Omega European Masters. Danny Does It Again.

White Dragon Golf

Danny Willett does it again, he wins his third European Tour title, the Omega European Masters, at  Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland.

Omega European Masters

Danny Willett & Trophy / Getty Images

A final round -5 under par 65, was good enough to give Danny victory at the Omega European Masters, posting a total of -17 under par, squeezing a one shot winning margin.

This win moves Danny up to second place in The Race to Dubai, behind leader Rory McIlroy, and may well see him climb into the top 25 of the Official Golf World Ranking. He spoke about the pressure he felt from Matt Fitzpatrick;

“It was a great day, yesterday was a bit disappointing, but today I played some really good golf.”

“Matt was snapping at my heels all day, so I’m delighted to get the job done.”

“I kept really calm all day, and just waited for the chances to come.”

“Winning is always tough, and the heart rate on 18 was pretty high.”

“Having a lag putt is almost trickier than trying to hole one sometimes, so I was pretty relieved to see it stop a foot or two from the hole.”

“He played some great golf and really kept the pressure on me.”

“But it probably made it a bit easier to be honest, because it meant I could not lose concentration even for a minute.”

“With a bigger lead you can take your foot off the gas a little bit, but today I knew I had to keep attacking and committing fully to shots, and luckily enough it turned out well in the end.”

“Two wins and good performances in Majors and Golf Championships is more than I could have hoped for really, but I have worked really hard so it is nice to get the rewards for it.”

Matt Fitzpatrick finished in second place at -16 under par, a last round -4 under par 66 kept the pressure on the leader all the way to the last hole;

“I played to win but Danny just went one better, so you have to take your hat off to him.”

“I don’t have any regrets whatsoever, and that is all you can ask of yourself. I gave it everything, but Danny was very impressive.”

“There were a couple of turning points which decided it, but I matched him birdie for birdie for the most part. I know Danny very well, he is also from Sheffield so I am very pleased for him.”

“I am really pleased with the week. It has been building for a few weeks now, so hopefully I can get over the line at some stage.”

“It is still only my first season on Tour and I am only 20, so I am still learning every week. Experiences like today’s will be invaluable in the future.” 

Tyrrell Hatton claimed third place, a magnificent 4th round score of -8 under par 62 elevating up the leaderboard to finish on -15 under par, making it an English 1,2,3. He was obviously very happy with his performance;

 “I am really happy. It is my lowest score on The European Tour, so even though I have come up just short I cannot be disappointed.”

“To do it on a Sunday at a place like Crans is very special, so I’ll enjoy this one for a while.”

 

John Deere Classic. Justin Thomas & Nicholas Thompson Lead

White Dragon GolfJohn Deere Classic Logo

Justin Thomas and Nicholas Thompson lead after the first round of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run.

John Deere Classic John Deere Classic

Nicholas Thompson / USA Today           Justin Thomas / Getty Images

Nicholas and Justin carded opening rounds of -8 under par 63 at the John Deere Classic, to lead the tournament by one shot.

Justin felt he has been close to winning despite last weeks falling out of contention at The Greenbrier, a poor putting performance was to blame;

“I just played a couple of bad holes, and if it wasn’t for that I’m right there.”

“There’s definitely more positives than negatives to take out of the last couple of weeks.”

“I’ve felt like I’ve been close.”

Nicholas, who has never won in 214 PGA Tour starts, carded an eagle on the par four 14th hole, to highlight his impressive start to this tournament.

Charles Howell 111 and Luke Gutherie are tied in third place, that one shot back at -7 under par.

A poor first round performance from the now The Open favorite, Jordan Spieth, will cast some doubts about his ability to grab another Major. Some people criticize his decision to play here, especially now that Rory McIlroy is out of the picture, saying it is jeopardizing his Grand Slam push by playing this tournament rather than heading over to Scotland early to prepare for The Open.

He said it was just a little rustiness;

 “Just a rusty round.”

