Career Builder Challenge. TOUR rookie Dominic Bozzelli Leads.

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PGA TOUR rookie Dominic Bozzelli leads the Career Builder Challenge at La Quinta Country Club, California, on the Stadium Course at PGA WEST.

Bozzelli leads at PGA WEST

Dominic Bozzelli / getty

Dominic carded a first round -8 under par 64 on the more difficult Stadium Course to lead the Career Builder Challenge, in cold and wet conditions;

“Been working hard back home, doing all right things on and off the course, and it’s nice to come out and have that hard work pay off.”

In second place on the leaderboard are four players at -7 under par, Patton Kizzire and Jhonattan Vegas -7 under par 65 on the Tournament Course, Hudson Swafford, and Harold Varner 111, 65 at La Quinta.

Making it’s debut on the PGA Tour, was Phil Mickelson’s new “Jumping Logo” reminding us of  his leaping celebration in the 2004 Masters.

Phil Mickelson plays his shot from the third tee during the first round of the CareerBuilder Challenge in Partnership with The Clinton Foundation at La Quinta Country Club on January 19, 2017 in La Quinta, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Phil hit a poor first tee shot, not in any real trouble, but he decided to hit a provisional, just to warm up his swing for the next tee. Phil is coming back to golf after surgery, and said he is feeling fine, shooting a first round -4 under 68 at La Quinta, to be T25;

“I feel fine,” I’ve been able to work out the last two weeks. And again, you start out real slow, but you get back to it, you get it back pretty quick.”

“I struck it horrible, but I scored out of my mind.”

“So, I’m very happy with it. My first round of golf was Saturday and I’ve been able to work out just the last two weeks.”

“That next hole, the second hole’s an extremely difficult drive and I wanted to just get another swing.”

“It was really a great day for me because I scored so much better than I played.”

 “And when I finally did hit some really good shots I ended up close and made a few birdies.”

“And when I hit some really bad shots, and I hit some really bad shots,  I was still able to salvage some up-and-downs for pars.”

Abu Dhabi Championship. Henrik Stenson 1st Round Leader.

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Henrik Stenson is the first round leader of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the Emirates.

Abu Dhabi Championship

Henrik Stenson / getty

Henrik shot a bogey free -8 under par 64 to lead the after the first round of the Abu Dhabi Championship, and said he was delighted with the effort, especially his good putting;

“It must be the lack of practice that does it, lack of sleep, lack of practice.”

“I’m delighted with that score. I think I scored a bit better than what I played but I kept it under control somewhat and hit a couple of close iron shots and made the putts.”

“It wasn’t too much stress out there.”

“I think if you finish off playing pretty well like I did at the Hero World Challenge, there’s nothing that says you can’t pick it up where you left it.”

Tied in second place at -6 under par are, Martin Kaymer, Oliver Fisher, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, and Marc Warren, all with rounds of 66.

Next were Rafa Cabrera Bello, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Julien Quesne , all with rounds of -5 under par 67.

Sony Open. Justin Duly Wins at the Big “W”

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Justin Thomas duly wins in Hawaii at the Sony Open at the Big “W” the Waialae Golf Club.

Sony Open

Justin Thomas / getty

Justin shot a final round -5 under par 65 to win the Sony Open by seven shots, at -27 under par. This week he lead wire to wire, carded a 59, set a new low scoring PGA Tour record. This stat will amaze you, in 2017 Justin is -49 under par for eight rounds !!!

Justin said he was nervous at the start of play today and a good par saving putt early on settled him down;

“It’s been an unbelievable week.”

“It was really hard. I was really nervous this morning. I just had a hard time getting in a comfortable mind frame.”

“I felt like I was doing what I needed to do early. I was making some pars, besides that bad bogey on four, but that par putt on six was huge.”

“I think if I miss that I start maybe worrying a little bit. I just tried to stay patient.”

Justin Rose claimed second place at -20 under, following his last round -6 under par 64.

Jordan Spieth grabbed third place, a final round -7 under par 63 elevating up the leaderboard, to finish with a -19 under par total.

Jordan was full of praise for Justin Thomas;

“I was telling caddie Michael Greller out there, honestly it felt like we were playing a different tournament.”

