U.S. Open. Four tied at the Top.

White Dragon GolfChambers Bay

There are four players tied at the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard after 54, mostly disappointing holes. Jason Day teed off and then proceeded to work his way to the top, along with Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Branden Grace, all at -4 under par for the title.

U.S. Open

Jason Day / Getty Images

None of the leaders could make the final break to top the U.S. Open leaderboard on their own, although they all had some serious chances, the Broccoli like greens defeating their best efforts. Of the top four only Jason broke par today, -2 under par 68, Dustin and Branden were even and Jordan was +1 over.

No one else could catch them, only six players managed to break par on the day, with Louis Oosthuizen carding the lowest round, -4 under par 66. That’s back to back 66’s for Louis, shame about the opening round 77, or he could have been right up there with them. He is currently T5 at -1 under par, with Cameron Smith, Shane Lowery and J.B. Holmes.

The next best all at +1 over, and seeing as the pin positions will be at their hardest tomorrow, I don’t expect anyone to topple one of those top four. But anything could happen, because no one can putt on these variable speed, lumpy greens.

Jason only spoke to a USGA official, and then headed to his motor home to lie down;

“I didn’t feel that great coming out early.”

“I felt pretty groggy on the front nine just from the drugs that I had in my system, then kind of flushed that out on the back nine.”

“The vertigo came back a little bit on the 13th tee box, and then felt nauseous all day. I started shaking on 16 tee box and then just tried to get it in, really.”

“Just wanted to get it in. I think the goal was just to go through today and see how it goes.”

Caddie Colin Swatton summed it all up;

“That was the greatest round I’ve ever watched.”

“I said, ‘You’ve got the heart of a lion. You get to show the world today you get to be the greatest you can be and look, let’s do it.’ And he just put his head down and kept walking, one foot in front of the other.”

“It was pretty impressive.”

Jordan wants to try and limit the mistakes tomorrow, and thinks he has a solution to playing 18;

“We’ll just have to check where the wind is, there’s an option to play down No. 1.”

“All in all, I thought it was a dumb hole today, but I think we’re going to play it from there again, so I’ve got to get over that. Just need to limit the mistakes tomorrow.”

U.S. Open

18th hole Via 1st Fairway

The  Fox Sports’ U.S. Open telecast is one of the poorest attempts I have ever witnessed at presenting golf to the world. The background music was so loud the commentator could not talk over it. The camera at times was unable to follow the ball flight, and had no idea where it was. The commentators mixed up players names, twice I heard Jason Spieth. So all in all this championship has been let down by the poor course condition, and inadequate presentation on the TV.

Do you think watching this tournament would make you want to out and play golf? certainly not at Chambers Bay.

AT&T Byron Nelson. Aussie Steve Wins Easily.

White Dragon GolfAT&T Byron Nelson Logo

Tie me Kangaroo down sport, Aussie Steve Bowditch easily won the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Four Seasons Resort. Winning this event is almost an Australian tradition, Adam Scott and Jason Day have both won in recent times.

AT&T Byron Nelson

Steve Bowditch & Trophy / Getty Images

Steve won the AT&T Byron Nelson with a -18 under par tournament total, a four shot victory, following his final round -5 under par 64.

Having his picture taken here again was a surreal moment for Steve and wife Amanda, they held their wedding reception here almost four years ago, and they have no plans to move away from the “No Tax” State;

“Pretty surreal feeling, taking photos on the green today was definitely the second best time I’ve had on that green.”

“I can’t see us moving anywhere else.”

“When it’s good, it’s good, when it’s not, I’m just trying to hang on.”

“Most of the time, it’s dry and it’s windy, so I think that is a little bit of an advantage for Australians, so to speak.”

“It’s just the way we grow up. But this week, I’m not sure. I guess everything clicked and it was my time to win.”

Amanda added her remarks about the wedding;

“It was fun to have them celebrate the wedding and it’s equally as special to have them celebrate this win.”

“It was a special day in our lives and this one is right there with it.”

There was a three-way tie for second place, all at -14 under par, Charley Hoffman, Jimmy Walker and Scott Pinckney.

