Valero Texas Open. Charlie Calms the Texas Wind-Tunnel

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Charlie Hoffman calmed the Texas wind-tunnel at the Texas Valero Open, taking him all the way to the summit of the leaderboard.

Texas Valero Open

Charley Hoffman / Getty Images

Charley shot a bogey free wind-swept Valero Texas Open first round -5 under par 67, to sit on top of the leaderboard.

The  early morning starters faced wind gusts around 40 mph, while Charlie contended with a steady 15 mph wind in the afternoon at TPC San Antonio.

 

When almost 22 percent of the field (31 of 141) shoots 80 or higher, you know it is a bad day. So bad that Martin Kaymer carded +10 over par 82, and he was not the worst, the worst professional score today was +16 over par.

Aaron Baddeley is in second place at -4 under par.  On the driveable par-4 17th hole he decided to hit a cut driver, instead of going all out with a fairway wood and then watched in horror as the ball disappeared into the woods. He took three off the tee and holed out for an unlikely birdie;

“I was thinking of gripping a 3-wood or hit a cut driver, and I don’t know, I went with the cut driver and hit a pulled draw in the middle of the trees.”

“I just thought I’d just hit it straight and so I hit it and started walking and then heard the crowd going nuts, I was like, wait, I just made birdie.”

“I played really nice for the majority of the day. I just said to myself it was the wrong shot. Hit a straight one. It was straight downwind, get it going straight, it will go straight.”

“So I hit the second one and said, man, why didn’t I do that the first time? And it rolls up and goes in.”

“I knew it was going to be blowing, I saw the forecast, it was going to die down just a little bit.”

“So even going to bed last night I already had the mindset. I just had to be patient, whether you got off to a good start or a bad start. So I think days like today the mindset is the most important.”

Max Homa is in third place at -3 under par for the tournament, one ahead of Ryan Palmer and Phil Mickelson.

In a very strange occurrence, while hitting a shot from the fairway bunker, the head on Phil’s Callaway X-Forged ’13 8-iron flew off, leaving him with just the shaft in his hands;

“Yeah, it was weird, the shaft broke just above the hosel, it was just a weird thing. It happens. It’s part of the game, I guess. You hit enough shots it’s going to work out.”

“I’m just curious at what point on the downswing it came off, if it was right before impact or right at impact, because the shot didn’t come off very well.”

“I would have used it the next three holes, I had to feather a 7-iron all three times.”

Valero Texas Open

Phil and broken club / Getty Images

Valero Texas Open

Trophee Hassan II. Adrian Saddier Shines.

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Adrian Saddier leads the first round of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on the Golf du Palais Royal course.

Trophee Hassan 11

Adrian Saddier / Getty Images

Adrian had a bogey free first round -7 under par 65, to lead the Trophee Hasan 11. The day started with an Eagle on the 1st hole, a 530 yard par five, chipping in.

Adrian unfortunately lost his card last year, and naturally was very happy to be here;

“I’m very happy, I was very grateful to get an invite to play here.”

“This place is just unbelievable. I played very solid today. I had a chip in for eagle on the first then another chip in on six, so it was a great start and I kept it going.”

“I just have a little category on The European Tour so I will be focused on The Challenge Tour this year.” 

“I played last week in Madeira and although the tournament was cancelled I was playing well in the strong wind so I’m in good shape for this week.”

“It’s almost my best round; I shot 64 in Qatar last year, which was eight under, so this is one of my best rounds.” 

“If I could get a win it would change my schedule as at the moment I’m playing on the Challenge Tour. I just need to focus on each shot now and see what happens.”

Daniel Gaunt is in second place, just one shot back at  -6 under par 66 for his opening round.

George Coetzee, David Drysdale and Chris Wood all share third place at -5 under par, after their first rounds of  67.

Marcel Siem is desperate to get into The Masters field, after missing out by just 0.03 points last year. he currently sits with a large group at -4 under par;

“It’s a big week for me and four under is a good start.”

“I’m really excited about playing the Masters, I’ve never played it. I finished it off two years ago and still did not get in. It was a little horrible.”

“I’m going to keep doing what I did today, try hard not to make any stupid mistakes. I have got the experience and I know the golf course.”

“I will make enough birdies I reckon, just need to avoid the mistakes.”

 

Adam Scott Back to Broomstick.

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Adam Scott is considering going back to the Broomstick Putter to try and win another Major, The Masters, again;

The Masters

Adam Scott and Broomstick / Getty Images

Adam Scott got to number one in the world, and won a Major, the 2013 Masters, all with the soon to be banned Broomstick Putter. He had recently reverted to using a conventional putter, but could not find one that suited him. Sadly he did not try a White Dragon Putter.

Adam thinks this is the only way he can ever win another Major, so it is the smart thing to do;

“Putting with a longer putter is maybe the smarter thing to do.”

“I don’t know. It’s all about the lag putting. It’s such a difference in weight of club and stroke and everything. I’m just trying to figure it all out.”

