Quicken Loans National. Billy Hurley 111 Hangs On.

White Dragon GolfQuicken Loans National

Bill Hurley 111 hangs on to the Quicken Loans National lead, but has close company from a fast charging Ernie Els.

Quicken Loans National








Ernie Els

Billy carded a third round -4 under par 67 to hang onto the lead in the Quicken Loans National, at Congressional Country Club with his -15 under par total, and a two shot advantage over the field.

Billy lost his father a while back, and thinks of him all the time, wishing he could be there when Billy wins his maiden tour title;

“It dawned on me: this is what my dad did.”

“He walked inside the ropes and did this at Presidents Cups and stuff.”

 “Obviously, I think about my dad a lot.”

“I can’t think of a better one for me to win.”

 “To be my first one on tour, it would be probably the best one of kind of the regular-season tournaments, for sure.”

Billy puts his ability to focus on his Navy training;

“That definitely helps in adversity on the golf course”

“Focus, too. When you’re driving a ship through the Suez Canal, it’s all eyes ahead, focused exactly what we’re doing.”

“Land on each side and trying to just keep it in the middle. Focusing on the task at hand is definitely something that I’ve learned, as well.”

Ernie fired a -6 under par 65 to post a tournament total of -13 under par for the 54 holes played. Ernie collected an  Eagle at the par four 12th hole, dropping his  156 yard approach shot straight into the cup.

Ernie spoke about his Eagle, and remembering about his win here at Congressional in the 1997 U.S. Open;

“When the game gives you something, there’s a lot of excitement there and that was really one of the more exciting moments.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever slam-dunked it into the hole like that. I’ve had some run of slopes and run into the hole but that just flew right in. It was a great feeling.”

“I can’t but help think about it because I won one of my biggest events here as a pro and I love it so much and obviously one more win will give me the 20, which is huge.”

 “On the golf course you think about the next shot and I’m quite focused this week on my next golf shot. I’m not too clogged with that kind of a thought.”

Professional new boy Jon Rahm, yesterday’s co-leader, is in third place at -12 under par, a third round -1 under par 70 was not what he was hoping for.

Jon said he was lost for rhythm today;

“I couldn’t seem to find the rhythm to find the fairway.”

“With the way I hit the driver, I’m lucky to have finished under par.”


Quicken Loans National. Jon Rahm Leads.

White Dragon GolfQuicken Loans National

Jon Rahm leads the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club, in his first start as a professional. The first round stared two hours late because of rain, and was brought to an early end due to darkness.

Quicken Loans National







Jon Rahm

Jon the latest wonder kid from Spain  fired an opening round -7 under par 64, in his first tournament as a professional player, at the Quicken Loans National.

Jon did not remember any decent shot or putt he made during his inaugural professional tournament;

“I was anticipating this moment.”

“I’m working on it a long time that I kind of blacked out a little bit.”

“I don’t remember a single swing I made all day or any putting stroke or anything. I just remember the ball flying or rolling.”

He was the only amateur to make the cut last week in the U.S. Open, and spoke about the advice given to him there by Jack Nicklaus;

“What he told me is to just never do more than what I can do.”

 “Try not to risk too much. And that’s certainly something I did today.”

In second place at -6 under par is Jhonattan Vegas after his fist round 65, he said good tee shots were a bonus today;

“On this course you had better drive it well in the fairway and it’s a bonus if you can drive it long and straight.”

“Put it in the fairway and greens being a little softer than normal, you can play a good round today.”

Eight players are tied in third place at -5 under par, including Ernie Els who won the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional.

Ernie told reporters he had no problem remembering every shot;

“Winning a major at a special place like Congressional, playing here again, you just keep thinking back on shots.”

 “Almost every single hole there’s a moment back in ’97 where we can remember still.”

“I felt comfortable with my swing this week.”

 “I’ve had a very tough year. I haven’t played very well, so I need to start playing well.”

Ernie has not fulfilled his great potential, the turning point being the sailing injury to his left knee in 2005, time is now not on his side.


The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield. Matt and Brendan Lead.

