US PGA Championship. Hideki & Kevin Share Lead.

White Dragon Golf    Quail Hollow

Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Kisner share the US PGA Championship lead after two rounds at Quail Hollow.

US PGA Championship

Hideki Matsuyama / getty

Hideki, Japan, shot an interrupted second round -7 under par 64 at the US PGA Championship, pausing in the middle for 1 hr 45 mins for a weather delay, to catch Kevin, -4 under 67  at the top of the leaderboard at -8 under par. The second round was unable to be completed due to darkness falling.

Hideki welcomed the delay, saying he was tired, his poor play with his driver was the culprit, but his putter cheered him up,  needing just 23 putts Friday,

“I was grateful for the rain delay because I was getting tired, I was able to lay down in the locker room and get some rest.”

“I think what was making me tired was I wasn’t hitting my driver like I wanted to, I was hitting fairways but I wasn’t getting the crisp contact that I was hoping for with my driver.”

“Twenty-three putts just means I missed a lot of greens.”

“The greens here at Quail Hollow, as you know, are really fast.”

“And there’s a lot of putts that honestly, I’m not trying to make. I’m just trying to get it up near the hole, and a lot of them are going in.”

Kevin, USA, is playing well, and likes his chance to win here;

 “Any time I can get a wedge in my hand or a par five that I can reach, I feel like I have to make birdie.”

“If I can get a six or seven iron in my hand,” I like my chances around here.”

“Those are the holes here that are allowing me to have that opportunity.”  

“I’m just excited about the opportunity, I’m really fired up about the way I’m hitting the golf ball.”

“I haven’t hit it this well this whole summer, a lot of average finishes. When I start hitting it the way I am now, I play well.”

Jason Day, Australia, is in third place,  at -6 under par after his second round -5 under par 66, a bit more like his old self;

 “It felt like the old days, which was only last year. It feels like 10 years ago.”

“I’m improving each and every day now, and actually I’m hungry again and I’m looking forward to trying to beat these guys here in a bit.”

“But I’m very motivated right now. Like I want to win again. So I’m excited about that.”

Tied in fourth position at -4 under are Francesco Molinari, Italy, also carding -7 under 64 today, Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa, -4 under 67, and Chris Stroud, USA, who is at -2 under today through 13 holes.

The next group is back at -3 under, and will need something special on moving day if they want to contend on Sunday.

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US PGA Championship. Thorbjørn Olesen and Kevin Kisner Tied at the Top

White Dragon Golf     Quail Hollow

Thorbjørn Olesen, Denmark, and Kevin Kisner, USA are  tied at the top of the  US PGA Championship leaderboard at Quail Hollow.

US PGA Championship

Thorbjørn Olesen and Kevin Kisner / getty

Thorbjørn and Kevin had matching opening rounds of -4 under par 67 to top the US PGA Championship leaderboard by one shot.

Thorbjørn just needs to stay relaxed, and feels he can win;

“I’ve had a couple of top tens in Majors, I’ve had some good rounds in Majors and I feel like I’ve learned a lot over the years playing quite a few Majors now.”

” I just have to stay relaxed the next few days, still trying to keep the ball in the fairway and then I know I can hit it close and make some birdies.”

“I feel like I’m better prepared to be in contention over the weekend and have a chance to win.”

Kevin was concentrating on making par;

“I felt confident, I was hitting the driver nice starting out.”

“There’s about four or five holes that I have to birdie to compete and I birdied them all today so that’s kind of been my game plan.”

“Other than that, I’m playing for par.”

Five USA players are that one shot back at -3 under, after their first rounds of 68; Brooks Koepka, Grayson Murray, Gary Woodland, Chris Stroud and DA Points.

Brooks spoke about the new fast greens at Quail Hollow;

“These greens are the fastest greens I’ve ever played, and the thing is, they’re only going to get faster and firmer.”

 Rory McIlroy +1 over 72 today to be T33 also mentioned the greens;

“The greens are as firm as I’ve ever seen at a PGA Championship.”

“Birdied the par fives, birdied the holes that you should birdie. I’m only five behind, four under is the best score out there.”