“I didn’t get out on the golf course like maybe I should have.”

“I had some pretty bad lip-outs, and that’s going to happen. I’m still going to continue to hit good putts.”

“If they drop and I can chip the ball a little better, then I’ll be in good position.”

Rory Out of Action; For a While.

White Dragon Golf

White Dragon Golf

This Looks Really Bad

What on earth was he thinking about?  running around kicking a ball playing soccer, when he should have been fully focused on the Scottish Open, and defending his title at The Open. He may not play golf again this year !!!

This is what he had to say on Facebook;

Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kickabout with friends on Saturday. Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day. Rehab already started….. Working hard to get back as soon as I can.

White Dragon Golf

Rory Will Not Be Able to Lift This Trophy in 2015 / Getty Images

U.S. Open. Jordan Wins, and looking at Grand Slam.

White Dragon GolfChambers Bay

Jordan Spieth wins the U.S. Open, at the gravel pit, and is half way to a single season Grand Slam of Major titles.

U.S. Open

Jordan & Trophy / Getty Images

Jordan managed a final round -1 under par 69, to win the U.S. Open with a -5 under par total. It was the much maligned greens that came into play, Dustin Johnson had an Eagle putt on the last to win, but three putted to lose,  in an intense and insane last round.

Jordan is the youngest U.S. Open champ since Bobby Jonesand is only the sixth player to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same season. He is now looking to win at St Andrews;

“Can’t win ’em all unless you win the first two.”

“We’re going to go to St. Andrews looking for the Claret Jug. I believe we can get it done if we get the right prep in.”

“It’s hard right now. It’s hard. I’m still amazed that I won, let alone that we weren’t playing tomorrow.”

“So for that turnaround right there, to watch that happen, I feel for Dustin, but I haven’t been able to put anything in perspective yet.”

Dustin Johnson finished tied second with Louis Oosthuizen at -4 under par for the tournament. Don’t ask Dustin what he thinks of these greens, he made three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on the back nine, destroying his two shot lead, and his confidence with the putter.

Dustin put a brave face on it;

“I’m disappointed that I three putted the last hole. Other than that, I had a damn good week.”

 

Louis got into the records book with the lowest back nine ever, carding six birdies in his last seven holes in a blistering finish;
“You sort of forget about everything when you get in that situation of having a chance to win a Major.”

“I wasn’t nervous at all, I was excited. I’ll take a lot out of this week, especially the last three days, the way I played.”

Adam Scott, Cameron Smith and Branden Grace tied in fourth position at -3 under par. Branden was right there until his tee shot on the 16th, which went O.B. onto the railway lines.

Jason Day could not continue with his heroics, falling behind and out of contention of the back nine today, finishing T9 at even par in the competition.

World number one Rory McIlroy suddenly came alive today, a last round -4 under par 66, which could, and should have been better;

“I really thought when I held that long putt on the 13th, with 16 and 18 coming up, I could post a number. If I could birdie those two holes coming in and get to four under par, then I thought I would have a really great chance, especially with the way the greens are getting so baked out there today.”

“It would have been a number for the guys to really think about.” 

“I felt I hit a good shot on the 15th, but it just came up short. And then the 17th killed me. The last few holes of this golf course haven’t been kind to me all week, and when I look back at this tournament that’s where I’ll rue some missed opportunities.” 

“I feel like it’s one that got away, especially the way I putted this week. I don’t think I’ve ever hit the ball as well over all four days of a Major Championship, which obviously bodes well for the next few events and the rest of the season.”

An overheard comment;  a TV anchor for FOX asked a caddie,

“How much grass? Is there any grass on No. 4 green?”

He replied,

“Yeah, two blades, and they’re nowhere close to each other.”

Something that made me laugh, on the 17th tee the marshals were waving their arms at the gallery, wanting them to be quiet and stand still. On the other side of the tee a freight train was rumbling passed, all that noise and movement, and the player still teed off.

