Memorial Tournament. Justin Rose Has the Advantage.

White Dragon Golfthe Memorial Tournament

Ex Champion Justin Rose has the advantage at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club, and will take a three shot lead into the final round.

Memorial Tournament

Justin Rose / Getty Images

Justin separated himself from the field, shooting a third round -6 under par 66 to post a Memorial Tournament total of -15 under par.

Justin’s caddie, Mark Fulcher told him he liked their position going into this round;

“It kind of made me feel that there’s no panic, there’s no rush, you don’t have to force anything, just let it come to me.”

“And that’s the kind of round I played today. I didn’t force any hole. I didn’t force any shot.  But I hit the right shot at the right time which helped me build the score.”

“I was definitely feeling the pressure for a number of years to notch my first PGA TOUR victory, and it had become pretty elusive.”

” As time ticks on, it becomes harder and harder, so to finally do it and do it at a place like this and a tournament of this stature was fantastic.”  

“It definitely began to set me in a very good course, this tournament five years ago.”

“I felt excited about the Memorial and the U.S. Open, I felt excited about these weeks.”

“Now I’m in a situation where I want to win every year.”

“I’ve got that nice run going six years in a row with victories. Now there’s pressure to win every year, so you certainly don’t get complacent.”

In an International top three, Francesco Molinari and David Lingmerth share second place at -12 under par.

David kind of cooled off, carding an even par 72 third round, while Francesco kept up the pressure with -3 under par 69, in his first ever appearance here at Muirfield Village.

David said he lost concentration for a little while;

“I started missing a couple of shots and just kind of lost focus.”

“I got down on myself a little bit and I got a little frustrated.”

“Fortunately, though, I was able to turn it around here a little bit in the end.”

Jim Furyk is the highest placed American, alone in fourth place at -11 under par, a -2 under round keeping him in touch with the leaders. He hopes to pick the right places to be and play well tomorrow;

“There’s places to attack on this golf course and there’s places to play conservative, and I’m going to try to pick and choose those places tomorrow and hopefully do well.”

Tiger Woods totally imploded with his worst ever professional round, +13 over par 85 and  declined to speak to the media after his round.

Memorial Tournament

Tiger saying nothing/Getty Images

Phil Mickelson also stumbled along today, +6 over par 78, leaving him at +2 over par for the tournament.

It was not too long ago, when Tiger was number one, and every one assumed that when he slipped down Phil would naturally just step up take on the mantle of being the worlds best golfer. For one reason or another it just did not happen.

 

RBC Heritage. Fabulous Furyk Wins.

White Dragon GolfRBC Heritage

Jim Furyk won the RBC Heritage with a fabulous final round at Harbour Town Golf Links.

RBC Heritage

Jim Furyk /Getty Images

Jim shot a final round -8 under par 63, to get himself into a play-off for the RBC Heritage title at Harbour Town Gold Links, at -18 under par for the tournament.

Joining him on that final total of -18 under par was Kevin Kisner, who carded a final round -7  under par 64, which sent them into a sudden death play-off. Jim birdied the second extra hole, the par four 17th, to claim the win.

Jim said it was the perfect place to break his win drought, after nine unconverted win 54 hole leads;

“It’s been a little over four and a half years, to be exact, and I think that dropping that putt and getting excited on 17, there was a lot of pent-up frustration.”

“I can’t think of a more fitting place to kind of break that streak and get another win under my belt.”

“This is my favorite event. I love being here. And outside of winning another major championship, this is the perfect place to do it.”

“In 2010 when I won in Tampa, I said I was happy but I was more relieved, this week, for one reason or another it’s not really relief at all. It’s zero percent relief and 100 percent joy. It felt really good.”

“I’ve let so many slide by, I really kind of dug deep today, and I got it done.”

Kevin Kisner who had the shot of the day came as close on Sunday as any South Carolina native ever has in 47 years to winning the RBC Heritage, his home state’s annual PGA TOUR event, he tied with Jim after shooting a final round -7  under par 64;

“I knew the scores were going to be low, and I managed to shoot low.”

“But every time I looked up on the back nine, Jim was making another birdie.”

“You don’t expect a guy of Jim’s caliber to miss an eight footer straight up the hill.”

“I never felt like I was in the lead. I was always chasing, it was never like I was going to win at any moment. I had a chance, but man, I’m just proud of the way I handled it down the stretch.”

Troy Merritt finished in third place, at -16 under par, after a mediocre -2 under par last round of 69, a sad end to his great attempt to winning this title.

 

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

 

The Barclays. Two at the Top, Rory Recovers.

