Posts Tagged ‘Northern Trust Open’

Northern Trust Open Final Round

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

None of the contenders really went low today and that four under par 54 hole lead was enough to hold off the field and secure the victory for Phil Mickelson. Starting off with another eagle it looked like Phil was going to take command early, but bogeys on 2, 3, 7, 12 & 14 looked like the end as Stricker, Sabbatini, Couples and Romero were hot on his heals. But birdies at 16 and 17 propelled Mickelson into the lead to hold them off with a one over par 72. Alone in 2nd was Steve Stricker who shot a respectable 4 under par 67 for a 270, a trio were T3 including Andres Romero, Fred Couples and KJ Choi at 271. Four players were T6 at 272 including JB Holmes, Mark Calcavecchia, Rory Sabbatini and Luke Donald. Rounding out the top 10 was Brendon de Jonge, Dustin Johnson and Scott McCarron all tied for the tenth spot.

It was good to see Lefty come out of the slump, although it was surprising that the lead held up. Wind was not really a factor even though it was slightly overcast today. Stricker almost avenged his loss at the Bob Hope classic, while it was enjoyable to see Freddy Couples have a good round as well. Sabbatini’s double on 16 really took him out of contention. JB Holmes had a good tournament for a needed change and Bubba Watson finishing T17 leading the field with an average driving distance of 315.1 yards. Both these players who have been up and comers the past couple seasons hadn’t shown much this year.

Congratulations Phil Mickelson on your first victory of the year with a respectable scoring average of 67.25, well done.

Northern Trust Open Round 3

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

They were going low today at Riviera Country Club; none were going as low as Phil Mickelson who shot a 9 under par 62 to take a four shot lead after 54 holes. Calc and JB Holmes shot very nice 64’s for a 7 under day, while Freddy Couples and Andres Romero shot 65 for 6 under apiece. The leaderboard is Phil Mickelson alone on top at -16 for 197, Andres Romero sole possession of 2nd at -12 for 201, four players are T3 including Freddy Couples, KJ Choi, Scott McCarron and Rory Sabbatini all at -11 for a 202, T7 at -10 for a 203 are Mark Calcavecchia, Steve Stricker and Dustin Johnson, Rounding out the top 10 at T10 are JB Holmes and Luke Donald at -9 for a 204.

It is a packed leaderboard after Lefty’s four shot lead. Moving on down the leaderboard it is 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215 and 216 where sits Ryan Moore who shot a very dismal 6 over today and is now 3 over for the tournament.

Props to Rocco Mediate, who after coming off the same knee surgery as Vijay Singh is T32 at a 5 under par 208, Rocco did not push his return after experiencing some pain and finding some infection he took an extra week getting it treated, smart play to come back and be in the game versus missing cuts and setting on the sidelines. Tommy Armour III shot a 1 over par 72 today, all of it coming from a poor chip shot on the par 4 8th where he carded a snowman, taking his hacks 4 times with basically the same chip shot as it kept rolling back on him, but he never gave up on it and with the quad on 8 he pushed on to score birdies on 13, 14 & 17, that’s a golfer there, not a prima donna jet setter.

63, 72, 62 was the 72 the one bad day for Phil? Will the four shot lead stand up tomorrow? I don’t believe it will on its own accord, my prediction is that he needs to shoot at least a 67 tomorrow to stay on top. Even that may not be good enough with the weather conditions we have had so far that course record 61 could be in jeopardy. Couples, Romero and Calc are all hot. McCarron, Choi, Sabbatini and Stricker have all been steady. It is a four day tournament so it all comes down to who wants it tomorrow.

Northern Trust Open round 2

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

It was the UCLA Bruin Scott McCarron who walked away with the honors as the leader at the half shooting a 3 under par 68 to come into the clubhouse with a two shot lead at 10 under par. Tommy Armour III and Steve Stricker are T2 at 8 under par shooting a 67 and 66 respectively, six players are T4 including Geoff Ogilvy, Pat Perez, KJ Choi, Rory Sabbatini, Luke Donald and Phil Mickelson all at 7 under with a cumulative score of 135.

