Valero Texas Open. Ricky Barnes Leads

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Ricky Barnes leads the Valero Texas Open going into the final round tomorrow at TPC San Antonio.

Ricky Barnes carded 7 birdies and 2 bogeys in his round Saturday afternoon at the Valero Texas Open. (Marianna Massey/Getty Images)

Ricky Barnes / getty images

Ricky carded a third round -5 under par 67 to top the Valero Texas Open leaderboard with a -11 under par total, and will take a one shot advantage going into the final round tomorrow.

Ricky is still searching for his first PGA Tour win, and has taken over the lead here from another  Wilson Staff Valero Texas Open player Brendan Steele, who is now in second place;

“I’d be lying if I would say it was a successful career being out here without a win.”

“A bad swing at the end, if you told me five under today, I would have taken it before the round.”

“It’s not a fluke being out here, I’ve been showing a lot lately. Just need to keep what I’m doing the last three days.”

“This is why you play the game, right? Come in on Sundays and have a chance to win.”

Brendan was really complimentary about Ricky’s game, but started today with a bogey himself;

“I played with Ricky last week, and his game is looking really good right now.”

“I didn’t hit many fairways today, kind of bad right out of the gate.”

“I was really struggling. I was able to make enough recovery shots to not make many mistakes and I was able to be patient enough and make a couple of birdies at the end.”

Charley Hoffman, -2 under 70 today, and Luke Donald, -4 under 68,  share third place at -9 under par

Luke, a former World number one is happy to be back in contention once again. a change of putter has made the difference;

“Sure feels good to be back in contention again and having chances to win.”

“I switched putters last week and obviously making more putts.”

Patrick Reed,  who was born in San Antonio, is in fifth spot at -8 under after a -2 under 70 third round.

Billy Horschel, -5 under 67 today,  and another Wilson Staff player, three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington -4 under 68,  Chad Collins – 5 under 67, Jon Curran -1 under 71, Martin Piller -1 under 71 and Nick Taylor, -6 under 66, are tied in sixth position at -7 under par.

Valero Texas Open

Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Jordan Only Wins By 8 Shots.

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Jordan Spieth only won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions title by 8 shots, when many (including me) thought the winning margin would be more. He joins Ernie Els as the only players in PGA Tour history to finish a 72-hole event at -30 under or lower.

 

Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan carded a final Hyundai Tournament of Champions round of -6 under par 67 for his winning total of -30 under par. It was just business as usual;

“I felt like it was short three-week break and continue what we were doing last year.”

“That’s the way I’ll keep on thinking about it. It worked this week. All parts were firing.”

Defending Champion Patrick Reed finished in second place, at -22 under par, those eight shots off the pace set by the leader. His final round -4 under par 69 never threatening the dominant Jordan Spieth. He knew it going to be a tough ask;

” I knew I had to go out early and make birdies early, and try to put some pressure on him.”

“All of a sudden I made two birdies early, and I got to within three.”

“Next time I looked at the leaderboard it was back to five.”

“He’s going to go out and make birdies, he’s not going to go out and shoot over par, especially the way he’s playing right now.”

Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka shared third position at -21 under for the tournament. Brandt carded a last round -6 under par 67, while Brooks could not match yesterdays ten under effort, scoring just -2 under par 71.

Rickie Fowler was alone in fourth place, with a -20 under par total, a -6 under 67 for his last round effort, was not too bad, but not good enough.

Of note was the wonderful tournament of Padraig Harrington, he also fired -6 under 67 final round. The oldest man of the final two rounds finishing T6 at -17 under par, with Peter Malnati and Fabian Gomez.

PGA Championship. Wind & Rain @ Whistling, Stop Play.

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Wind and rain storms stop play in the second round of the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. A really vicious thunderstorm packing 40 mph winds caused the second round to be suspended until Saturday morning.

PGA Championship

Storm Clouds at Whistling Straits / Getty Images

The Australian pair of Matt Jones and Jason Day sit on top of the PGA Championship, as play has suspended due to the storms. Both have second round totals of -9 under par, but have yet to complete those rounds on the Whistling Straits course.

PGA Championship

Jason Day / Getty Images

Jason was more than happy to get off the course, and come back tomorrow;

“I’m glad that we are in.”

“It can get a little dangerous out there. It’s a good idea to come back in the morning.”

“We’ll see how it goes tomorrow, we’ve got some scoring holes, and some tough ones to finish on. But I’m real happy to be done.”

Justin Rose is in third place alone a -8 under par, he has just one hole left to play in the second round. Predicting the stoppage of play has left him unpopular with his playing partners, but he is still certain of his own abilities;

“I opened my big mouth to the boys playing with us, I said, the end is in sight, and 30 seconds later, they blew the horn. So my name is mud all over here.”

“I’m playing better than anyone in the world right now tee-to-green.”

There is a three-way tie for 4th spot, at -7 under par, David Lingmerth has completed his second round, and shares that place with Tony Finau and Harris English, both of these players have yet to finish the second round.

Overnight leader Dustin Johnson has suffered a few nerves today, he is currently +1 on the round with four holes to play, with a tournament total of -5 under par.

Jordan Spieth made a move today, carding a completed round of -5 under par 67, to move up to T7 at -6 under par.

Rory McIlroy had another -1 under par round to total -2 under par for the competition, and now has a long way to go to defend his title.

Tiger Woods is battling to make the cut, at +2 over par. An uncompleted second round see’s him at +4 over, with five holes to play, a tall order.

Among the notables missing the cut were, Shane Lowry, last weeks winner, Zach Johnson, Padraig Harrington, Jimmy Walker, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Adam Scott.

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.