WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Danny Lee Leads.

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Danny Lee, from New Zealand, leads the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Danny Lee / Getty Images

Danny Lee had a first round -5 under par 65 to lead the WGC Bridgestone Invitational after the first round at Firestone in Akron, and he was happy with that result;

“I left a couple short birdie putts out there.”

 “It’s hard for me to say. It may sound a little bit too greedy, but I did. And I was hitting it that good, and I was very happy with my result.

Sharing second place at -4 under par after their opening rounds of 66 are Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk.

Graeme spoke about the tricky greens, suffering through a sticky patch, and coming out the other side;

“In years gone past, the fairways have not really been a must because the greens have been extremely receptive, and the guys can still hit the greens out of the rough.”

“I think this year, when it’s firm and fiery, even the rough’s firm and fiery, the ball is bouncing into trouble when you do actually hit it offline here, and the greens are hard to hold.”

“So it’s tricky.”

“It’s been a rough year, no doubt about it, definitely been some time for reflection and some questions being asked of myself.”

“But I think we all experience these things in everything we do. It’s how you answer the questions and how you come out the other side really.”

“When you’re packing your bag on a Friday afternoon, it’s hard. It’s not cool.”

“You get frustrated with the people closest to you and around you, and caddies and agents and coaches. It’s hard.”

Jim likes this course, reminds him of the ones he played while growing up;

“It reminds me of golf courses I grew up on.”

 “Everything’s right in front of you. There’s not a lot of blind shots. I just feel like I know where I’m supposed to put the ball. It’s a matter of being able to do it.”

“The years I’ve played well, I feel like I’m on top of my game.”

Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose are tied in third place at -3 under par.

Justin started hot, with four birdies in his first six holes, and then cooled off a bit;

“It’s great to see this course play this way, though, you’ve got to be very strategic.”

“I think we know the course so well in somewhat soft conditions, and many so times you can get the ball up and down with short-siding itself.”

“It’s going to be much harder to get it up and down short-siding.”

John Deere Classic. Jordan Spieth Leads, With a 61.

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Jordan Spieth leads the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run shooting 61 in the third round.

John Deere Classic

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan carded two Eagles, but the one at the par five 17th came via a 106 yard pitch shot, after he had missed the fairway and was forced to lay up. He followed that with a birdie at the 18th, to give him a third round score of -10 under par 61, to take the outright 54 hole lead in the John Deere Classic, with a -17 under par total.

He spoke about the one handed wedge shot, and his slow start to the competiton;

“It was certainly maybe a couple of grooves low, I just seem to get some lucky breaks here at the John Deere Classic.”

“I think it was just on-course repetitions.”

 “My first round was the pro-am, and that went rough.”

“And then Thursday was a little rough, and then for whatever reason just started to really pick it back up.”

Last weeks Greenbrier Classic winner Danny Lee continues his good form, sitting nicely on his own in second place at -15 under par following his equally impressive third round of -9 under par 62.

Danny, from New Zealand, could only admire the great play of Jordan;

“Jordan just played magnificent today.”

“I watched his third-shot eagle on 17, it was ridiculous,  I think it’s going to be a fun day for us tomorrow.”

Third place is shared by Shawn StefaniJohnson Wagner and Justin Thomas at -14 under par.

Shawn with a -7 under par 64 third round,  Johnson  with his -3 under and Justin carded -2 under 69.

On a sad note Chris Kirk has been forced to withdraw from the field at next week’s 144th The Open, allowing compatriot Kevin Streelman to take his place in the field at St Andrews. It is reported that Chris has broken his hand, we wish him a speedy recovery.

The Greenbrier Classic. Danny Lee Gets Play-Off Win.

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Danny Lee, from New Zealand wins The Greenbrier Classic at Old White TPC in a play-off at West Virginia.

The Greenbrier Classic

Danny Lee / Getty Images

Danny shot a final round -3 under par 67, to get into a four-way play-off for The Greenbrier Classic title, at -13 under par. He won on the second extra hole with a par on the par five 17th.

Robert Streb and Kevin Kisner were eliminated on the first extra hole, which left Danny and David Hearn to fight it out on the par five 17th.

Danny spoke about the motions involved in winning, and getting into St Andrews;

“I was just trying to calm down, I was so nervous. My head was blank and I was just trying to breathe.”

“As soon as I stand on the 18th tee box, first playoff hole, I felt ready.”

“I felt like I could really win this thing.”

“The reason I played so many events was I was really trying to make it into the Presidents Cup this year.”

