WGC Dell Match Play. Rory, Jordan and Jason Through to Last 16.

White Dragon GolfWorld Golf ChampionshipWGC-Dell Match Play

Day 3 of Group Play at the  WGC Dell Match Play tournament has been completed at Austin Country Club, with Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy through to the last 16.

WGC Dell Match Play

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory commented after his round

“I feel like my game has gotten a little bit better as the day’s gone on. I know I will have to play very well again tomorrow to try and beat Zach.”

Todays Results

Group 1 Jordan Advances

Jordan Spieth 3 & 2 over Justin ThomasJamie Donaldson 1 up over Victor Dubuisson.

Group 2 Jason Advances

Jason won his match against Paul Casey, due to Paul becoming ill on course and he had to concede. Thongchai Jaydee halved his maych with Graeme McDowell.

Group 3 Rory Advances.

Rory won in a playoff with Kevin Na after they finished all square in their match, forcing them into sudden death, where Kevin sent his second tee shot into water on his way to a bogey, while Rory made par, to win.

Group 4 Patton Advances

Patton Kizzire 2 up over Emiliano Grillo. J.B. Holmes 1 up over Bubba Watson.

Group 5  Byeong Hun An Advances

Byeong Hun An won in a play-off against Scott Piercy after his match with Rickie Fowler ended all square. Scott defeated Jason Dufner 1up.

Group 6 Bill Haas Advances

Bill 1up over Adam Scott. Thomas Pieters 3&2 over Chris Wood.

Group 7 Matt Kuchar Advances

Matt 3&2 over Justin Rose. Anirban Lahiri 4&2 over Fabian Gomez.

Group 8 Dustin Johnson Advances

Dustin 2&1 over Jimmy Walker. Kiradech Aphibarnrat 1up over Robert Streb.

Group 9 Patrick Reed Advances

Patrick, in the surprise result of the day defeated Phil Mickelson 5&4, while  Daniel Berger conceded to Matthew Fiztpatrick.

Group 10 Brookes Koepka Advances

Brooks lost his match 4&3 to Danny Willett, but the other result went in his favor, with Billy Horschell losing 2&1 to Jaco Van Zyl.

Group 11 Chris Kirk Advances

Chris 3&2 over David Lingmerth and Branden Grace 5&4 over Russell Knox. This result lead to a play-off between Chris and Branden, which Chris won when Branden sent his first play-off tee shot in a bunker.

Group 12 Rafa Cabrera Bello Advances

Rafa halved his match against Soren  Kjeldsen, the half point gained was good enough to advance him. Hideki Matsuyama 3&2 over Kevin Kisner.

Group 13 Ryan Moore Advances

Ryan 3&1 over Lee Westwood. Sergio Garcia 5&4 over Marc Leishman.

Group 14 Zach Johnson Advances

Zach 4&3 over Shane Lowery. Martin Kaymer 4&3 over Marcus Fraser.

Group 15 Brandt Snedeker Advances

Brandt 5&3 over Charl Schwartzel. Charley Hoffman 4&2 over Danny Lee.

Group 16 Louis Oosthuizen Advances

Louis 4&2 over Andy SullivanMatt Jones and Bernd Wieberger halved their match.

 

ROUND OF 16 MATCHES
32. Bill Haas USA vs. 56. Chris Kirk USA
3. Rory McIlroy  vs. 15. Zach Johnson USA
30. Matt Kuchar USA vs. 20. Brooks Koepka USA
2. Jason Day  vs. 17. Brandt Snedeker USA
29. Byeong-Hun An KOR vs. 54. Rafa Cabrera Bello ESP
65. Patton Kizzire USA vs. 47. Ryan Moore USA
9. Dustin Johnson USA vs. 10. Patrick Reed USA
1. Jordan Spieth USA vs. 18. Louis Oosthuizen 

Honda Classic. Scott Sinks, Garcia Grinds and Rickie Retreats.

White Dragon GolfHonda Classic

 

 

Adam Scott sinks to recording a seven at a par three, Sergio Garcia grinds through his day and Rickie Fowler retreats with an over par third round at the Honda Classic.

