WGC Mexico Championship. Shubhankar Sharma Stuns Everyone To Lead.

White Dragon GolfWGC-Mexico Championship

Shubhankar Sharma, of India, stuns everyone as he leads the WGC Mexico Championship after 36 holes at  Chapultepec Golf Club, in Mexico City, playing in his first ever PGA Tour event.

WGC Mexico Championship

Shubhankar Sharma / getty

Shubhankar shot -5 under par 66 in the second round to lead the WGC Mexico Championship by two strokes at the half-way stage with a -11 under par total. And it could have been better, except for a couple of three putts;

“I’m really happy and I couldn’t have been in a better position.”

“I just kept the ball in play all day and it was great to finish with three birdies in a row.”

“I played so well, and the bogeys that I made today were just three-putts.”

“I thought about nothing, I just wanted to have fun. It’s my first WGC and I was happy that I’ll play four days because I missed the cut in the last two events that I played.”

“I worked all my life to come and play at a high stage like this. You have to expect great things from yourself if you want to play at a high stage.”

Sharing second place are Xander Schauffele, USA, -3 under 68 today, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Spain, -4 under 67 and also from Spain Sergio Garcia with a second round -6 under 65, all two shots back at -9 under for the tournament.

Rafa is putting well;

“I’ve been playing very good golf and making some putts as well, I’m not leading but I’m right up there, so in a great position for the weekend.”

There is a large group at -7 under, including World number 1 Dustin Johnson, yesterdays leader Louis Oosthuizen, and last weeks winner Bubba Watson.

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WGC Mexico Championship. Louis Leads.

White Dragon GolfWGC-Mexico Championship

Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa, leads the WGC Mexico Championship after the 1st round at  Chapultepec Golf Club, Mexico City.

Oosthuizen leads WGC-Mexico

Louis Oosthuizen/ getty

Louis carded a first round -7 under par 64 to lead the WGC Mexico Championship by just one shot;

“I’m very confident with my driver at the moment.”

“I’ve been swinging it pretty good the last 3-4 weeks. I’m hitting it well.”

“I just need to do the same tomorrow. I hit a few really close.”

Three players are then tied in second place at -6 under par, Chris Paisley, England, Xander Schauffele, USA, and Shubhankar Sharma, India, all with rounds of 65.

Shubhankar was pleased with the way he played today;

“I was very nervous in the morning, but very happy with the way I put it all together.” 

 “You’re always very happy when you start with such a low round, especially for me.”

“This is such a big event. I would say this is taking some pressure off me, playing well on this course.”

Chris, who recently won the South African Open, is seeking more success;

“After the win in SA, I didn’t want to just be happy with winning. I wanted to kind of press on and that’s what I did.”

“I’m taking that attitude into the rounds, as well.”

“If you get defensive or you back off at all against players like you’ve got this week, then you’ve got no chance of winning.”

 “To play as well as I did and shoot a great score against the world’s best players and to be right up there, I’m just delighted.”

 Rafael Cabrera Bello, Spain and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thailand share fifth place after rounds of -5 under par 66.

Of the big guns nearest is Jon Rahm in seventh place on his own with a -4 under 67 opening round, maybe tomorrow the top players will shine.

A warning for the other players, Jon Rahm loves this course;

“It’s an old golf course, much like Colonial and other golf courses that are close to 100 years old.”

“They’re very similar to the style of golf we play in Spain. I love that.”

“I love being able to take it over corners, take some risks, because you feel like on those courses you can get a huge advantage.”

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Honda Classic. Two Players at the Top

White Dragon GolfThe Honda Classic

Two Players are tied at the top of The Honda Classic leaderboard after round 1 at PGA National Golf Club in Florida. Alex Noren, Sweden and Webb Simpson, USA, have a one shot advantage over the field.

The Honda Classic

Webb Simpson / getty

Webb reckons this is one of the toughest golf courses;

”When you stand on certain tee boxes or certain approach shots, you remember that, man, this is one of the hardest courses we play all year, including majors.”

Alex came to the USA to gain some experience, and it’s working;

“I came over here to try to play some more American-style courses, get firmer greens, more rough, and to improve my driving and improve my long game.”

”So it’s been great.”

Five players are tied in third place at -3 under par, Morgan Hoffman, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger, USA, with Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa and Mackenzie Hughes from Canada, all had opening rounds of 67.

