Farmers Open. Harris English Leads.

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Harris English leads the Farmers Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego at the mid-way point.

Farmers Open

Harris English / Getty Images

Harris shot a second round -6 under par 66 on the easier North Course to lead the Farmers Open by two shots with his -10 under par total. He admitted to reporters that it is easy to find what is not right with your game, when it is not going well;

“When you start struggling, it’s easy to try to find stuff that’s wrong with your game, wrong with your swing.”

“I definitely was more swing-oriented than playing golf. That’s not me. That’s not how I grew up playing the game.”

“You’re standing over shots thinking about swing positions instead of trying to see your ball flight and trying to play golf. That’s what I was doing the latter half of the year, it was really frustrating.”

“I’ve been having a lot more fun since I know where the ball’s been going these past couple months and I’m looking forward to the next couple years with working with Scott and to see what we can accomplish.”

Tied in third place are three players, all on -8 under par for the competition, Nick Watney, Jhonattan Vegas and Martin Laird.

Nick had a superb second round of -7  under par 65 on the North Course to haul himself up into contention at the week-end. Jhonattan had a steady -3 under par second round and Martin -4 under par, all three on the North Course.

On his own in fifth place is Nick Thompson who struggled round the South Course today carding +1 over par 73 and losing touch with the leaders, he is now at -7 under par overall.

There are some BIG names not making cut, apart from the withdrawn Tiger Woods.

Phil Mickelson continues to struggle, and described his putting performance as pathetic;

“It’s very frustrating for me right now, I felt really ready to start the year and these first few weeks have been very poor.”

“I feel like I’m hitting the ball tee to green quite well, really well, but my putting is beyond pathetic and if I can’t get back to the levels of 2013, I’m not sure what I’m going to do, because this is very frustrating.”   

”It was one of the worst putting performances, and the first few weeks really have been the same way, and you simply can’t compete at this level putting like that.”

Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth all joined the queue to go home early.

Dustin, playing for the first time since a six-month break to get professional help for “personal challenges,” should have used the time to sharpen up his game;

“The last two days, I think normally I probably would be at least five or six under right now instead of even par, but I’m happy with where it’s at. Just a little rusty, that’s all.”

Farmers Insurance Open. Nick Thompson Leads Fog Affected 1st Round

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Nick Thompson leads the fog affected 1st round at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Club in California. Play was suspended for 2 1/2 hours and left 42 players on course still to complete their opening rounds.

Farmers Insurance Open

Nick Thompson / Getty Images

Nick fired a first round -8 under pr 64 to lead the Farmers Insurance Open at the suspension of play in the first round at Torrey Pines Gold Club, on the easier North Course.

Nick reported that the North Course had actually been a pain for him to play in recent times;

“Between the two golf courses, the North Course has been my nemesis in relation to the field.”

“There have been years where I’ve shot lower all three days on the other golf course.”

“So it’s nice to get a good one there, a good start there. I mean, it’s in perfect condition. All the sight lines are good, the fairways are defined well, and I mean it just looks great.”

“The greens are the best I’ve seen the North Course since I turned pro 10 years ago here.”

“It’s not so much the way the North Course looks, it’s how good the South Course looks, and it just feels really good when I step up on it.”

“I don’t think there’s one shot out there that I look at and I go, oh, I dread this shot all day. No, you just know you got to go out there and hit good golf shots.”

Michael Thompson is in second place at -7 under par following his first round of 65, also on the North Course.

Last weeks winner Brooks Koepka and Cameron Tringale are tied in third place at -6 under par with their opening rounds of 66, both on the South Course.

Tiger makes news whatever he is doing, and lately it has been about with-drawing, he did that again today, citing back problems once again. Is this really the end of Tiger Woods ?

“It’s just my glutes are shutting off. Then they don’t activate and then, hence, it goes into my lower back.”

“So, I tried to activate my glutes as best I could, in between, but they just never stayed activated.”

Farmers Insurance Open

Tiger going home / Getty Imges

Best score on the South Course today came from Jhonattan Vegas, a -5 under par 67, for tie in 5th place.

This is a very congested leaderboard and until everyone has played each course you will not really know who is performing the best.

I personally am not a great fan of multiple course formats, the weather plays too much of a part in the proceedings, as far as I am concerned everyone should play the same course each day to make it as equal as it can be.

Coates Golf Championship. Na Yeon Choi Wins

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Na Yeon Choi wins the inaugural Coates Golf Championship at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club in Florida.

Coates Golf Championship

Na Yeon Choi / Getty Images

Na Yeon won the Coates Golf Championship by one shot, a last round -4 under par 68 giving her a winning total of -16 under par.

Na Yeon admitted to a case of the nerves out on the course, it has been nearly two years since her last win;

“I think I was so nervous out there, I was waiting so long for this moment.”

“I think I had a lot of stress from the result.”

“Even if I was top 10 or top five, not many people said you did a good job if you finish as runner-up. They say you are a loser and that hurts me a lot.”

