Valero Texas Open. Jimmy Walks It.

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Jimmy walks it all the way to the winners circle at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.

Valero Texas Open

Jimmy Walker / Getty Images 

Hometown boy Jimmy Walker lives just 35 minutes drive away from TPC San Antonio, and had his whole family our supporting him. He is the first 54 hole leader this season to go on and win a title on the PGA Tour.

A final round -2 under par 70 gave him a winning total of -11 under par, and a comfortable four shot victory;

“It doesn’t happen very often, winning in your home town.”

“The course wasn’t giving as much and it was hard to make pars.”

“I felt I was leaking a little bit of oil here, wasn’t putting very good and then finally smoothed out the putting stroke a little bit and got it back to where it was the past couple of days.” 

“All this keeps adding momentum and confidence, that’s what we’re out here to do.”

“I like Augusta, I’m going to take a look at it. I’m excited to go.”

 

 Longhorn Jordan Spieth finished in second place at -9 under par, he also had a last round -2 under par, and try as he might he could not catch the unflappable Jimmy.

PGA FedEx Cup Champion Billy Horschel was third on his own at -4 under after a final round -1 under par 71.

Texas Longhorns are a nearly extinct breed of English cattle, found in the Lone Star State 

Valero Texas Open. Aaron Plays Badly, Jimmy Jogs Along at the Top.

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Poor Aaron Baddeley played badly, while Jimmy Walker jogs along at the top of the Valero Texas Open, at TPC San Antonio.

Valero Texas Open

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Jimmy shot a third round -3 under par 69 to top the Valero Texas Open leaderboard with a -9 under par total, and a four shot lead going into the final round on Sunday. The only thing going against Jimmy is the fact  that no 54 hole leader has gone on to win this year.

The par-4 12th hole at TPC San Antonio turned out to be the turning point of the round, Jimmy hit driver off the tee and watched as the ball disappeared into the left bunker. They could not see it in the bunker, but started digging, and eventually found it deep in the sand and managed to just get it out;

“I’m in there digging, I’m moving earth and I can’t find the ball, really? is it here? it’s here. I don’t know. It was kind of hectic.”

“I didn’t really know what to do, I didn’t know if the play that I made was going to be right. It was way under there.”

“So that was a bummer, but I got it out somehow and then hit a good shot up there and thought if I made the putt that would have been gigantic. Making five was good there.”

“I view tomorrow that I have to go out and play a good round because, you know, seeing, it’s just hard.”

“You can get on the wrong side out here pretty quick, it’s that kind of golf course, it’s hard.”

“So you have to really concentrate and hit the golf shots you need to hit. So that’s what I have to do tomorrow.”

Jordan Spieth is in second place at -5 under par for the competition, he also had problems with the tee shot on twelve, finding a bunker and ended up with a five;

“I think driver was the right decision, but where I went wrong with it is instead of ripping the drive, I tried to just bleed a fade off the bunkers and take some off.”

“And that’s just what I do on the weekends when I get in trouble. I’m trying to do a little too much.”

Jordan then went on to double bogie the 16th and finished the round with a -1 under par 71;

“I just made a bad swing, if it had gone against the grandstands I would have been left with that same up and down I had the second time.”

“It was kind of a stroke penalty bad break on it. All-in-all, I didn’t deserve a good one with that swing.”

“For me, I’m not necessarily looking at it as a shootout, if we were both 9-under or six shots clear of anybody else, I’d agree with you.”

“But tomorrow is about me just going out there and off the bat trying to play a good, solid round of golf and gain some momentum.”

“If it happens to be where we get into a shootout it’s going to be fun. Fun for the people watching us, and even more for Jimmy and I to be out there dueling it out.”

Billy Horschel has claimed third place on his own, he also had a third round -1 under par 71, for a tournament total of -3 under par, he finished the day with some momentum, three straight birdies;

“I needed it because I actually played really well for most of the round.”

“Fortunately I hit some good shots on the front side and got rewarded for it with the wind dying down and the ball landing real soft on the greens compared to the last couple of days.” 

“I hung in there, I made some good par saves at 14 and 15. I told my caddie we need to make at least two birdies coming in. It was nice to make three. I’m right where I need to be going into tomorrow.”

Aaron finished the day at -1 under par for the tournament, after his disastrous +4 over par 76.

Valero Texas Open. Jimmy Walker Leads

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Jimmy Walker leads the Valero Texas Open at the half-way stage at TPC San Antonio.

Valero Texas Open

Jimmy Walker / Getty Images

Jimmy used a hot putter to put together a second round -5 under par 67 in the Valero Texas Open, and would dearly love to win at Home;

“I was just kind of around the hole, didn’t make anything, and then finally got one to go on six.”

“I hit a good iron shot, just got it on top of the ridge there on 7 and made that putt.”

“And that 12-footer I made for birdie on the par-5, 8th hole, that was a nice little finish.”

“I’ve been rolling it pretty good, I’ve been working hard on my putting at home and it was ready to go this week. It feels like the hard work is paying off.”

“A win anywhere means a lot, but being at home, you get to have parents, in-laws, friends, best friends, distant family.”

