The Barclays. Bubba Bowling Along, Jordan Spieth Slumps.

White Dragon GolfThe Barclays

Bubba Watson is still bowling along at the top of The Barclays leaderboard, but Jordan Spieth slumps.

The Barclays

Bubba Watson / Getty Images

Bubba shot a second round of -2 under par 68, for a -7 under par total, which could have been better except for the intervention of an over zealous rules official, warning him for taking too long over just one shot. Bubba had watched as Jordan’s approach shot to the 16th green  rolled back some 100 feet off the green. He naturally decided to take some extra care, but the official hurried him with a warning, and he rushed the shot, leading to a bogey. How crazy has golf become, warning a golfer over one shot in a complete round.

He spoke to reporters afterwards, and mentioned he would be looking forward to the next crazy ruling;

“I told them, `I’m not mad at anybody about the bad time.’ I went over the time, which is the right ruling.”

“It’s just on a hole like that, one of the toughest holes we’ve ever played besides 2011 when we played the same pin placement, it’s very difficult.”

“But yeah, I’m very happy about my round.”

“I’m excited where I’m at. I made the cut and I’m in the last group. Hopefully, I’m here talking to y’all tomorrow about something else crazy that happened.”

There are four players tied in second place at -6 under par, Tony Finau, Henrik Stenson, Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.

Jordan Spieth missed the cut, and lost out on a chance to play the weekend here, he was penalised a shot for stepping on his ball while searching for it. The decision did not make a lot of difference, finishing at +7 over par, he missed the cut by five shots. And that means Rory McIlroy, who isn’t playing this week, returns to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking;

The Barclays

Dejected Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

“I’ve reached that peak already and I know it’s going to be close enough to where if I just get the job done next week, I’ll be back in that ranking.”

“But again, that ranking, it’s great once you reach it but it’s not something that I’m going to live or die on each week.”

“I’m definitely searching for answers.”

 

BMW International Open. Pablo Larrazábal Wins

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Pablo Larrazábal wins the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried, in Germany.

BMW International Open

Pablo Larrazábal / Getty Images

Pablo had a bogey free final round of -6 under par 66, to win the BMW International Open title with a -17 under par total, a one shot victory.

Pablo said he was worn out after his great effort, the victory was due to some great putting;

“I’m very tired.”

“I knew that I was in a good position, and I knew that I had to start very fast. I had to start with a few birdies in the first few holes, and I started very well.”

 “I think I was five under for the front nine, hitting the ball great, as good as I’ve hit it all year, and my putting was awesome. I made a lot of great putts.

“Coming in, it was tough. You have a lot of holes with a lot of trouble. 

Something else for Pablo to celebrate, he is getting married to his partner Gala Alten in August, it will be a dream come true;

“In two months I will be a married man.”

“This is awesome; being with her again around Munich and around this beautiful golf course, it gave us a lot of great memories and being married to her is a dream come true.”

In second place was Henrik Stenson, at -16 under par for the tournament, a -7 under par 65 today proved that he had recovered from the tough week at the US Open. Who has ever heard of removing stones from the bunker, in a Major Championship, really.

Henrik also putted very well on these perfect greens, carding an Eagle on the par five 11th, and nearly repeated it on 18;

“I hit some great shots and took full advantage of those two holes and thought if I could post a low number in the clubhouse, see what happened.”

“I came out there, hit some nice shots and took advantage with a good putter. There is not much to be disappointed in today.”

“I had a long range chance on 17 that looked good and an eagle chance on the last, but it was a tricky line and didn’t get the read right.”

Chris Paisley shot a -1 under par 71 in the final pairing to take third place  on -15 under, his first European Tour top ten finish, while English compatriot, and overnight leader James Morrison sadly signed for a last round +5 over par 77, which sent him crashing down the leaderboard.

Chris tweeted;

“Hope everyone enjoyed watching as much as I enjoyed playing! Happy your bets came in and delighted to finish 3rd! Thank you all so much!”

