Tour Championship. Xander Schauffele Wins. FedExCup Justin Thomas Wins.

White Dragon Golf TOUR Championship FedExCup

Rookie Xander Schauffele wins the Tour Championship, Justin Thomas wins the FedExCup.

Thomas captures FedExCup

Justin and the FedExCup / getty

Justin said it was a tough day winning the FedExCup and coming second in the Tour Championship, with a final round of -4 under 66 for tournament  total of -11;

“It was a grueling day for sure.”

“It’s just huge and it’s awesome just because I feel like I played so well this year.”

“I was consistent. I mean, a lot of great weeks and great memories even. Life-changing events that just kind of ended with another kind of life-changing thing for me.”

“To just have my name on the trophy with the rest of those guys is pretty awesome.

“I was just trying to win the golf tournament and to win the FedEx Cup is a huge bonus and to now have won $10m is a weird feeling, as it didn’t come from winning the golf tournament.”

Xander and his wild ride this rookie season, winning the TOUR Championship with a final round -2 under 68 for a -12 under par total.

TOUR Championship

A Happy Xander

“This year has just been a wild ride as I somehow managed to wrangle my way from last week into the Tour Championship and it has been like I have been weasling my way around all year.”

“So, to stand here and hold the Tour Championship trophy is a real honor.”

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CIMB Classic. Its Moore On Monday.

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Ryan Moore won the inaugural FedEx Cup event in Asia, the  CIMB Classic, on Monday morning in a play-off at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and County Club.

Worth the wake up

Ryan Moore / Getty Images

Ryan had to fight hard just to get into the play-off with Gary Woodland, hitting his fourth shot to within a couple of feet from 60 yards in Sundays floodlight finish. Gary was on the green in three, with a birdie putt of about eight feet, it slipped agonizingly passed, and Ryan made his par putt.

In the play-off Ryan hit an eight iron third shot to the 18th par five green to about five feet, setting up a birdie attempt, which he duly converted. He said that he had been out practicing that exact shot out on the range before play;

 “I had a great opportunity there on 18 with my third shot and it was just an absolute perfect number. It was coincidentally the exact shot I was working on on the range. I’ve always enjoyed playing in the fall. I’m not sure why, it’s actually kind of funny, I won a week before my son was born last year; I won a week after his birthday this year. Now that it counts, now that it’s a full FedExCup event and counts as a win on the PGA TOUR, it does so much for you. To get a win this early in the season, it’s just incredible, to be able to get some FedExCup points racked up,” 

Gary was still talking about the missed opportunity on Sunday, saying in the daylight today he could see the extra break in the putt that he missed in the gloom;

“Obviously I’d like to make that putt, I hit it where I wanted to, it just broke more. I can see it now, it was a little lighter out right now, I can see it broke a little more, but it is what it is. I put a lot of hard work in, it’s been a process with the changes I’ve made, switching to Butch and his son, and it’s finally starting to come together, which is nice. I put a lot of work in on the short game, a lot of work on the middle game, and we’re starting to put it together now.”

The Barclays. Scott Steals It From Jumpy Justin.

Adam Scott was able to steal The Barclays title away from a jumpy three putt Justin Rose at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City.

Grand opening

Adam Scott / Getty Images

Adam set the clubhouse target at -11 under par after his final round -5 under par 66, and said he could not believe it;

I can’t believe it, to be honest, I just played a good round today and I came in and really didn’t think it had a chance. But obviously, things went my way a lot out there. I’m pretty shocked, there were so many guys out there with a chance and I really didn’t think I had much of a chance. If you hang around the lead long enough, you’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some. And this one went my way. I guess it’s different playing an hour-and-a-half in front of the leaders, the guys who have been under pressure all day than when you’re out there. I know how they feel. When the pressure is on you to close out, it’s much harder, and the holes become much harder and shots are far more crucial. I feel like I’ve been given a bit of a gift, but I’ll take it.”

Justin Rose was one of those players who had a great chance to win, he missed a birdie putt on 17, and followed that up with a three putt on the last. He admitted he got too aggressive;

” I got too aggressive, I thought it was a putt to win the tournament. It’s tough to take.”

