Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Rookie Brett Hangs on to Lead as Darkness Halts Play.

Rookie Brett Stegmaier hangs on to the lead, after 54 holes at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, in Las Vegas, as darkness once again halts play.

 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Brett Stegmaier / USATS

Brett had a completed third round -3 under par 68 to stay top of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at -13 under par. He said he will need some help to sleep tonight;

“I’ll probably take some NyQuil to fall asleep, I’ll need some help falling asleep.” 

”It played a little tougher, so played a little more conservatively.”

”Certainly happy to make four birdies and one bogey and be in the lead.”

‘Just do the same things, not really look at leaderboards until maybe the last three holes.”

”I’ve played really well the last two months. Been doing the same things, just try and read the greens well.”

“I feel like if I read the greens well, I’ll play well. That’s the main goal tomorrow.”

Morgan Hoffman is in second place, he too has finished his -2 under par 69 third round for a -12 under par total. He hooked his drive on the 18th into the desert rocks and ended up saving bogey with a 10-foot putt;

“I was just saying if I could see the ball in there and it wasn’t in the bush, I’d give it a shot.”

“Yeah, lucky to get out of there with bogey.”

Jimmy Walker,  Chad Campbell and 2011 winner Kevin Na are  tied for third at -11 under par. Jimmy  had a -2 under 69, Kevin-3 under shot 68, and Chad with a -1 under 70.

Jimmy thought the TPC Summerlin course was set up to be tough today;

”I think that the pins are a lot more difficult than they normally are, a lot of tough pins.”

”It’s like they don’t want us to make birdies. A lot of holes, par is pretty good here.”

Chad was of the same opinion;

 “There wasn’t a whole lot of low scores,  it was pretty hard to get to those pins.”

“But I feel like I played OK, and looking forward to tomorrow.”

Kevin is in contention, once again, the home town boy won here in 2011;

“There’s a lot of added pressure, being in my hometown and having won here.”

“You know, first round I got off to a slow start and stayed patient, shot 3 under. Same thing again. Just seemed like I’ve been patient and it’s paid off so far.”

“I think this is the toughest conditions I’ve ever seen out here.”

“The greens are drying out. They’re getting firm. You see a little bit of purple in it.”

“I’m thinking it’s going to be firm again tomorrow.”

 “Who knows. There is six or seven birdies out there, so somebody that’s kind of in the top five shoots six or seven under could win the tournament.”


Crowne Plaza International. Kevin on Course at Colonial.

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Kevin Na is on course for victory at Colonial, in the Crowne Plaza International.

Crowne Plaza International

Kevin Na / Getty Images

Kevin will take a one shot lead into the final round of the Crowne Plaza International at Colonial. He had a third round score of -1 under par 69 for a total of -11 under par. The tee times have been moved up again for tomorrow due to a rainy Sunday forecast.

Kevin thinks there is a low round hiding out there somewhere, and he is worried that the low round of the day will win the title;

“It’s out there but it’s hiding somewhere, it’s hard to find because you have to be so precise off the tee, second shots, putts and everything.”

“I know the hole locations tomorrow are going to be difficult. So honestly, I don’t really see a 61 or 62. Maybe a 63 or 64. Maybe.”

“Not as much fireworks as the first few days, but overall I was pleased.”

“I’ve had a pretty successful career except I think I lack in wins, I think it’s time for me to catch up to that number that I need to be at.”

Poults is seeking his first stroke-play win in the U.S. and will be in a good frame of mind if his team Arsenal win in the English Premier League tomorrow. He is currently in second place at -10 under par;

Crowne Plaza International

Ian Poulter / Getty Images

“It’s very easy to think too far ahead, there’s a few good guys right behind that are only a couple of shots off. I just have to focus on the first hole tomorrow.”

“I won’t be thinking anything past that, to be honest.”

“I can always deal with another plaid jacket in my closet. It will look just fine with my outfit tomorrow.”

“Hopefully we can get some golf in tomorrow, we’re going to have to wait and see what the weather’s going to do with us.”

Kevin and Poults are aware that they have lots of company in the quest to sport the tartan jacket, there are sixteen golfers are within five strokes of the lead.

Charlie Hoffman is in third place, despite his bad back, at -9 under par following his -4 under par third round of 66, saying it was the best he could have done;

“I probably couldn’t have shot much lower than I did.”

“I think we’ll play probably into Tuesday if need be.”

