New Zealand Women’s Open. Lydia Leads.

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World #1 Lydia Ko leads the New Zealand Women’s Open at Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch.

New Zealand Women's Open

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

 

 

Lydia carded a second round of -5 under par 67 to take a one shot lead in defence of her New Zealand Women’s Open title, with a 36 hole total of -8 under par.

In second place at -7 under par is Justine Dreher, a second round -3 under par 70 keeping her in touch of the leader.

Three ladies are sharing third position, all at -6 under for the tournament, Pamela Pretswell, -2 under 70 today, Emily Kristine Pedersen, -6 under 66, and Nanna Koerstz Madsen, -4 under 68 for the second round.

AT&T Pebble Beach. Sung Kang In Dreamland, Tied at the Top.

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Sung Kang, from South Korea, is in dreamland as he tied for top spot on the AT&T Pebble Beach leaderboard.

Sung Kang carded nine birdies and an eagle on Friday. (Josh Hedges/Getty Images)

Sung Kang / Getty Images

Sung shot an amazing record breaking second round of -11 under par 60 at Monterey Peninsula, to share the AT&T Pebble Beach lead at that score. He admitted before  arriving in America he had never heard of his amateur partner, Ray Romano, not sure if Ray could see the funny side of that. He had not heard of Sung either, but will be sure to remember him after today.

Sung admitted he felt like he was in dreamland, he could not remember how many birdie putts he made, and those he could not read Fluff Cowan put him right;

“I feel like I’m living a dream right now.”

“Too many to count, it was just going in every single time, I still thought the par was 72,”

“One of my buddies came up and said, `Oh, you’re with Ray. He’s very famous.”

“I did some research on it. I Googled Ray and he was like on a really famous TV show for six or seven years. He gets like almost a third more earnings from TV drama show.”

“I think he’ll remember me after today.”

With Sung at the top at -11 under par is Hiroshi Iwata, from Japan, he posted another round of 66, this time at Pebble Beach.

Sharing third place are Phil Mickelson, -6 under 65 today at Monterey, Freddie Jacobson, -3 under 69 at Spyglass and Chez Reavie -2 under 70 at Pebble, all of them at -10 under for the tournament.

Phil needed  only 11 putts on the front nine at Monterey, and had thoughts of a 59, the back nine though was more modest;

“I thought I was going to shoot a lot lower than I did.”

“I didn’t expect to play 1 over coming in. But I’m not going to complain because I made a lot of good putts on the front.”

Justin Rose is next, in 6th place at -9 under par after his -3 under 68 at Monterey, he initially thought the greens were harder here at Monterey, but had to change his assessment when hearing of Sung’s bogey free 60;

“The greens are obviously perfect.”

World #1 Jordan Spieth is still struggling, -3 under 69 at Monterey leaving him way off the pace at -4 under par;

“I’m one under on the par fives, and from where I’ve been, they have pretty much all been par fours for me.”

“So it almost feels like I’m playing them seven over.”

 

Tshwane Open. Anthony Michael Leads

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Anthony Michael leads the Tshwane Open topping the leaderboard by two shots after 36 holes,  at Pretoria Country Club in South Africa.

Tshwane Open

Anthony Michael / Getty Images

Anthony carded -1 under par 69 second round in tough conditions at the Tshwane Open, to lead the tournament by two shots going into the weekend. Making some clutch putts kept his nose in front of the pack;

“It was a bit tough out there today. The greens were a little bit firmer, the breeze was a little bit tricky so I’ll definitely take that 69.”

“I left a couple out there but made a few clutch putts so it was definitely steady putting.”

“The breeze caught me out a bit and club selection off the tee boxes was what really got me today so I’ll just get focused for tomorrow.”

“I’ll just stay in the moment, stay in the present.”

Charging up the leaderboard was Charl Schwartzel, firing a bogey free second round -6 under par 64, giving him a -5 under total after yesterdays miserable +1 over opening round.

Tshwane Open

Charl Schwartzel / Getty Images

He said today was frustrating, missing so many 6ft putts, and still shoot 64;

“I’m very, very pleased with the way I hit the golf ball today, it was a massive improvement to a few months ago.”

 

“I hit it beautifully today, had so many chances and the course is playing really difficult, it wasn’t easy.”

