Northern Trust Open. Darkness Descends On Round One.

White Dragon GolfNorthern Trust Open

Darkness descends of Riviera Country Club in  Pacific Palisades, California, bringing round one to an early end.

Camilo Villegas hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation in an opening-round, 8-under 63 at Riviera CC. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

Camillo Villegas / Getty Images

Camillo Villegas had a completed first round of -8 under par, after shooting 63 in the opening round of the Northern Trust Open, giving him a three shot lead.

Camillo had been working pretty hard on the mental side of the game, a great chip followed by a poor putt missing par, did not harm him too much;

“I was having trouble having my mind clear before every shot.”

“So I did a little work, just tried to free it up, tried to just kind of see the shots and react to it.”

“Somebody on the putting green said, yeah, 4-irons are stopping.”

“I’m like, what? This place was so firm on Tuesday, you’ve just got to shut the mind and remember you’re playing a totally different golf course, which is what I did.”

“Obviously it was pretty stress-free today, I hit the ball good.”

“I hit a great chip and thought I made it, and then the putt, you know what, it’s one of those, you’re not going to make every 4-footer on this golf course, and I just happened to miss the last one I had today.”

“I kept it in play. I didn’t put myself in tough positions on a golf course where you can put yourself in tough positions, and here we are, nice little 63 to get started.”

Sharing second place at -5 under par, following their first rounds of 66 are, Bubba Watson, Chez Reavie and Luke List.

Luke has taken heart from the win of Vaughn Taylor last week;

“Seeing a guy like Vaughn doing what he did last week, it shows that anybody out here can do it.”

There is a whole bunch of players tied in fifth place, at -4 under par, including Rory McIlroy, who was pleased with his round, especially his putting;

“I felt for the most part I played well, got off to a nice start,  two under through two, and that 10th hole here, you want to get off to a decent start there.”

“I would have taken a four on that 10th hole today but it was nice to make a three and get off to a good start.”

“Felt like I hit the ball pretty well from tee-to-green. Put myself out of position a couple of times, but with the way the conditions of the golf course were, it didn’t punish you as bad as if it would have been, as firm as it was the last couple of days.”

“They might have gotten a little bit slower, but I’m always wary of putting towards the ocean here because some of these putts can really get away from you.”

“Like the putt on four that I had, for example, on the front right of the green, I was really trying to get that halfway and trying to let gravity do the rest of the work.” 

“There were a lot of putts like that today that I felt like I judged very well, and maybe as the week goes on, the greens will get a bit firmer and a bit faster.”

“Feel like I adjusted well today.”

World #1 Jordan Speith is still in the doldrums, shooting +8 over par 79 today, he and his team must surely now be worried.





FedEx St Jude Classic, McIlroy Leads after 36 holes.


MEMPHIS, TN - JUNE 08:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the par 3 8th hole during the second round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind on June 8, 2012 in Memphis, Tennessee.

 Rory McIlroy, Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy put his recent troubles behind him as he shot a second round -5 under par 65 to lead by one stroke after 36 holes, at the FedEx St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee. Rory’s tournament total is -7 under par, hot on his heels at -6 under par are three players; J.B. Holmes, who had the best round of the day, a -6 under par 64, Jeff Maggert, one of the first round leaders. Joining them at that mark is Kevin Stadler, who matched Rory’s round of 65 for the day. Rory was full of confidence after his days work;

“You know, it was a really, really good round of golf out there today. I saw a lot of positive signs with my ball-striking. Hit a lot of good iron shots and drivers. So that was something that I was really working on the last couple of weeks and feels like it’s coming together for me. So excited to be in this position going into the week. Could have been even better, could have made eagle on 16, but, you know, to finish strong the way I did was great and it gives me momentum going into tomorrow. It’s nice to see my name on that part of the leaderboard. It’s not nice when you’re struggling to make the cut on a Friday afternoon. It was great. It’s nice to be through to the weekend, obviously. It’s obviously even nicer to be leading and have a great chance.”

