AT&T Byron Nelson. Aussie Steve Bowditch Leads

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Aussie Steve Bowditch leads the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Four Seasons Resort in Texas.

AT&T Byron Nelson

Steve Bowditch /Getty Images

Steve shot a first round -8 under par 62 to lead the AT&T Byron Nelson to sit on top of the leaderboard with a two shot lead, courtesy of some long-range putting success;

Steve lives in Texas now, but does not quite have the home town pulling power with the galleries. He spoke about settling in The Lone Star State;

“I basically threw a dart at the map when I first came over here in 2005, and then ended up marrying me a Texan, so I’m stuck now.”

“Probably my best putting in the way of longer putts made, I typically don’t make a lot of longer putts.”

“You always want to play well, but I guess it is a little more special when you have everyone around that only get to see you play golf once a year.”

“It feels different when I tee off now versus when I was out there then.”

“Obviously, off the course I prepare hard for this and would like to play well and get in contention. But when I’m inside the ropes, it’s just another week. Back then, it was the biggest tournament I’ve ever played in.”

Jimmy Walker is in second place on his own, at -6 under par after his 64, he said some excellent iron play helped him birdie the last three holes;

“I’m a Texas guy and lived here a long time, so yeah, winning in Texas is cool.”

“It was a nice finish. Good iron shots.”

James Hahn and Ryan Palmer share third place, both at -5 under par. Ryan had been letting his caddie do the club selection, but not today;

“We’ve had a good year. We’ve been playing well, so why change that up? “

“You know, it gives me more confidence to hit the shots I want to hit instead of relying on what he’s telling me.”

Ryan missed the cut at last weeks home tournament at Colonial, and wanted to make amends, especially to the fans who gave him a hard time on Twitter;

“I needed a good kick in the butt.”

“Took me a few days to get over it, being my home course at Colonial and the way I played.”

“Plus, I wanted to kind of shut up all the fans that wore me out on Twitter. Hopefully, I calmed them down a little bit.”

James likes to copy other people’s swings, to get the results he wants, this week he copied Charl Schwartzel’s fade swing, instead of his usual draw;

“I got bored, I was missing the ball left. I like the extra distance off the tee but I do want to hit more fairways.”

“Depending on how it goes this week, it could be Charl one day and Justin Rose another day and just kind of go through the list.”

“There’s about a million swings on the Internet. Just trying to figure out who is hot for the week.”

Jordan Spieth had a poor day in front of his home fans. Not as bad a day as Rory McIlroy suffered in his hometown event, Rory carded a +9 over par opening round today. Jordan was still unhappy with his -1 under 69;

“I just didn’t give myself enough looks inside of 15 feet today.”

“That’s the only reason I’m at one under and not better. I felt comfortable driving the ball and striking it.”

South African Open Championship. Charl in Command.

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Charl Schwartzel is in command of the South African Open Championship following the third round at Glendower Golf Club.

South African Open Championship

Charl Schwartzel / Getty Images

Charl took control of the South African Open Championship with a third round -6 under par 66, giving him a -13 under par total and a five shot lead over the field. Charl birdied the first four holes today, and said he could not have had a better start to his round;

“I don’t think you can ask for a much better start, with a bunched leaderboard it’s one way to get yourself separated from the field.”

“I hit some really good shots but had quite a mixed bag with some really great shots and great saves, but some bad shots that maybe had some good breaks.”

“In the big world people look at the Majors but coming from South Africa this is pretty much a Major for South Africans. It will be nice to go out and keep swinging the way I am tomorrow.”

Two players are tied in second position at -8 under par for the tournament, they are Matthew Fitzpatrick, the former US Amateur Championand David Drysdale. Matthew posted a -5 under par 67 for his third round and David -4 under par 68.

Matthew was very happy with his special performance, and said it will help him in his quest to keep his card, and qualify for the finals in the Race to Dubai;

“I’m delighted with the way I played today.”

“I played good for the first six holes and just didn’t make anything, but got it going on the back nine. From being two under at the turn to finish eight under was pretty special.”

“Everyone’s first aim is just to keep your card, particularly in my first year, but I am not setting my sights that I just want to make cuts to earn enough money to keep my card. My main goal is to make The Race to Dubai final and I think that’s fairly achievable.”

David carded five birdies in the last seven holes today to at least keep him in sight of the leader.

Lee Slattery is a shot further back at -7 under par after posting the lowest round of the week with a third round of 65, but halfway leader Andy Sullivan is in a group of eight players on -6 under par after struggling to a  +2 over par 74 disastrous third round.

RBC Heritage. Luke Leaps to the Top.

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Luke Donald leaps to the top of the RBC Heritage leaderboard at Harbour Town Golf Links.

Donald surges to top with 66

Luke Donald / Getty Images

Luke posted another round of -6 under par 66, low round of the day, to sit comfortably on top of the leaderboard at the RBC Heritage at -8 under par, and a two shot lead. He spoke about the weather conditions;

“I’ve always liked this golf course, and the conditions were pretty manageable, for the front nine at least. I think we’re in for a very windy day tomorrow, so I’ll need to control the ball even better.”