“It’s not exactly where I want to be, but it doesn’t matter when it comes to the Masters.”

“I’ve got two weeks and a really clear idea of what to work on.”

Do you think this is a small hint that Adam intends to retire from professional golf ? Why would you carry on playing if in your mind you can not win. Mental Attitude is everything, if Adam has convinced himself he has problems using a conventional putter, the chances of holing putts are slim, especially the important ones.

Personally I hope Adam uses a short putter at The Masters, and also that he continues to play great golf, as we all know he can.

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Matt Makes It Again.

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Defending Champion Matt Every makes it again at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Matt Every and Arnold / Getty Images

Matt Every and Arnold / Getty Images

Matt joined Tiger Woods and Loren Roberts as the only players to repeat at Bay Hill, shooting a final round -6 under par 66, and an Arnold Palmer Invitational total of -19 under par, a one shot victory;

“It’s easy to get down on yourself out here, it’s the biggest waste of time because nobody really cares.”

“The last three feet I was begging for it to hang, and I was like, ‘Gosh, these are the ones that always lip out. Be so cool to see this one dive in,’ and it did. Cool moment.”

“I was playing so good, yesterday when I got done, that was the best I hit it in a long time.”

“I told Tiger I’d hold it down for him until he gets back.”

“I’m like, you’re already in the Masters.”

“After Augusta last year, I was really bummed out, I felt really good about my game and then I got there and got my butt kicked. “

“I’ve got to get better because I don’t want to be a guy who can’t compete there.”

“I do want to win more tournaments, though, scratch that I said that, but it’s neat to get them both here.”

Henrik, who finished second at -18 under par, was annoyed at being put on the clock by the officials, on the 15th hole, when he was leading the tournament, and I am inclined to agree with him, what a stupid decision;

“I’m a little bit disappointed with the outcome, but I’m as much disappointed with the PGA Tour officials for putting us on the clock on 15, starting to chase us down the stretch, and that’s not really the way to close out a golf tournament.”

“It’s hard enough to finish out a golf tournament and play those finishing holes without being on the clock.”

“I didn’t see the reason for that really. I didn’t even read my putt more than just one quick look on 15. Three-putted that one from long range. Morgan got a bad time on 16 on the second shot. I kind of rushed my putt from the back fringe.”

“It’s just hard when you don’t feel like you can take the time that you want to take. That surely didn’t help the cause.”

Ozzie Matt Jones finished in third place at -17 under par, with -4 under par 67 final round.

Rory, T11 at -11 under, spoke about the odds of him winning The Masters;

“I guess if you go on form, then probably no. But it depends how far you take that form back and you’ve got to look at previous results there and all sorts of stuff. I’m not a bookie.”

“The main goal was to come here and try to win, couldn’t do that. At least I got a couple of things out of this week, which is good.”

 

Madeira Islands Open Cancelled.

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The Madeira Islands Open tournament has been cancelled due to the persistent inclement weather, which has plagued the area all week.

Madeira Islands Open

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Four days of strong winds, heavy rain and thick fog at the Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra course meant the requisite 36 holes could not be completed and a result could not be declared.

A weather warning was issued for Monday warning of strong winds, and it was decided that the tournament be cancelled and all scores null and void.

This event is only the third event in European Tour history to be subject to a cancellation, the Compaq European Grand Prix in 1998, also due to adverse weather, and then the WGC American Express Championship, which was cancelled in the wake of the Islamic terrorist attacks in the USA on September 11 2001, which killed 2,996 people.

The Chief Operating Officer of the European TourKeith Waters, said;

“The Madeira Islands Open, Portugal BPI is a hugely important event for The European Tour so it is disappointing for everyone concerned that we have been forced to cancel this week.”

“This tournament has produced some memorable moments down the years and we share a very strong relationship with the hosts and sponsors, so we are already in discussions with the club and the sponsors to reschedule the event for another week in this year’s Race to Dubai schedule.”

“We really appreciate the efforts of those who worked tirelessly this week to make the tournament happen, so we feel we must now make every effort to make sure that the Madeira Islands Open, Portugal BPI takes place this year and that together we can show the world the true potential of this great event and this beautiful island.”

Joachim B Hansen, chasing his first European Tour victory, and has been at the top of the leaderboard all week said it was disappointing, but is looking forward to the Barclays Open in Kenya ;

“It’s definitely disappointing because it would have been nice to put two or three good rounds together, but the weather wouldn’t let us do that.”

“I’ve been playing well for a few weeks now so I’m going home to have some time with my coach and I’m looking forward to Kenya, now.”

“They tried everything they could here. I know José Maria Zamora and everyone here did everything they could to finish this tournament.’

“The greenkeepers worked very hard too, you could see that from the clubhouse, trying to remove the bunkers so it’s a shame we couldn’t finish.”

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Henrik Takes Over at the Top.

