FedEx St Jude Classic. Daniel Berger Wins Maiden PGA Tour Title

White Dragon GolfFedEx St. Jude Classic

Daniel Berger has claimed his first PGA Tour title, the FedEx St Jude Classic, at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee.

Daniel Berger celebrates with the trophy after winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic during the final round at TPC Southwind. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)Daniel Berger/Getty Images

Daniel cruised to his maiden PGA Tour win at he FedEx St Jude Classic with a three shot victory after carding a final round -3 under par 67, to post winning total of -13 under par.

The turning point for Daniel was the par three 14th, making a 32 ft birdie putt there;

“If that putt didn’t go, then maybe I wouldn’t have been so free on the next one and who knows what would have happened.”

“I think you’re either born to be a competitor or you’re not, I just want to win in whatever I do.”

“It’s just a dream come true to finally be a champion.”

Three players tied for second place, at -10 under par, Brooks Koepka, -4 under par 66 today, Steve Stricker, -3 under 67, and Phil Mickelson who carded a final round -3 under par 67, in his warm up tournament to the U.S. Open next week;

“I had a couple opportunities on the back that I let slip, but for the most part I hit a lot of good shots.”

 “It almost feels like the U.S. Open came a week early to finish, second place.”

“Last week I struck the ball very well. This week I putted very well.”

“If I put them both together next week, it’s going to be a good week.”

“I just couldn’t catch him, but I’m coming out of this week with a lot of positives and some good momentum.”

Dustin Johnson was in fifth place at -9 under on his own, after his great last round -7 under par 63, the low round of the day;

“The game is actually really good, the first couple of rounds, I don’t know whether it was the heat or what, but I just, wasn’t getting the scores out of my rounds that I thought I should.”

“I just gave away so many shots the first three rounds.”

“I’m real comfortable, real confident going into next week.”

 

 

 

FedEx St Jude Classic. Berger Breaks Away.

White Dragon GolfFedEx St. Jude Classic

Daniel Berger breaks away from the field in the third round of the FedEx St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis.

Berger holds ground in Memphis

Daniel Berger / getty images

Daniel carded a third round -1 under par 69, in hot and sticky conditions, to break away from the FedEx St Jude Classic field with his -10 under par tournament total, giving him a three shot lead going into the final round tomorrow.

Daniel is searching for his maiden PGA Tour win, and will try to do it his way;

“I just have to be myself.”

“I feel like when you’re kind of in this position you can kind of try to do things that normally you wouldn’t do and just got to have fun out there and be myself and see what happens.”

“If it was Tiger Woods behind me, I would have the same mentality.”

“It doesn’t matter. It’s golf. The golf course doesn’t know who is playing it, so I’m just going to go out there and be aggressive and have some fun, and that’s all I can do.”

Three players are tied in second place at -7 under par, Phil Mickelson, -2 under 68 today, Steve Stricker, -4 under 66, and D.A. Points who returned the low round of the day, a bogey free -6 under 64.

Phil wobbled a bit at the end of his round, and he needed to make an 18ft putt from just off the green to save par on the last hole, but is happy to be in the second to last group on Sunday;

“That was good because I had bogeyed 17.”

 “You can make a bogey out here. It’s a tough golf course.”

“There weren’t a ton of under par rounds today. You don’t want to follow bogey with bogey.”

“You always want to come back with a birdie or par. It was a good way to finish the round.”

“That’s always an advantageous spot if you can get off to a good day, it’s much more difficult to follow birdies than it is to lead by them.”

Seung-Yul Noh, -3 under 67, Colt Knost, -3 under 67 and Brooks Koepka -1 under 69, all share fifth place at -6 under par for the competition.

Valspar Championship. Two Tied at the Top

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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

WINS  1 UP
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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.