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?”

 

 

WGC Cadillac Match Play. Quarter Final Matches

White Dragon GolfWGC-Cadillac Match Play

Rory McIlroy is in the quarter finals, along with five others from my predictions from yesterday. Have to admit I did not see Danny Willett defeating Lee Westwood.

The quarters take place later today, and Rory verses Paul should be a great match-up.

 

Quarterfinal
  • Rory McIlroy (1)    Paul Casey (37)
Quarterfinal
  • John Senden (65)     Gary Woodland (52)
Quarterfinal
  • Louis Oosthuizen (30)  Jim Furyk (5)
 Some good matches to come, so will update the day in the next post.

Malaysian Open. Anirban Lahiri Has Maiden Win.

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Anirban Lahiri has his maiden European Tour victory at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian Open

Anirban Lahiri / Getty Images

Anirban carded a final round -4 under par at the Malaysian Open to win the tournament by one stroke with a -16 under par total on the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club course. He spoke about the sensational -10 under par 62 on Saturday, which gave him the opportunity, and he took it, he now has a target of getting into the Masters;

“In hindsight that was one of the most crucial rounds of my career and it’s fantastic when you play well at the right times.”

“I don’t think it’s sunk in just yet, but I’m pretty sure when it hits home it’s going to be a really happy moment for me.”

“I think I’ve got a bad habit of making it hard for myself, but I’m happy I got over the line, as ugly as it was towards the end.”

“The Masters is definitely one of my targets. I don’t know how far I’ll move up, but I’m pretty confident now with this win I should have a pretty good chance.”

Bernd Wiesberger finished in second place at -15 under par. A poor last round of +2 over par 74 was his undoing, and he gracious enough to congratulate Anirban;

“It hasn’t quite finished the way I intended to.”

“After the hiccup on five, I didn’t hit it anywhere near as well as the last 15 rounds. It’s tough to say, but it is what it is and unfortunately I beat myself out of it today.”

“I hit a bad lay-up, flew a lot on the downhill lie and my mind wasn’t there. I hit a bad shot and needed to miss it long and take par and get on with it. It’s disappointing.” 

“I just didn’t trust my swing enough which was good the last couple of weeks. It’s still a good week, and congratulations to Anirban who played a lovely round today. I will try again.”

Paul Waring and Alejandro Cañizares also returned over par rounds for the day, but finished tied for third on -13 under par.

The expected challenge from defending Champion Lee Westwood did not materialize, he double bogeyed the second hole on his way to score a sad final round +3 over par 75 and a share of fifth place on -11 under par for the tournament.

 

Malaysian Open. Wiesberger Walks Clear.

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Bernd Wiesberger walks clear of the field in the Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Malaysian Open

Bernd Wiesberger /Getty Images

The in form Bernd carded a brilliant third round -9 under par 63 to take a two shot lead into the final round of the Malaysian Open tomorrow, with a -17 under par tournament total.

Bernd was ecstatic with his best ever round, and with taking the lead;

 “I caught up with the leaders early, which was good, and finish off well, it was a great day for me.”

“This is my European Tour record, I’ve never shot a 63.”

“I’ve been working on the right things which are important for my game. I’ve improved on my putting a lot, I have changed to a different model and it has been working for me. I also have the belief that I can play good golf now.”

“I’m not discounting anybody; there was a 62 out there and there’s probably going to be another 62 out there as well.” 

“It is going to be a similar feeling, like the last couple of weeks. I had a fast start today and anybody can do that tomorrow.” 

“If I keep playing like this then I have a good chance to take this home, but tomorrow is another day and anything can happen. I’ll try and rest it up and give myself a chance on Sunday.”

The 62 Bernd was referring to came from Anirban Lahiri,  shooting a bogey free -10 under par to climb 16 places into fifth place on -12 under par. He was delighted with his awesome experience;

“It was awesome, I started off in a positive mood and I kept the momentum going.”

“I didn’t really care much what was happening on the leaderboard. It was nice to go out there and play with freedom and that’s what I’ll try to do tomorrow.”

Alejandro Cañizares is in second place at -15 under par, his third round -4 under par keeping him in touch of the leader. He enjoyed his day having fun out on the course, and said he will continue with the same thoughts in mind;

“It was fun, playing alongside these guys is always fun.”

 “I made more mistakes than the previous days but I’m quite happy I made a two on sixteen with a wedge.” 

“Hopefully tomorrow, I have the same fun. It’s always good to play with someone who is playing well as he’s pulling you to make birdies as well.”

“It was fun to watch, he played great. He kept me going and kept me pushing. All I can do is do my best and try to have fun, that’s my goal tomorrow.”

Lee Westwood and Paul Waring share third place at -14 under par, and are both still in touch with the leader, and will hopefully make a charge tomorrow.

While everyone else was recording low scores defending Champion Lee had a quiet day, managing only -3 under par 69, while Paul returned -7 under par 65.

Lee had this to say about his round;

“I didn’t play particularly well, so I was pleased to shoot 69, which keeps me in the hunt.”

“I couldn’t feel my hip action today, especially early on. But I only made one bogey, and I made some crucial birdies on 17 and 18.”

“If I didn’t make them I’m looking at probably being five shots back, so it was nice to finish with a bit of momentum.”

 

R&A Renegades Close The Open.

The Royal and Ancient have closed the door for many people in England on seeing The Open on national television. This is a national disgrace, the people have bought a TV licence but will now have to subscribe to SKY TV if they want to watch the national tournament.

The BBC golf presentation team, who give the best golfing coverage to be found, will become redundant. A sad end to anyone who enjoys the quirky quips and great knowledge of the game of Peter Alliss, the commentary team leader, Peter had this to say about the sad announcement;

“I know they (the R&A) do lots of lovely, lovely things but now when it comes down to the nitty-gritty they have dipped their hands into the money and that’s it. I don’t think there will be a golfer that won’t be bitterly disappointed at the news today.”