 

 

115th U.S. Open. Gruesome Greens Grab Attention.

White Dragon GolfChambers Bay

The gruesome greens at Chambers Bay Golf Club grabbed everyone’s attention in the first round of the U.S. Open. At the end of the day Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson shared the lead, while at the other end of the table, Tiger Woods +10 over and Rickie Fowler +11 crashed spectacularly. The fescue grass experiment is not off to a great start, especially as the older greens have never really taken hold properly, and they have been infiltrated by poa annua clumps. The early morning starters had the best of the day.

U.S. Open

Dustin Johnson on his way to par the 10th / all pics Getty Images

Dustin and Henrik shot open rounds of -5 under par 65 at the 115th U.S. Open at the much maligned Chambers Bay Golf Club in Washington.

Dustin reported that he is playing with confidence, hitting good irons shots;

“Hit a lot of quality iron shots, the confidence is definitely there.”

Henrik said he had a good day on the greens;

“It was a good day on the greens in all, but especially the last five holes.”

 “I hit some beautiful putts and managed to slip a few in there.”

Patrick Reed, with a -4 under par 66, for third place alone reported that he definitely missed a few putts;

” All I had to do was get the ball to the hole and it had a chance of going in. I made some long putts, but I also feel like I missed a lot of good opportunities.”

Matt KucharBen Martin and the amateur Brian Campbell are tied in fourth place at -3 under par. They are followed by a group of payers at -2 under par.

Phil Mickelson was happy with his start, -1 under par 69 and T14, as he chases the career Grand Slam this week, but did criticize the greens;

“The first round was the round I was going to be most nervous at, getting started.”

“You don’t want to have to fight to come back all the time. You want to get off to a solid start around par.”

“I think the biggest challenge is that the green speeds are different from green to green, that’s going to wreak havoc on our touch.” 

“What I found is that they’re not the most true surfaces downhill, because you can’t hit it hard enough to hold the line. But uphill they seem to hold the line just fine.”

“I might have to factor that in, in how I play some shots now, because I think the percentage of made putts uphill from three to nine feet is going to be quite a bit higher than downhill.” 

US Open

Rory McIlroy, at +2 over par was not quite so outspoken;

“I just didn’t quite have it with the putter today, and that’s something that I need to get right over the next three days if I want to have a chance.”

“I still feel like if you make a good enough stroke and you have the right speed, there’s a good enough chance the ball will go in.”

US Open

Sergio Garcia, who started with an even par first round and T26, took to twitter to post;

“Happy with my Even par round today although it could’ve been a bit better by the way I played but this greens are as bad as the look on TV.”

 

Nordea Masters. Three Tied at the Top.

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There are three players all tied at  the top of the Nordea Masters in Malmö, Sweden.

Nordea Masters

18 Year Old Marcus Kinhault / Getty Images

18-year-old amateur Marcus Kinhult has joined countryman Jens Dantorp and England’s Chris Paisley at the top of the Nordea Masters leaderboard, all recording first rounds of -5 under par 67.

Marcus put his superb start down to an improvement in his putting,

“It’s pretty special to play in a European Tour event and to play here in Sweden.”

“That score was thanks to brilliant putting. I played really well from tee to green but I also holed a lot of putts for birdie and for par. The putter was pretty hot.”

“I didn’t expect much, just to have a great week and gain some experience. So far, so good.”

“My game feels good, I’m very solid from tee to green and finally my putting is starting to come good. It’s a good combination.”

“There’s not much difference between the amateur and professional ranks. The course set-up is very similar to what we’re used to. I don’t feel any different playing here. I hope I can just keep making birdies and keep hitting fairways and greens.”

Chris also said his putting was good, and he was really happy about the improvement;

Nordea Masters

Chris Paisley / Getty Images

“I’m obviously really happy, I’ve been playing well for a little while but in a lot of my rounds I’ve not putted well enough or made a couple of stupid bogeys.”

“Today I holed a few putts, and I’m delighted with how I’ve started.”

