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Wells Fargo Championship. Phil Fumbles, Nick Nips In.

Phil Mickelson fumbled at the end of his round today, allowing Nick Watney to nip in and tie him for the lead, at the Wells Fargo Championship, Hollow Quail Club. The pair of them are at -8 under par for the tournament.

Moving Day madness

Nick Watney and Phil Mickelson / Lecka / Getty Images

Phil’s third round was a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly, he finished at +1 over par. This was not the direction Phil wanted to be heading in on moving day. The good was the birdies at 5,8.10 and 14, the bad was the bogeys at 3,12 and 16, with the ugly being a double bogey at the par five 15th, a seven, no less. It was some pretty average golf and Phil admitted it was;

“It was some poor play coming down the stretch.After I made that putt on 14, I felt really good. I thought I could get one on 15. I got lucky on the tee shot that didn’t go out-of-bounds, I missed it so bad, but the second shot should not have been a problem.”

Nick had his own troubles, just when it looked like he would grab the lead on his own, and after a long, long wait on the 17th tee, Nick managed a double bogey on the par three, Thanks to a hackers shank off the tee, with a six iron;

” I can’t remember the last time I did that in a tournament, so it was a bit unsettling. The big picture,  I’m tied for the lead, and I would have taken that on Thursday morning. It’s a tough hole, and I’m sure guys hit shots they thought were good and it just hooked a little and went in the water and made double. It just so happened that I’m playing really well and it was on TV, so that’s where the embarrassment comes from. But the other thing is you like to put as much distance as you can between you and the other guys, so a bit of anger and definitely some embarrassment. If I have any chance of playing well tomorrow, I’m going to need to get past it and come out ready to go or else I’m going to get run over, I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

In third place alone is George Mcneill, at -7 under par, after his third round of 72, just par. He missed a birdie chance on the 18th to join the two leaders. George, like many of us, thought Phil was going to run away with it, he didn’t;

” Phil looked like he was kind of moving ahead of everyone, and then I don’t know what he did on 16, but it looked like either 15 or 16 he had kind of a mess-up. Then Nick, with the shot that he hit on 17, that actually shook me up probably more than it shook him up. Honestly, I didn’t even know until I was standing on 18 green, and then I looked and I’m like, Oh, wow, I’m tied for the lead.”

There are a whole bunch of players on -6 under par, including Lee Westwood, Lee could only manage a par round today. This tournament is wide open now, almost anybody could still win it, someone will come out tomorrow and shoot a low round.

Wells Fargo Championship. Philly Mick Posts his Intentions

Phil Mickleson has posted his intentions in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.

Wells Fargo Championship

Phil Mickelson / Getty Images

Phil shot a second round -5 under par, 67 which moved him to the top of the leaderboard, leading by two shots at the close of play in the Wells Fargo Championship.

Phil is happy with his putting, despite the poor state of the greens, but his driving still leaves a lot to be desired;

” I got off to a good start. I birdied the first two holes, so that set a good tone for the round. The first 27, 28 holes I have not driven the ball very well which is, most people would say, not surprising. But before I came here, I was driving the ball phenomenal. I really am excited about the way I’ve been hitting it off the tee, and I’m looking forward to this weekend. After the 28th hole, after I played 10, I made a slight alignment adjustment and I was able to get it back to where I had been driving it. I think if I drive it well this weekend, it’s going to be a fun weekend and I fully expect to. I’ve putted really well. It’s been fun.”

Phil is a from horse, and it is difficult to beat a form horse to the finish line, unless of course there are some real thoroughbreds coming up behind. There are a few in this field, so Phil had better be aware.

Three players share second place at Quail Hollow, all at -7 under par for the tournament, they are; Scott Gardiner, Nick Watney and George McNeill. A -5 second round from Scott, -4 from George and a modest -2 under par from Nick.

Nick is excited about the week-end;

” I’m excited for the weekend. It’s always fun to play with Phil and Rickie. We had a good time, and I’m in good shape, so I’m excited.”

Scott was surprised to be where he is;

” Probably nobody’s more surprised than I am. But it’s really a treat to play on such a great golf course. I’ve watched this tournament for many years, and I’m just it’s great to be out here on the PGA TOUR and to play some good golf is nice too.”

George said there were some low numbers to be had out there;

There are some low numbers out there because the greens are soft. They’re not putting great, but the greens are soft, so you can still aim at the flags and try to get close in. So I didn’t feel like I had to shoot a low one. I just kind of plodded along and made some birdies here and there and not too many mistakes and we’ll see where I end up.”

A bunch of players are at -6 under par, including Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy. Lee had a second round of -4 under par while Rory could only manage a -1 under par 71.

Wells Fargo Championship @ Quail Hollow, Rickie Fowler Wins

       

Carolina orange

Lecka/Getty Image

Rickie Fowler won the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in a three way playoff  against  Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points. All three players had finished the final round with a tournament total of -14 under par. Webb Simpson had an opportunity to join them in the playoff  but missed his birdie attempt on the last green.

