RBC Canadian Open. Jason Day Wins In A Thriller Finish.

White Dragon GolfRBC Canadian Open

Jason Day wins the RBC Canadian Open in a thriller of a finish at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Canada.

RBC Canadian Open

Jason Day & Trophy / Getty Images

Jason found the bunker off the tee on eighteen, he had a one shot lead at the time. He found a way to make a birdie from the bunker, giving him a two shot advantage at -17 under par. That meant that Bubba Watson and David Hearn would have to Eagle the last to get into a play-off.

Jason told reporters that after last week there was no way he was going to leave that last putt short;

“This course is really exciting, even Bubba and David had a chance to make it into a playoff. I needed that putt on 18.”

“To be able to put yourself in contention so many times, especially in major events and just fall short, even going back to last week leaving the putt short and not being able to get into the playoff really kind of was disappointing.”

“So when I actually had the same putt, it was a very similar putt on the 72nd hole today.”

“Same things were going through my mind. Make sure you get it to the hole.”

“Fortunately enough for me, it was quick enough to where I just needed to get it on the line. If I got it on the line, it was perfect.”

“I just knew as soon as I hit the putt about six feet out, I knew it was going to come back and go in the hole. “

“It was great to feel like a Canadian for a week. The last two weeks have been a big grind for me, but it’s all worth it. Right now, I’m so proud to be the Canadian Open champion.”

Bubba found the green with his second shot, but it ran just passed the hole and settled into the fringe. He tried to make his Eagle with a 7 wood, but it missed by six inches, his total of -16 under par giving Jason the win.

Bubba said he was just hoping that the guy in front of him was not making putts;

“Fifteen was one I got lucky with. I hit a great shot in there.”

“I had an 8-iron that I flared on 16 but still got a birdie. Then hit a perfect 8-iron that flew five yards too far on 18.”

“I was just hoping the other guy named Jason Day wasn’t making putts.”

David, with the whole of Canada urging him on to be the first Canadian to win since 1954, found the greenside bunker with his second shot to 18, and could only make par from there, and had to settle for third place at -15 under par.

David mentioned the putting, and how good it had been all week;

“I felt confident, like I was putting well all week, I hit really really good putts that didn’t go in.”

“Winning a golf tournament on the PGA TOUR is no easy task.”

“Canadians want to see it, and we want to do it so bad.”

David also picked up the  Rivermead Challenge Cup as low Canadian. This is his third time winning the honor.

 

 

The Greenbrier Classic. Johnny Vegas & Lefty Langley Lead.

White Dragon GolfThe Greenbrier Classic

Jhonattan (Johnny) Vegas and Scott (Lefty) Langley lead The Greenbrier Classic at Old White TPC.

The GreenbrierThe Green Brier

Johnny Vegas and Lefty Langley / Getty Images

Jhonattan and Scott sit on top of The Greenbrier Classic leaderboard at -9 under par, on a tough wet day at Old White TPC, in West Virginia. Jhonattan with a bogey free -5 under par 65 second round, and Scott with -1 under par 69, which included a couple of bogey’s.

No one really made a significant move to make a break away from the field, yesterday’s total was -8 under par, and the field is now so bunched up that there are twenty-three golfers who are within three shots of the lead, including seven players at -8 under.

Venezuela flag Johnny Vegas, from Venezuela, has not had a top ten finish this year, but said he is working on it. The top four finishers here at The Greenbrier, who are not previously eligible for The Open will earn a place this week, and Jhonattan is certainly aiming to be one of them;

“I feel like I’m playing great, I just haven’t been able to put it all together.”

“But I’m staying patient and working really hard to make it happen, and it’s coming together.”

“That’s one of the goals for the week, so we’re going to try to go get it.”

“It was a solid round overall, from the beginning to the end, I was able to hit every single green, gave myself a lot of opportunities, able to make some, some that nearly went in, but overall a completely solid round from tee to green.”

Scott had trouble following his opening round 62, leaving putts short;

“It was a little tougher day for me, following up a round like a 62 is never super easy mentally, but I hung in there today, didn’t have much going for most of my round, but made a bunch of pars and was able to make two birdies coming in for my last few holes.”

