The Players. J.B. and Kyle Tied at the Top.

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J.B. Holmes and Kyle Stanley are tied at the top of The Players leaderboard after 54 holes at TPC Sawgrass.

The Players The Players

J.B. and Kyle 

J.B. went round in-2 under 70 for a -9 under par The Players total, calling it an adventurous day, making some shots from out of the woods;

“An adventurous day, for sure.”

“I usually can make a bunch of birdies, so if I can just narrow it down to one bogey, then I’m usually in good shape.”

Kyle was even par 72 on the day, and had to remind himself that he was still in contention;

“You just kind of have to remind yourself that even though you’re a little bit over par, on the leaderboard I was still in a pretty good spot.”

Louis Oosthuizen shot +1 over 73, but has third place to himself with a -8 under par total, just one shot back;

“No lead can be big enough, that’s what makes this golf course great.”

“We have seen over the years great finishes around this golf course and horrible finishes.”

“It’s a great three finishing holes, and you need to be on your game. You need to hit the ball well and try not to do anything heroic when you have the lead.”

Truth is anyone could still win this title, it will be an exciting last day as the action unfolds, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Ian Poulter is at -6 under, and Sergio -5 under for the competition, maybe even Rory McIlroy at -1 under could go low early on and exert some pressure on the leaders.

Poults was not supposed to be at The Players, a last-minute phone call inviting him to participate. He was the only bogey free golfer today. What a great story that would make if he now wins it;

“It was a nice phone call to receive, I definitely feel better on the golf course for it.”

 

 

The Players. Two Tied at the Top.

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Two players are tied at the top of the The Players leaderboard after round one at TPC Sawgrass, William McGirt and McKenzie Hughes, share that honor, while Sergio Garcia was in the limelight with an Ace at the dreaded 17th.

A new era for McGirt

William McGirt / getty

William and McKenzie shot first rounds of -5 under par 67 at The Players, to lead the competition by one shot.

Now that William is famous, he finds it harder to hide from the fans;

“I  can’t hide anymore, I’ve gone through the airport a few times and tried to dress down as much as I could and hide. It doesn’t work.”

“But it is nice to be noticed. I mean, obviously if you’re walking around and you’re able to go unnoticed, that means people either have never heard of you or don’t care.”

“So, I would like to think that people actually do care, and they have noticed.”

J.B. Holmes, Alex Noren, Chez Reavie and Jon Rahm are that one shot back at -4 under par, following their opening rounds of 68.

 

Sergio Garcia's electric ace on No. 17 is the Shot of the Day

Shot of the day from Sergio Garcia, an Ace at 17 / getty

Sergio and Rory McIlroy finished in the huge group at +1 over par, with rounds of 73.

Sergio was really pleased with his Ace;

“The feeling was great.”

“”I think I wasn’t quite in the tournament because of everything that’s been going on after the Masters win and media and people congratulating you left, right and center. I felt like I was a little bit up in the clouds, and when I woke up, I was four over after six.”

Rory is still suffering from a sore back;

“My back has got a little bit stiff again. I guess just from obviously building it up and playing through and then not doing anything for three weeks and then coming back last weekend and hitting balls for four or five hours a day.”

“So I think that’s why I’m a little bit rusty, as well. But I think this week it’s just about trying to manage that and get through the week and try to play with what I have.”

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.

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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.”