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Matt Kuchar and Brendan Steele have the half-way lead at the Memorial Tournament, Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Memorial Tournament








Matt Kuchar

Matt has carded consecutive rounds of -6 under par 66, for his -12 under par total, while Brendan signed for a second round -5 under 67 to get into a share of the Memorial Tournament lead after 36 holes.

Matt thinks the course is playing a easy as he ever known it;

“As easy as I remember ever seeing it.”

“You can get in the wrong spot, but you don’t have to worry too much about the wind.”

“The ball’s going, great temperatures. It’s fun to be out there playing and making some birdies around this place.”

“I feel like I’ve put it all together.”

“The tough thing and the great thing about golf is there’s so many facets of the game, so many pieces that need to come together to play well. It feels like everything’s coming along on good form now.”

Tied in third place at -11 under par are Emiliano Grillo, -6 under par 66 today and Gary Woodland, who scored the low round of the day, a -7 under par 65.

Gary also thinks the course is perfect;

“This golf course is perfect, so the weather definitely will change things.”

“If it stays like this, you’re going to have to make birdies, and hopefully the weather does miss us, and we can go out and have some fun.”

Emiliano needs to stay patient;

“My expectations were really high going into 2016, and I paid the price.”

 “Even though I told myself to enjoy it, I wanted to play even better.”

“I tell myself just to be patient, and if you’re patient enough, then that win is going to come.”

First round leader Dustin Johnson fell back today recording a -1 under par 71 second round, to join the group at -9 under par in fifth position, with Harlod Varner 111, -5 under 67 today, Jon Curran, -5 under 67, and Kevin Streelman, -4 under 68.

At -8 under are Scott Brown, Adam Hadwin and Zac Blair. The are followed by a group of ten players who are at -7 under par, which includes some big names. Rory McIlroy with -6 under 66 today, Jason Day, -1 under 71, Phil Mickelson, -3 under 69.

This tournament is shaping up to be a great contest, on what is probably one of the finest golf courses in the USA, Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Sadly Rickie Fowler, Ernie Els, Paul Casey, Davis Love 111, Angel Cabrera  and Hideki Matsuyama, with his squeaky cleats in his shoes, were among the players who missed the cut, made at -2 under par.

AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open,Andrew Dodt Has 1st Round Lead.

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Andrew Dodt has the 1st round lead at a windy AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on the  Four Seasons Golf Club.

AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

Andrew Dodt / Getty Images

AUS Andrew, from Australia,  fired an opening round -6 under par 66, in very windy conditions at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, giving him a two shot cushion at the top of the leaderboard, where only 21 players managed to get under par on day one of the tri-sanctioned event involving the European, Asian and Sunshine Tours, on the Ernie Els designed course.

The wind did not bother Andrew;

“When you play well, the conditions don’t really matter. Fortunately that happened to me today.”

“I played really solid, I didn’t make too many mistakes and the momentum in the round just kept flowing.

“I probably won’t shoot 66 tomorrow but I’ve just got to try to minimize the mistakes.”

“If someone said six under at the start of the day, I would have put my hand up yesterday and taken it.”

“It’s not easy out there. if you’re off by just a little bit, everything gets magnified by the wind.”

“Having said that, this course can just get up and bite you at any stage. There’s a long way to go.”

Sharing second place at -4 under after their first rounds of 68, are India’s IND Rashid Khan and Bangladesh’s BAN Siddikur Rahman.

Fresh from his maiden victory at last week’s Trophée Hassan IIKOR Jeunghun Wang was tied in fourth place with ARG Estanislao Goya at -3 under par.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Rafa Has The 36 Hole Lead.

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Rafa Cabrera-Bello has the 36 hole lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Rafa Cabrera-Bello / Getty Images

Rafa had another -5 under par 67 today to take the lead in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at -10 under par, and has a one shot lead going into the weekend.

The 2012 Champion tied for second place at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters last week, and said he is in good form, especially in the putting department;

“My game really is very good at the moment, I’m confident I’m doing all parts of the game well.”

“Today it was just a couple sloppy swings that maybe affected my confidence a little bit, but I know the game is really sharp.”