The Open

Peter with the BBC Team

Lee Westwood, who is currently leading the Malaysian Open, could not believe what the R&A have done;

 I cannot believe the Open isn’t protected as one of the crown jewels, that is an absolute disgrace.”

Graeme McDowell, who is also in Kuala Lumpur right now, feels sorry for anyone who expects to see The Open on national TV;

“I feel bad for anyone sitting at home with their TV licence and who will be robbed of Peter Alliss and the boys. The coverage from 7.30am to 7.30pm at night is special.”

For certain SKY will not be transmitting The Open for 12 hours a day, like the BBC do, and also you know the Sky coverage will be constantly interrupted by advertising.

Rory McIlroy knows it is all jut about the money;

 “I guess it’s just the way it’s gone, money talks, you know.”

The Open

Rory winning The Open

The people of England can put down The Open in July 2016 as the last one before golf stops being one of the major sports in the country and begins a long and agonising retreat to the margins.

Sky cannot be trusted, down here in New Zealand they have recently stopped transmitting the Premier League football, and have also removed Golf entirely from the program, so we basically get nothing.

The Open

The Open 2015 will be at St Andrews, the last one to be televised by the BBC.

BBC AND THE OPEN, A HISTORY IN NUMBERS

60 years since The Open was first broadcast on BBC — 1955 was the 84th edition of the competition.

1969 The first Open to be shown in color, with Tony Jacklin taking the Claret Jug.

267 The lowest 72-hole score, carded by Greg Norman in 1993 — his second victory at The Open.

6 British winners since 1955 — Tony Jacklin (1969), Sandy Lyle (1985), Nick Faldo (1987, 1990 and 1992), Paul Lawrie (1999), Darren Clarke (2011) and Rory McIlroy (2014).

£12m Total winners’ prize-money in BBC era. First prize in 1955 was £1,000.

1 in 5 people in the UK watched McIlroy win in 2014.

 

Malaysian Open. Westwood & Cañizares Lead at Half-Way Point.

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Lee Westwood & Alejandro Cañizares lead the Malaysian Open at the half-way point in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian Open

Lee Westwood / Getty Images

 Lee and Alejandro have a three shot lead at the top of the Malaysian Open leaderboard in Kuala Lumpur. Lee is putting up a sterling defense of his title, shooting a second round -5 under par 67, to reach his -11 under par tournament total.

Alejandro carded the round of the day, a -7 under par 65 to equal that -11 under par total and put himself firmly in contention, and said he was having fun, apart from his poor driving off the tee. It was the putting that saved him;;

“It was a lot of fun and I played really well, I wasn’t so good off the tee today, but I putted really well.” 

“I made some great up-and-downs when I missed a shot, and I’m very happy overall. I can’t wait for the weekend, it will be a lot of fun. 

“It’s a great position to be in and I couldn’t ask for any better; hopefully I can keep it going.”

Lee confirmed that he had played nicely again, and is feeling comfortable out on the course;

 “I played nicely again, it was pretty solid again and I probably only hit one poor shot all day, from the middle of the fairway on the fifth hole. I was going in with a five iron and blocked it right into the water.” 

“Other than that it was very good and I felt very comfortable out there. I hit a lot of fairways and some good iron shots and made some nice putts.”

“It was great to birdie two of the last three and go from one in front to three in front.”

These two are are three shots clear of the  in-form Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, who occupies third place on his own at -8 under par, a second round of -6 under par 66 keeping him in touch with the leaders;

“Sometimes you get in a groove and play well and things happen for you, and I just hope it lasts a long time.” 

Peter Lawrie and  Paul Waring are tied for fourth on -7 under par, Paul carded a hole in one on the 199 yard par three 15th. Graeme McDowell is two shots further back in eighth place on -5 under par for the competition.

 

Malaysian Open. Two Tied at the Top.

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Lee Westwood and defending Champion Graeme McDowell are the two players tied at the top of the Malaysian Open leaderboard a the end of day 1 at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

Malaysian Open

Lee Westwood / Getty Images

Lee and Graeme, Ryder Cup team-matesboth had opening rounds of -6 under par 66 to sit on top of the Malaysian Open leaderboard, a one shot advantage.

Lee was happy with his round, especially his putting;

“I’ll take that,I putted very nicely and started the ball on line well, I left a couple short in the middle when I was fooled by the grain, but overall I’m very happy.”

“It’s probably the toughest I’ve ever seen this golf course play.”

“It’s in very similar condition, the wind just made it that little bit harder, not the fact it’s blowing particularly hard, but that it’s changing direction. It gets very confusing.”

Defending Champion Graeme was also very happy with the start to the defense of his title;

“ I’m pretty happy, I hit the ball great today, drove it well and gave myself a lot of looks for birdie.” 

“Generally I’m very, very happy with that start. I’ve liked the way this golf course looks from the start and I enjoyed playing it this morning with good company from the boys; it’s a solid start.”

“This morning I was really trying not to over-react to any mistakes I made. It really is too hot to get mad out there, so you have to keep your emotions under control and obviously stay hydrated and cool and try to embrace it.”

“I work off the course over the winter improving some things physically and in my swing, and things seem to be clicking really well.”

“It is early days, but I’m feeling relaxed and my attitude’s good too. If I can continue that for the rest of the year then good things will come.” 

Tied in third place at -5 under par following their first rounds of 67 were Tommy Fleetwood and local favorite  Danny Chia.

Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley was among those on -3 under par after his impressive round of 69, in his first European Tour outing of the 2015 season.