Quicken Loans National. Two Tied at the Top, but not Tiger.

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Kevin Chappell and Troy Merritt are tied at the top of the Quicken Loans National, but not Tiger who everyone expected to see there.

Quicken Loans National

Kevin Chappell / Getty Images

Kevin and Troy sit on top of the Quicken Loans National leaderboard with -14 under par totals, on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.

Kevin had a -4 under par 67 third round, but had to bow to Troy  who posted a tournament record-10 under par 61.

Kevin has a simple game plan;

“You know, I’ve done a really good job of functioning this week.”

‘”That’s the grass. That’s the sky. That’s the hole. That’s my ball.’ Shoot the lowest score tomorrow and I win the golf tournament.”

Quicken Loans National

Troy Merritt / Getty Images

Troy had missed five consecutive cuts coming into this week, but now says things are sorted;

“The big thing is we put ourselves into contention for tomorrow and that was the goal.”

“I wanted to have a good week this week and I’ve been taking weekends off for two months now.”

“I finally made putts, it’s really frustrating the first few days hitting the ball really, really well and having good proximity to the hole and not getting much out of it.”

“Today I hit the ball really well and got a lot out of it.”

Sitting in third place is Rickie Fowler, at -13 under par, he had a third round -3 under par 68, which included a crazy 70 ft roller coaster of a putt which dropped in the hole, but overall he was not happy with his performance;

“Little frustrated with a couple mistakes that I made out there today, but excited about where I’m at.”

“I had a good number on seventeen and just made a bad swing. Got those out of the way and there’s tomorrow.”

Jason Bohn, Whee Kim, Charles Howell 111 and David Lingmerth share fourth place at -12 under par.

Charles is looking to keep the pressure on the leaders;

“I made some birdies and they’re out there, got to keep the pedal down tomorrow.”

Charles played alongside Tiger Woods, who slumped back again today, shooting +3 over par 74;

“I was waiting for the one moment, the one shot. I couldn’t find it.”

“Sometimes it’s one of those things you hit it awful on the range and go stripe it on the golf course.”

 “That wasn’t the case here.”

Defending champion Justin Rose has pulled himself up into contention with a third round -6 under par 65, and sits in the group at -11 under par for the tournament.

 

The Open. An Irish Amateur Shares the Lead.

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An Irish amateur Paul Dunne shares the lead at The Open Championship with Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day at the end of round three on Sunday, at a calm St. Andrews.

The Open

Paul Dunne / Getty Images

Paul Dunne shot a bogey free third round -6 under par 66, to share the clubhouse lead at -12 under par for the tournament. Louis and Jason both had -5 under par 65’s to join Paul at the top of a congested The Open Championship leaderboard.

Paul is the first amateur since the legendary Bobby Jones to lead The Open after 54 holes, Bobby went on to lift the Claret Jug at St Andrews in 1927.

Louis played alongside Paul, and this to say of the young mans talent;

“He’s played unbelievable golf, that second shot on 17 was one of the best I’ve seen.”

“I think he made me so nervous on my second shot because I was going a completely different route, low, running up there, and I tugged it a little bit to the left. But it was an amazing shot. He deserved to birdie that.”

Paul was asked if he could win The Open, he replied;

 “I don’t see why not. I’m well capable of shooting the scores that I need to win if everyone else doesn’t play their best.”

“Whether it happens or not, I can’t really control. I can just go out and try to play my game and see where it leaves me at the end of the day. Hopefully I play great again and post a good number.”

“It’s surreal I’m leading The Open, but I can easily believe that I shot the three scores that I shot.”

“If we were playing an amateur event here, I wouldn’t be too surprised by the scores I shot. It’s just lucky that it happens to be in the biggest event in the world.”

“Hopefully I can do it again tomorrow, but whether I do or not, you know, I’ll survive either way.”

In fourth place on his own is Masters Tournament and US Open Champion Jordan Spieth, who brought his grand slam dream back to life with a third round -6 under par 66, which has given him a tournament total of -11 under par, and just one shot back going into the final round tomorrow. History beckons.

Jordan insists he is not really thinking about it;

“It hasn’t come up in my head while I’ve been playing yet.”

