The Honda Classic. Rickie Wins.

White Dragon GolfThe Honda Classic Logo

Rickie Fowler wins The Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida.

Friends motivate Fowler

Rickie / getty

Rickie shot +1 over par 71 in his final round, but still won The Honda Classic, by four shots, at -12 under par;

“It’s great. We’ve talked about it for a few years now, and the game is in a great spot, a lot of young players, a lot of great players playing well, a lot of young players winning.”

“It’s fun seeing it. It’s motivating seeing my friends win.”

“I still need to put myself in position, be consistent and win some more golf tournaments.”

 “I just want to play the best that I can and keep pushing myself and ultimately just keep trying to put myself in position to win and start collecting more of these.”

“It’s special to be able to pull it off, it wasn’t the prettiest of ways to do it, but this isn’t an easy golf course and this wasn’t an easy day to go play golf on.”

“I just had to fight through it.”

Morgan Hoffman, -2 under par 68 today, and Gary Woodland, -1 under 69 shared second place at -8 under par.

The Honda Classic. Fowler Leads, with a Fortuitous Free Drop.

White Dragon GolfThe Honda Classic Logo

Rickie Fowler leads The Honda Classic, helped somewhat by a fortuitous free drop at PGA National in Florida.

Fowler pulls ahead at Honda

Rickie / getty

Rickie carded a bogey free -5 under par 65 to lead The Honda Classic after 54 holes, at -13 under par, but importantly he has a four shot advantage. The free drop came when his ball was in the deep fringe greenside, but he claimed a drop because of a nearby sprinkler head, which he said interfered with his stance. A club length later he was out on the fairway. Reminded me of the free drop Tiger got after he had sent his ball out of bounds, either on the roof of the clubhouse, or out in the car park, no one knew. The official gave Tiger a free drop, greenside.

Rickie played well and spoke about the difficulty of the course;

“You still have to be on top of your game, in easier conditions here.”

“It does lend to some birdies out there for sure, but it’s still a fine line.”

“You can still make just as many mistakes as you do in the wind.”

“I’m looking forward to this weekend. A place, on a golf course I feel comfortable.”

“I know I have the lead, and it’s nice to go out in front, but you still have to play, and especially around this place, it can jump up and bite you at any time.”

“And I’m comfortable with the game right now. It’s going to be a fun weekend.”

Tyrrell Hatton, from England holds second place at -9 under par, a third round -4 under 66, he said it was just a nice mix of things, and he putted well;

“It was a mix of things, I made a few putts.”

“Putted well on the back nine.”

“My game didn’t feel that great on Monday, felt like I had never swung a golf club before.”

“I’m really happy with the position I’m in.”

Tied in third place at -7 under par are five players; Emiliano Grillo, Sean O’Hair, Gary Woodland, Martin Kaymer and Wesley Bryan.

 

 

 

 

The Honda Classic. Two Tied At The Top.

White Dragon GolfThe Honda Classic

The Honda Classic, there are two players tied at the top of the leaderboard after 36 holes at PGA National in Florida. Ryan Palmer joins first round leader Wesley Bryan.

The Honda Classic

Ryan Palmer / getty

Ryan shot -5 under 65, while Wesley signed for a -3 under 67 in the second round of The Honda Classic, to share top spot at -9 under par.

Ryan returned to golf after a four-month break,  to be at home with his wife, Jennifer, who is recovering from breast cancer;

“I watched a few tournaments, there were times when she said I should have gone and played.”

“I was going to play Vegas and I was going to play Malaysia, but after that, there was no way I could play golf.”

“Enjoyed time at home, took care of the kids. But it was a lot of hard times, for sure.”

Ryan suffered most on the course, with his putter;

“The greens, all hell broke loose. the nerves, anxiety right hand. I spent four weeks going through that.”

“Felt like it was the best putting I’ve done in a year and a half, and it’s carried over to this week.”

Wesley  made a bogey on the 13th hole,an errant tee shot,  with his only option was using a putter to get out of the trees. He holed an 8-foot bogey putt to keep in range, and then he holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th to tie for the lead;

“Don’t like making bogeys, but any time you find yourself using a putter out of the trees for your second shot, it’s not good.”