“I didn’t putt very well today, but I hit the ball beautifully.”

“The greens are very difficult to read, and I didn’t hit a lot of bad putts but it’s frustrating when you miss six-footers and still shoot 64.”

Sharing third place is the first foreigner, American  Daniel Im, -2 under 68 today, Joburg Open winner Haydn Porteous, -4  under 66, and another South AfricanTheunis Spangenberg, +1 over 71. These guys are all at -4 under par for the competition.

Play was halted late in the day due to darkness, but the players with rounds to complete can not change the top of the leaderboard.

New Zealand Women’s Open. Nicole Broch Larsen Leads

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Nicole Broch Larsen, from Denmark, leads the New Zealand Women’s Open after the first round at  Clearwater Golf Club on the South Island in New Zealand.

 New Zealand Women’s Open

Nicole Broch Larsen / Getty Images

Nicole a first round -6 under par 66 to lead the New Zealand Women’s Open by one shot. She said afterwards that playing in front of large crowds does not bother her, and she expects Lydia Ko to chase her down;

“I have been in contention quite a bit the past couple of years and since I broke through for my first win I feel much more comfortable with the crowds and playing in the leading groups.”

“When she’s not on the leaderboard, you wait for her to come there, I’m sure she’ll be up there at the weekend.”

French rookie Justine Dreher has second place all to herself at -5 under par after her opening effort of 67.

Tied in third position are Gwladys Nocera and Pamela Pretswell, both recording first rounds of -4 under par.

Defending champion, and World #1 Lydia Ko is sharing 5th place with another Kiwi, Cathryn Bristow, both ladies at -3 following their rounds of 69.

Lydia struggled with her putting today;

“If I have a good read then I need to put a good stroke on it.”

“There were question marks in my head when I went to hit the putt.”

“You need to be right there to put a good stroke on it. I doubted myself a little bit and got angry in some sense.”

AT&T Pebble Beach. Chez Reavie Has 1st Round Lead.

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The AT&t Pebble Beach is in full swing at Spyglass HillMonterey Peninsula and Pebble Beach, with Chez Reavie leading after the 1st round.

Chez Reavie shot 8-under 63 to take the first round lead at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Chez Reavie / Getty Images

Chez fired a first round -8 under par 63 at Monterey Peninsula to lead the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro/Am tournament.

Chez said it was all down to great putting;

“My ball striking seems to be pretty consistent, so if I can get that putter hot, I can make a lot more birdies.”

“Even on days I putt well, I still don’t make as many putts as I made today.”

Sharing second place at -7 under par are Freddie Jacobson 65 at Pebble Beach, Cameron Smith and Bronson Burgoon, both with rounds of 64 at Monterey Peninsula.

Bronson spoke about good putting, and the guys who usually back him;

“I hit it good and I putted it well, it was really good.”

“I have a few buddies that have me on their fantasy golf team. They have been getting on me every week because I haven’t been doing anything.”

“So hopefully they picked me again. Golf’s a finicky game, so you never know.”

There is a whole bunch of players at -6 under par, including Justin Rose, who was playing the tougher Spyglass Hill in this tournament the first time, he liked it, and also the impromptu singing performance of his amateur partner Justin Timberlake, and the horde of female followers he had;

“There’s some strong holes on it, and I heard some strange reports about Spyglass, like the first few holes are great, then it disappears into the hills and it’s not that good.”

“That’s not what I saw. That’s a pretty stellar golf course to me and really enjoyed playing it.”

“Didn’t really know what to expect,but I’m very happy to have that score under my belt. Hope I can build on that the rest of the week.”

“That was a cool moment, not many people saw it, because there was only like 20 people back there. That’s obviously when you really appreciate how someone can grab a guitar, go a cappella and sound so awesome.”

“You have a better appreciation. You see him hit not maybe so many great golf shots, but then you realize, `Ah, that’s pretty damn special right there.’ So we all have our own skill set.”

“Never seen a demographic like that on a golf course, everyone was under 21 and 80 percent female.”

Phil Mickelson, -4 under 69 at Spyglass, made an error in changing his driver, and had some efforts off the tee that were not good;

“Some shots I didn’t care for.”

“Like an idiot, I switched drivers.”

