Shell Houston Open. JB Shoots 64, and Then Wins Play-Off.

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J.B. Holmes shoots 64 in the final round of the Shell Houston Open to get into a three-way play-off, which he wins.

Shell Houston Open

JB Holmes / Getty Images

The final round -8 under par 64 gave JB a -16 under par Shell Houston Open total, a score that was matched by Jordan Spieth and Johnson Wagner.

To win the play-off he parred the index one hole, the 18th twice, to claim victory, and a place next week in The Masters.

In interview JB admitted he did not expect to win today;

“I didn’t focus on the results at any point in the round.”

“I was just trying to do the best I could do each hole and at the end of the round, then you add it up.”

“I didn’t tee off expecting to win today, but you know, it’s a nice surprise.”

“I’m trying to take a deep breath and stay in the moment, not let my mind race, just sometimes say a little prayer.”

Jordan bogied the first extra hole, saying he heard  camera click on his backswing, apart from that little mistake he is well prepared for The Masters;

“I don’t know if it was me or it actually happened, either way, I still should be able to get down through the sand there. No excuse.”

“I felt more and more comfortable with more and more pressure, and that gives me a lot of confidence going into Augusta, where you probably have the most pressure anywhere.”

“I feel as prepared as I think I could be.”

“To be able to get up-and-down again, just like Valspar, gives me a lot of confidence on the greens, and that’s obviously the most important piece next week.”

“But I’m going to need to strike the ball a little better to have a chance to win.”

Johnson Wagner won the 2008 Shell Houston Open, he nearly did it again, and was disappointed not have done;

“I’m pretty disappointed right now, but I hit so many good shots coming in.”
“It’s nice to get in the hunt again, put myself in a position.”
“I’m a good player. I strike the ball well, but my mind gets in my way, when I don’t focus and when I don’t have fun on the golf course, I get lazy and I don’t practice and it’s just a cycle.”
“I tend to not ride the highs long enough and ride the lows too long. I don’t know what it is, but hopefully this is a good start to turn it around for me.”

 

Shell Houston Open. Jordan Jumps Ahead, Phil Fades.

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Jordan Spieth jumps ahead as Phil Mickelson fades in the third round of the Shell Houston Open.

Shell Houston Open

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan put together a third round -5 under par 67, to lead the Shell Houston Open at -14 under par after three rounds at the  Golf Club of Houston.

He carded six birdies and a lone bogey on Saturday to take a one-shot lead going into the final round tomorrow;

“It’s nice to be in the hunt again, I can control my own destiny tomorrow. I’m perfectly fine with that fact and excited about trying to do so.”

“Today was as comfortable as I’ve ever been with the lead on a weekend, which feels really good.”

“Any time you can close a tournament out, it’s going to be good for you the next time you tee it up.”

Three players are that one shot behind, Scott Piercy, Austin Cook and Johnson Wagner, all at -13 under par. Scott and Johnson both returned the low rounds of the day at -6 under par 66, while Austin had -2 under par 70.

Austin and his brother caddy had a day of ups and downs, but still managed to enjoy the atmosphere;

“It was a great day, overall an incredible day.”

“I hadn’t played in front of that kind of crowd before and it was a lot of fun.”

“This is a pretty awesome moment, I think that after tomorrow’s round we’ll be able to really sit back and take it all in.”

Johnson is also having ball out there, and said he really likes his job;

“I’ve always appreciated my job and what I do and how blessed I am to be able to do it.”

“I think you can stay out on TOUR for a while, make a few million dollars and get a little complacent and get whiny.”

“I don’t want to take it for granted anymore. It’s the greatest job I could ever have.”

Scott admitted he had played better earlier in the week, but still put the ball where he needed to;

“I didn’t hit it as great as I did on Thursday, but I put it in places where I could make pars and then I took advantage of some good shots.”

Shawn Stefani is alone in fifth position at -12 under par, and he is followed by a host of players at -11 under par, which include former Champion Paul Casey.

Phil faded badly for a man of his caliber, a +3 over par 75 third round has taken him out of contention for this title, now T18 at -8 under. He will need to have a good round tomorrow so that he can take some forward momentum to Augusta.

 

Shell Houston Open. Mickelson in the Mix as Andrew Putnam Leads.