“It’s back in Korea. That’s where I’m born. I kind of feel like I was playing good but not good enough to win a golf tournament, but this week for some reason I just felt right.” 

“It’s my fourth time playing here, and I liked it every single year. Only one wish I had was if I had a girlfriend, it wouldn’t be as lonely in the room.”

“I always wanted to play there, I cannot wait.”

David was proud of the effort he put in trying to win this event, but was also happy to have qualified for St Andrews;

“Real proud of the way I made the putt to extend the playoff and continued to give myself a chance.”

“Just didn’t go my way on that 17th hole. I hit a bad tee shot. That was probably the only bad tee shot I hit all day.”

“I’ve just got to keep giving myself chances like this, and it’s going to happen soon.”

Kevin hit the same club in the play-off at the 18th, it just did not come off the same;

“I thought it was good in the air, probably just a little pumped up. But I was glad to be in that situation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valero Texas Open. Bowditch Leads, Marvelous Mickleson Makes Cut.

dragon logo darkValero Texas Open Logo Steve Bowditch leads the Valero Texas Open, and a marvelous round from Phil Mickelson sees him make the cut at TPC San Antonio.

Bowditch leads in Texas

Steve Bowditch / Getty Images

Steve Bowditch holds the lead  for the first time in his career, after a second round -5 under par saw him post -8 under par to top the leaderboard at the Valero Texas Open. His lead could, and should, have been greater except  for carding a double-bogey on his final hole. A poor approach left him with an awkward chip from the side of the green, which he under hit. the next chip still left him short of the cup, resulting in a two putt double bogey. He puts the putting down as enemy number one;

“My putter has really been a big problem this year. I’ve been fighting that, but ball-striking wise has been pretty good. I’m not making many putts at the moment, so most of my birdies have been sort of coming inside of six or five feet. I’ve hit a lot of good wedge shots. I made a couple good par saves on my back nine this afternoon, but all in all it’s been more of hitting my approach shots pretty close.”

“It was a frustrating way to finish, but it is what it is. Hit a couple bad shots on the last hole unfortunately, but all in all, it was good. Happy with it.”

Chad Collins shares  second place, just one shot back of the lead at -7 under par, with Andrew Loupe. Chad  carded one of the low rounds of the day, a -6 under par 66.

Phil Mickelson made a miraculous birdie on his final hole,  TPC San Antonio’s par five 18th, to shoot -2 under par 70 on Friday and make the cut on the number at  +3 over par 147.

Phil Mickelson hit this shot to 5 feet, then made the birdie putt to make the Valero Texas Open cut. (Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

Phil, from here to birdie on the final hole, to make the cut / Getty Images
In certain circles this is known as the Masonic shot, Phil explained his dilemma;
“I was right in between going for the green or playing a little bit to the right trying to get up and down, and I hit a very close to being a great shot and it went in the water. Unfortunately, it just barely went in where I hit my shot. It looked like the water overlapped the grass and it was not that hard of a shot. There was a rock that I hit but, I didn’t see it at address.”
” I haven’t had the success I’ve wanted to early on at the start of the season. I want to get in contention, I want to have a competitive round and work on playing proper golf and managing the game and the rounds.”
Two weeks ago, Danny Lee had held a share of the first-round lead at the Valspar Championship, but slumped to a second round 79, to miss the cut. Unfortunately he has repeated the fatal feat this week at TPC San Antonio, going from the top of the leaderboard to sink lower than a snakes belly after rounds of 68 and 83. Danny had only one birdie Friday and made nine bogeys in addition to a triple bogey on his sad trip to an early exit.

Valero Texas Open. 1st Round play Suspended. Fog in Texas ?

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TPC San Antonio was shrouded in fog during the opening round of the Valero Texas Open, causing a suspension in Play.

Valero Texas Open - Round One    Valero Texas Open - Round One

                                          Pat Perez   and Danny Lee/ Getty Images

At the time the horn blew Pat Perez and Danny Lee had completed their first rounds and sat at the top of the leaderboard of the Valero Texas Open. They both carded opening rounds of -4 under par 68. The fog kept temperatures in the 50s before it burned off and gave way to sun and readings in the 80s.

Pat spoke of the conflicting temperatures;

“This morning it was freezing, and I hit balls on the practice range in four layers of clothes. Now, I’m sweating.”

What is worrying, and noteworthy, is the form of Phil Mickleson, who shot a +5 over par 77 opening round, to fall nine strokes back of the lead.  That horrible 77 was Phil’s highest score since he shot a 78 in August in the PGA Championship.