Everyone has to play all three courses, so it will be a couple of days before we can see who is really in contention.

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Hideki Beats Rickie In Play-Off

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Hideki Matsuyama beat Rickie Fowler in a play-off for the Waste Management Phoenix Open title at TPC Scottsdale.

Waste Management Phoenix Open

Hideki Matsuyama / Rob Schumaker

Hideki, from Japan, and Rickie went through a play-off lasting four holes, 18 twice, then 10 and the last was 17,  where Rickie made bogey to end the contest.

 

Both players had finished the Waste Management Phoenix Open with -14 under par totals, and both of them carded -4 under par 67 in the final round, forcing them into the play-off.

Rickie had his whole family out in support, plus of course the partisan galleries, and Hideki was aware of who they wanted to win;

“They were for Rickie, weren’t they?”

 “I’d say 99 percent of the gallery were cheering hard for Rickie. That gave me the motivation to go out and do it.”

“Even after the 15th  it didn’t look very good, and then Rickie opened the door for me and I was able to walk through it. It feels really good.”

Rickie got all emotional after the loss;

“I mean, the hard part is having, you know, all my friends and family and grandpa and my dad who haven’t seen me win.”

 “I’ll be all right. With how good I’m playing, I know I can win. That’s the hard part.”

Harris English was in third place, at -12 under par for the tournament, two off the pace set by the leaders.

Danny Lee faltered in the last round, shooting +2 over par 73 to end his hope of lifting the trophy, returning a final total of -11 under par, and fourth spot on his own.

Phil Mickelson could only manage a last round of even par, and T11, no barnstorming finish from him, the putter was not working;

“I tried on the front nine to get to some of these pins, and I kept short-siding myself and shot 1 over, and realized you just can’t force it out there.”

” It didn’t help that his putter cooled after a hot, six-birdie third round. He made 125 feet of putts on Saturday, and less than half of that (58 feet) on Sunday, when he needed 31 putts, his high for the week.”

“I hit a lot of good shots, I didn’t shoot the number this week probably that I felt I could, or should, but I feel my game is right where I want it.”

 

Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Danny Willett Wins.

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Danny Willett wins the Omega Dubai Desert Classic  at Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Danny Willett / Getty Images

Danny won the  Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a last round -3 under par 69, and a tournament total of -19 under par.

Danny was over the moon with this hard fought one shot win, and a much needed birdie at the last. This result could put him in the top 15 of the World Rankings;

“I’m ecstatic, you can’t buy that feeling, coming down the back nine, the last three holes, in contention in a golf tournament.”

It’s something that you can’t pay for in life. You’ve got to earn it.”

“Coming down the last with all the situations that were going on. It’s just nice to know that I can dig deep there and produce.”

“You’d love to win by five or six every time you win, but when you win in that fashion, it does feel that little bit extra special.”

“It’s a relatively daunting last hole. I needed to make a four to win. So I’m just delighted with how I dug deep and found it.”

Sharing second place were Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Andy Sullivan, with -18 under par totals . Andy with a final round -4 under 68 and Rafa -3 under 69. This the second time in succession that Rafa has placed second, he will surely win soon.

Andy acknowledged Danny making that last putt to win, after he had just made his birdie putt to catch him;

“Fair play to Dan, holing that putt, that was a tough putt.”

“When you hole that putt on the last, you feel you’ve given yourself a sneaky chance. But Dan is a quality player and you expect him to step up, and he did.”

Rafa was satisfied with being second again, but the win would have been nice;

“Finishing second again, it’s a great position. It’s been a fantastic tournament.” 

“I played really well and I’m proud of myself.”

“I’m obviously disappointed I didn’t get to win, but I know that playing like this, it’s around the corner.”

Byeong-hun An and 2011 champion Alvaro Quiros both finished with rounds of -7 under par 65, for -16 under totals, to be three behind the winner, and T4.

Rory McIlroy joined them at -16 under also carding one of the low rounds of the day at -7 under par 65, he finally came to life eventually finishing T6 with Henrik Stenson.

Rory admitted he made too many mistakes;

“It’s sort of a week of what could have been, there was a lot of really good golf in there.

“I played a lot of great shots and made a lot of birdies, but just made a few too many mistakes.”