it’s harder to chase that score when it’s already in when we’re on the sixth hole.”

Davis Love’s hopes of winning in front of his home crowd ; he has lived at Sea Island since he was 14 , ended with a tee shot into the water for double bogey on the 16th. He was trying to become the first Ryder Cup Captain since Tom Watson in 1996 to win on the PGA Tour. Davis last had a win at Disney in 2008, when he didn’t look at a leaderboard until the 18th hole and saw Tommy Gainey making a run, that time he held on with pars to record his win. This time he saw Tommy’s name appear out of nowhere, and couldn’t do anything about it. He closed with a 71 and tied for fourth on -12 under par along, with Brendon de Jonge and D.J. Trahan.

Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Ryan Moore Wins

Moore success

Ryan Moore/Halleran/Getty Images

Ryan Moore , who lives in Las Vegas, won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday at TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada with a last round of -5 under par 66, and a tournament total -24 under par. This is Ryan’s second PGA Tour title, he finally shook of the challenge from Brendon de Jonge by grabbing a birdie on the par 5 16th hole, to take the outright lead and then finished with two pars for a -5 under par 66 and a one-stroke victory over Brendon. Ryan said the challenge from Brendon was tough;

” The last couple of days were tough, I was shot for shot with Brendon, and he was playing some great golf. I was able to make a birdie down the stretch when it mattered to hold him off at the end. He was playing great and he was hitting the ball really well, and he was making putts, I tried not to get too wrapped up into what he was doing really for the last two days. I just tried to keep my head and just keep hitting my golf shots, and playing the golf course how I wanted to play it and just give myself opportunities.”

Brendon de Jonge, from Zimbabwe had to settle for second place alone, he unfortunately managed to miss the fairway on the 560-yard par 5 16th hole. He eventually finished with a last round of -4 under par a 67 and a total of -23 under par. Brendon rued the missed fairway on 16, he said;

” Today, playing a little bit down breeze, all you’ve got to do is get one in the fairway, it’s almost a mid-iron in there, so that was definitely a turning point, you know, the bad tee shot there. I played nicely all week, hats off to Ryan. He played great, especially down the stretch. He made a couple tough shots in there on 17 and 18, and he pulled them off when he needed to.”

Jonas Blixt finished in third place alone, he had a disappointing last round of -1 under par 70, with a total score of -20 under par for the tournament.

An Acrimonious Aside

Justin Timberlake has been dropped as the Host of this tournament, it is suggested he was not visible enough for the Shriners people. Did not get involved enough with the day-to-day running and promotion of the Children’s Hospitals or the kids themselves  Although Shriners grudgingly announced that Justin did;

“Fulfill his obligations to the tournament and helped raise several million dollars. He wasn’t able to generate greater interest in the tournament, and his star power wasn’t enough to lure bigger-name players to the event on a consistent basis”.

The tournament chairman, Raoul Frevel,  was very specific about why they were not interested in continuing;

“Justin’s a wonderful person. But we tried everything we could to get him more involved with our kids and the hospitals. But it seemed that when the TV cameras weren’t on, he disappeared.

Last week Justin was unresponsive with the local media at the Ryder Cup, and this week a Charity is suggesting that his volunteer participation was found wanting.

Not sure what the real deal is here, but Justin has been the host of the Shriners Hospitals for Kids for four years, it will be interesting to see who Shriners pick next as the Host, who will bring the “bigger name players” to the tournament.

The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Three Tied at the Top

Justin Timberlakes Shriners Hospitals for Children Open has three players tied at the top of the leaderboard after the third round at TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Blixt's late blitz

Jonas Blixt/getty images

Rookie Jonas Blixt roared back into contention here at TPC Summerlin converting six birdies in his last seven holes to be tied at the top of the leaderboard with Ryan Moore and Brendon de Jonge at -19 under par for the tournament. Jonas is trying  to join John Huh and Ted Potter Jr. as the only rookie winners this season.

These three players have a five-shot cushion between them and Jimmy Walker and Tim Herron, who are tied for fourth at -14 under par for the tournament. Two shots further back are Colt Knost, Jason Day, Jason Bohn and Russell Knox at -12 under par.

I wish good luck to Jonas Blixt in his quest for his first win on the PGA Tour.