Zach Johnson shot a -6 under par 63 to finish alone in fifth place at -13 under;

The hometown favorite with the gallery, and Masters champion Jordan Spieth stayed at -7 under par after his last round of even-par 69, T30;

“I really tried to soak it in today, I was getting frustrated this week just trying so hard, which is what I’ve done in past years as well. I don’t know if that’s going to stop in the future.”

 

 

Farmers Open, Jason Day Wins Four Way Play-Off

White Dragon GolfFarmers Insurance Open

Jason Day wins the Farmers Open in a four-way play-off at Torrey Pines Golf Club in San Diego.

Farmers Open

Jason Day / Getty Images

Jason, along with Harris EnglishJ.B. Holmes and Scott Stallings all finished the Farmers Open on the South Course with totals of  -9 under par. A four-way play-off ensued, with Jason grabbing Victory with a par at the second extra hole, the par three 16th;

“It’s an amazing feeling, I’ve been working so hard for this.”

“I was visualizing myself holding the trophy, just like I did at the Match Play. I’m really proud of myself to hang in there and grind it out.”

“My ultimate goal is to get to number one at some point but there are a lot of great golfers in front of me.”

“It’s a good start to the year, just like last year; hopefully I can stay healthy and give it a good run.”

Jason has moved up to No. 4 in the world, just ahead of Adam Scott, and became the highest-ranked Australian for the first time.

Charles Howell 111 finished at -8 under par, tied in fifth place with Alex Prugh.

Charles loves this course, and being in contention again;

“I love the golf course, it’s different than a lot we play in that par’s a good score. The rough is really, really thick. I can’t really think off the top of my head of a regular event, non-major, with thicker rough than this. Par’s a heck of a score.”

“It’s nice to be back in the mix, if you asked me earlier in the week how my game was, I would have said ‘average.’ My scoring hasn’t been very good over the past, let’s call it month.”

“So, I was spending a lot of time this week on my short irons, wedge, putting and etc. But I’ll be honest with you: I was really happy to be back in the mix and feel that again. The last time I won a golf tournament feels like two lifetimes ago. So, I can’t even, I know the date, and then I’m really aging myself.”

The Farmers Open tournament honored Billy Casper, who died on Saturday night, there was a picture of him on the first tee and also flowers. Billy grew up in San Diego. Tributes poured in, including one from Arnold Palmer, who lost a big lead and the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic Club.

Billy staged one of the greatest comebacks in golf history by erasing a seven-stroke deficit on the final nine holes to tie Arnold Palmer, then prevailed in an 18-hole playoff to win.

Arnie had this to say;

“He was a better player than most people gave him credit for being and is going to be sorely missed in the golf world.”

Accenture Match-Play Championship. Day Lights Up Dove Mountain.

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 Jason Day lights up the Accenture Match-Play Championship at the Ritz – Carlton Golf Course, on Dove Mountain, in Arizona.

Perfect Day denies Dubuisson

Jason Day with the Walter Hagen Cup / Getty Images

 Jason eventually overcame Victor Dubuisson at the 23rd hole to edge a win in an epic WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship final. Victor managed a couple of wonderful up and downs to deny Jason, he was still three holes down with just six  remaining. Victor reduced the deficit with a birdie on the 13th, and then kept the match alive with another on the 17th. All square at the end of regulation, Victor then  bounded through the green at the first extra hole, his ball coming to rest in a seemingly unplayable lie underneath a cactus. He somehow conjured a pitch onto the green and to within four feet of the hole, from where he holed for par after Jason had saved his par from a greenside bunker.

Following that escape Victor’s approach shot to the par four ninth careened into more desert bushes. Once agin he casually pitched out and calmly holed from seven feet for par after Jason had missed his birdie attempt.

Tom Watson Tweeted;

“Two of the greatest up-and/downs I have ever seen Victor!!!” 

 Gary Player agreed

“This is simply fantastic stuff!! @Vdubush is Houdini.”

Jason  finally sealed victory with a birdie on the fifth extra hole after an excellent pitch to three feet, he too was amazed at Victor’s escapes;

“The guy saves par straight out of the cactus twice and for a 23-year-old kid he has a lot of game and you are going to see a lot of him for years to come. I think the biggest thing was how much do I want to win. I kept saying that to myself last night and visualizing myself with the trophy and I am just glad I could finish it off.”

