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Valero Texas Open. Steve Bowditch Wins First PGA Tour Title

dragon logo darkValero Texas Open LogoSteve Bowditch won his first PGA TOUR title at the Valero Texas Open on the TPC San Antonio golf course

.Bowditch holds on for first win

Steve Bowditch and his first Trophy / Getty Images

Steve carded a final round of +4 over par 76, but his -8 under par total was still enough to lift the trophy. His  final-round score was the highest by a winner since Vijay Singh at the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. The field today averaged a very mediocre  73.8 on a windy day at TPC San Antonio.

Steve said he knew early on that is was going to be a tough day at the office;

“I was able to stay pretty positive, to be honest. After a period of time out there, with the way I was playing, I kind of just accepted the fact that I was going to be playing from cactus, moving rocks, missing putts and just had to deal with it every time. It happened so frequently that it never really surprised me. I was just lucky enough that the wind was up enough today that no one else could squeeze in there and shoot a good score.”

Steve swapped his  putter after the first round, but said that is something he does on an almost weekly basis;

“After I played well on Thursday, with my ball-striking, I thought, ‘Hang on a moment, I might be able to get in contention this week with the way I was hitting the ball.’ I just wanted to go back to a putter that I was completely comfortable with.”

Will Mackenzie and Daniel Summerhayes tied for second place at -7 under par, Will with a final round -2 under par 70, and Daniel a -1 under par 71.

Matt Kuchar and Andrew Loupe shared fourth place at -6 under par, both of them carding  last rounds of +3 over par 75.

 

Talisker Masters. Amazing Adam Wins

Australian Masters logo

Amazing Adam Scott won the  Australian Talisker Masters at Royal Melbourne Golf Course.

Adam Scott - Masters Trophy

Adam Scott / Getty

It was a predictable win, Adam started the day with a four shot lead, but found himself in a real duel for the title as Matt Kuchar put some pressure on him.  By the fifteenth hole Matt was at -6 under par and looked in good shape to pull off an unlikely win. Unfortunately for Matt he bogeyed sixteen and followed that with a double bogey on eighteen, effectively handing the title to Adam, who could only complete the final round in even par 71.

“I’ve never won back-to-back weeks so this is a first and something that I like. I think it’s very hard to win two tournaments full stop, let alone back to back, so I’m quite pleased with myself this week.You can’t think about the result until you’re walking up the last and you know where things stand. Sometimes you win a little bit ugly. All the good stuff I had done in the first three rounds counted for a lot, even though it wasn’t the prettiest golf today.

Matt carded a last round of -3 under 68, which should have been so much better, but that is golf.

“At Royal Melbourne you can really pay the price for being just a little off when you are playing aggressive and it got me at a bad time. It was a rough way to end but it’s the nature of the game, you have to be ready to bounce back. The guys who look toward the positive seem to do well in the long run. You see guys some carry over some bad momentum but I know better than that.”

Adam finished on-14 under par, with Matt in second place, finishing on -12 under par, those three dropped shots over the last three holes proving to be disastrous.

Vijay Singh finished the tournament in third place at -10 under par, he also could only manage an even par 71 last round.

After completing three respectable rounds of golf Jarrod Lyle finally ran out of steam in the last round, he scored a +8 over par round of 79, ultimately finishing the tournament with that total. Returning to golf after a lengthy lay-off due to two separate battles with leukemia, Jarrod can be proud of his performance. He did not finish in last place.

Talisker Masters. Adam Accrued a Four Shot Lead

Australian Masters logo

Defending Champion Adam Scott has accrued a four shot lead heading in to the final round of the Talisker Masters at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

VIDEO: Interviews Talisker Masters

Adam Scott and caddie Steve Williams / Getty Images

Adam shot a third round of -5 under par 66 to sit atop the leaderboard in the Talisker Masters with a tournament total of -14 under par, a four-stroke advantage over the field. It would be hard for him to lose this tournament from this position, a good defense of his title by Adam;

“It was a good round out there today for sure, it puts me in really good position for tomorrow. If there’s enough holes with that quality of golf tomorrow, a good score is going to be out there for me. I’m giving myself so many opportunities every round. If I do that, I’m going to make a few of them, and if I make a few of them, it’ll be hard for the others to have enough.”

