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RBC Heritage. Rain Stops Play. K.J. Choi Leads

dragon logo darkRBC Heritage Logo

Rain stopped play in the second round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island.  K.J. Choi was the clubhouse leader at the cessation of play.

K.J. Choi shot a 4-under 67 on Friday. (Maddie Meyers/Getty Images)

K.J. Choi / Getty Images

K.J. benefited from an early tee time at Harbour Town and took full advantage, recording a second round -4 under par 67, to sit atop the leaderboard at the end of play with a total score of -5 under par for the tournament. He was aware that this course might suit his game and decided to play this year instead of taking his usual trip home at this time of year;

“If you just hit it beneath the trees, it’s a good course to play. It has very small targets and this course is working well.”

Robert Allenby is in second place at -4 under par, and has only completed five holes of his second round, he was pleased to get off the golf course;

“It’s not fun when it’s blowing 20 miles an hour every different direction and it’s raining at the same time. So it was nice get out of there.”

Scott Langley dropped back, with second round +2 over par 73, which left him tied in third place at -3 under par.

Luke Donald is one of those players tied in third, following his completed second round of -2 under par 69. Luke likes this course, and his results prove that;

“It’s a good course for me and my results have certainly showed that in the last few years. If I’d got hot with the putter it could have been really special but, still, a very solid round, and glad I’m done.”

“You’ve got to keep it in play and plot your way around this course, that’s why I’ve had some success here. It’s not a course you can overpower and you need to be proficient around the greens. I hit 15 greens and, with these small greens, it’s a job well done.”

Five-time RBC Heritage champion Davis Love III certainly won’t be around for the final two rounds of this competition, after following a strong -1 under par 70 on Thursday with an horrible 80 in the second round, his highest score ever in 93 career rounds at Harbour Town.

 Matt Kuchar is also in trouble +4 over par in six second round holes, yesterday he shot a -5 under par 66, and will need to regain some of that form if he is to make the cut. His bad start didn’t seem to bother him too much, he told reporters that he was having fun with his kids;
“Chasing my youngest around the beach, so had some fun this morning. It’s going to be lots of games and some movies maybe the next couple of days.”

It is going to be a long day tomorrow for some of these players, having to complete round two, and then set off again for round three.

Farmers Insurance Open. Scott Secures Win.

 

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Scott Stallings secured the Farmers Insurance Open title at Torrey Pines south course with a last hole birdie.

Triumph at Torrey

Scott Stallings / Getty Images

Scott was in the fairway on the par five last hole, with 222 yards to the front of the green when his caddie said to him;

 “Let’s see what you’ve got.”

Scott obliged, hitting a four iron which just cleared the water and set up two putts from 40 feet for a birdie. That gave him a – 4 under par 68 final round for a -9 under par total. It also gave him the club-house lead, which no one was able to surpass, and a one-shot lead that turned into victory.

A year ago Scott was in a similar position in a tournament, and put his shot into water, no mistake this time around;

“I don’t think one would happen without the other, I actually thought about 18 at Humana the whole time on 18 today. Not that I was like, `Oh, don’t hit it in the water.’ But it was, `Just make sure you pay attention to everything that’s going on.’ You don’t get very many opportunities to win golf tournaments on this tour, I didn’t necessarily understand the situation I was in as far as the score, but I did know I had an opportunity.  I was playing to win.”

K.J. Choi had the best score of the week on the South Course with a -6 under par 66 and was among five players who tied for second place at -8 under par. Joining K.J. on that score were Graeme DeLaet, Jason Day, Pat Perez, and Marc Lieshman.

Pat Perez really wanted this win;

” It’s great and bad, this is the one I want to win more than anything in the world, and I came up short. I thought today would have been my day. I would like to be in that position again.”

Gary Woodland, who had a one shot lead at the start of play appeared to have the best chance to catch Scott. He was one shot behind when an errant tee shot on  the 17th, a hooked fairway metal into the canyon, basically ended all hope for him;

” This will be hard to swallow, I felt like I kind of gave one away today.”

Gary finished at -6 under par, three shots off the lead.

Tampa Bay Championship. It’s Tight at the Top.

It’s tight at the top of the Tampa Bay Championship after the conclusion of the third round at the Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead course. Kevin Streelman, Justin Leonard and George Coetzee share the lead at -6 under par.