It seems Phil was as surprised as the rest of us;

“I had been playing real well at home, so to come out and play like this is disappointing, just didn’t feel quite sharp. I didn’t putt well, I had a couple of three-putts that hurt. Iron play wasn’t great. I didn’t drive it bad, until that last hole.”

In his previous two starts, Phil missed the cut in the Honda Classic, and then tied for 16th at Doral in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. This is not good preparation for The Masters, just two weeks away. Phil will play in the Houston Open before heading to Augusta National.

Looks like Phil will have plenty of time to practice, making the cut here is a long way off, currently T 135 out of a field of 144.

Valspar Championship. Garrigus Gets Ahead.

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Valspar Championship Logo

 

Robert Garrigus gets ahead in the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook on day 2 taking a three shot lead into the week-end.

Garrigus leads at Valspar

Robert Garrigus / Getty Images

Robert can not remember a better performance going into the week-end than the one he put together on day 2 at the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead course. He shot a second round -5 under par 66, to finish the day three shots ahead on -7 under par for the tournament;

“It’s the fishing, I think that puts me in a good frame of mind because I’m clear and not thinking about anything, just going out and having some fun. I probably hit one of the top-five shots of my life there on sixteen, out of the trees. Hit a low, cut 5-iron, then rose it up over the pine tree and cut it 40 yards and hit to ten feet. That’s just one of those shots that when you’re playing good and everything is rolling, you kind of expect it. It was a lot of fun to try it, and to pull it off was even better. I’ve spent half my life in the trees. I’ve had a lot of practice.”

Kevin Na is in second place, a second round -3 under par 68 gave him a total of -4 under par for the tournament. That was good enough for second spot alone.

Highest-ranked player in the field, Justin Rose shot a second round -3 under par, and joins Matt Every, Pat Perez and Matteo Manassero, all tied in third place at -3 under par.

Justin finally got some momentum going;

“I got some momentum going today, I worked my way into the tournament early. To finish strong with my round yesterday I think helped give me some momentum into day. It’s exactly how I needed to flow into the tournament.”

During the round today Pat Perez  was the first player to reach -5 under par for the tournament, until he missed two drives well to the left. The first was in the trees at No. 6, and then another wayward drive went out of bounds on No. 7. Both of them led to double bogeys, though Pat shrugged off the disappointment;

“Just move on and keep going.”

Danny Lee went from first to worst. He was tied for the lead Thursday, and then shot +8 over par for 79, and miss the cut. The cut was at +3  over par,  and because 84 players advanced, there will be a 54-hole cut to top 70 and ties on Saturday.

The list of players missing the cut was pretty impressive, they include;

Ernie Els, Mike Weir,  Camilo Villegas, Webb Simpson, Geoff Ogilvey, D.A. Points, VJ Singh, Angel Cabrera, Kyle Stanley and the wild man himself, John Daly, who propped up the whole field.

 

 

Valspar Championship, A Windy Day 1and a Four-Way Tie.

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Matt Every, Danny Lee, Pat Perez and Greg Chalmers  share the first round lead at a very windy Innisbrook in the Valspar Championship.

Matt Every is one of four players tied for the lead after Round 1. (Greenwood/Getty Images)

Matt Every, one of the four. / Getty images

With early morning temperatures hovering in the mid 50’s Matt Every carded an opening round of -3 under par in the challenging conditions. He ended the day sharing that score with Danny, Pat and Greg who played in the warmer afternoon, to share top spot on the leaderboard, the highest first round total in the 14 year history of this event.

Matt admitted the conditions were so bad he would have settled for +2 over par round at the start of play;

” I would have been satisfied with 2 over today, it was tough. This morning you couldn’t feel your hands. The wind was brutal. I’ve played enough to know the first round doesn’t matter that much. This place is just going to be about not making doubles and taking yourself out of the tournament.”  

 There were only three players who broke 70 in the morning round, with the average score nearly three shots over par. Eight players broke 70 in the afternoon, and the average for the day turned out to be 72.6, only 25 players managed to break par.

Danny has gained some confidence, especially with his good finish last week, but was shocked at  the cold temps here in Florida;

“I gained a lot of confidence after last week playing with the finish in Puerto Rico. It really helped me a lot with that confidence stuff, and I’m hitting it really well right now. My ball striking is the best it’s ever been, especially with the putting. I got the new claw grip,  still working great, which is fantastic.”

“I was shocked how hard it was, without the wind and the cold weather , even we’re playing in nice weather it’s a very tough golf course.”

This going to be a very tough tournament, with more cold weather predicted for Friday morning, before the temperatures begin to rise for the week-end.