“I left a lot of putts within 6 inches of the hole, just right in the heart. I need to be a little more assertive Saturday on the greens.”

“Really ended the day on a real positive note, so I was pretty happy with the score, all things considered.”

Flag_of_Canada.svg Canadian David Hearn is still looking for his first PGA TOUR win, but has put himself in a good position this week to achieve that long-awaited goal;

“This would be a great place for me to win one, but I’ve got 36 holes of golf left.”

“I’m playing great right now and I look forward to the weekend.”

Tiger Woods was among those who made the -2 under par cut line, he is currently tied with a whole bunch of guys at -5 under par, Bubba Watson joined that crowd.

 

 

Players Championship. Bubba Wins in Play-Off.

White Dragon GolfTravelers Championship

Bubba wins the Players Championship in a play-off at TPC River Highlands, beating Paul Casey on the second extra hole.

Players Championship

Bubba & Trophy / Getty Images

Bubba beat Paul in the play-off at the second extra hole at the Players Championship after they had both carded -16 under par for the tournament. Bubba with a final round -3 under par 67, and Paul -5 under 65.

Bubba recalled winning here in a play-off in 2010;

“I proved to myself in ’10 that I could win under pressure in the playoff; I proved to myself that I could mess up 17 and still have a chance to win, and so I knew that if I just kept my head down and kept doing what I needed to do, I could still have a chance to win, and that’s what I did.”

Paul spoke about being in the bunker off the tee in the second extra hole, and trying too hard;

“Right in between clubs, 7-iron would have never made it, and I’m trying to take maybe 10 yards off the 6-iron, which is a lot to take off a 6-iron, and I just made a poor swing.”

“I could have maybe busted a 7-iron to get back there, but it was just awkward. Maybe I should have hit it longer off the tee.”

“I’ve won enough around the world to know what winning feels like, I also know what coming in second feels like. I’ve done that a lot.”

“My little boy is right behind you, 20 yards away sucking his finger, so I look at him, and it kind of makes everything pale in comparison.”

Brian Harman was in third place at -15 under par, one shot off the play-off, a last round -1 under par 69 not helping his cause. Graham DeLaet was fourth at -14 under par, he too had problems with the fairway bunker on 18, in regulation play;

“Yeah, I was just exactly in between clubs.”

“It would have had to be a perfect 6-iron, but it felt like 5 was a little too much, and 5 kind of brought in the lip, and I just barely clipped the lip. I actually hit a decent shot.”

“It was close to being really good, but it was also close to being really bad. So where it ended up, I guess I’d take it.”

Grabbing places at St Andrews in The Open were; Luke DonaldBrian Harman, Graham DeLaet and Carl Pettersson.

Luke, who has qualified for every The Open championship since 2002, except one that he missed, in 2008 with an injury, is delighted to have qualified again this year;.

“Obviously I thought about it the last couple of holes.”

“I knew I was in a good position. I was trying to make one more birdie really to be honest. Thirteen under, I thought that would definitely secure one of those top four spots.”

He also tweeted;

Really enjoyed my week at the @TravelersChamp, fun course and great support. Grabbing a spot at @TheOpen a nice bonus 🏼

Travelers Championship. Brian Harman Ahead of Bubba.

White Dragon GolfTravelers Championship

Brian Harman is ahead of Bubba Watson as they go into the final round of the Travelers Championship, at TPC River Highlands.

Travelers Championship

Brian Harman / Getty Images

Brian shot a bogey free third round, in the rain, -5 under par 65, to top the leaderboard on the third day of the Travelers Championship with a -14 under par tournament total.

He will take a one shot lead into the final round tomorrow, where he will be paired once again with that other lefty, Bubba, who preceded him as a standout left-hander for the University of Georgia Bulldogs. Brian is looking forward to having some fun once again with his rival, and friend, Bubba;

“Bubba’s a lot of fun to play golf with.”

