Joburg Open. Round 1 Play Suspended. Paul Peterson Leads.

 

White Dragon Golf

Round 1 play at the Joburg Open was suspended, due to a waterlogged  Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, in South Africa. Paul Peterson leads the tournament, which will restart at 0645 on Friday.

Joburg Open

Paul Peterson / getty

Paul, from the USA, completed his opening round at the Joburg Open, and sits at the top of the leaderboard, after carding -9 under par 63, with a new putter in his bag;

“It was fun out there today, birdieing half of the holes is never bad and bogey-free to match, so I felt really good out there.”

“I got into a nice rhythm and I put a new putter in play this week. It proved to be a good first round with it so I’m really happy.”

“Thankfully we were in the fairway a lot, ball in hand always nice but I feel like I’ve been playing really well the last few weeks and I feel like a round like this has been building, so to have it happen sooner than I thought is great.”

“I’m feeling like I’m in a good place right now.”

Aaron Rai and Paul Waring, both from England, share second place two shots back at -7 under par after rounds of 65.

There seems to be some confusion about the scoring from this tournament, as it has been reported that Paul Peterson shot -9 under 62, which would make it a par 71 course. But Aaron and Paul Waring have scores of -7 under 65, a par 72. The East Course, which they played is usually a 6940 yard par 72. So did Paul Peterson really card a -9 under 63?

Update.

I have received information that the West Course is being played as a par 71 this week. So -9 under 62 is correct for Paul Peterson.

Aaron Rai and Paul Waring both carded -7 under 65 on the East Course, which is paying at it’s usual par 72.

Things should level out after the second round.

 

Career Builder Challenge. TOUR rookie Dominic Bozzelli Leads.

White Dragon GolfCareerBuilder

PGA TOUR rookie Dominic Bozzelli leads the Career Builder Challenge at La Quinta Country Club, California, on the Stadium Course at PGA WEST.

Bozzelli leads at PGA WEST

Dominic Bozzelli / getty

Dominic carded a first round -8 under par 64 on the more difficult Stadium Course to lead the Career Builder Challenge, in cold and wet conditions;

“Been working hard back home, doing all right things on and off the course, and it’s nice to come out and have that hard work pay off.”

In second place on the leaderboard are four players at -7 under par, Patton Kizzire and Jhonattan Vegas -7 under par 65 on the Tournament Course, Hudson Swafford, and Harold Varner 111, 65 at La Quinta.

Making it’s debut on the PGA Tour, was Phil Mickelson’s new “Jumping Logo” reminding us of  his leaping celebration in the 2004 Masters.

Phil Mickelson plays his shot from the third tee during the first round of the CareerBuilder Challenge in Partnership with The Clinton Foundation at La Quinta Country Club on January 19, 2017 in La Quinta, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Phil hit a poor first tee shot, not in any real trouble, but he decided to hit a provisional, just to warm up his swing for the next tee. Phil is coming back to golf after surgery, and said he is feeling fine, shooting a first round -4 under 68 at La Quinta, to be T25;

“I feel fine,” I’ve been able to work out the last two weeks. And again, you start out real slow, but you get back to it, you get it back pretty quick.”

“I struck it horrible, but I scored out of my mind.”

“So, I’m very happy with it. My first round of golf was Saturday and I’ve been able to work out just the last two weeks.”

“That next hole, the second hole’s an extremely difficult drive and I wanted to just get another swing.”

“It was really a great day for me because I scored so much better than I played.”

 “And when I finally did hit some really good shots I ended up close and made a few birdies.”

“And when I hit some really bad shots, and I hit some really bad shots,  I was still able to salvage some up-and-downs for pars.”

The RSM Classic. Mackenzie Hughes Wins Play-Off

White Dragon GolfThe RSM Classic

Rookie Mackenzie Hughes, from Canada, wins his first PGA Tour event The RSM Classic at Sea Island, in a wire to wire victory.

Canadian rookie Mackenzie Hughes won The RSM Classic in only his ninth start on the PGA TOUR. (Justin Heiman/Getty Images)

Mackenzie / getty

Mackenzie won the third play-off hole the par three 17th sinking an 18 ft  par putt, to lift the The RSM Classic trophy, the others were closer but could not convert;

“I made the putt of my life right there.”

“As each guy went down, it was that much more real.”

Camillo said he pushed his putt;

“I just pushed it a tiny bit, but once again, I’m proud of myself.”

“We want to win a golf tournament, so you go with a little bittersweet, but you’ve got to look at the positive and keep moving forward.”

 

The Quest for the Green Jacket. Day 1 Super Spieth Shows The Way at The Masters

White Dragon GolfThe Masters

The quest for the Green Jacket has begun, and at the end of Day 1 super Jordan Spieth sits on top of The Masters leaderboard at Augusta.