“I’m just enjoying golf at the moment. I worked hard over the break and I’m happy to be here competing again and ready.”

“Having won here before is a bonus. If it gets to the point of the last few holes on Sunday that I have a chance to win, I know I’ve done it before, so I can do it again, especially here.”

“I’ve always loved these greens. I’ve putted really well here before, especially 2012.”

“So I’m putting well, I putted really well today. I putted really well yesterday, even though I hardly holed anything yesterday, but still putted well. And today, they wanted to drop.”

Sharing second place at -9 under par is three-time champion Ernie Els with Danny Willett and Trevor Fisher Jnr.

Danny recorded brilliant bogey free second round -7 under par 65, which really rocketed him up the leaderboard.

At -8 under are Joost LuitenThorbjørn Olesen, Andy Sullivan and Chris Wood who are all proven winners.

Rory McIlroy had a very quiet day, but avoided total disaster posting a second round of even par 72, and had to make three birdies on the last three holes to achieve that score.

At -4 under for the tournament he is now six shots off the pace at the half-way sage, with a lot of work to do if he is going to make a challenge for the title.

 Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Alex Noren Leads.

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Alex Noren leads the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after the fist round at  the Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Alex Noren / Getty Images

Alex shot a first round -6 under par 66 to take an unexpected lead in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic;

“I hit a lot of good shots but a few bad shots and got away with it, and then you end up with 66.”

“I’m very happy, I didn’t really expect it and then it feels even better.”

“I was very happy when it was all over because it didn’t feel that good warming up. I hit my irons really good all day, pretty average driving.”

“It was tough on a few holes, a lot of draws here and I don’t like to draw it. So I’m really happy.”

“I hit a lot of fades off the tee, and here you know it’s a drawer’s course. So you feel a bit down as a fader.”

“But you just have to accept it and maybe play less aggressive on some holes.”

Four players are sharing second place, just one stroke back at -5 under par,  Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Brett Rumford, Trevor Fisher Jnr and Peter Hanson all carded opening rounds of 67.

There is then a large group of eight players at -4 under par, including Rory McIlroy, a two-time winner here and also the defending champion. Three-time champion Ernie Els and 2011 winner Alvaro Quiros are also in this group with their opening rounds of 68.

Rory was pretty happy with today’s result, it was a bad bogey start on #10;

“I thought I did well, considering the start, and some of the shots I hit today.”

“A 68 was probably a fair reflection of how I played.”

“I don’t think I really could have gone any lower than that.”

“But at the same time I gave myself enough chances to make birdies.”


Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Jordan Only Wins By 8 Shots.

White Dragon GolfHyundai T of C

Jordan Spieth only won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions title by 8 shots, when many (including me) thought the winning margin would be more. He joins Ernie Els as the only players in PGA Tour history to finish a 72-hole event at -30 under or lower.


Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan carded a final Hyundai Tournament of Champions round of -6 under par 67 for his winning total of -30 under par. It was just business as usual;

“I felt like it was short three-week break and continue what we were doing last year.”

“That’s the way I’ll keep on thinking about it. It worked this week. All parts were firing.”

Defending Champion Patrick Reed finished in second place, at -22 under par, those eight shots off the pace set by the leader. His final round -4 under par 69 never threatening the dominant Jordan Spieth. He knew it going to be a tough ask;

” I knew I had to go out early and make birdies early, and try to put some pressure on him.”

“All of a sudden I made two birdies early, and I got to within three.”

“Next time I looked at the leaderboard it was back to five.”

“He’s going to go out and make birdies, he’s not going to go out and shoot over par, especially the way he’s playing right now.”

Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka shared third position at -21 under for the tournament. Brandt carded a last round -6 under par 67, while Brooks could not match yesterdays ten under effort, scoring just -2 under par 71.

Rickie Fowler was alone in fourth place, with a -20 under par total, a -6 under 67 for his last round effort, was not too bad, but not good enough.

Of note was the wonderful tournament of Padraig Harrington, he also fired -6 under 67 final round. The oldest man of the final two rounds finishing T6 at -17 under par, with Peter Malnati and Fabian Gomez.