“It would be cool. It doesn’t put anymore pressure on you, I think. If anything you’ve got a nice support crew out there and you’ve got good vibes and good mojo, and I believe in all that stuff.”

“So I think positive energy is good. I think we’ll have a lot of that.”

Aaron Baddeley and Charlie Hoffman are still in touch, just one shot behind at -5 under par for the competition, sharing second place.

Kevin Na and Jordan Spieth are tied in fourth position with -4 under par totals.

Jordan said he would like to see the return of the wind

“I would like to see a little bit more wind than today on the weekend to have a chance to shoot a few under and make up some ground.”

 “Overall, I’m very pleased with today. I got a really good draw today, on top of yesterday, and took advantage.”

“It played about as easy as I think it can play today.”

“A couple of the holes were still in tough locations, but there should be some more gettable locations this weekend. But all in all, this was the day to take advantage.” 

“I’m in contention which is right where I want to be. I’m chasing Aaron and Jimmy, two really, really good players that aren’t going to give up the lead easily, so I’m going to have to bring my A-game.” 

Sony Open in Hawaii. Jimmy Walks It.

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Jimmy walks it, easily defending his title and winning the Sony Open in Hawaii, by nine shots over his nearest rival.

Sony Open in Hawaii

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Jimmy fired in a final round of -7 under par 63 to post a winning total of -23 under par, in defense of his Sony Open in Hawaii title.

Jimmy said he kept the pedal to the metal, and his putting was good;

 “After Monday I was kind of wondering how things were going to go. I came in and just continued to do what I did last week, which was hit it really good, and I putted even better this week.”

“Today was all about keeping the pedal down, and that’s kind of what I talked about at the beginning of the week. If I got back to that position, could we really try to extend the lead instead of just hang on.”

“I feel like all the hard work I’ve been doing is paying off, I put in the time. I feel like I’ve got good people around me, and I think that’s really made the difference. They’ve helped me believe that I can be better than I am.”

Scott Piercy finished in second place, albeit a long way back, at -14 under par for the tournament, a last round -4 under par lifting him up the leaderboard.

Scott was coming back from arm surgery, saying he wanted to play better than before;

“I was beaten up pretty bad mentally from trying to play through it.”

 “I didn’t really want to see a golf club for about two-and-a-half months and that’s about the time frame before I could even start working out or doing anything.”

“My goal was to come back better, not to come back where I was before I got hurt. I was in a pretty good spot and I’m looking to go right past that one.”

Matt Kuchar, who was close to Jimmy at the start of play today, finished in a tie for third place with Harris English and Gary Woodland, all at -13 under par.

Matt slumped to +1 over par final round, playing alongside the all-conquering Jimmy Walker;

“I had a number of really good chances on the back nine.”

“I felt like I hit it very well,  I was hoping to get a little pressure on Jimmy. I was trying to get one to go and nothing did. And Jimmy never really missed a shot.”

“He made the game look pretty easy.”

Shell Houston Open. Sergio Surges Ahead.

dragon logo darkShell Houston Open Logo The Shell Houston Open  was brought to life when Sergio Garcia surged into the lead in round two.

Sergio Garcia's score of 12-under 132 matches the 36-hole low at the Golf Club of Houston. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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Sergio surged into the lead early on in the second round of the Shell Houston Open, shooting a -7 under par 65 that took him one shot clear of the field at -12 under par for the tournament. He said he feels like he is play nicely, he needed only 25 putts today;

“I do feel like I’m playing nicely, I feel very comfortable with my equipment. I feel comfortable with myself in and outside the golf course.”

Matt Kuchar is just one shot back of the leader, a second round -5 under par 67 saw him climb up the leaderboard, finishing the day at -11 under par.

Matt and Sergio have a history of rivalry that goes all the way back to their amateur days. The two battled it out in the quarterfinals of the 1998 U.S. Amateur as the reigning British and U.S. Amateur champions. Sergio won that time around, and Matt is still quite taken with the way Sergio is playing, even tho he will likely be a Ryder Cup foe later this year;

“He’s fun to watch swing a golf club, he’s been putting it really well for a couple years now, he’s switched over to the claw grip and really rolls it nicely.”

Matt Jones is one of four players tied in third spot, at -8 under par for the tournament, sharing that place with him are, Cameron Tringale, Shawn Stefani and Jimmy Walker.

Matt needs a victory here to qualify him for his first Masters, he missed a chance at the BMW;

“I had a chance on the last hole at BMW Championship, from 6 feet, and I hit a great putt that I thought was in, and it lipped out, and that was the difference between me finishing top 30 and not. But I had a good year, I can’t complain at all.”

The FedExCup points leader, Jimmy Walker, is happy that the putts are dropping in again;

“I feel like I’m hitting it good and my putts are going back in, so I’m looking forward to the weekend and seeing what happens.I think when you’re really playing well, you make a lot of putts. I just kind of went through a stretch where I wasn’t making a ton. I think that plays a lot into it.”

 Local boy Shawn Stefani said it was nice to be playing golf in his home town;

“It’s just nice to come out here and play well at home.”

