Scottish Open. Three Tied at the Top.

White Dragon Golf

There are three players tied at the top of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open leaderboard, at Dundonald Links. Padraig Harrington, Alexander Knappe and Callum Shinkwin share the top honor going into the week-end.

Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open

Padraig Harrington / getty

Padraig, Ireland, bogey free -4 under par 68 today, Alexander, Germany, -7 under 65 and Callum, England, -4 under 68  to set the clubhouse lead at the Scottish Open with -9 under par totals.

Padraig spoke about bogey free boring golf;

“Today was positively boring compared to yesterday, when there was a lot of drama.”

“I hit two nice seven irons on the first and second, my 10th and 11th holes, and birdied two of the par fives.”

“Yesterday I started off a bit iffy and got a few breaks. I was two under after three and I could have been two over.”

“Then when the rain came in I really struggled but I holed a massive putt for par on 16 and chipped in from 30 yards for a birdie on 17.”

“So it was nice to go out and play solid. It’s nice when there is no stress.”

They are closely followed by Ian Poulter, England, -3 under 69 in his second round, and Andrew Dodt, of Australia, also -3 under 69, both with -8 under par totals.

Nicolas Colsaerts, -5 under 67 Rickie Fowler, -2 under 70, and Grégory Havret, -6 under 66, are all at -7 under par, in fourth place.

Rory McIlroy is still in reverse as he misses another cut, but said his putting had improved;

“I’m frustrated but I thought I saw some good signs this week.”

“My putting was definitely improved although my wedges were not quite there.”

“I’m just waiting for something, some sort of spark, something to go right, and the last couple weeks haven’t been like that. Just got to keep plugging away and hopefully it turns around next week.”

Scottish Open. Mikko Ilonen Leads.

White Dragon Golf

Mikko Ilonen, from Finland, leads the  Abderdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on day one at  Dundonald Links.

Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

Mikko Ilonen / getty

Mikko broke away from the field on day one of the Scottish Open, shooting -7 under par 65, to lead by two strokes;

“Sixty five is the round of the season, really.”

“I do need to put some rounds together. I’ve got to start from a couple of holes, nine holes and now 18 holes and I’ve just got to continue from there. I haven’t been able to put two rounds together, so it’s a long way to get four rounds together.

“I’ve played links golf when I was a kid, as an amateur we played and I won the Amateur back in the day. There’s some experience in there.”

“I actually changed my irons on Tuesday. So new irons in the bag, 718s. (Titleist)

” It can be just little things that gives you a little extra confidence.”

The chasing pack, all six of them at -5 under, following their rounds 67, are two shots back, they are, Rickie Fowler and Paul Peterson, USA, Padraig Harrington, Ireland, Ian Poulter and Callum Shinkwin of England, and Andrew Dodt of Australia.

Rickie, who was bogey free today, is having fun out on the links;

Fowler loving life on links

Rickie / getty

“It felt good but it’s fun to go out on links and for me to hit shots and they don’t necessarily have to be spot on,”

“It’s kind of about managing the game and hitting shots and working your way around the golf course and putting yourself in the right position and avoiding bunkers.”

“I felt like I did a good job of hitting fairways today, staying on the right side of the hole and made a couple of birdies and it’s always nice to have a clean card.”

” I love playing links golf. It’s a great week.”

 

 

 

Quicken Loans National. Play-Off Win for Kyle Stanley.

White Dragon GolfQuicken Loans National

Kyle Stanley held his nerve to win the Quicken Loans National, after play-off against Charles Howell 111, at TPC Potomac.

Quicken Loans National

Kyle Stanley

Kyle and Charles both carded final rounds of -4 under 66, to top the Quicken Loans National leaderboard at the end of play with -7 under par totals.

Kyle won with a par at the first extra hole, the par four 18th, to win his second PGA Tour title, and a tearful Kyle had this say;

“There was some doubt there for a little bit. Yeah, I mean, it’s no fun.”

“You certainly question if you’ll get back,  and have a moment like this. It makes this pretty special, for sure.”

“I wish I didn’t cry so much, to be honest, it just feels good to put the work in and see the rewards.”

“I think that’s where most of the emotion’s coming from.”

Because of a rib injury, Charles had not played golf for more than two months;

“Going into this week I was extremely rusty, I really can’t believe how well I played.”

Rickie Fowler, -5 under 65 today, and Martin Laird -3 under 67, finished tied in third place at -5 under par for the tournament.