Lydia Ko, now the Worlds youngest ever Number One, tied in second place on -15 under par, with Jessica Korda and Ha Na Jang.

Lydia seemed to be cruising to victory when she suddenly threw in a double bogey six, at the seventeenth hole. She could only manage to par the 18th, a par five, and had to settle for second place, but at the same time be crowned World Number One, breaking the record set by Tiger Woods by almost four years. Her final round a miserly -1 under par 71 not good enough to protect the slim one shot advantage she started with, although she did stretch that lead to four shots on the front nine. She was happy with the Number One Spot in the rankings;

“It’s going to be good, I was here to focus on the tournament itself, but I guess I got a great outcome at the end of the day, too.”

“There was obviously a loss, but there was a huge positive, too. That’s pretty awesome.”

Inbee Park, the deposed former #1 could only finish tied in 13th place,with seven other players, and was full of praise for Lydia;

“She’s probably the straightest player out here. The golf gets easier if you hit the ball straight and you can roll the ball in.”

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Tiger Missing More Than A Tooth.

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Tiger Woods is missing more than a tooth, as his toothless second round of +11 over par 82 left him languishing at the foot of the Waste Management Phoenix Open leaderboard and missing the cut here with his lowest ever round in professional golf. It was raining all day, one can only assume the golfing Gods were crying at the sight of poor Tiger, usually it never rains in Scottsdale.

Leading the tournament is Martin Laird, his second round -5 under par 66 giving him a tournament total of -10 under par, and a two shot lead.

Waste Management Phoenix Open

Martin Laird / Getty Imges

 

Rookie Daniel Berger, who needed a sponsor invite to get into the tournament secured second spot with second round -2 under par 69 for a -8 under par total. He spoke about the friendship and rivalry between him and another Rookie Justin Thomas;

“I was lucky enough to get a sponsor exemption in here. Just thankful for the opportunity.”

“We get to play a lot of golf together. We’re good buddies, we hang out all the time.”

 “Hopefully we get to play together tomorrow.”

Justin Thomas, the other Rookie with a sponsorship invite, has third place to himself, he carded a second round -3 under par 68 for -7 under competition total;

“I’m very pleased. I played really well the last two days.”

“I think the important thing for me is I managed my mistakes well. When I got in trouble, I just kept it in front of me and just tried to salvage as many pars as I can.”

A sad Tiger had six bogeys, two double bogeys, a triple bogey and two birdies in the round.

“It’s golf, we all have days like this, unfortunately, mine was in a public forum, in a public setting.”

Waste Management Phoenix Open

A Sad Tiger / AP

Phil Mickelson played in the afternoon wave and he wasn’t much better, shooting +5 over par  76 and missed the cut by two shots. He thinks that they will both be back and better next week;

“Next week is a course that we have both played well in the past, and hopefully we will be able to get it turned around for next week.”

“I was very optimistic heading into this week. I’m a little more surprised that I had such a struggle today, because I felt after yesterday’s round I was going to really come out today and do something special.”

“So this is disappointing, but I’ll take this time on the weekend and see if I can get my game ready for next week.”

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Darkness Descends on the Desert.

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Darkness descends over the Arizona desert, suspending the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, at TPC Scottsdale, with Ryan Palmer leading. Play was suspended at 5:45 p.m. MT because of the gloom, leaving nine players, out of the 132 starters, to complete their opening rounds on Friday.

At the 16th hole Ryan gave away a dozen golf balls to excited fans, they were wrapped with a $10 dollar bill, with the message “Have a beer on me”

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Ryan shot an opening round of -7 under par 64 to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open by just one shot at TPC Scottsdale.

Wasye Management Phoenix Open

Ryan Palmer / Getty Images

Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson and Daniel Berger are tied second place at -6 under par after their opening efforts of 66.

Bubba said he had a great day;

“A couple breaks went my way right there in the middle stretch of the back nine which kept me going.”

“All in all it was a great day.”

The much heralded return of a resurgent Tiger Woods did not amount to much, he carded a first round +2 over par 73, even though he drove the green on the par 4, 17th hole, a distance of 341 yards. He seems to be struggling with his chipping around the greens, do you think it could be the dreaded Chipping Yips ?

Tiger explained;

“I’m just having a hard time finding the bottom. Because of my old pattern, I was so steep on it, that I have a new grind on my wedge and sometimes it’s hard to trust.”

“I’m ahead of schedule on my speed, look how far I’m hitting it now. I’ve just got to get committed to hitting the club less sometimes. That’s the hard part. I bailed out on a couple of shots because I just don’t believe I have that much speed on my body yet. But I do.”

“This is my second tournament in six months, so I just need tournament rounds like this where I can fight through it, turn it around, grind through it and make adjustments on the fly.”

The second-round tee times are still expected to begin on time at TPC Scottsdale, with the groups starting off the first and 10th tees at 7:30 a.m. The remaining nine players will resume their opening rounds before continuing on with their second rounds. There could also be more delays during the second round, weather forecasts predict a 90 percent chance of rain on Friday with up to a quarter-inch of precipitation expected.

