Franklin Templeton Shootout. Matt & Harris Win.

White Dragon GolfFranklin Templeton Shootout

Matt Kuchar and Harris English win the Franklin Templeton Shootout at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida.

Kuchar, English win Franklin Templeton Shootout

Harris English, Tournament host Greg Norman, and Matt Kuchar / getty

Matt and Harris Eagled the par five 17th, which gave them the a one shot advantage heading down the last, they held on to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout with a Better Ball last round of -7 under par 65, and a tournament total of -28 under par.

Matt spoke of the Titanic battle that went on all day;

“It was back and forth all day, we got off to a nice start, but we knew the battle was on when Jerry eagled the first.”

Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker were second, at -27 under, they also had a final round -7 under 65.

Third place went to Charlie Hoffman and Billy Horschel, shooting -11 under par 61 in the last round, for a -26 under par total.

 

Franklin Templeton Shootout. Matt & Harris Take Over at the Top.

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Matt Kuchar and Harris English take over the top of the Franklin Templeton Shootout leaderboard at -21 under par at the end of the second round in Florida.

Kuchar, English pull ahead

Matt Kuchar / getty

The second round consisted of Modified Alternate Shot,  Each player hits a drive on every hole and one drive is selected. The player whose drive is NOT selected hits the second shot, and they alternate shots until the ball is holed.

That format suited Matt and Harris, -6 under par 66 today, they have a unique team;

“It’s a unique pairing that way and there’s a decent rivalry, but I think both of us look at it as more respecting each other’s game.”

“We have very similar laid back, easygoing personalities. Just kind of we let that bit slide and just try to play some good golf together.”

“Nice to have a one-shot lead, but that’s no great cushion against guys like Stricker and Kelly that can really do some scoring.”

First round leaders Jerry and Steve are just one shot back at -20 under par, -4 under 68 today, to be in second place.

Jerry explained why they were behind the leaders, length off the tee;

“He was 50 yards past me.”

Steve added;

“There’s just a lot of offense on that team.”

Charles Howell 111 and Rory Sabbatini -3 under 69 today, are tied in third position with Kevin Chappell and Kevin Kisner, -4 under 68, both teams at -16 under par.

The final round tomorrow is  Better Ball, where each player plays through every hole using his own ball.

The player whose score is the lowest on each hole will be the team score for that hole.

 

Franklin Templeton Shootout. Jerry & Steve Lead.

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Jerry Kelly & Steve Stricker lead after the first round of the Franklin Templeton Shootout  at Tiburon Golf Club, Florida.

Franklin Templeton Shootout

Jerry & Steve / getty

Each player hits a drive on every hole and the best drive is selected. Each player then plays a second shot from the spot where the selected drive lays, and the best second shot is selected. This process is repeated until the hole is completed.

Steve Stricker returned to golf from a long layoff,  to team up with Jerry Kelly and take the first-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout with a Scramble of -16 under par.

Steve said it was a great team effort;

“It was just a great team effort today, we both played well. We both kept the pedal down all the way around, we never let up.”

“We made a lot of good birdies, threw in an improbable eagle at the sixth hole, but other than that, it was just good, solid golf all the way around, all the way to the end.”

“Usually we have little hiccups here and there or a little lull period, and today that never happened. We just continued that good play every hole really.”

Jerry said it is really about rolling in the putts;

“We know everybody’s going to get in the fairway and get on the green in this format, so it’s really rolling in the putts.”

“I just need to do my job and hit solid putts, so he can see where the line is and make it like he does.”

Harris English and Matt Kuchar are in second place with a -15 under par total.

Charles Howell 111 teamed up with Rory Sabbatini, to claim third place at -13 under par.

Charles spoke about the old boys at the top;

“I think both of their biggest concern is that they have a big enough wheelbarrow for the Senior Tour.”

“They’re going to need some good tires and make sure they last the whole year.

 

CME Group Championship. Lydia Leads.

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Lydia Ko, the world number one lead the CME Group Championship after 36 holes in Florida, in the Race to the CME Globe.