Rickie managed to card a double bogey six in his last round, at the par four 14th.

U.S. Open. Brian Harman Has 54 Hole Lead.

White Dragon GolfU.S. Open

Brian Harman has the 54 hole lead at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills Golf Course.

U.S. Open

Brian Harman / getty

Brian shot a third round -5 under par 67 to top the U.S. Open leaderboard at -12 under par, and will take a one shot lead into the final round tomorrow.

Brian would not reveal his innermost motivation;

“I’m not going to delve into the things that I derive my motivations from, but I’m certainly motivated.”

“I think everyone has doubts, everyone has fears, for me, just trying to figure out what they are and kind of rationalize them and deal with them.”

Tied in second place at -11 under par are, Justin Thomas, who signed for a U.S. Open record breaking -9 under par 63, finishing with an Eagle at the par five 18th. He shares second place with Tommy Fleetwood, from England, -4 under 68 today, and Brooks Koepka, also -4 under 68.

Justin was impressed with his Eagle at the last;

“The finish was awesome. I’d love to have another one of those.”

“I was in a great zone out there, I was hitting it well, I was putting it well, I had some great up-and-downs.”

“Everything has been flowing. I’m sure once I sit down and relax tonight it will maybe set in a little bit more.”

“I’m just so excited to give myself a great chance to win this golf tournament.”

On a more sobering thought, of the five other players who shot a 63 in the third round at a Major, none of them went on to win the tournament.

Tommy made a bogey at the last to slip from a share of the lead, but was happy to play well;

“I hit good iron shots early on, I hit good drives and the further I got into the round I just felt really comfortable.”

“I actually felt calmer today than I did yesterday.”

“It is going to be new again now, I’m on a Sunday now. I always say it’s just you and the golf course but tomorrow is going to be a very different experience.”

“I’m on a Sunday now. I always say it’s just you and the course, but tomorrow is going to be a very different experience.”

Rickie Fowler holds fifth place on his own at -10 under par, he kept in touch with a -4 under par 68 today.

Truth is just about anybody could win this tournament, the course set up tomorrow will be the hardest, and mistakes can be very costly, just ask Paul Casey, +3 over 75 today.

U.S. Open. 4 Way Tie at the Top.

White Dragon GolfU.S. Open

Thee is a 4 way tie at the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard after 36 holes at Erin Hills Golf Course. Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood of England, share the honor with Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman, U.S.A. all at -7 under par.

U.S. Open

Paul Casey / getty

Paul managed to card an eight at the par five 14th hole on his way to signing for a -1 under par 71 in the second round of the U.S. Open;

“Not every day you enjoy a round of golf with an 8 on the card, but I’m a pretty happy man.”

“Yeah, it was a bit of a roller coaster. I guess it’s rare you get through a U.S. Open or any major without some kind of a hiccup.”

“I was upset with the score I had made, but it had, in no way, any effect on my attitude or how I was going to then approach the rest of the round or the next shot.”

“Part of that is just age, and part I’ll give credit to Johnny McLaren, credit to my wife and my little boy.”

Brooks, -2 under 70 today, said he had stayed calm;

“I’d say I was calm. I mean it doesn’t really get me too worked up, whatever happens, bogey, double, birdie, eagle, I mean I’m pretty chill anyway.”

Tommy has put his resurgence down to good coaching, and his best mate;

“I went back to my old coach and had one of my best mates caddieing, and I think that can’t be underestimated having your friend with you.”

“Tomorrow will be a very cool experience. It’s still Saturday, 36 holes is a very long time in a U.S. Open. Anything can happen.”

“No matter what that’s something when you’re always going to walk up the 18th green with your best mate.”

Brian is happy to be where he’s at;

“I have no expectations. I have no idea how the weekend is going to go, no one does.”

“For me, if I can just stay where I am, just keep doing what I’m doing, I’ll have a chance.”

Three players are tied in fifth place , one shot back at -6 under. First round leader Rickie Fowler  went into reverse today, with  second round +1 over par 73, he shares with J.B. Holmes, -3 under 69 today, and Jamie Lovemark also -3 under today.

Rickie told reporters he was in a good spot;

“We’re in a good spot, looking forward to the next two days.”

Missing the cut, the top three in the world, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day.

U.S. Open

Rory & Jason getty

They were joined in the exit lounge by Daniel Berger, Masters champions Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, and 2016 Major winners Jimmy Walker and Henrik Stenson.

