Honda Classic. Play-Off Win for Paddy Harrington.

White Dragon GolfThe Honda Classic Logo

Paddy Harrington wins the weather-beaten Honda Classic in a play-off against the  21-year-old rookie Daniel Berger at PGA National in Florida.

Honda Classic

Paddy Harrington/ Getty Images

Paddy and Daniel finished the Honda Classic tied at the top of the leaderboard on -6 under par. Paddy with a final round of even par while Daniel carded -6 under par 64.

In the end Paddy parred the second play-off hole, the 190 yard par three 17th hole , a bit of an anti-climax really, I think you can tell that by his reaction to winning in the picture above, seeing that this is his first victory in more than six years;

“Believe it or not, when I get in contention I can still hit the shots.”

Russell Knox, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter tied in second place at -5 under par. Ian probably should have won this tournament, apart from a major stuff up on the 14th hole, where he carded a 7 after hitting two balls into the water. He actually put five balls into the water during his final round of +5 over par 75;

Poults sadly reported;

“The good is good enough to win. I know that,”

“It’s just bitterly disappointing to put myself in the position I have, to play as well as I’ve played, and a couple of loose shots has cost me this tournament. It’s a shame to hand tournaments away. I’ve handed one away this week.”

 

Honda Classic. Two Brits Tied at the Top

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The third round finally got completed and two Brits sit at the top on the Honda Classic leaderboard, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter as the final round gets suspended due to darkness.

Honda Classic

Ian Poulter / Getty Images

Poults has played seven last round holes and Paul nine, both sit on top of the Honda Classic leaderboard at -7 under par for the title as the tournament heads into a Monday finish.

Poults had his problems in the final round today, he shanked his tee shot on the par 3 fifth and watched helplessly as it bounced off a cart path and plunged into the water, it ended in a double bogey. He followed that by pulling his next tee shot into the water before eventually settling for bogey, and would not report his words to the press. He followed that experience with a birdie on seven;

“It’s not for newspaper or Internet worthy, I was pissed. I was seriously pissed.”

“It was a lack of concentration, I tried to take too much off an 8‑iron and hit a beautiful shank.”

“I was internally very angry, shall we say. And when I do that, obviously my heart rate goes up slightly and obviously that sometimes is what it needs to kick in the adrenaline.”

“So the shot on 7 was fueled with adrenaline, because I was so pissed off.”

“It was a good swing, I guess it’s been a long day, a long few days and I was just saying to my son, Luke, right there, look what happens when you forget to concentrate. Silly things happen.”

“Tiring, and made a couple of really bad swings on 5 and 6. But that kind of angered me inside enough to spark a little bit of energy there to hit a good shot on 7.”

Paul wanted to keep going, he hates a break in momentum;

“I thought the wind was favorable, so I thought I would get on with it, the lie is not great. I might be against the collar in the rough.”

“It just breaks up momentum, some guys will carry it through to Monday. Others won’t and that’s very difficult to predict.”

“You just hope you wake up tomorrow and you feel like you’ve got the same kind of golf swing and the putts are going in the hole.”

“I never like to look back, but I feel like when I was playing some great golf in 2009, 2010, it feels like that kind of stuff.”

“Probably even more so than that time in my golf career because off the golf course, I’m so relaxed and happy with where I’m at with (wife) Pollyanna and (son) Lex.”

“It feels great. I think the combination of being extremely happy off the course and confidence on the course, I think I’m maybe playing as good golf, if not better than I’ve played in the past.”

Patrick Reed is in third position at -6 under par, so far in his final round he is at even par through seven holes, but it will be  long day tomorrow, with a lot at stake and the pressure will be on everybody.

There is a posse of five players at -4 under par, including Phil Mickelson, so anything could happen.

 

 

 

Honda Classic. Play Suspended Due To Lightning.

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At the conclusion of play of the suspended 2nd Round Padraig Harrington sits on top of the Honda Classic leaderboard at -7 under par. Play was then suspended at the start of the third round due to the threat of lightning.

Honda Classic

Padraig Harrington / Getty Images

Padraig has completed two rounds of the Honda Classic and is at the top of the leaderboard going into round three at -7 under par, following his 66.

He said golf is fun, and fascinating;

“I’m fascinated with the game, I love it. It’s a different sort of fun, yeah.”

“I think I’m in a good place that I can deliver more performances like this.”

“I feel like there’s good days ahead, so, you know, I’m not thinking, Oh, I’ve got to do it and it will be a long time before it comes around again.”

“I feel I’m in a good place with my game and I feel I give myself plenty of opportunities like this going forward.”

