The Quest for the Green Jacket. Day 4. Wire to Wire Winner Jordan

White Dragon GolfThe MastersGreen Jacket

Jordan Spieth duly became the fifth wire to wire winner of The Masters at Augusta following his record breaking four days of competition.

The Masters

Jordan and Green Jacket / Getty Images 

Jordan carded a final round -2 under par 70 to win his Green Jacket, with a record equaling -18 under par total. He was never really challenged during the day, where he started and finished with a four shot lead. He still said it was a test of nerves;

“It was very nerve-wracking.”

“I thought it might be easier today than yesterday but it wasn’t. I did not sleep well last night. With two major champions right behind me I could not let up.”

“It’s the most incredible week of my life. This is as great as it gets in our sport. It’s a dream come true for me.”

“I did not break 70 last year even having a chance to win so to shoot some low scores and hear those roars is very special.”

“I saw my friends and family behind the green and knew it was a done deal. It did not kick in there and it still has not kicked in. I am still in shock a little bit.”

“It was cool to share that experience with them because they have not been there the couple of times I have won.”

Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson shared second place at -14 under par, Phil had a last round -3 under par 69, which included an Eagle from the bunker at the par five 15th hole, while Justin had -2 under par 70 last round.

Justin reported that he and Jordan got off to a great start, and also remembered his mistakes;

“It was a great start for Jordan and myself with two birdies in the first three holes, but the key moment for me was not getting up and down from right of the eighth and three-putting the ninth.”

Fourth spot went to Rory McIlroy, at -12 under par, recovering somewhat to shoot one of the low rounds of the day -6 under par 66, and stays at number one in the world.

Rory was pleased for Jordan;

“It’s awfully impressive, it’s nice to get your major tally up and running at an early stage in your career.”

“It’s great to see, great for the game, and I’m sure there will be many more.”

“If someone had told me I would finish 12 under at the start of the week I would have taken it and sat back and seen where I finished.”

“Jordan started fantastically well and has kept his foot down and been really impressive.”

 

The Quest for the Green Jacket. Day 3. Jordan Gets the Jitters.

White Dragon GolfThe Masters

In the quest for the Green Jacket, Jordan Spieth got the jitters in the third round of The Masters at Augusta.

The Masters

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan got the jitters, shooting a third round -2 under par 70 at The Masters, and he still set a new 54-hole scoring record at -16 under par. To comfort him a little, he still has a formidable four shot lead going into the final on Sunday at Augusta. Jordan thought -2 under today was a good score;

“I thought two under would be a good score today but obviously being four under and closing at two under is disappointing, but it could have been worse and I was very pleased with that up and down on eighteen.”

“It took some guts to hit that flop shot and the par putt was huge, one of the biggest putts I have ever hit.”

“Obviously I would have liked to finish the round a little better, but it could have been worse.”

“I was very frustrated. I didn’t do any scoreboard watching until the 15th and then knew I was six clear and pars were good scores on the last two holes.”

“Driver should never have come out of my bag at that point. I was getting a little erratic with the driver and could have hit three wood, eight iron.”

The chasers made up some ground today, most notably Justin Rose, who was one of those who fired third rounds of -5 under par 67. Justin now stands in second place at -12 under par for the competition, and will probably have to equal, or better that score in the final round if he wants to win the title.

Justin will be with Jordan tomorrow, and said it will be nice to keep watch on him;

“He’s playing incredible golf but it’ll be great to keep an eye on him.”

“You have to put it on the line and you’ve got to make committed, aggressive swings under pressure. That’s what I’m going to do tomorrow.”

Another -5 under par 67 came from Phil Mickelson, giving him third place on his own at -11 under par. Charley Hoffman slipped back today, a -1 under par 71 leaving him with -10 under for the competition, which is still four shots clear of the main bunch.

The chasing posse are all at -6 under par, ten shots off the pace, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Kevin Na, Kevin Streelman and Dustin Johnson.

Rory and Tiger both had rounds of -4 under par 67, and still have a long way to go to even challenge for second place. Which probably is why Tiger dropped the F-word rant on live TV, “Oh my F-ing God,” for which the TV presenters had to quickly apologize. Not so easy to apologize to God.