CME Group Championship

Lydia Ko / getty

Lydia shot a record breaking -10 under par 62 to vault to the top of the CME Group Championship leaderboard, and will have a three stroke advantage over the field going into the week-end.

Lydia had been working with coach David Leadbetter, he showed her a video of her first hole in one, that was the catalyst to fire up her inspiration;

“Brings back a lot of great memories. Even though that moment I really didn’t expect to make a hole-in-one. I got so close so many times. To know my first hole-in-one would be at the Olympics, it was something I couldn’t have ever dreamt of.”

“To see that swing, you know, I was hitting the ball really well at the Olympics. It gave me all the positive thoughts.”

“I hit the ball pretty well yesterday. He said, I think we only need a few minutes and we’ll be okay.”

“I think hopefully that will give me good momentum going into the weekend.”

“I mean, I started off kind of average yesterday, but I was able to fight back. I think that gave me good momentum going into today.”

“For me to win player the year I know I need to win this championship.”

“ A lot of things come with that.”

Tied in second place at -9 under are, Ryann O’Toole, -5 under 67 today, and So Yeon Ryu -4 under 68.

So Yeon changed her putting attitude;

“I actually like judge myself to, ‘Oh, the bad putter. I’m bad putter.’ Then all of a sudden somehow I was able to switch my mind to, ‘Okay, I’m great putter. I’m not a bad putter.’

“Then after my change my attitude I feel more comfortable to be on the putting green.”

“So Yeon, when you’re on the putting green you just think this green is yours. You can actually communicate with the green and do everything great on the green.”

“So I started to have this attitude on the green and then I am playing well right now.”

Ryann also has a charged up attitude;

“You see someone up at the top and you go, Okay, I can do it. I’m not going to let them beat me kind of thing.”

“If you’re playing well and the game is there, it’s a lot easier to have that mentality. Sometimes chasing can kill you if you’re not striking it well or anything like that.”

“Then you’re getting a head of yourself, yeah, this is comfortable zone for her.”

“At the same time, who is more hungry? I think I’m going to kind of go with that. Who wants it?”

Yesterdays leader Shanshan Feng went backwards today, +1 over par 73, to slip down the table at -5 under and T 16.

 

CME Group Tour Championship. Shanshan Feng, Fantastic Form.

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Shanshan Feng is in fantastic form as she leads the CME Group Tour Championship after round one in Naples, Florida.

CME Group Tour Championship - Round One : News Photo

Shanshan shot -6 under par 66 in the first round of the  CME Group Tour Championship, to top the leaderboard by one shot;

“Well, I’m normally a pretty good ball-striker, but I’m not one of the longest hitters. For me it would be hard to really stop the balls on these greens.”

 “But, I mean, I think the pin positions are still like reasonable. Like it’s not like maybe three yards over the water or over the bunker. It still gives us room to actually land it in the certain spot and have a birdie chance.”

Second place is shared by Charley Hull and So Yeon Ryu, both at -5 under after their opening rounds of 67.

So Yeon is focusing on every shot;

“So what I learned through that is I just rather more focus to like imagination. You know, just keep imagine how the ball going to fly and what shot I am going to hit instead of where is my hand going to be, my wrist.”

 “So I think you I was really struggle all year this year, but that was the biggest thing I was learn back then. I think that study was really very helpful.”

Charlie is just back from holiday, and is seeking her first LPGA Tour win;

“I always play well when I come back from holidays and stuff as well.”

“Because I don’t play well when I play too many weeks on the course because mentally I’m not there.”

“If I like,  even if I have four weeks off, I would rather have four weeks off than play four, five weeks.”

“Yeah, because when I play too much golf I kind of;  I don’t concentrate. I kind of get; I can’t explain it.” Mentally tired. If I’m back home I’m kind of refreshed.”

There are then seven ladies at -4 under par, and tied for fourth place.

World number one Lydia Ko is at -2 under, with round of 70.

Race

Coats Golf Championship. Ha Na Wins Maiden Tour Victory.

