Italian Open. Thorbjørn Olesen Wins

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Thorbjørn Olesen from Denmark wins the Italian Open at Gardagolf Country Club.

Italian Open

Thorbjørn Olesen / getty

Thorbjørn won the Italian Open with a final round -7 under par 64, giving him the winning total of -22 under, and a one shot victory over lat weeks Wentworth winner and local favorite Francesco Molinari of Italy.

Thorbjørn captured the title with a great putt for par, on the last green;

“Unbelievable. Obviously been a little bit of a tough time for me this year.”

“To come into this Rolex Series and to do what I’ve done is amazing, especially to come from behind and win.”

“I haven’t done that in my career so far, so that was very special.”

“It was nice to hole that putt on the last and to get that feeling of holing it when it really matters.

“This is exactly what I needed. Well, it’s always what we need but right now for me it’s great.”

Francesco had to settle for second place, his last round of -6 under 65 just one short of a play-off, with a total of -21 under;

“I don’t think I could have done more, I’m very satisfied with what I did.”

“Compliments to Olesen. He played great today and yesterday and he deserved this victory. I can’t complain. I was aggressive until the end.”

Overnight leader Lee Slattery of England carded a final round -4 under par 67, to finish in third place at -20 under.

Ryder Cup vice captains Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell rolled back the years with rounds of 63 and 64 respectively to share fifth place at -17 under par.

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Italian Open. Martin Kaymer Has Half-Way Lead.

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Martin Kaymer, Germany, has the half-way lead at the Italian Open at Gardagolf Country Club.

Italian Open

Martin Kaymer / getty

Martin grabbed the 36 hole lead with a second round -8 under par 63, to post an Italian Open total of -11 under par;

“It’s been a while since I played that solid.”

“I think I was getting very close recently but that positivity was missing on the golf course because I haven’t had a lot of good results.”

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve won majors and had the situations I had at the Ryder Cup, it’s really exciting to be in a position that you can win a golf tournament again.”

Tied in second place, one shot back at -10 under par are, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Spain, -4 under 67 today, Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland, -5 under 66,   home favourite and last weeks winner Francesco Molinari, Italy, -5 under 66, Thomas PietersBelgium, -4 under 67, and  Danny Willett from England, with his -4 under 67.

Including his win at Wentworth last week Francesco has completed 80 holes without a bogey, but is trying not to think about it;

“I’m trying not to think about it.”

“In the end, it’s better to make a bogey and a few more birdies. I’m trying to stay aggressive and do my best.”

“It’s a course where a lot of people are up at the top of the leaderboard, so it’s going to be I think a bit of a birdie-fest at the weekend and I need to be ready for it.”

Sharing seventh place at -9 under are Erik Van Rooyen, Thorbjorn Olesen, Jens Dantorp and overnight co-leader Robert Rock.

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Genesis Open. Basket Case Bubba Has 54 Hole Lead.

 

White Dragon GolfGenesis Open

TV pundits called Bubba Watson a basket case, for playing in a celebrity basketball game Friday night, but Bubba came out and played great golf today to lead the Genesis Open after 54 holes at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.

Bubba pulls in front at Genesis

Bubba / getty

Two time winner here Bubba carded a third round -6 under par 65 to lead the Genesis Open at the 54 hole stage at -10 under par, and will have a one shot advantage at the start of play tomorrow;

“You’ve got to hit shots from every different angle, you’ve got to move it right to left and left to right, so it’s just fun.”

“Then the greens are the equalizer so it makes me look like I putt as good as the other guys.”

“The tougher the golf course, the more focus I have. The tougher the shot, I’ve been able to focus better.”

“When I get my mind on something, I can focus and do pretty well at the game of golf.”

“Like last night when Tracy McGrady was coming at me, I was focused on not getting hurt and I didn’t, so it worked out.”

In second place on  his own, courtesy of a 54 ft 7 inch putt on the last green is Patrick Cantlay, signing for a third round -2 under 69, and a -9 under par total;

“I feel like if I can just engage and not worry about where I am on a particular hole or what’s going on and I just engage and stay present in whatever I’m doing at that particular time, it all turns out better than what you would expect.”

“Making sure you stay present and having that confidence in yourself that if you just click in and focus, it all will be good and that’s kind of the head space I’m in.”

Four players are then tied in third place at -8 under par, Cameron Smith, Australia, with back to back bogey free rounds, today -6 under 65. He is joined by Kevin Na, -4 under 67 and Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland, -1 under 70 today.

Low round of the day came from World #1, and Defending Champion Dustin Johnson, -7 under 64, and at -6 under is only four shots off the lead, he will be a threat tomorrow.

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PGA Genesis Open. Three-Way Tie, But Round 2 Suspended.

White Dragon GolfGenesis Open

There is a three-way  tie at the top of the Genesis Open leaderboard at Riviera Country Club as darkness once again caused play to be suspended for the day. At the close of play Patrick Cantlay, Graeme McDowell and Sam Saunders share the honor.

Genesis Open

G-Mac 

Patrick, USA, -2 under 69 today, G-Mac, Northern Ireland, -5 under 66, and Sam Saunders, USA, -3 under through 15 holes, were tied at the top of the Genesis Open leaderboard with -7 under par totals, when darkness stopped play for the day at Pacific Palisades in California.

G-Mac has found some confidence in his game;

“I’m really excited to be going into the weekend of a tournament at the business end of things.”

“I’ve enjoyed the way I’ve hit it the last couple of days and I look forward to getting back at it tomorrow.”

