with Bryan Angus

Thanks for joining me today. I look forward to your comments . They are always welcome here on FairwaysPlus. Bryan Angus bryanangus4@gmail.com

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Westwood by one in Malaysia, Rain delay at Harbour Town

PGA  Tour
RBC Heritage
Harbour Town Golf Links

K.J. Choi’s early tee time and quick start moved him to the top of the rain-delayed RBC Heritage on Friday.

Choi shot a 67 to get to 5-under 137, one stroke ahead of Robert Allenby and two in front of a group led by former world No. 1 Luke Donald as the second round was suspended because of heavy storms.

Allenby was among 65 players still on the course when the rain hit Harbour Town Golf Links. Officials delayed the round shortly before 3 p.m. and then sent everyone home until Saturday morning after waiting through about 90 minutes of steady, heavy rain.

Allenby has 13 holes to finish when play resumes Saturday morning.

Donald shot a 69 and joined Billy Hurley III (69) and first-round tri-leader Scott Langley (73) in the clubhouse two shots behind Choi. Bo Van Pelt and Ben Martin were also at 3 under early in their rounds.

Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and 20-year-old Jordan Spieth faltered after their strong starts at Harbour Town.

Kuchar, who tied for fifth last week at the year’s first major, had a pair of double bogeys on his first six holes before the rains came and stood four shots behind Choi.

Spieth, a Masters rookie who tied for second at Augusta National, had a 74 and was at 1-over 143 – good enough to make the projected cut of 4 over, but well off his opening 69

David Hearn was thru 11 holes of his second round and is sitting on the projected cut line of 4-over.
Mike Weir completed his second round, a 74 and was at 5-over 147.

Stephen Ames only got four holes in on Friday. He’s sitting at 5-over 147 but has plenty of holes left to get below the cut line

Live scores click http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/rbc-heritage/leaderboard.html

Champions Tour
Greater Gwinett Championship
TPC Sugarloaf
Duluth Ga

Miguel Angel Jimenez’s first round on the Champions Tour went quite well.

After one eagle, five birdies and a tournament record, Jimenez proclaimed “I love it!” and then departed in search of a couple of his usual staples.

Avoiding a post-Masters letdown, Jimenez shot a 65 on Friday to lead the cold, soggy Greater Gwinnett Championship by three strokes.

Jimenez, coming off a fourth-place finish in the Masters, was 6 under on his first nine holes, including an eagle on No. 18. He added another birdie on No. 2 and closed with seven straight pars at TPC Sugarloaf.

Bernhard Langer set the previous tournament record with a 66 while winning the 2013 inaugural championship. Langer, Steve Pate and Kenny Perry are three strokes behind Jimenez

Rod Spittle is in a group that shot 70.

Live scores http://www.pgatour.com/champions/leaderboard.html

PGA Tour Canada
Q School, Florida

Round 4 (underway)

Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Ryan Brehm shot a 1-under 71 at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Reunion Resort on Friday to take the lead through three rounds at PGA TOUR Canada’s Florida Qualifying Tournament. The 28-year old was the only player at even par or better through 54 holes and held a one shot lead over Syracuse, New York’s Dan McCarthy.

The third round was completed on Friday following delays originally caused by thunderstorms on Tuesday, with more storms causing a two-hour delay on Friday. The fourth round began late Friday evening and will resume at 8 A.M. on Saturday.

18 players will earn conditional status on PGA TOUR Canada for 2014, with the rest of the top 40 plus ties earning conditional status. Brehm, a Michigan State University grad, was the only player at level par or better through three rounds on the demanding Nicklaus course


European Tour
Malaysian Open
Kuala Lumpur

Round 3

England’s Lee Westwood saw his lead whittled down to a single stroke by compatriot Andy Sullivan as an exciting final round beckons at the Maybank Malaysian Open.

Westwood, seventh in last week’s Masters Tournament, started the day four shots ahead of the chasing pack and at one stage his lead was five, but a closing bogey saw him sign for a third round 71.
The 40 year old sits 14 under par, with former Walker Cup star Sullivan one back following a 66, France’s Julien Quesne third on ten under and Nicolas Colsaerts a shot further back in fourth.

Pablo Larrazábal was shaken but not seriously hurt after he was attacked by a swarm of travelling hornets on the fifth hole during round 2.  The Spaniard was walking along the fairway when he swatted an insect off his nose, but doing so caused many more to swarm around him, stinging his face and head.

