The Players. Jason Day Delivers.

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Jason Day delivers the result of a World number one, a win at The Players at TPC Sawgrass.

Day wins THE PLAYERS

              Jason Day / getty images

Jason had a final round -1 under par 71 to post a winning total of -15 under par at The Players, for a comfortable four shot victory.

Jason had his troubles on the round, on the par 5 ninth,  duffing three chips out of the Bermudagrass rough, and had to hole a 6-foot putt just to save bogey;

“I felt like an amateur chopping my way to the pin from only 10 yards off the green.”

 “If I walk away with a double-bogey there, that gives my pursuers a boost of energy, a boost of momentum.”

“Once I got to 10, I kind of said to myself, ‘You’re still in the game, you’ve still got the lead.”

“You’re still in good shape.”

“Once I holed the birdie putt, that kind of settled everything down, then I could kind of relax and go about my way.”

“I’m sitting there going, don’t choke, that would be the worst thing in the world, everyone would be talking about it.”

“Things like that go through your mind. They go through your mind out there on the front nine.”

“It did, it really went through my mind. I just kept on saying to myself,  just settle down.”

“Tiger says he’s going to kick my butt when he comes back, so I’m going to try and extend that gap.”

Kevin Chappell finished in second place, a last round -3 under par moving him up the leaderboard, finishing with a -11 under par total;

“I’m really proud of the way I hung in there, I was 2 over par through 26 holes and really fought hard to make the cut.”

“To hang in there today after a slower start, I’m real proud of myself.”

“It kind of mirrored my week, slow start, and really fought there in the middle of the round to salvage it, and then I finished strong, which is nice.”

Tied in third place at -10 under par were Justin Thomas, -7 under 67 today, Matt Kuchar, -4 under 68, Colt Knost -3 under 69, and long time challenger to the leader Ken Duke, who stalled on the last round signing for an even par 72.

The tough conditions were the same for everybody, only the World number one Jason Day was able to cope with them sufficiently.

 

The Players. Jason Jogging To The End, and Victory.

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After a day of carnage at TPC Sawgrass Jason Day has a pretty simple task jogging to the end and victory at The Players.

Jason Day is looking for his third win of the season. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)

Jason Day / getty images

Jason will take a four shot lead into the final round of The Players, even after he shot a third round +1 over par 73, he posted a tournament total of -14 under par.

His only real mistake came from  a four putt double bogey at the 6th hole. It was a very tough day out on the course, and the wind really did not factor too much, it was the greens being lightning fast that caused all the problems, once the ball was rolling, if it did not fall into the cup, it just kept rolling.

Jason was not too fond of the set up, and was amazed at Ken Duke’s score;

“What course was Ken Duke playing today? Can anyone tell me? Was he playing across the road?”

“I mean it was just, to be able to shoot that score is better,  I think that should be the course record.”

“It was just an absolute joke.”

Hideki Matsuyama, Ken Duke and Alex Cjeka share second place at -10 under par.

Alex, aged 45 carded a third round of even par, a good score on the day.

Ken, aged 47, shot the round of the day -7 under par 65, and even he mentioned the speed of the greens;

“Somehow, overnight, these greens got two or three feet faster.”

“I’m just a player on the PGA TOUR, they’re all good out here, and when you get some good number and make some good putts, the scores are there.”

” But it was a great round. This golf course is very difficult with this condition, and it was a really unbelievable round.”

“I think this is our championship, The Players, and it should be set up as difficult as possible.”

“The conditions today, it shows it. You have to play your best golf around here, and obviously the best players in the world are here.”

Many good players fell by the wayside, Rory McIlroy shot +3 over par 75, eleven strokes more than yesterday, he is hanging in with the group at -5 under for the championship. Shane Lowery started the round in the final group with Jason, but scored +6 over 78.

Sergio Garcia managed a five putt, is this really what people want to see, whether lady luck is on your side, or not. I would rather watch a good contest, with good golf being achievable to most of the players. There were only six players under par today.