“The best thing about this is that every day felt like Sunday, it’s a good way to handle your nerves and understand what you are feeling under the pump. We played six rounds and just to know you can dig down and keep fighting and not quit until it’s over, that’s what it’s all about. I never wanted something so bad in my life and I am definitely very pleased with it.”

Victor ignored the two magical up and downs, and simply said;

”I’m disappointed because I made some terrible shots.”

In the third/fourth place play-off match, Ernie Els birdied the 18th to force extra holes, only for Rickie Fowler to make his own birdie on the first extra hole to take possession of third place.

 

Accenture Match-Play Semi’s. Victor Dubuisson in Final.

 

 

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Victor Dubuisson has a chance to become the First Frenchman to win  World Golf Championships at The Accenture Match-Play title.

Victor Dubuisson   (Getty Images)

Victor Dubuisson / Getty Images

Victor beat the veteran Ernie Els, 1 up, when Ernie failed to get up and down from a bunker on the 18th hole. Victor enjoyed the victory;

 “It feels great, especially because this morning I was not feeling comfortable.I didn’t sleep very well and when I arrived at the course I realised I was in the semi-final of a World Golf Championship event against Ernie Els. I am a big fan of him, always watching him winning majors, and I was not as comfortable as the round before. That’s why I had a poor start. I made three or four very bad shots and then I tried to focus again on my game and knew I had to play my best golf. That’s what I did and proved my mentality is very solid.”

Ernie was taking the positives away from this tournament;

“I hit a very poor second shot on eighteen, so it was a tough way to finish. But give Victor credit, he made quite a few birdies in the middle there. He was in a lot of trouble and he deserved to win. It’s tough to take. I didn’t play that nicely coming in. I missed quite a few makeable putts and had some bad irons shots. I’m playing with brand new equipment with Adams, and it’s only my fourth event.  I had a chance to actually get to the finals. So I’m looking forward to the rest of the year and I’m really excited about things.”

Jason Day beat  Rickie Fowler 3 and 2, Jason  looked to be cruising to victory when he led by three holes with seven to play, but lost the next two to give Rickie some hope of mounting a successful comeback. After Rickie bogeyed the 15th, the match came to an anti-climactic end as he then three-putted the 16th green, from six feet;

Rickie said he knew it was going to be a tough match;

“I knew Jason was going to be tough. He made quite a few good putts, he didn’t give me a whole lot. He missed a par putt on twelve, but other than that he played solid all day. On fifteen I was in a tough position, I couldn’t really make anything of it and sixteen was a complete misread. Jason played well and he’s going to be tough to beat this afternoon.”

Jason said he thought he could win this week;

 “I felt like I had a really good chance of having a shot of winning this week and I am really looking forward to it. I played some nice golf today so hopefully I can keep it going in the final.”

Accenture Match-Play. Rickie Rolls On.

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Rickie Fowler rolls on at the Accenture Match-Play tournament at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Course on Dove  Mountain in Arizona.

Day 4: Match recaps

Rickie Fowler / Getty Images

 Rickie Fowler has a strange nightly routine, climbing a rugged hill adjacent the Ritz-Carlton where he is staying. The process seems to be working wonders as Rickie is on a roll here at the Accenture Match-Play, today beating Jim Furyk 1 up.

He spoke about the ritual;

“It’s a good little workout. It will get you sweating, I guess it’s been working.”

 Jason Day beat an ailing Louis Oosthuizen, who needed  lengthy treatment for a long-standing back injury before play started and received more massage out on the course, before eventually losing 2 and 1 to Jason.

Jason talked about being wary of the wounded golfer;

“It’s that old saying, beware of the wounded golfer. I think he went out the last four days with no expectations and I think that’s why he’s playing so great. I wanted to play good myself and get through to the next day. I love the golf course and I just like that one-on-one match. It’s fun fighting it out to see who’s best”

Louis admitted he was not feeling that great;

“I was disappointed to start on the range this morning not feeling too good. It got better, the last four or five holes I felt I could get through the ball better. It’s a bit painful that it always happens when I’m playing well and I need to address it big time and get it sorted. I felt I played really well but you can’t give away holes to a guy like Jason. I had a tough start and it was really tough to get back from that. If I take two or three days off, everything feels brand new, but it’s irritating that it’s coming back all the time.”

