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.”

 

 

Shenzhen International. Peter Uihlein Leads

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Peter Uihlein of America leads the Shenzhen International at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

Peter Uihlein / Getty Images

Peter shot a second round -4 under par 68 to lead the Shenzhen International by one stroke with his -9 under par total.

A bogey free back nine set the scene for a stress free day, apart from the wind;

“It was tricky today. The wind was swirling quite a bit.” 

“I got the back nine out of the way pretty quickly. I played very solid. I felt like getting anything under par on the back nine was nice, and I played a pretty stress free front nine which is always good.”

“I don’t have much going on upstairs, just spacing out, doing my own thing and sticking to my own game plan.”

“I don’t really change it very often. It worked the first couple days so I’ll see how it goes from there.”

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is in second place, a -3 under par 69 today giving him a -8 under par total. Kiradech likes  to play around the world, to gain experience;

“When I go out worldwide, I learn a lot of experience and I saw many top players play. Even this week, we have Bubba Watson around.”

“So it’s been helping Asian players to keep improving when we see all the star players, how they are playing, how they are playing the shots, and just adapt it to my golf game and it’s improving.”

Four players are tied in third place at -6 under par, they are; Emiliano Grillo, Gregory Havret, Matt Ford and Darren Fichardt.

Bubba Watson made the cut on even par, a +2 over par 74 today left him down T42, on what he called a tough course;

“It’s tough. I haven’t played very well. I haven’t putted very well.  But it’s a beautiful golf course.”  

Overnight leader  Wey-yi Huang unfortunately made triple-bogey on the 15th, a par four, to drop back to -4 under par, carding +2 over par 74 today.

Shenzhen International. Wen-yi Huang Leads

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 Wen-yi Huang from China leads the Shenzhen International at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

Wen-yi Huang / European Tour

Wen-yi Huang did not start playing golf until he was 22, but on Thursday the 34 year old shot a first round -6 under par 66, to lead the Shenzhen International.

He said he had improved in his golf quite a lot this year;

“Last year I played very badly.”

“This year I have changed my swing and yesterday I changed the driver and I like the new one. I like the course; the green speed is very good.”

Tied in second place at, just one shot behind at -5 under par are; Felipe Aguilar, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Byeong Hun An and Peter Uihlein.

Byeong Hun An, a Challenge Tour Graduate had a hole in one at the 226 yard par 3 eighth hole.

Felipe carded a bogey free round and the two-time winner on the European Tour said he was very pleased with the outcome;

“I hit the ball quite well today, I didn’t drop any shots, which is always good on this course.” 

“You are going to miss a couple of shots out here, I did, but I had a pretty good recovery after that so I’m pleased.”

Peter was only at level par at the turn, but then came to life carding birdies on the 10th and 14th, before finishing off with three birdies on the last three holes;

“Nice three in a row and four of the last five, I’m definitely pleased.”

“I played Thailand and had to withdraw with food poisoning, then played one in Puerto Rico, and then I had a wrist injury and had to take some time off.” 

“Then I switched coaches, so I’ve had a strange six weeks or so.”

“I feel like I did a lot of things really, really well and I felt like I did some of my old habits and hit a couple squirrelers, but I’m pleased with five under, for sure.”

The two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson is in the field and was part of a large group on -2  under par, he carded a hat-trick of gains from the fifth, and is currently T17.

 

 

WGC Cadillac Championship. D.J. Wins

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D.J, Dustin Johnson won the WGC Cadillac Championship, his first win since his self-imposed lay-off.

WGC Cadillac Championship

D.J. and Trophy / Getty Images

 D.J. shot a final round -3 under par 69, to lift the WGC Cadillac Championship with a -9 under par total. He was very happy with the win, especially after the long lay-off he had;

“Obviously it’s one of my biggest wins, and especially after a long layoff, to come back out and win in my fifth start means a lot.”

“I knew I was really good, I knew there was something I was missing that could make me great. I was working hard on that, and I think it’s showing right now. It’s tough. I’m so excited right now, I can’t hardly talk. It feels great.”

“I really wasn’t paying much attention, I knew Bubba was playing well. I knew where I was, I was playing pretty well. This golf course is so tough, you never know what’s going to happen.”

