The Open. Jordan Spieth Supreme.

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Jordan Spieth supreme in The Open, pulling away from the field at Royal Birkdale during a wet second round afternoon session.

The Open

Jordan

Jordan, USA,  shot -1 under 69, to extend his lead in The Open to two shots at -6 under par. An Eagle at 15 was lucky;

 “I mis-hit it, and I was very fortunate to scoot that last bunker.”

“It was definitely a good break. It wasn’t a bad play. We knew we’d stolen one.”

Keeping the American stranglehold on this competition is Matt Kuchar, in second place, his second round of +1 over par leaving him at -4 under for the tournament.

Sharing third place, at -3 under are Ian Poulter, England, even par 70 today, and Brooks Koepka, USA, with +2 over par 72 second round.

Poults is pumped up;

“I qualified for The Open. I’m loving it. I really am. “

“This is a massive bonus for me to be in this position. I haven’t played in a major for a little while, and I can’t wait.”

“I’m excited. I’m pumped up, I mean I’m ready to go out there toe-to-toe with anyone this weekend.”

Rory McIlroy played himself back into the competition, -2 under 68 today, with an improved performance with the putter giving him a -1 under total and T 7;

The Open

Rory / getty

“That was right up there.”
“It’s really tough out there. I was lucky enough to get off to that great start but the conditions actually got a little bit worse on the back nine and it’s hard.”
“I think this south east wind that we’re playing today is the toughest wind you get on this golf course.”
“To be in after two days and be under par for this championship, after the way I started, I’m ecstatic with that.”
 “I’ve been really, really happy with how I’ve putted the last couple of days and that’s one of the most difficult things today.”

Notables missing the cut, at +5 over par, are Phil Mickelson +10. Padraig Harrington  +6, Justin Thomas +7, Patrick Reed +8, Louis Oosthuizen and Billy Horschel, both with +12 over par.

Phil suffered only his fourth ever cut;

“I missed it with flair.”

“I thought I had a good game plan. I thought my game was sharp. But obviously it wasn’t.”

The Greenbrier Classic. Sebastian Munoz Leads

White Dragon GolfThe Greenbrier Classic

Sebastian Munoz, of Colombia, leads The Greenbrier Classic after 36 holes at The  Old White TPC.

The Greenbrier Classic

Sebastian Munoz / getty

Sebastian shot a second round -3 under 67 to stay on top of The Greenbrier Classic leaderboard, and at -12 under par for the tournament will take a three shot advantage into the week-end;

“I just finished late last night. Had dinner, watch a movie, and go to bed. Kind of like felt like it was the same round. Kind of like connected them.”

“Didn’t give me a lot of time to think. I just got to do a very good job to distract me today.”

“I watched Ferris Bueller for American fans. Great movie. Yeah, today I’m going to try some falconry. Sounds pretty interesting.”

Ben Martin, -3 under 67 today and Hudson Swafford, -4 under 66,  share second place, three shots back at -9 under par.

Hudson would like to sharpen up his work with the putter, would be good to make a few more;

“Didn’t see quite as many putts go in as I had the last few weeks, but I’m being patient.”

“I’m giving myself a lot of chances. You’re not going to make every one of them, but I know I’m going to make a lot come the weekend.”

“So now just go try to have some fun again. Realize you won early in the year and just see what happens. Give yourself just a chance.”

At -8 under for the tournament, and tied in fourth spot on the leaderboard are, Davis Love 111, -1 under 69 today, the defending champion Danny Lee, New Zealand, -2 under 68, and Russell Henley, -6 under 64.

Danny tried a driver off the deck from the tee on the easy par five 12th hole, but it came out badly, resulting in a double bogey seven;

“I was just as shocked as you are when I made that double. Went for driver off the deck and kind of overdid it. Just made a mess.”

Phil Mickelson made the cut on the number, his first outing with brother Tim on the bag. He blamed poor putting for his precarious position;

“This has been probably the two worst putting days I’ve had this year,.

“The greens are perfect. I just haven’t putted well.”

FedEx St Jude Classic. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

White Dragon GolfFedEx St. Jude Classic

There is a three-way tie at the top of the FedEx St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis. Chez Reavie, Sebastian Munoz and Charl Schwartzel share the half-way lead.

