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LPGA. Lotte Championship. Awesome Angela Extends Lead.

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An awesome third round from Angela Stanford saw her extend her lead in the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

Angela Stanford / Getty

Angela compiled at third round of -5 under par 67 to extend her lead to four shots, with her total of -13 under par, at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Hawaii.

She said afterwards that she was happy to have picked up three birdies early on, when the wind was not quite as strong as it became later in the day;

“I didn’t think the wind was blowing as hard when we started, so it was kind of nice to get out there and get a little bit of a rhythm. It really picked up on the back. So it got tough towards the end just because it was windy and it started to become a really long round. But for the most part, my putter was great again, so that was a lot of it.”

“I just like some of these holes and I think every golfer will tell you, when you play different golf courses, there are some holes you like and some you don’t. I’m fortunate that the ones I like are grouped together, so that’s fine, nice. The ones I don’t like are kind of bookends.”

Sharing second place, and now four strokes adrift are, Michelle Wie and Hyo Joo Kim, both at -9 under par for the tournament.

Local favorite Michelle admitted to missing a few shots on the course today;

“Yeah, left a couple of shots out there today, but I have one more day and hopefully tomorrow I’ll make a lot of birdies and catch up to her. It’s going to be fun tomorrow. Ideally going into tomorrow I wouldn’t want to be this far behind. I think it’ll make it more interesting tomorrow. Just go out there and try to make some birdies early on and see what I can do.”

Hyo Joo Kim had set herself a target of a top ten finish here, and has not changed her mind;

“I’m not going to change my goal today or tomorrow, the top ten is still my goal, but anything I know where I am now and anything that happens from this point on, and if I finish better than top ten, that is a bonus and I will have a good time.”

In fourth place on her own at -8 under par is Cristie Kerr, rookie Amy Anderson, top-ranked Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu were tied for fifth place at -6 under par.

LPGA Lotte Championship. Angela Shoots Eight Under.

dragon logo darkAngela Stanford has taken the lead at the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii, shooting eight under par 64 at the Ko Olina Golf Club.

Angela Stanford

Angela Stanford / Getty Images

Angela takes a one shot lead into the third round following her remarkable -8 under par 64 second round. She said the low round was long overdue, and the putting made the difference;

I guess it’s been a while, I can’t really remember. It was nice to have today because I’ve had these stretches where I’ve played good in a round and then I’ll make a bogey or two and kind of lose my focus. So it was nice when I had a couple long par putts to make or when I had to get up and down, I did. It was nice to be in that zone all day.”

“But today was about putting, finally I got comfortable on these greens and it felt great. I mean, to see that the ball go in that much is a lot of fun. It was nice to see. I needed a round like that. I think it’s more about putting, I hate to admit this, but I don’t always control my trajectory on purpose. It just kind of happens. When I start getting into the wind, and I’ve talked about this with my instructor, for some reason my body just starts moving into the ball more and I tend to keep it lower. It may just be growing up in Texas and that is how you grow up playing golf.

Just one shot behind is Michelle Wie, she carded a second round of -5 under par 67, for tournament total -7 under par. Michelle was still talking about the wind;

“It was still windy but not crazy windy as it was yesterday afternoon, I’ll take five under par. I knew I could have made a couple more birdies out there on the last couple of holes, but I’ll take it. I think Duncan, my caddie, did a really good job on course management. I think we there’s a lot tucked pins today. You kind of played it safe on a couple, made some putts. Then I think it was just good course management.”

There are four Ladies tied in third spot at -6 under par, Inbee Park, Cristie Kerr, Hyo Joo Kim and So Yeon Ryu are all still very much in this competition.

Cristie commented on her bogey-free -6 under par 66;

“It was like a slow buildup the whole day, I was really determined. I just wanted to keep the momentum going. I was very focused today”

Hyo Joo Kim thought she was going to put together a really good round, but somehow lost confidence. Good putting helped;

 “I start out good but as I progressed, I lost confidence.  I expected it to be a better round today, but it turned out to be worse. But I’m doing all right. I plan to have birdies all the time, whenever I have a chance. You know, it’s windy outside so that’s a big factor. I like the putting that I performed today.”

Champions Tour. Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Brilliant Bernhard Back in the Winners Circle.

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Brilliant Bernhard Langer is back in the winners circle, winning the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii.

Back in the winner's circle

Bernhard Langer / Getty Images

Bernhard shot a beautiful final round of -8 under par 64 on the Hualalai Golf Course to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship title by three shots with his tournament score of -22  under par.

Bernhard was extremely pleased with his win;

“It’s a new year and my goal was to get over the hurdle and win as soon as possible. I’m very pleased and extremely blessed to play golf like this. To be 22 under doesn’t happen very often.”