“I can’t speak for tomorrow given it’s the last round and if I have a chance coming down the stretch, if it creeps in, I’ll embrace it. I’ll embrace the opportunity that presents itself.”

“I don’t look at it as a negative thing, I look at it almost as an advantage.”

“Why should it add more pressure in a negative way? If it adds more pressure, it just makes me feel like this is something that’s a little more special, let’s go ahead and get the job done.”

“I know it’s easier said than done, but when you say added pressure, most people associate that with negativity or something that can hinder what’s comfortable.”

“For me, I think it could be advantageous. You hit the ball a little bit further, you can really get your mind around a more specific target and block out other things.”

Fifth position belongs to another Irishman, the three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington, he posted a bogey free third round -7 under par 65, to reach -10 under par in the competition, and definitely has given himself a chance of grabbing another Major title. He joked with the media about this not being the final round;

“I always wanted to shoot 65 on Sunday at an Open. Unfortunately there’s another round to go.”

There are no less than nine players tied at -9 under par, in sixth place for the tournament; Australians Marc Leishman and Adam Scottanother amateur, American Jordan Niebrugge, Sergio Garcia from Spain, Justin Rose and Danny Willett from England, South African Retief Goosen, and two more Americans, Robert Streb and Zach Johnson.

Marc shot the low round of the day, a -8 under par 64, to put him in position to win his first Major.

Retief, the two-time US Open champion, was happy with his position;

“Three, four shots off the lead going into tomorrow is a good place to be.”

 “I’m feeling great. I have no back pain. I’d rather play bad golf and have no back pain than good golf and back pain and not being able to sleep or anything else.”

“I’ve had a good run in my career, but it’s nice to be up there and hopefully have a good day tomorrow, see where we end up.”

Longtime leader Dustin Johnson, who battled through the bad weather, collapsed in the calm conditions of the third round, carding +3 over par, and dropping to -7 under par for the tournament, and tied in 18th place, with his chances of picking up The Open Championship title in tatters.

Scottish Open. Thorbjørn Olesen Shoots 63.

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Thorbjørn Olesen shoots 63 in the first round of the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club in Scotland.

Scottish Open

Thorbjørn Olesen / Getty Images

Thorbjorn opened the Scottish Open with a -7 under par 63, in benign conditions, to sit on top of the leaderboard with a two shot advantage at Gullane Golf Club.

Thorbjorn has recently returned from three months of injury, but in his first event back, the Mauritius Open in May, lost a play-off. He spoke of his rough times, and how good he is playing now;

“It’s been a tough time but I keep working on the right things and hopefully it will come.”

“I hit almost every green, only missing the 18th, and hit a lot of fairways, which was the key.”

There are no less than eight players tied in second place at -5 under par, after their first rounds of 65; American Ryder Cup player Jimmy Walker, Swede Johan Carlsson, Spaniards Alejandro Cañizares and Adrian Otaegui, and four Englishmen, Seve Benson, Matthew Nixon, Richard Finch and Daniel Brooks.

The next group, at -4 under par has nine players, which includes Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, and Shane Lowery.

Graeme has been looking at old videos of his swing, when he was winning;

“I’m trying to get back to basics and we have narrowed my stance and used my body to swing the club how I used to.”

“I feel as if in an attempt to improve some things in my technique, I’ve actually got worse.”

“It was also nice to get back on a course that gives you a few opportunities in benign conditions. I just need a few low numbers to get my belief and confidence back and today will go a long way towards that.”

Defending Champion Justin is relying on caddie Mark Fulcher to plot a route around the Gullane Golf Club course;

“He’s doing the hard work and making my schedule a lot easier.”

“It was a pretty stress-free round and I did not burn up too much energy out there.”

Rickie has not played very well since winning The Players;

“There’s nothing you can really do about it. Things just start going the wrong way, and you can’t fix it, and you just kind of forget it. Unfortunate timing.”

“Those days just come, and there’s other days where it goes the other way and you can’t miss the hole.”

“So kind of give and take. That’s the way life is. That’s the way golf is.”

Phil Mickelson carded a -1 under par 69, he won The Open just one mile down the road at Muirfield in 2013, he struggled on the greens here at Gullane.