 

 

 

 

 

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, Shanshan Shines.

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Shanshan Feng shines in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, taking a four shot lead on the Majlis Course at the Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

Shanshan Feng / Getty Images

Shanshan had a bogey free -5 under par 67, to give her an Omega Dubai Ladies Masters tournament total of -11 under par, and a four-shot lead going into the week-end. Shanshan does not check the leaderboard while she is playing, but she did speak about her low winning scores;

“I didn’t make as many birdies as I did in the first round, but it was a bogey-free round with five birdies. So I think I did really well.”

“My goal is just top three and if I can achieve that I will be really happy. I am not trying to think about winning or anything.”

“This 21 under is my second best finish after Reignwood where I was 26 under. I don’t think 21 under would be easy to break. I am thinking about it, the plan is to focus on every shot and if I do it, I do it.”

“While I am not really trying to guess where I am at the moment, but I would say I feel comfortable with my current position. I have been in this position quite a few times and I can handle the pressure.”

Charley Hull is in second place, four shots back at -7 under par, a second round -2 under par 70 securing that position on her own. She unfortunately double bogeyed the 18th after hitting her approach shot into water;

“I actually hit a pretty good shot into 18.  The wind really gusted when I hit that shot.  It was gusting anyway.  Hit a half 9‑iron and only had 105 yards to clear it and usually hit my nine about 132.  I hit it a lot less than a full one, but it was quite strong going into that green.”

“I was 4‑under until then but still finished 2‑under which isn’t too bad.  What am I, four, five off the lead, so that’s nothing at all.”

Anna Nordqvist, Noora Tamminen and Gwladys Nocera are sharing third place, all on -6 under par for the tournament.

Anna has her brother on the bag this week, and said she is out to enjoy herself;

“With my little brother on the bag, I am just trying to enjoy Dubai as much as I can.”‘

“The course is in phenomenal shape. You can made a lot of birdies if you hit good shots and get your putting going. Will try to stay aggressive the next two days and just enjoy myself.”

Cheyenne Woods, playing her first tournament in Dubai, stayed in contention, following her opening round 70 with a second round -3 under par 69 to join the group of four ladies at -5 under par. She likes Dubai and spoke about how well the leader Shanshan is playing;

“I really played well and hit the ball well till the end. I may have left a few shots here and there, but overall I am very happy.”

“I love the course and looking forward to the weekend.”

 “Obviously, she is playing very well and I am playing the best that I can. I will do everything I can to keep with the pace. I am not going to try and play outside of myself or do anything crazy because that’s when bad things happen.”

Cheyenne  later went to the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel to follow in the footsteps of her uncle, Tiger Woods, who was the first player to hit shots from the helipad of the seven-star hotel, 10 years ago.

“The experience was just awesome. I have seen the photos of Tiger hitting the ball. How crazy it was and it went viral. It was a cool opportunity for me to get up there.”

 

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

Cheyenne Woods / Getty Images

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

Tiger Woods / Getty Images

Hero World Challenge. Spieth Reigns Supreme.

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Jordan Spieth reigns supreme at the Hero Golf Challenge, with a winning margin of ten shots.

Hero World Challenge

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan dominated his competitors, destroyed the Isleworth Golf and Country Club course and easily won the Hero World Challenge. A final round -6 under par 66 gave his wonderful winning total of -26 under par, and a ten shot victory. He has now won back to back tournaments, previously the Australian Open and now Tigers tournament.

Starting with a seven shot lead in the final round Jordan proceeded to card three birdies in four holes and turned the final three hours into a peaceful walk in the Florida sunshine. He said of that front nine;

“It was the most fun I ever had playing nine holes of golf.”

The 10-shot victory was the largest margin of the year in golf, and broke the tournament record of seven shots that host Tiger Woods had in 2007. He was happy to end his year on high note;

“Whether my emotions showed it or not I’m not sure, but inside we were really very pleased with the year and how it came to a close.”

 “This caps off the best golfing year that I’ve ever had. Each year has been a little better than the last. Hope it continues in 2015.”

For the record, Henrik Stenson won the race for second place, ten shots off the pace at -16 under par. He acknowledged that Jordan had his game under control;

“It was a one-horse race, all the rest of us had to do was battle it out for second, really.”

“He was in pretty much full control of every part of his game.”

Keegan Bradley and Patrick Reed tied for third, -15 under par. Keegan was also impressed with Jordan’s play;

“The kid is playing great.”

“I wanted to go over there and tackle him and break his putter. No, I love Jordan. I’m happy for him. He was pretty much unbeatable this week.”

Tournament host Tiger Woods finished tied in last place, he too acknowledged the special play of Jordan;

”He’s playing some pretty special golf right now.”

It will be fun to watch Jordan and Rory as they tackle the Majors in 2015, there is some really good golf on the horizon.