Arnold Palmer 1929 – 2016.
“Success in this game depends less on strength of body, than strength of mind and character.”
Jon Rahm leads the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club, in his first start as a professional. The first round stared two hours late because of rain, and was brought to an early end due to darkness.
Jon the latest wonder kid from Spain fired an opening round -7 under par 64, in his first tournament as a professional player, at the Quicken Loans National.
Jon did not remember any decent shot or putt he made during his inaugural professional tournament;
“I was anticipating this moment.”
“I’m working on it a long time that I kind of blacked out a little bit.”
“I don’t remember a single swing I made all day or any putting stroke or anything. I just remember the ball flying or rolling.”
He was the only amateur to make the cut last week in the U.S. Open, and spoke about the advice given to him there by Jack Nicklaus;
“What he told me is to just never do more than what I can do.”
“Try not to risk too much. And that’s certainly something I did today.”
In second place at -6 under par is Jhonattan Vegas after his fist round 65, he said good tee shots were a bonus today;
“On this course you had better drive it well in the fairway and it’s a bonus if you can drive it long and straight.”
“Put it in the fairway and greens being a little softer than normal, you can play a good round today.”
Eight players are tied in third place at -5 under par, including Ernie Els who won the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional.
Ernie told reporters he had no problem remembering every shot;
“Winning a major at a special place like Congressional, playing here again, you just keep thinking back on shots.”
“Almost every single hole there’s a moment back in ’97 where we can remember still.”
“I felt comfortable with my swing this week.”
“I’ve had a very tough year. I haven’t played very well, so I need to start playing well.”
Ernie has not fulfilled his great potential, the turning point being the sailing injury to his left knee in 2005, time is now not on his side.
Bryson DeChambeau became only the fifth player in history to win the NCAA Championship and the U.S. Amateur Championship in the same year. He joins joins Jack Nicklaus (1961), Phil Mickelson (1990), Tiger Woods (1996) and Ryan Moore (2004) in achieving that tremendous accomplishment.
Bryson claimed the Havemeyer Trophy with a 7-and-6 decision over Derek Bard at Olympia Fields Country Club, in a 36 hole final. He was stoked to have his name on the same trophy as all those great Champions;
“Having my name etched on this trophy with the great Bob Jones as well as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, all those guys, it’s incredible.”
“I can’t even imagine what I just did. It won’t sink in, I’m sure, for the next couple days. But I’m honored.”
“I’m in golf history, that’s pretty incredible. I don’t understand it yet. I had a little bit of an understanding of what I just did, but I haven’t felt the impact of it yet.”
“That’s an honor to be in that field.”
“I have a belief in myself that I can get the job done when I need to. Every single shot out there, I was telling myself I was good enough.”
Bryson has a unique and different way of swinging the club, and says he has fun doing it;
“There’s a bunch of different ways to play the game of golf, you don’t need to play it one way.”
“It doesn’t need to be one swing that’s perfect out there. The thing that you can benefit most from me, I believe, is be yourself and play golf like you can, not like anybody else.”
Derek remembers the exact moment when it all started to slip way;
“I think the turning point of the whole day really is he when airmails the green on 8 and flops it in.”
“You have to pull off shots like that if you want to win a championship like this.”
“It’s one of those signature shots. It was pretty cool to watch. He hit a perfect shot up there and tumbled in.”
“Like I say, he deserves it and from that point on, he really took control.”
“I felt that in the morning match, no matter where the match got to, I always felt like I was still in it, because we had 18 more holes to go in the afternoon.”
“It’s such a long day and to get it back to 2 down after the morning was big.”
“It gave me some momentum. I came out in the afternoon and won the first hole and then just kind of fell apart.”
There are the two players tied at the top of the Memorial Tournament at Jack’s place, Muirfield Village.
The defending champion Hideki Matsuyama and Bo Van Pelt opened the Memorial Tournament with -8 under par 64, to share the first round lead.
Hideki said he just found some magic overnight;
“To be honest with you, up until yesterday I was not hitting the ball very well, I was not chipping very well, I was not putting very well.”
“I don’t know what happened overnight, but I just caught magic.”
“To be honest with you, when I made the turn at four under, I was just trying to hold onto four under”
“And then to make a couple more birdies, it was a real bonus.”
“It’s a really good second-shot golf course. That plays into my strength.”
Bo Van Pelt hails from Richmond, Indiana, which is only two hours away from Dublin, Ohio. He has been coming to Jack’s place since he was a child;
“Richmond is literally the first town when you cross the border on I-70.”
“I think anytime you come to a golf course where you’re excited to be there, I think that that has a lot to do with it.”
“I don’t get to see my family from Indiana, my sisters and my mom and dad very often. And they always come over. So it’s just a fun week for us.”
“Other than the Masters, this tournament means more to me than any one I’ve ever played.”
“So it’s always good to play well around a place that means a lot to you.”
Jason Dufner and Russel Knox are tied in third place at -6 under par, two shots off the lead.
Tiger Woods in his long-awaited return to golf shot a +1 over par 73, he spoke about the barren winless streaks, which always ended with long successful streak, he is confident it will happen again;
“I’ve gone through phases like this, rounds like this, where yeah, it’s easy to revert back and go ahead and hit some old pattern.”
