Valspar Championship. Two Tied at the Top

White Dragon GolfValspar Champ

Two players tied at the top of the Valspar Championship leaderboard, Steve Stricker and Will MacKenzie.

MacKenzie and Stricker are both 5-under par heading into the weekend. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Will and Steve / Getty Images

Both Will and Steve are tied at the top of the Valspar Championship leaderboard with -5 under par totals after 36 holes at the Copperhead Course. Will with a second round -4 under par 67 and Steve with -5 under 66.

Steve holed out for an Eagle, proving that the  strength is starting to return to the 49-year-old, who is credited with having the pure putting stroke;

“There are times I escaped with a few good breaks,  holing out on 10, you don’t expect to do that.”

“And that putt at No. 4 was going pretty quick, and that ended up going in.”

“So some things evidently went my way. I’m starting to play a little better.”

“Definitely putting better. And slowly, things are coming together.”

Tied in third place at -4 under par are  Bill Haas  -4 under 67 today,  Graham DeLaet -5 under 66 and Daniel Berger -3 under 68 in his second round.

The leader board is pretty congested so it is still anybody’s title to take hold of, even maybe defending champion Jordan Spieth, -3 under 68 today, to made the cut by one shot.

It did not look too good for Jordan at the start, hooking his first tee shot of the day on his way to making bogey on the easiest hole on the course;

“I’m walking off that green going, Oh, boy, we can either somehow flip this one around today or,  I don’t want that to be the key of me not being able to be here for the weekend.”

“Today it was all about the cut, all of a sudden I’m over the green on fifteen, kind of sitting down in the bluegrass rough just trying to hope to chip that one to tap-in range.”

” Then all in all, we get finished and we’re back in the tournament.”

“I thought it was really strong what we did after that.”

“This was grinding today. I’ve got some good stuff coming on the weekend.”


Accenture Match-Play. Who Lost on Day 1

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The Accenture Match-Play tournament was most noted for who lost on day 1 of the competition, at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain.

Day 1 recaps: Accenture

Ricky Fowler / Getty

It was a great victory for Ricky Fowler, defeating legendary matchplay exponent Ian Poulter 2-1. Even Ricky thought Poults was on a winner;

“I was definitely an underdog coming in. Heck, if I was filling out a bracket, I would have picked Poulter, too.  It feels like a big win after those missed cuts, it was nice to be the underdog. I had nothing to lose.”

Another Englishman on the wrong side of the leaderboard was Lee Westwood, he was defeated by Harris English 5-3.

George Coetzee, fresh from his win in South Africa, defeated Steve Stricker, an unlikely result at the start of play.

Zach Johnson, coming back from a layoff, lost to Richard Sterne 5-4. Everyone must now wonder if the unenforced rest period was a disaster, as Zach was playing really well beforehand. Another loser on day 1 was Keegan Bradley, falling to Jonas Blixt 2-1. Luke Donald also packed his bags, losing 5-4 to Matteo Manassero.

G-Mac only just made it,  he was four down through seven holes, and still three holes behind with three to play, when he staged an improbable rally against Florida neighbor Gary Woodland

Daily Wrap-up

Graeme McDowell / Getty

Graeme said he was surprised to get through;

“I’m sure he’s extremely disappointed right now, and I’m extremely elated. I’m surprised to be sitting here, having won. Yeah, I hit a couple of quality shots down the last couple of holes, but he had mistakes, as well. It’s a brutal format. I thought it was over, you’re not coming back from 3 down against a guy that’s playing as well as him. Yeah, I’m still going to try to hit my shots. But it required a mistake from him to give me half a sniff, even. It feels like a Sunday afternoon on Wednesday.”

The big names that made it safely through include, Henrik Stenson, the number one seed here, Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, albeit after 22 holes, Jimmy Walker, Justin Rose, Ernie Els, Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson.


The Presidents Cup. The Presidents Men Prevail.

A wounded Tiger Woods won The Presidents Cup, well he would wouldn’t he. Tiger has a habit of converting the winning putt in Team events. Tiger suffered with a back problem on the back nine and looked in pain on the last few holes.

Watch U.S. win Presidents Cup

Tiger Woods shaking hands with Richard Sterne, after he won the necessary point for the Americans / Getty Images

Tiger won a tight match against Richard Sterne 1 up, to clinch the 18th point for the U.S.A. and a win at 18½ points to 15½ points at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio. He said it was a team effort and it felt good;

“It feels good. It was a team effort this whole week. We played well and had a nice lead going into the Singles.”

Amazingly Tiger also clinched the wins at Harding Park four years ago and Royal Melbourne two years ago for Fred Couples, who captained the U.S.A. team for all three of those wins.

