RBC Heritage. Luke Donald and Branden Grace at the Top

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Luke Donald and Branden Grace top the RBC Heritage leaderboard after the first round at Harbour Town Golf Links.

 

Luke Donald, former No. 1 in the world, is ranked 95th in the Official World Golf Ranking. (Jared Tilton/Getty Images)

Luke Donald.

Luke and Branden both carded opening rounds of -5 under par 66 at Hilton Head to lead the RBC Heritage by just one shot.

Luke said he was annoyed at not being at The Masters, but his putting stats are not good;

“I don’t want to be sitting at home watching the majors on TV; yet.”

“I haven’t looked statistically at my putting, but it’s probably outside the top 100 right now.”

 “For five straight years I was number one, that’s a big difference.”

“I feel like I’ve got a few good years ahead of me.”

“I have some good memories and good mojo here, it’s nice to continue that with a solid round today.”

Second place is shared by four players all on -4 under par, Matt Kuchar, David Lingmerth, Tony Finau, and World number one Jason Day.

Jason seemed to be cruising through 17 holes, before taking an unplayable lie in the bunker at 18, and making bogey to finish. He is really concentrating on enlarging the gap between himself and the other contenders for his #1 spot, plus of course dealing with the weather conditions;

“It was a tough break, it was a little bit unlucky, but I shouldn’t have been in that bunker.”

 “It’s unfortunate, but things happen.”

“At this point I’ve got to try to extend the gap in the world rankings. That’s my main focus right now.”

“They say it’s going to gust at times 40 miles an hour, 20 to 30 mile an hour winds with rain, it should be very difficult.” 

It should be mentioned that neither Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy are in the field this week.

Bryson DeChambeau, last year’s NCAA and U.S. Amateur Champion, played his first event as a pro at Harbour Town and opened with a -1 under par 70.

The Masters. Jordan Hangs Onto Lead.

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Jordan Spieth  hangs onto his lead, by one shot over Rory McIlroy, at The Masters on a very difficult day at Augusta.

Jordan Spieth is playing for his second consecutive Green Jacket. Rory McIlroy is seeking the career Grand Slam. (Getty Images)

Jordan and Rory / Getty Images

For a while t looked liked Jordan would run away with the second round, leading at one point by five shots. After carding a second+2 over par 74 he finished the day with just a one shot advantage at -4 under par.

Talking about tomorrows final pairing with Rory, Jordan said;

“There’s the potential tomorrow for someone to shoot a few under and move up into the lead from outside the top 25.”

 “I mean, there’s a potential for that with what I saw on the last six holes today, the way the course was playing.”

“So I don’t think either one of us is focused on each other. I think we’re focused on the golf course.”

“Sure, it’s exciting to play with Rory. I enjoy it. He’s a great player and a lot of fun to be around. So I think we’ll just leave it at that and not think much more of it.”

“I’d rather be playing with someone less threatening to be honest. He’s certainly proven himself in majors.”

Rory, who was the only player in the top three under par today, =1 under 71, was very upbeat about the results today;

“I’ve been concentrating on myself out there, because if you start to think about anyone else;  I’ve only got the mental capacity to focus on me right now and especially how tough it is out there.”

 “Yeah, it would be great for the tournament and create a lot of buzz, but at the same time, I just need to focus on myself and make sure that I play another solid round of golf.”

Danny Lee, +2 over 74, from New Zealand, and Scott Piercy, even par 72 today,  share third place at -2 under par.

Søren Kjeldsen, +2 over 74, Hideki Matsuyama, even par 72 and Brandt Snedeker, even par 72 today,  are the only other players under par for the tournament, they are a further shot back at -1 under par.

World number one Jason Day shot +1 over par 73 in the second round,  to be on that total for the tournament, at T15.

If anyone goes under par tomorrow, they must be considered the favorite to win the Title.

Among those missing the cut the were Phil Mickelson, +7 over 79 today, Zach Johnson +8 over 80, and Rickie Fowler +1 over 73, and poor old Ernie Els, who never recovered from carding 9 on his opening hole of the tournament,

 

The Masters. Jordan Jumps In Front.