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Phil Mickelson is in the mix at the Shell Houston Open as Andrew Putnam sits on top of the leaderboard, just one shot clear of Phil.

Shell Houston Open

Andrew Putnam / Getty Images

Andrew birdied six of his final nine holes on the Golf Course of Houston’s front nine and carded the lowest round of the day with a stunning -7 under par 65, to lead the Shell Houston Open at -12 under par for 36 holes.

He was pretty happy with that result, but did admit that lately he had not been playing well;

“Solo lead, that’s pretty cool.”

“I haven’t been playing good or scoring well, both have been bad, but I’m doing both well this week.”

Phil shares second place with Austin Cook, both on -11 under par, and Phil said he was having fun, the practice he has put in with the short game and putting making the difference;

Shell Houston Open

Phil Mickelson / Getty Images

“It’s fun for me to put myself in a position heading into the weekend to have a chance.”

“And I think that’s an important thing for me heading into next week to get into contention, feel that pressure, and get back to playing later on the weekends.”

“You have to be in contention in tournaments and play well heading into the Masters. Although it’s happened in the past where guys have out of nowhere played great that week and had a magical week and won, the odds aren’t in your favor.”

“Because the pressure that you feel trying to win the Masters is greater than just about anything we have.”

“Before San Antonio, I spent hours each day, four, five, six hours on the putting green just getting my putting back to where I wanted, going back over the drills that made me successful.”

“My short game has been sharp this week. I’ve hit some good pitches and touch.”

Austin played the final nine holes at -5 under and birdied the last one;

“It was unbelievable, it was great. I’m really, really comfortable with my swing and my game right now and it’s kind of showing.”

Graeme DeLaet shares fourth position with Luke Guthrie, both on -10 under par, Graeme thought he had lots of chances out on the course today;

“I felt like I had chances all day.”

“I’m finally starting to hit the ball well again. I was hitting foul balls with the driver and digging myself holes I couldn’t get out of.’

‘I knew it would eventually turn around and I would start holing putts.”

Jordan Spieth is one of the six players T6 at -9 under par, after finishing his round he explained the difference it made once the wind had died down;

“The wind died down, and with the greens being soft, if we were playing out of the fairway, you could really fire at some flag sticks.”

Shell Houston Open. Scott Piercy Leads.

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Scott Piercy leads the after the first round of the Shell Houston Open, at the  Golf Club of Houston in Texas.

Shell Houston Open

Scott Piercy / Getty Images

 Scott equaled the course record of -9 under par 63 for his opening round of the Shell Houston Open, and is now thinking of maybe qualifying for The Masters;

“It’s the first round, if I’m sitting here Sunday, then I’ll be super-excited. If I keep playing like I did today, I would say there’s a pretty good chance of that.”

“On Wednesday, I kind of ingrained it, kept working and got pretty good. Today was awesome. It really was.”

“Everything went right, I hit the ball so good. It’s been building. I kept hitting good shot after good shot. By the end, I was only trying to make birdies.”

J.B. Holmes and Alex Cejka both had first rounds of -7 under par 65’s to sit in second place.

J.B. is just happy to be healthy again;

“This game is hard enough not being healthy, being healthy has helped, and I’ve been able to work on my game and worked really hard to get back here.”

“It’s been nice to be able to reap some of the rewards.”

“It’s a good preview for the Masters. They don’t have much rough around here.”

“Few holes you can get loose with the driver and it benefits you to hit it farther at this golf course because the wind can get up and it can get difficult. I think it’s just a fun golf course.”

Phil Mickleson has found some form and leads a group of four players at -6 under par, with their opening rounds of -6 under par 66’s. Phil is joined on that score by Luke Guthrie, Charles Howell 111, and Shawn Stefani.

Shell Houston Open

Phil Mickelson /Getty Images

The three-time Masters Champion Phil was happy to be near the top of the leaderboard;

“A good round, a good start to the tournament. I got off to a quick start, birdieing three of the first four holes, and kept it going.”

“The course is in pristine condition. The greens being soft are going to allow us to get more aggressive, aiming for the pins and make some more birdies.”

“The scores are going to be low, I’m just glad I was one of them.”

Local boy Shawn knows this course well, and likes to play here;

“I’ve played a lot of golf out here, in my offseason I come out here and practice a lot and get a lot of work done.”