Best golf putter by white dragon golfThe Barclays

There are two players tied at the top of  The Barclays leaderboard, Adam Scott and Cameron Tringale riding high, while Rory McIlroy recovers to comfortably make the make cut.

The Barclays

Adam Scott / Getty Images

Adam followed his first-round 69 with a second round -6  under par 65 for a -8 under par total, which he said could, and should have been better;

“I played the par fives in one over today, so I could find four there for you, and missed so many 10‑footers it felt like. It felt like it could have been a whole lot better. I hit it so close to the hole all day and it felt like I missed most of my putts. I’ve got to take the positives but hopefully a few more go in over the weekend.”

 Cameron made a slow start and was 3 over par on his first three holes Friday, but made six birdies and no bogeys to complete the round to post a total -8 under par;

” I kind of got behind the 8‑ball early and just kind of kept my head up and kept playing. I knew I was swinging well and if I gave myself some chances, I could make birdies. That’s pretty much what I did. “

Three players are sharing third spot, all on -7  under par for the competition, Kevin Chappell, Brendon Todd and the evergreen Jim Furyk.

Jim explained that he thinks it is just experience which helps him to keep contesting tournaments;

“There’s an argument, probably experience and pacing yourself probably comes into play.”

 ” I just keep seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that, hey, I’ve got all this time off coming up and I’ve been playing well, let’s try to keep it going, and I’ll be cooking breakfast and taking the kids to school here for a couple months.”

“I look forward to that and it makes it easy for me to play these last four events, because I want to play well, it’s an exciting time of the year and I know that you’re going to have a bunch of time off come the fall.”

Rory shot a -6 under par 65 today, to move to -3 under par for the tournament, and is now only five shots off the leaders. He reported that it was just practice that got him comfortable with his swing again;

“I went to the range yesterday afternoon, worked on a couple of things and just got comfortable with my swing again.”

“After not really touching a club before this week I felt a little bit rusty out there yesterday. It didn’t take long, maybe an hour on the range to sort of get things back on track, and I’m glad I did it because i played really well today.

“I’m going to have to get off to a fast start tomorrow to try and catch those guys before they go out on the golf course.” 

Phil Mickelson was one of twelve players who made the cut at +1 over par, on a strange day where he missed a very short putt, and played a shot from the hospitality area, which unfortunately led to a bogey;

“My drop was going to be in hay, I had a clear lie on nice ground there and played it. It wasn’t hard to make contact, it was hard to hit it on that skinny little green and get it to stop. That was it.”

Phil Mickelson thrills fans with shot from hospitality area at Barclays

 

RBC Canadian Open. Furyk in Position to win Third Canadian Open Title

White Dragon GolfRBC Canadian Open

Jim Furyk is in position to win his third RBC Canadian Open title at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

 

Furyk in line for third RBC Canadian Open title

Jim Furyk / Getty Images

Jim carded a third round -5 under par 65 to top the RBC Canadian Open leaderboard at -15 under par, a three shot lead going into the final round tomorrow. Today he said he just had fun, another bogey free round;

“For the most part of the day, I felt like I played really solid. I hit the ball well again. It was a fun round of golf, really.”

Not really worrying about what position I’m in the golf tournament, not looking at the leaderboard too much, going out there and trying to attack the golf course the same way that I have the first three days will be key.”

” I noticed there aren’t many leaderboards on the course, that might be a good thing.”

Tim Clark is in second spot, three shots back at -12 under par for the tournament, a -6 under par 64 today helped his cause. His only PGA TOUR victory came at the 2010 PLAYERS Championship;

”It’s always great to get off to a good start, Saturdays are normally the toughest day to score on, so you dream of a start like that.”

“It’ll be great to be in the final group. Jim is a really tough competitor, and this course seems to fit into our sort of game. It’s an Open Championship. You need to hit fairways and greens, and that’s both of our strengths.”

“Right now I feel good and I am able to swing how I want to. Three months ago I started to hit the ball good again, but I just wasn’t scoring. Finally, the last few tournaments, I’ve started to score.”

Third place belongs to Kyle Stanley, a -2 under par round gave him a total of -10 under par for the competition, five shots off the lead.

Leading Canadian is Graham DeLaet, who is sharing fifth place at -8 under par, a long way from the guys at the top. It looks certain that the lack of a Canadian winner is set to continue, unless Graham can do something really special;

“Disappointing to three-putt the last, I really wanted to make that birdie and got over-aggressive. But it was a fun day. The crowds were amazing out there. Hopefully, I can do something special.”

RBC Canadian Open. Petrovic & Furyk Lead at Half-Way.

