The Masters. Sergio Beats Justin in a Play-Off.

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Sergio Garcia claimed his first Major win, The Masters, in  a play-off against Justin Rose, at Augusta National Gold Club.

Finally first: Garcia wins the Masters

Sergio / getty

Sergio and Justin had both finished The Masters on -9 under par, after last rounds of -3 under 69. Sergio won the first play-off hole, the 18th, with a birdie, to claim his maiden Major title.

Sergio spoke about his new found attitude, and Seve’s 60th Birthday;

“I accepted what Augusta gives and takes, and I think because of that, I’m able to stand here today.”

“Demonstration of my character and my mentality, how positive I stayed even when things weren’t going that well on 10 and 11.”

“I have a beautiful life, Major or no major, I’ve said it many, many times. I have an amazing life.”

“To do it on Seve’s 60th birthday and to join him and Olazábal, my two idols in golf my whole life, it’s something amazing.”

“José sent me a text on Wednesday night telling me how much he believed in me.  And what I needed to do.  And just pretty much believe in myself.” 

Sergio gets it done, a playoff for the ages & Kuch's ace

Defending Champion Danny Willett hands over the green jacket / getty

Justin enjoyed the tussle, and was happy for Sergio to get his maiden Major win;

“A wonderful battle, if I had anybody to lose to, it would be Sergio. He’s had his fair share of heartbreaks.”

“It was encouraging to see the crowd get behind him. I think they realized he paid his dues.”

An Ex Champion, Charl Schwartzel was in third place, at -6 under par, a last round -4 under par 68 giving him that place on his own.

 

 

 

The Masters. Two Tied at the Top after 54 Holes.

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There are two players tied at the top of The Masters leaderboard after 54 holes at Augusta National Golf Club. Justin Rose, from England, and Sergio Garcia, Spain, have a one shot lead going into the final round tomorrow.

The Masters The Masters

Justin and Sergio / getty

Justin fired the low round of the day, -5 under par 67, to share The Masters lead with Sergio, -2 under 70 today, both at -6 under par for the Major tournament.

Justin explained his low round to reporters, and his desire to win here;

“It all happened for me the last eight holes, I think the patience I showed on the front nine was probably the key to moving well on the back nine.”

“I had my head down. I knew I was creeping up on the leaders and then I had that quick birdie-birdie finish to put me pretty much right up there tied for the lead.”

“It all seemed to happen really fast, setting up a really fun day tomorrow.”

“I’m a Major champion but I’m looking for more and I’m certainly looking for my first Masters and my first Green Jacket.”

“This is a place I dearly love and would dearly love to be part of the history here.”

Sergio said he had a good day today;

“It was a good day.”

“I was able to fight hard with what I had, stayed very patient all day and it was nice to shoot a two under that was a good solid score.”

“I need to be extra patient, I need to not lose my head, I need to stay calm and make sure no matter what happens, I need to keep going in the same direction because it feels good to me and I’m sure it looks good too.”

“So no matter what happens I need to stay within myself.”

“We still have one day to go, it’s not going to be easy, we’re going to have to play hard again and hopefully we will have a good solid chance coming into the last four or five holes.”

Rickie Fowler, USA, holds third place at -5 under par, a -1 under 71 today, not quite what he was looking for.

Jordan Spieth, -4 under 68 today, Ryan Moore -3 under 69  and Charley Hoffman with an even par 72 third round are tied in fourth place at -4 under par.

The Masters, Four-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a four-way tie at the top of The Masters leaderboard after 36 holes at Augusta National Golf Club. Charlie Hoffman, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia and Thomas Pieters.

The Masters

Rickie Fowler / getty

Rickie shot the low round of the day, -5 under par 67 to join the leaders at the top of The Masters leaderboard at -4 under par for the tournament.

Yesterday’s first round leader Charlie, choked today signing for a +3 over 75, but still shares top spot.