When attempts to brush them off and run away failed, he resorted to jumping into a water hazard to escape. Treatment from the on-site doctor and referees followed, and fortunately he was able to continue playing – remarkably he even birdied the hole he was playing at the time of the incident. He shot -4 68.


Lotte Championship
Ko Olina GC

Round 3

Angela Stanford shot a 5-under 67 on Friday to open a four-stroke lead after three rounds of the LPGA LOTTE Championship in breezy Hawaii.

Stanford is 13 under going into the final round Saturday, ahead of Hyo Joo Kim and Michelle Wie at 9 under.

Stanford, a five-time LPGA Tour winner, finished the day with six birdies and one bogey, one day after taking the tournament lead with a 64 in the second round.


Bryan Angus
(files from europeantour.com, BBC AP Reuters )

Sunday, April 13, 2014

" Bubba Golf" wins 78th Masters

Weather :  Perfect, sunny 81*F  light breeze SSE 8mph

Tee times/ pairings   http://www.masters.com/en_US/players/pairings/

1030  Weir out of it now plays with Canadian Open champ Snedeker
110   Adam Scott and Jason Day the top two Aussies for bragging rights
150  Stadler and Couples with outside chances
200  Justin Rose with his Ryder Cup asst captain Thomas Bjorn who can win this !
210  Lee Westwood and Furyk and don't count either out
220  Fowler and Jimenez, two stylists, and Miguel's 66 has be pulling for him at 50!
230  Kuchar and Blixt and remember I picked Kuchar in my preview
240  Bubba and Speith and my gut says neither will be the winner..

Final wrap

Well let me be the first to admit I was wrong, as you can see from the pairing analysis above I didn't think Bubba or Jordan Speith would win, I picked Matt Kuchar in my preview on Wednesday.

However Bubba's jitters and uncertainty from Saturday turned into a flood of confidence come Sunday afternoon, especially after Speith's two shot advantage turned into a two shot deficit thanks a dramatic three putt on 8 and a rookie mistake on 9, then a ball into Rae's Creek on the 12th and a missed birdie on 13.

Bubba gets full credit from me. We all know there are all kinds of swings on tour, but they all are on plane and on line coming into and going out of contact however Bubba's wide open stance, homemade swing which features a natural fade work just great at Augusta, in fact he was in the top 3 in fairways hit all week, and he ate up the par 5's. He shapes shots more than anyone in the pro game, he see's shots with an imagination that only he can see, he hits it longer while under control than 99% of his peers, is a pretty good putter and in short is highly entertaining to watch.

Now that he is married and has an adopted son, like so many of us who experience fatherhood for the first time, he seems much more stable and settled as he starts to realize what life's priorities are all about therefore is much less apt to get in his own way on the golf course.

Watson closed with a 3-under 69 to beat a pair of Masters rookies in Spieth and Jonas Blixt of Sweden to win his 2nd Masters in 3 years.

Speith had all the momentum early by holing out for birdie from the front bunker on No. 4, and making back-to-back birdies to build a two-shot lead through seven holes. Bidding to become the first player in 35 years to win a green jacket in his first try, Spieth looked to be well on his way until the three putt on No. 8 as Watson got up-and-down for birdie to tie for the lead, then a rookie mistake, leaving his approach below the flagstick on No. 9 and watching it roll back into the fairway, setting up another bogey and two-shot swing.

Watson was too powerful, too experienced, too tough to beat. Spieth closed with six pars for a 72 and tied for second with Blixt, who never went away but never really threatened. Blixt shot a 71

Watson finished at 8-under 280 and goes to a career-best No. 4 in the world.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, the 50-year-old wonder from Spain, shot 71 and finished alone in fourth. Matt Kuchar lost a share of the lead with a four-putt double bogey on the fourth hole and never challenged again. He closed with a 74 and tied for fifth with Rickie Fowler (73).

Remember nine players were separated by three shots at the start of the final round only for this to turn into a two-man show, virtual match play, as none of the rest could mount a challenge.

Mike Weir closed with +1 73.

This Masters lacked the big back nine charge, in fact Bubba's biggest fear walking up 18 with 4 putts for the win was that he'd break down and start Bubba-ling.