 

Adam Scott shakes hand with his playing partner Sergio Garcia on the 18th green during the third round. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

Sergio and playing partner Adam / Getty Images

Amazingly Sergio -3 under 69 today, and Adam -4 under 66, share the lead, at -9 under par after this dramatic day going through the Bear Trap in the third round of the Honda Classic.

It has been a while since either of them has won on Tour, and Adam spoke about the seven and his desperation after not winning for two years;

“I think we’re both pretty desperate to have a win Sunday, after putting ourselves in this position.”

 “So hopefully we both play well and it’s a good show.”

“I think I’ve experienced things along those lines plenty of times in this game.”

“And you know, really didn’t hit too many bad shots to make a 7. That’s how challenging holes like 15, 16 and 17 are.”

“I grinded out a 4 on 16 after a sloppy tee shot, and then back to hitting really good shots on 17.”

“It’s what you have to do to stay in golf tournaments.”

“It could easily fall apart, and go from a commanding position to struggling to be in the tournament tomorrow.”

“That’s what you have to do, just keep grinding until the round’s over.”

Sergio has not won on Tour for four years, and he gets uptight when it’s mentioned, he did have a win in Vietnam last year;

 “There’s something that I don’t like, and when I hear guys say, oh, yeah, you won, yeah, you won in Vietnam or you won in Qatar, but you haven’t won on the PGA TOUR.”

“It feels like, you know, those wins don’t mean anything, and you know, it’s such a wrong comment.”

“Every win, every victory is difficult. It doesn’t matter, even if it’s against your father on your home course. Every single victory is tough.”

“There’s a lot of great players out in the world today, and you know, the victory in Vietnam wasn’t easy. I had to play well to get that. And the victory in Qatar, same thing.”

“A win is a win. It doesn’t matter where it is. To me at least, they all mean a lot, and a PGA TOUR win doesn’t mean more than others. They all mean a lot.”

“I think we both will be wanting it badly if it gets to that, and hopefully it will get to that.”

“We’ll see what happens. At the end of the day, what I have to do is go out there and keep playing well, give myself a shot at it, and you know, then destiny will tell us.”

Of course there is a good reason that neither of them has won in recent times, they are both suspect in the putting department. Sergio with the frail claw grip that always lets him down under pressure, and Adam, who is trying to get back to using a proper putter, also uses that same style of grip.

Given that they have a four shot lead over the field one of them should win tomorrow, I will be watching with fascination.

Third place belongs to Blayne Barber, at -5 under par, and looking at today’s results he must feel he has a good chance to win.

Rickie will be kicking himself after today’s round +4 over par 74, when a good round would have him somewhere near the top, instead of five back at T4.

Honda Classic. Rickie Rises to the Top.

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Honda Classic

 

Rickie Fowler rises to the top of the Honda Classic leaderboard at PGA National.

Honda Classic

Rickie Fowler / Getty Images

Rickie achieved top spot at the Honda Classic with a second consecutive -4 under par 66, for a -8 under par total, needing  only 26 putts in the second round;

“I’ve been swinging well.”

“It’s nice to hit fairways, hit greens, especially in places like this where it’s very demanding tee-to-green.”

Jimmy Walker finished birdie-eagle to cap his second round off, carding -4 under par 66 and secure second place on his own at -7 under par. He made an unlikely birdie on the difficult par four 9th hole, after an indifferent tee shot into the right rough, making a great putt;

“It was big, I didn’t hit a very good drive there and caught a good break in the rough and hit a great shot.”

“Finally made a good putt. Got a good read, made a putt.”

In third place on his own at -6 under is Sergio Garcia, with a more modest second round total of -1 under par 69.

Sergio missed the cut at Riviera, but this week his putter is working OK;

“Yeah, it feels good, just one bad putt on the first hole, I hit too hard and my second putt was good.” 

Adam Scott is in contention again, at -5 under par, and playing well, and is getting more confident;

“Last week kind of confirmed that things were on the right track.”