Anyone's Sunday at Tampa Bay

Kevin, Justin and George /Chris Condon/PGA TOUR

Kevin Streelman had the best round of the day, a -6 under par third round that catapulted him to the top of the leaderboard as yesterdays leaders fell away to leave the tournament wide open.

At the start of play today Shawn Stefani held a slender one-shot lead over Aussie Adam Scott and K.J. Choi. Both Adam and K.J. fell back with third rounds of +5 over par 76s, and Shawn made the turn at +4 over par before rescuing his round by salvaging a 74 that leaves him two shots back of the leaders.

Right behind the three leaders are four players on -5 under par, they are Jim Furyk, Ben Kohles, Greg Chalmers and Tag Ridings.

Jim Furyk could have stayed at home to  handle the details for Monday’s upcoming event that benefits the charitable foundation that bears his name, along with wife Tabitha.

Jim joked;

” I really avoided all the work this week, being here. I made a couple of mistakes here and there, but I really feel like my game has gotten stronger every day. I feel more confident with the putter in my hand. I’m seeing a couple more putts go in, and I think that’s giving me confidence as well. That’s why my scores are getting better.”

Another shot back and you have the quality of World Number 3, Luke Donald making his presence felt with a bogey free -4 under par. Luke is tied at ninth position along with, Bryce Molder, Jordan Spieth, Brian Harman and Shawn Stefani.

Luke said there is a fine line between the top spot and 30th place;

” It’s a fine line between success and finishing 30th, I think a lot of my fans and myself, you know, have always expected to see me in the Top Ten, and up at the top of the leaderboard every week and sometimes golf is just not that easy. It was nice to go around this course and not make a mistake, not drop a shot, and you know, I wanted to shoot five or six under, nearly got there, a couple missed putts and didn’t birdie any par fives. Could have been a really low round today. But yeah, certainly moving in the right direction, as I said, I feel like my game has been close, and obviously starting to show with some results”

It will be a big shoot out tomorrow, and I expect one of the more experienced players to master the conditions and lift the trophy.

Tampa Bay Championship. It’s Still Shawn at The Top

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After the second round of the Tampa Bay Championship, Shawn Stefani is still at the top of the leaderboard, the rookie proving that his first round effort was no fluke.

Still Stefani

Shawn Stefani / Greenwood/Getty Image

Shawn Stefani completed his second round of the Tampa Bay Championship, presented by EverBank, at the Innisbrook Copperhead course, in -1 under par, for a tournament total of -7 under. The rookie is still at the top of the leaderboard, by just one shot, from the very experienced pair of Adam Scott and K.J. Choi, who are tied in second spot, at -6 under par for the tournament.

Shawn had to scramble more today that he would have preferred, although he did manage to convert all the putts he felt he was supposed to make in his second round;

” Today was a little bit more of a struggle, didn’t really drive it super great. Didn’t hit some of the best iron shots. But I scrambled well and I putted really great. When you putt good, that usually keeps rounds going, and that’s pretty much what happened today.”

Adam was pretty happy to go bogey free today, and set himself up nicely for the week-end;

To go bogey-free anywhere is good, and I think here is particularly good. It’s quite a tricky golf course, and mistakes are easily made, very pleased with that. I got myself right in contention for the weekend, which I’m pleased about.”

K.J. Choi is pleased with his position, just a shame I think that he is now using the claw grip on his putter;

“Sometimes very nervous, but I keep going more in line. But still, -6 under par, a very good position. My confidence is very well.”

There are four players tied in fourth place at -5 under par, they are, Harris English, Brian Harman, Jason Duffner and Peter Tomasulo.

World Number Three Luke Donald struggled again today, with a +1 over par 72, and way down the list tied in 31st place. I suppose really he was lucky to make the cut for the week-end. I hope he puts together a good round tomorrow.

WGC-Accenture Match-Play, Rory & Tiger Fall at First Hurdle, Again !!

 

 

Bracket busters

Rory & Tiger, early exits again. / Stan Badz/PGA Tour/ Getty Images

The WGC-Accenture Match-Play tournament brought two more early exits from Rory and Tiger at The Golf Cub at Dove Mountain, on the resumption of the first round today.

Shane Lowery defeated Rory McIlroy 1 up, Rory definitely seems to be having problems with his new equipment, Shane was feeling pretty good about his win;

“Obviously it was always going to be a tough match for me against Rory today, playing against the world No. 1. But I’m feeling quite good now, but it’s important not to get too high now because it’s only the first round, and I’ve got another match tomorrow and really looking forward to playing that.”