Sergio put in a good performance shooting a second round -3 under 69, for his -4 under total;

“I think that I’m a little bit calmer now. I think that I’m working on trying to accept things.”

 “It’s much easier to say than to do it. That’s the challenge we always have, making sure that you accept the  bad breaks with the good ones and move on.”

“There were a couple of moments out there where I could have lost it a little bit, you just have to realize that those things are going to happen.”

“I still have to get so much better at it, but what that shows me is that I have a lot of room for improvement, so that is something very positive.”

“Things are happening at the moment, so I want to make sure that I keep riding that wave and go out there tomorrow and be positive like I’ve been the first two days.”

Thomas carded -4 under 68 to join the crew at the top.

Tomorrow is moving day, and with so many names close to the leaders it will be interesting to see if anyone makes a significant surge, on the traditional moving day, Saturday. Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, are all within striking distance.

 

 

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. The Final 16. Sergio Blitzed By Jon.

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WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play has a last 16 for the weekend  at Austin Country Club in Texas. Spain’s new wonder kid Jon Rahm blitzed the old one Sergio Garcia, 6-4.

Jon Rahm (left) knocked off fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia to win Group 7. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Jon and Sergio / getty

Jon eased past Sergio 6-4 to win group 7, he told reporters

“I’d rather not play a fellow Spaniard. Obviously, representing Spain, we want as many Spaniards to make it as far as possible. But worse came to worse, and luckily whoever won today was going to make it through. Out of that, at least we are happy that was going to happen.”

Sergio said he did not perform well;

“Obviously Jon is playing well. It is nice to see at least a Spanish player going through. . “At the end of the day, you have to perform and if you don’t do it then you get beat.”

World number 1 Dustin Johnson won group one, saying;

“I like match play, it’s fun and it’s exciting to watch. Yeah, I feel like I’ve got a little bit of an advantage just because I’m playing really well.”

The last sixteen knockout matches begin tomorrow, lining up like this;

Kevin Na USA v Bill Hass USA

Marc Leishman Australia v Phil Mickelson USA

Jon Rahm Spain v Charles Howell 111 USA

Soren Kjeldson Denmark v William McGirt USA

Hideto Tanihara Japan  v Paul Casey England

Ross Fisher England v Bubba Watson USA

Alex Noren Sweden v Brooks Koepka USA

Dustin Johnson USA v Zack Johnson USA.

It is sad that this years  Championship has been blighted by mid-term with withdrawals, which left Rory McIlroy with no chance to progress. after Jason Day retired. Other groups also had the same misfortune, with Gary Woodland withdrawing for personal reasons, and Francesco Molinari with an injury.

 

 

 

WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play. Rory Out.

White Dragon GolfWGC-Match Play

Rory McIlroy is out of the  WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play, at Austin Country Club in Texas.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match PLay

Søren Kjeldsen / getty

Soren  Kjeldsen beat Emiliano Grillo, to advance to the last 16 of the WGC Dell Match Play tournament, and at the same time eliminating Rory McIlroy, because Soren will win the group with a walk over point in round three.

Soren was happy to progress out of a tough group;

“Right now, I’m very pleased to make it through, obviously I was in a very, very, very tough group and I got through that. I’m happy with that.”

Top winners included Bubba Watson 4-3 over Scott Piercy, World number 1 Dustin Johnson 3-2 over Martin Kaymer, Phil Mickelson 5-4 over Daniel Berger and Jordan Spieth 4-2 over Yuta Ikeda.

Unfortunately the two pull outs have changed the complexity of the competition.

Sergio Garcia set up an intriguing winner-takes-all encounter with Jon Rahm following his 4 and 3 victory over Kevin Chappell;

“It wasn’t easy. It was so gusty, the wind was blowing so hard.”

“Normally you need to hit a good putt, but you have to get lucky with catching the gust at the right time. I felt like I played really well today.”

“That’s what I wanted at the beginning of the week, for both of us on Friday to play to get through so at least one of us Spaniards goes through. I am excited.”