“He was a little before me at Georgia, so I always looked up to him, was always really proud of the way he was doing and we were always rooting for him at Georgia.”

“I’ve never played particularly well in the rain, but I try to look at today and we got a break.”

“The weather was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.”

Bubba shares second place at -13 under par with Graham DeLaet; Bubba got lucky, to shoot -2 under par today while Graham cruised round the course in -6 under par 64.

Bubba mentioned Brian after their round today, and also the lucky bounce off a tree;

“He’s a solid player, it sounds funny saying this, but he’s like a little bulldog.”

“It hit the tree and everybody roared, I had to ask the camera guy, and he said it was in the bunker.”

Graham had back surgery for a pinched nerve in 2011, a problem that he says still bothers him;

“The last couple months I’ve been moving really well and feeling a lot better.”

“My golf game is coming around too, which is nice.”

Lurking behind the top three is a group of three players on -11 under par, Paul Casey, Zach Johnson and Brandt Snedeker.

Brandt had been having some problems with his putting, which was frustrating, but today he carded a -7 under par 63;

“Funny, people gave me a hard time about my putting last year and it was bad, as bad as it’s ever been on Tour”

“But the thing is, I was hitting it the best I’ve ever hit it on Tour. So it was frustrating to say the least.”

“The putter’s been consistent all year.”

There is a storm moving into to Connecticut, and officials said Sunday’s final round will be played in threesomes, going off the 1st and 10th tees beginning at 11:30 a.m. So Bubba and Brian will be joined in the last grouping by Graham DeLaet.

 

 

 

Travelers Championship. Bubba Buoyant at the Top

White Dragon GolfTravelers Championship

Bubba Watson is buoyant at the top of the Travelers Championship leaderboard at TPC Harding Park, letting his putter do the talking.

Travelers Championship

Bubba and Putter / Getty Images

Bubba carded a bogey free second round -3 under par 67 to keep himself afloat at the top of the Travelers Championship leaderboard, maintaining his two shot advantage over the field. He said a red-hot putter was working well on these perfect greens. He was drug tested after the round Friday, and joked that he hoped he passed it;

“It’s just my mind right now, over the putts, I’m thinking well,  these greens are perfect. These greens are running so smoothly.

“Some of the holes were playing a little bit longer because of the wind.”

“The wind was in a different direction, so it just made the course a little bit tougher.”

“I hope I passed it, it’s usually when you’re at the top of the leaderboard they want to drug test you, especially me.”

Three players are tied in second place at -9 under par, Brian Stuard, Brian Harmon and Carl Pettersson.

Brian Harmon was happy to keep Bubba in sight, he also shot a -5 under par 67 today;

“That was kind of a nice momentum-keeper going into the weekend.”

Low round of the day went to Nick Watney, he signed for a -6 under par 64, which took him into a T8  position on the leaderboard at -7 under par, in a huge group of players.

Strangest news of the tournament concerns Keegan Bradley, who has updated his Saint Vitus Dance pre-shot routine to a new absurd level. On Friday he took almost a full minute before addressing the ball with his approach shot at the par four 14th hole. There were 19 mini-practice swings, up-and-back, club-twirling dance steps before hitting his shot, in this latest rendition of his twitchy routine. Like it or not Keegan is in the group at -7 under par, so unfortunately for those of us who have to watch that routine, it does seem to work for him.

Among those missing the cut, which was made at -2 under par, was Ernie Els,  defending champion Kevin StreelmanPadraig HarringtonHunter Mahan and Louis Oosthuizen.

The Claret Jug was on display at the Travelers Championship on Friday, this was a reminder to players that four spots and as many as nine in that tournament are up for grabs this week. The leading five players, who are not already exempt from the top 20 in the FedExCup will be part of the field at St. Andrews next month contesting The Open.

Jason Gore has never played at The Open, in all the years that he has been a professional;

“I’ve been in professional golf for 18 years now and I’ve never been to Europe.”

“So that just blows my mind. It blows a lot of people’s mind. Playing at St. Andrews would be a lot of fun, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

He has a chance to qualify this week, currently T5 at -8 under par.