The Masters

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan opened his account at The Masters with a superb first round of -8 under par 64, to sit on top of the leaderboard with a three shot lead at Augusta. He also becomes the youngest player ever to lead this tournament after the first round.

The fast start has worried his opponents, but has excited Jordan;

“I was excited about the way I struck the ball, I’m excited about the start.”

“It capped off a really fun round.”

“I played well last year, but I never broke 70.”

At the other end of the age scale Ernie Els is among the players all tied in second position after scoring -5 under par 67 for their opening efforts. Charlie Hoffman, Justin Rose and Jason Day complete the quartet sharing second spot.

Nobody would appreciate winning The Masters more that Ernie, he wants to leave Augusta wearing the famous Green Jacket;

“That’s the plan, we’ll see what happens.”

“I just felt comfortable, I felt at ease for some reason.”

“There’s definitely a different kind of mind‑set in the whole family coming up here, it’s more of an enjoyment.”

“We kind of are running out of time a little bit here, so we are really trying to enjoy what we’ve got left out here.”

“It’s been 21 years coming to Augusta. It’s been unbelievable, but nothing lasts forever. Samantha had a great time at the Par 3, and I just have a different appreciation, I think, for the place.”

This group is followed by Russell Henley and Sergio Garcia, both on -4 under par for the day.

Rory McIlroy’s opening tee shot, was the longest shot hit at Augusta all day, he finished at -1 under par, which would have been OK, except he is now seven shots off the lead, but he said he will just have to play better in round two;

“Today was a pretty good day. I feel like I can do better. But happy after Day 1 and go out and just try and do a little bit better tomorrow.”

“I haven’t put too much pressure on myself. Look, I obviously know what I can achieve this week, but I’m not letting myself think about it too much.”

Tiger was two shots further back after a first round +1 over par 73.

Tom Watson today became the oldest player to break par at The Masters,  shooting a marvelous opening round -1 under par 71.

The Masters

Tom Watson / Getty Images

The opening tee shots came from Arnold, Jack and Gary.

The Masters

Arnold, Jack and Gary / Getty Images

 

 

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Bubba Blunders, Stadler Soars.

dragon logo dark Kevin Stadler soared to his 1st professional win on the PGA Tour at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, as Bubba Watson makes a huge blunder.

Chance not wasted

Kevin Stadler / Getty Images

 Kevin got his first career win on Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, at TPC Scottsdale, joining his father Craig as a winner on the PGA TOUR. Kevin shot a final round -3 under par 68 for his winning total of -16 under par.

Kevin and Craig are the ninth father-son combination to win on TOUR, and the thought had crossed Kevin’s mind.  He now has an invitation to the Masters, where he will get to play alongside Craig, who won the tournament in 1982.;

“That was in the forefront of my mind when I was out there.”

Craig added;

 “He’s obviously getting on in his career.”

Kevin joked that it was nearly too late, and it was a tough haul to get there;

“He probably would have liked it better if I had gotten there five years ago so he could call it quits then. He’s been telling me for a couple of years I need to hurry up and get there before he calls it quits. It wasn’t pretty, I was walking all over the shop. I hit a lot of good shots and a lot of kind of ugly shots but thankfully it all worked out. It feels fantastic, obviously I would have liked to make that putt there on 18 and win that way but it’s been a long time coming, so I’ll take it any way I can get it.”

Bubba eventually faltered, sending his approach shot on the final hole off the back of the green en route to a bogey and a final round of even par 71 and a tournament total of -15 under par, sharing second place with Graeme DeLaet;

He admitted his mistakes;

“Misclubbed on sixteen, we thought it was downwind but obviously it wasn’t. Should have hit one more club. I thought I hit a good putt but obviously I misread that too. I have to work on a couple things.”

Graeme said his practice has been paying off, a tied second place here at -15 under par proves it;

“I have been playing well for the last few months, it seems. I really feel like I worked super hard in the offseason, and it’s nice to see it paying off.”

The only thing Phil Mickelson got right this week-end was the Super-Bowl prediction;

“I like the Seahawks, I think that good defense usually beats good offense, and I think that the man-to-man coverage that the Seahawks provide is going to make it difficult for that quick release of Manning.”

The hot favorites around the World let it slip this week-end, Lydia Ko second in New Zealand, Rory McIlroy failing in Dubai, and now Bubba Watson wasting ( no pun intended) an opportunity here in Scottsdale. Golf is truly a funny game.

 

Deutsche Bank Championship. Two Tear Up The Course.

