Honda Classic. Play-Off Win for Paddy Harrington.

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Paddy Harrington wins the weather-beaten Honda Classic in a play-off against the  21-year-old rookie Daniel Berger at PGA National in Florida.

Honda Classic

Paddy Harrington/ Getty Images

Paddy and Daniel finished the Honda Classic tied at the top of the leaderboard on -6 under par. Paddy with a final round of even par while Daniel carded -6 under par 64.

In the end Paddy parred the second play-off hole, the 190 yard par three 17th hole , a bit of an anti-climax really, I think you can tell that by his reaction to winning in the picture above, seeing that this is his first victory in more than six years;

“Believe it or not, when I get in contention I can still hit the shots.”

Russell Knox, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter tied in second place at -5 under par. Ian probably should have won this tournament, apart from a major stuff up on the 14th hole, where he carded a 7 after hitting two balls into the water. He actually put five balls into the water during his final round of +5 over par 75;

Poults sadly reported;

“The good is good enough to win. I know that,”

“It’s just bitterly disappointing to put myself in the position I have, to play as well as I’ve played, and a couple of loose shots has cost me this tournament. It’s a shame to hand tournaments away. I’ve handed one away this week.”

 

Honda Classic. Two Brits Tied at the Top

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The third round finally got completed and two Brits sit at the top on the Honda Classic leaderboard, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter as the final round gets suspended due to darkness.

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Ian Poulter / Getty Images

Poults has played seven last round holes and Paul nine, both sit on top of the Honda Classic leaderboard at -7 under par for the title as the tournament heads into a Monday finish.

Poults had his problems in the final round today, he shanked his tee shot on the par 3 fifth and watched helplessly as it bounced off a cart path and plunged into the water, it ended in a double bogey. He followed that by pulling his next tee shot into the water before eventually settling for bogey, and would not report his words to the press. He followed that experience with a birdie on seven;

“It’s not for newspaper or Internet worthy, I was pissed. I was seriously pissed.”

“It was a lack of concentration, I tried to take too much off an 8‑iron and hit a beautiful shank.”

“I was internally very angry, shall we say. And when I do that, obviously my heart rate goes up slightly and obviously that sometimes is what it needs to kick in the adrenaline.”

“So the shot on 7 was fueled with adrenaline, because I was so pissed off.”

“It was a good swing, I guess it’s been a long day, a long few days and I was just saying to my son, Luke, right there, look what happens when you forget to concentrate. Silly things happen.”

“Tiring, and made a couple of really bad swings on 5 and 6. But that kind of angered me inside enough to spark a little bit of energy there to hit a good shot on 7.”

Paul wanted to keep going, he hates a break in momentum;

“I thought the wind was favorable, so I thought I would get on with it, the lie is not great. I might be against the collar in the rough.”

“It just breaks up momentum, some guys will carry it through to Monday. Others won’t and that’s very difficult to predict.”

“You just hope you wake up tomorrow and you feel like you’ve got the same kind of golf swing and the putts are going in the hole.”

“I never like to look back, but I feel like when I was playing some great golf in 2009, 2010, it feels like that kind of stuff.”

“Probably even more so than that time in my golf career because off the golf course, I’m so relaxed and happy with where I’m at with (wife) Pollyanna and (son) Lex.”

“It feels great. I think the combination of being extremely happy off the course and confidence on the course, I think I’m maybe playing as good golf, if not better than I’ve played in the past.”

Patrick Reed is in third position at -6 under par, so far in his final round he is at even par through seven holes, but it will be  long day tomorrow, with a lot at stake and the pressure will be on everybody.

There is a posse of five players at -4 under par, including Phil Mickelson, so anything could happen.

 

 

 

Jo’Burg Open. Andy Sullivan Wins Again in S.A.

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Andy Sullivan won the Jo’Burg Open and claimed a second European Tour title on South African soil in as many months.

Jo'Burg Open

Andy Sullivan / Getty Images

Andy carded a brilliant last round -6 under par 66 at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, on the East course, to post a winning total of -17 under par, a two shot victory.

Andy could not believe he would be in victory lane again so soon;

“It’s unbelievable, I never imagined it would happen again so quickly.”

“Coming down the stretch me and my caddie were loving life again and enjoying it. It seems to be a theme, enjoying my golf and getting the right results at the moment.”

“I want to say a big thank you to my coach Jamie Gough, who has really turned it around, and my psychologist Lee Crombleholme who has been exceptional this week, working hard on being patient out there.”

“I am just grateful it has all paid off and I get to hold another magnificent trophy in South Africa again.”

There was a five-way tie for second place at -15 under par, Kevin Phelan, Jaco Van Zyl, Tony Wall, David Howell and local favorite Wallie Coetsee.

David was happy to be back in form, if not too happy with his performance today, and this result will get him to St Andrews;

“I am absolutely delighted about that, that was one of the main reasons I came down here.”