“It’s not even about this weekend for me, it’s just about continuing to fill up the confidence tank really. That’s pretty much the only thing that’s missing with my game.”

Patrick lives in the area, but L.A’s infamous gridlock means he is staying close by in a hotel;

 “I’m staying in a hotel this week. Our place is too far away with traffic.”

 “I’m hitting it really well right now. Ball’s coming out of the middle of the clubface and it’s going where I’m looking,”

“I know the golf course really well and being here in front of the home fans and being on a golf course that I really know and like is huge. I feel really comfortable.”

Ryan Moore had fourth place to himself at -6 under, with his second consecutive round of -3 under 68.

Making  the cut will be  Phil Mickelson, even par 71 today, Jordan Spieth -1 under 70, World No. 1 and defending champion Dustin Johnson, -2 under 69.

Rory made the cut, shooting -2 under 69, Tiger will not, slumping to +5 over 76 today, the first time ever he has missed the cut at this event. He managed to find only 4 out of 14 fairways, and threw in some three putts along the way, he summed up his day;

“I didn’t really play that well today,  I knew I had to make a run on that back nine and I went the other way.”

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QBE Shootout, Steve Stricker & Sean O’Hair Win

 

White Dragon GolfQBE Shootout

Steve Stricker & Sean O’Hair win the QBE Shootout, the three round team event played at a cold at Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Florida.

 Sean Steve   / getty

The three rounds compose first a  Scramble, then  Greensomes, a modified alternate shot, and finally Better Ball. Steve and Sean completed the three rounds in -26 under par, a two shot winning margin.

Sean said it was a special win, with his friend Steve;

“This is always a great event to finish the year off with, and to pull this off is special.”

“But to do it with Steve is even that much better for me.”

“I’m a golf geek, so he’s a friend of mine, but still it’s kind of hard not to look at him and kind of put him a little bit up on a pedestal.”

Steve mentioned the second shot on the par five 17th which Sean converted for Eagle, to sew up the title;

“He played great today.”

“He hit a great shot on 17. That’s the stuff you need to do to win a tournament, and Sean pulled it off.”

“We just really gelled well together, with his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit.”

“We felt comfortable with one another.”

Sean Lowery and Graeme McDowell finished second, at -24 under, with Pat Perez and Brian Harman claiming third place at -22 under.

A lot of interest was shown to the team of Tony Finau, and LPGA star Lexi Thompson, the only lady in the field, they finished tied in a creditable 4th place at -21 under par for the three rounds. 

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Dean & Deluca Invitational. Three Tied at the Top.

White Dragon GolfDEAN & DELUCA

There are three players tied at the top of the Dean & Deluca Invitational at Colonial Country Club. in Texas, Derek Fathauer, J.T. Poston and Kelly Kraft share the honor.

Trio of 65s lead DEAN & DELUCA

Kelly Kraft / getty

Kelly, Derek and J.T. all posted first rounds of -5 under par 65 to sit on top of the Dean & Deluca leaderboard.

Kelly is happy to be in contention;

“Whenever I’m up there, I know I can hang.”

“It’s been a little bit of everywhere, I felt like whenever I’ve played well, I’ve been up there and kind of in the hunt.”

Derek relied on an old and trusted putter;

“It was ready to come out.”

“The putting has been a little stale the last couple of months, just cleaning out my downstairs room and just brought it out.”

Rookie J.T. Poston had some good ball striking;

“This is honestly one of the first rounds I feel like my ball-striking was the way it can be and should be.”

There are another three guys tied in fourth position at -4 under following their opening rounds of 66; Scott Brown, Jon Rahm and G-Mac;

People had been telling G-Mac that Colonial Country Club was a good course for his type of game;

“I’ve had guys that I look to for schedule hints and tips, guys like Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson.”

“Guys that I would sort of put my game on a similar statistical level.”

“Guys like that have been telling me for years and years I would love this place.

 

 

 

Qatar Masters. Bradley Dredge 1st Round Leader

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Bradley Dredge is the 1st round leader of the Qatar Masters, at Doha Golf Club.

Qatar Masters

Bradley Dredge / getty

Bradley, from Wales, opened his Commercial Bank Qatar Masters account with a first round -8 under par 64, to lead by one shot.

Helping Bradley to the top of the leaderboard was a good putting display;

“I’m delighted with the score today. A bit surprised, I thought I was going to hit the ball a bit better off the tee than I did but I hit a few more fairways. I putted really well.”

“I understood that today, scoring was going to be good, it was the opportunity to go at more flags and get the ball a bit closer to the hole.”

“Without the wind, it sort of makes it a lot easier to get the score going and get the putts in and get in with some sort of number.”

“I prefer it a little bit more windy. I’m a bit more used to playing the wind, I suppose.”

“I quite like it and I get used to it around here as well. It’s quite a good challenge. The greens are always firm, so it’s always tough to get the ball close to the hole.”

Mikko Korhonen, from Finland holds second place, just that one shot back at -7 under par, following his first round of 65;

“I thought I would probably have a chance today because it’s definitely the most calm day I’ve seen here.”

“I hit it pretty solid off the tee and irons as well. I didn’t make too many mistakes. I hit it in the rough a couple of times and it’s not easy.”

“I’d have to say, it’s more difficult than past years. I made a few putts, a few long ones and didn’t miss any short ones. That’s basically it.”

 Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thailand, Nathan Kimsey, England, and Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland, are all tied in third place at -6 under par, with rounds of 66.