Other names on the missing in action list are; Billy Horschel, Jason Dufner, and Jon Rahm, the Spaniard totally exploded with a F word assault on the ears of TV viewers and course spectators;

“I’ve always been criticized for it, I don’t know what to say. I feel bad when I react sometimes, but it’s something I can’t control.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S.Open. Rickie Roars Ahead.

White Dragon GolfU.S. Open

Rickie Fowler roars ahead in the first round of the U.S. Open at Erin Hills Golf Course, shooting -7 under par 65, as the first round was suspended late in the day, due to darkness.

Fowler leads the way at U.S. Open

Rickie / getty

Rickie, from the U.S.A. who is labelled as one of the best players never to have won a Major, starts the U.S. Open with a -7 under 65, to top the leaderboard by one shot at the end of day 1.

Rickie said he does not mind the tag about the Major’s, but would like to get it off his back here. His score today could have been better, just a few missed putts;

“I take it as a compliment. There are a lot of really good players out here that haven’t won a major.”

“So it would be nice to get rid of that at some point.”

“I’m not saying that this is the week or isn’t the week. But I like the way this golf course suits me, and we’re off to a good start.”

“I’m ready to be up there on Sunday.”

“Having a win this year at The Honda Classic, being in contention at majors in the past, and having THE PLAYERS win has definitely done a lot for me.”

“It was nice. You don’t get many rounds at the U.S. Open that are stress-free.”

“It’s a lot easier said than done.”

“Still missed some putts that I had opportunities out there, but it’s just nice to go out and actually execute the game plan.”

Sharing second place at -6 under par are Paul Casey, England, and U.S. rookie Xander Schauffele.

Paul only wanted to be half as good as Rickie;

“I was just trying to have half as good a round as Rickie had.”

“The scoring was so good this morning. I was happy it stayed benign for us, and I capitalized on it.”

Fourth place is occupied by three payers at -5 under, Tommy Fleetwood, Brian Harman and Brooks Koepka.

Tommy was not looking to make birdies;

“The course was as receptive as it’s going to be.”

“I never really tried to make a birdie. they just seemed to happen along the way.”

There were  44 players who carded under par, which broke the record for most sub-par scores in an opening round of the U.S, Open.

Those who will struggle to make the cut this week include the likes of Rory McIlroy, +6 over par 78, Dustin Johnson +3 over 73, Jason Day, + 7 over 79, and Danny Willett +9 over 81.

Memorial Tournament. Jason Had A Duff 3rd Round, But He Recovered To Win.

White Dragon Golfthe Memorial Tournament

Jason Dufner may have had a duff 3rd round, but he recovered to win the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

Jason Dufner seals win in dramatic fashion at the Memorial

Jason and Jack Nicklaus / getty

Jason carded a final round, after weather delays, of -4 under par 68 to pick up the Memorial Tournament trophy from Jack Nicklaus.

After that 3rd round 77 Jason had dinner with Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, just to unwind;

“I didn’t want to leave the course angry.”

“I think it was good for me, here’s been times where I’ve kind of gone; fallen in and out of love with golf, to be honest with you, as a professional.”

“It was good to be around those guys, they’re excited. They’re passionate. They’re working hard at it. They want to play good. They’re hungry.”

“They want to win tournaments.”

“I’ve always been a fighter, especially since I’ve turned professional.”

 “Doing this hasn’t come easy for me. There’s been a lot of struggles and a lot of setbacks.”

“I didn’t come straight out of college and play the PGA Tour.”

“It took me almost ten years to get out here. Took me another two after that to win and actually get to where I felt comfortable.”

Anirban Lahiri, India,  -7 under 65 today, and Rickie Fowler, -2 under 70, were tied in second place at -10 under par. Unfortunately for Anirban the second place finish did not qualify him for the U.S. Open.

Rickie said it was matchplay between him and Jason at the end, and the putting counted;

“It comes down to somewhat match play at that point.”

“You expect your opponent to make the putt. But from 30 feet there on the last hole, that was a pretty solid putt.”

“To see it go in, he earned it, making a birdie on 17. And he got the job done.”

Anirban decided to relax this week and enjoy his golf;

“I’ve been pretty harsh on myself. I’ve beat myself up pretty bad, and coming into this week I just decided to be nice to myself and go out there and enjoy my golf, which I found wasn’t happening as often as it should.”

“I think I putted really well. And that’s been probably the scratchy part of my game. “

“Once I got that confidence, I wasn’t putting that much pressure on myself to hit it every time.”