Farmers Open. Harris English Leads.

White Dragon GolfFarmers Insurance Open

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There are some BIG names not making cut, apart from the withdrawn Tiger Woods.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

White Dragon GolfPhoenix Open

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.

White Dragon GolfHumana Challenge

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.”

 

 

 

 

1st Hole in One.

White Dragon Golf

Hi guys just had to report that had my first ever hole in one today, on the 14th hole at Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club, in New Zealand.

Unfortunately there are no good pictures of this 150 yard par three, to the back of the green, where the pin was today, but who cares, it went in.

Virtually all carry to a generously-sized green for a par 3 guarded by bunker left and right at the front, and out of bounds very close to back of green. The tee is a little sheltered so judging the wind here is paramount.Today the wind speed and direction was not a factor, a very unusual occurrence on this ocean side links course. The safe play on this hole is to play for the center of the green and not always the pin, but what the hell, I went for it, because my opponent was within an easy short put for a two. The hole in one was a generous gift, especially as it was my first one, although I will say I struck the tee shot wonderfully well, it felt good, and turned out perfect. It certainly upstaged the opponents who thought a two would win the hole.

My playing partner was Terry McNamara, we were battling against the very low handicapper Cliff Moore and the long hitting Kevin Gatfield. We finished the day all square, and really enjoyed the free drinks in the 19th afterwards.

Not to be out-done on the day, my close neighbor, and friend Tony Gibbons also had a hole in one today, at the par three 5th, a bugger of a hole at 140 yards, that you can not miss left, right or long.

White Dragon Golf

Me and Tony

For the advertisers information I am wearing a Breast Cancer Awareness pink Oakley shirt, Phil Mickelson inspired Callaway shorts, a Dragon Golf belt and Nike Shoes. { I know you can not see the shoes, but trust me they are there.}

Not sure what Tony was wearing, we had imbibed a few drinks by the time this picture was taken. He did ask me why it was that if I made the best putter in the world, why would I not use it !!!

www.whitedragongolf.com

 

 

The Ryder Cup. European Glory at Gleneagles.

Ryder Cup Gleneagles The Ryder Cup

The European Ryder Cup Team tasted Glory at Gleneagles by lifting the trophy once again.

World number one Rory McIlroy lead by example as he put the first point of the day on the board when he defeated good friend Rickie Fowler 5-4.

Rory was full of praise for Captain McGinley;

“I can’t say enough about the Captain. Paul McGinley has been absolutely immense this week. He has left no stone unturned. He has given this week a lot of thought over the last two years. I am just glad it worked out for him.”

Ryder Cup

Jubilant Rory / Getty Images

Graeme McDowell then recovered from three down to hand rookie Jordan Spieth his first defeat at this Ryder Cup, G-Mac won 2-1.

There was a brief interlude as Team USA fought back, Patrick Reed beat Henrik Stenson on the 18th, Phil Mickelson took down Stephen Gallacher and Matt Kuchar beat Thomas Bjørn.

The European Team responded to the challenge, Martin Kaymer chipped in to complete a 4 and 2 win over Bubba Watson and Justin Rose snatched a half from Hunter Mahan at the 18th to take Europe to 13 ½ points.

Jamie Donaldson capped of an impressive debut, having the honor of claiming the winning point with a 5 and 3 victory over Keegan Bradley.
Jamie felt over the moon with his experience;

“I hit the wedge shot of my life to close the game out. I can’t really put words to it. It is unbelievable. I knew it was getting tight there at the end and everyone was building on my group. I just tried not to spend too much time looking at the scoreboard.”

“I was able to do it well enough to close it out.The lads have got on so well all week. It is an incredible week. It is hard to describe how good it is , there is nothing else like it in golf.

“It has been amazing to be a part of it.”

European Captain Paul McGinley applauded the Team effort;

It has been a real honor to captain these 12 players, our backroom team, it has been a huge team effort.” 

“We had three or four big ideas which we kept feeding back to and they came off. I have a great sense of pride giving happiness to everyone.”

The two sides will square off next time at Hazeltine in 2016, will the European’s make it four in a row ?

Ryder Cup Gleneagles

BMW Championship. Horschel Flying High, Rory In Retreat.

White Dragon GolfBMW Championship

Billy Horschel is flying high at the top of the BMW Championship leaderboard at Cherry Hills Country Club.

