Houston Open. Beau & Poults Share 54 Hole Lead.

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Beau Hossler USA & Ian Poulter, England, share the 54 hole lead at the Houston Open and will take a two shot advantage into the final round at the Golf Club of Houston in Texas.

Hossler, Poulter share 54-hole lead

Poults / getty

Beau, -3 under par 9 today, was joined at the top of the Houston Open leaderboard by Poults who carded a bogey free -7 under 65, both players at -14 under par for the tournament.

Poults need to win here to get into the Masters next week, he reckons it’s not on his mind, he is just thinking of good putting;

“No, not thinking about it, not talking about it, I’m going to go out and have some fun tomorrow. There’s a lot of its and buts.”

“I’m in a funny position, right? I said to you guys I’ve got no expectations going out on the golf course.”

“I didn’t have any expectations, I just went out to play golf. I’m going to do exactly the same tomorrow regardless.”

“Just opened my shoulders slightly, I’ve been seeing my lines a lot easier and been rolling a few putts in.”

“So good golf has obviously been rewarded with rolling a few putts in.”

Beau will be nervous, but is comfortable with that;

“I’ll be nervous just like I always am.”

“I’ve learned at each stage of golf that I’ve played from junior golf to amateur golf to now playing professional golf that winning tournaments is difficult and it takes a level of comfortability to do that.”

Four guys are those two shots back at -12 under, Greg Chalmers, Australia, also -7 under 65 today, Emiliano Grillo, Argentina, -5 under 67, Kevin Tway, USA, -3 under 69, and Paul Dunne, Ireland with his third round of -3 under 69.

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Australian PGA Championship. Two Tied at the Top.

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There are two players tied at the top of the Australian PGA Championship at the half-way stage, Marc Leishman and Adam Bland share the honor.

Australian PGA Championship

Marc Leishman / getty

Marc made some early birdies, and was feeling comfortable, returning a second round score of -7 under par 65, to share top spot at -12 under;

“I felt really good on the range and felt good yesterday as well. I was striking the ball well and thought I would be pretty aggressive all day, especially after making birdies on the first couple holes.”.

“When you’re on a run like that and playing well, you sort of can afford to be aggressive. If you make a few mistakes, you feel like you can make some birdies.”

Adam was happy to consolidate his good start to the tournament, a -6 under 66 second round, seeing him at the top of the Australian PGA Championship leaderboard ;

“It’s always great to get off to a flying start, but if you can’t back it up in the second round or at least be thereabouts, you’re kind of just chasing your tail for the rest of the week.”

“So it was really important to get off to a good start this morning and I seemed to do that, so it was great.”

“I feel like my game, like when I’ve been playing well, it’s been good.  I just haven’t caught the momentum so I can’t get really riding it and it’s been on and off.”

“This week I’ve hit a lot of shots close, which I haven’t in previous weeks.  So I’ve had a lot of real free birdies which has been nice and birdied a few par fives today so it was great.”

Another Aussie, Greg Chalmers has third place, two shots back at -10 under par, he carded a second round -6 under 66.

Best out-of-town player was defending champion Harold Varner 111, USA, known on the circuit as HV3,  a second round of -6 under 66 got him into a tie for seventh spot at -7 under for the competition.

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Valspar Championship, A Windy Day 1and a Four-Way Tie.

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Matt Every, Danny Lee, Pat Perez and Greg Chalmers  share the first round lead at a very windy Innisbrook in the Valspar Championship.

Matt Every is one of four players tied for the lead after Round 1. (Greenwood/Getty Images)

Matt Every, one of the four. / Getty images

With early morning temperatures hovering in the mid 50’s Matt Every carded an opening round of -3 under par in the challenging conditions. He ended the day sharing that score with Danny, Pat and Greg who played in the warmer afternoon, to share top spot on the leaderboard, the highest first round total in the 14 year history of this event.

Matt admitted the conditions were so bad he would have settled for +2 over par round at the start of play;

” I would have been satisfied with 2 over today, it was tough. This morning you couldn’t feel your hands. The wind was brutal. I’ve played enough to know the first round doesn’t matter that much. This place is just going to be about not making doubles and taking yourself out of the tournament.”  

 There were only three players who broke 70 in the morning round, with the average score nearly three shots over par. Eight players broke 70 in the afternoon, and the average for the day turned out to be 72.6, only 25 players managed to break par.

Danny has gained some confidence, especially with his good finish last week, but was shocked at  the cold temps here in Florida;

“I gained a lot of confidence after last week playing with the finish in Puerto Rico. It really helped me a lot with that confidence stuff, and I’m hitting it really well right now. My ball striking is the best it’s ever been, especially with the putting. I got the new claw grip,  still working great, which is fantastic.”