There are four players tied in second place at -10 under par, they are Major winner Vijay Singh, Matthew Griffin, Nick Cullen and rookie Nathan Holman.

The round of the day belonged to Vijay, who fired an 8-under par 63 third round on Royal Melbourne’s composite course, which included an Eagle, seven birdies tempered by two bogey’s.

Vijay said he is feeling good again;

“The first nine holes were incredible, I thought I could have birdied every hole. A couple of weeks ago I was in contention so it’s a good feeling. It gets your blood flowing again.”

Rookie Nathan enjoyed playing alongside his hero;

“It was good to be able to play with Adam and see how he does it. To be playing in front of that many people was pretty special. Being so young and sort of inexperienced, playing with him you always want to know what he’s doing. I found at times I was almost trying to hit the same clubs as him.”

American Matt Kuchar is alone in sixth place at -9 under par after his third round of -4 under par 67.

A special highlight of the day belonged to  Scott Strange, who scored a hole-in-one on the par-3 14th hole, which won him a six litre bottle of Wolf Blass Platinum Label Barossa Shiraz 2002, signed by Wolfgang Blass  himself.

The Players Championship. Sergio Surges, Castro Crashes.

Sergio Garcia surged to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of The PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP at TPC Sawgrass, while Roberto Castro, yesterdays first round hero crashed down the board.

Sergio Garcia is a past winner of The Players Championship, taking the crown in a playoff in 2008.

Sergio Garcia / Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Sergio shot a second round -7 under par 65, to surge to the top of the leaderboard with a tournament total of -11 under par.

Sergio, a past winner here, in 2008, is his own man, and fears no one, not even second placed Tiger;

“I don’t have to measure myself against anybody, I know what I want to try to do, and any given day I can shoot a round like this and any other day he can shoot a good round and beat me. Like we always say, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. So there are going to be good days and not so good days, so just got to enjoy the good ones as much as possible. Fortunately for me, I’ve managed to play quite decent on this golf course, so any good thing that you can get in your head, it’s obviously positive and those kind of things always help. But it’s a different year. We’ll see if we can manage to do something similar.”

Tiger is just one shot adrift of the leader, at -11 under par, after his second round of -5 under par 67.

Tiger was pretty happy to be where he is;

I’m pretty pleased with where it’s at right now, I’ve just never been able to put it all together for this one particular week. But so far this year, I’m right there. Even though I haven’t played well in the past, I’ve still won here, actually, I’ve won here twice, technically. { Tiger was referring to the U.S. Amateur in 1994 }  I haven’t played my best here, but I’ve always felt that courses, even though it’s been a while I’ve won on them, I’ve still won on them, I know how to get around this golf course. This course, more than most, really tests every facet of your game. You have to drive the ball well. You have to hit your irons in the correct spots, and if you don’t hit your irons in the correct spots, you’re going to have some really funky up-and-downs. It’s trying to manage the ball in the correct spots, and I’ve done that the first two days.”

There are three players tied in third place, at -9 under par for the tournament; they are, Kevin Chappell, second round -6 under. Lee Westwood also with a -6 under,66, and Henrik Stenson, -5 under par second round.

Roberto Castro crashed down the leaderboard, struggling with a second round +6 over par,78, but he did make the cut.

Big name cut casualties include, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Ernie Els. Quite a star-studded list.

Tomorrow is moving day, who will move out of the reckoning ?

 

RBC Heritage. Three Tied at the Top, in Storm Hit Harbour Town.

Play has been suspended for the day with three players tied at the top of the leaderboard at the RBC Heritage on the Harbour Town Golf Links, at the rain affected end of the day. Kevin Streelman, Charley Hoffman and Steve LeBrun are at -6 under par for the competition.

Trio at the top

Steve LeBrun, Kevin Streelman and Charley Hoffman / Lecka / Getty Images

In the wet, windy and difficult conditions Kevin and Charley both had second rounds of -1 under par, 70 for their totals, with Steve LeBrun shooting a second round -3 under par 68.

Luke Donald also had second round of -3 under par, and shares T4 with Bill Haas, who came home in -2 under par for the day, both of them at -5 under par.