Patrick Reed is in second place at -6 under par, the same score he finished round two with yesterday.

Ian Poulter and Brendan Steele are tied in third position at -5 under par. Ian has been using a fang-dangled putting machine in practice, and he said it seems to be working;

“Right now it’s working pretty good.”

“The way I feel about my game, I’m hitting good shots, I’m holing a few putts and obviously if you’re going to do that, then you’ve got half a chance.”

“My mental side, I feel confident, provided I keep doing the right things, I keep working on straightening those areas that are weaker than my strengths and if I do that, then obviously I’m hoping I can improve.”

 Phil Mickelson is in contention, a second round of -3 under par 67 giving him a -2 under par total, he commented on the stop – start play, and extra holes on the day;

“I think that if you get into a good rhythm for the day, you get extra holes to play, and I think that guys that have a hot hand, instead of playing 18, they have a chance to play 27, 31 or 32.”

“I think it could be a real benefit if you’re playing well.”

“You get greens like this that are just perfect condition and very soft movement around the holes and you’re going to make a lot of putts, it just builds confidence.”

Honda Classic

The Honda Classic / Getty Images

“That’s as bad as I’ve ever seen it rain.” Russell Knox.

Turkish Airlines Open. Poulter Blows Six Shot Lead.

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Ian Poulter had moved into a six shot halfway lead when the second round was finally finished at the Turkish Airlines Open, and then proceeded to blow it away in the third round, handing the lead to Wade Ormsby.

Turkish Airlines Open

Wade Ormsby / Getty Images

Wade had a -4 under par 68, to top the leaderboard at the Turkish Airlines Open with a total of -12 under par. He said his game is good, and he is feeling good;

“It feels great to be in this position. It’s a great tournament, great field, so to be up around the front is great and to be leading it makes me pretty happy.”

“My game is good. I’m hitting it strong, putting good. But I just walked off the ninth green and said to my caddie Richard that I’ve actually missed a few putts down the front nine.”

“As good a score as I’ve shot, I still feel like I left a few out there. So I’ll just keep trying to do what I’m doing and see how I end up.”

A sad third round for Ian of +3 over par 75 saw him fall back into a tie for second place at -11 under par. He shares that spot with Lee Westwood and Marcel Siem.

Poults had this to say about his miserable day;

“I’m most angry about the wedge shot which led to a double, that’s inexcusable for me to make that error right there. A simple wedge shot puts me to 20 feet with an outside birdie look at worst, and I hit the tree, so I’m going to be angry about that for a little while tonight and then I’ll be fine tomorrow.”

“It’s brought obviously a lot of players back into the fray, their dinner is going to taste lovely tonight and mine is going to taste horrible.”

“I’m going to get my head down and do the job tomorrow. Today was really disappointing to be out of rhythm after playing such great golf.”

Lee is content with the way he is playing

“It’s been a while since I’ve been in contention, but generally when I get in contention, I know what to do.”

“I’ve been hitting the ball pretty solidly for a few weeks now. Just getting the odd break, holing the odd putt to keep the momentum going.”

I haven’t really played the par fives well enough the first couple of days. Today I played them a bit better. All in all, I’m pleased with where my game’s at. It’s coming along nice.”

BMW Masters winner Marcel is raring to get going, now that the gap has closed;

“It’s a little bit more interesting now for everybody and for sure I’ll give it a shot tomorrow, try my best. That’s what we are out here for, and there’s why it’s called Race to Dubai.”

“I’ll have a good rest now and hope that my ball-striking is as good as today and the putter is hot. Can’t wait to go.”

WGC. HSBC Champions. Great Day for G-Mac.

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It was a great day for G-Mac, Graeme McDowell leads the WGC, HSBC Champions tournament at the mid-way point at Sheshan International Golf Course in China.

WGC, HCBC Champions

Graeme McDowell / Getty Images

G-Mac shot a bogey free second round of -5 under par 67 to lead the WGC, HSBC Champions by three shots at the half way stage with a -10 under par total. While admitting he did not play as well as yesterday, although posting the same score, Graeme said his putter was red-hot;

“The putter was fairly hot today.”

“I didn’t play as well as I did yesterday; I missed a lot more fairways, which is a big key on this golf course. You must find fairways to have a chance out there.” 

“I got lucky a couple of times and I made some good saves. The greens are fantastic here at Sheshan and I managed to make some putts. It wasn’t my best ball-striking round but I hung in there and I’m right where I want to be going into the weekend.”

“This event has such a good feel to it. HSBC do a good job, you always get good support, there’s a great atmosphere and the golf course is so well presented.” 