“Always nice to come back to Houston and play here.”

“I really haven’t been putting a lot of pressure on myself to play well. I think that’s the key to my good play.”

“As a kid I dreamed about playing in the Houston Open, and now this is the fourth time I’ve gotten to play it. I’m really happy to be here and just glad to be playing some good golf.”

Augusta local Charles Howell 111 needs to win here to qualify for the The Masters;

“Well, obviously growing up there, yes, it’s the one tournament I want to be in more than any. It’s a big deal.”

“But with that said, it’s a big deal for everybody. Currently I’m not even qualified for the Drive, Chip and Putt. I’ve got some work ahead of me.”

Shell Houston Open

Shell Houston Open, Matt Jones Wins In Play-Off

dragon logo darkShell Houston Open Logo     Matt Jones beat Matt Kuchar in a play-off for the Shell Houston Open title, in Texas.

Matt Jones

Matt Jones / Getty Images

Matt Jones was tied with Matt Kuchar at the end of regular play, both returning scores of -15 under par for the Shell Houston Open.

Matt Jones carded a final round -6 under par 66, while Matt Kuchar got bogged down and could only achieve an even par last round 72, which sent the pair of them into the play-off. Jonesy chipped in for a birdie at the first extra hole, and that was it;

“I walked up there and told my caddie I was going to chip it in, my chipping has been pretty good for a while. When I know what I have to do, I seem to be able to pull it off moreso. Especially playing golf with my friends, if I have to birdie to beat them, somehow I do it. It was nice to be able to do it on this stage.”

” Going to Augusta is amazing, the win means everything to me right now because that’s what we play for is to win. To have Augusta as a reward for that win is amazing.”

Matt Kuchar stood in the Golf Club of Houston’s 18th fairway, then unbelievably pulled his 214-yard approach shot into water, left of the green.  He got up-and-down from 64 yards to save bogey and force a playoff;

 “I didn’t want to bail out right, and I figured I’d try to hit a good shot. I just hit it a little too far left, unfortunately. It’s smarter to bail out and give yourself a chance, but I was looking to try and make four and win the tournament.”

“I’m hoping to keep improving, I’m hoping to keep the train going. Certainly fantastic stuff (by Matt Jones) to birdie 18 twice. That’s probably the hardest hole on the golf course, and for him to put two 3s is pretty impressive stuff.”

Sergio Garcia finished in third place at -13 under par, while Cameron Tringale settled for  fourth position at -12 under par.

Rory McIlroy equaled the low round of the week in the final round, a -7 under par 65. If he plays like that at Augusta he will be a real contender for the Green Jacket;

“It was a good way to end the week, I wanted to shoot something in the 60s at least today to give me some positive vibes going into Augusta. I played really well, played really solid from tee-to-green again.”

Rory finished in seventh place, and is now looking forward to the Major next week at Augusta.

Shell Houston Open. Matt Makes A Move.

dragon logo darkShell Houston Open Logo Matt Kuchar makes a move in the Shell Houston Open, opening up a four shot lead.

Matt Kuchar's last victory came at last season's Memorial Tournament. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Matt Kuchar / Getty Images

Matt Kuchar was in cruise control as he eased his way through the third round with a -4 under par 68, to top the leaderboard in the Shell Houston Open at -15 under par.

Matt said it was nice to be in a position to have a shot at winning once again;

“It’s a nice position to have played well last week, to have been in the last group with a chance to win, and to come back this week, completely different course, and have another shot to win. It’s a bummer to three-putt the last one, my speed got a little off there, but all in all putted well. I’m not at all disappointed with the way I putted or the way I played. I’m pretty pleased.”

” Having a four-shot lead is a great position to be in,  I think I’ll just go out and try to turn the four-shot lead into a five-shot lead and see if I can keep going. ‘I’ve been playing some steady golf for a couple of years now and feel like my chances of playing well tomorrow are pretty good.”

Second place is shared between Cameron Tringale and Sergio Garcia, at -11 under par for the tournament.  Sergio, the 36-hole leader could only manage a +1 over par on Saturday. Cameron recorded a very respectable -3 under par 69.

With an 80% chance of rain forecast for Sunday, Sergio is worried about a Monday finish, leading up to the masters. Of course he first has to make up the four shots he is behind;

“I don’t think it’d be the best thing, for sure, it wouldn’t be very good. You’d have to squeeze everything together, get no rest.”