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Henrik Stenson takes over at the top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational leaderboard at the end of day three at Bay Hill.

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik had a -6 under par 66 in the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, and at -16 under par for the tournament has a two shot lead going into the final round on Sunday.

Henrik said he needs to keep playing the same way as the first three rounds, because the ball does not know what it’s doing;

 “The golf ball doesn’t know what happened the previous three rounds, so I’ve got to go out tomorrow and keep the same mindset.”

“I’m not just a pretty face, I’ll try and make that different tomorrow but can’t give any guarantees. I’ll certainly try.”

 

Morgan Hoffmann is in touch in second place at -14 under par, -1 under for the third round saw him slip back;

“Just a really weird day out there, got some mud balls in the fairway, couldn’t control it. Got some weird lies in the bunkers. Brought it back and am decent for tomorrow.”

There are four players tied in third place, all at -13 under par, they are, Matt Jones, Jason Kokrak, Ben Martin and Matt Every.

Jason carded the low round of the day, -7 under par 65, which has given him a chance to get his first win on the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy had to settle for -1 under par 71, and is now seven shots back from the leader, at -9 under par;

“I’m frustrated, I birdied 12 and 13 and got right into the thick of things and then to give three shots back in quick succession was not really the plan.”

“I’m disappointed with the way I finished but I played well for the most part. I need to try to get off to a good start tomorrow, shoot a good score and see where that leaves me.

“There’s a lot of quality players above me. I would need to get off to a very fast start to win, 30 or 31 on the front nine, it’s possible; just try to start better and go from there.”

Daniel Berger scored an amazing Albatross, holing a 4-iron from 237 yards for a two on the 549 yard par 5 sixth hole. Daniel played the par fives in -6 under on Saturday, en route to a -4 under 68, and T23 at -7 under par;

“It was kind of right on that borderline between going for it and not going for it.”

“Little bit on the downhill lie. You know, my caddie gave me the confidence to go for it.”

“The joke between me and my caddie, how many albatrosses are going to be on that hole today.”

“It was special, especially over here, Mr. Palmer’s event.”

Daniel recorded a 2, 3, 4 and 5,  a combined -6 under par on the par fives and by doing so, started a new page in the golf history books, albatross, eagle, birdie and par, he is the first player to achieve that amazing feat.

I still can not understand why all the American TV commentators refer to an Albatross as a Double-Eagle, even mathematically it does not add up. Given that an Eagle is -2 under par, a Double Eagle would equal -4 under par. An Albatross is -3 under par.

Madeira Islands Open. Down to 36 Holes.

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The Madeira Islands Open has been reduced to 36 holes, as play is constantly interrupted by the poor weather conditions. As it stands Joachim B Hansen will take a one shot lead into the final round as a sprint finish beckons at the Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra course.

Madeira Islands Open

Joachim B Hansen / Getty Images

Joachim carded a first round -4 under par 68, and will take a one shot lead into the final round at the Madeira Islands Open, in a mad dash for the line. Assuming of course that it actually does stop raining, almost five hours of play was lost on Saturday after heavy rain flooded the Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra course.

Starting the race, all tied in second place at -3 under par are, Andrew Marshall, Jean-Baptiste, Adrien Saddier, Jaakko Makitalo, Roope Kakko, Alessandro Tadini and Pete Whiteford.

Pete was making his first start of the season after losing his European Tour card was happy with his golf, he is used to these wet and windy conditions, but advised he will play mostly on the Challenge Tour this year;

“I’m quite happy, I played nicely and left a few out there to be honest, which is nice to say considering I was probably the worst golfer on The European Tour last year!”

“It’s been blowing a hurricane back home so it’s kind of what I’ve been practicing in anyways. It’s the first time I’ve been on a golf course and enjoyed it for a maybe a year so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

“I feel very refreshed after taking a little break from the game. The driver is a lot better and that was the thing that was killing me last year, but you work twice as hard when you’re playing badly and I was doing more than I should have been doing, working on the wrong things.”

“It feels better, the time away helped to refresh the brain a little bit and if I enjoy it I’ll play alright. I don’t care how I do at the moment as long as I enjoy it.”

“It’s a major for us on the Challenge Tour, the biggest one of the year so with me certainly, being selfish, I definitely want to get the second round in so I can get a pay cheque and some money onto the Rankings.”

“I’m not going to play European Tour this year, maybe a couple, but my focus is on the Challenge Tour and to enjoy it and not be depressed and miserable.”

“After just one round it’s going to be an absolute rat race with a huge number of people on the same scores. It’ll be a shotgun start so it’s not like you’ll be under the cosh coming down the stretch because you’ll never know where the scores will come from.”

“I guess you just go out and enjoy it and see what you shoot and if I’m there or thereabouts I can start thinking about it. I’m just happy not to be grumpy!”

The field was cut to 65 and ties ahead of Sunday’s final round, and with 82 players separated by just six shots and a shotgun start, it promises to be an enthralling, but probably damp, final round.