Fred Couples and Jeff Sluman finished tied in second place at -19 under par. Jay Haas was in fourth spot alone on -17  under par.

Jeff  was making his 80th consecutive senior start, he has been among the tour’s top-20 money winners the last five years. All but one of his five birdies came from inside 6 feet, due to great iron play. He finished the last round with a -7 under par 65, with a -19 under par total;

“My iron shots were pretty bueno on those.”

Fred was looking for his 10th Champions win and second in a row, he had a -5 under par 67 last round to also finish at -19 under par.

 The seniors play here again Sept. 18-21 in the Champions Tour Pacific Links Hawaii Championship at Kapolei.

Champions Tour. Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Freddie and Bernhard Lead

 

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 Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer are tied atop the leaderboard of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii.

 

 

After two days of pristine conditions on the Hualalai Course Fred and Bernhard are tied at the top of the leaderboard at -14 under par. Fred carded a second round of -8 under par 64 while Bernhard signed for -7 under par 65.

Fred commented about what he called crazy scoring;

” The scores here are crazy every year, to be honest, the only time I pay attention is Sunday when I’m done. There is definitely frustration, especially because I was leading almost every week at some point. I’m ready for more wins, hopefully.”

Mark O’Meara was just one stroke back of the leaders at -13 under par for the tournament. Mark was – 7 under par after seven holes and finished with a second round of 65.

David Frost , has pulled into contention with a -8 under par 64. David marvelously one-putted 10 times,  and shares fourth place with Jeff Sluman and Steve Elkington at -12 under par.

The final round will be a good contest, a tightly packed leaderboard and good weather conditions will make low scoring very possible.

Sony Open. Brian Blazes Trail,

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Brian Stuard blazes a trail at the top of the leaderboard at the Sony Open  at the wonderful Waialae Country Club course in Hawaii.

Brian Stuard / Getty Images

Brian  finished off his second round with an Eagle, using a hybrid 3-iron into 2 feet on the par-5 ninth hole for a -5 under par 65. Back to back 65′s have given Brian a -10 under par tournament total, a one shot lead going into the week-end.

Brian said he feels comfortable on the greens;

“I think it’s something to do with the greens, I feel comfortable on the greens. I feel like I read them pretty well and I’m able to make putts.”

Second place belongs to Aussie Marc Leishman and Japanese Hideto Tanihara, both players one shot adrift of the lead at -9 under par. Marc with a smooth second round -6 under par 64, and Hideto carded a -5 under par 65.

Marc also had an Eagle on the ninth hole, and said it has out him right into the mix;

 “They’re the sort of things that really turn an average round into a good one, or a good one into a great one. It was nice to shoot six under and get myself right in it.”

Harris English, at -8 under par for the tournament is alone in fourth position, while Jason Kokrak is one of the six players at -7 under par.

Jason admitted he had done little practice, but was pleased with how it is going

“I’m keeping the ball in play, keeping the ball in front of me, I’m pleased with where I’m at right now. I’m going to have to make a few more putts. I didn’t do a whole lot of practicing this offseason, so I’m just kind of playing my way into some good play this week.”

Keeping Jason company on -7 under par are, Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker, Chris Kirk, Sang-Moon Bae and Chris Stroud.

Surprisingly missing the cut is Jordan Spieth, he was on the verge of getting to -2-under par at the turn, until carelessly missing a four foot birdie putt. He followed that mistake with a tee shot out of bounds on the next hole, and never recovered.

Apart from all that Jordan said he putted well;

“The funny thing is, I putted better this week than last week.”

Sony Open. Sang-Moon Bae has 1st Round Lead

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Sang-Moon Bae carded a -7 under par 63 to take a one-shot lead in the opening round of the Sony Open in Hawaii at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

 

Sang-Moon Bae / Getty Images

Sang-Moon Bae leads the way at the Sony Open in Hawaii with opening round of 63, giving him a one-shot lead over Chris Kirk. The pair were together all Thursday morning, playing in the same group and taking the top two spots on the leaderboard. Chris taking second spot alone with his -6 under par 64.

Chris admired Sang-Moon’s lightening start, but was happy to catch up on the back nine;

“He was off to a great start, at one point he was four under and I was still two over. It took some catching up for me on the back nine. But it’s always nice to see putts falling.”

Sang-Moon said he had played well the week before, but had trouble reading the greens, but practice makes perfect, he arrived here early and worked hard;

“I think I played well last week, but really tough greens, very hard to read. I couldn’t read any right-to-left putts, any putts,  so I missed a lot of puts last week. But this course is more shorter than last week, so easy read, and I can make good speed, too. I practiced a little bit and I had fun, go to beach, go swim, everything. I like it here.”