“I honestly felt like I was trying to win the tournament for second place. J.T. just pretty unbelievable what he’s doing right now.”

“He’s got full control of his game, full confidence, and he’s executing under pressure. It’s a lot of fun to see.

“I wouldn’t say a good player that’s hot, and I wouldn’t say it’s birth of a guy either. I would say it’s just a tremendous player who’s already been at that level, just takes winning a couple of times, I think.”

 

BMW SA Open. Graeme Beats Rory, in a Play-Off.

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Graeme Storm beat Rory McIlroy in a play-off for the BMW SA Open title at Glendower Golf Club in South Africa.

 BMW SA Open

Graeme & BMW SA Open Trophy / getty

Graeme shot a final round -1 under par 71, to be tied at the top of the BMW SA Open leaderboard with Rory McIlroy, -4 under 68 today. Both players were on -18 under par for the tournament, and a play-off began. It took three play-off holes, the par four 18th each time, before Graeme claimed the title, Rory carding a bogey third time around.

Graeme said after his second win on Tour;

“I am speechless. It’s been incredible and I can’t quite believe it.”

“This is a dream come true, especially after what happened to me last year with my card and everything.”

“I really took a lot from that experience and told myself to try and grasp the opportunity of getting my livelihood back with both hands and I have done that this week.”

“It’s an unbelievable feeling. I hung in there today and didn’t play my best stuff but I knew if I could hang in there that I might get my chance and thankfully it came.”

“It really means everything to me to be in the winner’s circle again.”

“I have been to hell and back to be honest with you. It’s been an absolute rollercoaster over the last year and a half, especially the end of last year.”

“There was pressure today but not the same pressure as trying to keep your European Tour card. That’s real pressure and something I don’t want to feel for a long time.”

Rory is sad that he lost, but happy with his start to the season;

BMW SA Open

Rory / getty

“I wish I could have done a little more but it’s not a bad way to start the season and gives me something to build on in the weeks ahead.”

“I am going for a scan tomorrow, I fly to Dubai tonight and then will go for an MRI tomorrow just to see what’s up with this joint in my back.”

“It was manageable this week with tape and a few pills so I am fine but first and foremost I have to get fully fit and healthy again and hopefully I’ll be alright to play next week.”

Jordan L Smith finished third, at -17 under par, a -4 under par 68 final round giving him that position on his own, an experience he would like to achieve again;

“That was insane, like nothing I have experienced in my life and I absolutely loved it. I am very pleased.”

“I was very, very nervous at the start of the round so to make those (early) putts was a big help and really settled me into the round.”

“It was just such an amazing experience today, especially coming up the last hole there. Honestly it was just insane.”

“I am absolutely delighted with the week overall. I would have loved to have won but I got myself into contention and looking forward this experience will be invaluable for my future.”

“I just can’t wait to play in front of crowds like this again. This has exceeded all of my expectations ahead of the week. I knew I was playing well and was confident coming here but I didn’t expect to end up in this situation.”

Sony Open. Seven Shot Lead For Justin.

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Justin Thomas has a seven shot lead at the top of the Sony Open leaderboard, at Waialae Golf Club in Hawaii. I have always liked the Big “W” golf is like the movie “Its a mad mad mad mad world.”

Thomas sets 54-hole PGA TOUR record

Justin / getty

Justin cruised to a seven shot lead with third round -5 under par 65, at the Sony Open, giving him a seven shot lead going into the final round tomorrow. He tied the 54 hole PGA Tour record, and will surely pick up the trophy tomorrow, no one has ever lost from a seven shot lead. It will also be back to back wins for Justin.

Zach Johnson is in second place, at -15 under par for the tournament, a third round -5 under 65 giving him that position on his own.

Third place is shared between, Justin Rose, -4 under 68 today, Gary Woodland, -2 under 68, and Hudson Swafford, -4 under 66, all at -14 under par for the 54 holes played.

Kevin Kisner had a putt for a 59, it just slid by, but -10 under 60 is not too bad, he is T6 at -13 under par;

“I hit a good putt, I looked up, I thought it was going dead middle, but it didn’t break.”

