Shell Houston Open. Jim Herman Has Maiden Victory.

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Jim Herman has collected his maiden PGA Tour Victory at the Shell Houston Open.

Jim Herman of the United States poses with the trophy after his victory at the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston on April 3, 2016 in Humble, Texas.

Jim Herman with his prized Trophy

Jim carded a final round -4 under par 68 to win the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston, with a tournament total of -15 under par, a one shot maiden victory. Henrik Stenson pushed him all the way, but Jim pulled off a bit of magic with a chip in birdie at 16.

Instead of heading home Jim is now going to Augusta;

“It’s a whirlwind, this is crazy.”

“I’ve dreamt of this for a long time and now it’s here. I’m going to enjoy it.”

“We’ll get our daughter out of school and they’ll be up at Augusta next week.”

“I’m pretty proud of myself to get up there, first time I was in the final group, and bring it home.”

Henrik Stenson finished in second place, that one shot back at -14 under par after his last round of -4 under par 68. Henrik is in a second place slump, this is his  eighth runner-up finish since his last worldwide victory, which was at the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship in November 2014;

“I feel like a lot of times I put myself in the mix without playing really, really good, which I think is a great statement to my kind of low level of game.”

 “We’ll see when it’s going to happen, sooner or later. I’m not worried about that.”

Third place was claimed by Dustin Johnson, at -13 under par for the tournament, a last round -3 under par 69 not quite good enough.

Round of the day went to Rafa Cabrera Bello, -7 under par 65, which got him into fourth place on his own at -12 under par.

 Jordan Spieth started the final round five shots off the lead, and quickly accomplished his goal to sprint into contention. He birdied five of his first seven holes to reach -11 under par. He seemed unstoppable with a putter in his hand, but bogeys at 9, 11 and 12 followed by  a double-bogey at the 18th, after finding water again, for the eighth time this week, stopped his charge, finishing T13 at -8 under;

“Good news is I got myself in contention.”

 “I felt the nerves, I know what I need to work on under pressure now for next week. Everything is there.”

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Jason Day Delivers.

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Australian Jason Day delivers as he wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Jason Day poses with the trophy following the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Jason Day / Getty Images

Jason won the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a final round -2 under par 70 to post a -17 under par winning total at Bay Hill.

Talking about his short game, hitting a bunker shot on 18 to within four feet, to win, Jason said;

“Under the circumstances to be able to hit the bunker shot on 18 goes to show how much I feel confident in my ability to hit that kind of a shot.”

“I think my short game is one of my strengths, I don’t know if I’m overrated, underrated or par with that.”

“But the only thing that I’m worried about is just winning as many times as I can and I know that if I have a good short game and I don’t have the greatest stuff from the tee to green, it’s going to save me like it did over the last two days.”

“Just be yourself and stay in your world’ and for some reason it just means so much more, you know, that you can do this and start your own legacy here.”

Kevin Chappell finished in second place, a -3 under par 69 was a good effort, but he needed a birdie on the last, then under pressure pulled the tee shot and two putted for a bogey to post -16 under par;

“It’s obviously those things one of many why Jason Day has been the No. 1 player in the world, why I’m the 150th player in the world.”

“You just can’t bogey the last when you’re in contention, and hats off to Jason. He played well, real clutch down the stretch and I’ll learn from this and I’ll get better.”

Tied in third place were Troy Merritt, -1 under 71 today and Henrik Stenson, also -1 under 71, both should have done better than their total of -14 under par.

Troy fell to a bad tee shot on the last hole;

“Would have been nice to hit the tee shot on the face.”

“Hit it high off the toe. Didn’t get it down there as far as I had the first three rounds.”

“As a result we had a little down slope and 6-iron in. We’re trying to hit at the middle of the green, let the 6-iron drift in there to 20 feet left, hit it solid.”

“Got eaten up once it got to the top. Came up 10 yards short. I wasn’t shooting at the flag.”

Three putting last year cost Henrik the title, this year it was poor ball striking;

“I never really felt a hundred percent with my ball striking all week and when you got longer irons and winds and tough shots, if you don’t feel like you can take one side out”

“I’ve had a bit of a two-way miss going all week, never builds confidence.”

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Rainy Day.

 

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It was a rainy day for Jason Day, and every one at Bay Hill in the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but Jason                                                                       managed to keep his two shot lead.

Jason Day lines up a putt on the 11th hole during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Rainy Day / Getty Images

Jason got wet carding a third round -2 under par 70, to keep his two shot advantage at the top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill with a -15 under par total.