Defending Champion Adam Scott is trying to become the first player to successfully defend this title, Ben Hogan is the only player so far to do so, he actually did it twice.

Adam is four shots off the lead T10 at -6 under, but once again mentioned the putting;

“I’m going to need a round where they do all go in tomorrow, obviously it’s about giving yourself a lot of chances out there.”

“But you’ve got to make some putts, and as long as I keep hitting good ones, they might go.”

The organizers have made a 54-hole cut, to reduce the field to top 70s and ties. Those players who will not play on Sunday are; Jarrod Lyle, Harrison Frazar, Steve Wheatcroft, Chad Collins, Patrick Rodgers, John Peterson and Kyle Reifers.

Crowne Plaza International. Kevin Na In Control.

White Dragon GolfCrowne Plaza Invitational

Kevin Na is in control of the Crowne Plaza International at the half-way stage at Colonial.

Crowne Plaza International

Kevin Na / Getty Images

Kevin shot a second round -4 under par 66 at Colonial, to sit on top of the Crowne Plaza International leaderboard at the half-way stage, with a -10 under par total.

Kevin celebrated sinking a 22-foot birdie putt at the 13th hole during Friday’s second round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, with something only usually seen on Sesame Street episodes, the Big Bird Dance;

“It just came out, I wasn’t really thinking about it. When the crowd went wild on that hole, I gave them a little show.”

“I’m just having a lot more fun, obviously, if you’re playing well, it’s easier to have fun.”

“But I let the bogeys not bother me as much, and I’m swinging it well, my ball-striking is the best ever.”

Ian Poulter is in second place, carding a second round -3 under par 67, for a tournament total of -8 under par.

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Poults is happy with the way things are going;

“I hit a lot of good golf shots. I’m pleased with the way I played the last two days.”

Boo Weekley is in third position at -7 under par for the competition despite only carding a -1 under par 69 today. He put his early mistakes down to his stiff back problem that has plagued him all week, today it did not loosen up until the fifth hole;

 “I hit it left, but at least that swing felt like all right, now we’re back.”

 “Now we’re getting where we can kind of work it around this golf course a little bit.”

Defending champion Adam Scott needed to make up ground in order to reach the weekend, and did so with a bogey-free -4 under par  66, which raised him to T25 at -2 under for the competition.

Adam said he had played well, but reiterated once again that poor putting let him down;

“I played really good today, I just couldn’t buy a putt coming in.”

Jordan Spieth got a case of the jitters today, signing for a +3 over par 73, leaving him with a -3 under par total, and T15;

“A couple bad swings was all it was, I feel good on the golf course, I just didn’t see many putts go in and got off with the long clubs.”



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?”



Valspar Championship. Senden Squeezes In for a Win.

dragon logo darkValspar Championship Logo Ozzie John Senden squeezes in to win the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook.

John Senden / Getty Images

John squeezed in with two birdies at the death, on the 17th and 18th holes to complete his final round at -1 under par and a winning total of -7 under par. On a wild and windy day at Innisbrook the tournament was always in the balance until John broke through with those two decisive birdies.

 This one-shot victory was John’s first on the PGA TOUR in more than seven years and sends the 42-year-old Australian to the Masters next month. He spoke about the wild conditions;

“I just love the way the course blows, the scoring always stays under double figures here, and I felt if I could just stay in the moment that I was swinging well enough to go out there and give it a shake. I got a little bit busy in the mind going up the last hole. But I managed to hit a nice second shot and the putt was really the icing on the cake when it went down to around two inches.”

Kevin Na, who started the day one shot off the lead, finished in the same place, at -6 under par, and in second place following a disappointing final round of +1 over par 72.

Scott Langley was in third place finishing at -5 under par, a final round -1 under par 70 kept him above the group who were at -4 under par.

That group included Luke Donald, Will MacKenzie and Robert Garrigus, who had led going into Sunday but suffered a nightmare front nine, going out in 41 shots. He eventually ended up with a score of  + 4 over par 75.

Justin Rose carded a +3 over par 74 including a hat-trick of bogeys from the 11th onwards as he completed his tournament on -2 under par, in a tie for 8th place.

Valspar Championship. Garrigus Gallop Cut Short.

dragon logo darkValspar Championship Logo The gallop of Robert Garrigus at the Valspar Championship was cut short on Saturday at Innisbrook. 