Still with all the storylines Lee Westwood T7, Rory McIlroy T8th after a 2nd round 77, Bernard Langer was 8th as well, Jimenez 4th after his 66 on Saturday with his funky warm up drill while smoking on of his favourite cigars, Freddie Couples in the mix until 75 on Sunday, Adam Scott relishing his title defence accompanied by his Dad....on and on it goes..

The ratings will be affected because Phil and you know who were not in the field, but I didn't miss them at all..... nor I'm sure did Bubba !!

 Bryan Angus

(files from europeantour.com, Reuters, AP )

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Speith, Watson atop a packed leaderboard at Augusta

Weather:   high 80*F  breeze SW 6mph  Mainly sunny..

Pairings / Tee times  http://www.masters.com/en_US/players/pairings/

1015  Rory McIlroy plays with a marker (usually a club low handicapper, selected to keep Rory company, control the pace of play, stay out of his way!)
1035  Olazabal / Clarke  two stalwarts of the European Tour will enjoy their day together
1156  Poulter / Fowler   by far the best dressed pairing
1230  Vijay / Langer   So many wins between them, good for the old guys..
1245  Weir / Choi   great pairing for both guys, good pals from International Team
215    Couples / Walker    bombs away !!
225    Scott / Speith    both oozing confidence, Speith can't even by a beer yet ..#soyoung
235   Bjorn/ Blixt   2nd last pairing being ignored.. #norespect
245  Watson / Senden   Can Bubba avoid the big crash that will let everyone in ??

Round 3

20-year-old Jordan Spieth put himself atop the leaderboard and 18 holes away from replacing Tiger Woods as the youngest player with a green jacket with a 2-under 70 that gave him a share of the lead with Bubba Watson going into a final round.

Watson started the third round with a three-shot lead but on a day where his putter and approach shots let him down,five players had at least a share of the lead at some point so this Masters is as wide open as when it started.

Spieth at 20 already has shown he can deliver big moments. He talked to himself constantly on the golf course, and with a win can surpass Tiger who was 21 when he won his first Masters in 1997.

He didn’t even have a PGA Tour card at this time last year. Since then, he won the John Deere Classic, became the youngest American to play in the Presidents Cup when Fred Couples made him a captain’s pick, and had a chance in the final hour to win the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize.

Nine players are separated by three shots, and that includes Watson who left shots short and long, and his putting became weak and tentative. Despite some struggles on the front nine, he was still in position to build a cushion until blowing birdie chances on the rest of the par 5s and he was lucky to convert two pars at the end for a 74 and a share of the lead at 5-under 211.

Matt Kuchar hit a pitch from well behind the 15th green that had to be perfect and was, setting up the best of his six birdies in a round of 68. Kuchar, a favorite from his days at Georgia Tech, was one shot behind along with Masters rookie Jonas Blixt, who fell out of the lead with a bogey on the 17th and shot 71.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, who finished his round about the time the leaders teed off, had a tournament-best 66 and was two shots behind with Rickie Fowler, who had a 67. Lee Westwood (70), Jim Furyk (72) and Thomas Bjorn (73) were at 2-under 214.

U.S. Open champion Justin Rose said after his 69, leaving him only four shots behind at -1. “There’s a lot of players with a chance tomorrow. Anybody under par going into tomorrow has a good shot.”

Adam Scott, threw away his hopes with a 40 on the front nine that led to a 76. He was six shots behind.

Mike Weir stumbled Saturday. The 2003 Masters champion shot a 6-over 42 on the front. His back-nine was much better - a 1-over 37 – which saw him finish with a 7-over-par 79 and is at 8-over 224 – 13 shots off the lead

Live scoring click http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/masters-tournament/leaderboard.html

Bryan Angus

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday at the Masters : Bubba da man !

The gates opened (7am) on another breathtakingly beautiful morning and play got under way at 7.45 with DA Points and Kevin Streelman taking the opening drives.

Weather :  Mostly sunny, high 79*f,  breeze SSW 13mph

Canadians :  Graham DeLaet MC 80  Mike Weir +1 73 72

Round 2

Bubba Watson surged to the Masters lead with a spree of birdies on the back side Friday, positioning him for a weekend run at his second green jacket in three years as he sparked the best run of the tournament so far when he stuck his tee shot at No. 12 within 3 feet of the cup. He tapped in for the first of five straight birdies that propelled him to a 4-under 68.