Sharing third place at -5 under par are Brian Stuard and Ryan Palmer, but the leaderboard is tightly packed so anything could happen. It is exciting to be able to watch it all unfold. The next group all at -4 under, seven of them, includes Retief Goosen and Big John Daly.

Big John, who has recovered from elbow surgery commented;

“The arm feels good, the greatest thing is, I can hit three-quarter shots again, I haven’t done that in six years. That was my bread and butter; that was my game. I need a little more practice. I’m rusty,”

There are then twelve players recording -3 under par.

The defending champion Russell Henley played Wednesday in the Pro-Am, but food poisoning stopped him in his tracks on the 11th hole. Two trips to the hospital for IV fluids and medicine helped Russell make  his opening round 12:20 p.m. tee time. His +3 over  par 73 opening round didn’t come close to the 63 he fired off in last year’s final round.

Russell said he was still not feeling good;

“I’m not operating at 100 percent, I’m feeling a lot better than yesterday, but I made two bad swings, two really bad holes. Other than that, I played a pretty decent round, a couple putts didn’t fall. I think I’ll be feeling good tomorrow and hopefully will play well.”

Would love to know what Sea Food Restaurant he was at, and I bet they are praying that he does not mention them.

Two Tournaments in Two Weeks in Hawaii; Seem Like Heaven to You ?

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Logo ImageDoes two tournaments in two weeks in Hawaii seem like heaven to you ? Well it apparently does not suit everyone.Twelve of the thirty players who teed it up at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course have opted to miss next weeks Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, a short island hop away.

2012 SOIH winner Russell Henley

Russel Henley, last years winner / Stan Bedz PGA

Last years winner Russel Henley carded  26 birdies against only two bogeys during the tournament, the only real defense the Waialae Country Club has is the wind. If it doesn’t blow then low scores are the order of the day.

Weather conditions this year are predicted to be similar to last years event, sunshine periodically shrouded by passing clouds and the occasional rain shower are expected, as are manageable trade winds and seasonable highs right around the 80 degree mark.

Excuses are the usual, Jonas Blixt ho has missed the cut and finished T-54 in his two tries at Waialae Country Club commented;

 “It just doesn’t fit me. I just don’t hit enough fairways to compete there. I’m just not very good at it. Honestly, we want to play, if I could play every tournament, I would, but you just can’t play them all.”

This from Martin Laird;

“It doesn’t set up well for me, if you don’t hit right-to-left you’re at a disadvantage. My high fade is not the ideal shot there.”

Apart from Jonas and MartinDustin Johnson has also pulled the plug. along with nine others who have chosen to play the Hyundai, but not the Sony. The missing in action list is pretty impressive;

Brandt Snedeker, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson, Gary Woodland, Ryan Moore, John Merrick, Kevin Streelman, Patrick Reed, and Billy Horschel.

Seems like John Merrick just likes to play on the mainland;

“I just really love the West Coast events, I’ll play Humana (the week after the Sony), San Diego, Phoenix, Pebble Beach, and LA. You just have to pick your spots.”

Ryan Moore also prefers to go home;

 “For me, it’s 100 percent a scheduling matter.”

Billy Horschel has a corporate commitment to CVS;

 “Six months ago we gave them some days for an outing at TPC Sawgrass for a military event, and we came up with next Friday.”

Patrick Reed just feels knackered;

“I feel like we’ve walked over Mount Everest this week, it’s just very hilly. Besides, the Humana (and Palm Springs) area is one of our favorite places, I’ve had success at Torrey and I want to be well-rested going into those.”

So, who is going to play the Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club in lovely Honolulu, take a look at this bunch;

Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner, and Jordan Spieth, these guys alone are worth the entrance money.

To tell you the truth I could easily live in Hawaii, visited there four times and loved every minute.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions. A Zach Attack.

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Zach Johnson is the winner of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions after he attacked the course with a final round of -7 under par 66.

 

This time it's Zach

Zach Johnson / Getty

Zach eased his way round the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii, sticking to his game plan and not deviating from it one little bit;

“I just picked it apart, I didn’t deviate from anything I typically do on a golf course.”

Zach completed the tournament in -19 under par, a one shot victory over Jordan Spieth. Jordan had a final round -4 under par 69, for his -18 under par total. . This is the 11th win of Zach’s career. Since his rookie season in 2004, only Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh have won more PGA TOUR events.

Webb Simpson and Kevin Streelman tied for third place at -17 under par for the tournament. It was an exciting end to a fiercely contested competition, and at the end a Johnson won again, but not the defending Champion Dustin, this time it was a proud Zach.