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Jordan Spieth, the defending Champion jumps in front of the pack after the first round of The Masters at Augusta.

The Masters

Jordan Spieth / Getty IMages

Jordan carded a bogey free first round at a windy Augusta of -6 under par 66 to lead The Masters by two shots, and was happy to tell everybody why, and of course the putts are dropping;

“I enjoy this tournament more than anywhere else.”

 “It’s easy for us. We don’t have any or many distractions in our preparation, and we enjoy that you’re able to kind of feel like you get enough done and you have enough time to do everything, and I think that’s useful when we start on the first hole.”

“I just didn’t feel confident after the first couple mid‑iron shots I hit, I didn’t feel confident over the ball with irons.”

“It was extremely special to stay bogey‑free on a day like today at the Masters.”

“We’re through one round, there’s going to be a lot of different changes. There are going to be a lot of different birdies, bogeys and everything in between.”

“We know how to win this golf tournament, and we believe in our process. And if the putts are dropping, then hopefully it goes our way.”

Sharing second place are Danny Lee and Shane Lowry, both at -4 under par.

Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, Soren Kjeldson and Sergio Garcia are tied in fourth position at -3 under par.

Justin was happy with his score today;

“That’s an unexpected good score. When you look at the leaderboards, the guys are obviously figuring it out and able to get round the course today.”

“I’d have taken 69 before teeing off.

“If you look at this tournament last year, I don’t think I did anything wrong particularly, I just got beaten by a record performance.”

“I was right there. I was shooting good scores, good numbers, I was just beaten by some really great performances.”

“I’m not trying to change gears or do anything different, just keep knocking on the door.”

Ian said there is still a long way to go, and anything could happen;

“There’s a long way to go. Six years ago I had a couple 68’s, and it’s never over around this golf course.”

“We’ve seen it from a lot of players through the years. I’m up to the challenge, but obviously it’s round one.”

“Things don’t really happen until the back nine on Sunday. So between now and then there’s a lot of good golf needs to be played before you put yourself in position to have a go at anybody.”

Not a good Day for World number one Jason, as he carded an even par opening round of 72. Rory McIlroy is in the group at -2 under par, and admitted it could have been better, but he is still happy;

“I’m happy with how I played, happy with the score in the end.”

“It could have been a couple better but, at the end of the day, being here on a tough day in the top ten and still within touching distance of Jordan, I’m pretty pleased with that.”

“If someone had have given me a 70 on the first tee, I probably would have taken it. It was a tricky day.”

“Being in the position on the 16th tee where I was four under par. I was probably thinking on the 16th tee I could sneak another one or two out of this round and to start going the other way is disappointing.”

“But I feel like I can get off to a good start tomorrow and pick those shots up again in the first few holes and just get off and running again.”

 

WGC Dell Match Play. Jason Day Delivers.

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World Golf Championship

WGC-Dell Match Play

 

Jason Day  delivers as he wraps up another titlethe  WGC Dell Match Play at Austin County Club, in Texas.

All Day at WGC-Dell Match Play

Jason Day / Getty Images.

  Jason took care of business, beating Louis Oosthuizen 5&4 in the final of the WGC Dell Match Play competition.

Jason won despite suffering from a sore back;

“I just kept on rolling from last week, and even with a sore back this week, obviously it gradually got better and better, but I’m just really, really pleased with how I played.” 

“I really enjoy this golf course, it was such a pleasure to play here. I’ve never been here before. And I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Austin.”

“But just set up so beautifully, it didn’t matter where the wind was coming, because we had southerly and northerly winds.”

“And when you have the short game on, especially around here, you can definitely go low. I’ve been working very hard on that short game and on the greens I just felt like I could hole anything.”

Louis admitted Jason is in front of everyone at  the moment;

“He’s definitely at the moment a few steps ahead of everyone.”

To end a not so good week for Rory McIlroy, Rafa Cabrera Bello beat him for the Consolation Cup,  3 and 2.