Justin finished tied in second place at -10 under par with; Tiger Woods, Graeme DeLaet, and Gary Woodland. Tiger has been suffering with a bad back, apparently from sleeping on too soft a mattress at the hotel. Tiger thought he had converted his final putt, which would have put him in a play-off;

“Thought I made it, I just got off and I’m not feeling my best right now”

The top 100 in the FedEx Cup Standings go on to the next round of the play-offs in the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. Only the top 70 placed players will move on from there.

The Barclays. Kooch Is Cruising in Suspended Second Round.

Matt Kuchar, Kooch, is cruising along in the now suspended second round of The Barclays at Liberty National Golf Course in New Jersey.

Kuchar to the top

Matt Kuchar / Getty Images

Matt was top of the leaderboard in The Barclays at -10 under par, just cruising through thirteen holes when bad light halted play. Matt is now projected to take over Number one spot in the FedEx Cup standings from Tiger Woods, who is -5 under par for the tournament. Tiger is currently -1 under par in his second round, through thirteen holes.

Webb Simpson currently in second position at -9 under par, and has completed his second round, shooting a -5 under par 66. He shares second place with Gary Woodland, who fired in a -7 under par 64, to move up the leaderboard.

Matt was happy to tell us he had played some good golf, but was also relieved play was suspended because of darkness;

I’ve been playing some good golf. It was dark, it was a good thing to be able to stop now and come out tomorrow morning and conditions will hopefully be really good in the morning.”

Webb was under no illusions when he finished at -9 under par, he was aware of Matt’s ascendancy;

“A lot of guys are playing good golf and my guess is at the end of two rounds I won’t be leading because there are a lot of birdie holes.  I think my bad shots are getting better, and I’ve been putting well now for a couple months. So it’s always nice when you are having a day when you’re struggling a little bit, get the ball in the hole and make some pars. But the best test for what you’re working on is getting in contention on the weekend on the PGA TOUR. I’m excited to be in contention. Like I said, there’s a lot of golf to play. We have half the tournament done, about halfway to go, and it’s just nice to kind of be in there and have a chance I think.”

Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott have all completed their second rounds and are tied in fourth place at -7 under par.

Rickie said he was playing well, just needed more consistency;

” Every year I feel like I’ve been just kind of trying to hold on and finish off the year. This year, after missing the cut at The Open Championship, I kind of turned a corner, swinging really well. Just waiting for kind of getting some putts to drop and I was able to do that today which was nice. It’s all pretty simple, but making it a little more repeatable for myself. Been swinging really well. Hitting a lot of golf shots, and it’s kind of nice to see everything working properly. I just want to play well right now.”

Adam is keen to add the FedEx Cup to his Major win;

“I feel like I’ve played a lot of good golf and obviously winning at Augusta is huge. But I feel like I’d like to win again before the end of the season, and kind of validate all of my good play. I’m pretty happy with today’s effort, when we went out this morning, the wind was up, and the course played a lot tougher than the few holes I played yesterday. Playing 30 holes in a day is good, if you’re playing well.”

Justin Rose is also at -7 under par for the tournament, and still has four holes to in his second round.

Tiger was happy with the halt in play, it will allow him to get some treatment for his ailing back, he will need it to be in good shape to tackle tomorrows long day of play;

” I’m a little sore right now, yeah, tomorrow will be longer. With the early start and then the repairing, go back out, but I don’t think the wait will be too long tomorrow and we’ll get back out there and finish it up. I got off to a great start today and then lost it the middle part of the round and made too many mistakes. Didn’t hit any greens, consequently, made some bogeys.”

Honda Classic, Camilo Villegas,Surprise Leader,

Back on track

Camilo Villegas / Chris Condon / Getty Images

Camilo Villegas is the surprising first round leader of the Honda Classic at the PGA National Champion Course,Palm Beach Gardens, with a round of -6 under par 64. It is  four years now since his back-to-back wins in the FedEx Cup Playoffs events, when he  rose to as high as No. 7 in the world. The  31-year-old Colombian then plunged  into a slump that  was so bad that over the last 18 months he lost his card last year. Camilo won The Honda Classic in 2010 at PGA National, so he at least has that to build on. But despite the good start, he wasn’t afraid to risk ruining the day on the last hole. Even his caddie asked what he was thinking of when he was addressing a shot on the last hole;

“My caddie said, where are you going to go with this one,. And I said, I’m looking straight at that flag. And I hit a great shot.”