Ken Duke’s round was described as the best round of golf ever by Russell Knox;

“I looked up on the board and saw Ken Duke shot 65, and I was like, ‘What?’”

“That’s the best round of golf ever, probably. It was incredible how hard it was out there.”

Russell unfortunately fell at the par three 17th, dropping three tee shots into the water, on his way to carding a nine.

 

 

 

 

 

– Duke

Billy horschel “Man, I felt like I was putting on dance floors out there,” Horschel said. “We all did. Augusta is probably the quickest greens we play all year, and I’m sorry, Sawgrass made those greens look like 8s on the Stimpmeter.”

Valspar Championship. Three Way Tie at the Top.

White Dragon GolfValspar Champ

There is a three-way tie at the top of the Valspar Championship after the first round at Copperhead. Charles Howell 111, Keegan Bradley and Ken Duke share top billing.

Charles Howell III hits out of a bunker on the 15th hole during the first round of the Valspar Championship (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Charles Howell 111 / Getty Images

All three players carded first rounds of -4 under par 67 in the first round of the Valspar Championship, Charles and Ken bogey free.

Charles was happy with his bogey free effort, and is thinking of The Masters;

“I was impressed I got away with no bogeys.”

“It was nice to get off to a good start here on a place like this.”

“I’m not sure what the rest of the week will hold, but to actually play a nice round on a tough golf course is good for my confidence.”

“Always this time of the year, the Masters’ carrot looms, when April comes around it has a different feel, at least for me, than the other majors.”

“So when the Masters comes around and I’m not in it, then it’s a bit of a wake-up call or a kick in the rear to somehow make one last push to try to get in it.”

“It’s not like it’s more special to me than anyone else. Everyone feels that way about it.”

“It’s such a great event. It would be nice to somehow find a way to get there.”

“This golf course is so difficult and there’s trouble everywhere, and I don’t expect tomorrow to be a bogey-free day. Pars are good scores.”

Keegan said  he has been working hard to improve his game;

“It’s been tough, it’s no fun playing poorly out here.”

“I see all my buddies up there doing well and it feels not fun to feel like you’re on the outside looking in.”

“So I’ve been working the hardest in my career.”

Chesson Hadley holds third spot on his own with  -3 under par 68, while defending champion, and World #1 Jordan Spieth continues to struggle, +5 over par 76, and will have to work hard just to make the cut;

“I got off to a poor start, and I was behind the eight-ball with gusty winds on a very tough course.”

“Unfortunately now, on my off-days, typically my history, I’m able to hold that around even par.”

“I’m just shooting too high a number, and didn’t squeak out even today, even though it was an even par kind of round.”

“Hopefully less wind tomorrow and can work hard to play on the weekend.”

Travelers Championship. Duke Wins In Play-Off Duel

Ken Duke won the Travelers Championship in a play-off duel with Chris Stroud at TPC River Highlands.

Late bloomer

Victorious Ken Duke / Getty Images

Ken had a last round of  -4 under par 66, for his tournament total of -12 under par. That score was equalled by Chris Stroud, who had a last round of -3 under par for his total of -12 under par.

Ken has played in 187 PGA Tour events without a win, but he never gave up hope, and was rewarded today for his diligence, recording a birdie on the second play-off hole to claim victory. He admitted it has been a long journey;

” Yeah, it’s been a long time,  I’ve been on the Canadian Tour, the mini tours, Asian Tour, South American Tour, all of them, Web.com, and it’s just great to be a part of this big family on the PGA TOUR. You gotta believe in yourself in everything you do. That’s why those guys at the top are winning week in, week out because they believe they can do it. It’s kind of one of those things once you finally do it, it might come easier the next time. That’s kind of the way I feel.”

Chris spoke about the difficulty of working out the club required for the correct yardage;

” I had three shots from 94 yards on 18, the exact same yardage, and I could not figure out a way to stop that ball.  “Regulation, luckily, I chipped it in.”

In Third place was Graham DeLaet, one shot adrift at -11 under par.