J.B. Holmes was pleased with the way he had played;

“I just kind of hit everything. I wasn’t knocking pins down, but I hit them in there pretty close. Made a couple 6-footers, but I putted well. I was hitting it 15, 20 feet and making some putts.”

The other first round leader John Merrick, is now two shots off the lead after his second round score of -1 under par, 69, for a two round total of -5 under par.

There are a host of players at -4 under par for two rounds, including Rory’s playing partner Padraig Harrington who scored another -2 under par round of 68.

Notables missing the cut are, last years champion Harrison Frazar with a two round score of +11 over par.Graeme McDowell, who had another horrendous round to finish with a +8 over par total. David Duval and Jhonattan Vegas both finished with +6 to miss the cut.

Zach Johnson also missed the cut with a two round total of +4 over par, a poor effort by his high standards. Colombian Camillo Villegas at +3, and Robert Karlsson at +4.

Humana Challenge- Toms Still There

David Toms, Ben Crane and Mark Wilson all share the lead at the Humana Challenge at the PGA West course in La Quinta, California. The trio are at -16 after the second round, three shots ahead of their nearest rivals, headed by Camillo Villegas.

Toms interview after Round 2 of Humana Challenge

Phil Mickleson had a better round today, 69 for a total of -1, but is still a long way from making the cut, a point he mentioned in his after round interview;

” After a rough start today, being three over, I played the last thirteen six under. Played much better and I’m excited about how I was playing heading into this tournament. But, I’ve had a bit of a slap in the face with my first two scores. I’ll try tomorrow to go out and play a good round, hopefully make the cut. Get a bit of momentum heading into next week’s event in San Diego.

Phil tried out a new driver today and it seemed to work pretty well, hitting it much straighter than yesterdays effort.

Mickelson interview after Round 2 of Humana Challenge

New Zealand’s Danny Lee gad another 3 under round 69 to finish the second day at -6. He is playing steady golf and making a good impression, while flying the flag for NZ.


Humana Challenge – Villegas & Toms Lead

Camillo Villegas and David toms lead the Humana Challenge after the first round. Camillo and Davis both shot an opening -9 under par 63 to lead the field by one shot. Villegas said in interview after his round;

” I played great, I kept the ball in play. There were a couple of putts that did not go in, but guess what, I made a lot of them. It was a nice way to start the year and its beautiful weather here and my golf is in great shape and I’m looking forward to the next three days.”

Villegas interview after Round 1 of Humana Challenge

David Toms was also very happy with his game, commenting after his round;

” Well I struck the ball pretty well all day, didn’t make any putts the first few holes. I had some great looks and then all of a sudden I made a long one; somewhere over there on the front nine, I don’t remember what hole it was. Then made a couple after that and then for the most part played pretty solid golf and never really in trouble off the tee. And hit a lot of greens, had a lot of looks and putted well.”

Toms interview after Round 1 of Humana Challenge

Following close on their heels are Ted Potter, JrBrandt SnedekerBob Estes and Sang-Moon Bae who all came home with a total of -8 under 64.

At the other end of the score board is Phil Mickleson who shot a two over par 74, but is still optimistic, saying of his effort;

Well it wasn’t indicative of how I know I’ve been playing. I’ve been playing really well heading in. So this wasn’t obviously a very good round. I played well the front nine, I made some good birdies and then the back nine those couple of out of bounds, stung. They were a matter of a couple of two feet on one and a couple of inches on the other, and those could have been a big difference. It’s just one round, I mean and I know heading in I have been feeling really good. It wasn’t quite on today. On the back nine I made a couple of poor swings, didn’t really hit it the best. But, I’ve been playing so well heading in that I’m not going to let one round kind of affect my outlook. I mean it’s a long tournament, a long week, a long month, a long year, and one round is just getting started.”

Mickelson interview after Round 1 of Humana Challenge