Irish Open. Six Tied at the Top, Rory Misses Cut.

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There are six players tied at the top of the Irish Open leaderboard, but world number one Rory McIlroy misses the cut at Royal County Down Golf Club.

Bernd Wiesberger, Richie Ramsay, Soren Kjeldsen, Chris Wood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rafa Cabrera-Bello all share the Irish Open lead at -3 under par.

If you are wondering how tough the conditions were out there, take a look at Bernd;

Irish Open

Feeling the cold, Bernd Wiesberger / Getty Images

These six leaders are closely followed by two heavy-weights, in the form of three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington and former world number one Luke Donald, both on -2 under par for the competition.

For third year in a row we have to say good-bye to Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut again here, worryingly it follows last weeks cut at the BMW. Rory said he had tried hie best, but the conditions made it very hard.

Irish Open

Rory missing cut / Getty Images

Rory shot an even par round today, but it was not enough;

” I felt like I played OK.”

” I didn’t really; it’s hard like this in the wind conditions. It’s hard even if you give yourself birdie chances, it’s hard to take advantage of them.”

“I was trying out there as hard as I could, I just couldn’t quite get a good run of holes going.”

“I didn’t get any momentum going. I was a couple under through fourteen, but needed a good finish, but  unfortunately wasn’t able to do that.”

“So really, just left myself with too much to do from yesterday. I felt like I played a solid round of golf today, but just wasn’t enough.”

The support out here is phenomenal, it’s going to be the third year in a row that they don’t get to see me play at the week-end.”

“So it’s obviously disappointing, to say the least, more disappointing for them.”

“I”m honestly looking forward to a few weeks off, to get ready for the U.S. Open, but right now it would have been nice to play the week-end at least.” 

 

 

AT&T Byron Nelson. Aussie Steve Bowditch Leads

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Aussie Steve Bowditch leads the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Four Seasons Resort in Texas.

AT&T Byron Nelson

Steve Bowditch /Getty Images

Steve shot a first round -8 under par 62 to lead the AT&T Byron Nelson to sit on top of the leaderboard with a two shot lead, courtesy of some long-range putting success;

Steve lives in Texas now, but does not quite have the home town pulling power with the galleries. He spoke about settling in The Lone Star State;

“I basically threw a dart at the map when I first came over here in 2005, and then ended up marrying me a Texan, so I’m stuck now.”

“Probably my best putting in the way of longer putts made, I typically don’t make a lot of longer putts.”

“You always want to play well, but I guess it is a little more special when you have everyone around that only get to see you play golf once a year.”

“It feels different when I tee off now versus when I was out there then.”

“Obviously, off the course I prepare hard for this and would like to play well and get in contention. But when I’m inside the ropes, it’s just another week. Back then, it was the biggest tournament I’ve ever played in.”

Jimmy Walker is in second place on his own, at -6 under par after his 64, he said some excellent iron play helped him birdie the last three holes;

“I’m a Texas guy and lived here a long time, so yeah, winning in Texas is cool.”

“It was a nice finish. Good iron shots.”

James Hahn and Ryan Palmer share third place, both at -5 under par. Ryan had been letting his caddie do the club selection, but not today;

“We’ve had a good year. We’ve been playing well, so why change that up? “

“You know, it gives me more confidence to hit the shots I want to hit instead of relying on what he’s telling me.”

Ryan missed the cut at last weeks home tournament at Colonial, and wanted to make amends, especially to the fans who gave him a hard time on Twitter;

“I needed a good kick in the butt.”

“Took me a few days to get over it, being my home course at Colonial and the way I played.”

“Plus, I wanted to kind of shut up all the fans that wore me out on Twitter. Hopefully, I calmed them down a little bit.”

James likes to copy other people’s swings, to get the results he wants, this week he copied Charl Schwartzel’s fade swing, instead of his usual draw;

“I got bored, I was missing the ball left. I like the extra distance off the tee but I do want to hit more fairways.”

“Depending on how it goes this week, it could be Charl one day and Justin Rose another day and just kind of go through the list.”