American Captain Fred Couples simply said they had out-putted the Internationals, and would not be returning to captain the side again, three times was enough;

“We just outperformed them by making a few more putts. A three-peat is good enough for me.”

PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem will present The Presidents Cup trophy to the winning team in the media center interview room upon completion of play. This modified trophy ceremony will be held as part of the press conferences already scheduled with the two teams. The usual ceremony has been cancelled due to the inclement weather. The rain may have been a factor here in Ohio, but it has not dampened the spirit of the game, nor indeed the spirit of anyone who was involved, players, spectators and staff.

The Presidents Cup heads to Asia for the first time in 2015, the biennial competition will be held at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in the Songdo International Business District , Incheon, Korea.

The singles matches results;

Steve Stricker WINS  1 UP
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Ernie Els

Hunter Mahan

WINS  3 & 2
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Hideki Matsuyama
Jason Dufner

WINS  4 & 3
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Brendon de Jonge
Brandt Snedeker WINS  6 & 4
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Jason Day

Jordan Spieth WINS  1 UP
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Graham DeLaet

Bill Haas WINS  2 & 1
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Adam Scott

Zach Johnson

WINS  4 & 2
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Branden Grace
Matt Kuchar WINS  1 UP
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Marc Leishman

Tiger Woods

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Richard Sterne
Keegan Bradley WINS  2 & 1
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Charl Schwartzel

Webb Simpson HALVED
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Louis Oosthuizen
Phil Mickelson WINS  1 UP
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Angel Cabrera

The Presidents Cup. Americans Ahead in Rain Plagued Ohio

The Americans are ahead in the rain plagued Presidents Cup event at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

On to Sunday

A happy Phil Mickelson & Keegan Bradley / Getty Images

Although the third round matches have not yet been completed the Americans are certain to take the lead going into the final round of singles matches tomorrow. Another rain delay kept the matches from finishing for the second straight day, so four matches will resume Sunday morning, followed by an early start to the 12 singles matches, because of even more rain in the forecast. Since The Presidents Cup began in 1994, no team has ever trailed going into singles and won outright. The United States Team currently lead by 11½ points to the Internationals 6½.

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley were 3 down through seven holes when Phil made two big putts that led to them squaring the match through 14 holes, against Jason Day and Graham DeLaet.

Steve Stricker and Bill Haas went from 1 down to a 2-up lead through 10 holes against Adam Scott and Hideke Matsuyama.

Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar, who are undefeated in all three matches they have played this week, were 2 down against Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge through nine holes.

Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker are 3 up through 12 against Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.

Jason Duffer and Zach Johnson had already beaten Richard Sterne and Marc Leishman 4 & 3. Zach hit the shot of the day, holing out from the fairway on the par 5 fifteenth for an Eagle.

The foursomes will conclude tomorrow, but whatever happens the Americans are in complete control of The Presidents Cup.

International Team Captain Nick Price has not thrown in the towel yet, but The Americans wound up going 4-1 in the Four-balls in the morning session;

“We’re still in pretty good shape, if we can turn one of these games around tomorrow, it would make our life a lot easier going into singles. We had close games that went the U.S. way, we’ve still got another 17 points left. That’s what I keep telling the guys. They’re a little down after what happened this morning. The U.S. has really been unrelenting, they have just played superbly the last three days. Any slip from us and we find ourselves one or two down very quickly.”



The Presidents Cup. It Rained On The Presidents Parade.

It rained again on the Presidents Parade at Muirfield Village Golf Course, delaying once again The Presidents Cup.

Anybody's ballgame

Phil Mickelson & Keegan Bradley / Getty Images

The rain delay of 2 hours and 34 minutes could not stop Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradely romping home 4 and 3 in their foursomes match up against Graham DeLaet and Jason Day. 

Phil had this to say in interview about Keegan, and his hybrid shot over the water;

” Yesterday we just felt a fraction off but today we were on, starting on hole 5, we played some of our best golf together.I would be really worried about carrying the water with a hybrid, it was not even a consideration for him. .

Keegan just likes playing this format with Phil;

“I just think that when Phil and I get rolling in this alternate shot, we complement each other so well. And I was saying that I think that we both really enjoy kind of showing off in front of each other. Whatever Phil says, goes, I’m here to be his partner. It was amazing the theory that he had with the second shots into the par 5s, and they fit me a lot better. It really paid off today big time.”

American Team Captain Fred Couples summed it up thus;

“It was phenomenal golf.”

To even the score on the day  Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge got the point back with a 4 and 3 win over Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan.

These are the only two matches that were completed on this soggy Friday in Ohio, play will resume again at 0735 ET on Saturday morning.

The American Team have a one point lead at 4½ points to 3½ points, with these matched still to complete:

Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieth have a commanding 3 up lead over Branden Grace and Richard Sterne through 14 holes.

Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman are 1 up on Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker through 13 holes.

Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar are 3 up over Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel through 12 holes.

 Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama are 4-up over Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson through 11 holes.

Tough tasks ahead

The Captains, Nick Price & Fred Couples / Getty IMages.

If the yet to be completed rounds finish as they are at the moment, the difference will only be one point.

The Presidents Cup. America May Be Closed For Business, But Its Open For Golf.

The President may have closed America for business, but it is open for golf, with the opening round of The Presidents Cup taking place at Muirfield Village Golf Club, in Dublin, Ohio.

Jordan Spieth & Steve Stricker / Getty Images

Before the rain delay the American Team took control of The Presidents Cup, being up in five matches and square in the other. Play was suspended due to a dangerous weather situation, lightning and rain. Strangely,  the 90-minute delay worked in favor of the International Team, which before today hadn’t lost a Four-Ball session since 2003.

Steve Stricker, playing with Jordan Spieth, made a fantastic up and down from the greenside bunker on the  18th hole, to secure a one point advantage at the conclusion of play on Day 1. They defeated Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge.

 Team U.S.A leading The Presidents Cup by 3 ½ points to 2½ points.

American Captain Fred Couples was delighted with the one point advantage, saying he could not have been happier for Steve to get that last important point;

” We rocked and rolled early, our guys came out firing. The rain delay obviously helped the International Team, which is fine. I couldn’t be happier for Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieth getting that last point.”

The International Team Captain, Nick Price, praised his squad for the way they fought their way back into the contest;

“I think my team made a great effort there coming back.”

Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar drew first blood for the American Team, as they beat Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman by a very decisive 5 and 4 margin.

There had been some speculation about the pairing of Angel, who does not speak too much English, and Rookie Marc, who would probably have benefited better playing with someone who could speak to him and guide him through his first Presidents Cup round.

Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen pulled off the big upset for the International Team as they took down Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, 2 and 1.

Muirfield Village Golf Club member Jason Day and Graham DeLaet, another International Rookie, came back from a 3 down deficit to beat Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker 1 up.

Hideki Matsuyama  made a conceded birdie on the 18th hole to enable him and Adam Scott to halve their match with Webb Simpson and Bill Hass.

Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner raced into the lead, winning the first three holes in their match against Richard Sterne and Brandon Grace and they never looked back, beating the International Team 5 and 3.

The Tour Championship. Henrik’s Haul, 2 Trophies.

Henrik Stenson’s haul at East Lake Golf Course included two Trophies, The Tour Championship, by Coca-Cola and the FedExCup.

Comeback king: Henrik Stenson kisses the Tour Championship trophy

Henrik Stenson / EPA

Henrik won the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola with a final round -2 under par 68 and a total of -13 under par. In doing so he also lifted the fabulous FedExCup, the most prodigious and coveted trophy in the World of Golf on the PGA TOUR. It means you have topped the season long league points table, a most memorable and rewarding accomplishment. It was extra special for Henrik as he is the first European to win the wonderful trophy.

Henrik spoke about his incredible run,

“It’s been an incredible run, I don’t know what to say, I’m speechless. It was a tough day, absolutely, I mean, especially with so many things going on at the same time here. I kind of knew, well, even if I don’t win today, I could still win the FedExCup. Do you want to focus on that? At the end of the day, it was all about going out there and trying my best and try to win this golf tournament because then I knew I was going to leave with two trophies. That was the hard bit to put everything aside, as always, and focus on the right things.  I didn’t play my best round today, but I was hanging in there, took the right decisions.This is obviously the highest of everything, to win the FedExCup and win the TOUR Championship and win the Deutsche Bank two weeks ago. It’s been unbelievable. Yeah, it’s kind of sinking in more and more. To come back, that’s what pays off, the hard work.”

Second place was shared by Steve Stricker, the oldest player in the field, and Jordan Spieth, the youngest player in the field. They both finished the tournament at -10 under par. Jordan had an amazing final round -6 under par 64, and Steve a -5 under par 65, but they could not really put any pressure on Henrik on the day.

Jordan spoke about the pressure today, and his amazing rookie season;

” It’s been a dream come true. It was another round where I felt the same pressure I felt at the John Deere, at the Wyndham.  I really wasn’t looking at the boards. I figured he was up there a ways. He still had 15 to play. So that’s an automatic birdie for him if he hits the fairway.”

Steve was impressed with way Henrik had come back from a huge slump in his career;

“Henrik had a little blip on his screen there for a while, much like everybody. It’s nice to see that he’s put in the work and the energy and the time to get it back and to reach really the ultimate thing in our sport, to win the FedExCup.”

Webb Simpson was in fourth place on his own at -9 under par for the tournament. He had the best round of the day at -7 under par 63, a beautiful bogey free round of golf.