The next group of players, seven in all, are at -4 under par, they are all handily placed to go forward in this competition tomorrow. They are; Johnson Wagner, Rory Sabbatini, Graeme McDowell, D.H. Lee, Pat Perez, and two Aussies, Stuart Appleby and Marc Leishman. All these players are in the clubhouse, but the cut line has still to be determined  with 17 players still to complete their second rounds. The current cut line is at +1 over par, but could easily move to +2.

Pat Perez said his trying to stay calm;

” I’m trying to stay level, which is always, for me, trying to stay on a high, I’ve really worked hard on it this year. I don’t have the ups and downs. It’s hard, especially for me, because I’ve done it my whole life. But to say, that’s not going to bring me down, let’s try to make 5 instead of 6. And the next hole it’s basically done. I didn’t think I’d make a lot of birdies, but I seem to be hitting it closer than I ever have out here.”

One of those players teetering on the current cut line at +1 over par is Jesper Parnevik, and he is on the 18th hole with an agonising five foot putt left for his par. If he misses that tomorrow, he would drop to +2 over and that would move the cut to that number as well.

Obviously there are other players on the course who could make a birdie and change things back again, it will be a very interesting early start tomorrow.

Of those who have definitely missed the cut are; Vijay Singh +4, Ernie Els +4, John Daly +10, those are just a couple of the higher profile guys who have struggled in this competition.

BMW Championship, World Number One Rory McIlroy Wins Again.

Driving away

Rory McIlroy/Little/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy, the World number one, won the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick, Carmel Indiana on Sunday with a strong final round of -5 under par, 67 and a tournament winning total of -20 under par. This is back to back wins for Rory and the third win in his last four starts. He won the PGA Championship last week, this now gives him four wins on the season. Rory said he is confident and playing well;

” I’m just on a great run at the moment. I’m playing well, I’m confident, just hope to keep it going. It’s great to be able to win events like this where the quality of the field is so good. The more you put yourself in this position, and the more you win and the more you pick up trophies, it becomes normal, and it feels like this is what you’re supposed to do. I don’t think I’m quite there yet, but I’m getting to that stage where I’m thinking, this is what I should be doing. I should be lifting a trophy at the end of the week. It’s been great, the last four, five weeks have been incredible, some of the best golf that I’ve ever played. I’m going to try and keep the run going for as long as possible.”

Two shots adrift of the leader were Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson, who tied for second place at -18 under par. Tiger Woods and Robert Garrigus finished tied for third spot with a tournament total of -17 under par.

Lee Westwood commented about Rory;

” I played with him when he was 13, and you could see it then. He’s just maturing all the time, as he will do. And he’s a very, very good player.”

Vijay Singh, who started in the final group on Sunday with Phil, slumped to a disappointing +1 over par last round of 73, finishing the tournament at -15 under par, five shots back of the winner.

Phil also praised Rory;

” A lot of people stayed neutral and Rory geared ahead “

Tiger Woods was also complementary;

” Rory is putting on a show out there, and we’ve got one more tournament. He’s going out there and is up near the lead and posts a good number. He’s doing the things he needs to do, and as he said yesterday, he’s feeling very confident about his game. Right now he’s just really played well, and he’s making a ton of putts. That’s a great combo.”

Final Standings for the FedEx Cup, the Tour Championship by Coca Cola at East lake Golf Course in Atlanta Georgia, to be played September 20 – 23, 2012.

 

1 Rory McIlroy
2 Tiger Woods
3 Nick Watney
4 Phil Mickelson
5 Brandt Snedeker
6 Louis Oosthuizen
7 Dustin Johnson
8 Lee Westwood
9 Zach Johnson
10 Jason Dufner
11 Bubba Watson
12 Sergio Garcia
13 Steve Stricker
14 Keegan Bradley
15 Luke Donald
16 Matt Kuchar
17 Carl Pettersson
18 Jim Furyk
19 Bo Van Pelt
20 Robert Garrigus
21 Adam Scott
22 Ernie Els
23 Hunter Mahan
24 Justin Rose
25 Webb Simpson
26 John Huh
27 Rickie Fowler
28 Ryan Moore
29 John Senden
30 Scott Piercy

BMW Championship 3rd round, Vijay and Phil at the top.

