Honda Classic. Two Players at the Top

White Dragon GolfThe Honda Classic

Two Players are tied at the top of The Honda Classic leaderboard after round 1 at PGA National Golf Club in Florida. Alex Noren, Sweden and Webb Simpson, USA, have a one shot advantage over the field.

The Honda Classic

Webb Simpson / getty

Webb reckons this is one of the toughest golf courses;

”When you stand on certain tee boxes or certain approach shots, you remember that, man, this is one of the hardest courses we play all year, including majors.”

Alex came to the USA to gain some experience, and it’s working;

“I came over here to try to play some more American-style courses, get firmer greens, more rough, and to improve my driving and improve my long game.”

”So it’s been great.”

Five players are tied in third place at -3 under par, Morgan Hoffman, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger, USA, with Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa and Mackenzie Hughes from Canada, all had opening rounds of 67.

Justin summed up his day;

“Some of those holes, you’re just kind of holding on for dear life” 

A lot of players, including Tiger Woods, even par 70 today and Rory McIlroy, +2 over 72 have been critical at the state of the greens on the Champion Course;

Rory spoke about the crusty greens;

“They looked more like Sunday greens than Thursday.”

“They are pretty crusty. They are going to have a job keeping a couple of them alive.”

Tiger commented;

“It’s going to get more difficult because these greens are not the best.”

“Some of these putts are a bit bouncy, there’s no root structure.”

“You hit shots and you see this big puff of sand on the greens, so that shows you there’s not a lot of root structure.”

But apparently Brad Nelson, PGA National’s director of agronomy is happy with the greens, where on the first day of play only 20 golfers broke par;

“Our goal is to be really, really firm, and we feel like we are in a good place for where we want them to be going into the weekend.”

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L.E.T. Ladies Classic Bonville. Holly Clyburn Leads.

 

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 Holly Clyburn from England leads the  inaugural  Ladies Classic Bonville, Australia, setting a new course record at Bonville Golf Resort.

Ladies Classic Bonville

Holly Clyburn / getty

Holly set the course record with a bogey free -5 under par 67 to lead the inaugural  Ladies Classic Bonville in Australia;

“It’s been nice to go and play some free golf and shoot 67, which was not very stressful.”

“I still had 32 putts out there and hit 17 greens, so it was probably the worst I could have shot, but I wasn’t getting greedy, because it’s not an easy golf course and it can turn you upside down.”

“You can’t switch off at any point. The grain is really strong out there. You’ve got to put it in the right areas and that’s what I did. You’ve just got to be careful.”

Sharing second place at -3 under par, after rounds of 69 are Valdis Thora JonsdottirIceland and Marta Sanz Barrio from Spain.

Marta had a great day with her putter;

 “I wasn’t hitting it great, but the putter was hot.”

Valdis was trying not to lose her temper;

“This course is just about being patient, as you can easily lose your temper.”

Hannah Green and Steph Na , Australia, are in an eight-way tie for fourth place on -2 under par, with Sharmila NicolletIndia, Xi Yu Lin, China, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, DenmarkAna Menendez, Mexico, Olivia CowanGermany, and Céline Boutier from France.

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Qatar Masters. Three Tied at the Top.

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Three players are tied at the top of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters leaderboard after the 1st round at Doha Golf ClubGrégory Havret, France, with Eddie Pepperell and Aaron Rai from England lead.

Qatar Masters

Eddie Pepperell / getty

Eddie, Aaron, and Grégory all carded first rounds of -7 under par 65 in the calm conditions at Doha Golf Club, and lead the tournament by one shot.

Eddie has a new coach;

“I’ve made some changes this week with personnel so I’ve been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.”

“I’m looking forward to the weekend but even more so moving forward to the rest of the season.”

“I want to push forward and I just feel like my game has been hitting ceilings a bit. I want to break through that.”

Grégory has gained confidence with his putter, and that was the key;

“I was putting well and that’s definitely the key, last week I didn’t play much different and I missed the cut by a lot.”

“As soon as you feel your putting is not able to compensate for your mistakes you put more pressure on your driving and your iron shots and then it can be a disaster as you try things that you normally don’t.”

“It’s all part of the process, if you putt well you feel comfortable.”

Aaron made it to the European Tour via three wins on the Challenge Tour last season;

“I drove it well and then gave myself a lot of opportunities with the approach play, didn’t miss too many greens.”

“Gameplan-wise, you have to be doing something right and playing some good golf to shoot a 65 so I’ll just continue in the same vein and try not to change too much.”

Oliver Fisher, England, Edoardo Molinari, Italy, Alvaro Quiros, Spain and Marcel Schneider, Germany, are all sharing  fourth place, shooting -6 under 66 for their opening rounds.

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Genesis Open. Bubba Watson Wins.

White Dragon GolfGenesis Open

Bubba Watson wins the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California, the third time he has won the event.

Bubba wins Genesis Open

Bubba Watson / getty

Bubba won the Genesis Open with a last round -2 under 69 to post the winning score of -12 under par, his 10th career PGA TOUR victory;

“It’s unbelievable.”

“To do it twice was amazing, and then have a chance on the back nine on Sunday to do it again, and then to pull it off, that’s very special.”

“My goal has always been to get ten wins.”

 “Double-digit wins? I am thrilled. Nobody thought Bubba Watson from Bagdad, Florida, could ever get to 10 wins.”

“Let’s be honest. No lessons. Head case. Hooking the ball. Slicing the ball. Can’t putt.” 

“So many emotions going through my head right now.”

“You never know if you’re going to play good again. You never know if you’re going to lift the trophy.”