Rory admitted he just did not do enough to win the match;

“I didn’t make enough birdies in the end, Shane had a nice little stretch around part of the back nine. I hung in there, but I just didn’t do enough.”

Chucky Three Sticks defeated Tiger Woods 2 and 1, and said he knew he needed to play at his best to have a chance against Tiger;

“I knew I had to play my best to have a chance out there, he’s Tiger Woods and I was just happy to hang in there.”

Tiger felt he had played well;

“I didn’t really miss a shot today. We both played well, he made a couple of more birdies than I did. He played well, and he’s advancing.”

Luke Donald beat Marcel Siem 1 up. Marcel was making his World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship debut. He played well, but Luke said he did not worry when Marcel took the lead;

“I didn’t worry because I was hitting good shots still, I hit a couple of left shots on the back nine but drove it great today, hardly missed a fairway, hit a lot of solid iron shots and putted well. I obviously made it tough on him, too, and I just felt good about my game, so I wasn’t worried when I went 1 down on 12.”

There are still some first round matches to be completed, on Friday, before the second round can get under way.

Other notables winning today were Justin Rose, 2 and 1 over K.J. Choi; Ian Poulter, 2 and 1 over Stephen Gallacher; Martin Kaymer 2 and 1 over George Coetzee.

A loss for Lee Westwood at the hands of Raphael Cabrera-Bello after 19 holes, another poor result for Lee in this competition.

 

Farmers Insurance Open, A Bright Eyed Tiger Leads.

A bright-eyed Tiger Woods leapt into the lead at the Farmers Insurance Open, a tournament he has won six times before, and no one would bet against him doing it again after his second round of -7 under par 65 gives him a two shot lead over the chasing field.

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Tiger Woods / Jeff Gross / Getty Images

Tiger cruised around the easier North Course, and said leading the tournament made him feel good;

“I feel good right now, I’m leading the tournament. Drive the ball well here and you’re going to probably have four iron shots into the par fives.You sprinkle that in with probably four or five wedge shots in there, a round of  -6 or -7 under par is definitely conceivable. I’ve had beautiful practice sessions at home, if I can do it there, I can do it out here. Even though last week I played only two days, I felt like I hit the ball well enough to shoot a better score than I did. I had a couple of days to work on it, and I came out here and felt pretty good about it.”

In second place alone is Billy Horschel, at -9 under par for the tournament, he shot a round of 69 on the more difficult South Course. Billy said he is looking forward to the pairing with Tiger for the third round;

” It’s a good day and I’m excited about tomorrow,  I get to play with Tiger. I found out when I tapped in for par, I realized he was leading and I was in second place. So yeah, looking forward to that.”

In a packed leaderboard, Brad Fritsch, a rookie from Canada, had a 67 on the South Course to lead the group of six players at -8 under par. The others are Casey Wittenberg, Steve Marino, Jimmy Walker, Josh Teater and Erik Compton, who Tiger Woods referred to as being “remarkable” for being a two-time heart transplant recipient and being on the PGA TourBrandt Snedeker and K.J. Choi both struggled today, and have slipped back down the leaderboard.

Farmers Insurance Open. K.J. equals Brandt Snedeker for Lead

K.J. Choi has never liked Torrey Pines. In fact, he even sat out last year’s Farmers Insurance Open, as Brandt Snedeker went on to win. This year though he opened with a -7 under par 65 to tie defending champ Brandt Snedeker for the first-round lead. K.J. took on the tougher South Course in perfect conditions, but the forecast is not looking too good with rain predicted for Friday.

K.J. said in interview;

” The course is pretty long, the greens are pretty hard, so I felt like the course didn’t really fit me too well before, but I found something on the range this morning. Surprisingly, today all of my iron shots were kind of stopping into the green.”

Brandt Snedeker is also bemused why he always seems to play well, although the course does not set up well for him;

“It’s funny, you look at all the golf courses I should play well on, this should not be one of them. This is a long, difficult golf course with lots of rough and hitting a lot of iron shots. My strength is driving and putting, so it doesn’t really add up well around here, but for some reason, it’s been good to me.”