Sunday shootout in store

Vijay Singh & Phil Mickelson/Getty Images

Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson sit atop the leaderboard after the third round of the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Course in Carmel Indiana on Saturday. Vijay had a modest -3 under par 69, against Phil and his magnificent third round of -8 under par 63. Both players sharing the top spot at -16 under par. The rest of the field is very close behind them, World number one, and last weeks winner Rory McIlroy is tied in third place with Lee Westwood at -15 under par. The best golfers in the world tore it up, aided and abetted by the organizers, lift, clean and place just made it too easy for the likes of these guys.

Vijay answered a question about whether he could last the four rounds;

” I’ve one more to do, I’ve got to play a little better than what I did today. I’ve got to make less mistakes than I did today. I think I can do that.”

Phil Mickelson is glad that his game is back, he affirmed that with his 10 birdies on the round today;

” It’s taken me a little while to piece it back together, but I could tell last week that my game was back and I was ready to play at the highest level again, I came out Thursday and forced it a little too much the front nine. But after that, I’ve been able to settle down and play some good golf. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s shootout. It should fun.”

Rory McIlroy was delighted to be only one shot back of the leaders after a not very good third round;

” I’m delighted just to be one back going into tomorrow because the display of golf I put on out there from tee to green was not very good. I hung in there and made some putts on the back nine and was able to get myself back in the tournament.”

Lee Westwood spoke about the star-studded top of the leaderboard;

” The cream has risen to the top, hasn’t it.”

There are 16 players that are separated by only five shots, that between them have won 29 majors and 21 World Golf Championships, and four of them have been at No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking over the last decade, that’s some leaderboard.

There are three players hovering at -14 under par, Adam Scott and Robert Garrigus shot rounds of  -6, 66 today, while Dustin Johnson had a -5, 67 for the same total for the tournament. Tiger Woods is alone in eighth place at -13 under par after his meager third round of -1 under par 71.

Tiger said he thinks he still has a chance, if he plays well;

” I’m within reach, I have to probably shoot 63 or 64 tomorrow to have a chance.”

Adam Scott commented on the gallery, and said he was pleased to be in the mix;

“The crowd is pretty rowdy, and it’s an incredible leaderboard, it’s going to be fun. I’m glad I put myself in that position.”

 It seems that just about everyone has something at stake tomorrow, and everyone has a chance, Dustin Johnson summed it all up;

” It’s the Playoffs, guys come to play golf in the big tournaments. It seems like all year the top guys are up there every time.”

Lets go play golf.

BMW Championship, 2nd Round, Amazing Ageless Vijay

Ageless wonder

Ageless Vijay Singh/Halleran/Getty Images

The second round of the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick has been completed and amazingly the seemingly ageless Vijay Singh is sitting comfortably at the top of the leaderboard. VJ had a second round score of -6 under par 66, for a tournament total of -13 under par, one shot clear of the chasing pack. Vijay Singh is trying to make the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola for the 17th time. That prowling pack, at -12 under par includes World number one Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore, this is a very closely contested event at the top of the leaderboard. Vijay had 11 one-putt greens on Friday and made 17 of 18 putts inside 10 feet, including four consecutive birdies, which really set him up today;

” That kind of got me going. When I did miss the green, I stuck my chip shot very close, so always nice to keep the momentum going.”

Rory McIlroy said he kind of struggled today, he needed to concentrate on his game;

” There was a few struggles going on I think we needed to concentrate a little bit more. Things were sort of coming easy yesterday. We needed to concentrate out there and try and shoot the best score possible, and we obviously both did that. I didn’t play as well as I did yesterday but was able to get it around. It seemed like every time I missed the green, I missed it in the wrong spot and left myself difficult chips. But I took advantage of the opportunities that I did give myself, and I just think I’m putting so well recently that any time I do get a look on the green for birdie. I’m sort of making those and that’s making up for some of it.”

Tiger Woods also admitted that he was not quite right, said he was;

” Slapping it everywhere, I didn’t have it with my swing. Just kind of fighting it around here. I was grinding hard, staying as patient as possible. You look up at the scores, the guys are just running off. I just wanted to get to double digits today. I felt like that would have been a good accomplishment the way I was hitting the golf ball.”

Lee Westwood and Bo Van Pelt are another shot back at -11 under par, just about everybody else is close behind. Those currently not contending too well include, Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia and Brandt Snedeker, all Ryder Cup participants.