John Huh is in second place, a third round of -3 under par 68, and a -6 under par total, would have been better if he had not three putted the last hole. John said his tee shot was OK, it would be difficult to miss the eighteenth fairway, it is the widest on the course, but the second put him in a bad spot;

“I hit a good drive, had about 200 yards and hit my rescue over, put myself in the wrong spot. Believe it or not, I’ve been playing really good, but I just wasn’t able to put everything together. I think this is the week that I’ve put pretty much everything together.”

Nicolas Thompson is in a four-way tie for third place, at -5 under par. Joining him on that score are Jim Furyk, Charl Schwartzel and Ben Martin.

Nicolas was upset at his putting performance today;

“The only thing that was really off was my speed control, I might have had a missed read or two here or there, but that happens. I don’t think I hit one putt too short today. This golf course is the ultimate patience test. You have to be so patient out here, because how many golf shots are you going to hit in the perfect spot off the tee, so you think, and not have an exact shot on the pin?”

Charl thinks he will have a chance if he just continues with the good ball striking;

“I think if I can continue the ball striking and giving myself chances I can make a few birdies tomorrow and give it a shot.”

First-round co-leader Matt Kuchar bounced back from Friday afternoon’s rough start, to finish in a tie for seventh place at -4 under par. He was happy with that result after a long day, he had played 29 holes;

“It helps to be in contention, it helps to really have an incentive to go out and play some good golf.”

Accenture Match-Play. Rose & Rory Out. Magic McDowell Survives Again.

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Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy crashed out of the Accenture Match-Play tournament at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Course on Dove Mountain. Graeme McDowell survived another match where he looked like losing, once again.

Graeme McDowell  (Getty Images)

Survivor G-Mac / Getty Images

Justin went down to Ernie Els, 1 up, while Rory lost to Harris English, on the 19th hole. G-Mac went three down after six holes against  Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan. He then birdied the seventh and eighth to get within one hole, only to then lose the 14th to be two down with four holes to play. Graeme won the 15th and the 17th, and rounding off with  a ten foot putt on the final green to seal a one up win.

He joked afterwards;

“Why do it the easy way when the hard way will do. I just got off to a slow start again, probably less so today. I was quite proud of myself when I got a half on three, so I was only two down after three, as opposed to three down. I tried to go out there today and execute my game plan and try not to give him any room, try not to make any mistakes, try not to give him anything, and he kind of played the same kind of golf back. He played very, very well. 

“I made big putts on 15 and 16. The 16th especially was a massive putt to give me the opportunity.I feel very fortunate again today. I’ve certainly expended all my energy and emotions the last couple of days, but thankfully it’s early in the season and I’ve plenty left in the tank.”

Louis Oosthuizen dumped out Henrik Stenson 4-3, and Webb Simpson dispatched Brandt Snedeker by the same score.

George Coetzee is still doing fine, winning the 21 hole battle with Patrick Reed. Jason Day took even longer to overcome Billy Horschel, 22 holes.

Sergio Garcia is going along smoothly, a 3-1 victory over Bill Haas, while Jason Dufner eliminated Matteo Manassero by 2-1. 

Sergio said he had fun out there today;

“It was good fun, we both played hard. We both tried to play as well as we could to beat our opponent and I was fortunate to be just a little bit better than him today.”

A resurgent Rickie Fowler beat Jimmy Walker 1 up, Matt Kuchar beat Ryan Moore by the same score. Jim Furyk took care of Charl Schwartzel 3-2, and Jordan Spieth was too strong for Thomas Bjorn, beating him 5-4.

Victor Dubuisson continued to impress on his World Golf Championships debut as he overcame Peter Hanson 3 -1 to progress to face former Masters Tournament winner Bubba Watson, who saw off Jonas Blixt at the 17th hole when Jonas lost his ball under a bush. ( would have been ironic if Jonas had got a free drop, wouldn’t it)

Some good match ups tomorrow and any of the remaining players could win, as Graeme McDowell said yesterday, this is a brutal format.

Accenture Match-Play. Who Lost on Day 1

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The Accenture Match-Play tournament was most noted for who lost on day 1 of the competition, at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain.

Day 1 recaps: Accenture

Ricky Fowler / Getty

It was a great victory for Ricky Fowler, defeating legendary matchplay exponent Ian Poulter 2-1. Even Ricky thought Poults was on a winner;

“I was definitely an underdog coming in. Heck, if I was filling out a bracket, I would have picked Poulter, too.  It feels like a big win after those missed cuts, it was nice to be the underdog. I had nothing to lose.”

Another Englishman on the wrong side of the leaderboard was Lee Westwood, he was defeated by Harris English 5-3.

George Coetzee, fresh from his win in South Africa, defeated Steve Stricker, an unlikely result at the start of play.

