Valero Texas Open. Jimmy Walker Leads

White Dragon GolfValero Texas Open

Jimmy Walker leads the Valero Texas Open at the half-way stage at TPC San Antonio.

Valero Texas Open

Jimmy Walker / Getty Images

Jimmy used a hot putter to put together a second round -5 under par 67 in the Valero Texas Open, and would dearly love to win at Home;

“I was just kind of around the hole, didn’t make anything, and then finally got one to go on six.”

“I hit a good iron shot, just got it on top of the ridge there on 7 and made that putt.”

“And that 12-footer I made for birdie on the par-5, 8th hole, that was a nice little finish.”

“I’ve been rolling it pretty good, I’ve been working hard on my putting at home and it was ready to go this week. It feels like the hard work is paying off.”

“A win anywhere means a lot, but being at home, you get to have parents, in-laws, friends, best friends, distant family.”

“It would be cool. It doesn’t put anymore pressure on you, I think. If anything you’ve got a nice support crew out there and you’ve got good vibes and good mojo, and I believe in all that stuff.”

“So I think positive energy is good. I think we’ll have a lot of that.”

Aaron Baddeley and Charlie Hoffman are still in touch, just one shot behind at -5 under par for the competition, sharing second place.

Kevin Na and Jordan Spieth are tied in fourth position with -4 under par totals.

Jordan said he would like to see the return of the wind

“I would like to see a little bit more wind than today on the weekend to have a chance to shoot a few under and make up some ground.”

 “Overall, I’m very pleased with today. I got a really good draw today, on top of yesterday, and took advantage.”

“It played about as easy as I think it can play today.”

“A couple of the holes were still in tough locations, but there should be some more gettable locations this weekend. But all in all, this was the day to take advantage.” 

“I’m in contention which is right where I want to be. I’m chasing Aaron and Jimmy, two really, really good players that aren’t going to give up the lead easily, so I’m going to have to bring my A-game.” 

Valero Texas Open. Charlie Calms the Texas Wind-Tunnel

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Charlie Hoffman calmed the Texas wind-tunnel at the Texas Valero Open, taking him all the way to the summit of the leaderboard.

Texas Valero Open

Charley Hoffman / Getty Images

Charley shot a bogey free wind-swept Valero Texas Open first round -5 under par 67, to sit on top of the leaderboard.

The  early morning starters faced wind gusts around 40 mph, while Charlie contended with a steady 15 mph wind in the afternoon at TPC San Antonio.

 

When almost 22 percent of the field (31 of 141) shoots 80 or higher, you know it is a bad day. So bad that Martin Kaymer carded +10 over par 82, and he was not the worst, the worst professional score today was +16 over par.

Aaron Baddeley is in second place at -4 under par.  On the driveable par-4 17th hole he decided to hit a cut driver, instead of going all out with a fairway wood and then watched in horror as the ball disappeared into the woods. He took three off the tee and holed out for an unlikely birdie;

“I was thinking of gripping a 3-wood or hit a cut driver, and I don’t know, I went with the cut driver and hit a pulled draw in the middle of the trees.”

“I just thought I’d just hit it straight and so I hit it and started walking and then heard the crowd going nuts, I was like, wait, I just made birdie.”

“I played really nice for the majority of the day. I just said to myself it was the wrong shot. Hit a straight one. It was straight downwind, get it going straight, it will go straight.”

“So I hit the second one and said, man, why didn’t I do that the first time? And it rolls up and goes in.”

“I knew it was going to be blowing, I saw the forecast, it was going to die down just a little bit.”

“So even going to bed last night I already had the mindset. I just had to be patient, whether you got off to a good start or a bad start. So I think days like today the mindset is the most important.”

Max Homa is in third place at -3 under par for the tournament, one ahead of Ryan Palmer and Phil Mickelson.

In a very strange occurrence, while hitting a shot from the fairway bunker, the head on Phil’s Callaway X-Forged ’13 8-iron flew off, leaving him with just the shaft in his hands;

“Yeah, it was weird, the shaft broke just above the hosel, it was just a weird thing. It happens. It’s part of the game, I guess. You hit enough shots it’s going to work out.”

“I’m just curious at what point on the downswing it came off, if it was right before impact or right at impact, because the shot didn’t come off very well.”

“I would have used it the next three holes, I had to feather a 7-iron all three times.”

