U.S. Open. Jordan and Patrick tied at the Top.

White Dragon GolfChambers Bay

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed are tied at the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard, on a Chambers Bay Golf Club course that was manufactured from a disused gravel pit and sewerage works, and at times played like it, as many of the worlds best golfers were washed down the toilet.

U.S. OpenU.S. Open

                                           Jordan and Patrick / Getty Images

There was drama as well as brilliant play here today, although the leading score of -5 under par has not been increased from yesterday’s total. Jordan shot a -3 under round while Patrick could only better his total by one with a -1 under par 69.

Jordan said he could not compare his position here with the Masters event, and was also concerned about the USGA using a forward tee at the 18th, and changing it to a par 4 in the middle of the U.S. Open;

“It’s playing different, and I’m in a very different position. I’m not going to have a five-shot lead.”

“So given it’s a U.S. Open, I imagine they’re going to try to bring us back to par;

“So I’ll draw some on Augusta, but at the same time, my patience level has to be even that much higher.”

This {the 18th} is the dumbest hole I’ve ever played in my life.”

“I was really frustrated walking off the tee box.”

Patrick actually agreed with my assessment of yesterday, that this was Mickey Mouse golf;

“I actually felt it was a pretty disappointing round.”

“To have five or six bogeys, didn’t get up and down once, I was zero percent on up-and-downs today.”

“I hit the ball in the middle of the green on 18 and have no chance to putt a normal putt and stop near the hole, and have to play Mickey Mouse golf to try to make par, unfortunately is a bad way to end the day.”

“But we’re in a good position and we hopefully can have a good weekend and have a chance to win.”

The drama came from Jason Day, who collapsed while walking down the 18th fairway, his last of the day. He recovered well enough to finish the hole posting a bogey 5 and sits T9 at -2 under par for the tournament. If he will take any more part in this competition, we will have to wait until tomorrow and see if he gets onto the tee.

More drama from Tiger Woods who posted his worst ever 36 hole total as a professional in his career, +16 over par, and missing the cut in the process. He had this to say today;

“I hit it a little bit better today, but, again, I made nothing today.”

“I didn’t make any putts the first two days; I hit it better today. Hitting some spots where I could hit some putts; I made nothing.”

 “Just continue practicing, continue working on it. And hopefully it will be a little bit better.” 

“Obviously, I need to get a little better for the British Open, and I’ll keep working at it.”

On the plus side of the register, Dustin Johnson and Brandon Grace are tied in third place, both at -3 under for the competition.

The only thing I can say is that just about everyone has criticized not just the course but the change made to the lay-out, in the middle of a tournament. There are only 16 players who are under par, and the defending Champion Martin Kaymer did not make the cut, which was set at +5 over par.

This course is so poorly prepared that they had to bring in a local rule that stones in the bunker are not immovable, but may be lifted. So even after seven years the bunkers are full of stones, and this is the U.S. Open.

 

115th U.S. Open. Gruesome Greens Grab Attention.

White Dragon GolfChambers Bay

The gruesome greens at Chambers Bay Golf Club grabbed everyone’s attention in the first round of the U.S. Open. At the end of the day Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson shared the lead, while at the other end of the table, Tiger Woods +10 over and Rickie Fowler +11 crashed spectacularly. The fescue grass experiment is not off to a great start, especially as the older greens have never really taken hold properly, and they have been infiltrated by poa annua clumps. The early morning starters had the best of the day.

U.S. Open

Dustin Johnson on his way to par the 10th / all pics Getty Images

Dustin and Henrik shot open rounds of -5 under par 65 at the 115th U.S. Open at the much maligned Chambers Bay Golf Club in Washington.

Dustin reported that he is playing with confidence, hitting good irons shots;

“Hit a lot of quality iron shots, the confidence is definitely there.”

Henrik said he had a good day on the greens;

“It was a good day on the greens in all, but especially the last five holes.”

 “I hit some beautiful putts and managed to slip a few in there.”

Patrick Reed, with a -4 under par 66, for third place alone reported that he definitely missed a few putts;

” All I had to do was get the ball to the hole and it had a chance of going in. I made some long putts, but I also feel like I missed a lot of good opportunities.”

Matt KucharBen Martin and the amateur Brian Campbell are tied in fourth place at -3 under par. They are followed by a group of payers at -2 under par.

Phil Mickelson was happy with his start, -1 under par 69 and T14, as he chases the career Grand Slam this week, but did criticize the greens;

“The first round was the round I was going to be most nervous at, getting started.”

“You don’t want to have to fight to come back all the time. You want to get off to a solid start around par.”

