WGC Cadillac Championship. McIlroy Makes A Move.

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Rory McIlroy makes a move in the third round of the WGC Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral.

McIlroy pulls ahead at Cadillac

Rory shot a bogey free third round -4 under par 68 to take a three shot lead into the final round of the WGC Cadillac Championship with a -12 under par total in Miami.

Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott share second place, three shots back at -9 under par, Dustin could only card a -1 under 71 and Adam was worse recording +1 over par 73.

Bunker heroics lead to birdie Crafty up-and-down on No. 16

Adam Scott & Dustin Johnson / Getty Images

Danny Willett, even par 72,  Bubba Watson -1 under 71 and Phil Mickelson -2 under 70 are tied in fourth position, now five shots off the lead at -7 under par for the tournament.

World No. 1 Jordan Spieth struggled again today, his round of +1 over par 73 leaving him at -2 under for the week and T17.

WGC Cadillac Championship. Adam Scott Ascends Once Again

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Adam Scott ascends the leaderboard again as last weeks winner tops the WGC Cadillac Championship at the half way stage on The Blue Monster, Doral.

Adam Scott's 6-under 66 on Friday gave him a two-shot lead heading into the weekend. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

Adam Scott / Getty Images

Adam has a two shot lead going into the week-end at the WGC Cadillac Championship after carding a  second round -6 under par 66, to post a 36 hole -10 under par total.

He said he felt relaxed after his win last week at the Honda Classic, and his putting is getting better;

“I’m probably a little more relaxed this week leading going into the weekend than if I hadn’t won last week.”

“A 36-hole lead doesn’t mean that much, unless it’s by about 10. I could tee off tomorrow and not be leading.”

“I’m going to have to play a good couple of days and try to keep moving in the right direction while the conditions are allowing us to.”

“Overall, it was a lot of good stuff, enough quality shots and enough quality putts to negate a couple of mistakes out there, but they can easily happen on this golf course.”

“So I’m glad there was enough of the good stuff to keep me up on top and kind of setting the pace after halfway.”

Sharing second place  at -8 under par is defending Champion Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy.

Dustin posted a bogey free -8 under par 64, while Rory was only one shot behind with -7 under 65 today.

Dustin likes this golf course, with their perfect greens;

“I think the golf course is fantastic, it’s not an easy golf course.”

“It’s in great shape. The greens are perfect.”

Rory made his crossed handed grip on the putter to make some great putts today;

“There was a lot of big momentum putts in there that I have not been holing.”

“So to see those drop today and to be as comfortable as I was, it feels really good and obviously I’m very happy with where I’m at going into the weekend.”

Phil Mickelson, even par today and is now five back, even though he carded four birdies on the trot on the front nine, enjoying some early momentum, but made an enormous blunder, dropping his tee shot into the water at the 139-yard 15th. He said he lost concentration;

“I just kind of lost my train of thought.”

“I’ll be fresh and ready for the weekend. I feel like I’m driving the ball extremely well and my iron game is sharp.”

“And even though that back nine wasn’t what I wanted, it was kind of an anomaly. It’s going to be a good weekend.”

I love it, bring on the weekend.

WGC Cadillac Championship. Two Tied at the Top.

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There are two players tied at the top of the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral after the first round. Scott Piercy and Marcus Fraser share top billing.

WGC Cadillac Championship

Scott Piercy / Getty Images

Scott and Marcus carded first rounds of -6 under par 66 at Doral in the WGC Cadillac Championship, to lead by one shot.

Scott spent eight hours on the range practicing yesterday, and explained it well;

“There was a lot, I just wasn’t getting behind the ball very well.”

“I wasn’t getting into my backswing at all. I was kind of faking it. I couldn’t go through the way I wanted to.”

“We all know we’re trying to beat those guys week-in, week-out.”

 “They have proved it. I haven’t proven it week-in, week-out, but when my game’s there I’m pretty decent. We all know they are there.”

“They are looking at my name today. So maybe they will do it tomorrow.”

Marcus was happy to get off to a good start here at Doral;

“It’s obviously a great way to start, especially in a golf tournament like this and at a golf course as strong as this.”