Forgetting his low point verbal rant on the course today Tiger said his round should have been lower;

“It could have been something seriously low today, I had it really going.”

“All in all, if you probably look at it, it should have been about two shots better.”

“It’s in Jordan’s hands right now, I’m going to have to put together a really special round of golf tomorrow. And you just never know.”

“To come back here and play a major championship and to be in the mix, granted I’ve got to shoot a low one tomorrow, but at least I’ve given myself a chance.”

Rory knows it would take something extraordinary for him to win;

“I’ll try and get off to a good start like I did today.”

“If I do that it really depends, if I was to go out and shoot 30, I’m going to need something around 61 or 62 to have a chance. Not sure that’s going to happen.”

The Quest for the Green Jacket. Day 1 Super Spieth Shows The Way at The Masters

White Dragon GolfThe Masters

The quest for the Green Jacket has begun, and at the end of Day 1 super Jordan Spieth sits on top of The Masters leaderboard at Augusta.

The Masters

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan opened his account at The Masters with a superb first round of -8 under par 64, to sit on top of the leaderboard with a three shot lead at Augusta. He also becomes the youngest player ever to lead this tournament after the first round.

The fast start has worried his opponents, but has excited Jordan;

“I was excited about the way I struck the ball, I’m excited about the start.”

“It capped off a really fun round.”

“I played well last year, but I never broke 70.”

At the other end of the age scale Ernie Els is among the players all tied in second position after scoring -5 under par 67 for their opening efforts. Charlie Hoffman, Justin Rose and Jason Day complete the quartet sharing second spot.

Nobody would appreciate winning The Masters more that Ernie, he wants to leave Augusta wearing the famous Green Jacket;

“That’s the plan, we’ll see what happens.”

“I just felt comfortable, I felt at ease for some reason.”

“There’s definitely a different kind of mind‑set in the whole family coming up here, it’s more of an enjoyment.”

“We kind of are running out of time a little bit here, so we are really trying to enjoy what we’ve got left out here.”

“It’s been 21 years coming to Augusta. It’s been unbelievable, but nothing lasts forever. Samantha had a great time at the Par 3, and I just have a different appreciation, I think, for the place.”

This group is followed by Russell Henley and Sergio Garcia, both on -4 under par for the day.

Rory McIlroy’s opening tee shot, was the longest shot hit at Augusta all day, he finished at -1 under par, which would have been OK, except he is now seven shots off the lead, but he said he will just have to play better in round two;

“Today was a pretty good day. I feel like I can do better. But happy after Day 1 and go out and just try and do a little bit better tomorrow.”

“I haven’t put too much pressure on myself. Look, I obviously know what I can achieve this week, but I’m not letting myself think about it too much.”

Tiger was two shots further back after a first round +1 over par 73.

Tom Watson today became the oldest player to break par at The Masters,  shooting a marvelous opening round -1 under par 71.

The Masters

Tom Watson / Getty Images

The opening tee shots came from Arnold, Jack and Gary.

The Masters

Arnold, Jack and Gary / Getty Images

 

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Matt Makes It Again.

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Defending Champion Matt Every makes it again at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Matt Every and Arnold / Getty Images

Matt Every and Arnold / Getty Images

Matt joined Tiger Woods and Loren Roberts as the only players to repeat at Bay Hill, shooting a final round -6 under par 66, and an Arnold Palmer Invitational total of -19 under par, a one shot victory;

“It’s easy to get down on yourself out here, it’s the biggest waste of time because nobody really cares.”

“The last three feet I was begging for it to hang, and I was like, ‘Gosh, these are the ones that always lip out. Be so cool to see this one dive in,’ and it did. Cool moment.”

“I was playing so good, yesterday when I got done, that was the best I hit it in a long time.”

“I told Tiger I’d hold it down for him until he gets back.”

“I’m like, you’re already in the Masters.”

“After Augusta last year, I was really bummed out, I felt really good about my game and then I got there and got my butt kicked. “

“I’ve got to get better because I don’t want to be a guy who can’t compete there.”

