The Open. An Irish Amateur Shares the Lead.

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An Irish amateur Paul Dunne shares the lead at The Open Championship with Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day at the end of round three on Sunday, at a calm St. Andrews.

The Open

Paul Dunne / Getty Images

Paul Dunne shot a bogey free third round -6 under par 66, to share the clubhouse lead at -12 under par for the tournament. Louis and Jason both had -5 under par 65’s to join Paul at the top of a congested The Open Championship leaderboard.

Paul is the first amateur since the legendary Bobby Jones to lead The Open after 54 holes, Bobby went on to lift the Claret Jug at St Andrews in 1927.

Louis played alongside Paul, and this to say of the young mans talent;

“He’s played unbelievable golf, that second shot on 17 was one of the best I’ve seen.”

“I think he made me so nervous on my second shot because I was going a completely different route, low, running up there, and I tugged it a little bit to the left. But it was an amazing shot. He deserved to birdie that.”

Paul was asked if he could win The Open, he replied;

 “I don’t see why not. I’m well capable of shooting the scores that I need to win if everyone else doesn’t play their best.”

“Whether it happens or not, I can’t really control. I can just go out and try to play my game and see where it leaves me at the end of the day. Hopefully I play great again and post a good number.”

“It’s surreal I’m leading The Open, but I can easily believe that I shot the three scores that I shot.”

“If we were playing an amateur event here, I wouldn’t be too surprised by the scores I shot. It’s just lucky that it happens to be in the biggest event in the world.”

“Hopefully I can do it again tomorrow, but whether I do or not, you know, I’ll survive either way.”

In fourth place on his own is Masters Tournament and US Open Champion Jordan Spieth, who brought his grand slam dream back to life with a third round -6 under par 66, which has given him a tournament total of -11 under par, and just one shot back going into the final round tomorrow. History beckons.

Jordan insists he is not really thinking about it;

“It hasn’t come up in my head while I’ve been playing yet.”

“I can’t speak for tomorrow given it’s the last round and if I have a chance coming down the stretch, if it creeps in, I’ll embrace it. I’ll embrace the opportunity that presents itself.”

“I don’t look at it as a negative thing, I look at it almost as an advantage.”

“Why should it add more pressure in a negative way? If it adds more pressure, it just makes me feel like this is something that’s a little more special, let’s go ahead and get the job done.”

“I know it’s easier said than done, but when you say added pressure, most people associate that with negativity or something that can hinder what’s comfortable.”

“For me, I think it could be advantageous. You hit the ball a little bit further, you can really get your mind around a more specific target and block out other things.”

Fifth position belongs to another Irishman, the three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington, he posted a bogey free third round -7 under par 65, to reach -10 under par in the competition, and definitely has given himself a chance of grabbing another Major title. He joked with the media about this not being the final round;

“I always wanted to shoot 65 on Sunday at an Open. Unfortunately there’s another round to go.”

There are no less than nine players tied at -9 under par, in sixth place for the tournament; Australians Marc Leishman and Adam Scottanother amateur, American Jordan Niebrugge, Sergio Garcia from Spain, Justin Rose and Danny Willett from England, South African Retief Goosen, and two more Americans, Robert Streb and Zach Johnson.

Marc shot the low round of the day, a -8 under par 64, to put him in position to win his first Major.

Retief, the two-time US Open champion, was happy with his position;

“Three, four shots off the lead going into tomorrow is a good place to be.”

 “I’m feeling great. I have no back pain. I’d rather play bad golf and have no back pain than good golf and back pain and not being able to sleep or anything else.”

“I’ve had a good run in my career, but it’s nice to be up there and hopefully have a good day tomorrow, see where we end up.”

Longtime leader Dustin Johnson, who battled through the bad weather, collapsed in the calm conditions of the third round, carding +3 over par, and dropping to -7 under par for the tournament, and tied in 18th place, with his chances of picking up The Open Championship title in tatters.

Irish Open. Six Tied at the Top, Rory Misses Cut.

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There are six players tied at the top of the Irish Open leaderboard, but world number one Rory McIlroy misses the cut at Royal County Down Golf Club.