Logo Image                   

Two players, Phil Mickleson and Brian Davis both shot 63,to tear up the TPC Boston course, and tie the lead at -8 under par in the opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Eyes on the prize

A smiling Phil Mickelson / Stan Badz PGA Tour

A smiling Phil made the understatement of the day;

“I felt I played really well, obviously, I putted well. I really made a lot of good putts. The greens were perfect the front nine. I saw the line and I just rolled them in. It felt really good to putt like that.”

Phil has never won a FedExCup, or been voted the Player of the Year, but he wants them now;

“If I finish off with one or two (more) wins this year and win the FedExCup. I think that would be enough to get the Player of the Year. I feel like these next three weeks I’m going to play very well. I can just feel it, you can just tell sometimes. The game feels sharp, and mentally I have a lot of energy and I’m able to focus clearly.”

Brian Davis injured his right foot when he fell down a few stairs in the house he was staying in for The Open Championship.

“I dropped my dinner as well, I haven’t played that great the last four or five tournaments. Been limping a few weeks, and body has not been feeling great. Golf is a funny game, sometimes you can come in and feel good and not play well. But I felt it today and obviously rode it. The FedEx is great drama, for us guys a lot of volatility. You know you have to play well.  I missed a couple of shots last week, you can make some big jumps, and get points in the Playoffs. Coming today, I played great. I know what I’ve got to do not only to advance to next week, but obviously if you can have high finishes you’re going to make huge gains. I’m glad I played well and put myself in a good position.”

In third place is Kevin Stadler, his -7 under par 64 opener has given him the position on his own. This start and the same start last week have been the best rounds of his career, to date;

“It was the best round I had this year, in quite a few years, really. I kind of got in a groove with the putter. It was fun seeing the ball go in the hole. I wish I could say that’s the norm, but it’s the far from it. Usually the putter kind of holds me back. But it’s been getting better.”

Tiger Woods is off the pace at the moment, an opening round of -3 under par 68 only giving him a share of 34th spot. He said his back was OK;

“The back is good, unfortunately, I didn’t give myself a whole lot of looks. Missed a few opportunities out there, the golf course is really receptive and certainly gettable. I didn’t hit the ball as well I’d like to but I scored alright.”

 

Waste Management Phoenix Open, It’s Phil The Real Deal

It's still all Phil

Phil Mickelson / Stan Bedz / Getty Images

Phil Mickelson proved the first round 60 was no fluke as he followed that up with a second round -6 under par 65, to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale by four shots at the conclusion of play.

Phil sadly took a double bogey on his final hole in the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, costing him another shot at history, a chance to break the PGA TOUR’s 36-hole scoring record. Phil said he needed to remain focused, and not make those kinds of mistakes;

“You always remember kind of the last hole, the last putt, but I think it’s very possible that’s going to help me, because it’s got me refocused, that I cannot ease up on a single shot. I’ve got to be really focused, these guys are going to make a lot of birdies and I’ve got to get after it and cannot make those kinds of mistakes. Unfortunately, I made a double on the last hole and didn’t finish the way I wanted to, but I think it’s a good example of what can happen on this course. You can make a lot of birdies and eagles, make up a lot of ground, but there’s a lot of water and trouble there that if you misstep you can easily make bogeys and double.”

Phil’s drive on 18  drive on bounced into the left-side water hazard and, after a penalty drop, he still had a chance to get up down for par and the record;

“I hit a good shot, I thought, I tried to start it right down the middle and hold it into the wind. It just leaked a little bit left. I still thought it was up. Then I hit a poor wedge from there, but the tee shot I didn’t think was going to be in the water at any point.”

In second place on his own is Bill Haas, at -13 under par, he knows he has to keep making birdies;

“We all know the way the course is playing, if there’s no wind on the weekend, you’ve just got to keep making birdies.”

Talking about tomorrow Bill hoped that Phil doesn’t go too crazy on moving day;

“It’s just another day. It’s moving day, hopefully, I can move up the leaderboard and he doesn’t go too crazy.”

Keegan Bradley and Brandt Snedeker are tied in third place at -12 under par, Keegan recalled his Eagle on the par 5 fifteenth hole, needing only a seven iron to hit it to within eight feet;

“I just smashed a driver down there, I had been hitting 3-wood and I’m driving the ball so well that I just decided to rip driver down there.”

He followed that with a birdie at sixteen, his approach came to rest just five feet from the pin, Keegan said he loved the atmosphere at the sixteenth hole;

 “It reminds me of when I go to Fenway Park, there’s always like a murmur, it’s really cool, I dig it. I wish there was more holes like that out here. It was such a relief to shoot a good number, I’ve been playing so well this whole year and haven’t made many putts. Today, the putts started to go in.”

I cannot see anybody catching Phil, the real deal, Mickleson.

I will be at TPC Scottsdale in July, contact me if you want to join me in a round.