“It’s a tough golf course. I shoot something in the sixties tomorrow, I move right up there. So yeah, I’m in it.”

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Wells Fargo Championship. Rory Records Record Breaking Win.

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Rory McIlroy records a record breaking win at the Wells Fargo Championship with a -21 under par total at Quail Hollow.

Wells Fargo Championship

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory had a quiet final round of  -3 under par 69, to win the Wells Fargo Championship by a blistering, and record breaking seven shots, with his -21 under par total.

He told reporters that he needed to play more, and that was why he was at this tournament;

“I said, I need to play a little bit more. I feel like I’m playing well.”

“I feel like as the best player in the world, I want to go at it every week and, not so much prove it, but just show that.”

“The way I played yesterday really set me up to go out there today.”

“I was in control of the golf tournament and I just needed to shoot a solid round and that was going to get me over the line.”

“I’ve learned how to handle these positions and I’m finishing the job off the way I should, which is very pleasing.”

“In terms of there wasn’t as much excitement on the back nine. I finished with six 3s the last time I won here. Would have been nice to finish with six 3s again.”

“It does push me. I think you see guys that you knew well, guys that are your peers and they’re winning golf tournaments, big golf tournaments, that you want to win.”

Tied in a distant second place were Quail Hollow member Webb Simpson and playing on a sponsor exempion Patrick Rodgers, who both carded tournament totals of -14 under par

Webb knew Rory was going to be tough to beat especially as he started with a four shot lead, and he made too many mistakes. Carding a last round of even par;

“It was a memorable week, nonetheless.”

 “Through number six I made so many mistakes, probably more mistakes than I had all week.”

“That was kind of a killer to be couple over through six with Rory playing pretty solid.

“He was a tough guy to beat today.”

Patrick doesn’t have PGA TOUR status, but in this form he soon will have;

“Walking down the first fairway, with all those people out there, I get chills talking about it.”

“I tried to talk to him when he was playing well to keep him loose, but he handled it really well.”

“It was awesome. It was a lot of fun being out there, pushing Rory a little bit.”

“I tried to come into this week with a lot of confidence, I feel like my game can compete out here, and I’m going to really carry that with me for the next few events.”

Phil Mickelson finished tied in fourth spot at -12 under par, along with Gary Woodland and Robert Streb.

Phil had worked hard on his putting, and it paid off for him, he needed only 22 putts in his final round;

“I really worked hard on my short putts and putted those phenomenal.”

“I started to drive it better, but, more than that, get my iron shots close to the hole, work it into those pins. I made a lot of birdies this week. That’s important.”

 

 

Wells Fargo Championship. Rory Reigns with Record Round.

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Rory McIlroy reigns at the Wells Fargo Championship, shooting a record round of 61 at Quail Hollow.

Wells Fargo Championship

Record Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory produced a -11 under par 61 third round to sit on top of the Wells Fargo Championship leaderboard at -18 under par, and writing a new chapter in the records books. He now has a four shot lead over second placed man, Quail Hollow member Webb Simpson.

Rory definitely likes this course, he won here in 2010, and was thinking of the magic 59, but still managed to break his own record on this course. In all, he carded nine birdies during a 10-hole stretch, and said he is rolling the ball and putting nicely;

“I feel like it’s one of these courses I can get on a roll with. I was thinking about 59 from the 14th tee box,”

“I got off to a great start, I’m obviously delighted with the score, it’s always great to break your own course record.”

“I feel like the best player in the world right now and I wanted to go out and prove that.”

“I’ve always loved this place, I have great memories here and it feels a little bit like a second home.”

“It’s a mental thing, you’re picturing good shots, you’re visualizing the lines on putts and you’re not getting in your own way. You’re just letting it happen.”

“I rolled the ball really well, which I haven’t been doing for the past couple of weeks, so to see a lot of putts drop like that was really nice.”

“More of the same on Sunday would be nice obviously, but I just want to keep it going. Even though I’ve got a lead there’s no reason why I shouldn’t go out there and be aggressive and try make as many birdies as I can.”

Webb Simpson is in second place , four strokes back at -14 under par after his third round -4 under par 68, and is under no illusions about how hard it will be tomorrow to try and chase down Rory;

“What an incredible round McIlroy played, I’ve got a tough opponent tomorrow.”