Kevin Na, and Tony Finau share second, both carding -2 under 69 today, for a -10 under par total.

Scott Stallings3 under 68 today, tied with Patrick Cantlay, even par 71, for fourth place at -9 under par.

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NBO Oman Open. Joost Luiten Wins.

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Joost Luiten, Holland, wins the inaugural NBO Oman Open at Al Mouj Golf course in Oman.

NBO Oman Open

Joost Luiten / getty

Joost won the NBO Oman Open with a final round  -4 under 68, giving him a -16 under  par total and a two shot winning margin;

“This is why you play golf, to hold trophies, it’s been a great week.”

“It’s always tough to win out here, all these guys are so good and they keep putting pressure on you.”

“Down the stretch I hit some nice shots, I made some nice putts and it was a nice battle with my friend Woody.”

“I need to win another couple to get into the Ryder Cup Team but it’s a great start to the year for me.”

Chris Wood, England, was in second place at -14 under par, a last round -3 under 69 not enough to claim victory here;

“You play poorly for six or eight months without ever thinking you’d put yourself in contention in a tournament and then when you do you’re gutted when you don’t win.”

“I’m pretty down really but in the grand scheme of things it’s night and day to how I’ve been.”

“After a couple of days I’m sure I’ll reflect and see it’s a big step in the right direction this week.”

“Joost played great to shoot four under. He’s a good mate of mine. I’m annoyed that I haven’t won but I’m pleased for him. We spend a lot of time together so it’s great to see a friend win.”

“On to Qatar where I’ve won before. Given I’ve turned up at most events with no confidence, I probably feel like I can go to an event next week with a little bit of confidence.”

Julien Guerrier, France, finished a shot behind in third place at -13 under, a poor last round of -1 under 71 meant he was never really in contention for the title, poor putting was the culprit;

“I didn’t start really well, I missed a few putts and if I’d made some putts it would have been different as I’d feel more positive about my round but it was tough.”

“To finish third is good. I had appendix surgery before Hong Kong so I missed the first three events so now I’m happy.”

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Genesis Open. Basket Case Bubba Has 54 Hole Lead.

 

White Dragon GolfGenesis Open

TV pundits called Bubba Watson a basket case, for playing in a celebrity basketball game Friday night, but Bubba came out and played great golf today to lead the Genesis Open after 54 holes at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.

Bubba pulls in front at Genesis

Bubba / getty

Two time winner here Bubba carded a third round -6 under par 65 to lead the Genesis Open at the 54 hole stage at -10 under par, and will have a one shot advantage at the start of play tomorrow;

“You’ve got to hit shots from every different angle, you’ve got to move it right to left and left to right, so it’s just fun.”

“Then the greens are the equalizer so it makes me look like I putt as good as the other guys.”

“The tougher the golf course, the more focus I have. The tougher the shot, I’ve been able to focus better.”

“When I get my mind on something, I can focus and do pretty well at the game of golf.”

“Like last night when Tracy McGrady was coming at me, I was focused on not getting hurt and I didn’t, so it worked out.”

In second place on  his own, courtesy of a 54 ft 7 inch putt on the last green is Patrick Cantlay, signing for a third round -2 under 69, and a -9 under par total;

“I feel like if I can just engage and not worry about where I am on a particular hole or what’s going on and I just engage and stay present in whatever I’m doing at that particular time, it all turns out better than what you would expect.”

“Making sure you stay present and having that confidence in yourself that if you just click in and focus, it all will be good and that’s kind of the head space I’m in.”

Four players are then tied in third place at -8 under par, Cameron Smith, Australia, with back to back bogey free rounds, today -6 under 65. He is joined by Kevin Na, -4 under 67 and Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland, -1 under 70 today.

Low round of the day came from World #1, and Defending Champion Dustin Johnson, -7 under 64, and at -6 under is only four shots off the lead, he will be a threat tomorrow.

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NBO Oman Open. Three-Way Tie In Oman.

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It is a three-way tie at the top of the NBO Oman Open with Matt Southgate, England, Joost Luiten, Holland and Julien Guerrier from France locked in battle for the title.

NBO Oman Open

Joost Luiten / getty

Joost, -6 under 66 today, Julien also -6 under 66 and Matt -3 under 69 all share the NBO Oman Open lead at -12 under par after 54 holes at Al Mouj Golf course.

Joost is looking for his first win since 2016;

“I know my game-plan and I know what to do around this golf course.”

“You need to be a bit patient and wait for your chances. If I can hit my irons like I did today, there will definitely be some birdies.”

Julien is seeking his first European Tour win, and sinking monster putts like he did today for an Eagle at the par five 12th could help him to lift the title;

“The players out here on the European Tour are really good so you have to push, always and if it’s your week, it’s your week.”

 “Right now, it’s going well for me so we’ll see.

“I have to do the same tomorrow. I want to work in these conditions, under pressure, to see how I’m feeling. I’ve played a lot of years on the Challenge Tour and I’ve played a couple of years on the European Tour too and I want to stay here now.”

“I try to improve every day, I’m still fighting and I want to stay on the European Tour.”

Matt is also seeking his first Tour win, and has a big heart;

“The birdie at nine was big, it takes a big heart to hit shots like that because a part of you wants to go and hide in a corner and cry.”

“People say to you, keep going, but I’m not going to walk in.”

“You can do two things, you can hide behind your caddie and sulk and knock it around in level or over par, or you can take it on the chin, rise up to the challenge and try to hit good golf shots.”

Chris Wood, England, is just one shot back at -11 under par, shooting -3 under par 69 in his third round, and has won before, so he will be a threat tomorrow.

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