Graham pledged to donate $1000 for every birdie he made to the relief fund for the people of Alberta, where widespread flooding is blamed for at least three deaths and forced thousands to evacuate. PGA TOUR Canada, a Bank and a Canadian businessman all agreed to match the donation. Graham finished with three birdies on Sunday and nine in total for the weekend;

” Hopefully it puts a small dent in what they need, but our hearts are still with them.”

Bubba Watson blew his chances away with a triple bogey six on the par three 16th hole. A very costly error, as he was leading at the time, he spoke about the shot afterwards;

“The wind affected the first shot, and the wind didn’t affect the next shot. I flew it 3 feet past the hole, which you can’t do right now because the greens are so firm.”

Bubba finished alone in fourth spot at -10 under par, how he missed those three dropped shots on sixteen.

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Tiger Trounces the Course. Justin suffers the Jitters.

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Tiger Woods trounced the Bay Hill course in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, shooting a third round -6 under par, 66. Meanwhile Justin Rose, who seemed to be cruising with a two shot lead, suddenly suffered a severe case of the jitters.

Can he be stopped?

Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler / Greenwood / Getty Images

Tiger putted like a champion today, it helped him to his -6 under par round and a tournament total of -11 under par, a lead of two shots over the field. The man looking most likely to mount a serious challenge to Tiger is Rickie Fowler, no slouch himself today, with a third round of -5 under par, which elevated him to -9 under par and in a tie for second place. He will also play with Tiger for the final round, something that he could not handle last year when he faced the same task. He shot a last round 84 that day, compared to the winner Tiger Woods, who came home in 67.

Tiger said he now knows how to fix his game while out on the course;

” I just understand how to fix my game, it’s taken me a while. I was hurt for a long time. The changes to make the swing from where I was to now is a pretty big change.I hit a bad shot here and there, and that’s easy to fix. I know what my fix is going to be and that makes a big difference. I’m much more comfortable, but also I think that I’m feeling pretty good physically, that was huge. I’ve had one more year of working on my game, and here I am. Just because I’ve won here doesn’t ensure that I’m going to win the tournament, the conditions are different. The game might be different. But the objective is still to put myself in position to win the golf tournament and somehow get it done on Sunday. Over the course of my career, I’ve done a pretty decent job of that.”

Rickie remembers that bad day at Memorial;

” After Memorial, I’m looking for a little redemption, I’m feeling good about the pairing, about my game. I’m going in there with the attitude that I have nothing to lose and we’ll see what happens from there. He’s definitely the guy to beat but I’ll be right there to see what’s going on. With him having leads on courses he loves like this and Torrey Pines and Doral, and I’m sure there are others, he’s basically never lost with a lead in the final round. So I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing if we can go do that.”

Tied in second place with Rickie are jittery Justin Rose and John Huh, Justin with an even par round and John a -1 under par round.

There are five players another shot back at -8 under par for the tournament, they are; Thorbjorn Olesen, Gonzalo Fedez- Castano, Jimmy Walker, Ken Duke and Bill Haas.

To be honest I can not see anybody challenging Tiger for this title, it is his for the taking. Winning would move him to the top of FedExCup leaderboard, becoming the first player to hold the top spot in five different seasons. Additionally, he’d match Sam Snead as the only other player to win the same tournament eight times and of course he would move back to No. 1 in the World, for the first time since Oct. 30, 2010.

Nobody is going to stop Tiger.

The Greenbrier Classic, 54 hole leader, Webb Simpson

Unfinished business

Webb Simpson/Martin/Getty Images

Webb Simpson has a two shot lead at The Greenbrier Classic after a beautifully crafted third round of -5 under par 65 and a total of -14 under par, at The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The tournament he could and probably should have won last year. Two strokes adrift is Troy Kelly, who enjoyed a magnificent round of -8 under par, 62 for a tournament total of -12 under par, and a further shot back are three players on -11 under par. Those players are, Ken Duke, J.B. Holmes and Charlie Beljan.