“I’ve obviously got a lot of confidence from today.”

“My previous results at Doral haven’t been that great, but it is nice to get a good one early and hopefully build on that over the next few days.”

Phil Mickelson is in third place , that one shot behind at -5 under par after his opening round 67.

Phil is still learning the new layout, but is happy with the results;

“There is a bit of a learning curve on some of the contours and where you have to go and where you want to go and the best place to be.”

“It’s not like I came in here weeks before and mapped it out like a major. You’re here only the week of.”

“But this is our third year here now and it continues to get better each year.”

“It was a good day, I hit a lot of good shots, made some good putts and just drove it well, enjoyed the day. It was a good day.”

Tied in fourth spot at -4 under par are Adam Scott, Jason Dufner, Charley Hoffman and Danny Willett, shooting rounds of 68.

Danny played and putted well;

“It’s only my fifth tournament of the year so it is still early days, but it is nice to get a few good numbers on the board.”

“It was a good, solid day, I hit 16 greens and had 30 putts. You can’t really ask for much more around this golf course.”

Rory McIlroy could only manage an opening round -1 under par 71, I have tried to tell him that crossed handed putting is not the way to go.

WGC Cadillac Championship. Rory Triumphs.

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Rory McIlroy came through to triumph in the WGC Cadillac Championship at TPC Harding Park in chilly San Francisco.

WGC Cadillac Championship

Rory & WGC Trophy / Getty Images

Rory defeated Gary Woodland in the final of the WGC Cadillac Championship by a margin of 4 & 2 in a tense match where neither of them brought their A game to the course.

Rory got up early to birdie the 22nd hole in his ongoing quarter-final match with Paul Casey, which put him in the semi’s against Jim Furyk. He came good again at the end sinking a 30ft Eagle putt to spoil Jim’s day, beating him 1up.

Rory is conscience of the presence of Jordan Spieth in the World rankings, and is pleased he is still out in front;

“It’s nice to have that healthy lead and I want to try to keep increasing it, but ultimately it’s about wins. If you win, it takes care of all that.”

“Once I got up on the match, I just tried to up the intensity a little bit and take advantage of that.”

“I feel like every time I get in these positions to win tournaments and close tournaments out and I do it, it adds to that ability to really knuckle down when I need to.”

“I think sometimes finals might not have the quality of some of the previous rounds, whether that’s to do with a little bit of fatigue kicking in or maybe just the occasion or whatever.”

“I felt like Gary and I didn’t get off to the best of starts. There was a bit of an ebb and flow in the match, but thankfully I was on the better side of it at the end.”

He can now go and celebrate his 26th birthday in some style on Monday.

Gary lamented having a bad day today against Rory, after he had dispatched Danny Willett 3 & 2 in his semi;

“You’ve got to get lucky in match play. If you have your bad round, you’ve got to hope the guy you’re playing with has a bad round, as well.”

“I was fortunate to get away with a bad round on Wednesday against Jimmy [Walker]. But when you’re playing the No. 1 player in the world, you can’t have a bad round.”

“I kept telling myself on the back nine, the last three or four matches he’s been down going into the last hole.”

“I was trying to fight to get back in the match, telling myself just give yourself chances, give yourself chances, finally a putt will go in.”

“I mean if there’s anybody that likes to front run, it’s him.”

“A lot of guys can flip the switch, but the switch doesn’t work all the time, his switch worked.”

“He flipped it. You could see he had a little more pep in his step, he was walking a little more quickly. You could tell.”

Danny Willett went on to win the consolation match against Jim Furyk to finish solo third. The FedExCup points gave him enough on the season to qualify for Special Temporary Membership for the 2014-15 season. If he  finishes in the top 125 in FedExCup points this season, he’ll earn a PGA TOUR card for 2015-16;

“Luckily we’ve just about covered that, which is nice; then we can kind of build in a schedule.”

 

WGC Cadillac Championship. D.J. Wins

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D.J, Dustin Johnson won the WGC Cadillac Championship, his first win since his self-imposed lay-off.

