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.

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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.

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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.

WGC HSBC Champions.Rikard Karlberg Leads.

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Rikard Karlberg leads the WGC HSBC Champions after the first round  at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China.

Karlberg takes lead in China

Rikard Karlberg / getty

Rikard, competing in his first WGC HSBC Champions event shot an opening round -8 under 64, to top the leaderboard;

“It was great, I know the kind of weather this has been, it’s going to be wet and you just need to be aggressive, bomb to the tee and bomb to the pin, and that’s what I did today.”

“I had great distance control. I hit great shots all day except the last hole and it was a great day.”

“It felt amazing on every part of the game. Everything was so easy.”

“It was just one of those days, it was a walk in the park. I committed to a lot of shots, hit them perfect, just as I wanted and I stayed aggressive on my putting all the way around, which I feel was good.”

Sitting in second place, just one shot behind is Rickie Fowler, with a bogey free -7 under 65.

Defending Champion Russell Knox, Daniel Berger and Hideki Matsuyama all share third place at -6 under par following their opening rounds of 66.

World number three Rory McIlroy had a -1  under par 71, not such a good start.

Ryder Cup. Saturday Foursomes, Just One Point Difference.

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Team Europe, lead by Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters continue the comeback in the Ryder Cup, against Team America, winning  two matches, losing one and all square in the last at Hazeltine National.

Ryder Cup

Thomas & Rory / getty

Rory and Thomas took down Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson 4-2.

Justin Rose and Chris Wood won 1 up against Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson.

Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka beat Henrik Stenson and Matt Fitzpatrick 3-2.

Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth were all square with Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

The overall score is now America 6 1/2 points, Europe 5 1/2 after the Saturday Morning Foursomes.

The afternoon Fourballs have just started, would be good to have the scores all even gong into the single matches, great entertainment.

Ryder Cup. USA 4-0 Up.

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The USA are 4-0 up in the morning Foursomes of the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National.

Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose lost 3-2 against Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth.

Thomas Pieters and  Lee Westwood fell to a 5 and 4 defeat to Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.

Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer went down 4-2 to Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker

Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan lost 1 up to Ricky Fowler and Phil Mickelson.

A dejected Rory / getty

Darren Clarke the Euro Captain had this to say;

“They weren’t firing on all cylinders, they’ve been playing really nicely in practice and it was one of those things.”

 “Foursomes is a difficult game. We took a look at the line up and we were looking forward to it and I thought we were looking strong but in foursomes sometimes that happens.”

“The American guys played better than we did. Looking at it, 4-0 is probably a fair result for the way that they were playing.”

“There are so many points to play for yet. Obviously it’s not an ideal start by any stretch of the imagination but we’ve come back from deficits like this in the past.”

“It’s a big ask, a tough ask, but the guys are all ready and keen and can’t wait to get back out there.”