“I have not played an Open at St Andrews and I’m not getting any younger so I knew my chances were running out. I am going to really enjoy it.”

“I played beautifully, probably made three really bad swings all week and they cost me shots each time, just hit one left on 14 that cost me a shot and then couldn’t find the putts coming in.”

“It’s not been the best start to the year and this is the first really good performance, which has been great. Frustrating not to finish it off because I gave myself a great chance, but it wasn’t to be.”

Tony was also happy to be in the St Andrews field, if not so good here;

“It’s very disappointing because I was really feeling good about today. A win is a win, but to play in The Open, especially at St Andrews, will be lovely.”

Kevin was not happy about missing out on St Andrews;

“I was just kind of plodding along the first three days, played some nice golf but didn’t really hole that many putts, but got the putts to drop on the front nine today and gave myself a chance.”

“It doesn’t look like I have done enough but I am delighted with the way I played.”

Honda Classic. Play Suspended Due To Lightning.

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At the conclusion of play of the suspended 2nd Round Padraig Harrington sits on top of the Honda Classic leaderboard at -7 under par. Play was then suspended at the start of the third round due to the threat of lightning.

Honda Classic

Padraig Harrington / Getty Images

Padraig has completed two rounds of the Honda Classic and is at the top of the leaderboard going into round three at -7 under par, following his 66.

He said golf is fun, and fascinating;

“I’m fascinated with the game, I love it. It’s a different sort of fun, yeah.”

“I think I’m in a good place that I can deliver more performances like this.”

“I feel like there’s good days ahead, so, you know, I’m not thinking, Oh, I’ve got to do it and it will be a long time before it comes around again.”

“I feel I’m in a good place with my game and I feel I give myself plenty of opportunities like this going forward.”

Patrick Reed is in second place at -6 under par, the same score he finished round two with yesterday.

Ian Poulter and Brendan Steele are tied in third position at -5 under par. Ian has been using a fang-dangled putting machine in practice, and he said it seems to be working;

“Right now it’s working pretty good.”

“The way I feel about my game, I’m hitting good shots, I’m holing a few putts and obviously if you’re going to do that, then you’ve got half a chance.”

“My mental side, I feel confident, provided I keep doing the right things, I keep working on straightening those areas that are weaker than my strengths and if I do that, then obviously I’m hoping I can improve.”

 Phil Mickelson is in contention, a second round of -3 under par 67 giving him a -2 under par total, he commented on the stop – start play, and extra holes on the day;

“I think that if you get into a good rhythm for the day, you get extra holes to play, and I think that guys that have a hot hand, instead of playing 18, they have a chance to play 27, 31 or 32.”

“I think it could be a real benefit if you’re playing well.”

“You get greens like this that are just perfect condition and very soft movement around the holes and you’re going to make a lot of putts, it just builds confidence.”

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The Honda Classic / Getty Images

“That’s as bad as I’ve ever seen it rain.” Russell Knox.

Jo’Burg Open. Wallie Coetsee Cruising

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Wallie Coetsee is cruising along at the top of the Jo’Burg Open leaderboard as he chases his maiden European Tour title at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

Jo.Burg Open

Wallie & Caddie/ Getty Images

Wallie carded a third round -2 under par 70 on the West course to post a tournament total of -14 under par at the Jo’Burg Open, and will take a two shot lead into the final round on Sunday. He admitted he had a few putting problems;

“The first tee shot there were no nerves, the six iron into the middle of the green there were no nerves, but once I grabbed that putter there was no feel.”

 “I three-putted but after that there were no nerves.”

“You need to keep a positive mind, me and my caddie are enjoying it out there and hopefully we can tomorrow.

“There is a lot at stake, more than you can think of, but it’s just a game at the end of the day.”

“Last night I only slept for about four hours but tonight I think I’m going to have a lot of sleep.”

There are four players those two shots behind at -12 under par, and will be trying to chase him down,  Jacques Blaauw, Tjaart van der Walt, David Howell and Steve Webster will keep the pressure on the leader.

Steve shot the low round of the day, a bogey free -7 under par 65 and said he had given himself a lot of opportunities today;

“I made a good birdie at the first and a good save at the second and just got on a bit of a roll,” Webster said. “I missed three or four 12-footers which was frustrating but there was a lot of really good golf today.

“I gave myself a lot of chances and that’s what my game is all about.”

David has made only one cut so far this season and is delighted that all his hard work with a new coach is now paying off;

“The season’s got off to a slow start so I came down here for three weeks and so far so good.”

“I’ve had a couple of bad swings each day but apart from that it’s been pretty good. You have to keep your foot down and keep making the birdies and obviously stay away from the mistakes.”

“I’ve had one big score with a seven yesterday but played some good golf between that.”