On the first extra hole Rickie played a fabulous 51-degree wedge to within four feet of the 18th green flagstick, and held his nerve to sink the winning putt.  It was his first PGA TOUR win in his 67th start as a pro, bringing him a 500-point FedEx Cup points that pushed him to No. 15 in the latest standings. He said of his amazing approach shot;

“I didn’t want to play it safe. I had a good number, and I was aiming right of the hole with the wind coming out of the right, and if I hit a perfect shot, it comes down right on the stick. I hit a perfect shot at the right time, and I was going for it. “It’s awesome. It’s a long wait, but well worth it. Told you it was coming. It’s a good feeling right now. Definitely some relief, satisfaction. I’m definitely happy. It’s not a bad thing, winning. It’s kind of fun.”

He also said he enjoyed the rivalry with Rory;

“I’m looking forward to playing with Rory for a long time.”

Rory returned to No. 1 in the world with this performance at Quail Hollow, he finished tied for second with D.A. Points. Rory was impressed with Rickie’s birdie at the 18th in the playoff;

“You wouldn’t call the 18th today a birdie hole with that pin, For Rickie to go out and play that hole the way he did, he deserved to win. I think it was just a matter of time before he won”

Webb Simpson and Ryan Moore, who started the day in the final pairing, both failed to shine. Webb did have that missed opportunity to join the playoff, but too many mistakes on the day cost the local boy his chance. Ryan fell back into a tie for fifth place with Lee Westwood. Lee suffered again from a slow start in this tournament, it seems to becoming a bad habit of his.

Nick Watney failed to capitalize on a good start to this tournament, finishing his final round with a score of  74 and at -10 under par was four shots off the leaders.

Wells Fargo Championship @ Quail Hollow

                                                                            

Wells Fargo, Round 2

Lecka/Getty Images

Nick Watney leads after the 2nd round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow after shooting a marvelous round of -8 under par 64. He leads by just one shot from Webb Simpson who had a -4 under par round of 68. There are a few players who are another shot back at -10 under par for the tournament, they are;

Stewart Cink, Ben Crane, D.A. Points and Australian John Senden.

Among those who scraped through on the cut line of -1 under par were Phil Mickleson, who had an even round today, and Lee Westwood who also had an even round. Lee seems to make it a habit of starting slowly and finishing strongly, but both he and Phil have a long road ahead of them if they intend to contest the Championship on Sunday afternoon.

Notables missing the cut at even par include;

Angel Cabrera, Henrik Stenson, Mike Weir, Trevor Immelman,  Biggest name of all is that of Tiger Woods.

tigerstb.lecka.jpg

 Lecka/Getty Images

  Tiger is struggling to make Sean Foley’s swing work and  is still attempting to erase the muscle memory of the one he cultivated with Hank Haney. I personally think the major problem is that he is missing the camaraderie and unquestionably great advice and reading of the game of Steve Williams. Sadly for Tiger and his legions of supporters that will never return, Tiger has to find another way of getting the job done. Tiger said after his unexpected exit;

“It all has to do with my setup. If I get over the golf ball and I feel uncomfortable, I hit it great. It’s just that I get out there and I want to get comfortable, and I follow my old stuff, and I hit it awful. All the shots I got uncomfortable on, I just said, ‘I’m going to get really uncomfortable and make it feel as bad as it possibly could,’ I striped it. I know what I need to do, it’s just I need more reps doing it.”

Tiger also rued missing out on the par 5′s;

“You just can’t do that, especially when all of them are reachable with irons. I didn’t take care of the par 5s, missed a couple other little short ones for birdie, and consequently got no momentum during the round.”

Playing partner today,Geoff Ogilvy commented

“He wouldn’t be out of the tournament if he’d made putts. If he holed putts, he’d be in contention ‘

Tiger’s day could have been even worse than it was, he benefited from some help from the gallery, the report goes like this,

“One gentleman specifically, an older gentleman, told me, I saw the ball hit right here, I saw it bounce, it didn’t look like it was going far, and then I saw several people come around and get around the ball where it was going, and the ball was vanished. Listen, I’m thinking all the time, if you can’t find the ball, the ball is lost. But based on the evidence we had, somebody must have picked the ball up the way I see it.”

Tiger was philosophical about the incident;

“A gentleman saw the ball land and roll, and another gentleman verified he saw the same thing. There were about five or six people that ran over to the ball, and the next thing you know we get down there and there’s hundreds of people and no ball. You saw an area there, there’s really nothing there. We looked around for a while, and then Mark came over there and analyzed the situation and what was going on. We gave him all the information. The two gentlemen participated in the conversation, and we dropped it as close as we could to where they thought it was picked up. So that was it.”

Others missing the cut were, Danny Lee at +2 over par, a disappointment for all Kiwi’s who thought after his first round he would make the cut here. Vijay Singh at +1 and Reteif Goosen with a sad second round of 75, leaving him out of the tournament at +3 over par. Keegan Bradley also missed due to a second round 76.

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