WGC Cadillac Championship

D.J. and Trophy / Getty Images

 D.J. shot a final round -3 under par 69, to lift the WGC Cadillac Championship with a -9 under par total. He was very happy with the win, especially after the long lay-off he had;

“Obviously it’s one of my biggest wins, and especially after a long layoff, to come back out and win in my fifth start means a lot.”

“I knew I was really good, I knew there was something I was missing that could make me great. I was working hard on that, and I think it’s showing right now. It’s tough. I’m so excited right now, I can’t hardly talk. It feels great.”

“I really wasn’t paying much attention, I knew Bubba was playing well. I knew where I was, I was playing pretty well. This golf course is so tough, you never know what’s going to happen.”

“I’ve been working hard on my game and been working hard on me, and so it means a great deal to have some success right out of the gate. It gives me a lot of confidence, too.”

“I would drink and drink to access,’ the change I made is I just don’t do that anymore. I definitely have given up hard liquor ’cause that was the thing that I went to, it’s been a big change.”

“I enjoyed it, I got to spend a lot of time with Paulina and help her as much as I could through her pregnancy, and then the birth of our son. I really enjoyed being able to be home and not having to leave or do anything. So it was actually really nice.”

“The effort and time I’ve been putting in at the gym has helped a lot physically and mentally, and then the time I’m putting in on my golf game, and then obviously my personal life, I think that’s been the difference.”

“I was in the gym every single day, every morning, and then spend the rest of the time either practicing or hanging out with Paulina.”

J.B. sadly finished in second place at -8 under par, following his last round +3 over par 75. A long way from the man who was at -11 under par for the first round, par golf from then on would have won him this tournament;

“It was going to take one of those type of deals, couple guys were going to have to play great and I was going to have to have an off day,”

“I knew if I shot 72, that would probably be good enough. That’s kind of what I was going to, to be honest with you, I thought probably 2 or 3 over would have been enough.”

Bubba Watson finished in third spot, at -7 under par, he was the man on fire early on, and looked like he would run away with it, but a couple of missed shots made all the difference, on a course that he does not like;

”A couple of shots, just missed the fairway by a few feet. Missed the green by a few feet. That’s what this golf course does.”

”If you’re just off, it can get to you real fast.”

Rory finished T9, at -1 under par, after another even par round of 72. He said his head and his golf game got lost in the desert;

‘I think we left our game in the desert, it’s still back there.”

“Just playing quite conservatively which is very much unlike me.”

“The game’s just not quite there, I’m tentative, a little bit scared to play certain shots, because I feel like I can’t at the minute.”

“I have just got to get back at it tomorrow and try to figure out what I need to do.”

WGC Cadillac Championship. J.B. Holmes Tames the Blue Monster.

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J.B. Holmes tames the Blue Monster, shooting 62 in the first round of the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral.

WGC Cadillac Championship

J.B. Holmes / Getty Images

J.B. leads the WGC Cadillac Championship by four shots after he carded a first round -10 under par 62, on the infamous Blue Monster lay-out. J.B. scored a tap-in eagle to go along with eight birdies and no bogey’s in a perfect opening gambit;

“I hit a lot of good shots today, and pretty much on every hole I put the ball below the hole where I had a chance to make a putt.”

“It’s tough to make some putts, and if you can get below the hole, you have a better chance. Even if it’s 25 feet, you have a better chance of making that than a ten or 15 footer downhill.” 

“I was able to hit the shots where I envisioned and hit good shots, and today the putter was on, put that combination together, you do everything pretty good, and you’re going to shoot a good score.”

“It’s just a tough golf course, so if I go out and shoot even or one under tomorrow, that would be a good round. It’s hard to back these days up, so I’ll just try to go out there with no expectations tomorrow and play.”

Ryan Moore is in second place on his own at -6 under par following his good round of 66 he was keeping the pressure on the leader, with birdies on eight of his first 12 holes, but recorded a painful double bogey at the notoriously testing 18th. after his tee shot found the water down the left hand side.

There are three players tied in third position at -4 under par, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Alexander Levy.

Alexander was  making his tournament debut and started well, he birdied the long par five first hole and went one better with an eagle on the par five eighth;

“It was a very good round.”