White Dragon GolfRBC Canadian Open

Tim Petrovic  and Jim Furyk lead at half-way stage of  the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

Furyk goes low at RBC

Jim Furyk / Getty Images

Jim returned a second round of -7 under par 63 to share top spot at the RBC Canadian Open with Tim Petrovic, who carded a -4 under par 66, to reach the -10 under par tournament total.

Receptive greens helped Jim achieve his score;

“I think today’s round and yesterday’s weren’t much different: a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, a lot of opportunities. Today I think I capitalized on a few more of those, but the golf course is still playing pretty soft, the greens are very receptive.”

“I don’t know if I’ve ever played in a group where we shot 63, 63, 65. I was giving Kuch a bunch of crap for being the schlub in the group shooting a 65.”

“Lord knows I’ve taken abuse from him over the years. So nice to get one back.”

Tim admitted it has been a while since he was last at the top of the leaderboard;

It’s been a while, but last time I got myself into position like this I think I won New Orleans, but I kind of came from behind.”

I’m trying to get back to what I do well, I call it ‘Petro Golf.’ Hit it in the fairway. Hit it on the green. Make the putt. It sounds simple but I’ve gotten away from that.”

” It’s nice to be here on the weekend for a change.”

Playing alongside Jim was Canadian Graham DeLaet, who also fired a -7 under par 63, to share third place at -8 under par, he said he needed to keep making birdies just to keep up;

“It was a great start. All of us were making so many birdies out there. You felt like you had to make putts just to keep up.”

” I felt like I was in pretty good control of my game all day. I had a couple of hiccups, but I really rolled in a lot of good putts.”

Kyle Stanley is sharing third spot with Graham, he posted  -3 under par today.

Yesterdays whiz kid Canadian amateur Taylor Pendrith slumped to a +5 over par 75, to finish at even par for the competition, he at least made the cut on the number. What is it about these ten shot swings between good rounds and then the bad one, everyone seems to do it.

Big casualties in the cut department were Dustin Johnson, Sang-Moon Bae, Hunter Mahan and Luke Donald.

The Players. Martin Makes It His.

 

dragon logo darkTHE PLAYERS Championship

Martin Kaymer makes The Players Championship his at TPC Sawgrass.

Shot in the dark: Kaymer survives to win PLAYERS

Martin Kaymer / Getty Images

 Martin survived a late mini wobble recording a double bogey on the 15th hole, after a 91-minute rain delay. He carded a par on the par 5, 16th and then sunk  clutch 28-1/2 foot par putt at the iconic 17th hole;

 “It was more than big, it was a good putt with a little bit of luck. Fortunately, it happened at the right hole. Made a couple of wrong decisions on 15.”

“There was a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations, and even though I was trying to talk about it in a way that it was only the first day, only the second day, but somewhere deep down you hope that you can bring it home.”

 

Martin finished his final round at -1 under par 71, and a tournament total of -13 under par, a one shot win over second placed Jim Furyk who had been sitting in the club-house at -12 under par. Jim had carded a magnificent last round of -6 under par 66 and was watching on TV as Martin wriggled out of danger, and had to acknowledge that putt ;

“That putt was incredible. I’ve struggled at this golf course, my results haven’t been nearly as good as I would have liked. I was on a roll coming in here and I wanted to continue it, but it’s fun to play well in front of friends and family.”

Third place belonged to Sergio Garcia, at -11 under par, following his final round -2 under par 70, he lamented his late silly mistakes;

“Just a shame, just a couple shots on the back nine. That’s what it came down to, and that’s what it usually comes down to. Unfortunately a little slip on the pine straw on 11, mis-hit it in the water, and then a bad shot on 14. We tried as hard as we could, but unfortunately we weren’t good enough.”

“You know, it’s still another good week, we keep putting ourselves in a situation to win, just came up a little bit short, but we’ve got to keep trying.”

Have to report on the Justin Rose situation, I wrote yesterday about silly officialdom, somebody must have agreed with me because Justin had his two docked strokes reinstated;

“I didn’t know that this new recall was in place. Overnight I read an article that explained the new rule and I kind of thought it applied to my case. I’m certainly surprised it’s overturned, very rarely is that ever the case. Never, ever the case.”

An hour before Justin teed off for his final round he was informed by Tour officials that the penalty was rescinded under a new decision dealing with high-definition rulings making him the first player to essentially begin a round -2 under par.

For once golf officials have used common sense to settle an issue. For me all decisions should be made from the evidence available to officials on the course, never someone calling in from the other side of the world.

Jordan Spieth did not fare so well again in a final round, but he will soon. He recorded a +2 over par last round 74 to finish it a tie for fourth place with Justin Rose.