Bernd Wiesberger, Richie Ramsay, Soren Kjeldsen, Chris Wood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rafa Cabrera-Bello all share the Irish Open lead at -3 under par.

If you are wondering how tough the conditions were out there, take a look at Bernd;

Irish Open

Feeling the cold, Bernd Wiesberger / Getty Images

These six leaders are closely followed by two heavy-weights, in the form of three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington and former world number one Luke Donald, both on -2 under par for the competition.

For third year in a row we have to say good-bye to Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut again here, worryingly it follows last weeks cut at the BMW. Rory said he had tried hie best, but the conditions made it very hard.

Irish Open

Rory missing cut / Getty Images

Rory shot an even par round today, but it was not enough;

” I felt like I played OK.”

” I didn’t really; it’s hard like this in the wind conditions. It’s hard even if you give yourself birdie chances, it’s hard to take advantage of them.”

“I was trying out there as hard as I could, I just couldn’t quite get a good run of holes going.”

“I didn’t get any momentum going. I was a couple under through fourteen, but needed a good finish, but  unfortunately wasn’t able to do that.”

“So really, just left myself with too much to do from yesterday. I felt like I played a solid round of golf today, but just wasn’t enough.”

The support out here is phenomenal, it’s going to be the third year in a row that they don’t get to see me play at the week-end.”

“So it’s obviously disappointing, to say the least, more disappointing for them.”

“I”m honestly looking forward to a few weeks off, to get ready for the U.S. Open, but right now it would have been nice to play the week-end at least.” 

 

 

Irish Open. OMG Rory Shoots 80.

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World number one Rory McIlroy shoots +9 over par 80 in the first round of the Irish Open, But another home town boy Padraig Harrington has delighted the gallery with his first round performance. Just seven days ago the three-time Major champion was forced to retire, at Wentworth Club, for the first time in his career due to a shoulder injury . Today, he fired a -4 under par course record 67 to tie the lead at his home Open with German Maximilian Kieffer.

Irish Open

Padraig Harrington / Getty Images

Padraig and Maximilian shared the top spot on the first day of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation, both carding course record rounds of -4 under par 67 at Royal County Down Golf Club.

Padraig started slowly but finished with a flourish, making five birdies on the back nine compared to one bogey;

“After nine or ten holes I thought to myself, Come on, we’ve got to hit a good shot, no need to be afraid.”

“I know from experience now that I’m in a position where there’s many ways of competing in this tournament.”

“I’ve two options; play great from now on and try and get away from the field or play average and fight it out on Sunday afternoon.”

Soren Hanson is in third place at -3 under par after his opening round 68.

Rory said nothing went right as he  struggled to his worst score of the season, and is now in danger of missing the cut at his own sponsored event;

Irish Open

Rory McIlroy / A/P

“It was not quite as difficult as I made it look.”

“I was hitting it well on the range, keeping it down and hitting half shots, but the wind was not up that much on the course and I was caught between trying to play two ways. “

“My poor iron play led to missed greens, which led to giving myself a lot of 8- to 12-footers for pars, and that led to missing all of them, worse as I got closer to the green.”

“It’s disappointing because I want to go out there and play well, not just for myself but for a lot of other people.”

“I’ll just have to pick myself up and go out there tomorrow and shoot a good one. I want to give the fans something to cheer about and not just get sympathy claps as I got coming off the ninth green.”

“My goal will be to make some birdies, make my first birdie of the tournament at some point.”

I’ve missed the cut the last two years so I don’t want to make it three in a row. I want to at least go out there tomorrow and fight for it, try to claw my way back towards the cut line and if I can sneak in there, that’ll be great.”

Playing alongside Rory was Rickie Fowler, who carded an opening even par round 71 in his first outing since winning the Players Championship at Sawgrass. Luke Donald went one better with a 70.

 

Honda Classic. Play Suspended Due To Lightning.

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At the conclusion of play of the suspended 2nd Round Padraig Harrington sits on top of the Honda Classic leaderboard at -7 under par. Play was then suspended at the start of the third round due to the threat of lightning.

Honda Classic

Padraig Harrington / Getty Images

Padraig has completed two rounds of the Honda Classic and is at the top of the leaderboard going into round three at -7 under par, following his 66.