Valero Texas Open

Phil and broken club / Getty Images

Valero Texas Open

Honda Classic. Two Brits Tied at the Top

White Dragon GolfThe Honda Classic Logo

The third round finally got completed and two Brits sit at the top on the Honda Classic leaderboard, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter as the final round gets suspended due to darkness.

Honda Classic

Ian Poulter / Getty Images

Poults has played seven last round holes and Paul nine, both sit on top of the Honda Classic leaderboard at -7 under par for the title as the tournament heads into a Monday finish.

Poults had his problems in the final round today, he shanked his tee shot on the par 3 fifth and watched helplessly as it bounced off a cart path and plunged into the water, it ended in a double bogey. He followed that by pulling his next tee shot into the water before eventually settling for bogey, and would not report his words to the press. He followed that experience with a birdie on seven;

“It’s not for newspaper or Internet worthy, I was pissed. I was seriously pissed.”

“It was a lack of concentration, I tried to take too much off an 8‑iron and hit a beautiful shank.”

“I was internally very angry, shall we say. And when I do that, obviously my heart rate goes up slightly and obviously that sometimes is what it needs to kick in the adrenaline.”

“So the shot on 7 was fueled with adrenaline, because I was so pissed off.”

“It was a good swing, I guess it’s been a long day, a long few days and I was just saying to my son, Luke, right there, look what happens when you forget to concentrate. Silly things happen.”

“Tiring, and made a couple of really bad swings on 5 and 6. But that kind of angered me inside enough to spark a little bit of energy there to hit a good shot on 7.”

Paul wanted to keep going, he hates a break in momentum;

“I thought the wind was favorable, so I thought I would get on with it, the lie is not great. I might be against the collar in the rough.”

“It just breaks up momentum, some guys will carry it through to Monday. Others won’t and that’s very difficult to predict.”

“You just hope you wake up tomorrow and you feel like you’ve got the same kind of golf swing and the putts are going in the hole.”

“I never like to look back, but I feel like when I was playing some great golf in 2009, 2010, it feels like that kind of stuff.”

“Probably even more so than that time in my golf career because off the golf course, I’m so relaxed and happy with where I’m at with (wife) Pollyanna and (son) Lex.”

“It feels great. I think the combination of being extremely happy off the course and confidence on the course, I think I’m maybe playing as good golf, if not better than I’ve played in the past.”

Patrick Reed is in third position at -6 under par, so far in his final round he is at even par through seven holes, but it will be  long day tomorrow, with a lot at stake and the pressure will be on everybody.

There is a posse of five players at -4 under par, including Phil Mickelson, so anything could happen.

 

 

 

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.

Farmers Open. Harris English Leads.

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Harris English leads the Farmers Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego at the mid-way point.

Farmers Open

Harris English / Getty Images

Harris shot a second round -6 under par 66 on the easier North Course to lead the Farmers Open by two shots with his -10 under par total. He admitted to reporters that it is easy to find what is not right with your game, when it is not going well;

“When you start struggling, it’s easy to try to find stuff that’s wrong with your game, wrong with your swing.”

“I definitely was more swing-oriented than playing golf. That’s not me. That’s not how I grew up playing the game.”

“You’re standing over shots thinking about swing positions instead of trying to see your ball flight and trying to play golf. That’s what I was doing the latter half of the year, it was really frustrating.”

“I’ve been having a lot more fun since I know where the ball’s been going these past couple months and I’m looking forward to the next couple years with working with Scott and to see what we can accomplish.”

Tied in third place are three players, all on -8 under par for the competition, Nick Watney, Jhonattan Vegas and Martin Laird.

Nick had a superb second round of -7  under par 65 on the North Course to haul himself up into contention at the week-end. Jhonattan had a steady -3 under par second round and Martin -4 under par, all three on the North Course.

On his own in fifth place is Nick Thompson who struggled round the South Course today carding +1 over par 73 and losing touch with the leaders, he is now at -7 under par overall.

There are some BIG names not making cut, apart from the withdrawn Tiger Woods.

Phil Mickelson continues to struggle, and described his putting performance as pathetic;

“It’s very frustrating for me right now, I felt really ready to start the year and these first few weeks have been very poor.”

“I feel like I’m hitting the ball tee to green quite well, really well, but my putting is beyond pathetic and if I can’t get back to the levels of 2013, I’m not sure what I’m going to do, because this is very frustrating.”   

”It was one of the worst putting performances, and the first few weeks really have been the same way, and you simply can’t compete at this level putting like that.”

Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth all joined the queue to go home early.