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Ha Na Jang wins the Coats Golf Championship in Florida, her maiden LPGA Tour victory.

Coats Golf Championship

Ha Na and her first LPGA Trophy / Getty Images

Ha Na crammed everything into her maiden LPGA Tour victory at the Coats Golf Championship, including an Albatross. A final round of even par 72 for a -11 under par tournament total was good enough to claim her first win on tour, and a wire to wire win at that. The final putt was followed by a big fist pump celebration, which was admired by Lydia Ko;

“Yeah, I’ve never seen that before. I don’t know how anyone can beat that. It was almost kind of like James Hahn’s Gangnam Style a few years ago.”

“But no, that’s a pretty cool ceremony. I don’t know who would think of that. But yeah, obviously she loves doing it to celebrate, and you can see by her fist pumps during the round, too.”

Ha Na spoke about the celebration;

“I tried on No. 12 on the tee, and after the shot, and I tried like this, and some people were like, ‘You’re really funny, your swing!’”

 “Okay, I’ll try it at Ocala in tournament, so it’s no problem, yeah.”

Brooke M Henderson, from Canada, was in second place on her own at -9 under par, she also carded a final round of even par.

Third position was shared between In Gee Chun, Sei Young Kim and world #1 Lydia Ko, all at -7 under par for the competition.

In Gee was -2 under today, Sei Young -1 under, but Lydia carded a last round +3 over par 75, to drop out of contention.

Lydia bemoaned putts not dropping;

“I feel like during the middle of today’s round I didn’t hit the ball very well.”

 “Overall I’ve been striking the ball really good even in the rain today, so that’s a positive, and I feel like I’m stroking the ball well with the putter.”

“Not many dropped, but that’s another thing.”

 

 

Coats Golf Championship. Round 3 Suspended Due to Darkness. Lydia and Ha Na Lead.

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Lydia Ko and Ha Na Jang lead the Coats Golf Championship, as darkness duly suspended round 3 in Florida.

Coates Golf Championship

Lydia & Ha Na / Getty Images

Lydia and Ha Na are tied at the top of the Coats Golf Championship as darkness brought round three to an early end. Both ladies have tournament totals of -7 under par, with Lydia completing six third round holes, carding one birdie, and Ha Na at even par though her six holes.

In the late gloom of the day,  Lydia backed off a putt, because she was not sure if the ball had moved, and having been caught before in that situation the rules had to be confirmed;

“Yeah, I wasn’t sure because it’s obviously getting a little dark, and with the steepness of the greens, you never know if it does move or not, and I kind of was hovering over it going back and forth, so I don’t know if that action was making it look like it moved or not.”

 “The rules, we cleared everything, so now I can just go to bed and have a good dinner and come out here early, but this happened to me last year at this tournament, the second round or something, and it happened at KPMG, too, so I just wanted to clarify it so it wouldn’t be a problem tomorrow.”

Five ladies are tied in third position at -6 under par, with none of them having completed their third rounds; Kim Kaufman, Sei Young Kim, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda and Haru Nomura.

Kim Kaufman knew it was going to be a long haul today;

“We knew it was going to be long, and we were ready for that. It was kind of the same thing we did last year.”

“We knew early it was going to be kind of a fight, and then with about seven holes left this morning, I thought, okay, let’s make some birdies, and we just continued that in the afternoon.”

“I just played well, started to hit my irons really well.”

Lexi got up early, played a couple of holes, and then sat around waiting to start again;

“It was just an early wake-up call to play two holes and then wait around until 3:00 p.m. to warm back up.”

“But it is what it is, you can’t control the weather, and I just tried to make the best of it on the holes that I did play.”

Jessica said it was hard to try and plan your day;

“It’s just hard to time out your day.”

“I think we came back out and played two and a half holes this morning and then had most of the afternoon, morning off and then back to play six holes.”

“So I think just timing it all and keeping your energy levels up has been a little bit of a challenge.”

It will be a marathon day tomorrow with the leaders having to play 30 holes to complete the tournament, it will be survival of the fittest, depending on the weather of course.