He said golf is fun, and fascinating;

“I’m fascinated with the game, I love it. It’s a different sort of fun, yeah.”

“I think I’m in a good place that I can deliver more performances like this.”

“I feel like there’s good days ahead, so, you know, I’m not thinking, Oh, I’ve got to do it and it will be a long time before it comes around again.”

“I feel I’m in a good place with my game and I feel I give myself plenty of opportunities like this going forward.”

Patrick Reed is in second place at -6 under par, the same score he finished round two with yesterday.

Ian Poulter and Brendan Steele are tied in third position at -5 under par. Ian has been using a fang-dangled putting machine in practice, and he said it seems to be working;

“Right now it’s working pretty good.”

“The way I feel about my game, I’m hitting good shots, I’m holing a few putts and obviously if you’re going to do that, then you’ve got half a chance.”

“My mental side, I feel confident, provided I keep doing the right things, I keep working on straightening those areas that are weaker than my strengths and if I do that, then obviously I’m hoping I can improve.”

 Phil Mickelson is in contention, a second round of -3 under par 67 giving him a -2 under par total, he commented on the stop – start play, and extra holes on the day;

“I think that if you get into a good rhythm for the day, you get extra holes to play, and I think that guys that have a hot hand, instead of playing 18, they have a chance to play 27, 31 or 32.”

“I think it could be a real benefit if you’re playing well.”

“You get greens like this that are just perfect condition and very soft movement around the holes and you’re going to make a lot of putts, it just builds confidence.”

Honda Classic

The Honda Classic / Getty Images

“That’s as bad as I’ve ever seen it rain.” Russell Knox.

Honda Classic. Play Suspeded Due to Darkness. Rory in a Dark Place of his Own.

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The second round of the Honda Classic has been suspended due to darkness, with Brendan Steele leading. Rory is in a dark place of his own, missing the cut here.

Honda Classic

Brendan Steele / Getty Images

Brendon sits on top of the Honda Classic leaderboard at -8 under par, despite having only completed four holes of the round at a wet, windy and delayed golf day at PGA National in Florida.

Patrick Reed is in second place, he has completed both rounds at -3 under par 67 for a -6 under par total.

“It just seems like when the wind is blowing here, it allows me to get creative and hit more of my shot‑shaping shots I normally hit.”

“It’s fun golf and especially with the weather with how it’s been, it’s playing how I like this golf course to play.”

“The main thing is I feel like I just keep on improving day‑in and day‑out.”

“I feel like I’ve improved on little things that I’ve needed to be a little more consistent, and luckily we’ve been in the hunt coming down Sunday. We’ve done pretty well.”

Jim Herman is currently in third position, having completed three holes in his second round, for a -5 under par total.

Luke Donald has completed his two rounds and is sharing 4th spot with Ian Poulter,who has played eight of his second round, and Padraig Harrington has finished six, all at -4 under par for the tournament.

Luke will get a sleep in tomorrow, and plenty of time to review the putting mistake that has been the key to his disappointing form, he also said not to worry too much about Rory;

“I’ll obviously get to sleep in, in my own bed, as well, which is nice.”

“It’s something that’s certainly been missing a little bit the last month or two, and it’s nice to get back on Bermuda greens.”

“I feel a lot more comfortable on these greens for some reason.”

“Rory has been by far the best player in the world for the last year or so. I wouldn’t worry and read too much into it.” 

Rory let his feelings be known in no uncertain terms;

“I’m pissed off, I don’t like missing cuts. You want to be playing on the weekend, and I’m not there.”

“I guess after coming off a three‑week break,and then felt a little, just a little, I wouldn’t say rusty, but just not quite on top of my game Thursday.”

 “Then, I mean, I felt like I was trying to get something going and couldn’t. Coming off three weeks off and playing in conditions like these, it sort of shows you where your game’s at.”

 

Indonesia Open. Padraig Harrington Wins.

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Padraig Harrington won the Indonesian Open, on the Asian Tour, in Jakarta.