Following a second-round 67, Sebastian Munoz reflects on his play in the 2017 FedEx St. Jude Classic with Mark Carnevale from PGA TOUR Radio. 

Sebastian Munoz / getty

Chez, U.S.A, scored a second round -5 under par 65, Sebastian, Colombia, -3 under 67 and Charl, South Africa, -4 under 66 top the FedEx St Jude Classic leaderboard with -9 under par totals at the half-way point in the tournament.

Sebastian is loving the experience, hitting the fairways and making putts;

“I’m super happy, I’m really proud of the way I played today.”

“I had one mistake, but I think a pretty good bogey on 18, so I was just happy to be able to step it up.”

“I’ve been putting the ball in the fairway, and capitalizing on some putts.”

Charl thinks that good putting is the key;

“On this golf course you really have to do everything well.”

“It shows your weakness pretty quickly, so if I drive it well, good iron shots and I think the putter is always the key to low scoring.”

Phil Mickelson, who is not playing next week at the U.S. Open, because he will rightly be attending his daughters graduation, is hoping to put in a good performance here, and is currently at -4 under for the competition;

“I would just say that this is a great golf tournament and I want to be ready to play, compete this week.”

“I think that I’ll have a few weeks off so this is my last event. I want to put everything I have into this tournament.”

“I want to fight hard and give myself a good chance on the weekend. I’ve been in contention the last three or four years, have not won it. I would love to win this tournament. It would be a special win for me.”

The Masters, Four-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a four-way tie at the top of The Masters leaderboard after 36 holes at Augusta National Golf Club. Charlie Hoffman, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia and Thomas Pieters.

The Masters

Rickie Fowler / getty

Rickie shot the low round of the day, -5 under par 67 to join the leaders at the top of The Masters leaderboard at -4 under par for the tournament.

Yesterday’s first round leader Charlie, choked today signing for a +3 over 75, but still shares top spot.

Sergio put in a good performance shooting a second round -3 under 69, for his -4 under total;

“I think that I’m a little bit calmer now. I think that I’m working on trying to accept things.”

 “It’s much easier to say than to do it. That’s the challenge we always have, making sure that you accept the  bad breaks with the good ones and move on.”

“There were a couple of moments out there where I could have lost it a little bit, you just have to realize that those things are going to happen.”

“I still have to get so much better at it, but what that shows me is that I have a lot of room for improvement, so that is something very positive.”

“Things are happening at the moment, so I want to make sure that I keep riding that wave and go out there tomorrow and be positive like I’ve been the first two days.”

Thomas carded -4 under 68 to join the crew at the top.

Tomorrow is moving day, and with so many names close to the leaders it will be interesting to see if anyone makes a significant surge, on the traditional moving day, Saturday. Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, are all within striking distance.

 

 

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Saturday Matches, Jon Rahm Looking Strong.

White Dragon GolfWGC-Match Play

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Saturday matches from the last 16 down to the Quarter Finals. Jon Rahm is looking strong after two wins on Saturday at Austin Country Club, in Texas.

Jon Rahm is in the semifinals after two wins on Saturday. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Jon Rahm / getty

Jon Rahm first beat Charles Howell 111 6-4, and then dispatched Soren Kjeldsen 7-5 to progress to the semi finals, where he will face Bill Haas. In the morning round Soren had accounted for William McGirt 5-4.

Jon was impressed with his putting today;

“The golf I’ve played the last three matches really has been very impressive even to myself, and it seemed to get better as I played, which is something that doesn’t happen often.”

“I felt my confidence was growing. The first few matches my putter let me down, but I was hitting the ball great.”

“Today my putter was rolling. I think that’s one of the main why I was able to do it the way I did it today.”

Bill was 1 up against Kevin Na, and then produced a great display in beating Phil Mickelson 2-1, to get to the semi finals. Phil had beaten Marc Leishman 4-3 in the morning.

Phil is still struggling with the putts, he should ditch that claw grip, he wont win a Major with it;

“He played really well. He made seven birdies today and that’s going to be enough to do it.”

“I had a number of chances to keep pace and match him on the front nine. I struggled making the putts that I have been making all week. That seemed to me to be the difference.”

Dustin Johnson beat namesake Zac 5-4, and then eliminated Alex Noren 3-2. Alex had beaten Brooks Koepka 3-1 in the morning before falling to Dustin who will now play Hideto Tanihara in the semi’s.