“I think the biggest challenge is that the green speeds are different from green to green, that’s going to wreak havoc on our touch.” 

“What I found is that they’re not the most true surfaces downhill, because you can’t hit it hard enough to hold the line. But uphill they seem to hold the line just fine.”

“I might have to factor that in, in how I play some shots now, because I think the percentage of made putts uphill from three to nine feet is going to be quite a bit higher than downhill.” 

US Open

Rory McIlroy, at +2 over par was not quite so outspoken;

“I just didn’t quite have it with the putter today, and that’s something that I need to get right over the next three days if I want to have a chance.”

“I still feel like if you make a good enough stroke and you have the right speed, there’s a good enough chance the ball will go in.”

US Open

Sergio Garcia, who started with an even par first round and T26, took to twitter to post;

“Happy with my Even par round today although it could’ve been a bit better by the way I played but this greens are as bad as the look on TV.”

 

Memorial Tournament. David Lingmerth Wins in Play-Off

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David Lingmerth wins the Memorial Tournament in play-off against Justin Rose at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Memorial Tournament

Jack and David / Getty Images

David shot a last round – 3 under par 69 to equal the Memorial Tournament total of Justin Rose at -15 under par, setting up a play-off for the title.

Memorial Tournament

David and Justin / Getty Images

The three-hole playoff was the longest in Memorial Tournament history and with David having lost his previous two play-offs. Sweden has won on the European Tour and PGA this week a first time event I think. David gave credit to his Uncle for getting him to play golf in the first place. He spoke about the 20ft putt that Justin dropped in at the first play-off hole, thinking before that he could win the tournament right there, and then he had to sink his 10 footer just to stay in it;

“It’s an honor being here, and winning is surreal.”

“If I didn’t have him, I might not even have played golf, he’s pushed me and tried to get me to the mindset that I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

“Playoffs are exciting and my heart was beating, but I think I handled it pretty well.”

”I was thinking to myself that I’d probably have a putt to win the tournament right there,’ and then he drops it in, and this big, huge roar.”

“Crazy feeling. So I took a few moments just to let the crowd and myself calm down because I knew how big that next putt was going to be.”

“I’ve been in a few playoffs. You win some, you lose some. But I didn’t feel that it was my turn to lose this time. I was telling myself that I was going to make that putt.”

Justin lost a three shot lead at the start of play, he talked about David making that putt and the poor drive on the 3rd play-off hole that lead to defeat;

”He needs to look back at that putt that kept it going on the first extra hole, he did everything he needed to.”

“I hit pretty much as good a shot as I could hit from the lie, I just tried to dig out a 3-wood.”

“I was trying to get it in the left bunker, and I couldn’t quite get enough cut on it to get it to the left bunker. But I was pretty much aiming 80 yards left of the green.”

”When I made that putt on the first extra hole, I thought, wow, I’m going to steal this one, but it wasn’t to be.”

 Jordan Spieth tied in third place , he closed with a -7 under par 65 and finished up only two shots behind the leaders in a tie with Francesco Molinari  at -13 under par.

Jordan said the Golfing Gods were not with him today;

“The golf gods were not on my side today.” 

“They were certainly a little nicer today than they have been. But I would call it kind of evening out over the day.”

“On a course like this, you’re going to get some unlucky breaks more than you will catch good ones just given how tough it is.”

Best not to ask about Tiger Woods who obviously finished in last place, by a long shot.

 

Memorial Tournament. Lingmerth Leads.

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David Lingmerth, from Sweden, leads the Memorial Tournament at the half-way stage at Muirfield Village Golf Club, in Ohio.

Memorial Tournament

David Lingmerth / Getty Images

David had a second round -7 under par 65 to lead the Memorial Tournament after 36 holes with a -12 under par total.

David, who usually makes slow starts to rounds, yesterday he was  +2 over par after four holes, but has made 14 birdies and no bogeys since;

“All of a sudden I just started playing the way I know I can, and it was pretty stress-free after those four holes yesterday.”

David got his first set of clubs, and some coaching from his uncle Goran, who played in the NFL, with the Cleveland Browns;

“I got my first set of clubs from him when I was 12. If I didn’t have him, I might not even have played golf.”

“He’s pushed me and tried to get me to the mindset that I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

“So he’s been a good inspiration in so many ways. When I moved over here for college, he was like my second dad.”

Jason Dufner is in second place at -11 under par, carding a second round -5 under par 67, and in the first two days has scored four eagles,  a hole-in-one with a six iron at the 201-yard, par-3 16th hole. Jason is only the third player, since 1983, to card an ace and three other eagles in his first 36 holes of a PGA TOUR stroke-play event.