Ernie Els duly completed a 4-3 victory over Jordan Spieth, and said he was elated;

” I’m obviously elated to be going through, It’s been a wonderful week up to now. At times I haven’t played my best, as you guys have well documented and know, but it is match play – I’ve just done enough to get through. Today I felt like I played a little bit more solid, but still not quite to my expectations. Jordan obviously didn’t play as good as he did yesterday, thank goodness, and I was just a bit more solid.”

Jordan Tweeted;

“I’m embarrassed about the way I acted on the course today. Played like the 13 year old version of myself mentally.”

At the course he said;

“I didn’t have my swing, but I was a little mental midget out there. Actually kind of embarrassing looking back. I was dropping clubs and kind of just whining, and you just can’t do that. In match play you’ve got to keep your cool. Anytime you show that, it’s weakness.”

Victor Dubuisson prevented Graeme McDowell from completing his fourth comeback win, Victor  the winner on the 18th hole,1 up.

Semi-Final match ups, Jason Day will face Rickie Fowler, while Ernie Els plays Victor Dubuisson.

     

Accenture Match-Play. Garcia’s Gentlemanly Conduct. G-Mac King of Comebacks

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 Sergio Garcia was guilty of serious gentlemanly conduct in his loss to Rickie Fowler, conceding a seventeen foot putt. G-Mac came back from the dead once again, a resurrection indeed.

No regrets: Garcia concedes 17-footer in loss to Fowler

Sergio & Rickie / Getty Images

 Rickie Fowler defeated Sergio Garcia, 1 up, Friday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship , but that included the conceded putt of seventeen feet. The incident took place took place at Dove Mountain’s seventh hole, Sergio felt that he  had taken too much time to take a drop at No. 6, and conceded the halving par putt to Rickie. Sergio’s 7-foot par was conceded in return.

Sergio explained the extraordinary event like this;

I don’t regret it at all. I think that this is a gentleman’s game and lately, it hasn’t felt like it’s been like that. This is the way I was brought up by my dad. I felt like my drop on six took too much time. If I would have been in his position, I wouldn’t have enjoyed waiting so long to hit my birdie putt after the great shot that he hit. I thought that was the only thing I could do on seven to make myself feel better and not feel guilty about anything.”

The real problem was bee’s, Sergio asked for a drop away from the bee colony, saying;

 “I don’t want to hit the shot, I’ve had bad experiences with bees.”

Rickie was confused for a while;

“I had to kind of find out what he was asking or offering there, it took me a minute to figure it out.  It would be stupid not to take a half. He said, ‘You wanna halve’ I didn’t know what he meant. I thought maybe he had a sandwich”

For a the third day on the trot, Graeme McDowell came from behind to win. Claiming victory in  his quarter-final clash with Victor Dubuisson at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Graeme McDowell  (Getty Images)

G-Mac / Getty Images

Graeme was again on the ropes at two down with two to play, he rallied with two closing birdies, which saw the former US Open Champion force extra holes, and a 15 foot birdie putt at the third extra hole, after Hunter had found a greenside bunker. The victory sealed a last-eight spot for the Volvo World Match Play champion.

Graeme was amazed to still be in the tournament;

 “It’s entertaining for sure but I’d much rather have it much easier, believe me. I can’t get my head around it. I was pretty sure I was beat against Gary Woodland, yesterday I thought I had a chance and today walking off the 16th green I thought I was beat again. The par save on the second play-off hole was just ridiculous, he holed from 20 feet there. I can’t believe it really, I have just robbed three players at this tournament and I can’t believe I am still in it.”

Victor Dubuisson avoided a comeback by Bubba Watson, clinging on for a one up victory after being three up with four to play. Making his World Golf Championships debut, Victor feels he is ready to join the next Ryder Cup team;

“I’m definitely ready because I have good experience of match play as an amateur. I hope the three matches I have won will help me get into the team.”

Ernie Els came up with a brilliant approach shot to within two feet at the 18th to see off Jason Dufner 1 up, while the other South African Louis Oosthuizen dispatched Webb Simpson 5-4.

Jason Day defeated George Coetzee 3-1, and Jordan Spieth beat Matt Kuchar 2-1. Jim Furyk defeated Harris English 1 up.

So far this week I have manged to avoid using the word bracket, but thought I had better mention it just in case you thought I was not aware.