“There’s about a million swings on the Internet. Just trying to figure out who is hot for the week.”

Jordan Spieth had a poor day in front of his home fans. Not as bad a day as Rory McIlroy suffered in his hometown event, Rory carded a +9 over par opening round today. Jordan was still unhappy with his -1 under 69;

“I just didn’t give myself enough looks inside of 15 feet today.”

“That’s the only reason I’m at one under and not better. I felt comfortable driving the ball and striking it.”

Irish Open. OMG Rory Shoots 80.

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World number one Rory McIlroy shoots +9 over par 80 in the first round of the Irish Open, But another home town boy Padraig Harrington has delighted the gallery with his first round performance. Just seven days ago the three-time Major champion was forced to retire, at Wentworth Club, for the first time in his career due to a shoulder injury . Today, he fired a -4 under par course record 67 to tie the lead at his home Open with German Maximilian Kieffer.

Irish Open

Padraig Harrington / Getty Images

Padraig and Maximilian shared the top spot on the first day of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation, both carding course record rounds of -4 under par 67 at Royal County Down Golf Club.

Padraig started slowly but finished with a flourish, making five birdies on the back nine compared to one bogey;

“After nine or ten holes I thought to myself, Come on, we’ve got to hit a good shot, no need to be afraid.”

“I know from experience now that I’m in a position where there’s many ways of competing in this tournament.”

“I’ve two options; play great from now on and try and get away from the field or play average and fight it out on Sunday afternoon.”

Soren Hanson is in third place at -3 under par after his opening round 68.

Rory said nothing went right as he  struggled to his worst score of the season, and is now in danger of missing the cut at his own sponsored event;

Irish Open

Rory McIlroy / A/P

“It was not quite as difficult as I made it look.”

“I was hitting it well on the range, keeping it down and hitting half shots, but the wind was not up that much on the course and I was caught between trying to play two ways. “

“My poor iron play led to missed greens, which led to giving myself a lot of 8- to 12-footers for pars, and that led to missing all of them, worse as I got closer to the green.”

“It’s disappointing because I want to go out there and play well, not just for myself but for a lot of other people.”

“I’ll just have to pick myself up and go out there tomorrow and shoot a good one. I want to give the fans something to cheer about and not just get sympathy claps as I got coming off the ninth green.”

“My goal will be to make some birdies, make my first birdie of the tournament at some point.”

I’ve missed the cut the last two years so I don’t want to make it three in a row. I want to at least go out there tomorrow and fight for it, try to claw my way back towards the cut line and if I can sneak in there, that’ll be great.”

Playing alongside Rory was Rickie Fowler, who carded an opening even par round 71 in his first outing since winning the Players Championship at Sawgrass. Luke Donald went one better with a 70.

 

U.S. Senior PGA Championship. Monty Wins Again.

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Colin Montgomerie successfully defended his Senior PGA Championship title at the French Lick golf course.

 

Senior PGA Championship

Colin Mongomerie / Getty Images

Monty picked up his third senior Major title, the Senior PGA Championship, with a final round -3 under par 69, for a tournament total of -8 under par, and a four shot victory.

He said he was mentally exhausted, the Pete Dye course drained everything from him;

“It was a difficult position to be in at the start of the day, being three ahead.”

“Nowhere to go but down, with every hole out there a potential double bogey. I could never relax. I could never relax at all.”

“Very, very tiring mentally. Every shot had to be executed or you could be in trouble. That’s a test and a half.”

“When I holed the putt at 12, I felt safe, I knew how tough that finish is.”

Esteban Toledo finished in second place, at -4 under par, he also carded a final round -3 under par 69. He said that Monty knows how to win;

“That’s what it takes. He knows how to win.”

“He loves the pressure. There’s nothing I could have done. It was a great week for me. The course was outstanding, the crowds were great. It was a great tournament.”

Not be out done on the last round Woody Austin finished third, at -3 under par on the day and in the tournament.

