CareerBuilder Challenge. Dufners Delight At Play-Off Win

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Delight lit up the face of Jason Dufner as he won the CareerBuilder Challenge, via a play-off, in California.

CareerBuilder Challenge

Jason, pictured above, carded a final round -2 under par 70, to tie David Lingmerth at the top of the CareerBuilder Challenge at -25 under par. David had scored a marvelous -7 under 65 to get into the play-offs. Jason tasted victory with a par on the second extra hole, the par four 18th, on the Stadium Course.

Jason spoke about feeling one of the best players in the world, especially escaping from the rocks on the 17th to make par;

“This is the best Tour in the world.”

“So for me to win here this week, I felt one of the best players in the world.”

“I’m fortunate to be in this position, and playing good golf again.”

“I’m out here to win tournaments. It doesn’t matter when I won them or when the last time was, I’m showing up to win tournaments this year and play good golf every week.”

“It was tough today.”

David found the rough from the tee on the second play-off hole, and from there into the rocks and water;

“In the rough, didn’t choke up enough on the club, the grass just grabbed it a little bit, which makes the ball turn over.”

“It wasn’t a bad swing, just a mistake on my part.”

Three players tied for third place at -21 under, Andrew Loupe, Kevin Na and Phil Mickelson, all returning last round scores of -4 under par 68.

Phil was really happy with his progress;

“I’m excited, this is a really good week for me, for validation that I am on the right track.”

“It’s continuing to get better and better as the weeks, days, years go on, because I’m back on plane and the touch should start to come back.”

CareerBuilder Challenge. Jason Has Daylight at the Top.

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Jason Dufner has daylight between him and second place at the top of the CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard in California.

Watch: CareerBuilder Challenge, Round 3

Jason Dufner / Getty Images

Jason carded a third round -8 under par 64 at La Quinta for a CareerBuilder Challenge total of -23 under par. He said he knew he was going to have a good back nine;

“I told the guys [his playing partners] that I was going to have a good back nine, that I was about to do something good and it happened.”

“When you start thinking like that, good things happen so that’s just kind of where my mindset is right now.”

“It helps when you are shooting 30’s and 29’s obviously, which I’ve done a couple of times this week.”

“I’m playing good. I’m not in any trouble, I feel relaxed out there. I never feel like this has to happen or that has to happen.”

“I’m just playing golf like you should.”

Jamie Lovemark is in second place, two shots back at -21 under after his -7 under par 65 at the Stadium Course.

Jamie was miffed to shoot seven under and still be behind;

“Obviously shooting seven under and remaining in second place is tough.”

“I figured Jason would go low, and some of the other guys too, so you know, put the pedal to the metal, keep going.”

Canadian Adam Hadwin holds third place on his own at -20 under, following his -8 under par 64 on the Tournament Course.

Adam said he had played well, with good golf shots and also putting well;

“Made a lot of good putts today, and hit a lot of good shots.”

“I’m swinging at it great, and have put myself where I can win a golf tournament.”

“I’ve been in this position before, back in 2011 I got in the final group at the Canadian Open.”

“Handled it very well, and had some success”

“It’s just going to be a question of handling the nerves and making sure those putts kind of keep hitting the lines.”

David Lingmerth is alone in fourth position, a -10 under par 62 on the Tournament Course elevating him up the leaderboard, he has a competition total of -18 under par;

“I was hoping to catch up and get a little bit closer than I am right now.”

Phil Mickelson, had a typical Phil round, holing a flop shot for birdie on the 10th, on the way to recording a bogey-free -6 under par 66 at the Stadium Course and finished in a tie for fifth spot at -17 under, in his first start since The Presidents Cup in October.

 

CareerBuilder Challenge. Jason Dufner Delight At Lead.

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Jason Dufner was delighted at having the 36 hole lead at the  CareerBuilder Challenge in California.

 

Jason Dufner has made 16 birdies and only one bogey through 36 holes at the CareerBuilder Challenge. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Jason Dufner / Getty Images

Jason carded a second round -7 under par 65 on the Stadium Course in the CaeerBuilder Challenge, to post -15 under par for the tournament and sit nicely on top of the leaderboard going into the weekend.

Jason spoke of the challenges out on the Pete Dye course;

“It’s a difficult golf course.”

“There’s a little bit of room to play off the tee, but if you get off the path a little bit, you can get into some trouble.”

“He’s got some water out there. He’s got some tricky bunkers. You get some uneven lies here and there.”

“It’s definitely the most difficult of the courses we have played here.”

“The greens are of kind of difficult, they run on some angles and there’s some slope.”

“Any time I’m inside of 130 yards I feel pretty good, I had some really good numbers with my wedges, which helps.”