Jon is looking forward to the battle;

“We really want to play each other. We wish it was in the final. But we’re going to pretend like it’s a final.”

“We’re both very excited. Mathematically whoever wins tomorrow is going to go through. I think that is a good thing for us that at least we will have the showdown tomorrow.”

WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play. Day 1 Disasters.

White Dragon GolfWGC-Match Play

Day 1 of the Dell Technologies Match Play competition brought a few disasters at Austin Country Club, in Texas. Rory McIlroy being one of them, losing 2-1 to Soren Kjeldsen.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Rory / getty

Rory told reporters;

“Overall, I can’t be too disappointed. But at the same time, when standing on the 14th tee just having won three holes in a row, I thought I had him going into a tough stretch of the golf course.”

“But he put up three birdies in a row, and you can’t do anything about that.”

Jordan Spieth was another first day casualty, losing 4-2 to Hideto Tanihara, while Jimmy Walker went down to Martin Kaymer, 4-2.

All o f these guys need to step up to the plate tomorrow, if they want to progress in this tournament.

World number one Dustin Johnson won 5-3 over Webb Simpson, and Phil Mickelson dispatched Si Woo Kim by the same score.

Sergio Garcia had a ding-dong of a battle against Shane Lowry, it finished all square.

Sergio put his woes on the day down to poor putting;

“It’s never easy. Obviously I needed the putt to win. I had the chance of tying it up. I hit a good putt. It was really, really slow.”

“We didn’t play great. We definitely didn’t make anything, neither of us. I think we made probably two or three putts between the two of us.”

“At least I think we both fought hard.”

Saddest story of the day surrounded Jason Day, his mother is very ill, and will go into surgery on Friday. Naturally Jason could not concentrate on his golf, and was three down in six holes when he withdrew. He later made a tearful statement, but I think no one would have thought ill of him had he just left the course and took the first flight home, to support Mum;

“It’s been a very, very hard time for me to even be thinking about playing golf, and I know my mom says not to let it get to me, but it really has.”

 

Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Sergio Garcia Wins

 

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Sergio Garcia wins the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Sergio / getty

Sergio carded a final round -3 under par 69 to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a -19 under total, a three shot victory,

Sergio became the sixth  winner from Spain, following the great Seve Ballesteros, José María Olazábal, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Alvaro Quiros and Rafa Cabrera Bello;

“It’s a  great start to the year so we’re going to try to keep going the same way.”

“I’m very happy to play the way I played,  the way I handled some of the key moments and to beat Henrik, we all now how great a player he is.”

“The eighth was very, very big because it was the worst drive I hit all week, unfortunately, but it was a massive save and then I birdied nine which was great.”

“The 16th was important but I think 15 was more important. He was coming after two birdies and I hit a really, really good shot.”

“To be able to hit it to a couple of feet and get four clear was massive.”

“Even on the 18th with a four-shot lead I knew that I needed to hit a good third shot because you can mess it up a little bit there if you’re not careful.”

Henrik Stenson, Sweden, finished in second place, he too had a last round -3 under 69, for a tournament total of -16 under par;

“I was three shots back at the start of the day and Sergio made an early birdie so I was trailing all day, I was expecting that.”

“I needed to come up with some really solid play and even though I didn’t quite play my best, I still managed to sneak a couple of birdies in there in the middle of the back nine and move closer.”

“You’ve got to push when you’re behind and we got the wind slightly wrong there on 15. I over-hit it a little bit at the same time. That’s obviously where it all kind of finished.”

“At the same time, Sergio hit a lovely shot to about two and a half feet and it was pretty much game, set and match on the 15th green.”

“I’m just working away on my game, trying to move all the positions forward and the time when we want to be peaking is obviously early April. So that’s what we’re working towards and it’s good, steady progress.”

Lasse Jensen from Denmark, -7 under par 65 today and Tyrrell Hatton, England, -5 under 67 tied for third at -14 under par..