“I definitely saw things I wanted, a couple things I wanted to work on after last week that I felt under the heat of contention Sunday weren’t as good as I would like.”

“Tried to work on them a little bit Monday and Tuesday. They feel good so far, so we’ll test it again this weekend.” 

“It’s starting to get really solid, and I’ve got to just keep doing that and let the confidence build.”

“That’s how you get to a major and guarantee you can put yourself in that position Sunday with a chance, and that’s what I did for a few years, and I’d like this to be the start of that run.”

“That’s what I’m trying to do.”

Rory McIlroy has missed the cut, it seems that the top players in the World have lost their Mojo. Phil Mickelson got in on the number +3 over par.

Honda Classic. Two Tied at the Top as Play is Suspended

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There are two players tied at the top of the Honda Classic leaderboard as play was suspended due to darkness.

Sergio Garcia is tied for the lead at The Honda Classic. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia / Getty Images

Sergio Garcia and Michael Thompson share the first round lead, -5 under par 65, at the Honda Classic as darkness brought pay to an early end on day one at PGA National.

It’s been a while since we had anything to write about for Sergio, today he made a great Eagle at the par four 2nd hole, with an 8 iron from 142 yards, but the real excitement came after he found the water on the 6th. The lake contained an alligator and Sergio was more concerned with him than getting the ball out of the water;

“I was more worried about the alligator that was on the other side of the island than getting out of the water.”

“The ball, I could see probably half of it, so I knew that I could get it out.”

“Almost made four, which would have been a great four. I’m not going to lie, I was happy with a five.”

“I didn’t come in with a lot of confidence, for sure, you are wondering a little bit, because usually my long game, it’s up there, and even when I’m not playing great, I still can manage to get around it.”

“But last week, I felt out of sorts. I didn’t know what was going on.”

William McGirt and Rickie Fowler share second place at -4 under par after carding opening rounds of 66.

Rickie was happy to have had an afternoon tee time, because the wind had died down some by then, but he really needed to have putted better;

“I think we got a good break playing in the afternoon today.”

“I think the wind laid down a little bit for us. I know the guys had a tough time this morning and the course was not easy.”

“Still didn’t play easy out there for us. I felt like I swung it really well tee-to-green.”

“Would have been nice to putt a little better, but still a nice, solid round to start off the week.”

William was happy just to be in red numbers;

“Anything in the red is good around this place.”

“At four under, I would say it was bordering on great.”

“This place is never easy, even when it’s calm. You can’t fall asleep on any shot out here.”

Rory McIlroy, +2 over 72,  seems to be suffering the same malaise that’s affecting Jordan Spieth !!!

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Hideki Beats Rickie In Play-Off

White Dragon GolfPhoenix Open

 

Hideki Matsuyama beat Rickie Fowler in a play-off for the Waste Management Phoenix Open title at TPC Scottsdale.

Waste Management Phoenix Open

Hideki Matsuyama / Rob Schumaker

Hideki, from Japan, and Rickie went through a play-off lasting four holes, 18 twice, then 10 and the last was 17,  where Rickie made bogey to end the contest.

 

Both players had finished the Waste Management Phoenix Open with -14 under par totals, and both of them carded -4 under par 67 in the final round, forcing them into the play-off.

Rickie had his whole family out in support, plus of course the partisan galleries, and Hideki was aware of who they wanted to win;

“They were for Rickie, weren’t they?”

 “I’d say 99 percent of the gallery were cheering hard for Rickie. That gave me the motivation to go out and do it.”

“Even after the 15th  it didn’t look very good, and then Rickie opened the door for me and I was able to walk through it. It feels really good.”

Rickie got all emotional after the loss;

“I mean, the hard part is having, you know, all my friends and family and grandpa and my dad who haven’t seen me win.”

 “I’ll be all right. With how good I’m playing, I know I can win. That’s the hard part.”

Harris English was in third place, at -12 under par for the tournament, two off the pace set by the leaders.

Danny Lee faltered in the last round, shooting +2 over par 73 to end his hope of lifting the trophy, returning a final total of -11 under par, and fourth spot on his own.