“I was shocked how hard it was, without the wind and the cold weather , even we’re playing in nice weather it’s a very tough golf course.”

This going to be a very tough tournament, with more cold weather predicted for Friday morning, before the temperatures begin to rise for the week-end.

Waste Management Phoenix Open.

 

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Bubba Watson and Matt Jones share the lead at the Waste Management Phoenix Open going into the week-end at TPC Scottsdale.

On a roll

Bubba Watson / Getty Images

Bubba  dressed in  lime green shoes and an otherwise all-black outfit, played in the morning, getting the best side of the draw, he birdied his first hole. Playing early in the cooler temperature does not suit him, back is a little stiff, but he said he is exactly where he wanted to be. Happily at the top of the leaderboard after his second round of -5 under par 66, for his -12 under par total;

“Back is not as loose as you want it to be, weather is not as warm as you want it to be. But I hit a good tee shot, and then I hit my wedge in there close and I made the putt, that got me going. It’s right where I want to be going into the weekend. I had two sloppy bogeys coming down the stretch, but I will take it.” 

Matt also played a morning round, and was thankful for the opportunity to be able to shoot his second consecutive -6 under par 65 for his -12 under par;

 ” We definitely got the good side of the draw. The golf course is so different tournament week than it is when you play out here regularly. It’s a lot harder, a lot faster. The greens are a lot quicker. The pins are a lot more tucked out here. So, it’s like a new golf course when you come here for a tournament.”

Two players are tied in third place, Greg Chalmers and Harris English are at -10 under par.

Brandt Snedeker shot the low round of the day, he also started in the morning, before the wind got up. His second round score of -7 under par 64 moving up the leaderboard to be at -8 under par. Brandt put his special round down to good putting, something I love to hear;

” My putting, plain and simple. I hit the ball extra good yesterday and had some of the worst putting I had all year. Today, I kind of did the opposite.”

Phil Mickelson, the Defending Champion, recovered with a bogey free  -4 under par 67, but he is still a long way from the leaders. Phil declared he is still in the race for this title;

” I’m not totally out of it, obviously heading into the weekend, I’d like to be closer, but as we have seen in the past, there is that minus eight, nine ten, and in some cases eleven-under par round out there. My back feels great, like I said, it was a simple fix. I just don’t want to overdo it.”

Among those missing the cut here are, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood, Rickie Fowler, Retief Goosen, Ian Poulter and Keegan Bradley.

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Y.E. and Bubba Share Lead.

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Y.E. Yang and Bubba Watson share the first round lead at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, at TPC Scottsdale. I like this course.

Superb in Scottsdale

Y.E. Yang and Bubba Watson / Getty Images

Bubba said right now he is in a good spot, not too nervous, after shooting an opening round of -7 under 64;

“If you look at my career, from junior golf, to college golf, to mini tours to now the Web.com Tour, to the PGA TOUR, I got to a level and I got out of my comfort zone. I get comfortable, and then I step up a new level and I get nervous again. Hopefully I’m at a stepping-stone where I’ve learned, now if I win a few more, I get nervous again. Right now I’m in a good spot.”

“This golf course, if your ball-striking is good, you can shoot some good numbers here. Hit a lot of greens, didn’t make too many mistakes, didn’t miss too many fairways. Just played solid.”

Through an interpreter Y.E. announced he is going to be aggressive;

“I think you have to be aggressive, at the same time, you can’t be too aggressive. You have to really balance it out, but you still have to be a little bit more aggressive than other tournaments.”

There are seven players tied in third place at -6 under par, all carding first rounds of 65, they are;  Pat Perez, Kevin Stadler, Matt Jones, Harris English, William McGirt, Greg Chalmers and Chris Kirk.

Harris actually birdied Nos. 12 thru 15 to top the leaderboard at -8 under par, but then followed that with bogey’s at the par-3 16th,  the rowdy stadium hole, where he hit an 8-iron over the green on the 178-yard hole. Then the par-4 18th, he said he was a little over the top on the par 3 tee;

“I guess I was a little juiced up on that tee, I left myself with an impossible up-and-down.”

TPC Scottsdale’s favorite player, Phil Mickleson, opened with an even par round of 71, and a long way back for this favorite son.

Phil thinks the same as me, he just loves playing here;

“It’s fun to be back here, I love playing here. I wasn’t as sharp as I need to be, for sure. Playing the last five holes at three over,  that was really bad. Fifteen really stung, it was only a twelve  or fifteen footer, and I am thinking eagle. I roll it 6 feet by and I miss it coming back. That was costly. I got off to a poor start, played a couple over, and finished poorly. In the middle of the round, though, I hit a lot of good shots and had a good little run, but it just wasn’t quite sharp. I wasn’t quite focused on every shot the way I need to be and let way too many shots slide.”

