U.S. Open. 4 Way Tie at the Top.

White Dragon GolfU.S. Open

There is a 4 way tie at the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard with, World #1 Dustin Johnson, Scott Piercy and Russell Henley, all from the USA, sharing the honor with  Ian Poulter from England, at a windy Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in New York.

Johnson was one of four players to finish Thursday's opening round under par at Shinnecock Hills. (Charlie Kane/PGA TOUR)

World #1 Dustin Johnson / getty

DJ, Scott, Russell and Ian all posted first rounds of -1 under par 69 to top the U.S. Open leaderboard by one shot.

DJ. was happy with his round, and coming off a win last week is full of confidence, even if no one has ever won a PGA Tour event and gone on the win the U.S. Open the next week;

“I’m very pleased with the round. Anything under par on this golf course is very good, especially in the conditions we have today.”

“I felt like from start to finish, it was very difficult.”

“You had to focus on every single shot you hit, putts, everything. You know, it was just difficult all day.”

“Obviously, coming off a win, you’ve got a lot of confidence. I feel like I’ve been playing really solid all year, just haven’t really been getting a lot out of my rounds.”

Jason Dufner has fifth place to himself at even par, after his opening effort of 70.

Poults likened the US Open with a trip to the dentist;

“Through most of the U.S. Opens, I haven’t enjoyed very many, to be honest.”

“They’re difficult. They’re hot. They’re stressful. Feels like you’re pulling teeth every single hole you play.”

“This week, I’ve changed my mindset. I’m here to enjoy my golf this week, to play freely, to go out and just go play golf. If I hit it in the rough, I hit it in the rough.”

“I’m going to try and make par the hard way and just don’t get too bogged down with it.”

You can not win a Major in the first round, but you can certainly lose it; Rory McIlroy, +10 over par today, Jason Day +9, Jordan Spieth, and Tiger Woods +8, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson +7, have a battle on their hands, will be interesting to see if any of these guys can get up and make the cut.

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The Northern Trust. Russell Henley Leads.

White Dragon GolfTHE NORTHERN TRUST Logo

Russell Henley,  leads after the first round of The Northern Trust at Glen Oaks Club in New York.

Henley leads after Round 1

Russell Henley / getty

Russell carded a first round -6 under par 64 to lead The Northern Trust, by just one shot.

Russell is not sure what went right, apart from some good putting;

“I don’t know what the key is, or the secret.”

“I just tried to hit the fairway, make sure I hit the green when I was in the fairway, and the greens are great and I rolled in a couple of putts.”

World #1 Dustin Johnson is in second place at -5 under par following his opening round of 65. Dustin reported an upswing in his form;

“Today was much easier than it has been in the past.”

“I’ve been saying it’s close and I’ve seen signs of it. But today was the first day where I felt like all day I was really in control of the swing.”

“Hit a lot of really good shots. Drove it well. Did everything really well. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve done that.”

Scott Brown and Chris Kirk, USA, were tied in third place along with Camillo Villegas from Colombia, all at -4 under par for the tournament.

Phil Mickelson wants to play his way onto the  The Presidents Cup  team next month at Liberty National, but a +2 over 72 is not good enough. Rory McIlroy who is going to defend his FedExCup title is also still on the back foot, carding +3 over 73 today.

 

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Shell Houston Open. Russell Henley Wins.

White Dragon GolfShell Houston Open

Russell Henley, from Scotland, wins the last ever Shell Houston Open at Golf Club of Houston in the Lobe Star State of Texas.

Henley earns third TOUR title

Russell Henley / getty

Russell fired a last round -7 under par 65 to win the Shell Houston Open with a -20 under par total, a three shot winning margin.

Russell  overcame a four-shot deficit, for his third PGA Tour victory;

“I made 10 birdies today?”

“Oh, wow. Wow. Yeah, then I guess it’s definitely the best.”

“I wasn’t expecting to go back to Augusta.”

“I was planning on not going, but I was going to try my best to win. So, the fact I get to go back is pretty cool and I’m excited. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

“You don’t know what’s going to happen. You never know what’s going to happen in this game.”

Second place went to long time tournament leader Sung Kang, from South Korea, who carded a sad final round of even par 72, for a -17 under par total. His first PGA Tour victory evading him;

“This week is going to be very memorable for me.”

“I played really solid the first few rounds and then it shifted for two rounds.”

“I’ll keep grinding out and working out and hopefully, I can get a chance next time.”

Rickie Fowler, -2 under 70 today, tied for third place  with Luke List, -4 under 68, both having -16 under par totals.

Rickie blamed his performance on an alignment problem;

 “Just an alignment problem that just caused me to make a couple bad swings, cost me a few shots.”

 “Nice that I got it turned around and started to make some good swings and made some birdies and fought back, got a good finish out of it.”

“Obviously, yeah, I would have liked to have gotten off to a better start.”

 

 

 

 

Shell Houston Open. Missing The Cut List Amazing.

White Dragon GolfShell Houston Open

The list of players missing the cut at the Shell Houston Open is amazing, while leader Sung Kang, from South Korea, opens up a huge lead at the top of the leaderboard.

Getting cut, a week before The Masters were, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Boo Weekly and defending Champion here Jim Herman.

Kang opens huge lead in Houston

Sung Kang / getty

Sung Kang fired a bogey free -9 under par 63 to top the Shell Houston Open leaderboard at -16 under par, and a six shot advantage over the field going into the weekend.

Tied in second place at -10 under par are Hudson Swafford, USA, -5 under 67 today, and Russell Henley, Scotland, also -5 under 67.