“At this level it’s such fine margins. There are so many great players playing every week, so if you’re playing well every week but not quite holing the putts or making a few mistakes, there are always guys who will beat you.”

“I didn’t really do anything different today in terms of my long game, but I managed to sink a few putts and kept the bad holes off my card.”

“The confidence has been building for a while now and my game’s been good. I had a tough year last year and the year before, so it’s taken a while for the confidence to come back.”

“Over time I’ve been getting better and better, it’s a year’s worth of confidence building to get to this point.”

“I holed a nice couple of 20-footers which I haven’t done for a while, and I avoided all the out of bounds and water hazards. I love this place.”

“The golf course is great and one thing my caddie and I commented on earlier was how good the greens have stayed this afternoon. Normally in the afternoon they get a bit bumpy as the day goes on, but they’ve stayed great.”

“The whole venue is fantastic.”

The leaderboard is very compacted, with a group of nine players one shot back on -4  under par for the tournament. The home favorite, Henrik Stenson, finished three shots off the lead after an opening round of  -2 under par 70, and his 2014 Ryder Cup team-mates Thomas Bjørn and Stephen Gallacher are -1 under par.

 

 

 

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Matt Makes It Again.

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Defending Champion Matt Every makes it again at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Matt Every and Arnold / Getty Images

Matt Every and Arnold / Getty Images

Matt joined Tiger Woods and Loren Roberts as the only players to repeat at Bay Hill, shooting a final round -6 under par 66, and an Arnold Palmer Invitational total of -19 under par, a one shot victory;

“It’s easy to get down on yourself out here, it’s the biggest waste of time because nobody really cares.”

“The last three feet I was begging for it to hang, and I was like, ‘Gosh, these are the ones that always lip out. Be so cool to see this one dive in,’ and it did. Cool moment.”

“I was playing so good, yesterday when I got done, that was the best I hit it in a long time.”

“I told Tiger I’d hold it down for him until he gets back.”

“I’m like, you’re already in the Masters.”

“After Augusta last year, I was really bummed out, I felt really good about my game and then I got there and got my butt kicked. “

“I’ve got to get better because I don’t want to be a guy who can’t compete there.”

“I do want to win more tournaments, though, scratch that I said that, but it’s neat to get them both here.”

Henrik, who finished second at -18 under par, was annoyed at being put on the clock by the officials, on the 15th hole, when he was leading the tournament, and I am inclined to agree with him, what a stupid decision;

“I’m a little bit disappointed with the outcome, but I’m as much disappointed with the PGA Tour officials for putting us on the clock on 15, starting to chase us down the stretch, and that’s not really the way to close out a golf tournament.”

“It’s hard enough to finish out a golf tournament and play those finishing holes without being on the clock.”

“I didn’t see the reason for that really. I didn’t even read my putt more than just one quick look on 15. Three-putted that one from long range. Morgan got a bad time on 16 on the second shot. I kind of rushed my putt from the back fringe.”

“It’s just hard when you don’t feel like you can take the time that you want to take. That surely didn’t help the cause.”

Ozzie Matt Jones finished in third place at -17 under par, with -4 under par 67 final round.

Rory, T11 at -11 under, spoke about the odds of him winning The Masters;

“I guess if you go on form, then probably no. But it depends how far you take that form back and you’ve got to look at previous results there and all sorts of stuff. I’m not a bookie.”

“The main goal was to come here and try to win, couldn’t do that. At least I got a couple of things out of this week, which is good.”

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Henrik Takes Over at the Top.

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Henrik Stenson takes over at the top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational leaderboard at the end of day three at Bay Hill.

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik had a -6 under par 66 in the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, and at -16 under par for the tournament has a two shot lead going into the final round on Sunday.

Henrik said he needs to keep playing the same way as the first three rounds, because the ball does not know what it’s doing;

 “The golf ball doesn’t know what happened the previous three rounds, so I’ve got to go out tomorrow and keep the same mindset.”