Rory was still upbeat about his progress;

“I said coming into this tournament, if I play three rounds or six rounds or even seven rounds match play, feeling like you’re in contention every time you step onto the match tee is a great feeling and is something you cannot replicate in practice.”

“So the week has been very positive overall.”

“I wish I could have been able to get one more win under my belt but I’m really happy with my game going into Augusta.”                       

WGC Dell Match Play. It’s Jason and Louis in the Final.

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World Golf Championship

WGC-Dell Match Play

 

Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen will contest the final of the WGC Dell Match Play at Austin County Club, in Texas.

Day, Oosthuizen advance to finals  Oosthuizen, Cabrera Bello advance

                                                     Jason and Louis / Getty Images

 

Jason pipped Rory 1 up to get to the final, where he will now face Louis Oosthuizen. Jason is  for his second Match Play title, having won in 2014 under the previous single-elimination format.

Louis defeated Rafa Cabrera Bello 4&3 and will contest the final against the new World #1 Jason Day.

Louis played steadily in the wind today

“It was windy again today so the course played a bit different. I don’t do anything spectacular.”

“I lost a bit of focus on 8 and 9. I was pretty solid on the day. I’ve been watching the match carefully and I know I need to play really well this afternoon.”

“I felt it was a day where Rafa wasn’t at his best today, so I needed to make sure I made pars and not give anything away like 8 and 9.”

 

 

WGC Dell Match Play. Semi-Final Match Ups.

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World Golf Championship

WGC-Dell Match Play

 

Rory and Jason advance through to the semi-finals tomorrow, where the are           matched up, competing for a final spot at Austin County Club.

WGC Dell Match Play

Rory  4&3 over Chris Kirk /Getty Images;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ” It’s been a long week, I played 55 holes in three days coming into today, and then to go all the way with Zach, it was nice to get a couple of holes off.”

“I played very well this afternoon. I think it’s the best I’ve played all week, and obviously the score reflects that.”

“I feel like each and every day I’ve improved a little bit.”

“I think I made six or seven birdies out there this afternoon. I made a couple of mistakes and gave a couple of holes away, but for the most part I was very pleased with how I played.”

” Even if tomorrow doesn’t quite go the way I want it to, I feel like I’ve still made a lot of great strides forward this week.” 

WGC Dell Match Play

Jason 3&2 over Brooks Koepka / Getty Images;

“It’s been a bit of an up and down week, especially emotionally. It’s been quite amazing to be able to start the week and not really thinking I’m going to be able to play with what happened Wednesday.”

“And turn around I’m No. 1 in the world on Saturday. It’s a strange feeling. I’m glad I stuck it out.”

Rory and Jason face each other in the semi-finals tomorrow.

Louis Oosthuizen 2&1 over Dustin Johnson.

Louis said he had had a good day playing some good golf;

“It was a good day for me. I had two tough matches today.”

“I was focused quite a bit this morning and waited to give myself a good opportunity to have a shot against Jordan.”

“And then this afternoon, you know, a little bit probably more relaxed and played some good golf.”

Rafa Cabrera Bello 2&1 over Ryan Moore.

Rafa put his victory down to masking some clutch putts;

“Obviously it was a hard day. He’s a great competitor. We both played good, I think. It was tough out there with the wind, also.”

“On my behalf, I think that the difference was I just holed a few clutch putts and hit really good wedges into the greens, gave myself birdie chances and I made a few of them.”

Rafa will now face Louis in the semi-finals.

 

WGC Dell Match Play. Last 16 Results.

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World Golf Championship

WGC-Dell Match Play

Rory and Jason advance Jordan falls.

Rory McIlroy knocked off Zach Johnson in 18 holes on Saturday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Zach and Rory / Getty Images

 Chris Kirk 3&2 over Bill Haas.  Rory McIlroy  up over Zach Johnson  

Brooks Koepka 1 up over Matt Kuchar.  Jason Day 3&2 over Brandt Snedeker

 Rafa Cabrera Bello. concession by Byeong-Hun An.   Ryan Moore 4&3 over Patton Kizzire  

Dustin Johnson 3&2 over. Patrick Reed.   Louis Oosthuizen 4&3 over Jordan Spieth