Cameron is working towards his first PGA TOUR victory, but has strangely booked a vacation in Hawaii with his family next week. If he wins here, his invite to the Masters would change all that;

“Hopefully I’ll have a good round tomorrow and maybe ‘ixnay’ those plans.”

Matt Jones had a third round -1 under par 71, he is now in fourth place on his own. Rickie Fowler shared the low round of the day, carding a -4 under par 68, he is T5 with Ben Curtis, both will need exceptional rounds tomorrow to contest this title.

Phil Mickelson will start the final round  in sixth place, nine shots off the lead. A third round  of even-par 72 put a huge dent into any plans he may have harbored about winning here;

“I feel like I putted really well, I felt really good with the putter. The ball-striking that was there the first two days kind of fell out and I had a tougher time putting them all together. I don’t know if I’ll have a good round tomorrow or not, but it’s close, a lot closer than it’s been.”

Rory McIlroy will start the final round way down the scoreboard, a third round +2 over par 74 kind of saw to that;

” Another uneventful day, I just haven’t really been able to get anything going this week. I feel like I’m playing well, like it’s all pretty much there, just something needs to get going. I’m driving the ball well, iron play feels good, short game feels pretty good. I putted much better today than I did the previous two days. I need a little spark to get me going.

“It’s nice that, just to get a week of competitive play, if there’s any sort of rust or if there’s anything you feel like you need to work on going into next week, it’s good to get it all out of the system this week.”

Shell Houston Open. Sergio Surges Ahead.

dragon logo darkShell Houston Open Logo The Shell Houston Open  was brought to life when Sergio Garcia surged into the lead in round two.

Sergio Garcia's score of 12-under 132 matches the 36-hole low at the Golf Club of Houston. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia / Getty Images

Sergio surged into the lead early on in the second round of the Shell Houston Open, shooting a -7 under par 65 that took him one shot clear of the field at -12 under par for the tournament. He said he feels like he is play nicely, he needed only 25 putts today;

“I do feel like I’m playing nicely, I feel very comfortable with my equipment. I feel comfortable with myself in and outside the golf course.”

Matt Kuchar is just one shot back of the leader, a second round -5 under par 67 saw him climb up the leaderboard, finishing the day at -11 under par.

Matt and Sergio have a history of rivalry that goes all the way back to their amateur days. The two battled it out in the quarterfinals of the 1998 U.S. Amateur as the reigning British and U.S. Amateur champions. Sergio won that time around, and Matt is still quite taken with the way Sergio is playing, even tho he will likely be a Ryder Cup foe later this year;

“He’s fun to watch swing a golf club, he’s been putting it really well for a couple years now, he’s switched over to the claw grip and really rolls it nicely.”

Matt Jones is one of four players tied in third spot, at -8 under par for the tournament, sharing that place with him are, Cameron Tringale, Shawn Stefani and Jimmy Walker.

Matt needs a victory here to qualify him for his first Masters, he missed a chance at the BMW;

“I had a chance on the last hole at BMW Championship, from 6 feet, and I hit a great putt that I thought was in, and it lipped out, and that was the difference between me finishing top 30 and not. But I had a good year, I can’t complain at all.”

The FedExCup points leader, Jimmy Walker, is happy that the putts are dropping in again;

“I feel like I’m hitting it good and my putts are going back in, so I’m looking forward to the weekend and seeing what happens.I think when you’re really playing well, you make a lot of putts. I just kind of went through a stretch where I wasn’t making a ton. I think that plays a lot into it.”

 Local boy Shawn Stefani said it was nice to be playing golf in his home town;

“It’s just nice to come out here and play well at home.”

Phil Mickelson is excited to be in the mix for the week-end;

“I’m excited about the weekend because first of all I haven’t had many opportunities this year. I haven’t been in contention and I can feel my game start to get sharp.”

 Padraig Harrington is one of the notables who are missing the cut, he was disappointed, but will watch on TV;

The Masters is a great tournament. It’s worth watching. I’ll enjoy watching it. It’s disappointing to miss out.”

Padraig is joined in the going home crowd by, Charles Howell IIIJordan SpiethLouis OosthuizenTrevor Immelman and Defending Champion D.A. Points.