Brandt SnedekerHelen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

By contrast Phil Mickleson could manage only even par on the easier North Course, and he is tied for 90th place with a round on the tougher South Course coming up. Phil has no illusions about the task ahead of him if he is to make the cut;

” I’ve got to shoot something in the 60s, and if I can get a couple of putts to go, I putted very poorly, I’ve got to get that putter going. If I can putt well, hopefully, the mid-60s. I’ve been playing better than this, and there’s no excuses. Very lethargic off the first tee, I’ve got to get my head a little bit more focused on the shots, and I haven’t been as mentally focused starting out. So, hopefully, I’ll be able to turn that around tomorrow and start a little bit more effectively in the future. It’s going to take some exceptional golf over on the South, but three of the rounds are on the South, and there are some low scores out there if you play the course right and effectively. There’s probably half the holes where you’ve got to play for par and the other half you can make some birdies. 

Tiger Woods said he thought he had done a good job shooting -4 under par 68 for his first round at the Farmers;

“After being 1 under and then 1 over, to battle back and get to 6 at one point was a good job. It is different this tournament, because we didn’t play this fast, we had some rain overnight last night, but still these fairways are zipping. At least the greens are receptive. The greens are a little more receptive than in the practice round. I knew I had two par fives on the front side so I could get it down to par, and then maybe get two or three on the back, I thought that would be a good score. And lo’ and behold, I get it rolling. Get to 6 and a chance to go to 7, so it can change quickly. But, we had the perfect conditions for it. We couldn’t ask for better conditions to score than we had today.”
There are eight players tied in third place at -6 under par, Josh Teater, Adam Hadwin, Luke List, Ross Fisher, Billy Horschel, Chucky Three Sticks, Mike Weir and Scott Stallings. Tomorrow’s bad weather will soon sort that bunched pack, it will be an interesting days play.

Deutsche Bank Championship, Rory McIlroy leads afte the second round.

Rory setting the pace

World #1 Rory McIlroy/Rogash/Getty Images

World #1 Rory McIlroy has taken over at the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. Rory was very pleased with his performance, another round of 65, for a tournament total of -12 under par, and is looking forward to the weekend;

“Pleased with where I am, and looking forward to the weekend.”

Alone in second place is another Major winner, Louis Oosthuizen, who also had a second round 65, to go with his first round 66 for total of -11 under par. Louis spoke about his playing partner for Sunday;

“Obviously he’s playing really well, and it’s always nice playing with him, he’s got such a good swing. He goes for a lot of shots, he makes a lot of birdies, so it’s always fun to watch. “

Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore are tied for third at 10 under, Tiger missed all four of his putts between 7 and 10 feet and then to compound the problem three-putted the par-3 11th. Tiger lamented his missed chances;

“I didn’t make anything today.”

First round leader Seung-yul Noh could only managed a par round today and remains at -9 under par, along with a host of other players. One of them is South African Charl Schwartzel who is recovering from his torn abdomen muscle, an injury he picked up at the U.S. Open, Charl is playing well here, he spoke about his recovery and re-emergence as a challenger in the FedEx play-offs;

“I had the injury at the U.S. Open and it set me back quite a bit, came back, lost a bit of confidence, and just seeing if I can play myself back into it. There’s been great signs of it, sort of from Wyndham, just finishing poorly on Sunday. Same thing at Bethpage, I was up there, finished poorly on Sunday. It’s there once again, I can feel the game is great, so just a matter of finishing it off.  I think I played great, I got off to a really good start, then went to sleep for a while there in the middle and made a great save on 14, and that’s what woke me up a bit.  I made birdie on 15 and 17. I would have loved one on 18, it was a good chance, but overall it was a great round this afternoon with the wind blowing. What pressure ?I can still win the FedEx.”

There were six players who failed to make the cut of +2 and are now eliminated from the FedEx Cup Play-offs;  Here is the sad list;

Ricky Barnes, who entered this week ranked at 77th and is projected to fall to 92nd after finishing at +3 over par.

Rory Sabbatini,  entered the week at 94th and is projected to fall to 98th after finishing at +4 over par.

K.J. Choi,  started the week at 95th and is projected to fall to 99th after finishing at +4 over par.

Greg Owen, who entered the week at 76 and is projected to fall to 89th after shooting +5 over par.

Michael Thompson , entered the week at 82nd and is projected to fall to 96th after shooting +7 over par.

Cameron Tringale, who entered the week at 79th and is projected to fall to 94th after shooting  +10 over par.

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