Phil Mickelson could only manage a last round of even par, and T11, no barnstorming finish from him, the putter was not working;

“I tried on the front nine to get to some of these pins, and I kept short-siding myself and shot 1 over, and realized you just can’t force it out there.”

” It didn’t help that his putter cooled after a hot, six-birdie third round. He made 125 feet of putts on Saturday, and less than half of that (58 feet) on Sunday, when he needed 31 putts, his high for the week.”

“I hit a lot of good shots, I didn’t shoot the number this week probably that I felt I could, or should, but I feel my game is right where I want it.”

 

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Rickie Fowler Wins

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Rickie Fowler wins the weather interrupted Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in United Arab Emirates.

 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Rickie Fowler / Getty Images

Rickie won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship with a final round -3 under par 69 for a tournament total of -16 under par.

Rickie was very satisfied to start his season with a win, confirming his winning ways of last season were just the beginning of an upward progression, and moves him up to fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking;

“This was a big one. Last year having a multiple-win season, to come back and work on getting back in the winner’s circle after a successful season and keep moving forward.”

“This is a great start.”

“It’s great field that HSBC has put together here. The course is in perfect shape.”

“It was a lot of fun today. It was a bit stressful at times.”

“Thomas is playing well. It’s fun to kind of go head-to-head with him being in the same group. We had a good time.”

“It’s nice to come out on top this week.”

“I’d like to jump in and be a part of that crew and see if we can continue to win some Majors if I can jump in there.”

“The goal right now with where my game’s at, the best it’s been this early in the season in my career, I’m working on getting ready for Augusta. And I’d like to have my shot at getting the Green Jacket there.”

“The ultimate goal this year is to go win a Major and this is a step in the right direction for sure.”

Second place went to Thomas Pieters, he carded a last round -5 under par 67 to post -15 under for the tournament.

Tied in third position were Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson, both two shots off the pace at -14 under par. Rory had a last round -4 under 68 while Henrik carded -5 under 67.

World number one Jordan Spieth finished in the group five shots back at -11 under par, while Ian Poulter could do nothing in the final round, going round at even par 72 for T14 at -9 under par.

 

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Five Tied at the Top.

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There are five players tied at the top of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship leaderboard after a dramatic day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, including another delay, of 2 hours 50 minutes. The delay meant that the third round could not be completed, and the players will have to return tomorrow to finish 54 holes, and then start the final round.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory McIlroyBranden Grace, Rickie Fowler, Joost Luiten and Ian Poulter were tied at the top of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, all at -10 under par, but they all have yet to complete 54 holes.

Rory carded -2 after 9 holes, Branden has completed 16 holes for -6 under, Rickie -4 on 11, Joost -3 on 10 and Poults -5 under after 13 holes. With a further five players on -9 under tomorrow will also be a very dramatic day, when only the fittest will survive.

Poults is relishing this finish, saying it is more like match-play, a format he enjoys, he was a winner at last weeks EurAsia Cup;

“It’s match play, whenever you go head-to-head you get the juices going, and that’s obviously nice as the first tournament of the year.”

 “I think it’s done me some good, and I think I’m looking forward to what the challenge is for the next 20, 26 holes.”

The -9 under group have yet to complete their third rounds, they are Andy Sullivan, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Henrik Stenson and Robert Rock.

Rory summed it all up nicely;

“This one is a bit more bunched. I think there will be a few more in contention.”

In all, 16 players are within three strokes of the lead, and that includes Jordan Spieth and  American amateur Bryson DeChambeau.

Jordan has finished his 54 holes, carding -4 under par 68 and is in a group at -7 under for the competition, while Bryson slipped up today returning a completed third round score of +1 over par, also at -7 under.

Jordan spoke about his troubles this week, including poor putting;

“I started out this tournament not driving the ball particularly well the first 12, 13 holes and since then my driver has been on.”

“I can make excuses all I want; I still haven’t made many putts and there’s no excuses for that. It can all come together tomorrow.”

“It’s happened many times in random rounds. Why not the fourth round here?”