Indonesia Open

Padraig Harrington / Getty Images

Padraig and Thailand’s Thanyakon Khrongpha  were both headed down the 18th of the  Damai Indah Golf, PIK course, all square at 16-under par, but both of them found trouble off the tee. Padraig got up and down for par, while Thanyakon carded a double bogey, giving Padraig a two shot winning margin, his first win  first since he lifted the 2010 Johor Open;

“I had a bad break on the 18th hole when I hit my tee shot and it rolled to the edge of the hazard.” 

“I was about to chip my ball sideways to the fairway but when Thanyakon hit it into the water, there was no point to take a chance. So I went back to the fairway and hit my six iron for my best shot of the week.”

“I hit a few bad shots earlier on and I hit a careless shot on the seventh hole. The biggest thing for me at that stage was that I was really praying for a rain delay. My momentum was gone but Thanyakon was flying and he didn’t miss a shot.”

“It was very unlucky for Thanyakon because of that rain delay. It was unfortunate but he can be very proud with how he played all the way through. He is really impressive. He looks like a player to watch for in the future.”

“Winning is a good habit to have. It gives you a lot of confidence and I need that confidence.”

“I didn’t start too well but I came through and I got the win. This win brings a lot of confidence to my game and hopefully it will show up next year.”

A two hour rain delay interrupted the proceedings and it seemed to effect Thanyakon more, he finished with -14 under par total;

“It was a great final round from me but I was under so much pressure on the last hole.”

 “I’m still happy with how I played. The rain delay stopped my momentum. It wasn’t good. The pressure made me scared.”

Nathan Holman captured third place with a -13 under par tournament total.

 

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Jacquelin Jumps Into Half-way Lead.

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Raphaël Jacquelin jumped into the half-way lead at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, in the wind and rain on Friday.

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Raphaël Jacquelin / Getty Images

Raphaël shot a second round -2 under par 70 at Kingsbarns to lead the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with a tournament total of -9 under par.

The wind and rain made things more difficult on Friday, but Raphaël was happy with his performance, especially the birdie, birdie finish;

“I’m pretty happy, especially the way I finished, I birdied 17 and 18, so it was good before having dinner and going to rest.” 

“I didn’t play that well, and not as well as yesterday, but it was not that easy, a bit of wind, a bit of rain, a bit of cold as well. I feel good, it’s a long weekend, a lot of golf to play, so the game of golf it’s not that easy.”

There are four players tied in second position, all at -8 under par, three of them played Kingsbarns. Padraig Harrington had a -2 under par 70, Oliver Wilson shot par, while Alexander Levy put together a second round -4 under par 68. That is back to back  rounds of 68 for Alexander.

Padraig wants to get into the Olympics and has set himself that target;

“I think the big one for me, I’ve got to get inside the top 15 in the world to make the Olympics in 2016.”

 “I’ve got 22 months to go. I’m starting at absolute zero probably at the moment. I really feel good about my game, so I believe I can do it.”

Shane Lowery kept himself in touch with the leader carding a -2 under par 70 on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Shane was the only player in the top 12 to play at St Andrews on Friday, which means he will face Carnoustie on Saturday before the final round is contested over The Old Course on Sunday

Shane played well and said the weather was not as bad as the forecast had predicted;

“To be honest, the way I played to shoot two under was quite good. The forecast was pretty bad today and everyone was expecting the worst, but it wasn’t actually that bad.”

“It played quite easy toward the end and I could have picked up a couple more, but I’m happy with the position I’m in with two rounds to go. Hopefully I can go out to Carnoustie tomorrow and hopefully the weather is not too bad over there and I can shoot a decent score.”

World Number One Rory McIlroy carded a -5 under par 67 at Kingsbarns and now has a -4 under par total, five shots off the lead. He would still like to win on Sunday at St. Andrews, but would not mind waiting until next year when he defends his Open title on The Old Course.

“I think the eagle on 16 kick-started something for me, I just went from there, started to knock a few putts in. I felt like I struck the ball pretty well for the first couple of days, but just to see a few putts roll in sort of gave me a little bit of confidence and played well after that.”

“It would mean an awful lot to win at St Andrews. But if I didn’t, I wouldn’t mind waiting until July next year.”