Jason said of the awful conditions;

“Pretty much, if it’s not going your way, suck it up and just get it done somehow.”

“To grind out a 2-under par, it wasn’t the prettiest, but certainly some shots where my short game definitely saved my score out there, I’ll take it.”

“I felt like I couldn’t get any momentum, especially with the umbrella up and down, the rain gear on and off.

 “All that said, I feel like I stayed patient to grind out a two under par.”

Troy Merritt -5 under 67 today, Kevin Chappell -5 under 67 and Henrik Stenson -2 under 70 are the three players tied in second place at -13 under par.

Henrik was asked if he thought his great experience would be an advantage in the last round;

“That’s a dangerous road to go down because if you start, then you’re clearly not thinking about your own game and what you need to do if you start thinking you’ve got an advantage because someone else hasn’t won before.”

“You got to stay focused on your things, really, and what’s been in the past is not really something that’s potentially going to help you in that situation.”

“When Tiger was at his best he was like one up or two up when he teed it up because everyone was scared of him and it can definitely play a part, but I think Sunday for me it’s just going out and try to play the best round of golf I can do and hopefully that will be good enough.”

Troy has missed some cuts lately, but said he was playing well;

“I had a couple odd holes on Friday at Valspar, played in five over for a five-hole stretch and missed the cut by two.”

“I just had some weird stretches where I just can’t get off the bogey train and obviously that’s not very good out here.”

“I really haven’t been playing that poorly.”

Justin Rose -1 under 71 and Derek Fathauer -3 under 69, are tied in fifth at -11 under par.

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Daylight Between Jason and the Others.

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There is daylight between Jason Day and the others in the Arnold Palmer Invitational field, two shots in fact.

Jason Day hit 11 of 14 fairways in regulation in Round 2. He also ranked second in strokes gained: tee-to-green (4.387). (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Jason Day / Getty Images

Jason carded a bogey free second round -7 under par 65 at Bay Hill in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, to post a -13 under par total, giving him a two shot advantage over the field going into the week-end.

He said it was good to be holing out the big putts, two from outside of 35 feet;

“It felt great, it felt like it was the second half of last year, especially today, hitting long drives, hitting smart shots into the greens and holing big putts.”

“My swing feels put together, it feels in sync and I can get after it.”

Henrik Stenson is in second place at -11 under par, -6 under 66 today keeping him within sight of the leader, it was motivation that kept him going. Over the last four years no one has been more under par at Bay Hill than Henrik, a cumulative -47 under, you need to be a good putter;

“It’s motivating, you can’t let it be frustrating that you’re eight shots back when starting you’re second round.”

“It suits my game, position off the tee.”

“Got to hit it in the fairway and play some good iron shots and when I’m playing well I seem to do that.”

“So, that kind sets up a lot of birdie chances and my putter has been working really nicely these couple of days and some of the previous years as well apparently.”

Third position belongs to Justin Rose at -10 under par, he also carded -6 under 66 today despite  suffering with a variety of ailments over the past few weeks, flu, sore back, sore foot, resilience was the key;

“It’s a lesson to know you can win many ways or play well many ways.”

 “You have to be resilient.

“It’s not a long-term strategy. You can’t say I’m never playing a practice round again.”

Rory McIlroy bounced back a bit today, -5 under 67, gets him to -2 under overall, but he still sounded confused;

“The shots I was hitting I hadn’t seen in a long time.”

“I wanted to know whether it was my swing or whether it was,  what it was.”

“I needed to work on it but thankfully I was able to figure it out and hit the ball much better today.”

“Just sort of figured out that my angle was left at impact. I’ve been trying to move the ball up in my stance with the driver.”

Adam Scott slipped back carding +1 over par 73, to total -4 under par for the competition.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Rickie Fowler Wins

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Rickie Fowler wins the weather interrupted Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in United Arab Emirates.

 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

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Rickie won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship with a final round -3 under par 69 for a tournament total of -16 under par.

Rickie was very satisfied to start his season with a win, confirming his winning ways of last season were just the beginning of an upward progression, and moves him up to fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking;

“This was a big one. Last year having a multiple-win season, to come back and work on getting back in the winner’s circle after a successful season and keep moving forward.”

“This is a great start.”

“It’s great field that HSBC has put together here. The course is in perfect shape.”

“It was a lot of fun today. It was a bit stressful at times.”

“Thomas is playing well. It’s fun to kind of go head-to-head with him being in the same group. We had a good time.”

“It’s nice to come out on top this week.”