Phil also reported that his troublesome back is now in fine shape;

“It’s fine, honestly, it’s no big deal, it was a five-minute fix. I just have to be careful for a week or two as it heals up. It’s fine. Mobility is back. It’s just not a big deal. It happens every now and then. Last time was about four years ago.”

Tampa Bay Championship. Kevin Streelman Triumphs

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Kevin Streelman triumphed in the Tampa Bay Championship at Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead course. Kevin beat off the challenge of the more experienced players to lift his first PGA Tour trophy.

Steely resolve

Kevin Streelman / Greenwood / Getty Images

Kevin had a  two-shot triumph at the Tampa Bay Championship, presented by EverBank, his last round of  -4 under par, 67, and a tournament total of -10 under par. He said it was all about chasing your dreams;

” It just shows you what happens with determination and hard work, keep chasing your dreams and you never know what’ll happen. It wasn’t too long ago I was in a car driving myself around, dead broke. I was at peace for most of the day, we just tried to let go of the results and try to make good swings all day. To go bogey-free on this course for the weekend is something I’m pretty proud of. To get this is the culmination of a lot of a hard work, a lot of time spent late into the evening and getting up early in the morning, it’s really a dream come true.”

Back when he was a rookie,  Kevin was invited to join Whisper Rock. Some months later, he captured the club championship;

” Went from caddie to club champion at Whisper Rock, which is a pretty cool story.”

Kevin was unaware for a time that Bo Weekley was in the clubhouse at -8 under par,  it wasn’t until the middle of the back nine, that he realized Bo was on top of the leaderboard;

“I kind of saw it at number eight, but I didn’t know if he was done yet.”

Bo Weekley finished up in second place, but had been in the clubhouse  for couple of hours after his scintillating last round of -8 under par 63. He sat and watched as the field tried to chase him down, eventually Kevin did;

” My hat’s off to Streelman, he brought it to the house and played well. First victory, I’m happy for him.”

Third place went to Cameron Tringale, his last round of -5 under par, 66, for -7 under total was good enough to squeeze him past the trio of players at -6 under.

Tied for fourth at -6 under was World number three Luke Donald, left hander Greg Chalmers, and the favorite for the title for most of the day Justin Leonard.

Tampa Bay Championship. It’s Tight at the Top.

It’s tight at the top of the Tampa Bay Championship after the conclusion of the third round at the Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead course. Kevin Streelman, Justin Leonard and George Coetzee share the lead at -6 under par.

Anyone's Sunday at Tampa Bay

Kevin, Justin and George /Chris Condon/PGA TOUR

Kevin Streelman had the best round of the day, a -6 under par third round that catapulted him to the top of the leaderboard as yesterdays leaders fell away to leave the tournament wide open.

At the start of play today Shawn Stefani held a slender one-shot lead over Aussie Adam Scott and K.J. Choi. Both Adam and K.J. fell back with third rounds of +5 over par 76s, and Shawn made the turn at +4 over par before rescuing his round by salvaging a 74 that leaves him two shots back of the leaders.

Right behind the three leaders are four players on -5 under par, they are Jim Furyk, Ben Kohles, Greg Chalmers and Tag Ridings.

Jim Furyk could have stayed at home to  handle the details for Monday’s upcoming event that benefits the charitable foundation that bears his name, along with wife Tabitha.

Jim joked;

” I really avoided all the work this week, being here. I made a couple of mistakes here and there, but I really feel like my game has gotten stronger every day. I feel more confident with the putter in my hand. I’m seeing a couple more putts go in, and I think that’s giving me confidence as well. That’s why my scores are getting better.”

Another shot back and you have the quality of World Number 3, Luke Donald making his presence felt with a bogey free -4 under par. Luke is tied at ninth position along with, Bryce Molder, Jordan Spieth, Brian Harman and Shawn Stefani.

Luke said there is a fine line between the top spot and 30th place;

” It’s a fine line between success and finishing 30th, I think a lot of my fans and myself, you know, have always expected to see me in the Top Ten, and up at the top of the leaderboard every week and sometimes golf is just not that easy. It was nice to go around this course and not make a mistake, not drop a shot, and you know, I wanted to shoot five or six under, nearly got there, a couple missed putts and didn’t birdie any par fives. Could have been a really low round today. But yeah, certainly moving in the right direction, as I said, I feel like my game has been close, and obviously starting to show with some results”

It will be a big shoot out tomorrow, and I expect one of the more experienced players to master the conditions and lift the trophy.