“I wasn’t in-between on too many of them. I could go ahead and hit a full sand wedge or a full gap wedge a couple times.”

Jamie Lovemark holds second place on his own at -14 under par after shooting -7 under par 65 on the Jack Nicklaus course, the very first time he had played it, but did admit to being tired when he came off;

“Got a little tired coming down the stretch, there’s some long rounds out here.”

There are five players tied in third place at -12 under par; the winner here in 2014 and 2015 Bill Hass, -6 under 66 (TC) Jason Gore, a wonderful -8 under 64 (TC) Canadian Adam Hadwin -6 under 66 (SC) Andrew Loupe -6 under 66 (SC) and from India Anirban Lahiri -4 under 68 (TC)

Phil Mickelson  posted -7 under par 65 on the Tournament Course and at T8 at -11 under par for the competition feels he is not out of it despite not being quite on form;

“I’m probably a week away, if I’m being honest.”

“But I’ve also won with a lot less game than I have right now.”

“I still expect to get in contention and have a good weekend, but a lot of iron shots are 12, 15 feet off.”

I suffer the same fate myself Phil, with the irons, I need a new set, but which ones? Sadly your old ones are no good, being the wrong way round.

U.S. Senior Open. Jeff Maggert Wins

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Jeff Maggert wins the U.S. Senior Open at Del Paso Country Club, Sacramento, in California.

U.S. Senior Open

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Jeff came through to win the U.S. Senior Open, with a final round -5 under par 65, to post a -10 under par tournament total, and a two shot victory.

It was no fluke result, Jeff, along with Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer, have combined to win the last eight Majors. Jeff 2, Colin and Bernhard 3 each;

“It’s satisfying just because the guys out here on the Champions Tour are the same guys that I was trying to beat 20 years ago.”

“I had a lot of good runs in the U.S. Open over the years and probably lacked a little maturity to pull it off.”

“But certainly, now that I’m an old guy, I’ve learned a lot and was able to just steady myself and play well.”

The defending Champion Colin came in second here, coming from the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. A last round -4 under par 66 not quite good enough this time around. He is now taking an overnight flight to London, via Los Angeles, to try and qualify for next month’s The Open at St. Andrews. Hope Colin chose to fly with American Airlines out of L.A. they have the best flight;

“To come here tired, very tired, and to put a good performance up, it’s always nice when you are defending a title, to defend it properly.”

“I did more than that. I nearly got it here.”

Grant Waite and Bernhard Langer tied for third place at -7 under par.

Bernhard congratulated Jeff;

“He was in beautiful rhythm, and he drove the ball magnificent.”

“If you can drive the ball well, you set yourself up. He hit good iron shots on top of that.”

Bernhard is paying well in what would most probably be his last year on tour, the ruling banning anchoring of the broomstick putter comes into effect next year, and we all know that can not use a conventional putter. It is a shame because he is a great player, with a good attitude.

 

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, Brooke Henderson with Half-Way Lead

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Brooke Henderson leads the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at the half-way point at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco, California.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Brooke Henderson / Getty Images

Brooke tore the Lake Merced golf course apart, shooting -7 under par 65 in the second round, to top the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic leaderboard at -9 under par for the tournament.

In interview she mentioned another teenager on the circuit world number one Lydia Ko;

“I think I’m ready, yeah, 17 is young. As you’ve seen with Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson and even Jessica Korda, there are a lot of great names that have been able to do it. I’m hoping that I’m one of them.”

“You know, I’m really loving where I am right now, and it’s awesome to wake up every day and do something I love.

“In my amateur career I loved when I had the lead, and I just want to continue to build it. This thing is far from over.”

“There are tons of great players out there. The day is not even over yet. I’m excited for the position I’m in and really excited for the next couple days.”

Na Yeon Choi is in second place, at -7 under par, her second round -4 under par 68 lifting her up the leaderboard.

Third position is shared between Sakura Yokomine and Cindy Feng, both at – 6 under par for the competition.

Cindy was happy that she did not do anything silly during her round;

“I played great today, made a lot of birdies, which always helps.  Made some putts. Just didn’t do anything too stupid.”

Overnight leader, defending champion, world number one, and birthday girl, Lydia Ko suffered some 18th birthday blues, returning an even par second round, dropping her to T5, and four shots off the lead, with two rounds to go;

“Yeah, you know, I got two celebrations, the first one on the 10th tee and then coming off 9. Really cool to share that birthday with a lot of people out here.“

“You know, I really didn’t get anything going.  When that happens it’s really hard.”

“You know, I would say the par fives, you kind of need to take advantage of them. I didn’t position myself well in any of them, and that just makes it tough.”

” Kind of feel like you’re already losing shots there.”