Rickie Fowler suddenly went into reverse on the back nine today, dropping four shots on his last seven holes, to card a second round -1 under 71, to drop into fourth place at -9 under par;

“I’m a little mad. It was a nice front nine, made a couple swings that cost me.”

“One swing with a driver on 12, and then a wedge that kind of just took off high left out of the first cut and rode the wind, ended up making double there.”

“Other than that, give those back and I’m in with 68 and in a lot different position.”

“Hopefully enjoy some good weather tomorrow and pray for a miracle on Sunday.”

 “Like I said, I love where my game is at. I know I can go out and play well and shoot low on this course. Hopefully the weather treats us well.”

Jordan Spieth summed his disastrous day and the improvement in his putting;

“Just an off day, ball-striking wise.”

“I made strides in my putting this week, which is something I can take a lot of confidence into next week.”

“I was a bit rough around the edges in my putting last week in Austin, and really felt like I put better strokes on it here.”

“And putting well next week obviously as we know is important considering I didn’t strike it very well last year and was certainly in position to win.”

Valspar Championship. Adam Hadwin Has 36 hole Lead.

White Dragon GolfValspar Champ     Valspar Championship

Adam Hadwin, from Canada, has the 36 hole lead at the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead course in Florida.

Hadwin enters weekend with one-shot lead at Valspar

Adam Hadwin / getty

Adam fired a second round -7 under par 64 to lead the Valspar Championship at -10 under par.

Adam was happy with his putting,  he rolled in another confident putt from just inside 10 feet for birdie at 17;

“That was certainly something you don’t think is going to happen but I hit a lot of good shots today, especially five in a row there, 10 through 14.”

“It’s nice to see the ball-striking kind of come around and the putter stay where it has all year.”

“I gave myself a ton of looks out there. I hit a lot of fairways, as well, which makes it a lot easier to attack some of these flags, and the putter stayed hot and I made a few more putts than I did in the first round.”

Jim Herman is in second place, coming down from his low round yesterday settled for an even par 71 today, to stay at -9 under for the championship.

Tyrone Van Aswegen , from South Africa is in third place at -8 under par, with his second round -6 under 65.

Tied in fourth spot at -7 under par are, Dominic Bozzelli, -3 under 68 today, Russell Henley, even par 71, and Henrik Stenson, also even par 71 today.

Henrik had a distraction on the course today, a nice distraction, he smiled as  his young daughter Alice ran on to the fairway, to say hello;

Valspar Championship

Alice

“The family drove up from Orlando today to hang out a little bit, so I see she’s on TV again now.”

“Not the first time, she likes to be inside the ropes, like you guys.”

“I can’t complain with too much, ball-striking, yeah, I’m not quite where I want to be, but we’ve got time to work on that.” 

 

 

 

Valspar Championship. Jim Herman Shoots 62 to Lead.

White Dragon GolfValspar Champ

Jim Herman shoots 62 to lead the Valspar Championship at Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, as darkness caused play to be suspended for the day.

Herman shoots 62, leads Valspar

Jim Herman / getty

Jim carded -9 under par 62 on the par 71 Copperhead Course in the opening round of the Valspar Championship;

“That was a fun round, I don’t think there’s many feelings better than shooting in the lower 60s on the PGA TOUR.”

Russell Henley and Henrik Stenson share second place at -7 under par, with first rounds of 64.

Russell made  more than 110 feet of putts, requiring only 24 today, and leads the field in strokes gained putting;

“I feel like I’m seeing the break well here.”

 “I feel like the greens are running really true, and what I’m seeing, that’s what the ball is doing.”

“I got more and more confident as the day went on.”

Henrik spoke about how important it was to play well here, with The Masters just four weeks away, and with his putter working well;

“I think it’s important, I know how important it was to get that win in Germany at the BMW International Open last year two weeks prior to The Open, and it gives you that confidence, so I’d love to, more than anything, of course, play well.”

“When the putter feels good and short game is in good shape, a lot of times I see it more as guaranteeing having a second shot into around the green or hit the green, even if it’s a longer club.”

“That’s kind of what I’ve done around here the previous two times, and it’s worked out fine.”

Travelers Championship. Berger Blossoms at the Top.

 

White Dragon GolfTravelers Championship

Daniel Berger blossoms at the top of the Travelers Championship with a beautiful 62 at TPC River Highlands.

Berger cruising in Connecticut

Daniel Berger / getty

Daniel carded a beautiful -8 under par 62 in the third round of the Travelers Championship and at -15 under par has a three shot cushion starting the final round tomorrow, thanks mainly to a good putting performance;

“I’ll tell you, it’ll be a lot easier stepping up on the tee box having a PGA TOUR win under my belt than if I didn’t.”

 “You know, it’s all about hitting good shots under pressure, and I’ve been doing that so far this week.”

“If I can continue to do that, then I’m sure I’ll be right there on Sunday.”

“I think I made a ton of putts, and that’s been a big key for me.”

 “I’ve been putting really good the last couple months or so, and even before I won, I mean, I was looking back.”

“I mean, I was in third or fourth, fifth place through two rounds, three or four tournaments in a row, and didn’t really play that great on the weekend, and then obviously in Memphis I played really well, and I played really well today again.”

Three players are tied in second place, those three shots back at -12 under for the tournament, Russell Knox, -6 under 64 today, Tyrone Van Aswegen -5 under 65, and Russell Henley, also with -5 under 65 today.

Russell Knox, who needed only 7 putts in his first six holes, says it will all come down to the last nine holes tomorrow;

“I mean, the last nine holes, anything can happen.”

“I love being here, and if it’s soft, it’s going to take a really low score to win this thing tomorrow.”

“Someone is going to shoot a really good score, and I hope it’s me.”

“I always tell myself, don’t be scared to play well, you’ve got to go for it.”