Dustin, playing for the first time since a six-month break to get professional help for “personal challenges,” should have used the time to sharpen up his game;

“The last two days, I think normally I probably would be at least five or six under right now instead of even par, but I’m happy with where it’s at. Just a little rusty, that’s all.”

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Tiger Missing More Than A Tooth.

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Tiger Woods is missing more than a tooth, as his toothless second round of +11 over par 82 left him languishing at the foot of the Waste Management Phoenix Open leaderboard and missing the cut here with his lowest ever round in professional golf. It was raining all day, one can only assume the golfing Gods were crying at the sight of poor Tiger, usually it never rains in Scottsdale.

Leading the tournament is Martin Laird, his second round -5 under par 66 giving him a tournament total of -10 under par, and a two shot lead.

Waste Management Phoenix Open

Martin Laird / Getty Imges

 

Rookie Daniel Berger, who needed a sponsor invite to get into the tournament secured second spot with second round -2 under par 69 for a -8 under par total. He spoke about the friendship and rivalry between him and another Rookie Justin Thomas;

“I was lucky enough to get a sponsor exemption in here. Just thankful for the opportunity.”

“We get to play a lot of golf together. We’re good buddies, we hang out all the time.”

 “Hopefully we get to play together tomorrow.”

Justin Thomas, the other Rookie with a sponsorship invite, has third place to himself, he carded a second round -3 under par 68 for -7 under competition total;

“I’m very pleased. I played really well the last two days.”

“I think the important thing for me is I managed my mistakes well. When I got in trouble, I just kept it in front of me and just tried to salvage as many pars as I can.”

A sad Tiger had six bogeys, two double bogeys, a triple bogey and two birdies in the round.

“It’s golf, we all have days like this, unfortunately, mine was in a public forum, in a public setting.”

Waste Management Phoenix Open

A Sad Tiger / AP

Phil Mickelson played in the afternoon wave and he wasn’t much better, shooting +5 over par  76 and missed the cut by two shots. He thinks that they will both be back and better next week;

“Next week is a course that we have both played well in the past, and hopefully we will be able to get it turned around for next week.”

“I was very optimistic heading into this week. I’m a little more surprised that I had such a struggle today, because I felt after yesterday’s round I was going to really come out today and do something special.”

“So this is disappointing, but I’ll take this time on the weekend and see if I can get my game ready for next week.”

Humana Challenge. Michael Putnam Leads.

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Michael Putnam leads the Humana Challenge at the end of the first days play.

Humana Challenge

Michael Putnam / Getty Images

Michael shot a first round -9 under par 63, on  PGA West’s Jack Nicklaus Private Course, in the Humana Challenge tournament.

Ideal conditions prevailed in the Coachella Valley and Michael carded ten birdies, six of them consecutively, from twelve through seventeen. He made all the putts he needed to;

“The course is in perfect shape, greens are good.  I made a lot of birdies at the end.”

“Hit a lot of close shots, a lot of 5-, 10-foot putts. I made them all, so I got to be happy about that.”

“The focus for me is on the Palmer (Friday) and then La Quinta on Saturday. There’s a lot of birdies going to be made in 54 holes by a lot of guys. So I have to make a lot of birdies.”

Five players are tied in second place, at -8 under par; Mark Wilson, Blake Adams, John Peterson, Francesco Molinari and Scott Pinckney.

Mark and John played the Nicklaus course, Blake and Francesco were on the Arnold Palmer course while Scott was on the La Quinta Course.

Mark was happy with his overall display;

“I came in feeling OK, nothing great about the game, but it was ideal today.”

“I made some saves when I needed it and capitalized on my good shots.”

Blake made his first start in his comeback from hip replacement surgery, and said he felt blessed just to be back playing again;

“Very, very blessed to be back out here.”

“It’s been a long road to get back. You never know what you’re going to get when you have total hip replacement.”

“If the putts fall, great, if they don’t, so be it, I had a great day today.”

“I’m going to go out there tomorrow and do my best and if I shoot 64 again, great. If I shoot 74, so be it.”

There is a long way to go on this three course challenge, so it is difficult to get too excited about the scores today, things will eventually even themselves out.

Phil Mickelson played his first serious golf since the Ryder Cup fall-out, and was happy with his -1 under par 71 round at La Quinta;

“It was the first round in four months and I’ll loosen up. My body hasn’t felt this good in years.”

“Hopefully, the way I’m playing will show in the score. But today, it just didn’t.”

“I can’t wait to get started again, because I just feel like I played a little tight today, kind of steered it a little bit.”