“We’re doing a birthday dinner, so have Korean barbecue.  Go to the original roots. Yeah, should be good.”

“Couple of the players are coming, family and friends. But, yeah, I think it’s just great that this year I can have a really good birthday dinner with a lot of close friends and we can have some fun.”

Joining Lydia on that -5 under par score is Ha Na Jang, Min Seo Kwak and Julieta Granada.

Ha Na benefited from using new irons, put in her bag on Wednesday;

“No problem, change my irons, new irons Wednesday, I think a little bit more confidence and it’s really good.”

 

SWINGING SKIRTS LPGA CLASSIC. Birthday Girl Lydia Leads

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Lydia Ko, the world number one, leads the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic  at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco, California. She will be 18 on Friday, Happy Birthday Lydia.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Lydia shot an opening round -5 under par 67 to lead the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic by one shot at the end of day one in California.

Lydia said she had holed some good putts today and tomorrow’s birthday girl said nothing would change just because she is older;

“Holed some good putts and ended up with a 67 today.”

“It’s a really good start, but I know I’ve got three more long days to go. Hopefully I can continue hitting solid shots.”

“This is a very tough golf course. You need to position yourself well, I hit the ball pretty good where I wasn’t in too much trouble. If I did miss it a little bit, I did get away with it, too. It’s a really good start but I know I’ve got three long days to go.”

“The first couple holes were playing down wind, so that made it a lot easier.”

“A lot depends on the wind. It really depends on the conditions of the day and the scores are really good.”

“Juli’s a legend, a Hall of Famer. It’s so cool she still plays well at her age.”

“What she’s done for the tour is pretty amazing.”

“I won’t change it just because I’m one year older. Really I’m only one day older tomorrow.”

Ha Na Jang, Juli Inkster and P.K. Kongkraphan are tied in second place at -4 under par after their first rounds of -4 under par 68.

Juli admitted that her competitors were younger than her daughters, and offered a free ticket to anyone who would come out and support her;

“Yeah, they’re a lot younger than my daughters, they’re 25 and 21.”

“Out here that’s a seasoned veteran. You know what, that’s the beauty about golf. I mean, age matters in a lot of things as far as how your body feels and how far you hit the ball and how much time you can put into it. You can still go out there and compete at 54.”

“Good friends come up and support me.  So free ticket, everybody wants a free ticket. Yeah, so it’s good.“

Stacy Lewis, last year’s runner-up to Lydia at Lake Merced, was two strokes back at -3 under par with her first round 69;

“It was probably one of the craziest rounds of golf I’ve ever played, it was all over the place.”

Bay Area fan favorite, Paula Creamer, was at risk of missing the cut after a +10-over par 82. She had four bogeys and a pair of double bogeys.

Another teenager making her way in the game is Canadian Brook. M. Henderson, she shot an opening round -2 under par 70, and is hoping to improve on that position;

 “I hit a lot of great shots out there and was able to make a few putts on the front nine.”

“My back nine were all pars, which I can’t complain too much with conditions the way they were today.”

“Would’ve liked to capitalize on a few more birdies. I am hoping I will get the chance the next couple days.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANA Inspiration. Brittany Lincicome Wins.

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Brittany Lincicome wins the first LPGA Tour Major of the year, the ANA Inspiration tournament at Mission Hills in California.

ANA Inspiration

Brittany Lincicome / Getty Images

Brittany holding the ANA Inspiration trophy, after taking a plunge into Poppies Pond. A final round -2 under par 70 gave her a -9 under par total, she Eagled the final hole to pull level with Stacy Lewis. Stacy also finished on that score after her last round -2 under par 70.

Brittany was overcome with emotion at her win;

“Super emotional, I’m standing here, physically shaking like a leaf still. It’s over and I’m still shaking.”

“The first time it felt fairly easy because I thought I was so far out of the tournament that I never had a chance, I wasn’t nervous at all.”

Stacy was obviously very disappointed, especially with the errant wind;

“The initial reaction is disappointed, obviously, but I played great and I hit some really good putts there, especially at the end.”

” I just played solid all day, so I have to remind myself of that and not get too frustrated. It just wasn’t quite meant to be today.”

“Once we got back in that corner around 13, 14, the wind just kind of went crazy on us.”

“Couldn’t figure out which direction it was going. It was changing directions. It changed when we were on 10. It changed when we were on 16. It changed when we were on 18, multiple times during the playoff.”

“The wind was all over the place. I think that was the biggest challenge.”

Morgan Pressel finished in third position at -8 under par while Sei Young Kim, who had a three stroke lead starting the final round fell to a +3 over par 75, to tie for fourth place at -7 under with Carlota Ciganda and Anna Nordqvist.

ANA Inspiration

Brittany Taking The Plunge / Getty Images