Scottish Open

 

Memorial Tournament. David Lingmerth Wins in Play-Off

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David Lingmerth wins the Memorial Tournament in play-off against Justin Rose at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Memorial Tournament

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David shot a last round – 3 under par 69 to equal the Memorial Tournament total of Justin Rose at -15 under par, setting up a play-off for the title.

Memorial Tournament

David and Justin / Getty Images

The three-hole playoff was the longest in Memorial Tournament history and with David having lost his previous two play-offs. Sweden has won on the European Tour and PGA this week a first time event I think. David gave credit to his Uncle for getting him to play golf in the first place. He spoke about the 20ft putt that Justin dropped in at the first play-off hole, thinking before that he could win the tournament right there, and then he had to sink his 10 footer just to stay in it;

“It’s an honor being here, and winning is surreal.”

“If I didn’t have him, I might not even have played golf, he’s pushed me and tried to get me to the mindset that I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

“Playoffs are exciting and my heart was beating, but I think I handled it pretty well.”

”I was thinking to myself that I’d probably have a putt to win the tournament right there,’ and then he drops it in, and this big, huge roar.”

“Crazy feeling. So I took a few moments just to let the crowd and myself calm down because I knew how big that next putt was going to be.”

“I’ve been in a few playoffs. You win some, you lose some. But I didn’t feel that it was my turn to lose this time. I was telling myself that I was going to make that putt.”

Justin lost a three shot lead at the start of play, he talked about David making that putt and the poor drive on the 3rd play-off hole that lead to defeat;

”He needs to look back at that putt that kept it going on the first extra hole, he did everything he needed to.”

“I hit pretty much as good a shot as I could hit from the lie, I just tried to dig out a 3-wood.”

“I was trying to get it in the left bunker, and I couldn’t quite get enough cut on it to get it to the left bunker. But I was pretty much aiming 80 yards left of the green.”

”When I made that putt on the first extra hole, I thought, wow, I’m going to steal this one, but it wasn’t to be.”

 Jordan Spieth tied in third place , he closed with a -7 under par 65 and finished up only two shots behind the leaders in a tie with Francesco Molinari  at -13 under par.

Jordan said the Golfing Gods were not with him today;

“The golf gods were not on my side today.” 

“They were certainly a little nicer today than they have been. But I would call it kind of evening out over the day.”

“On a course like this, you’re going to get some unlucky breaks more than you will catch good ones just given how tough it is.”

Best not to ask about Tiger Woods who obviously finished in last place, by a long shot.

 

Memorial Tournament. Justin Rose Has the Advantage.

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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.

 

Memorial Tournament. Lingmerth Leads.

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David Lingmerth, from Sweden, leads the Memorial Tournament at the half-way stage at Muirfield Village Golf Club, in Ohio.

Memorial Tournament

David Lingmerth / Getty Images

David had a second round -7 under par 65 to lead the Memorial Tournament after 36 holes with a -12 under par total.

David, who usually makes slow starts to rounds, yesterday he was  +2 over par after four holes, but has made 14 birdies and no bogeys since;

“All of a sudden I just started playing the way I know I can, and it was pretty stress-free after those four holes yesterday.”

David got his first set of clubs, and some coaching from his uncle Goran, who played in the NFL, with the Cleveland Browns;

“I got my first set of clubs from him when I was 12. If I didn’t have him, I might not even have played golf.”

“He’s pushed me and tried to get me to the mindset that I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

“So he’s been a good inspiration in so many ways. When I moved over here for college, he was like my second dad.”

Jason Dufner is in second place at -11 under par, carding a second round -5 under par 67, and in the first two days has scored four eagles,  a hole-in-one with a six iron at the 201-yard, par-3 16th hole. Jason is only the third player, since 1983, to card an ace and three other eagles in his first 36 holes of a PGA TOUR stroke-play event.

Jason actually spoke to the media today, about the hole in one;

Memorial Tournament

Hole in One / Getty Images

“It looked pretty good from my vantage point.”

“I’m hitting it really good, I’m having enough good holes, good shots, to offset some of the mistakes I’ve had.”

