WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play. Day 1 Disasters.

White Dragon GolfWGC-Match Play

Day 1 of the Dell Technologies Match Play competition brought a few disasters at Austin Country Club, in Texas. Rory McIlroy being one of them, losing 2-1 to Soren Kjeldsen.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Rory / getty

Rory told reporters;

“Overall, I can’t be too disappointed. But at the same time, when standing on the 14th tee just having won three holes in a row, I thought I had him going into a tough stretch of the golf course.”

“But he put up three birdies in a row, and you can’t do anything about that.”

Jordan Spieth was another first day casualty, losing 4-2 to Hideto Tanihara, while Jimmy Walker went down to Martin Kaymer, 4-2.

All o f these guys need to step up to the plate tomorrow, if they want to progress in this tournament.

World number one Dustin Johnson won 5-3 over Webb Simpson, and Phil Mickelson dispatched Si Woo Kim by the same score.

Sergio Garcia had a ding-dong of a battle against Shane Lowry, it finished all square.

Sergio put his woes on the day down to poor putting;

“It’s never easy. Obviously I needed the putt to win. I had the chance of tying it up. I hit a good putt. It was really, really slow.”

“We didn’t play great. We definitely didn’t make anything, neither of us. I think we made probably two or three putts between the two of us.”

“At least I think we both fought hard.”

Saddest story of the day surrounded Jason Day, his mother is very ill, and will go into surgery on Friday. Naturally Jason could not concentrate on his golf, and was three down in six holes when he withdrew. He later made a tearful statement, but I think no one would have thought ill of him had he just left the course and took the first flight home, to support Mum;

“It’s been a very, very hard time for me to even be thinking about playing golf, and I know my mom says not to let it get to me, but it really has.”

 

The Honda Classic. Fowler Leads, with a Fortuitous Free Drop.

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Rickie Fowler leads The Honda Classic, helped somewhat by a fortuitous free drop at PGA National in Florida.

Fowler pulls ahead at Honda

Rickie / getty

Rickie carded a bogey free -5 under par 65 to lead The Honda Classic after 54 holes, at -13 under par, but importantly he has a four shot advantage. The free drop came when his ball was in the deep fringe greenside, but he claimed a drop because of a nearby sprinkler head, which he said interfered with his stance. A club length later he was out on the fairway. Reminded me of the free drop Tiger got after he had sent his ball out of bounds, either on the roof of the clubhouse, or out in the car park, no one knew. The official gave Tiger a free drop, greenside.

Rickie played well and spoke about the difficulty of the course;

“You still have to be on top of your game, in easier conditions here.”

“It does lend to some birdies out there for sure, but it’s still a fine line.”

“You can still make just as many mistakes as you do in the wind.”

“I’m looking forward to this weekend. A place, on a golf course I feel comfortable.”

“I know I have the lead, and it’s nice to go out in front, but you still have to play, and especially around this place, it can jump up and bite you at any time.”

“And I’m comfortable with the game right now. It’s going to be a fun weekend.”

Tyrrell Hatton, from England holds second place at -9 under par, a third round -4 under 66, he said it was just a nice mix of things, and he putted well;

“It was a mix of things, I made a few putts.”

“Putted well on the back nine.”

“My game didn’t feel that great on Monday, felt like I had never swung a golf club before.”

“I’m really happy with the position I’m in.”

Tied in third place at -7 under par are five players; Emiliano Grillo, Sean O’Hair, Gary Woodland, Martin Kaymer and Wesley Bryan.

 

 

 

 

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Tyrrell Hatton Has 54 Hole Lead

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Tyrrell Hatton has the 54 hole lead in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the Emirates.

 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Tyrrell Hatton / getty

Tyrrell shot third round -4 under par 68 to claim the 54 hole lead in the  Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, with a -13 under par total, which gives him a one shot advantage going into the final round tomorrow.

Tyrrell reported that he focused well on his game and putted well;

“The big names are up there so I’ve just got to focus on my game and try and play as well as I can.”

“I love this place. It’s one of my favourite events of the year so hopefully I can go out there tomorrow and have a good day.”

“I had a little bit of a slow start. Struggled a little bit on the greens today, just not quite starting the ball on the lines I wanted to.”

“But I holed a couple of good putts in the end on the back nine and hopefully that will give me some momentum going into tomorrow.”

“It’s a little bit of a surprise to see where I’m at this week but very happy with one round to go.”

There are some big names tied in second place at -12 under par, US Open Champion Dustin Johnson, -8 under 64 today, three-time winner here Martin Kaymer, with a disappointing par round of 72, Tommy Fleetwood and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, both carding -2 under 70, and 2014 winner Pablo Larrazábal, -3 under 69.

Dustin was happy to finally get a good nights sleep;

“Finally I got a good night’s sleep”

“I even got up and went to the gym this morning before I teed off. Definitely by far the best day I’ve been feeling out on the golf course.”

“You know, I just felt the swing, my body was moving a lot better. I swung it a lot better, especially with the driver. I drove it a lot better today.”

“I hit a lot more fairways today than I have been. Holed a few putts. I still have yet to birdie a par five but I did make an eagle on eight today, I chipped one in. But yeah, it was a really solid round.”

“I started eight shots behind, so I know I’ve got to post a really good score today and I’m going to have to shoot another really good score tomorrow if I want any chance to win this tournament.”

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Martin Kaymer Has 36 Hole Lead

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Martin Kaymer has the 36 hole lead at the Abu Dhabi Championship in the Emirates.

Abu Dhabi

Martin Kaymer / getty

Martin shot a consecutive -6 under par 66 in the second round of the Abu Dhabi Championship, to lead the tournament by one stroke at -12 under, on his favorite golf course, making putts;

“I don’t try to push, I just try to enjoy playing my favourite golf course.”