“In very tough conditions I played really good golf. I hit some good shots in good positions; that was the key today.”

Rory McIlroy is still suffering his golfing woes, a +1 over par 73, he still hasn’t broken par in his three rounds in America this year, and lamented his bad start today, but his practice is going OK;

“Just another day where I didn’t get off to the greatest of starts.”

“It is very good on the range and it is very good in normal play and I’m not playing a tournament.”

“Then I’ve got a card in my hand the last couple weeks and it just hasn’t quite been there.”

“After the turn, I was sort of like, there’s not much else to lose, go ahead and try and be aggressive.”

“That’s the frustrating thing. I feel like there’s stretches of holes like on that front nine where three birdies and an eagle in the space of five holes; I know that it’s in there.”

“It’s just all the other stuff, and then I was a little wasteful around the greens.”

Rory Regrets Folly about Wisdom Teeth.

Rory McIlroy regrets walking off the course at the Honda Classic, and lying to all and sundry about the reason for his sudden withdrawal, initially saying his game was in a dark place. Then his management company came up with the novel idea that Rory had sudden toothache, it just had to be his wisdom tooth, such irony.

Rory McIlroy grabs his nose. I thought it was your tooth! (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

The Worlds Number One ranked golfer, Rory McIlroy had to eat humble pie, with no sign of teething problems, when he fronted up to the media to announce the truth behind his Honda Classic withdrawal.

” I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t the right thing to do,’ no matter how bad I was playing, I should have stayed out there. I should have tried to shoot the best score possible even though it probably wasn’t going to be good enough to make the cut. At that point in time, I was just all over the place, I saw red, it was a mistake and everyone makes mistakes and I’m learning from them. Some people have the pleasure of making mistakes in private, most of my mistakes are in the public eye. I actually think in the long run, Friday will be a blessing in disguise, it was like it just sort of released a valve and all that sort of pressure that I’ve been putting on myself just went away. And I was like, just go out and have fun. It’s not life or death out there. It’s only a game. I had sort of forgotten that this year. I’ve learned from it and as I said, it won’t happen again.”

A contrite Rory spoke for 25 minutes,  with two of his agents from Horizon Sports, Colin Morrissey and Sean O’Flaherty in close attendance, along with Nike representatives and his coach Michael Bannon. Rory said he will have to learn to tough it out;

“I learned that when the tough gets going, I’ve got to stick in there a bit more and I’ve got to grind it out. There’s no excuse for quitting and it doesn’t set a good example for the kids watching me, trying to emulate what I do. It wasn’t good for a whole lot of reasons, for the tournaments, the people coming out watching me. I feel like I let a lot of people down and I am very sorry. Me and all you guys are hopefully going to have a working relationship for the next 20 years, so I don’t want to jeopardize that by being closed. I feel like I’ve always been open and honest and given you guys all my thoughts. I don’t want there to be friction, it’s not like I want it to be a strained relationship because it’s going to be a long one, I hope.”

Ernie Els,  a four-time Major winner, who is also playing in this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral’s Blue Monster said he regretted not stopping Rory from walking off.

It was obviously a heat of the moment thing, he is who he is. You’ve got to respect what the individual at that moment is like, and he wanted to get off. And we obviously heard that he had his wisdom tooth was bothering him, and if that was the reason, that was that. I would have been out of my depth at that stage to say something to him if something was bothering him. So I didn’t, but I thought I should have.”

Ernie and Mark Wilson were the three-some on the ill-fated round, Ernie went on to say when he was young he had done some silly things, and his experience in the game could have helped out Rory;

“That’s why I thought I needed to say something. Listen, I was also 23; I’m 43 now. I look back, I did a lot of silly things and what he’s done is nothing compared to what I did; speak to my parents. But when it comes to being where he’s at, you’ve got to maybe think a little bit more than two minutes. In a couple of years’ time, he won’t even think about this or talk about this. If he wins this week, it will be the last thing we talk about, it will be history and that’s what it should be. It’s something that’s happened and we should move on from that. He’s a great kid, he’s a great player and if he admits he’s made a mistake, then that’s that and let’s move on.”