Justin summed up his day;

“Some of those holes, you’re just kind of holding on for dear life” 

A lot of players, including Tiger Woods, even par 70 today and Rory McIlroy, +2 over 72 have been critical at the state of the greens on the Champion Course;

Rory spoke about the crusty greens;

“They looked more like Sunday greens than Thursday.”

“They are pretty crusty. They are going to have a job keeping a couple of them alive.”

Tiger commented;

“It’s going to get more difficult because these greens are not the best.”

“Some of these putts are a bit bouncy, there’s no root structure.”

“You hit shots and you see this big puff of sand on the greens, so that shows you there’s not a lot of root structure.”

But apparently Brad Nelson, PGA National’s director of agronomy is happy with the greens, where on the first day of play only 20 golfers broke par;

“Our goal is to be really, really firm, and we feel like we are in a good place for where we want them to be going into the weekend.”

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US PGA Championship. Justin Thomas Wins Maiden Major

White Dragon GolfQuail Hollow

Justin Thomas of the USA won the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club, his maiden Major title.

US PGA Championship

Justin Thomas / skysports

Justin carded a final round -3 under par 68 to win his first Major title, the US PGA Championship, with a two shot winning victory;

“I know that a Major champion will never be taken away from after my name.”

“Hopefully I’m going to win some more, plenty more, a lot more, whatever.”

“I know you can’t get to two unless you get one so I’m excited to have this and it’s incredible. It was an awesome day. It was a great experience. It’s huge for me.”

“As a kid growing up, being a golf fan, you want to win all the Majors. You want to win any Major.”

“For me, the PGA definitely had a special place in my heart and maybe a special drive, I guess you could say. I want to win every tournament I play in.”

“I want to try to win every Major.”

Francesco Molinari, Italy,-4 under 67 today, Patrick Reed, USA, -4 under 67 and Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa, -1 under 70 , all shared second place at -6 under par.

Francesco had a great time;

“It was great.  Great round today. Started very well and  just had it rolling pretty much all day.”

“The rough is really thick. There’s water in play. It’s long. I mean, there’s nothing really easy about it.”

Louis bemoaned a poor putting performance;

“I didn’t really make any putts the whole round, the only putt I made was on the last hole.”

 “I left myself with an impossible first putt on 16 and could have done better than that but three-putted.” 

Patrick too had putting problems, burning the edges;

” I made enough birdies but I had too many bogeys.”

“I had too many good opportunities for birdies and a really good opportunity on ten for eagle and just burned edges rather than making putts.”

 

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US PGA Championship. Kevin Clings On.

 

White Dragon GolfQuail Hollow

Kevin Kisner clings on to the lead at the US PGA Championship, even with dropping five shots over the last five holes at Quail Hallow, making it a very long Green Mile.

US PGA Championship

Kevin Kisner / getty

Kevin, USA, shot a third round +1 over par 72, giving him a -7 under tournament total at the US PGA Championship, and a one shot lead. It was really a total disaster, at one point he was at -10 under, before making bogey at 14 and 15, compounding the errors when finding the water at the 16th for a double, and a bogey at the last;

“I had a chance to run away from guys and take people out of the tournament that were four or five, six back, and I didn’t do it.”

 “Now I’m in a dogfight tomorrow and I have to be prepared for that. “

“There’s no real reason for me getting mad or upset or showing y’all that I’m ticked off.”

“I’m pretty good at keeping it all in, and the golf course here is so hard. If you get pissed, you’re just going to throw away more shots.”

“There’s no real reason to show that emotion  I’ll show plenty of emotion if I win tomorrow, don’t worry.”

Sharing second place at -6 under par are Hideki Matsuyama, Japan, +2 over 73 today, and Chris Stroud, USA, even par 71.

Chris is not going to change anything;

“I have the same everything I have last week. I have the same swing thoughts as last week, I have the same routine warming up.”

“I’m not going to change anything.”

Next in line is Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa, even par 71 today and Justin Thomas, USA,  -2 under 69, both with -5 under totals.