 

U.S. Open. Jordan and Patrick tied at the Top.

White Dragon GolfChambers Bay

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed are tied at the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard, on a Chambers Bay Golf Club course that was manufactured from a disused gravel pit and sewerage works, and at times played like it, as many of the worlds best golfers were washed down the toilet.

U.S. OpenU.S. Open

                                           Jordan and Patrick / Getty Images

There was drama as well as brilliant play here today, although the leading score of -5 under par has not been increased from yesterday’s total. Jordan shot a -3 under round while Patrick could only better his total by one with a -1 under par 69.

Jordan said he could not compare his position here with the Masters event, and was also concerned about the USGA using a forward tee at the 18th, and changing it to a par 4 in the middle of the U.S. Open;

“It’s playing different, and I’m in a very different position. I’m not going to have a five-shot lead.”

“So given it’s a U.S. Open, I imagine they’re going to try to bring us back to par;

“So I’ll draw some on Augusta, but at the same time, my patience level has to be even that much higher.”

This {the 18th} is the dumbest hole I’ve ever played in my life.”

“I was really frustrated walking off the tee box.”

Patrick actually agreed with my assessment of yesterday, that this was Mickey Mouse golf;

“I actually felt it was a pretty disappointing round.”

“To have five or six bogeys, didn’t get up and down once, I was zero percent on up-and-downs today.”

“I hit the ball in the middle of the green on 18 and have no chance to putt a normal putt and stop near the hole, and have to play Mickey Mouse golf to try to make par, unfortunately is a bad way to end the day.”

“But we’re in a good position and we hopefully can have a good weekend and have a chance to win.”

The drama came from Jason Day, who collapsed while walking down the 18th fairway, his last of the day. He recovered well enough to finish the hole posting a bogey 5 and sits T9 at -2 under par for the tournament. If he will take any more part in this competition, we will have to wait until tomorrow and see if he gets onto the tee.

More drama from Tiger Woods who posted his worst ever 36 hole total as a professional in his career, +16 over par, and missing the cut in the process. He had this to say today;

“I hit it a little bit better today, but, again, I made nothing today.”

“I didn’t make any putts the first two days; I hit it better today. Hitting some spots where I could hit some putts; I made nothing.”

 “Just continue practicing, continue working on it. And hopefully it will be a little bit better.” 

“Obviously, I need to get a little better for the British Open, and I’ll keep working at it.”

On the plus side of the register, Dustin Johnson and Brandon Grace are tied in third place, both at -3 under for the competition.

The only thing I can say is that just about everyone has criticized not just the course but the change made to the lay-out, in the middle of a tournament. There are only 16 players who are under par, and the defending Champion Martin Kaymer did not make the cut, which was set at +5 over par.

This course is so poorly prepared that they had to bring in a local rule that stones in the bunker are not immovable, but may be lifted. So even after seven years the bunkers are full of stones, and this is the U.S. Open.

 

115th U.S. Open. Gruesome Greens Grab Attention.

White Dragon GolfChambers Bay

The gruesome greens at Chambers Bay Golf Club grabbed everyone’s attention in the first round of the U.S. Open. At the end of the day Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson shared the lead, while at the other end of the table, Tiger Woods +10 over and Rickie Fowler +11 crashed spectacularly. The fescue grass experiment is not off to a great start, especially as the older greens have never really taken hold properly, and they have been infiltrated by poa annua clumps. The early morning starters had the best of the day.

U.S. Open

Dustin Johnson on his way to par the 10th / all pics Getty Images

Dustin and Henrik shot open rounds of -5 under par 65 at the 115th U.S. Open at the much maligned Chambers Bay Golf Club in Washington.

Dustin reported that he is playing with confidence, hitting good irons shots;

“Hit a lot of quality iron shots, the confidence is definitely there.”