“I’ve been working hard on my game and been working hard on me, and so it means a great deal to have some success right out of the gate. It gives me a lot of confidence, too.”

“I would drink and drink to access,’ the change I made is I just don’t do that anymore. I definitely have given up hard liquor ’cause that was the thing that I went to, it’s been a big change.”

“I enjoyed it, I got to spend a lot of time with Paulina and help her as much as I could through her pregnancy, and then the birth of our son. I really enjoyed being able to be home and not having to leave or do anything. So it was actually really nice.”

“The effort and time I’ve been putting in at the gym has helped a lot physically and mentally, and then the time I’m putting in on my golf game, and then obviously my personal life, I think that’s been the difference.”

“I was in the gym every single day, every morning, and then spend the rest of the time either practicing or hanging out with Paulina.”

J.B. sadly finished in second place at -8 under par, following his last round +3 over par 75. A long way from the man who was at -11 under par for the first round, par golf from then on would have won him this tournament;

“It was going to take one of those type of deals, couple guys were going to have to play great and I was going to have to have an off day,”

“I knew if I shot 72, that would probably be good enough. That’s kind of what I was going to, to be honest with you, I thought probably 2 or 3 over would have been enough.”

Bubba Watson finished in third spot, at -7 under par, he was the man on fire early on, and looked like he would run away with it, but a couple of missed shots made all the difference, on a course that he does not like;

”A couple of shots, just missed the fairway by a few feet. Missed the green by a few feet. That’s what this golf course does.”

”If you’re just off, it can get to you real fast.”

Rory finished T9, at -1 under par, after another even par round of 72. He said his head and his golf game got lost in the desert;

‘I think we left our game in the desert, it’s still back there.”

“Just playing quite conservatively which is very much unlike me.”

“The game’s just not quite there, I’m tentative, a little bit scared to play certain shots, because I feel like I can’t at the minute.”

“I have just got to get back at it tomorrow and try to figure out what I need to do.”

WGC Cadillac Championships, J.B. Still In Charge.

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J.B. Holmes is still in charge of the WGC Cadillac Championships at the Doral Golf Club in Florida.

HSBC Cadillac Championship

JB taking punishment / Getty Images

J.B. carded a +1 over par 73 in the second round of the WGC Cadillac Championships, but still held onto the lead by two shots at -9 under par for the tournament and is very happy with that result;

“I’ve got a two‑shot lead, not too bad.’

“If you had told me that at the beginning of week I would have a two‑shot lead after two rounds, I would have said, alright, sounds good.”

Ryan Moore is in second place, a second round score of -1 under par 71 keeping him in sight of the leader at -7 under par, just two shots adrift.

Third place goes to Adam Scott, he is at -6 under par after his -4 under par 68 today. So good to see Adam using a conventional putter, although that claw grip will do him no favors. The grip is too fragile, and is the main reason Sergio Garcia has not been successful in Major’s.

Rory McIlroy had an up and down day, which included him showing off his club chucking skills, a 3 iron into the lake, following his ball. He ended up at -1 under par and T11 after his -2 under par second round.

Rory said of his club throwing incident;

“Must have went a good 60, 70 yards I think, felt good at the time.”

“Look, I just let frustration get the better of me. It was heat of the moment, and I mean, if it had of been any other club I probably wouldn’t have but I didn’t need a 3‑iron for the rest of the round so I thought, why not.”

“Looking back, it isn’t one of my proudest moments, but you know, walked away with a bogey and regrouped and did OK.”

“What happened after the second shot on eight I wouldn’t encourage anyone to do, especially if there’s kids watching at home.”

“First of all, it’s expensive. Second of all, you shouldn’t do it. It was one of those things that was heat of the moment, and you know, we’ll move on.”

HSBC Cadillac Championship

Rory and Lake bound 3 iron / Getty Images

Rory was playing alongside Bubba Watson and Henrik Stenson, both of whom are at -4 under par for the competition.

Henrik is no stranger to outbursts himself, he actually admired the length of Rory’s throw;

“It was a good release, yes.”

“He’s a strong fellow for not the tallest guy, and he had good speed on that one, too. You know, gets to the best of us, or to all of us.”