 “Glad to settle for bogey there and glad to get one on 18, tied for the lead going into the weekend.”

One shot back of the leaders is Rickie Fowler, who carded a second straight -4 under 66, for a -8 under total;

“I feel like it’s time for me to start finishing off some more events when I am in this position.”

 “I wouldn’t look just back at this specific event, but there’s been a few where I’ve had a chance, and I feel very good out front or around the guys in the lead.”

“I’m looking forward to this weekend.”

 

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Matt Kuchar Leads.

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Matt Kuchar leads the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, before play was suspended due to darkness at TPC Scottsdale.

Kuchar heats up, leads by 1

Matt / getty

Matt shot  an opening bogey free round of -7 under 64 to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open by one stroke;

“I drove the ball well, which you have to do around here,  from there, I just played good, steady golf.”

Defending Champion Hideki Matsuyama is tied in second place with Brendan Steele, both with rounds of -6 under 65.

Hideki does not know why he plays so well at  this venue;

“I have had such good success here and played well here, I wish I knew why I play well here.”

Sharing fourth place, at -5 under par are, John Peterson, Robert Garrigus, Scott Brown, Chris Kirk and Byeong  Hun An.

In the large group at -4 under par is last years play-off loser Rickie Fowler;

“Little bit of everything. I’ve played well in the desert since I was a junior golfer.”

“Being here, I like the golf course. It’s fun to play. If you get it going and drive it well you can make a lot of birdies.”

“The energy here, the crowds, the amount of people that come out, especially tomorrow and Saturday, it’s fun.”

Jon Rahm, last weeks winner had a conservative start to this competition, -1 under par 70;

 “It’s a lot different than having people that are not with me. It’s always helpful.”

“It’s great when you hit a shot, and even if you’re not happy with it, when people clap for you, they appreciate it, it always brings you up.”

 

 

 

 

Farmers Insurance Open. Justin Rose Tops The Leaderboard, As Tiger Misses Cut.

White Dragon GolfFarmers Insurance Open

Justin Rose tops the 36 hole Farmers Insurance Open leaderboard at Torrey Pines in California, while Tiger Woods misses the cut, on his return to Tournament golf.

Justin Rose made one last birdie to end the day at 8-under through 36 holes to secure the lead at Torrey Pines. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Justin Rose / getty

Justin shot a second round -1 under par 71 on the South Course to stay on top of the Farmers Insurance Open by one shot at -8 under par, putting was a problem;

“I was going along really nicely today. I think I hit my first ten greens in regulation, I was playing lovely.”

“Things were going really well. Felt like I was in control.”

“But this golf course gets tough as you turn back into the breeze there on 14, 15, 16, it felt like, and this is probably just more just my perspective than anything, but it felt like as we turned into the wind the greens got bumpy, too.”

“So it felt like coming in it was even hard to see pars coming in.”

“Everyone’s played both courses now and now we get to play the bruiser for the next two days. So you just want to basically put yourself within a shot.”

“I actually think the cut mark is incredibly low for two days around here. Pretty much everyone who’s made the cut is still in the golf tournament.”

“It’s a golf course you’ve got to stay patient on. You’ve just got to hit good golf shots. You can’t really fake it around here so it’s just about continuing to play well.”

Adam Hadwin is still hanging on to Justin’s coattails, -1 under 71 on the North Course today giving him -7 under for the tournament. He shares second place with Brandt Snedeker -3 under 69 on the South today.

Brandt spoke about his strategy for the course;

 “There’s definitely a lot of strategy involved. Guys don’t think that there is. They think they should have to hit every fairway and that’s not the case.”

“So I did a great job today of missing it in the right spots to give myself a lot of good opportunities to save pars when I had to.”

“There’s birdie holes out there, you’ve just got to wait for them to come and not force it around here.”

A sad Tiger Woods was not the only big name casualty to make an early exit at the Farmers. He was joined by World #1 Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, the PGA TOUR player of the year, Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker.

Tiger spoke to the media after his miserable exit;

Farmers Insurance Open

Sad Tiger Woods / getty

“It’s frustrating not being able to have a chance to win the tournament.”