Henrik said he had a good day on the greens;

“It was a good day on the greens in all, but especially the last five holes.”

 “I hit some beautiful putts and managed to slip a few in there.”

Patrick Reed, with a -4 under par 66, for third place alone reported that he definitely missed a few putts;

” All I had to do was get the ball to the hole and it had a chance of going in. I made some long putts, but I also feel like I missed a lot of good opportunities.”

Matt KucharBen Martin and the amateur Brian Campbell are tied in fourth place at -3 under par. They are followed by a group of payers at -2 under par.

Phil Mickelson was happy with his start, -1 under par 69 and T14, as he chases the career Grand Slam this week, but did criticize the greens;

“The first round was the round I was going to be most nervous at, getting started.”

“You don’t want to have to fight to come back all the time. You want to get off to a solid start around par.”

“I think the biggest challenge is that the green speeds are different from green to green, that’s going to wreak havoc on our touch.” 

“What I found is that they’re not the most true surfaces downhill, because you can’t hit it hard enough to hold the line. But uphill they seem to hold the line just fine.”

“I might have to factor that in, in how I play some shots now, because I think the percentage of made putts uphill from three to nine feet is going to be quite a bit higher than downhill.” 

US Open

Rory McIlroy, at +2 over par was not quite so outspoken;

“I just didn’t quite have it with the putter today, and that’s something that I need to get right over the next three days if I want to have a chance.”

“I still feel like if you make a good enough stroke and you have the right speed, there’s a good enough chance the ball will go in.”

US Open

Sergio Garcia, who started with an even par first round and T26, took to twitter to post;

“Happy with my Even par round today although it could’ve been a bit better by the way I played but this greens are as bad as the look on TV.”

 

Irish Open. Søren Kjeldsen is Champion.

White Dragon Golf

 

Søren Kjeldsen is the Irish Open Champion, which was hosted by the  Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club in Northern Ireland.

Irish Open

Champion Søren & Rory / Getty Images

Søren won the Irish Open with a birdie on the first a play-off hole, against Bernd Wiesberger and Eddie Pepperell. In the tough cold and windy conditions only four players shot under par rounds today , and of the three leaders only Eddie was under par.
Søren carded a +5 over par round which left him with a -2 under par total, to equal the scores of Eddie and Bernd.

In the treacherous conditions Søren dropped four strokes on the opening nine, and his nervous winning putt in the play-off did a 360 round the cup before falling;

“The last breath I took was on about the 14th.”

“I have never been as nervous as this in the other tournaments I have won.”

“I had decided not to look at leaderboards but once I started dropping shots I started looking because it gave me a little pleasure that I wasn’t the only one struggling because it was such a brutal day.”

“I was leaking shots left, right and center but made a great up and down on 15 and the three-wood second shot in the play-off was pretty special.”

Eddie produced a bogey free -2 under par 69 round today, to get himself into the play-off on that score. Second place also gets him into the 144th, The Open Championship, at St Andrews;

“It’s great.  It didn’t cross my mind until I walked off the 18th and my caddie told me.”

“That’s a real bonus, and I know my dad and a few friends had already planned to go up there regardless. So I’ll be looking forward to it already.”

“I had a good weekend, good day today and put myself into a position where I had a chance to win.”

“On the whole I’m very pleased I think.”

Bernd thought he had also reached in the par five 18th in two, in the play-off;

“I thought I hit a really good three iron, it was right online.”

“I don’t know how it came up that short.  It was like 15-20 yards short from what I expected from that lie.”

“Just two bad chips on 18 that kind of cost me in the end to go to another extra hole.”

“But all in all, especially after last week, the way I played there, I have to be very proud and I’m quite happy with second place, and especially going into my favourite event in a couple weeks, I hope I can go one better.”

Joining the top three in The Open will be Tyrell Hatton, who edged out Rafa Cabrera-Bello for a place after they finished in a tie for fourth place on -1 under par.