“I’m not just a pretty face, I’ll try and make that different tomorrow but can’t give any guarantees. I’ll certainly try.”

 

Morgan Hoffmann is in touch in second place at -14 under par, -1 under for the third round saw him slip back;

“Just a really weird day out there, got some mud balls in the fairway, couldn’t control it. Got some weird lies in the bunkers. Brought it back and am decent for tomorrow.”

There are four players tied in third place, all at -13 under par, they are, Matt Jones, Jason Kokrak, Ben Martin and Matt Every.

Jason carded the low round of the day, -7 under par 65, which has given him a chance to get his first win on the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy had to settle for -1 under par 71, and is now seven shots back from the leader, at -9 under par;

“I’m frustrated, I birdied 12 and 13 and got right into the thick of things and then to give three shots back in quick succession was not really the plan.”

“I’m disappointed with the way I finished but I played well for the most part. I need to try to get off to a good start tomorrow, shoot a good score and see where that leaves me.

“There’s a lot of quality players above me. I would need to get off to a very fast start to win, 30 or 31 on the front nine, it’s possible; just try to start better and go from there.”

Daniel Berger scored an amazing Albatross, holing a 4-iron from 237 yards for a two on the 549 yard par 5 sixth hole. Daniel played the par fives in -6 under on Saturday, en route to a -4 under 68, and T23 at -7 under par;

“It was kind of right on that borderline between going for it and not going for it.”

“Little bit on the downhill lie. You know, my caddie gave me the confidence to go for it.”

“The joke between me and my caddie, how many albatrosses are going to be on that hole today.”

“It was special, especially over here, Mr. Palmer’s event.”

Daniel recorded a 2, 3, 4 and 5,  a combined -6 under par on the par fives and by doing so, started a new page in the golf history books, albatross, eagle, birdie and par, he is the first player to achieve that amazing feat.

I still can not understand why all the American TV commentators refer to an Albatross as a Double-Eagle, even mathematically it does not add up. Given that an Eagle is -2 under par, a Double Eagle would equal -4 under par. An Albatross is -3 under par.

Hero World Challenge. Spieth Reigns Supreme.

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Jordan Spieth reigns supreme at the Hero Golf Challenge, with a winning margin of ten shots.

Hero World Challenge

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan dominated his competitors, destroyed the Isleworth Golf and Country Club course and easily won the Hero World Challenge. A final round -6 under par 66 gave his wonderful winning total of -26 under par, and a ten shot victory. He has now won back to back tournaments, previously the Australian Open and now Tigers tournament.

Starting with a seven shot lead in the final round Jordan proceeded to card three birdies in four holes and turned the final three hours into a peaceful walk in the Florida sunshine. He said of that front nine;

“It was the most fun I ever had playing nine holes of golf.”

The 10-shot victory was the largest margin of the year in golf, and broke the tournament record of seven shots that host Tiger Woods had in 2007. He was happy to end his year on high note;

“Whether my emotions showed it or not I’m not sure, but inside we were really very pleased with the year and how it came to a close.”

 “This caps off the best golfing year that I’ve ever had. Each year has been a little better than the last. Hope it continues in 2015.”

For the record, Henrik Stenson won the race for second place, ten shots off the pace at -16 under par. He acknowledged that Jordan had his game under control;

“It was a one-horse race, all the rest of us had to do was battle it out for second, really.”

“He was in pretty much full control of every part of his game.”

Keegan Bradley and Patrick Reed tied for third, -15 under par. Keegan was also impressed with Jordan’s play;

“The kid is playing great.”

“I wanted to go over there and tackle him and break his putter. No, I love Jordan. I’m happy for him. He was pretty much unbeatable this week.”

Tournament host Tiger Woods finished tied in last place, he too acknowledged the special play of Jordan;

”He’s playing some pretty special golf right now.”

It will be fun to watch Jordan and Rory as they tackle the Majors in 2015, there is some really good golf on the horizon.