“Probably the best I’ve ever done.” 

Tied in third place are Ryan Moore and Andy Sullivan, at -10 under par. Andy shot the low round of the day, -8 under par 64, while Ryan carded a second round -5 under par 67.

 Andy has won twice on the European Tour in 2015, but is making his first stroke-play start in the United States. His only other start in the U.S. came at this year’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play;

“I’m just grateful for Mr. Nicklaus and Don Sullivan to give me the invite to come out and have the opportunity to play. So I’ll try and take full advantage of it.”

The defending champion Hideki Matsuyama is in a group of six players all at -9 under par.

Memorial Tournament

Hideki Matsuyama / Getty Images

Hideki did not play as well today as the first round;

“Today was back to the same old grind. So it’s right to the practice range right now and see if I can get it figured out. I’ll be there a while.”

Joining Hideki on -9 under are, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk, Francesco Molinari, Brendon Todd and Patrick Rodgers.

Tiger Woods made the cut on the number, -1 under par, but insists he is making progress;

 “That’s the whole idea of going forward. You have to be able to do it on the golf course, even if it’s bad.”

Memorial Tournament

Tiger Woods / Getty Images

 

 

 

The Players. Day 2. Two Tied at the Top

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There are two players tied at the top of The Players, Jerry Kelly and Kevin Na both had good rounds today, while some big names failed to make the cut.

The Players

Kevin Na / Getty Images

Kevin and Jerry hold a two shot lead at -8 under par for 36 holes at The Players at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.

Jerry with a magnificent -7 under par 65 against Kevin’s more modest -3 under par 69 to both get to -8 under par for the tournament.

Kevin has overcome a terrible bout of “The Yips” which at times prevented him from taking the club back;

“I had the yips, that’s what it was.”

“A lot of the guys when you have that, they fall off the planet.”

“They play poorly and nobody really sees and hears about it. But the weird case was, I was playing some of my best golf and I couldn’t take the club back.”

“How does a guy not take the club back every time he hits it, and it goes down the middle?”

“I don’t know. Do you want to open up my brain and check it out? I don’t know. I try to not think about it. I got over it.”

“Having the yips, I think because I went through that, I’m a better player now.”

“I hope people get over that and see me as just a guy that’s playing well on TOUR versus a guy that couldn’t take the club back.”

Bernhard Langer is a player who could not control the putting yips, which is why he uses the Long Putter. Not sure if Bernhard will retire from golf at the end of this year, when long putters will be banned. On the other side of the coin, Bernhard holds the record for the most birdies made at the treacherous 17th in The Players, some 25 of them in his career. Ironically he also holds the record for the longest putt holed at the 17th, 59 feet 9 inches. Sadly He missed the cut here this year.

The Players

Jerry Kelly / Getty Images

Jerry carded a -7 under par 65 second round, and reported that he lives on adrenaline;

“I enjoy adrenaline, I am 48. I know it almost ravages the body as much as it helps it as you start getting older, but I would like to hang out for another couple of days and have some fun with it.”

“I figured I would have another chance at this golf course, I didn’t think it would be that long, but it’s just strange. This whole career has gone by in the blink of an eye.”

There are four players tied in third place, two shots back at -6 under par for the tournament, Branden Grace, David Hearn, Chris Kirk and the ever-present Rickie Fowler.

Rickie could have had second place on his own, but a loose shot on the par 5 16th found water, leading to a bogey.

Rickie and Ian Poulter were tied in a magazine survey with 24 percent of the vote, for the most overrated player on tour. Rickie was not worried about the comments of his peers;

“If there’s a time where I need something to kind of give me a kick in the butt, then I can think of that and it will put me in the right frame of mind to go out there and take care of business.”

 World number one Rory McIlroy stumbled a bit today, he too could have been better except for a trip to the water. He finished with a -1 under par 71 and a -4 under par total;

“A lot can happen, and I feel like I’m in a decent position.”

Tiger made the cut on the number, but Phil Mickleson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald all had to go home early.

Phil was left wondering how he ever won here;

“I was thinking to myself as I was walking around, `I can’t believe I’ve actually won here,’ you know?”