After being congratulated on a good round, Webb replied;

” It was a similar round to yesterday. I just had to be patient there early, I couldn’t get anything to drop on the first six holes. But, you know, this golf course will give you some birdies. If you kind of keep plotting and putting the ball in the fairway, you’ll have plenty of wedge opportunities. That’s what I did, and fortunately for me I took advantage of those holes coming in. I wasn’t greedy, I would have taken two or three, but I got five so it’s a great feeling to play another bogey-free round and I’m in great position for tomorrow. “

He admitted that not having Tiger Woods in the mix was comforting;

“When he’s not lurking around on Saturdays and Sundays, it makes it a little easier I think for other guy’s. I’ve almost got to imagine that these guys are all going to shoot 4, 5 under. I’ve got to stay aggressive.”

Troy Kelly said he had fun out there;

” You know, I played good. I got off to a good start. I made about an eight-footer on the 1st hole and I made about, gosh, probably about a 20-footer on 2. So that got my round going at least, got me comfortable for the day. It was just nice to see some putts go in. I haven’t made a lot of putts the last, I mean, pretty much the whole year. I mean, if you look at my statistics, my ranking’s not very good in the putting category, so it’s just good to see some putts go in. And I had fun today, it was a fun round. I haven’t made a lot of putts pretty much the whole year. It’s just good to see some putts go in. I had fun today.”

Troy Kelly underwent hip-replacement surgery in September 2010 after being diagnosed with arthritis, he is happy just to be playing;

“For me to just play this game at a high level, I had to go get it done.”

43-year-old Ken Duke commented on how hot it was out on the course, but he also had some fun;

” Very hot day, but it was a good solid round. Didn’t get off to a very good start, but made a couple of birdies on 5 and 6, kind of got the round going. Hit some really good shots in that little stretch right there, and got 10, 11 and 12, so it kind of got the day going and having fun out there and that’s what it’s all about.”

J.B. Holmes had part of his skull removed in September 2011, four months after he started having vertigo symptoms. He only returned to the Tour in January. He believes his swing and yardage assessment has become better since his return;

“I feel like I’ve improved a whole lot and really narrowing it down and getting back to where I was.”

Zurich Classic at New Orleans, TPC Louisiana

135978059CG101_Zurich_Class

Jason Duffer sits atop the leader board at The Zurich Classic of New Orleans after the second round at TPC Louisiana. Jason had a -7 under par round of 65 to lead by one shot at -12 under par for the tournament. Just one shot back, after a magnificent round of – 8 under par, 64, for a tournament score of -11 under par is Russell Knox, from Scotland. Ken Duke and John Rollins are also at -11 after the second round, Ken continuing his good form.

Jason was really happy with round, including the eagle at 18;

Round 2, Zurich ClassicStan Badz/PGA TOUR

 “Really nice start on the front-9, I had a couple putts, I had a couple of easy birdies. I don’t think I missed a fairway or a green. Just had some tough reads. The greens are kind of tough to read. Sometimes you get competing grains, competing slopes, so you get a putt that might break to the right but the grain is going left. That can be kind of difficult to judge. And then 18 I had just a really good number for my 5-wood to get somewhere on that green and had a putt that was down-grain and breaking to the left with the grain so that was a nice way to finish the day.

AVONDALE, LA - APRIL 27:  Ernie Els of South Africa hits his tee shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana on April 27, 2012 in Avondale, Louisiana. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Among the group at -10 under par, is Ernie Els who had a second round score of -4 under par which leaves him just two shots off the lead. Luke Donald was another player to have a -7 under par second round and at -6 for the tournament could manage to compete over the final holes come Sunday, assuming he has another good round tomorrow and stay in touch with the leaders.

Bubba Watson, the defending champion, had another 71 for his second round, leaving him just on the cut line, and he will be there to contest the final two rounds. A sigh of relief from the Watson fans, and I expect the sponsors.

Notables missing the cut were; Retief Goosen,73 and 71 at even and John Daly, 80 and 73 to finish at +9, a dismal tournament for John.