Robert Streb has third spot on his own at -11 under par, a -1 under par third round stifling any progress, and is now seven shots off the lead.

Phil Mickelson was in contention at -11 under par, that was before a triple bogey 7 at the 18th hole, this hole  has now become his nemesis, he double bogeyed the 18th hole on Thursday. That triple dropped Phil to -1 under par 71 on the day and has left him 10 shots behind the high-flying Roryon -8 under par.

 

Wells Fargo Championship. It’s Tight at the Top.

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It’s very tight at the top of the Wells Fargo Championship leaderboard, with Robert Streb sharing the summit with Quail Hollow member Webb Simpson.

Quail Hollow Championship

Webb Simpson / Getty Images

Webb recorded another round of -5 under par 67 to get to his -10 under par tournament total, while Robert was a little more subdued today, carding -3 under par 69, to add to his -7 under 65 yesterday.

Webb likes having friends and family supporting him from the gallery this week, at his home course;

“I saw so many people, friends and family and heard my name a lot.”

“I’m sure tomorrow will be fun. I think if I’m one over at any point tomorrow early in the round, I think that support will help me.”

Robert said he has been dodging some bullets this week;

“My misses haven’t gotten me in too much trouble, with the exception of sixteen.”

Martin Flores and Patrick Rodgers are tied in second place at -8 under par for the tournament.

Martin called Quail Hollow a bigger version of his home course;

“When I just step on the tee, I feel very, very comfortable out here.”

Patrick is competing at the Wells Fargo Championship on a sponsor exemption, and is making the most of the opportunity;

“I just watched Jordan win the Masters and make it look pretty easy. That gives me a ton of confidence.”

“Most of the tee shots set up really, really well for me,  it really suits a high draw off the tee. It’s been a big advantage so far.”

 “I won a lot in college and I’m comfortable at the top of the leaderboard.”

“I have full confidence I’m capable of not only playing really well but winning out here.  I just try to carry myself with that confidence and hopefully this weekend I can do the same.”

Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson are tied third place at -7 under par, making a significant move today, Rory a -5 under par 67 and Phil with his 66. Will McKenzie also joins them on them on that score.

Rory is trying to stay patient, something that he is getting better at;

“I’m not putting myself under that much stress, I’m making it good on myself. I drove the ball beautifully at TPC Sawgrass and I’ve continued to do that this week.”

“I think I’ve gotten a lot better at staying patient. That’s probably one of the strengths of my game now.”

“It’s just knowing from experience what a good score is. If you’re putting yourself in position to score and it’s not happening, you know you’re not losing any ground on the field.”

“The way I hit it today, I felt like I could have shot 63 or 64, but realizing 67 is still a good score and puts me in a great position going into the weekend.”

Phil has yet to win at Quail Hollow, but does have seven top-10s in 11 starts here, he was happy to finally shoot -6 under par 66. He should have done it yesterday but ended up with a 71 instead;

“Right now, nobody is turning 66s into 71s better than me, and it’s nice to finally shoot that 66 and get the score that reflects the way I feel I’m playing.”

Wells Fargo Championship. Holmes Hits the High Spot.

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J.B. Holmes hits the high spots as he wins the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.

Winner: JB Holmes poses with the trophy after securing victory in the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship

Wells Fargo Champion J.B. Holmes 

At his lowest point J.B. had undergone more than enough surgeries, now at his high point he has won the Wells Fargo Championship. Hanging on to his one shot victory with a last round -1 under par 71 and -14 under par total. He spoke of his huge achievement;

”It’s been a long journey for me, I’ve had some ups and downs. It’s a great feeling to be out there and to get one done. This is a big win for me. It’s been since 2008 since I’ve won, and since then I had two brain surgeries and broke my ankle and had arm surgery, the list goes on. So it’s a huge win and to get in the top 20 in the FedEx Cup, that’s huge, and just to win in a venue like this with such a good field and the golf course is always so well-manicured, it’s just great. I’m just ecstatic.”

” Nobody is comfortable on those last three holes.”