Tiger Woods saved his round with a shot from out of the water on the par 4, sixth hole, taking his shoes off to enter the hazard, he finished the day at even par;

“I was 1 over at the time, and if that ball is not playable from where it’s at, where I crossed was pretty far back, looking at six, three over and all of a sudden I flip it, make par there and birdie the next.”

Charles Howell 111, Chucky three-sticks,  opened with a -3 under par, 67. He has just until the end of the month to go from No. 64 to the top 50 in the World Ranking to qualify for the Masters in his hometown of Augusta.

Branden Grace,  Rickie Fowler, Graham DeLaet  and Robert Streb, are all tied in second place at -5 under par for the opening round of this tournament.

 

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Brandt Snedeker and Ted Potter Jnr tied at the top.

Another day at the Beach

Brandt Snedeker / Gross / Getty Images.

Brandt Snedeker and Ted Potter Jnr are tied at the top of the leaderboard at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Both players are at -8 under par for the tournament. Brandt shot a -4 under par 68 at Spyglass Hill, while Ted Potter Jnr had a -3 under par at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club course.

Brandt  has played so well this year that he is leading the FedEx Cup standings without having won, Brandt said of his situation;

” Keep running into guys who are or who are going to be in the Hall of Fame. That’s how you win out here, you keep putting yourself in position, and the more times you do, the more success you’re going to have. I’m doing a better job this week of making my way around the golf courses and not putting myself in bad spots and getting out of tough situations very quickly.”

Ted seems to think it is all about the bounce of the ball, sometimes good, sometimes bad;

“It’s just a funny game like that, some weeks you play really well and you get the right kicks and everything goes well. And then there are weeks you can still hit the ball well and get the bad kicks.”

Hunter Mahan, the first round leader lost a stroke on the spongy greens, he went to knock in a short bogey putt on the par-3 seventh hole when the ball moved on him.

“It just rolled over in like a heel print or something, I didn’t feel like I moved it. I didn’t feel like I had anything much to do with it moving. It’s just a rub of the green, so had to go back and take a penalty. That was frustrating, because I was hitting it so good.”

Phil Mickelson didn’t feel out of contention although he was back tied for 39th place, he is six shots behind, the same as last year when he went on to win;

“I love Pebble Beach. I’ve played well there and I’m only one good round away. If I can shoot something in the mid-60s, I’ll be right there for Sunday’s round, which is what I care about.”

Waste Management Phoenix Open, Wire to Wire Win For Phil

Never a doubt

Phil Mickleson / Martin / Getty Images

Phil Mickleson won the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale by four shots, going wire to wire for a dominating victory. Phil’s final score was -28 under par, after he rounded out his tournament with a -4 under par 67 last round. With this win Phil moved to No. 3 in the race for the FedEx Cup after earning 500 points for his victory at TPC Scottsdale. Phil said how important the win was for him;

” It’s an important one for me, because it’s been a while since I won, been a while since I’ve been in contention, I was certainly nervous heading into today. I think the thing I’m most excited about was the way I was able to regain control of my thoughts after a few shots early on that I didn’t care for. I think that sets up the tone for the rest of the year, because I really started to play well, but for me, the rest of the year took a turn on Tuesday when I got my new driver. It just changed my whole deal.”

Brandt Snedeker finished in second place with a total score of -24 under par, his last round effort of -6 under par was not quite enough to bother Phil.

Brandt said that Phil had played unbelievable golf;

Brandt Snedeker / Helen Ross PGATOUR.COM

“It was a ton of fun, to be in the last group with Phil and kind of trade birdie for birdie and make up some ground was a lot of fun. It’s what we play for. I wish I could have put some more pressure on him and got a little closer than I did today, but I think I shot 12 under par on the weekend and made one bogey. Sometimes you have to tip your hat and say Phil played unbelievable and deserved to win, and that’s kind of what this week was all about. I feel like I’m running into the Hall of Famers every week, it would be nice if they weren’t in the field and I could go ahead and go after it. It’s just tough, you know. It was fun to watch, fun to be part of, you want to win those, and hopefully I will soon.”

 

Scott Piercy finished in third place after he fired the best round of the last day, a -10 under par 61, that elevated him up the leaderboard to finish with a total of -23 under par for the tournament. Scott really liked the TPC Scottsdale greens;

“These greens were amazing, if you got it online, rolling, you made it.”