“Can’t be that upset.”

“The first day, I hit it great, and I was minus four strokes in putting, which I can’t do with my game.”

“So the second day I putted better as the round went on but I hit it worse. So it’s kind of one of those deals that I had to make putts.”

“And then today I hit it like the first day and putted great.”

Sony Open

Kevin agonising over missed putt  for 59/ getty

BMW SA Open. Graeme Storm In Cruise Control.

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Graeme Storm is in cruise control at the BMW SA Open, and will take a three shot lead into the final round tomorrow at the Glendower Golf Club in South Africa.

BMW SA Open

Graeme Storm / getty

Graeme shot a third round -5 under par 67 to stay in control  of the BMW AS Open with a 54 hole total of -17 under par. He will of course be very aware that Rory McIlroy holds second place at -14 under par, he too had -5 under 67 today.

Graeme is hoping to claim his second European Tour title, and is still making putts;

“I am just really pleased that I kept the momentum from yesterday and played really nicely and holed some good putts.”

“I find myself now in a position that I have only been in a couple of times over the past few years.”

“Things have been difficult and last year was a tough year but it has given me a new lease of life and I hope to continue playing well.”

“I thought I had lost my card and all of the privileges that come from playing on the European Tour and when that happens you realise that you can’t afford to lose it.”

“I have never played with Rory before and I know him really well so it will be a lot of fun.”

“If he hits a good shot and pips me or beats me comfortably or whoever makes a move from behind I can’t really control that.”

“All I can do is control my golf ball, I can’t control anyone else’s.”

“If I can shoot another score in the 60s I’ll be pleased even if I don’t win. I have come here as a big underdog so that is fine with me.”

Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Rory / getty

Rory wants a fast start tomorrow, and hopes to apply some pressure;

“I started well, I felt like I drove the ball well today for the most part and gave myself plenty of chances.”

“I took quite a few of them, especially in the middle of the round like I did yesterday as well, so it was a decent score.”

“I felt like it could have been a couple better. The finish was disappointing, not birdieing the 15th and dropping a shot on the way in but I’m still in with a shout going into tomorrow and that’s all I can ask for.”

“I’d like to be a few shots better or at least a few shots closer to the lead. Hopefully I can get off to a good start tomorrow and put a bit of pressure on Graeme and it will be interesting.”

Sharing third place are, Jbe Kruger, -3 under 69 today, and Jordan L Smith, -4 under 68, with -13 under par totals.

Sony Open. Justin Has New 36 Hole Record.

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Justin Thomas has the  new 36 hole record for the PGA Tour of -17 under par, set at the Sony Open on the Waialae  Country Club course.

 

Thomas sets 36-hole record

Justin Thomas / getty

Justin had a second round -6 under 64 and has a five shot lead at the top of the Sony Open leaderboard after 36 hole, with a -17 under par total courtesy of an Eagle at the last hole;

“It’s cool, just like yesterday, anytime you can get your name in the record book, it’s awesome. I had no idea until I finished.”

Gary Woodland holds second place, five shots back at -12 under par. He shot another round of -6 under 64 today, and only used the Driver a couple of times, preferring to hit three wood and find the fairways;

“I did that my first couple times here and that didn’t work out for me.”

“I’m very comfortable with where my game is.”

“Driver feels great, I just don’t get many opportunities out there. I’m not complaining about being in the fairway, either.”

Sharing third place at -10 under par are Hudson Swafford, -2 under 68 today, Justin Rose, -6 under 64, and Zach Johnson, who carded -9 under 61.

Justin Rose knows it is hard to keep up that kind of momentum that Justin Thomas has at the moment;

“You definitely need the mindset when you’re that far ahead to keep the accelerator down.”

 “But it’s hard to keep that sort of momentum going, for sure.”  

Jordan Spieth is back at T8, his second round -3 under 67 was blamed on a cold putter;

“Just have a really cold putter this week.”

“I think it added to the frustration on the green, because the game is looking so easy to him.”

“I felt like I was hitting the ball in the same location, I’m just being outdone on the green. That’s something a little abnormal to me.”