“I’ve done my fair share of those kind of things over the years, so I’m not going to judge anyone on anything.”

“Well, if you can’t get on `SportsCenter’ with your play, at least you can do it with something else.”

Bubba commented on the incident, with tongue in cheek;

 “I thought it was a practice swing and the grip was wet.”

“I just don’t have any comments for that because we all get frustrated, so there’s no reason to say anything negative about it.”

 

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Darkness Descends on the Desert.

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Darkness descends over the Arizona desert, suspending the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, at TPC Scottsdale, with Ryan Palmer leading. Play was suspended at 5:45 p.m. MT because of the gloom, leaving nine players, out of the 132 starters, to complete their opening rounds on Friday.

At the 16th hole Ryan gave away a dozen golf balls to excited fans, they were wrapped with a $10 dollar bill, with the message “Have a beer on me”

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Ryan shot an opening round of -7 under par 64 to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open by just one shot at TPC Scottsdale.

Wasye Management Phoenix Open

Ryan Palmer / Getty Images

Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson and Daniel Berger are tied second place at -6 under par after their opening efforts of 66.

Bubba said he had a great day;

“A couple breaks went my way right there in the middle stretch of the back nine which kept me going.”

“All in all it was a great day.”

The much heralded return of a resurgent Tiger Woods did not amount to much, he carded a first round +2 over par 73, even though he drove the green on the par 4, 17th hole, a distance of 341 yards. He seems to be struggling with his chipping around the greens, do you think it could be the dreaded Chipping Yips ?

Tiger explained;

“I’m just having a hard time finding the bottom. Because of my old pattern, I was so steep on it, that I have a new grind on my wedge and sometimes it’s hard to trust.”

“I’m ahead of schedule on my speed, look how far I’m hitting it now. I’ve just got to get committed to hitting the club less sometimes. That’s the hard part. I bailed out on a couple of shots because I just don’t believe I have that much speed on my body yet. But I do.”

“This is my second tournament in six months, so I just need tournament rounds like this where I can fight through it, turn it around, grind through it and make adjustments on the fly.”

The second-round tee times are still expected to begin on time at TPC Scottsdale, with the groups starting off the first and 10th tees at 7:30 a.m. The remaining nine players will resume their opening rounds before continuing on with their second rounds. There could also be more delays during the second round, weather forecasts predict a 90 percent chance of rain on Friday with up to a quarter-inch of precipitation expected.

 

 

 

 

 

WGC. HSBC Champions. Bubba Blasts His Way to a Win.

White Dragon GolfWGC-HSBC Champions

Bubba Watson blasted out of a bunker to hole an Eagle on the last hole and get into a play-off against Tim Clark, on his way to winning the WGC, HSBC Champions event in China.

WGC, HSBC Champions

Bubba Watson / Getty Images

In a cracking final round at the WGC, HSBC Champions tournament, at Sheshan International Golf Course, the lead changed constantly, and it seemed that there could be as many as six players heading for the play-off. In the end only two were left, Bubba Watson and Tim Clark. Tim could not repeat his last round birdie at the first play-off, and Bubba rolled in a long putt to win the title with his birdie.

Bubba spoke to his caddy while standing in the bunker on the last hole;

“It’s been a miserable couple holes here, but this will change everything if it goes in.”

“You always joke about holing it, and then it actually went in. I didn’t know how to react and so I just kind of screamed, and I lost my voice a little bit. It was one of those shots, a one-in-a-lifetime kind of shot. And so it was pretty neat.”

Being able to win outside the U.S., I just want to be able to travel and get through the jet lag, get through all the things and still perform at a high level.”

“So for me to win out here, this is very big. This is very special for me.”

Tim knew that the length off the tee for Bubba could cause him problems;

I knew I needed to birdie that playoff, especially with him being able to reach. I’m pleased overall, obviously, disappointed to be that close.”

For the record both Bubba and Tim finished the tournament on -11 under par, with Rickie Fowler, Graeme McDowell and Hiroshi Iwata just one shot back at -10 under par.

Ian Poulter, Thorbjorn Olesen and Martin Kaymer were a further two shots back on -8 under par for the tournament.