“I do want to win more tournaments, though, scratch that I said that, but it’s neat to get them both here.”

Henrik, who finished second at -18 under par, was annoyed at being put on the clock by the officials, on the 15th hole, when he was leading the tournament, and I am inclined to agree with him, what a stupid decision;

“I’m a little bit disappointed with the outcome, but I’m as much disappointed with the PGA Tour officials for putting us on the clock on 15, starting to chase us down the stretch, and that’s not really the way to close out a golf tournament.”

“It’s hard enough to finish out a golf tournament and play those finishing holes without being on the clock.”

“I didn’t see the reason for that really. I didn’t even read my putt more than just one quick look on 15. Three-putted that one from long range. Morgan got a bad time on 16 on the second shot. I kind of rushed my putt from the back fringe.”

“It’s just hard when you don’t feel like you can take the time that you want to take. That surely didn’t help the cause.”

Ozzie Matt Jones finished in third place at -17 under par, with -4 under par 67 final round.

Rory, T11 at -11 under, spoke about the odds of him winning The Masters;

“I guess if you go on form, then probably no. But it depends how far you take that form back and you’ve got to look at previous results there and all sorts of stuff. I’m not a bookie.”

“The main goal was to come here and try to win, couldn’t do that. At least I got a couple of things out of this week, which is good.”

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Henrik Takes Over at the Top.

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Henrik Stenson takes over at the top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational leaderboard at the end of day three at Bay Hill.

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik had a -6 under par 66 in the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, and at -16 under par for the tournament has a two shot lead going into the final round on Sunday.

Henrik said he needs to keep playing the same way as the first three rounds, because the ball does not know what it’s doing;

 “The golf ball doesn’t know what happened the previous three rounds, so I’ve got to go out tomorrow and keep the same mindset.”

“I’m not just a pretty face, I’ll try and make that different tomorrow but can’t give any guarantees. I’ll certainly try.”

 

Morgan Hoffmann is in touch in second place at -14 under par, -1 under for the third round saw him slip back;

“Just a really weird day out there, got some mud balls in the fairway, couldn’t control it. Got some weird lies in the bunkers. Brought it back and am decent for tomorrow.”

There are four players tied in third place, all at -13 under par, they are, Matt Jones, Jason Kokrak, Ben Martin and Matt Every.

Jason carded the low round of the day, -7 under par 65, which has given him a chance to get his first win on the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy had to settle for -1 under par 71, and is now seven shots back from the leader, at -9 under par;

“I’m frustrated, I birdied 12 and 13 and got right into the thick of things and then to give three shots back in quick succession was not really the plan.”

“I’m disappointed with the way I finished but I played well for the most part. I need to try to get off to a good start tomorrow, shoot a good score and see where that leaves me.

“There’s a lot of quality players above me. I would need to get off to a very fast start to win, 30 or 31 on the front nine, it’s possible; just try to start better and go from there.”

Daniel Berger scored an amazing Albatross, holing a 4-iron from 237 yards for a two on the 549 yard par 5 sixth hole. Daniel played the par fives in -6 under on Saturday, en route to a -4 under 68, and T23 at -7 under par;

“It was kind of right on that borderline between going for it and not going for it.”

“Little bit on the downhill lie. You know, my caddie gave me the confidence to go for it.”

“The joke between me and my caddie, how many albatrosses are going to be on that hole today.”

“It was special, especially over here, Mr. Palmer’s event.”

Daniel recorded a 2, 3, 4 and 5,  a combined -6 under par on the par fives and by doing so, started a new page in the golf history books, albatross, eagle, birdie and par, he is the first player to achieve that amazing feat.

I still can not understand why all the American TV commentators refer to an Albatross as a Double-Eagle, even mathematically it does not add up. Given that an Eagle is -2 under par, a Double Eagle would equal -4 under par. An Albatross is -3 under par.

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Morgan Hoffmann Still The Man.

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Morgan Hoffmann is still the man at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, topping the leaderboard for the second day running.

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Morgan Hoffmann / Getty Images

Morgan had a second round -7 under par 65 to extend his lead at the top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational to three shots with his -13 under par tournament total.