Jason actually spoke to the media today, about the hole in one;

Memorial Tournament

Hole in One / Getty Images

“It looked pretty good from my vantage point.”

“I’m hitting it really good, I’m having enough good holes, good shots, to offset some of the mistakes I’ve had.”

“Probably the best I’ve ever done.” 

Tied in third place are Ryan Moore and Andy Sullivan, at -10 under par. Andy shot the low round of the day, -8 under par 64, while Ryan carded a second round -5 under par 67.

 Andy has won twice on the European Tour in 2015, but is making his first stroke-play start in the United States. His only other start in the U.S. came at this year’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play;

“I’m just grateful for Mr. Nicklaus and Don Sullivan to give me the invite to come out and have the opportunity to play. So I’ll try and take full advantage of it.”

The defending champion Hideki Matsuyama is in a group of six players all at -9 under par.

Memorial Tournament

Hideki Matsuyama / Getty Images

Hideki did not play as well today as the first round;

“Today was back to the same old grind. So it’s right to the practice range right now and see if I can get it figured out. I’ll be there a while.”

Joining Hideki on -9 under are, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk, Francesco Molinari, Brendon Todd and Patrick Rodgers.

Tiger Woods made the cut on the number, -1 under par, but insists he is making progress;

 “That’s the whole idea of going forward. You have to be able to do it on the golf course, even if it’s bad.”

Memorial Tournament

Tiger Woods / Getty Images

 

 

 

The Memorial Tournament. Two Tied at the Top.

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There are the two players tied at the top of the Memorial Tournament at Jack’s place, Muirfield Village.

The defending Champion / Hideki Matsuyama/ Getty Images

The defending Champion / Hideki Matsuyama/ Getty Images

The defending champion Hideki Matsuyama and Bo Van Pelt opened the Memorial Tournament with -8 under par 64, to share the first round lead.

Hideki said he just found some magic overnight;

“To be honest with you, up until yesterday I was not hitting the ball very well, I was not chipping very well, I was not putting very well.”

“I don’t know what happened overnight, but I just caught magic.”

“To be honest with you, when I made the turn at four under, I was just trying to hold onto four under”

“And then to make a couple more birdies, it was a real bonus.”

“It’s a really good second-shot golf course. That plays into my strength.”

Bo Van Pelt hails from Richmond, Indiana, which is only two hours away from Dublin, Ohio. He has been coming to Jack’s place since he was a child;

Memorial Tournament

Bo Van Pelt / Getty Images

“Richmond is literally the first town when you cross the border on I-70.”

“I think anytime you come to a golf course where you’re excited to be there, I think that that has a lot to do with it.”

“I don’t get to see my family from Indiana, my sisters and my mom and dad very often. And they always come over. So it’s just a fun week for us.”

“Other than the Masters, this tournament means more to me than any one I’ve ever played.”

 “So it’s always good to play well around a place that means a lot to you.”

Jason Dufner and Russel Knox are tied in third place at -6 under par, two shots off the lead.

Tiger Woods in his long-awaited return to golf shot a +1 over par 73, he spoke about the barren winless streaks, which always ended with long successful streak, he is confident it will happen again;

“I’ve gone through phases like this, rounds like this, where yeah, it’s easy to revert back and go ahead and hit some old pattern.”

“But it doesn’t do you any good going forward. And I’ve done it. Sometimes it’s taken me about a year and then it kicked in and I did pretty good after that.”

“If you believe in it, do it. And eventually it will start turning.”

“And when it turns, I’ve had periods where I’ve played good for four or five years, where I’ve won close to 20 tournaments in that stretch.”

Memorial Tournament Round 1 recap in under 60 seconds

 

 

 

The Players. Day 2. Two Tied at the Top

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There are two players tied at the top of The Players, Jerry Kelly and Kevin Na both had good rounds today, while some big names failed to make the cut.

The Players

Kevin Na / Getty Images

Kevin and Jerry hold a two shot lead at -8 under par for 36 holes at The Players at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.

Jerry with a magnificent -7 under par 65 against Kevin’s more modest -3 under par 69 to both get to -8 under par for the tournament.

Kevin has overcome a terrible bout of “The Yips” which at times prevented him from taking the club back;

“I had the yips, that’s what it was.”

“A lot of the guys when you have that, they fall off the planet.”

“They play poorly and nobody really sees and hears about it. But the weird case was, I was playing some of my best golf and I couldn’t take the club back.”

“How does a guy not take the club back every time he hits it, and it goes down the middle?”

“I don’t know. Do you want to open up my brain and check it out? I don’t know. I try to not think about it. I got over it.”