“I started with a new coach, Justin Parsons, a few weeks ago, just working on my rhythm. I am trying to swing the club as slowly as I have in my whole life and that’s a real challenge to bring that to the course.”

“I am delighted with how I’ve done that so far this week, it’s getting better by the day and hopefully that bodes well for tomorrow and future weeks coming up.”

Honda Classic. Play Suspeded Due to Darkness. Rory in a Dark Place of his Own.

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The second round of the Honda Classic has been suspended due to darkness, with Brendan Steele leading. Rory is in a dark place of his own, missing the cut here.

Honda Classic

Brendan Steele / Getty Images

Brendon sits on top of the Honda Classic leaderboard at -8 under par, despite having only completed four holes of the round at a wet, windy and delayed golf day at PGA National in Florida.

Patrick Reed is in second place, he has completed both rounds at -3 under par 67 for a -6 under par total.

“It just seems like when the wind is blowing here, it allows me to get creative and hit more of my shot‑shaping shots I normally hit.”

“It’s fun golf and especially with the weather with how it’s been, it’s playing how I like this golf course to play.”

“The main thing is I feel like I just keep on improving day‑in and day‑out.”

“I feel like I’ve improved on little things that I’ve needed to be a little more consistent, and luckily we’ve been in the hunt coming down Sunday. We’ve done pretty well.”

Jim Herman is currently in third position, having completed three holes in his second round, for a -5 under par total.

Luke Donald has completed his two rounds and is sharing 4th spot with Ian Poulter,who has played eight of his second round, and Padraig Harrington has finished six, all at -4 under par for the tournament.

Luke will get a sleep in tomorrow, and plenty of time to review the putting mistake that has been the key to his disappointing form, he also said not to worry too much about Rory;

“I’ll obviously get to sleep in, in my own bed, as well, which is nice.”

“It’s something that’s certainly been missing a little bit the last month or two, and it’s nice to get back on Bermuda greens.”

“I feel a lot more comfortable on these greens for some reason.”

“Rory has been by far the best player in the world for the last year or so. I wouldn’t worry and read too much into it.” 

Rory let his feelings be known in no uncertain terms;

“I’m pissed off, I don’t like missing cuts. You want to be playing on the weekend, and I’m not there.”

“I guess after coming off a three‑week break,and then felt a little, just a little, I wouldn’t say rusty, but just not quite on top of my game Thursday.”

 “Then, I mean, I felt like I was trying to get something going and couldn’t. Coming off three weeks off and playing in conditions like these, it sort of shows you where your game’s at.”

 

Jo’Burg Open. Wallie Coetsee with Half-Way Lead.

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Wallie Coetsee has the half-way lead at the Jo’Burg Open on Royal Johannesburg & Kensington’s West Course.

Jo'Burg Open

Wallie Coetsee / Getty Images

Wallie added a -6 under par 65 on the West course to his same score on the East yesterday to lead the Jo’Burg Open at -12 under par.

He said he was happy that there were no camera’s following him, I assume that to mean TV camera’s because we do have a picture above;

 “There were no cameras on me the whole day, so it was quite easy out there.”

“I made one stupid bogey out there on the seventh, but I enjoyed the round a lot.”

“There were a few sucker pins out there, so I went for middle green. I didn’t attack too much and just stayed calm, which paid off.”

“This is a marathon, not a race. You have to pull the horse back a bit, you can’t run too fast. We’ll let the horse loose on Sunday on the back nine.”

“For now it’s about making solid pars and keeping the battery at 100 per cent, keep it going and you’ll be ready when you need to be.”

“Leading means a lot, but tomorrow we start from level par again. I’ll just give it my best. I’m looking forward to this weekend and seeing what happens.”

South Africans have won six of the last eight Jo’Burg Open’s and Wallie has compatriots Garth Mulroy and Tjaart van der Walt just one behind at -11 under par, as well as England’s Simon Dyson.

Six-time European Tour winner Simon birdied four of his first nine holes today, before dropping his only shot of the round at the 12th. He finished with a -5 under par 67 on the East course, saying he had not played as well as he could have, but going back to his old irons has made a big difference;

“I didn’t play as well as yesterday, but I scored pretty well.”

 “I made four birdies on the front nine and I birdied the par fives,  if you get your drives away then they’re all pretty good chances.” 

“There was some luck. I got fortunate on ten. I pushed my drive down there and managed to get a shot, hit to about three feet and knocked that in, which was a bonus. “

“It was a good day and I was very happy with the score.”

“It’s been a while since I’ve been up there. I’ve been playing alright, but at the beginning of the season I changed my irons and they were costing me dearly. I didn’t have a clue how far they were going.”

“This is the first week I’ve put my old set back in the bag and all of a sudden I’m hitting it pin high again. That makes a heck of a difference.”

The leaderboard is quite compacted, there are nine players within three shots of the leader, so it will be a very interesting third round. Just to see if anyone can break away from the pack, on moving day, Saturday.