Dustin spoke about his encounter with Soren, the longest match he has played so far in the tournament;

“Obviously I won the first three holes, but then from there we were kind of back and forth.”

“Like I said, I gave 10 and 11 away. Then he won 12, too. Got back to all square.”

“So obviously it was a lot tighter than I would like to have been standing on 13 tee. But came back and birdied three of my next four holes and got the match.”

In the morning round Hideto eased passed Paul Casey 2-1. and then dispatched the other Englishman Ross Fisher 4-2, who had firmly beaten Bubba Watson in the morning round 4-3.

Hideto is also happy with his putting;

“My shot has been good this whole week. I knew it would come down to the putting. So I was just; the putting was pretty good, so I’m happy.”

 

 

 

 

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. The Final 16. Sergio Blitzed By Jon.

White Dragon GolfWGC-Match Play

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play has a last 16 for the weekend  at Austin Country Club in Texas. Spain’s new wonder kid Jon Rahm blitzed the old one Sergio Garcia, 6-4.

Jon Rahm (left) knocked off fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia to win Group 7. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Jon and Sergio / getty

Jon eased past Sergio 6-4 to win group 7, he told reporters

“I’d rather not play a fellow Spaniard. Obviously, representing Spain, we want as many Spaniards to make it as far as possible. But worse came to worse, and luckily whoever won today was going to make it through. Out of that, at least we are happy that was going to happen.”

Sergio said he did not perform well;

“Obviously Jon is playing well. It is nice to see at least a Spanish player going through. . “At the end of the day, you have to perform and if you don’t do it then you get beat.”

World number 1 Dustin Johnson won group one, saying;

“I like match play, it’s fun and it’s exciting to watch. Yeah, I feel like I’ve got a little bit of an advantage just because I’m playing really well.”

The last sixteen knockout matches begin tomorrow, lining up like this;

Kevin Na USA v Bill Hass USA

Marc Leishman Australia v Phil Mickelson USA

Jon Rahm Spain v Charles Howell 111 USA

Soren Kjeldson Denmark v William McGirt USA

Hideto Tanihara Japan  v Paul Casey England

Ross Fisher England v Bubba Watson USA

Alex Noren Sweden v Brooks Koepka USA

Dustin Johnson USA v Zack Johnson USA.

It is sad that this years  Championship has been blighted by mid-term with withdrawals, which left Rory McIlroy with no chance to progress. after Jason Day retired. Other groups also had the same misfortune, with Gary Woodland withdrawing for personal reasons, and Francesco Molinari with an injury.

 

 

 

WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play. Rory Out.

White Dragon GolfWGC-Match Play

Rory McIlroy is out of the  WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play, at Austin Country Club in Texas.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match PLay

Søren Kjeldsen / getty

Soren  Kjeldsen beat Emiliano Grillo, to advance to the last 16 of the WGC Dell Match Play tournament, and at the same time eliminating Rory McIlroy, because Soren will win the group with a walk over point in round three.

Soren was happy to progress out of a tough group;

“Right now, I’m very pleased to make it through, obviously I was in a very, very, very tough group and I got through that. I’m happy with that.”

Top winners included Bubba Watson 4-3 over Scott Piercy, World number 1 Dustin Johnson 3-2 over Martin Kaymer, Phil Mickelson 5-4 over Daniel Berger and Jordan Spieth 4-2 over Yuta Ikeda.

Unfortunately the two pull outs have changed the complexity of the competition.

Sergio Garcia set up an intriguing winner-takes-all encounter with Jon Rahm following his 4 and 3 victory over Kevin Chappell;

“It wasn’t easy. It was so gusty, the wind was blowing so hard.”

“Normally you need to hit a good putt, but you have to get lucky with catching the gust at the right time. I felt like I played really well today.”

“That’s what I wanted at the beginning of the week, for both of us on Friday to play to get through so at least one of us Spaniards goes through. I am excited.”

Jon is looking forward to the battle;

“We really want to play each other. We wish it was in the final. But we’re going to pretend like it’s a final.”

“We’re both very excited. Mathematically whoever wins tomorrow is going to go through. I think that is a good thing for us that at least we will have the showdown tomorrow.”