“Having the yips, I think because I went through that, I’m a better player now.”

“I hope people get over that and see me as just a guy that’s playing well on TOUR versus a guy that couldn’t take the club back.”

Bernhard Langer is a player who could not control the putting yips, which is why he uses the Long Putter. Not sure if Bernhard will retire from golf at the end of this year, when long putters will be banned. On the other side of the coin, Bernhard holds the record for the most birdies made at the treacherous 17th in The Players, some 25 of them in his career. Ironically he also holds the record for the longest putt holed at the 17th, 59 feet 9 inches. Sadly He missed the cut here this year.

The Players

Jerry Kelly / Getty Images

Jerry carded a -7 under par 65 second round, and reported that he lives on adrenaline;

“I enjoy adrenaline, I am 48. I know it almost ravages the body as much as it helps it as you start getting older, but I would like to hang out for another couple of days and have some fun with it.”

“I figured I would have another chance at this golf course, I didn’t think it would be that long, but it’s just strange. This whole career has gone by in the blink of an eye.”

There are four players tied in third place, two shots back at -6 under par for the tournament, Branden Grace, David Hearn, Chris Kirk and the ever-present Rickie Fowler.

Rickie could have had second place on his own, but a loose shot on the par 5 16th found water, leading to a bogey.

Rickie and Ian Poulter were tied in a magazine survey with 24 percent of the vote, for the most overrated player on tour. Rickie was not worried about the comments of his peers;

“If there’s a time where I need something to kind of give me a kick in the butt, then I can think of that and it will put me in the right frame of mind to go out there and take care of business.”

 World number one Rory McIlroy stumbled a bit today, he too could have been better except for a trip to the water. He finished with a -1 under par 71 and a -4 under par total;

“A lot can happen, and I feel like I’m in a decent position.”

Tiger made the cut on the number, but Phil Mickleson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald all had to go home early.

Phil was left wondering how he ever won here;

“I was thinking to myself as I was walking around, `I can’t believe I’ve actually won here,’ you know?”

 

 

The Players. 1st Day, Four-Way Tie.

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There is a four-way tie at the top of The Players on the 1st day at TPC Sawgrass.

The Players

One of the four, Canadian David Hearn / Getty Images

For all the hype about the big guns at TPC Sawgrass the four who share the lead on the Stadium Course at -5 under par, are all middle order players, David HearnHideki Matsuyama, Kevin Na and Charlie Hoffman carded opening rounds of 65.

Playing the course backwards Charlie was bombing along, until his tenth hole, which was the 1st, where he managed to rack up a triple bogey;

“Obviously, you don’t ever want to take a triple, double, quad, whatever it is.”

“But at least I gave myself time to get them back. It’s better than doing it on the 72nd hole, I can guarantee you that.”

“I’ve made enough triple bogeys in my life, I’m not going to let it ruin my day too much.”

“And I’m probably going to make a few more in my lifetime. It’s one of those things, first round of the tournament, sort of took it with a grain of salt, knew there were plenty of birdies out there.”

David wants to stay focused, saying there is still a long way to go;

“Two of my best swings of the day were on 18 and that gave me a lot of confidence going to the front nine.”

“We’ve got a long way to go here, my focus is just to get out there again tomorrow and just to keep enjoying hitting good shots.”

Kevin is fully aware of the difficulty of this Stadium Course;

“It’s a difficult golf course, and if you’re not on top of your game, it’s going to be very difficult to score.”

“There’s some holes out there where you just have to play it safe, maybe make sure you get it in play and then when you have a chance to get aggressive you have to pull off the perfect shot.”

Hideki putted well, and was very happy with the result, reported through a translator;

“I putted very well today, that was the difference.”

 “Probably starting from last week I started putting a little bit better, and it just carried over into today. I was very happy about that.”

World number one Rory McIlroy started OK, finishing the day at -3 under par after his first round 69. He said making 14 pars was good going on this course;

“I think that’s what this course is all about, it’s about staying patient.”

“There’s a lot of pars on my card, but I was able to pick off a couple of birdies and a nice eagle on 16. I’m happy with the start, for sure.”

World number two Jordan Spieth had another of those off days, shooting +3 over par 75, he needs to find some answers, to avoid missing the cut;

“It’s just one of those days where I started maybe looking into it a little too much rather than just accepting it and going forward.”

“Just going to have to find some answers. Just a really, really poor day.”

Tiger Woods opened with +1 over par 73, he even found a creek with a tee shot on the par three 8th hole, which he did not know was there, the shot was some 40 yards short of the green he was aiming for;

“I didn’t know it was there until now, probably the highest score I could have shot today.”