Jim Furyk came racing up the leaderboard with a final round -7 under par, and to sit in the clubhouse to see if anyone could get better than his -13 under par total. Jim had to wait until the very last putt before he knew there would be no play-off, and second was the best he could do. Jim was aware of the pressure J.B. was under on that last putt;

“I know he was probably dying a million deaths out there but he sucked it up and made a good two-putt. He made that last putt with authority and knocked it right in the middle.”

 

Martin Flores claimed third place at -12 under par, a very disappointing last round effort of even par 70 left him to count the cost.

Jason Bohn was in fourth, at -11 under par while the reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose was a further shot back at -10 under par.

Justin was surprised that his world ranking is still in good shape, he said all the top people have had some strange results;

“I’ve been surprised how my world ranking has maintained itself because the top guys have also been struggling. The guys haven’t stretched out. No. 1 in the world is even more for the taking than it has been for a lot of players. Probably for 20 guys, if they get on a hot run, can challenge.”

“It has been slow for the top players, it’s been a weird year, 54-hole leaders haven’t done very well. A lot of young names. The Americans have done a lot better this year. And yet it doesn’t surprise me because the depth out here is so great. Before you always had that separation. Now in part you’ve got the top players not playing so great and in part the rest catching up.”

What about Phil Mickelson T 11 and Rory McIlroy T7 I hear you ask, I think it is best not to comment.

 

Wells Fargo Championship, J.B. Holmes Leads. Mickelson & McIlroy Move on Moving Day

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J.B. Holmes leads the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, while Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy move on up on moving day.

Big-hitting Holmes in front

J.B. Holmes / Getty Images

J.Bwho retained status for the rest of the season last week on his major medical extension, carded a third-round 66 to grab the 54-hole lead at -13 under par in the Wells Fargo Championship on Saturday. He said retaining his status relieved the pressure on him;

” It was nice more than anything just to solidify my schedule a little but, it was nice to get that off my back. I’m happy to be out here and go out tomorrow and do the best I can, and if I win, that’s great. If it ends up not being my day, then I’m just thankful to be out here, and happy to have the opportunity that I have.”

He also thinks the enforced elbow surgery was t he best thing to happen to him;

“I thought it might be the best thing that could have happened to me. Gave me a year off from golf. I got to spend time with family and friends and did a lot of rehab, so it wasn’t all vacation, but it was nice to get away from it a little bit.”

 

Martin Flores / Getty

Martin Flores is still in the hunt, shooting a third round -3 under par 69 and a -12 under par tournament total. Martin had avoided looking at a scoreboard all day long;

“I didn’t look at a leaderboard all day. I just thought that was irrelevant, because there are so many good players out here, that if you’re not attacking and trying to move forward, you can get passed. So I didn’t even know where I was. I knew I was playing well. But, you know, I just didn’t think the leaderboard was important.”

 

In contention after 63

Phil Mickelson / Getty

Phil Mickelson is in third place after a making a big move on moving day, he posted a marvelous -9 under par bogey free 63. He carded seven birdies and an Eagle to attain his total of -11 under par. He said he put it all together today, a bit of an under statement;

“I was able to put everything together, I played well from tee to green. I hit the ball well, put it in play, I hit good iron shots and was able to capitalize on those shots with some good putts, and it feels good because I hadn’t really been able to put it all together this year.  It felt close, hasn’t felt far away, and to put it together today, it’s nice.”

“Historically here, the winner has not come from the last group, but from a few groups before. When you know that you’re out in front of the leaders, and you have a chance to kind of light up the board first, that’s an opportunity, and guys have typically done that here and won. It’s been tougher to follow suit, seeing those guys in front make birdies.”

Rory McIlroy also made a move today, a -7 under par round of 65, to move him up to -6 under par for the tournament and tied eleventh. In 2010 Rory also made the cut on the number,+1 over par, then proceeded to shoot a 62 in the final round to win. He is hoping that history will repeat itself, at least he has good memories;

“It does bring back memories, in 2010, I bogeyed the 18th hole on Saturday to shoot 66, so I had a putt on 18 to go one better. So that’s why I gave a first pump. I was sort of thinking of that. At least I’ve given myself a chance.”