Still chasing his first PGA Tour win, he thinks it is about time he had some wins;

“I would have liked to have won a few times by now, I’m behind my schedule.”

“It’s frustrating but it’s obviously the most;  the best guys in the world are playing on the PGA TOUR and I mean I’m so lucky to be out here and grateful but I’ve seen myself a little higher up than what I’ve performed.”

‘I’m trying to birdie every hole out there, so it was good.”

”Just hitting great putts and good shots into the greens really helps. It’s nice to hit some greens for a change. This year hasn’t been that great, and it’s a good change.”

Three players are tied in second position, all at -10 under par for the competition, Matt Every, Henrik Stenson and Harris English all carded -6 under par 66.

Henrik, the World number two sunk a 42 ft birdie putt on the par three 17th;

“Of course it’s a huge bonus to make one of those.”

“I was putting lovely all day, especially the ones on my birdie attempts from further away. I kind of left myself some smelly ones. I holed out nicely.”

“I would have been happy with two-putt, of course but that was nice to see that one go in and hit another solid putt on 18 and made another birdie.”

Harris would like to get into the field at Augusta, and is benefiting from the inspiration;

“It’s definitely inspiration.”

“My rookie year, my second year, I probably wouldn’t have thought of it. It’s easy to kind of let things slip away when you’re in that position. I wanted to take the next step and actually make that round mean something.”

”Got to keep the pedal down and keep aggressive.”

“Lot of my friends are going to be there, lot of Georgia guys playing. I want to be right there on-site.”

World number one Rory McIlroy has made a move, his second round of -6 under par 66, giving him a -8 under par total, and tied in sixth place with three other players;

“It was good, I think each and every day I’m feeling a little more comfortable especially on the greens.”

“It would be nice to finish the round off a little better, but still a good score and sets me up well for the weekend.”

“Obviously we played in the morning so we got the best of the greens and easier to trust the lines you pick for yourself but happy with how I putted today and putt like that over the weekend I’ll have a chance.”

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Morgan Hoffmann Leads.

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Morgan Hoffman leads the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, but it was emotional day,  finding out earlier  that his grandmother had passed away.

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Morgan Hoffmann / Getty Images

Morgan shot a first round -6 under par 66 to lead the Arnold Palmer Invitational by just one shot. He spoke about how quickly life passes you by;

“Appreciative, I think of just being alive, you know, and how you take things for granted and take people for granted and it’s just crazy how quick life goes.”

“My whole family texted me and said, ‘Nanny is playing golf with pop up there,’ which was pretty cool.”

“So I just went out there and had a good mentality today.”

“I’m 25 and feels like I was 5 roller skating with my sister yesterday, you know.”

“The best players that I see out here come out and have one shot that they’re hitting for the most part of every round.”

 “I figured it’s time to bear down and get something going.”

There are five players tied in second Place at -5 under par, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na, Ken Duke, John Peterson and Ian Poulter.

Kevin Na is a great fan of Arnold Palmer;

“He’s the king, there’s a lot to learn from him when he played and when he was not even playing.”

“It was just awesome to watch what he’s done in major championships, what he’s done for the game, the fans. It was fun to watch.”

Adam Scott, Brandt Snedeker, Billy Horschel, Keegan Bradley and Hunter Mahan are among a large group who are another shot back at -4 under par.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy was playing Bay Hill for the first time and opened with a -2 under par 70.

It was OK, considering he had 34 putts after hitting 17 greens in regulation;

“I was just trying to stay as patient as possible.”

“I know I was hitting a lot of greens, giving myself a lot of chances. But I guess when the greens are like they are you’re going to have to stay patient because you’re going to hit good putts that don’t go in and I felt like I didn’t really trust myself, you know, with some of the putts that are there today.”

“I didn’t trust the reads and just was sort of in two minds quite a lot.”

“If you can play the par fives at all it’s a big advantage.”

“Even par today wasn’t what I was looking for. Again, hopefully I can do better on those over the next few days.”

Arnold Palmer’s grandson Sam Saunders is playing in the event for the first time not on a sponsor exemption, and he also opened with a -2 under par 70.

Arnold Palmer Invitational