“I didn’t make the cut. Overall, today was better than yesterday. I hit it better. I putted well again. I hit a lot of beautiful putts that didn’t go in, but I hit it much better today, which was nice.”

“We fixed a few things while playing today, which was nice.”

Hero World Challenge. Hideki Easily Wins.

White Dragon GolfWorld Challenge

Hideki Matsuyama easily wins the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Matsuyama wins Hero World Challenge

Hideki Matsuyama

Hideki carded +1 over par 73 in th final round of the Hero World Challenge, but his -18 under par total was still good enough for the trophy;

Hideki recently won  the Japan Open, and named some of the great Japanese players;

“There’s been some great golfers in Japan.”

“Just to name a few, Jumbo Ozaki, Isao Aoki, Shigeki Maruyama, Tsuneyuki Nakajima.”

“And to be able to follow in their footsteps is a great honor. And then to come to the PGA TOUR and learn from really the best golfers in the world, it’s really helped my game.”  

“I’m grateful for all of their help. But to answer your question, I’m not the greatest golfer from Japan.”

“Jumbo won a hundred times, so unless I win a hundred times, I wouldn’t be greater than Jumbo.”

“Starting next week all my focus and preparation will be for the Masters.”  

“Hopefully, along the way I can play well on the PGA TOUR, but the Masters is my next goal.”

Henrik Stenson was second with a -16 under par total, his final round -4 under 68 was decent, but it did not create any pressure on the man in front of him.

Henrik mentioned the eight shot gap at the start of his round;

“I was miles away and it reminded me of the final round at Pinehurst in 2014 when Kaymer was miles ahead and you were just kind of walking in a bit of a vacuum.”

“I started picking up a few shots, made a nice eagle on 9. Then Hideki ended up in a bit of trouble.”  

“Unfortunately, I three putted from long range on 10, but I still picked up a shot there and then it was the double swing on 14 when he made a bit of a clumsy bogey and I made a good up and down for birdie.” 

“Now all of a sudden it felt like, okay, three back with four to go, there’s an outside chance if I keep on pressing on.”

Matt Kuchar, -2 under 70 today, Rickie Fowler, -3 under 69, and Dustin Johnson, -1 under 71, all shared third place at -13 under par.

Tournament host Tiger Woods could only manage a last round +4 over par 76, for a -4 under total, he was full of praise for Hideki;

“It’s going to give him a boatload of confidence going into next year and he’s going to be one of the top guys to beat for a very long time.”  

“Look at his swing, look at his game and look at the body that he has, it’s built for a workload and it’s built to handle the test of time.”  

“He’s going to be one of the players that we’re going to have to beat for a long time.”

 

 

ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf. Denmark Deserve Their 4 Shot Lead.

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Denmark, in the form of Søren Kjeldsen and Thorbjørn Olesen, definitely deserve their 4 shot lead going into the final round of the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf, at Kingston Heath Golf Club.

 

 ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf

Søren Kjeldsen and Thorbjørn Olesen / getty

Round three was basically a breeze for Søren and Thorbjørn, -2 under 70 today saw them extend their  ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf lead to four shots at -14 under par, and should be good enough to see them canter home tomorrow.

Thorbjørn is happy with the lead, but will not be taking it easy tomorrow;

“We showed yesterday that a really low score is possible out there in the fourballs.”

“I had a seven-shot lead in Turkey and it got down to one shot very quickly, so I know how quick this game can go sometimes. It’s definitely not going to be easy tomorrow.

“There’s a lot of great players here and a lot of birdies out there. It’s a four-shot lead, which is really nice, but it’s not going to be easy.”

Søren said the birdie hunt will continue;

“You need to stay aggressive on this course but you also need to be very careful.”

“We won’t be protecting a lead, we still need to go out with the same mentality and make as many birdies as we can.”

“We know what’s possible on this course, another 60 or even lower is out there tomorrow so we’ll have to go low again, because someone else probably will.”

United States Team of Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler are the nearest challengers, -3 under 69 today still left them with a mountain to climb. They will need a fast start tomorrow to close the gap they have at -10 under.

China hold third place, at -9 under par, a shot further back, an even par round of 72 from Ashun Wu and Li Haotong today all but wrecked their chances of picking up their first ever World Cup of Golf trophy.