 

 

 

 

 

Travelers Championship. Bubba Breaks Free.

White Dragon GolfTravelers Championship

Bubba Watson breaks free to lead the Travelers Championship by two shots at the end of day one at TPC River Highlands.

Travelers Championship

Bubba Watson / Getty Images

Bubba carded a -8 under par 62 at the Travelers Championship, to top the leaderboard, he likes this tournament, claiming his  first career victory at the Travelers, in 2010.

He leads the driving stats here on day 1, averaging 325 yards off the tee, the longest being 354 yards. Bubba says coming from Chambers Bay to here is so refreshing, especially the perfect greens;

“Coming off a U.S. Open every golf course we play is going to feel easier.”

“So coming off that golf course, it doesn’t matter what you shoot. It’s hard to make birdies around there.”

“This golf course seems like it’s gettable, and we all feel that way, so the guys that played in the U.S. Open maybe feel better about their game when they get here.”

“Around here you can make birdies. You have perfect greens.”

“If I drive it halfway decent, I’m going to have short irons, I’m going to have wedges.”

“I think we counted up around five holes that aren’t wedges, so that means if my wedges are halfway decent I’m going to have a lot of birdie putts.”

There are a bunch of five players tied in second place at -6 under par, including Keegan Bradley, another U.S. Open casualty;

“It’s totally different, isn’t it?”

“You’re playing the ball, trying to play the ball down on the ground, and last week at Chambers Bay, everything is brown and quite dusty, and yeah, pristine conditions.”

“It was a big change, a really big change. I think a lot of the guys might see a couple more smiles this week than last week.”

“I put a lot of pressure on myself in every tournament, but this one especially just because I’ve got a lot of people here. I know a lot of the fans are rooting for me. I can feel it.”

Keegan is joined T2 by Seung- Yul Noh, Brian Stuard, Harris English and Jason Gore.

Harris liked that he could hit some good wedge shots here;

“You can hit a lot of good wedge shots to 8, 10, 12 feet. If you don’t make them, it kind of hurts, it stops the momentum. But I feel like I made some of those and kept it going.”

Ernie Els is making his first appearance since 2002 and was among a multitude of players at -4 under par, with rounds of 66.

Ernie is trying to pick up a few more FedExCup points for this year, he usually jets off to Europe;

“This is quite close to Europe, it’s only 5 1/2 hours away.”

 

 

 

WGC. First two Rounds.

WGC Cadillac Match Play CoverWhite Dragon Golf

The first two rounds have been completed in the WGC Cadillac Match Play at TPC Harding Park, San Francisco.

Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy are among the group who have played two won two.

WGC Match-PLay

Bubba Watson / Getty Images

Bubba said he was concentrating on playing solid golf;

“I’m just trying to play solid golf, no mistakes, that’s what I’m looking at.”

“You can’t look at what the other guy does.  I can come out here and shoot 5 under and lose or shoot 5 over and win.”

“It’s still golf.  Still gotta play good golf and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Rory never trailed in his 2nd round match with Brandt Snedeker, but it did get interesting on the back nine;

“It was pretty tight, I felt like I had a comfortable lead after nine holes or 10 holes. And then he made two good birdies on 11 and 12 and we’re back to all square.”  

“I felt like the big key for me was the up and down on 14 for par, which was what helped me keep some momentum.”

On the other side of the coin Ian Poulter has played two, lost two, along with Adam Scott.

Rickie Fowler looked doomed, two down through 12 holes against Shane Lowery,  but made birdies on Nos. 15 and 18 to win, 1 up, a fine putting display unsettled Shane and delighted Rickie;

“Looked like I had complete control of it, didn’t I?”

“Been waiting a long time to make some putts, so it was nice to have those come in on the last few holes on the back nine.”

“I’m looking forward to building a bit tomorrow, work on the game, it was a little loose the past couple of days.”

“Luckily I made some good putts. If we can get everything clicking, it will be a very good weekend.”

I am looking forward to tomorrow’s matches, see if any of the double losers can make amends.