Even after making his second bogey of the tournament by missing a short putt at the 18th, Watson walked off with his second straight round in the 60s, a 7-under 137 total and a three-stroke lead, the biggest 36-hole advantage at Augusta since 2006. He became only the fifth player in Masters history to run off nothing but birdies from the 12th to 16th holes

Adam Scott got off to a rough start but rallied for 72. The Aussie was among those four shots back, still solidly in contention to become only the fourth back-to-back winner in Masters history.

Watson’s closest pursuer was Australia’s John Senden, who birdied 14 and 15 on his way to a 68 and 140 overall, 3 behind

Scott bogeyed three of the first five holes but wound up at 141. He was joined by Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, who birdied four of the last five holes for a 68; Sweden’s Jonas Blixt, who managed 71 despite a double-bogey at the 11th; and 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, hardly looking like an Augusta rookie when he closed out 70 with a birdie at the tough finishing hole.

Five shots back with Fred Couples were Jimmy Walker, a three-time PGA Tour winner this season who shot 72, and Jim Furyk, whose 68 matched Watson, Senden and Bjorn for the best round of the day.

First-round leader Bill Haas staggered to a 78 – 10 shots higher than the day before, knocking him nine shots back.

Mike Weir shot an even par 72 Friday and is sitting in striking position at 1-over par. The first lefty to win the masters is tied for 21st. He had a unbelievable start to his round, 4-under thru 9 holes, but stumbled on his back 9, matching his four front-nine birdies with four back-nine bogeys.

He is paired with K.J. Choi for Saturday and tees off at 12:45pm (EDT).

Notables who MC : Graham DeLaet, Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson, Angel Cabrera and Charl Schwartzel were all headed home before the weekend

Live scoring click http://www.masters.com/en_US/scores/index.html

Canada qualifies for World Junior Championship

Tyler Costigan/ Golf Canada

Canada has qualified for the World Junior Boys Championship by capturing one of two available spots through a qualifier being held at Victoria Golf Club.

Collectively, the boys stormed back to steal first place honours from Mexico with a final round combined score of 3-under par. As a team the boys finished 11-over par, two strokes ahead of Mexico, who slipped down the leaderboard with a closing round of 9-over par.

Development Squad member Matt Williams was a model of consistency throughout the event, finishing at even par 210 (73-71-66). The 17-year-old Calgary native carded six birdies Wednesday en route to a 4-under 66 to finish as leading Canadian in 2nd place.

Development Squad teammates Étienne Papineau (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Qué.), Carter Simon (Sutton, Ont.) and Tony Gil (Vaughan, Ont.) also had strong final rounds. They finished tied for third, fifth and seventh respectively.

Team Mexico earned the second qualifying spot via the event. They were led by Alvaro Ortiz, who was the overall leading individual scorer with 4-under 206 (70-69-67).

Canada and Mexico will tee-it-up at the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup this June along with 10 other nations.

For the full leaderboard from the qualifying event being held at Victoria Golf Club, click here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Only 19 break par in ideal conditions at Augusta

Here is your live scoreboard as the 78th Masters is well under way after a beautiful sunny Thursday at Augusta.

Canadians:  Mike Weir +1 73   Graham DeLaet  +8 80

Round 1

Despite ideal, I mean ideal scoring conditions,only 19 players broke par on Thursday, as I mentioned in my preview, the pins were tucked as tough as I've seen on day one, and with the sun beating down the legendary greens just kept getting faster.

Defending champion Adam Scott made only one bad swing that cost him two shots in a round of 3-under 69. It was the lowest opening score by a defending champion in 13 years, and it left Scott one shot behind leader Bill Haas on an otherwise demanding day.

Some say he's pretty boring but Bill Haas, with a rich family history at Augusta that includes a green jacket for his great uncle Bob Goalby, settled down after an opening bogey with a collection of good birdie putts and an 8-iron to 5 feet for birdie on the 18th for a 68.

Only one first-round leader in the last 30 years has gone on to win the Masters.

Bubba Watson played bogey-free and shot a -3 69. So did Louis Oosthuizen, whom Watson beat in a playoff at Augusta in 2012. They were the only players to break 70, the fewest for an opening round at the Masters since 2007.