“But it doesn’t do you any good going forward. And I’ve done it. Sometimes it’s taken me about a year and then it kicked in and I did pretty good after that.”
“If you believe in it, do it. And eventually it will start turning.”
“And when it turns, I’ve had periods where I’ve played good for four or five years, where I’ve won close to 20 tournaments in that stretch.”
Troy Merritt has the advantage at the half-way point in the RBC Heritage, leading the tournament by a comfortable four shots at Hilton Head.
Troy set a terrific pace, starting on the back nine, going out in -7 under par 28 on his way to tying the Harbour Town Golf Links course record of -10 under par 61. He leads the RBC Heritage by four shots at -12 under par.
Troy has a strange quirk, in that he tries not to take a ball out of play after making a birdie with it, on this occasion his ball got beat up at the 12th hole, but he stuck with it, and made six birdies in the remainder of his round;
“It’s all about tempo for me, and the tempo was really solid today, it was fun to roll the putts in and hear the crowd cheer.”
“As long as I can break 61 on the front nine, I’ll be happy, I just want to enjoy the moment, not think too much about the shots and add them up at the end of the day.”
“Anytime that you match shot for shot with the Masters champ, with the way he’s playing, it’s a pretty good feeling.”
The Masters Champ he was referring to was Jordan Spieth, who shot -9 under par 62 today to recover from yesterdays mini slump of +2 over par 74, leaving him at -6 under par for the tournament T7. Jordan explained what had happened;
“That’s just better golf, I told you guys yesterday, no excuses, I just played poorly.”
“I went back to posture, ball position, hand position and tempo, and I struck that ball quite a bit better.”
“I don’t want to go home early.”
Troy’s two-round total of 130 also got to within one shot of the 36-hole tournament record, which is shared by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson, he said it would not stop him talking about it;
“It is pretty cool, but I’ll go ahead and say it was the second lowest through 36 holes, behind Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson, they won’t mention that I shot 130, which is fine.”
“I didn’t know that the course record was 61, had I known that, I might’ve started to hit some shanks or trying to hole some shots. It was just a lot of fun out there, fun to play in front of the fans.”
Tied in second place at -8 under par are Matt Kuchar and John Merrick, Matt with a -5 under par 66 and John with one better -6 under 65.
Defending Champion Matt played alongside Jordan, but stuck to his guns;
“The conditions were easier today than yesterday, so I think we all got out there thinking this is a good opportunity to take advantage of some tamer conditions, and I got off to a good start.”
“It’s got to be more than a coincidence when you have two guys in a group who fire great rounds. There’s certainly got to be some momentum that pulls the other ones along. It seems to happen a lot.”
Bill Haas has a three shot lead at the suspension of play in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Course. The second round was briefly suspended for 22 minutes early during the second round, due to the threat of a thunderstorm, and then again later, delayed for nearly an hour and a half for rain before the horn sounded for a third time to halt play for good. Not even the great Jack Nicklaus can control the weather.
Bill Haas, makes light work of the sand trap/ PGA Tour
Bill shot a second round of -5 under par 67 to top the leader board on -9 under par at the suspension of play on the second day. Many think that the inspiration has come from his new-born son Bill Jnr. Plus because he is away from home he is getting a good nights sleep;
” She certainly is toughing it out through the nights by herself, if anything else, it makes me that much more excited to get home. I had a great two weeks off, I had a son, I’ve been having great fun with that at home with my wife. And I think I’m just in a better frame of mind than I was three weeks ago after missing my second cut in a row. I don’t know if I give that credit or just the break was nice. And I love being under the radar, that’s fine with me. Let your clubs do the talking and hopefully at the end of the week I’m happy to surprise anyone. Even though I’ve never really had great success here personally, I love coming back, look forward to it every year, and part of it might be I’ve always known how much my dad liked it and how well he did here. Hopefully I can continue on the weekend and get a better taste in my mouth on how to play it as opposed to just liking it. It’s hard to imagine, golf obviously runs in our family and he’ll definitely be around it, no matter what. But I certainly won’t push him into it. I hope I’m playing long enough that he can caddy for me.”
Bill caddied for his father Jay, at the Memorial. He was in college at the time, and he doesn’t remember where Jay finished, other than that he had a nice week. So did Bill, who earned some extra spending money by wearing a Memorial cap with his caddy bib.
Gleneagles Golf Course
Created by Jack Nicklaus, the PGA Centenary Course is the Host Venue for The 2014 Ryder Cup, and a decision by Ryder Cup director Richard Hills, has revealed the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles will not feature on the European Tour in 2014. Richard announced;
“We are very grateful to the management of both Diageo, the owners of Johnnie Walker, and The Gleneagles Hotel for agreeing to postpone the Johnnie Walker Championship so that preparations for the Ryder Cup can begin as planned in July 2014. The magnitude of the Ryder Cup is such that trying to host the Johnnie Walker Championship in the same season would have compromised both events.”
The chief operating officer and director of international policy for the European Tour, Keith Walters revealed that a lot of thought had gone into making the decision;
” We looked at rescheduling the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles to an earlier week on the 2014 schedule but a suitable date could not be found. But we are delighted all parties have agreed to reschedule the Championship for 2015.”
This is a sad but unavoidable conclusion, we look forward to the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2015.