“I’d like to jump in and be a part of that crew and see if we can continue to win some Majors if I can jump in there.”

“The goal right now with where my game’s at, the best it’s been this early in the season in my career, I’m working on getting ready for Augusta. And I’d like to have my shot at getting the Green Jacket there.”

“The ultimate goal this year is to go win a Major and this is a step in the right direction for sure.”

Second place went to Thomas Pieters, he carded a last round -5 under par 67 to post -15 under for the tournament.

Tied in third position were Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson, both two shots off the pace at -14 under par. Rory had a last round -4 under 68 while Henrik carded -5 under 67.

World number one Jordan Spieth finished in the group five shots back at -11 under par, while Ian Poulter could do nothing in the final round, going round at even par 72 for T14 at -9 under par.

 

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Five Tied at the Top.

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There are five players tied at the top of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship leaderboard after a dramatic day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, including another delay, of 2 hours 50 minutes. The delay meant that the third round could not be completed, and the players will have to return tomorrow to finish 54 holes, and then start the final round.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

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Rory McIlroyBranden Grace, Rickie Fowler, Joost Luiten and Ian Poulter were tied at the top of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, all at -10 under par, but they all have yet to complete 54 holes.

Rory carded -2 after 9 holes, Branden has completed 16 holes for -6 under, Rickie -4 on 11, Joost -3 on 10 and Poults -5 under after 13 holes. With a further five players on -9 under tomorrow will also be a very dramatic day, when only the fittest will survive.

Poults is relishing this finish, saying it is more like match-play, a format he enjoys, he was a winner at last weeks EurAsia Cup;

“It’s match play, whenever you go head-to-head you get the juices going, and that’s obviously nice as the first tournament of the year.”

 “I think it’s done me some good, and I think I’m looking forward to what the challenge is for the next 20, 26 holes.”

The -9 under group have yet to complete their third rounds, they are Andy Sullivan, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Henrik Stenson and Robert Rock.

Rory summed it all up nicely;

“This one is a bit more bunched. I think there will be a few more in contention.”

In all, 16 players are within three strokes of the lead, and that includes Jordan Spieth and  American amateur Bryson DeChambeau.

Jordan has finished his 54 holes, carding -4 under par 68 and is in a group at -7 under for the competition, while Bryson slipped up today returning a completed third round score of +1 over par, also at -7 under.

Jordan spoke about his troubles this week, including poor putting;

“I started out this tournament not driving the ball particularly well the first 12, 13 holes and since then my driver has been on.”

“I can make excuses all I want; I still haven’t made many putts and there’s no excuses for that. It can all come together tomorrow.”

“It’s happened many times in random rounds. Why not the fourth round here?”

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Bryson DeChambeau Leads,

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American amateur player  Bryson DeChambeau leads after the first round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, keeping cool in the hot conditions at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

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Bryson shot  a first round -8 under par 64 to lead the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship by one shot, and he had fun playing carefree golf and dropping some putts. He is known as a golfing scientist, and has all his irons fitted with the same length shaft;

“It’s nice to kind of be an intern as an amateur playing professional events.”

“I’m getting used to it and getting more comfortable each event. It’s a lot of fun being out here.”

“I had no expectations coming into today and just free-wheeled it and pretty much hit every fairway and was able to make a couple of putts.”

“I’m a golfing scientist, in a sense, and I’m trying to analyse and understand each and every aspect of the golf course and the way I played.”

“I’ll analyse today and see what I can do better at tomorrow and we’ll go from there.”

Henrik Stenson is in second place, with a -7 under par opening round, he too was very happy, and knows this course really well;

“Very happy with the opening round. I haven’t played well here in Abu Dhabi the previous two years, so it’s nice to get off to solid starts.”

“I made Dubai my home for almost ten years and feel very comfortable in this part of the world and played some great golf, so it would mean a lot.”

“I came very close, especially the first edition of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in 2006. I think I lost out by a shot to Chris DiMarco. It would be nice to get this one and get the full circle.”

“I could have been one or two shots lower even, or possibly one worse off on the last, as well. You have to be lucky, I didn’t hit the best tee ball there.”

“I’ve been going about my business and working away on a few things and that seemed to be working okay on the course today.

“As we know, it was going to be a challenge with the leg, and it is. It’s not so much the knee; it’s the foot that makes a bit more of a compensation when I’m walking but we are getting there in the end. I made the full 18.”

Lurking in third place , at -6 under par is the awesome presence of Rory McIlroy, he shares the position with Branden Grace.