Waste Management Phoenix Open. Danny Lee Leads, By Three Shots.

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Danny Lee, from New Zealand has a three shot lead after 54 holes in the  Waste Management Phoenix Open, at TPC Scottsdale.

Danny Lee carded a 4-under 67 and leads by 3 shots heading into Sunday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Danny Lee / Getty Images

Danny carded a third round -4 under par 67 to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open by three shots at -13 under par. He spoke a about a great putting day, and is looking for another good day tomorrow. Danny’s “good friend” Ha Na Jang has just won the Coats Golf Championship in Florida, this could be an omen;

“It was a really good putting day.”

I’ve been putting it really well, I am very confident with my putting.”

“Obviously I have never been in this situation before, but I am not going to think about it that much.”

I’m just going to go out there and have another best day tomorrow.”

Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler are tied in second place, those three shots back at -10 under par. Hideki -3 under 68 today and Rickie seemed to struggle for his -1 under par 70;

“I just didn’t get much out of the round.”

“Just kind of managed it well and played with what I had to get around.”

Through a translator Hideki said he had struggled with his putting;

“I didn’t putt very well today.”

“I didn’t drive the ball very well, but I did get it around. I’m happy with that.”

Boo Weekly and Bryce Molder are tied in fourth spot, both at -9 under par for the tournament. Boo with a very nice -6 under 65 and Bryce one better, -7 under 64.

Crowd favorite Phil Mickelson is alone in sixth place at -8 under par, -6 under 65 today lifting the super star up the leaderboard. Some Mickelson magic tomorrow could work wonders. Something like the spell he cast on the par five 15th today, where made a very unlikely birdie,  his hybrid approach from 255 yards went so far right that it crossed the lake and ended up in the 11th fairway. He recovered by hitting a wedge to 15 feet and then made the putt;

“It was the worst shot of the year and I ended up making a birdie.”

Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Super Spieth Surges Ahead.

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Jordan Spieth put on a super show to surge ahead in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Glendower Golf Club in Hawaii.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

World number one Jordan fired a magical bogey free -9 under par 64 at the par 73 Glendower course in the  Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the half way point of the competition, to lead by four shots at -16 under par for 36 holes;

“Did I see 16 under? Probably not to start the season.”

“I go from leading by one to leading by four, and that’s huge.”

Second place is shared between three players at -12  under par, Patrick Reed, Fabian Gomez and Kevin Kisner, they were all bogey free today.

Kevin also shone brightly today, with -8 under 65, while Fabian carded -7 under 66 and Patrick, feeling the heat from Jordan could only manage -4 under 69.

Kevin asked after the round what was Jordan at?

“What’s Jordan at? I saw he was at 15.”

“He’ll probably shoot another 15 under, so I better get going tomorrow, the way he plays.”

“We’ll just make a bunch of birdies and see what happens.”

“First tournament of the year, kind of rusty, haven’t played in a while.”

“Seeing where my game is, I’m looking forward to having a chance on the weekend.”

Danny Lee, from New Zealand holds fifth place on his own at -11 under par, following his second round score of -5 under par 68, which sadly contained three bogey’s.

Rickie Fowler and Steven Bowditch both scored bogey free rounds of -6 under par 67 and were another shot back at -10 under par for the tournament.

Rickie spoke about the easier conditions today;

“It’s a little less windy, so the golf course was a little bit more gettable.”

“I played better today, got the ball closer to the hole, so I had more opportunities at birdie.”

 

Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Reed Leads.

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Defending Champion Patrick Reed leads after the first round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course on Maui Island in Hawaii.

 Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Patrick Reed / Getty Images

Patrick shot -8 under par 65 in the opening round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions to lead the tournament by one shot from his playing partner, World number One Jordan Spieth. A fabulous Eagle from Patrick at the par five 18th edged Jordan into second place.

Patrick spoke about his 2nd shot into the par five final hole;

“I didn’t think I could get it all the way to the green.”

“I thought if I smoked it, I’d get to the front edge and it just happened to ride the wind a little bit and kind of just kept on going.”

“And once it gets on that green, I know it’s going to just keep feeding.”

Jordan showed his class in a first round -7 under par 66, on the par 73 Plantation Course. He wanted last years form to continue, winning  the Masters and U.S. Open and three other titles that led to the FedExCup and a sweep of all the awards. He mentioned the rivalry between the pair of them;

“It’s another event in the course of my career.”

“The calendar changed.”

“Whether we want to feed off each other or we want to beat the crap out of each other, we somehow play well together.”

There are three players tied in third place at -6 under par following their first rounds of 67, Danny Lee, Brandt Snedeker and J.B. Holmes.

Brandt got here early, to check out the greens;

“I know the golf course pretty well and I think getting over here early, the greens always pose a big problem.”

“You get comfortable on greens and be aggressive on putts that you know are fast or slow.”

“You just have to know putts. They’re hard to read. So that’s kind of the reason I came over to do that.”

Making the news for the wrong reasons was Rickie Fowler, sporting a pair of high topped Basketball style trainers, most comments were in the negative. It did not bother Rickie too much, shooting -4 under par 69 to be in a the group of players with Bubba Watson.

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Rickie’s high topped Basketball Puma trainers

The two old men in field did not do so well, Padraig Harrington, 44, was almost happy with his -3 under 70, but Davis Love 111, 51, certainly struggled to post +2 over 75.

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.