Webb had borrowed Ted Scott to be his caddy, from Bubba Watson, because his usual man, Paul Tesori ,  was attending the birth of his son. There were some complications and everyone was asked to pray for little Isaiah as he struggled for life. Ted had inscribed Isaiah on the peak of his golf cap, to show solidarity with Paul and Michelle, and their infant son. They responded with this statement:

 “We are so blessed for all the support and prayers from our families, Webb & Dowd, Teddy (Scott), our friends and the entire golf community. In the mere 36 hours he has been with us, our perfect little boy, Isaiah, has not only touched our hearts, he has touched thousands of lives. We continue to ask for prayers for baby Isaiah’s brain, heart and body as we await many test results over the coming weeks as well as prayers for the nurses and doctors tasked with loving and caring for him. Regardless of the results, Jeremiah 1:5 assures us this is all part of God’s perfect plan, and we will embrace whatever lies ahead for our family.”
~ Paul & Michelle Tesori

 

Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Zach Zooms To The Top.


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Zach Johnson zooms to the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of the second round in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course Kapalua in Hawaii.

The Johnson’s, Dustin and Zach / Getty Images

 Zach Johnson needed to avoid the dreaded three-putt and score better on the par fives, he did neither during the second round on Saturday at Kapalua, but still managed to build a three-shot lead. His tournament total now -13 under par following his -7  under par 66.

His namesake Dustin Johnson, the defending Champion here, is one of three players tied in second place at -10 under par. Dustin also shot a -7 under par 66 second round, with birdies on all the par fives, which were tempered by two bogey’s on the back nine. He likes this course;

“This golf course sets up well for me, I can reach all the par 5s, and there’s a few short holes where you can drive it up close to the green. So if I chip and it and putt it well, I’m going to shoot a good score pretty much every time.”

Zach responded to that quote;

“I would say I’m up by three gross, and by eight or nine net, based on that rationale.”

And then just for good measure he mentioned coming from behind to beat Tiger Woods, last time out;

“When you’re talking about a guy that’s done what he’s done and raised the bar, any time you beat him, especially if you’re playing with him and come back from four shots with eight holes to go, it’s going to happen. So I can deal with that. I’ve played with him a number of times, too. I like watching him hit driver. He’s not a whole lot different than a lot of the other guys I play with because they all hit it a lot further than me it seems like, I don’t know. Dustin does not intimidate me.”

 Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth are tied for second place as the winners-only tournament started to show some separation between the leading players and the rest of the field.

Matt Kuchar likes it here in Hawaii so much that the whole family are staying on for a vacation after the two Opening tournaments.

“We love it here, we went for a week last year and we had such a good time. I took a look at my schedule, I needed kind of a mini-break; I have played a lot in October, November, December, so I was looking for a mini-break and just said, ‘Well, we’re over in Hawaii, let’s just stay there and enjoy ourselves. It’s the halfway point and I’ve posted two nice scores. Looks like I’m not too far off the lead, so that’s a good thing, but there’s a lot of guys still in this.”

Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Four Tied at theTop.

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2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions started with a first round four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard at the Plantation Course at Kapalua,  MauiHawaii.

Jordan Spieth / Getty

Jordan Spieth was one of the first round leaders, fresh from some coaching to adjust technical glitches with his grip and flattening the plane on his downswing to hit more draws. It all worked as Jordan shot a bogey free first round -7 under par 66 to share the lead in the clubhouse. The rookie of the year explained that his swing got out of whack;

“With that many events, your body just wants to do so many different things. You’re playing in heavy winds one week and the next week you’re trying to launch it out. I still don’t own my swing yet, kind of all over the place.” I had new member orientation this week, I think it was more of a brief meeting than it normally is for new members. I have no excuses and I’m ready to play.”

Jordan shares the top spot with, Michael Thompson, Chris Kirk and Webb Simpson, who all carded -7 under par 66.

Webb Simpson / Getty

Webb was  fully prepared, he had also been working on his game during the brief winter break;

“My off-season was pretty staggered, two weeks off and have to play; two weeks off and play. I was trying to figure out the proper rest versus practice, but I’m the type of guy that I hate not being prepared. And so I tried to just literally not touch a club for 10 days and then once I got back, then I hit it hard the last 10 days. So I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle. You know, there’s just a few shots in the round you need to step up and hit, and today I had a few of those and I was able to hit some good shots. Take care of the par fives, and just one dropped shot, one poor iron swing on 7, but overall, great start.”

The two Johnson’s, Zach and the big hitting Dustin are also in this field, Zach in contention with an opening -6 under pat 67, and Dustin with a more modest -3 under par 70. You would expect Dustin to tear up the par fives here, with his prodigious distance off the tee, so stand by.

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