Crowne Plaza International. Chris Kirk Crowned King of Colonial

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Chris Kirk was crowned King of Colonial Country Club winning the Crowne Plaza International on a sunny Sunday.

Crowne Plaza International

Chris Kirk / Getty Images

Chris carded a final round -4 under par 66, to post a winning total of -12 under par to win the Crowne Plaza International at Colonial.

Chris had not played well, especially with the driver, so elected to use a three wood on the last tee, a sensible play;

“I just didn’t think I was going to hit it anywhere on the planet, to be honest with you. It didn’t really feel like I was swinging that great early on in the week but somehow I was able to get it done.”

“I was as nervous as I’ve ever been today for sure, those up and down on the last couple of holes and especially making that putt on 18 was pretty sweet. Something I’ll never forget.”

“Kind of surprised that I’m sitting here with y’all at the moment.”

“To be able to do it when I didn’t really feel like I quite had it, is a huge step for me.”

“Just to be a part of the history of this tournament is really just amazing to me.”

Chris is an admirer of Ben Hogan, and now his name will also be engraved on the Wall of Champions;

“He’s always been the standard and still is, and will be for a long time, I would imagine, to now have even just a little bit of an association with him is very special.”

Three players all tied for second place at -11 under par, Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth and Jason Bohn.

Jason had an incredible round of -7 under par 63, and agonized over his last putt, that lipped out and would have given him a 62, and also a place in a play-off. He absolutely thought the putt was dropping in;

“I totally thought I made it.”

“I was hitting good shots and I was making putts, it was playing very soft and you could play very aggressive, so I just kept trying to push the pedal down and keep firing at flagsticks.”

Jordan made a mistake at the 184 yard par three 16th, all pumped up by the crowd he airmailed the green with a 7 iron;

“I just took the wrong club, you’ve got to hit 8-iron there below the hole. Tried to hit a 7 and kind of punch it in there, maybe get it a little too close to the hole.”

“Ninety nine percent of the time, I make the right decision and stay below the hole. We made the wrong decision today, and it cost us.”

“For being on my third year and being in that position a lot, it was a mistake that shouldn’t happen.”

Brandt had the opportunity of a birdie putt at the final hole, from about 12 feet, that would have put him in a tie for the lead,  and force a playoff. But he sadly pulled it;

“I’ve seen that putt hit here a thousand times, I know exactly how you’re supposed to hit and it was my worst putt of the day.”

“Disappointing because that’s kind of my strength and to hit a bad putt like that when it matters is doubly hard.”

The International leaderboard had a very Stars and Stripes look to it, the best International players were Canadian Adam Hadwin, and Englishman Ian Poulter both of them in a group tied at -10 under par.

Poults could only manage a final round of even par, and is stuck with that under achievers tag again;

“I’m just disappointed that obviously I didn’t get the job done, I really should have and I didn’t do it. I didn’t play well enough today.”

The others in the -10 under group were; Pat Perez, Kevin Kisner and George McNeill.

Crowne Plaza International

Chris and Trophy / Getty Images

 

 

BMW PGA Championship. Record Breaking Rookie Wins

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Record breaking rookie, South Korean  Byeong-hun An wins the BMW PGA Championship, finishing at -21 under par and beating the previous tournament record by two shots, at Wentworth Club West Course on Sunday.

BMW PGA Championship.

Byeong-hun An / Getty Images

Rookie Byeong-hun carded a fabulous bogey free final round -7 under par 65, to win the BMW PGA Championship with a -21 under par total, and a massive six shots ahead of his nearest challenger.

Obviously he was over the moon with his maiden European Tour win, and securing a place in the US Open and Open Championship;

“I’m still really excited and over the moon right now.”

“I wasn’t expecting this. I didn’t know that a win was this close. It came all of a sudden. I’ve been playing well all year but I never thought I would win this event.”

“I played really well today. I was nervous at the start of the day but confident on every hole because I was hitting it well and putting nicely. I made some mistakes but being bogey-free I think is very good out here.”

“It was great to go into the last hole with a six-shot lead and I love that I’m the first Asian to win this event. It’s great.”