 

 

 

BMW Championship, Its Bunched at the top.

The BMW Championship got off to a flying start here at Crooked Stick Golf Club, Carmel, Indiana, Its bunched at the top of the leaderboard after Thursdays opening round. Four players are sharing the top position at -8 under par, after rounds of 64 they are;  Webb Simpson, Bo Van Pelt, Graham DeLaet and last weeks winner, World number one Rory McIlroy. Rory and Tiger Woods were paired up for this opening round, and they seemed to enjoy it, Rory said;

“I’ve always enjoyed playing with Tiger, and every time that we’re paired up, we seem to have a good time. I felt like my iron play was some of the best it’s been all year, basically in my whole life. I was giving myself a lot of opportunities to attack the pins from the fairways as well. I just have to try and keep doing that for the next three days. With the soft conditions, you could really shoot a number out there, and I did.”

Tiger was very complementary about Rory, and his impact on the game of golf;

“It’s a lot of fun, this is the next generation of guys coming out. He hits it great, putts it great, and on top of that, he’s just a really nice kid. The game of golf is in great hands with him, and he’s here to stay. I wasn’t playing particularly well, but I scored. Rory, on the other hand, played beautifully today. Every single part of his game was working. It all looked good. I was very fortunate to post the number I shot.”

TOUR Report: Live updates

Tiger and Rory/Halleran/Getty Images

Just one behind after finishing with rounds of 65 and scores of -7 under par are Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh, both previous winners of the FedEx Cup.

Another shot further back are three players on -6 under par; Luke Donald, Ryan Moore and Ryan Palmer. There are a plethora of players at -5 and -4 under par, the course is playing very easy with the recent rain softening the greens and also the players are allowed to pick, clean and place their ball, none of that tough stuff we have to play through, all we get is play the ball as it lies.

One of the TV commentators was talking about the new BMW M5, saying it was much more fuel-efficient than the old model. That is not much consolation for us guys down here in New Zealand, the government have just increased the price of gas because all us good Kiwi’s  have bought fuel-efficient cars. This means that we are not buying as much fuel as we used to, that’s got to be good, right. Not so, say the government, it means they are losing tax dollars, so they increased the price of gas to compensate.

I am currently between BMW’s, having recently sold my 7 series, so at the moment I am in a vacuum, and a little crest fallen.

PGA Championship. Play Suspended in Third Round.

Play was suspended during the third round of the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island on the Ocean Course due to inclement weather conditions, namely lightning. Lee Trevino once said if you get caught in a lightning storm on a golf course, you should walk around holding a one iron above your head, ” Even God can’t hit a one iron.” Personally I would not like to test Lee’s theory, I suspect God would be able to strike a one iron better than anybody.

At the suspension of play Rory McIlroy and Vijay Singh were tied at the top of the leaderboard, with a tournament score of -6 under par. Rory had completed the front nine at -4 under par, in-spite of  his tee-shot on the drivable third hole, becoming lodged in the branch of a tree. He took an unplayable lie penalty, dropped the ball and fired his third onto the green and then sunk the 7 foot putt for his par. Rory is keen to get back out on the course, and is happy with is position;

“I’m going into the final day of the final major of the season tied for the lead. All I wanted was to put myself into contention and I’ve done that. It was a great start today and I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

US PGA Championship 2012: Rory McIlroy shares the lead and is poised to strike until weather halts play

Rory McIlroy/GETTY IMAGES

Vijay has only played seven holes of the third round, his score at -2 under par and appears to be on cruise control, quite the opposite of his playing partner today, Tiger Woods. Tiger has lost some control and is at +3 over par for the first seven holes. He began the day as the joint-leader, but the putting touch which lit up his first two rounds unexpectedly deserted him, right from the start when he missed a three-footer for birdie off the first.

Adam Scott has completed nine holes and is handily placed at -5 under par for the tournament, his third round so far is -4 under.

So the leaders will have to start early tomorrow morning to complete their third rounds, before starting the final session of the day, quite a daunting and exhausting task. I hope they have the stamina to get through the day and be in contention at the end. It would be horrible to see them drop out of the race and lose the title to someone who has had to only play 18 holes on the final day.

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