In my preview I wrote about Scott's calm demeanor this year, and yesterday he seemed in control of his emotions and his game all day except for once.when the fans behind the 12th tee rose in unison to cheer him, then he promptly bounced his tee shot off the front slope and into Rae’s Creek and he made double bogey to fall out of the outright lead. He picked up a birdie on the 14th, and three-putted for par on both the par 5s on the back nine.

There were many wrecks as usual, for example Jason Dufner took a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 13th hole with only one penalty shot. The worst of his woes was a wedge from the drop area that didn’t even make it to the creek. He wound up with an 80 in his first round in a major since winning the PGA Championship last summer.

He was in good company. Phil Mickelson had a pair of 7s on his card for the first time in five years at a major, and his 76 matched the highest opening round at Augusta for the three-time Masters champion. Mickelson made a triple-bogey at the seventh hole, where he knocked it back-and-forth past the cup a staggering four times before finally sinking a putt. He took double-bogey when he dumped one in the water at No. 15

U.S. Open champion Justin Rose shot 40 on the front and scrambled for a 76. Jason Day had a 75 in his first event in six weeks.

Graham DeLaet would love to his first competitive round at Augusta back opening with an 8-over 80 and is tied for 90th. He had a bogey on the first hole then bogied six of his first seven holes including four in a row on holes four through seven.

He calmed down a bit on the back nine where he pared every hole except 10 and 14 where he added two more bogies

It wasn't all bad new though. Jimmy Walker, Kevin Stadler and Jonas Blixt three of the record 24 newcomers to the Masters were in the group at 70.

The group at 71 included young (20-year-old Jordan Spieth) and old (54-year-old Fred Couples), and a former No. 1 in Rory McIlroy.

It was just on one of those days it was tough to get it close to the hole,” McIlroy said. “Anything under par today was a good score.”

Mike Weir, opened with a respectable 1-over 73

Live scoring click here

Bryan Angus
(files from BBC Reuters, europeantour.com AP )

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ten for your Masters pool...

Okay guys its 5pm est Wednesday and you are asking me for 10 picks for your Masters pool sheet

First  picking a winner for a golf tournament unless it's Tiger at Torrey Pines for example, is no more than an educated guess. Having said that of the 4 majors the Masters is the easiest to predict, as US Open champ Justin Rose said... " there are 15 guys who are favourites here every year..

There are 24 first time winners including our own Graham DeLaet in the field, but none since Fuzzy in 1979 won it in their first trip.

Criteria : I look for guys in form, guys who play Augusta well, and guys who have great, creative short games and are putting well

The weather is great for the weekend....Matt Kuchar is my pick...

So here are my 10 for all you poolies

1. Matt Kuchar  is in form, was in last pair last two weeks and is not bad at Augusta  Will be in the final 4

2. Adam Scott  defending Champ is very comfortable in his skin since he won this event last year. His quietly confident persona impresses me although only Tiger has won back to back recently.. Will be in the mix

3. Phil Mickelson  3 time winner will be CBS focal point..He just doesn't make me want to say he's the man...but won't be surprised if he is

4. Henrik Stenson  Ok.. respect !!  this guy won it all on both sides of the Atlantic last year and has sucked so far this year but hey it's been all about his putter and he is working that out..He may not win but is in my top 10

5. Rory McIlroy  is the 8-1 favourite... why ??.. yes he looked great for 3 rounds here in 2011, and yes his form is improving since he won the Australian Open and yes he shot 65 at the Shell on Sunday. However he has yet to put 4 rounds together and is still missing those 3-6 footers at crucial times. Therefore I think he is way over rated at 8-1 this week until he proves me wrong, and I will be the first to sing his praises when he does.

6. Angel Cabrera  Here's a great story  Wins in 2009  loses in a playoff to Scott in 2013 when he should have won.. Tore his left rotator cuff but PING has given him some shock free shafts which have him pain free. Can't leave him out at Augusta

7.  Bubba Watson  Hey Bubba is no joke this year. Has his private life in order, and had a win and two T2 this year before allergies sidelined him.. I say he will be in the mix Sunday afternoon

8. Retief Goosen is in form, one of six South Africans including Ernie and Charl . His Masters record is great and if he gets into it Sunday has the experience to win.. Long shot

9. Hunter Mahan  off surgery he was solid last week and ailing coach Sean Foley has him ready if his top 20 Houston Open result counts

10. Graham DeLaet will not win this week but is such a beauty ball striker and with Mike Weir as his mentor, why not give him a T10

Bryan Angus