If you think Kevin had a wild finish, take a look at Jason Day, who suffered brain fade, or even total brain disconnection. Jason was in contention until a poor drive up 18 left him the wrong side of the trees, best option was to chip out onto the fairway, and take a chance with a good approach shot to make par, five at worst. Earlier Louis Oosthuizen had the same problem, he chipped back onto the fairway, and made par form there. Jason opted to try and draw the ball around the trees, a poor shot into bushes meant he had to take a penalty drop, from there it got even worse with him carding 8 on the final hole to take himself out of contention.

Best shot of the day went to Graham DeLaet, Canada, almost an Albatross at the driveable par four 14th, his tee shot hitting the pin, but staying out. Graham. made the Eagle putt.

US PGA Championship. Hideki & Kevin Share Lead.

White Dragon Golf    Quail Hollow

Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Kisner share the US PGA Championship lead after two rounds at Quail Hollow.

US PGA Championship

Hideki Matsuyama / getty

Hideki, Japan, shot an interrupted second round -7 under par 64 at the US PGA Championship, pausing in the middle for 1 hr 45 mins for a weather delay, to catch Kevin, -4 under 67  at the top of the leaderboard at -8 under par. The second round was unable to be completed due to darkness falling.

Hideki welcomed the delay, saying he was tired, his poor play with his driver was the culprit, but his putter cheered him up,  needing just 23 putts Friday,

“I was grateful for the rain delay because I was getting tired, I was able to lay down in the locker room and get some rest.”

“I think what was making me tired was I wasn’t hitting my driver like I wanted to, I was hitting fairways but I wasn’t getting the crisp contact that I was hoping for with my driver.”

“Twenty-three putts just means I missed a lot of greens.”

“The greens here at Quail Hollow, as you know, are really fast.”

“And there’s a lot of putts that honestly, I’m not trying to make. I’m just trying to get it up near the hole, and a lot of them are going in.”

Kevin, USA, is playing well, and likes his chance to win here;

 “Any time I can get a wedge in my hand or a par five that I can reach, I feel like I have to make birdie.”

“If I can get a six or seven iron in my hand,” I like my chances around here.”

“Those are the holes here that are allowing me to have that opportunity.”  

“I’m just excited about the opportunity, I’m really fired up about the way I’m hitting the golf ball.”

“I haven’t hit it this well this whole summer, a lot of average finishes. When I start hitting it the way I am now, I play well.”

Jason Day, Australia, is in third place,  at -6 under par after his second round -5 under par 66, a bit more like his old self;

 “It felt like the old days, which was only last year. It feels like 10 years ago.”

“I’m improving each and every day now, and actually I’m hungry again and I’m looking forward to trying to beat these guys here in a bit.”

“But I’m very motivated right now. Like I want to win again. So I’m excited about that.”

Tied in fourth position at -4 under are Francesco Molinari, Italy, also carding -7 under 64 today, Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa, -4 under 67, and Chris Stroud, USA, who is at -2 under today through 13 holes.

The next group is back at -3 under, and will need something special on moving day if they want to contend on Sunday.

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The Players. Si Woo Kim Wins.

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Si Woo Kim, South Korea, wins The Players at TPC Sawgrass.

Kim victorious at THE PLAYERS

Si Woo Kim and Trophy / getty

Si Woo put together a finale bogey free round of -3 under par 69,  just cruising along to claim The Players trophy at -10 under par, a three shot victory, he mentioned the 17th;

“I feel like I’m still dreaming that I won this championship.”

“I wasn’t nervous at all because I was leading, I just focused on the middle of the green.”

Ian Poulter, England,  -1 under 71 today and Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa, +1 over 73, tied for second place at -7  under for the tournament.

Poults spoke about his shank coming up the 18th, and the performance of Si Woo;

“It was a big shock to the system to hit one of those nasty shanks when I’ve hit it as good as I have all week.”

“But the fourth shot was pretty special, from one of the worst shots I’ve ever hit to one of the very best.”

“As good as he played yesterday, he’s obviously gone out there today and played even better.”

 “He’s gone clean out there today, which is extremely impressive under that pressure.”

“You have to respect some good golf, and that’s exactly what he’s done.”

Louis was also complimentary about Si Woo;

“If you’re on your game and playing well, that the things you do.”

“You just don’t give shots away. If you can do that around this golf course, you can outscore everyone.”

“And he played like someone that was doing it for five or six years, like it was just another round of golf. It just shows you how good a player he is and how cool and calm he is.”

“Never once did he look flustered at all.”