Phil Mickelson is excited to be in the mix for the week-end;

“I’m excited about the weekend because first of all I haven’t had many opportunities this year. I haven’t been in contention and I can feel my game start to get sharp.”

 Padraig Harrington is one of the notables who are missing the cut, he was disappointed, but will watch on TV;

The Masters is a great tournament. It’s worth watching. I’ll enjoy watching it. It’s disappointing to miss out.”

Padraig is joined in the going home crowd by, Charles Howell IIIJordan SpiethLouis OosthuizenTrevor Immelman and Defending Champion D.A. Points.

Accenture Match-Play. Rose & Rory Out. Magic McDowell Survives Again.

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Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy crashed out of the Accenture Match-Play tournament at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Course on Dove Mountain. Graeme McDowell survived another match where he looked like losing, once again.

Graeme McDowell  (Getty Images)

Survivor G-Mac / Getty Images

Justin went down to Ernie Els, 1 up, while Rory lost to Harris English, on the 19th hole. G-Mac went three down after six holes against  Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan. He then birdied the seventh and eighth to get within one hole, only to then lose the 14th to be two down with four holes to play. Graeme won the 15th and the 17th, and rounding off with  a ten foot putt on the final green to seal a one up win.

He joked afterwards;

“Why do it the easy way when the hard way will do. I just got off to a slow start again, probably less so today. I was quite proud of myself when I got a half on three, so I was only two down after three, as opposed to three down. I tried to go out there today and execute my game plan and try not to give him any room, try not to make any mistakes, try not to give him anything, and he kind of played the same kind of golf back. He played very, very well. 

“I made big putts on 15 and 16. The 16th especially was a massive putt to give me the opportunity.I feel very fortunate again today. I’ve certainly expended all my energy and emotions the last couple of days, but thankfully it’s early in the season and I’ve plenty left in the tank.”

Louis Oosthuizen dumped out Henrik Stenson 4-3, and Webb Simpson dispatched Brandt Snedeker by the same score.

George Coetzee is still doing fine, winning the 21 hole battle with Patrick Reed. Jason Day took even longer to overcome Billy Horschel, 22 holes.

Sergio Garcia is going along smoothly, a 3-1 victory over Bill Haas, while Jason Dufner eliminated Matteo Manassero by 2-1. 

Sergio said he had fun out there today;

“It was good fun, we both played hard. We both tried to play as well as we could to beat our opponent and I was fortunate to be just a little bit better than him today.”

A resurgent Rickie Fowler beat Jimmy Walker 1 up, Matt Kuchar beat Ryan Moore by the same score. Jim Furyk took care of Charl Schwartzel 3-2, and Jordan Spieth was too strong for Thomas Bjorn, beating him 5-4.

Victor Dubuisson continued to impress on his World Golf Championships debut as he overcame Peter Hanson 3 -1 to progress to face former Masters Tournament winner Bubba Watson, who saw off Jonas Blixt at the 17th hole when Jonas lost his ball under a bush. ( would have been ironic if Jonas had got a free drop, wouldn’t it)

Some good match ups tomorrow and any of the remaining players could win, as Graeme McDowell said yesterday, this is a brutal format.

Accenture Match-Play. Who Lost on Day 1

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The Accenture Match-Play tournament was most noted for who lost on day 1 of the competition, at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain.

Day 1 recaps: Accenture

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It was a great victory for Ricky Fowler, defeating legendary matchplay exponent Ian Poulter 2-1. Even Ricky thought Poults was on a winner;

“I was definitely an underdog coming in. Heck, if I was filling out a bracket, I would have picked Poulter, too.  It feels like a big win after those missed cuts, it was nice to be the underdog. I had nothing to lose.”

Another Englishman on the wrong side of the leaderboard was Lee Westwood, he was defeated by Harris English 5-3.

George Coetzee, fresh from his win in South Africa, defeated Steve Stricker, an unlikely result at the start of play.

Zach Johnson, coming back from a layoff, lost to Richard Sterne 5-4. Everyone must now wonder if the unenforced rest period was a disaster, as Zach was playing really well beforehand. Another loser on day 1 was Keegan Bradley, falling to Jonas Blixt 2-1. Luke Donald also packed his bags, losing 5-4 to Matteo Manassero.

G-Mac only just made it,  he was four down through seven holes, and still three holes behind with three to play, when he staged an improbable rally against Florida neighbor Gary Woodland

Daily Wrap-up

Graeme McDowell / Getty

Graeme said he was surprised to get through;

“I’m sure he’s extremely disappointed right now, and I’m extremely elated. I’m surprised to be sitting here, having won. Yeah, I hit a couple of quality shots down the last couple of holes, but he had mistakes, as well. It’s a brutal format. I thought it was over, you’re not coming back from 3 down against a guy that’s playing as well as him. Yeah, I’m still going to try to hit my shots. But it required a mistake from him to give me half a sniff, even. It feels like a Sunday afternoon on Wednesday.”

The big names that made it safely through include, Henrik Stenson, the number one seed here, Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, albeit after 22 holes, Jimmy Walker, Justin Rose, Ernie Els, Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson.