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.

 

 

The Masters. Charlie Charges Ahead.

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Charlie Hoffman charges ahead in the first round of The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, in tough windy conditions.

The Master

Charlie Hoffman / Getty

Charlie carded an amazing -7 under par 65 in the first round of The Masters, to lead the field by four shots.

Charlie put his success down to good putting;

“The putts started going in the hole, as simple as that sounds.”

“I hit it pretty solid in the wind, got away with a few shots and then I was able to make those 15-20 footers in the wind which was nice.”

“I just kept hitting my spots and out here with the wind you end up having 20-footers and that’s sort of what you’re looking for. I was able to pour those in coming down the stretch which was nice and then I hit a few real close at the end which is always a good bonus.”

“Obviously going to sleep on the lead at a Major Championship here at Augusta National is not going to be the easiest thing. I look forward to it and I look forward to the challenge the next three days.”

“If you don’t believe in yourself, who’s going to believe in you?”

William McGirt is in second place at -3 under par, with his opening effort of 69;

“Honestly, I was just trying to figure out how to get it to the house without hurting myself.”

“I was not upset to see it blowing. I love it when it plays tough. I’m not the kind of person that’s going to get in a shootout with anybody.”

Lee Westwood holds third place, with a first round -2  under par 70, he also had a good day with the putter;

“I just made a couple of putts on the back nine and hit it a little bit closer.”

“It was just a matter of being patient and not being too frustrated with being three over on the front nine.”

“I didn’t get aggressive on the tenth, I didn’t get too aggressive at 11, just playing into the right spots, did the same at 12 just waiting for something to happen.”

World Number two Rory McIlroy was in the group at even par on the day,  World Number  one Dustin Johnson had to withdraw, due to in injury incurred during the week, when he fell down some stairs;

“It sucks, it’s tough. I want to play. I’m playing probably the best golf of my career, and I look forward to this tournament every year.”

“And to have a freak accident happen yesterday afternoon after I got back from the course, it’s tough.”

Defending champion Danny Willett is at +1 over after his opening round 73.

 

Shell Houston Open. Missing The Cut List Amazing.

White Dragon GolfShell Houston Open

The list of players missing the cut at the Shell Houston Open is amazing, while leader Sung Kang, from South Korea, opens up a huge lead at the top of the leaderboard.

Getting cut, a week before The Masters were, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Boo Weekly and defending Champion here Jim Herman.

Kang opens huge lead in Houston

Sung Kang / getty

Sung Kang fired a bogey free -9 under par 63 to top the Shell Houston Open leaderboard at -16 under par, and a six shot advantage over the field going into the weekend.

Tied in second place at -10 under par are Hudson Swafford, USA, -5 under 67 today, and Russell Henley, Scotland, also -5 under 67.

Rickie Fowler suddenly went into reverse on the back nine today, dropping four shots on his last seven holes, to card a second round -1 under 71, to drop into fourth place at -9 under par;

“I’m a little mad. It was a nice front nine, made a couple swings that cost me.”

“One swing with a driver on 12, and then a wedge that kind of just took off high left out of the first cut and rode the wind, ended up making double there.”

“Other than that, give those back and I’m in with 68 and in a lot different position.”

“Hopefully enjoy some good weather tomorrow and pray for a miracle on Sunday.”

 “Like I said, I love where my game is at. I know I can go out and play well and shoot low on this course. Hopefully the weather treats us well.”

Jordan Spieth summed his disastrous day and the improvement in his putting;

“Just an off day, ball-striking wise.”

“I made strides in my putting this week, which is something I can take a lot of confidence into next week.”

“I was a bit rough around the edges in my putting last week in Austin, and really felt like I put better strokes on it here.”

“And putting well next week obviously as we know is important considering I didn’t strike it very well last year and was certainly in position to win.”

Valspar Championship. Jim Herman Shoots 62 to Lead.

White Dragon GolfValspar Champ

Jim Herman shoots 62 to lead the Valspar Championship at Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, as darkness caused play to be suspended for the day.

Herman shoots 62, leads Valspar

Jim Herman / getty

Jim carded -9 under par 62 on the par 71 Copperhead Course in the opening round of the Valspar Championship;

“That was a fun round, I don’t think there’s many feelings better than shooting in the lower 60s on the PGA TOUR.”

Russell Henley and Henrik Stenson share second place at -7 under par, with first rounds of 64.

Russell made  more than 110 feet of putts, requiring only 24 today, and leads the field in strokes gained putting;

“I feel like I’m seeing the break well here.”

 “I feel like the greens are running really true, and what I’m seeing, that’s what the ball is doing.”

“I got more and more confident as the day went on.”

Henrik spoke about how important it was to play well here, with The Masters just four weeks away, and with his putter working well;

“I think it’s important, I know how important it was to get that win in Germany at the BMW International Open last year two weeks prior to The Open, and it gives you that confidence, so I’d love to, more than anything, of course, play well.”

“When the putter feels good and short game is in good shape, a lot of times I see it more as guaranteeing having a second shot into around the green or hit the green, even if it’s a longer club.”

“That’s kind of what I’ve done around here the previous two times, and it’s worked out fine.”

The Masters. Wonderful Willett Wins

White Dragon GolfThe Masters

A wonderful final round from Danny Willett from England, won him The Masters tournament at Augusta, his first Major win.

Fate shines on the new father

Danny Willett / Getty Images

Danny fired a final round -5 under par 67, at Augusta,  to lift the first Major title of the year, The Masters, with a -5 under par total. His wife Nicole has just given birth to their first son Zachariah. Danny managed to sink vital putts at the right time;

“The little man was due today, obviously he listened to his dad.”

“This golf course is tough enough if you’re trying to hit shots in-between to firm greens.”

“But luckily we dropped in some good numbers down the stretch, which allowed us to be really aggressive.”

“It’s been crazy, you can’t really describe the emotions.”

“It’s my wife’s birthday back home today, my son was due today and he came 12 or 13 days early to let me come and play.”

“You talk about fate, you talk about everything else that goes with it. It’s just been a crazy, crazy week.”

“It was tough, every time we seemed to make ground, Jordan kept pulling ahead and were just trying to dig in and dig in and try and make birdies after birdies.”

“I thought we had to get to six or seven under and I look at the leaderboard and he’s already at seven.”

“It was just a very surreal day when you look back at the ebbs and flows. We’re just fortunate that the shots we hit were correct at that time and we holed a few putts when we needed to.”

Lee Westwood -3 under 69 today and Jordan Spieth, a very sad +1 over par 73, finished in a tie for second at -2  under par.

Lee commented;

“You come out and contend in the first major of the year, obviously I must be doing something right.”

Jordan collapsed with a quadruple seven at the 155 yard par three 12th hole;

Jordan SpiethJordan Spieth / Getty Images

“Obviously, happy for Danny.”

“More important than golf, he’s had a lot of really cool things happen in his life.”

“Like he said, maybe fate had it this time for him.”

These guys were  a shot clear of Paul Casey -5 under 67 today, J B Holmes -4 under 68 and Dustin Johnson, -1 under 71, all with -1 under par totals for the tournament.