“It’s like a fifth Major to me. It’s the biggest title I have won and gets me into a lot of events. This is life-changing.”

BMW PGA Championship

Byeong-hun and Champagne / Getty Images

Miguel Angel Jiménez and Thongchai Jaidee were tied in second place, those six shots off the pace at -15 under par for the tournament.

England’s Chris Wood, who suffered a broken wrist earlier in the year, finished in fourth spot, a last round -6 under 66, which included an Ace at the 179 yard par three 14th, and gave him a total of -13 under par. The Ace also came with the reward of a  BMW i8, Chris went over to the car, and squeezed in the gull-wing door and tried it out for size;

“I just about fit in there.”

BMW PGA Championship

Chris Wood and BMW i8 / Getty Images

“Last night at the hotel I bumped into Miguel [who had the tenth hole-in-one of his career on Saturday] and I said, another hole-in-one, when is it my turn?”

“All the players took on the 14th on Tuesday when we have a practice round and we think, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice, a BMW i8?’ You never think that it’s going to happen to you.”

“I hit a great shot and it was a bit of a delayed reaction because you hear two cheers; one sounded like it just missed and the second one it went in.”

“It was a long winter at home and you do worry whether you’re going to come back to the player you were, but to finish top five in a marquee event here at Wentworth is a big boost in confidence.”

 

Crowne Plaza International. Kevin on Course at Colonial.

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Kevin Na is on course for victory at Colonial, in the Crowne Plaza International.

Crowne Plaza International

Kevin Na / Getty Images

Kevin will take a one shot lead into the final round of the Crowne Plaza International at Colonial. He had a third round score of -1 under par 69 for a total of -11 under par. The tee times have been moved up again for tomorrow due to a rainy Sunday forecast.

Kevin thinks there is a low round hiding out there somewhere, and he is worried that the low round of the day will win the title;

“It’s out there but it’s hiding somewhere, it’s hard to find because you have to be so precise off the tee, second shots, putts and everything.”

“I know the hole locations tomorrow are going to be difficult. So honestly, I don’t really see a 61 or 62. Maybe a 63 or 64. Maybe.”

“Not as much fireworks as the first few days, but overall I was pleased.”

“I’ve had a pretty successful career except I think I lack in wins, I think it’s time for me to catch up to that number that I need to be at.”

Poults is seeking his first stroke-play win in the U.S. and will be in a good frame of mind if his team Arsenal win in the English Premier League tomorrow. He is currently in second place at -10 under par;

Crowne Plaza International

Ian Poulter / Getty Images

“It’s very easy to think too far ahead, there’s a few good guys right behind that are only a couple of shots off. I just have to focus on the first hole tomorrow.”

“I won’t be thinking anything past that, to be honest.”

“I can always deal with another plaid jacket in my closet. It will look just fine with my outfit tomorrow.”

“Hopefully we can get some golf in tomorrow, we’re going to have to wait and see what the weather’s going to do with us.”

Kevin and Poults are aware that they have lots of company in the quest to sport the tartan jacket, there are sixteen golfers are within five strokes of the lead.

Charlie Hoffman is in third place, despite his bad back, at -9 under par following his -4 under par third round of 66, saying it was the best he could have done;

“I probably couldn’t have shot much lower than I did.”

“I think we’ll play probably into Tuesday if need be.”

Defending Champion Adam Scott is trying to become the first player to successfully defend this title, Ben Hogan is the only player so far to do so, he actually did it twice.

Adam is four shots off the lead T10 at -6 under, but once again mentioned the putting;

“I’m going to need a round where they do all go in tomorrow, obviously it’s about giving yourself a lot of chances out there.”

“But you’ve got to make some putts, and as long as I keep hitting good ones, they might go.”

The organizers have made a 54-hole cut, to reduce the field to top 70s and ties. Those players who will not play on Sunday are; Jarrod Lyle, Harrison Frazar, Steve Wheatcroft, Chad Collins, Patrick Rodgers, John Peterson and Kyle Reifers.