“The WGCs are a special tier of events and this has always been one that I’ve had my eye on. This is a world-class field and they are bunching up behind me. I’ve just got to keep the pedal down and position myself for Sunday to have a sniff on the back nine.”

Ian Poulter is in second place, he also recorded a second round -5 under par 67, to give him a -7 under par total, to occupy second on his own.

Tied in third are Bubba Watson and Hiroshi Iwata, both players on -6 under par for the tournament.

Bubba, The Masters champion, birdied his last five holes, twice chipping in from off the green to card a -5 under par  67 second round.

This is a very tightly compacted leaderboard, apart from Graeme, and I expect someone to leap out of the pack tomorrow to challenge the cruising G-Mac.

The Ryder Cup. Europe In Control.

Ryder Cup Gleneagles The Ryder Cup

Europe are in control of The Ryder Cup, taking a commanding lead into the final day of 10 points to 6. They dominated the Saturday foursomes after the USA had won two matches in the morning session. Europe won one and the final match of the session between Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler against Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter was halved. That reduced the lead of Europe to 6.5 points to 5.5  points going into the afternoon Foursomes matches.

In the afternoon matches  Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, set the tone by  making 12 birdies in a record-setting duel against Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar. This was no push over as Hunter and Matt recorded 9 birdies between them, but it was not enough to overcome the most birdies by a single side in any Ryder Cup match by the Europeans.

The Americans missed some opportunities on Saturday afternoon, and American TV commentator Johnny Miller summed it all up , after Jim Furyk had made a mess of a short pitch shot that went long, he referred to the pressure of the Ryder Cup;

“It’s all nerves at this point. All these people around and the importance of getting, maybe, somehow another half a point for the U.S., just melted. He’s had trouble finishing all year even though he’s played great.”

Lee Westwood edged closer to becoming Europe’s record points scorer when he and Jamie Donaldson beat Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar in the foursomes.

Europe now needs only  four more points to retain the Ryder Cup. It sounds easy, but two years ago, Europe rallied from the same deficit to shock the U.S. at Medinah. The U.S. did the same in 1999 at The Country Club at Brookline, the two biggest rallies in Ryder Cup history, so it can be done.

The Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup

 

Volvo China Open. Alexander the Great.

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Alexander Levy fired a great round of 62 to lead the Volvo China Open at the Half-way stage.

Alexander Levy  (Getty Images)

A casual Alexander Levy / Getty Images

Alexander recorded a -10 under par 62, a course record which put him in command of the Volvo China Open at Genzon Golf Club, with a four shot lead. He has a desire to follow the lead of the other French players into the winners circle, especially his friend Victor Dubuisson;

“It is a great round for me, I played unbelievably today and it’s the first time I have played like that. I really like the course and it is in great shape. I played really well and made a lot of putts to make the lowest score of my career. I shot 63 at Kingsbarns during the Dunhill Links in Scotland last year but this course is a lot tougher and I am only starting to realise how good that score is. “

“I played the right strategy today and I just have to try to do that over the next couple of days. I hope that I can play with Ralph tomorrow because he is a great friend and it would be funny if we could play in the last group together tomorrow.”

“I just tried to play one shot at a time. I didn’t realise how good the score was to be honest because I was focussed on playing shot by shot. I am very happy to be here, this is my first time in China and I feel great to be playing so well in what is a really big event for me.” 

“I think the French players are all very close and Victor’s performances over the last few months is helping all the French players and inspiring them to try to do the same. I am friends with Victor. It is mainly through golf that we have a relationship but we are friends. What he has done over the past few months has been amazing and it has really had an effect on all the French players so hopefully I can try to emulate that.” 

Adrian Otaegui, from Spain, is in second place, a -6 under par 66 for a -10 under par total kept him in touch with the leader. Fellow countryman Alvaro Quiros is a further shot back at -9 under par following his more modest second round of -4 under par 68.

Fourth place belongs to Raphaël Jacquelin, his second round of -5 under par 67 gives him a tournament total of -8 under par, and maybe a slim chance of catching Alexander. He was pretty happy to be where he is, saying he is not playing too well;

“I played a bit better today compared to how I was hitting the ball yesterday, so I feel pretty good. Still a few bad shots, but overall, five under, I’ll take it, definitely.”

Ian Poulter just managed to make the cut, a -1 under par total was due to some poor play and a rules infraction, on the 13th hole. he had driven the ball into trees off the tee, and took the penalty two clubs length relief. The drop left him on a cart path, so he was entitled to relief from that position. A free drop is only one club length, but Ian took two, which incurred a one shot penalty. He finished the hole with an eight on his card.