BMW Championship

Billy Horschel / Getty Imges

Billy carded a third round -7 under par 63 and sits on top of the BMW Championship leaderboard with a three shot lead going into the final round at -13 under par.

Rory McIlroy went the other way lamely signing for a +2 over par 72, which leaves him nine shots off the pace and languishing at T10.

BMW Championship

A Sad Rory McIlroy / Getty images

A four putt triple bogey at the par 3 12th hole ended any hopes Rory had of lifting this particular trophy.

At the other end of the scale Billy sunk a 32-foot birdie putt on the 18th Saturday to post a 7-under 63 and take a three-shot lead over Ryan Palmer in the BMW Championship, he spoke about the positives;

“There were a lot more positives from last week to take than just one bad swing on the last hole. So, I knew coming in that I was going to play well.”

Ryan is not that far behind, scoring -3 under par 67 in his third round giving him a -10 under par tournament total;

“Rory, he’s No. 1 in the world, and Sergio has been up there for years, so, for me to come out and hang in there and play well, I’m taking the next step in my career, I think.”

Third place is shared by Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson, both have -8 under par totals, but will have to go low tomorrow to catch the leader.

Morgan Hoffman posted the low round of the day, a magnificent -8 under par 62, but can only boast a -4 under par total. Knowing he had to finish this week in the top three to make it to the Tour Championship next week, today he just went out and played golf, and at one point in the round was thinking of a 59;

“I don’t have anything to lose, so I was just trying to have some fun. It was possible with three more birdies coming in.”

“We were feeding off each other a bunch, we were joking around the whole day. Kind of just messing with each other, which is a lot of fun out there. It really helped our game.”

Morgan is actually just four shots out of third place. If he can go really low once more he could well make it to next week;

“I’m going to be going low and being as aggressive as I can, there’s no reason not to.”

Phil Mickelson withdrew from the BMW Championship, bringing to an end to his worst PGA Tour season in more than 10 years. He quit after two days so that he could rest up before the Ryder Cup;

“My primary goal is to rest and prepare for the Ryder Cup. Without a chance to contend at the Tour Championship, the most important thing for me now is to prepare for the Ryder Cup.”

BMW Championship. Sergio Soars.

White Dragon GolfBMW Championship

Sergio Garcia soars to the top of the BMW Championship leaderboard at Cherry Hills Country Club.

BMW Championship

Sergio Garcia / Getty Images

Sergio sunk a clutch putt on the 18th green to put some distance between him and the chasing pack of players at the BMW Championship. A superb second round -6 under par 64 gave Sergio his breathing space at the half-way stage of the tournament at Cherry Hills Country Club, posting a tournament total of -8  under par. A pulled second shot into the par five 17th, which ended in the lake, was rescued with a one putt par.

He was bothered by a strange medical condition with his left ear, but it clearly didn’t affect his golf;

“It’s happened before, but usually I kind of blow it and it gets back, but for some reason, it just didn’t feel quite the same. And it still doesn’t, but it’s definitely better. It shouldn’t be too big of a deal.”

“Obviously, it helped, because then I made 2 on the next hole.”

“It’s only Friday, so we still have two days to go, but it definitely helped my frame of mind going into the 18th tee, which today was playing quite hard. So it was nice to be able to get that up-and-down and then play 18 really well.”

“After a couple weeks where I didn’t play my best, and I didn’t feel quite that comfortable, it’s nice to at least put two solid rounds together here. I’m looking forward to playing well on the weekend, too. And then, obviously, get ready for the Ryder Cup.”

Ryan Palmer is alone in second spot, just one shot behind at -7 under par, a late run of birdies, on 13, 14 and 17, 18 helped him to his -6 under par 64. He thought the rains had made the greens softer, and more accessible and he was right;

“It was a great way to finish, I was glad I was one of the ones that shot low.”

Rory McIlroy and Billy Horschel are tied in third place at -6 under par. Rory was not too happy with his round overall, but was happy to birdie three of the last four holes;

“I feel much better coming off the golf course because I birdied three of the last four holes. I sort of struggled to get anything going today. It was a little cooler, so the ball wasn’t going quite as far, a little bit of wind, even though the course was softer, it still played pretty tough.”

Phil Mickelson is probably playing his last PGA TOUR event of the season, he needs to finish about fourth to qualify for the TOUR Championship but is 14 shots behind and in a tie for 63rd in the 68-man field.

Jason Day had to retire on the ninth hole, citing a back injury, but hopes to be ready for the TOUR Championship.