A pair of short misses brought Garrigus back to the field a bit on Saturday. (Greenwood/Getty Images)

Robert Garrigus / Getty Images

Robert expensively missed two short putts on his back nine and had to settle for a -1 under par third round of 70 on the Copperhead Course. That reduced his advantage at the top of the leaderboard to a one-shot lead in the Valspar Championship, as he posted -8 under par in the competition.

Robert still managed to enjoy himself out there;

” I had fun, I’m in a good position. If I play a good round tomorrow, if I shoot under par, they’re going to have to come get me.”

Kevin Na had a third round -3 under par 68, for his total of -7 under par for the tournament and holds second place alone. He still suffers from the slow play tag that follows him around;

“I know how to play, I don’t know what people have said, but I don’t think I should be criticized. It’s not fair to me, I already have that stamp on me.”

One of the low rounds today came from third placed John Senden, his third round of -7 under par 64 catapulted him into third spot on his own at -6 under par. John took his putting stroke from the practice green onto the course

“I just was trying to be free, trying to putt like I do on the practice putting green, I took it straight to the golf course today. Very happy to do that. There’s a lot of grain on these greens and ball seems to turn a lot when you’re putting. You’ve really got to take note of way the grain reads.”

” I’ll get out there tomorrow and try to do it again. I can’t control what any other player does, but I can go out there and do the best I can do. Hopefully I can be at the top of the leaderboard round about the end of the day.”

Justin Rose, -2 under par on the day occupies fourth place on his own at -5 under par. Retief Goosen equalled John Senden’s low round of -7 under par and is in the group at -4 under par.

 Luke Donald is at -3 under par, and definitely in position to capitalize on any mistakes the leaders make and perhaps steal a victory. Luke played like his game of old;

“ Kind of a Luke Donald round, that’s kind of what you need around this place. I never thought I was very far off, but around a course like this you need to hit fairways and greens and kind of make it easier on yourself because it’s tricky.”

“I’ve played here enough times, and seeing the scores over the last couple days, I knew a good round would shoot me up the board. So just try to play my own game and post something low-ish to get me back into contention.”

Valspar Championship. Garrigus Gets Ahead.

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Valspar Championship Logo


Robert Garrigus gets ahead in the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook on day 2 taking a three shot lead into the week-end.

Garrigus leads at Valspar

Robert Garrigus / Getty Images

Robert can not remember a better performance going into the week-end than the one he put together on day 2 at the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead course. He shot a second round -5 under par 66, to finish the day three shots ahead on -7 under par for the tournament;

“It’s the fishing, I think that puts me in a good frame of mind because I’m clear and not thinking about anything, just going out and having some fun. I probably hit one of the top-five shots of my life there on sixteen, out of the trees. Hit a low, cut 5-iron, then rose it up over the pine tree and cut it 40 yards and hit to ten feet. That’s just one of those shots that when you’re playing good and everything is rolling, you kind of expect it. It was a lot of fun to try it, and to pull it off was even better. I’ve spent half my life in the trees. I’ve had a lot of practice.”

Kevin Na is in second place, a second round -3 under par 68 gave him a total of -4 under par for the tournament. That was good enough for second spot alone.

Highest-ranked player in the field, Justin Rose shot a second round -3 under par, and joins Matt Every, Pat Perez and Matteo Manassero, all tied in third place at -3 under par.

Justin finally got some momentum going;

“I got some momentum going today, I worked my way into the tournament early. To finish strong with my round yesterday I think helped give me some momentum into day. It’s exactly how I needed to flow into the tournament.”

During the round today Pat Perez  was the first player to reach -5 under par for the tournament, until he missed two drives well to the left. The first was in the trees at No. 6, and then another wayward drive went out of bounds on No. 7. Both of them led to double bogeys, though Pat shrugged off the disappointment;

“Just move on and keep going.”

Danny Lee went from first to worst. He was tied for the lead Thursday, and then shot +8 over par for 79, and miss the cut. The cut was at +3  over par,  and because 84 players advanced, there will be a 54-hole cut to top 70 and ties on Saturday.

The list of players missing the cut was pretty impressive, they include;

Ernie Els, Mike Weir,  Camilo Villegas, Webb Simpson, Geoff Ogilvey, D.A. Points, VJ Singh, Angel Cabrera, Kyle Stanley and the wild man himself, John Daly, who propped up the whole field.