“So pushing, I have that experience with pushing.”

“I felt like I played a little bit better than yesterday. It was a bit more difficult today with the wind, especially the first nine. I struck the ball a little bit better and I made a few long putts today, same as yesterday.”

 “Once in a while when a putt drops in you catch momentum and you can make another three or four birdies coming in, like it happened today.”

“I think I made only two pars on the back nine.”

Rafa Cabrera Bello is in second place at -11 under par, he also carded -6 under par 66 today.

Tied in third place are Paul Dunn, -6 under 66 today, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, -4 under 68 and Tommy Fleetwood, -5 under 67. they are all on -10 under par for the tournament.

Tommy was glad to have rediscovered his best golf;

“Got my game back and now it’s sort of, get results. I’ve played two good rounds of golf but we’ll stick at this. It’s nice to start off with two good rounds for the year.”

Paul feels his game is in good shape;

“It’s good, my game feels in good shape. I’m hitting a lot of good iron shots and giving myself a lot of chances.”

Kiradech has also had a good start to the season, and is making putts;

“It’s been great, it’s a very good start to the 2017 season.”

“I had a couple of good up-and-downs and a lot of good putts today.”

 

Ryder Cup. Americans Dominate Afternoon Four-Balls.

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The American Team dominated the afternoon Four-Ball matches in the Ryder Cup, earning 3 points to Team Europe’s one. Team USA now leads 9 1/2 points to 6 1/2, a very substantial lead to take into the singles matches tomorrow at Hazeltine National.

It all started so well for Europe this afternoon, Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters beat Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson 3-1 to put the first point on the board.

2016 Ryder Cup - Afternoon Fourball Matches : News Photo

Rory & Thomas and the winning fist-pumps.

From then on it all went south as Danny Willett and Lee Westwood lost 1 up to J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore. This match could, and should have been in Europe’s favor but two short putts missed, one on 17, which would have leveled the scores, and then another on 18, to lose the match. If they had both dropped it would have been a different story, the culprit was Lee Westwood.

Danny said they had played well, but could not get the important putts to drop;

“We had a good tussle out there most of the day.”

“Westie played nice and solid, but we just couldn’t get the putts at the right time.”

“We had chances at 17 and 18. We hit pretty good putts but that green at 18 is tricky. It’s just a shame because we hit two pretty good shots in there.”

Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia went down 2-1 to Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar. Sergio’s frail putting was exposed under pressure, that Claw style grip is not positive enough to sink those pressure putts.

Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth defeated Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson 2-1 in a match where Patrick played some great golf.

The Americans will start the singles tomorrow with a three-point lead, and Team Europe will have to start strong and try to level the scores early on in the day.

 

Ryder Cup. It’s Game On As Europe Fight Back.

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It’s game on as the European Team fight back came  in the afternoon Fourballs, winning 3-1 at Hazeltine National in the Ryder Cup where the Americans now only lead 5-3 overall at the end of day one.

Ryder Cup

Rory McIlroy / getty

Rory sealed a good afternoon with his win with Thomas Pieters, 3-2 over Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.

Rory was very gung-ho about the wins;

“It’s incredible, I’ve played one Ryder Cup in the US and this is definitely a little more hostile than the one at Medinah.”

“I just want to let people know how much it means to us.”

“This guy beside me all day was absolutely incredible. It’s his first Ryder Cup and he played so well. A lot of credit has to go to Thomas, as well.”

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson defeated Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed 5&4.

Justin said they trusted their game, while Henrik said his win was very sweet;

“Henrik and I did what we do best, we just stuck with it, trusted our games, trusted ourselves and we got on a little run.”

“We dovetailed beautifully and made a bunch of birdies. I relied on my partner again and he delivered.”

Henrik;

“We were playing very nicely in the afternoon, made a couple of putts that we didn’t do in the morning and it seemed like they got possibly a little bit tired.”

“It makes it sweeter though, when you beat the guys you lost to in the morning, that’s for sure.”

Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello were victorious, 3-2 over J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore.

Sergio loves the Ryder Cup;

“I love it. I love golf. Obviously this is very special for us. And to play with this guy, he was a rock out there. He gave me so much confidence to be able to go for shots and go for putts.”

While Rafa was excited to pay alongside his compatriot in his first Ryder Cup experience;

“It’s been a real honour to play today, if I would have picked a partner, I couldn’t have picked anyone better than him to join me in my first Ryder Cup match.”

“I’m proud that we played great that we felt very comfortable, we rooted for one another and that we got the point for Europe.”

The only American win was from Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka, 5-4 over Martin Kaymer and Danny Willett.

It is definitely game on tomorrow, and it will be interesting watching how the European Team approach the next round of Foursomes.

Ryder Cup. USA 4-0 Up.

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The USA are 4-0 up in the morning Foursomes of the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National.

Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose lost 3-2 against Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth.

Thomas Pieters and  Lee Westwood fell to a 5 and 4 defeat to Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.

Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer went down 4-2 to Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker

Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan lost 1 up to Ricky Fowler and Phil Mickelson.

A dejected Rory / getty

Darren Clarke the Euro Captain had this to say;

“They weren’t firing on all cylinders, they’ve been playing really nicely in practice and it was one of those things.”

 “Foursomes is a difficult game. We took a look at the line up and we were looking forward to it and I thought we were looking strong but in foursomes sometimes that happens.”

“The American guys played better than we did. Looking at it, 4-0 is probably a fair result for the way that they were playing.”

“There are so many points to play for yet. Obviously it’s not an ideal start by any stretch of the imagination but we’ve come back from deficits like this in the past.”

“It’s a big ask, a tough ask, but the guys are all ready and keen and can’t wait to get back out there.”