Zach Johnson, coming back from a layoff, lost to Richard Sterne 5-4. Everyone must now wonder if the unenforced rest period was a disaster, as Zach was playing really well beforehand. Another loser on day 1 was Keegan Bradley, falling to Jonas Blixt 2-1. Luke Donald also packed his bags, losing 5-4 to Matteo Manassero.

G-Mac only just made it,  he was four down through seven holes, and still three holes behind with three to play, when he staged an improbable rally against Florida neighbor Gary Woodland

Daily Wrap-up

Graeme McDowell / Getty

Graeme said he was surprised to get through;

“I’m sure he’s extremely disappointed right now, and I’m extremely elated. I’m surprised to be sitting here, having won. Yeah, I hit a couple of quality shots down the last couple of holes, but he had mistakes, as well. It’s a brutal format. I thought it was over, you’re not coming back from 3 down against a guy that’s playing as well as him. Yeah, I’m still going to try to hit my shots. But it required a mistake from him to give me half a sniff, even. It feels like a Sunday afternoon on Wednesday.”

The big names that made it safely through include, Henrik Stenson, the number one seed here, Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, albeit after 22 holes, Jimmy Walker, Justin Rose, Ernie Els, Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson.


Northern Trust Open. William McGirt the New Leader.

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William McGirt is the new leader of the Northern Trust Open at he end of day 3 at the Riviera Country Club, in Pacific Palisades, California.

William McGirt / Getty Images

 William  accumulated 8 birdies in 13 holes at Riviera County Club on moving day, to sign for a third round -6 under par 65, giving him a tournament total of -12 under par.

He said he really appreciated playing on the TOUR;

“When you’re around mini-tours for eight years and go through a bunch of heartaches at Q-school, once you finally get here, you really have to appreciate it. I’ve just got to go play my game tomorrow and hope that it’s good enough.”

In second place at -10 under par are Charlie Beljan and George McNeill,  George had a -5 under par third round of 66, while Charlie carded -3 under par 68.

Tied in fourth spot are Jason Allred and Brian Harman, both at -9 under par.

Jason is another player who is soaking up the atmosphere playing on the Tour, especially the reaction he got when sinking a ten foot putt on the last hole to card a -4 under par 67. He also spoke about his expectations;

” Making the putt on eighteen is probably the most excitement I felt from the crowd ever in my career.I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be able to be at a place in my life. I just have so much to be thankful for with my amazing family. It just feels great to be out here and soak it up.”

“I need to be honest, it’s totally blown them out of the water, but also to be honest, even when I go out to practice, whether it’s to prepare for a gate way tournament or this week, I still have that belief in me that I have it in me to win big golf tournaments. At times, even I have a hard time believing that over the years, but it sure is fun to be out here and be able to have a chance.”

There is a bunch of formidable players sitting on -8 under par, Jordan Spieth (67), Dustin Johnson (69) and Jimmy Walker (67), who is going for his fourth win of the season after winning last week in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am. Also in that group are a pair of Masters champions, Bubba Watson (64) and Charl Schwartzel (68).

Bubba had the round of the day, -7 under par 64, the boys at the top had better not look back over their shoulders, the sight of one of these top players coming after you is likely to give you a case of the colly-wobbles.

The chasing top class players with William in the middle / Getty Images

Thailand Golf Championship. Garcia Grabs Win.


Sergio Garcia stays steady and grabs the win at the Thailand Golf Championship, shooting a last round -4 under par 68 for his winning total of -22 under par.

Sergio and Trophy / Getty Images

Sergio with girlfriend  Katharina Boehm  on his bag at  Amata Spring Country Club collected his first this year, the last victory coming at the Johor Open, an Asian Tour event in Malaysia last December.

Sergio was happy with his amazing week’s work;

“It was great, an amazing week, I’m very, very happy and I can’t wait to go back home to Switzerland and kind of sleep on it a little bit. I knew Henrik was going to make it difficult for me. He’s been playing so amazingly great, and he did. I started well, but he also did. He kept hitting good shot after good shot.”

Henrik Stenson, finished in second place, he also had a final round of -4 under par 68, to finish the tournament on -18 under par, four shots off the pace. A couple of missed chances and then Sergio got away;

“It was a good week. Especially because I’ve had a great year but coming here really on the fumes left in the tank, not too much going for me to perform this week in that sense. But I was hanging in there and I was just coming up a couple short. I needed something really, really good to happen there. I had a couple of chances to get a little bit close around 8 and 9 but I didn’t make those two birdie putts and Sergio was hanging in there, made one or two good saves and then he made three birdies in a row, and then he pulled away, and then really I would need something spectacular to happen the last four or five holes.”

In third place was Alexander Levy of France, he shot a final round -3 under par 69 to finish at -14 under par .

Last year’s winner, Charl Schwartzel  with had a second straight -5 under par 67, and finished in joint fourth place, along with Yuki Kono of Japan, US Open champion Justin Rose, and Anirban Lahiri of India.

Best placed Thai golfer was Nirat Chapchai, tied in eighth place at -11 under par, in his effort to win his National Championship.