Props to Bob Estes shooting a 6 under par 65, Steve Stricker and KJ Choi who shot 66, as well as Rory Sabbatini and Tommy Armour III for fine rounds of 67. What is it with the Golf Channel analysts who all want to take a shot at Mr. Armour? Just because he hangs with the rich and famous in LA doesn’t make him the bad boy of golf. He turned pro in 1981 and has hung around this long, last year he had 5 top 10 finishes and finished in the money 16 out of only 25 starts. Back to back rounds of 67 in any tournament on the PGA Tour are not too shabby. So he parties with the jet set in LA, it isn’t like he gives the Tour a black eye like John Daly, give him a break.

Speaking of breaks, Phil Mickelson may be 3 shots back now, but he had at least 3 putts that fell short by inches. None of the analyst thought he was going to be able to make that cut through the trees on his 2nd at the 2nd and he just cut it a little too much. Had it hit the green that would have been 2 strokes right there. An eagle, a birdie and 4 bogeys and so he shot 1 over on the day, again it was only one round and he made the cut setting 3 back with two days to play. Now we can see if he can step up when it counts, he is playing with his old equipment from last year having given up on the new stuff and it seems to suit him. I almost wish I had put him on my fantasy team this week.

The cut was set at -1 and like always several good players missed it, Zach Johnson for one got as many bad breaks as Phil, he went into the clubhouse at even par and will not play Saturday and Sunday, Padraig Harrington, Vijay Singh, Steve Elkington, Vaughn Taylor, Bill Haas and Trevor Immelman also missed the cut. Speculation was that Padraig Harrington was refining his game for the Masters at Augusta in April, so far in 2009 his best finish has been T24 and he has now missed two cuts in a row. If he wants to continue his streak in Major tournaments, he might want to think about some practice. Contending at that level means breaking 70 consistently and so far he hasn’t brought it. Back to back majors are quite an achievement but these guys just can’t afford to set on their laurels, Tiger stayed on top so long because he gets out there and practices. Lee Trevino who like Arnold did not have one of the greatest swings in golf always says it’s all in the dirt, meaning practice, practice and more practice.

Northern Trust Open at Riviera CC Round 1

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

I had no intention to provide a round by round account of this tournament; until two things happened; first Phil Mickelson went into the clubhouse at 63 shooting 8 under par and leading the tournament by one stroke. Not to take anything away from Lefty but I will add this caveat, it has only been one round. In sole possession of 2nd place is Scott McCarron at 7 under. There are six players T3 at 5 under par, Dean Wilson, Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Luke Donald, Andres Romero and John Merrick. Some of the big names not at the top of the leaderboard are Vijay Singh at even par, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington at one over par.

And second Tiger Watch has ended; he will be playing next week in the WGC Accenture Match Play. If the field does not change by Friday’s deadline, Woods will tee it up against #64 Brendan Jones. Whether or not he defends his title isn’t predictable in my opinion. Choosing to come back into a match play event is near genius though, one bad hole or a couple errant shots isn’t going to ruin your day or your chances at winning. Its mano e mano and being down by 1 at 18 means you still have a chance to tie and go into a playoff. If any players drop out prior to the deadline they just start with #65 and move players up until the field is full.

Northern Trust Open at Riviera CC

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

The golf course at Riviera Country Club was first designed by Captain George C. Thomas in 1926. Ted Tryba holds the course record shooting a 61 there in 1999. The course was redesigned by Tom Fazio in 2008. Par is 71 and it plays to 7,298 yards, has 60 sand bunkers and no water hazards. Ranked 13th in difficulty in 2008 and the defending champion is Phil Mickelson. There have been 29 aces recorded at the Northern Trust Open with 13 of them coming at the 6th, 8 at the 16th, 5 at the 14th and 3 at the 4th. In 2008 the hardest hole was the par 3 fourth, while it only plays 236 yards players could use anything from a 3 iron to a 3 wood depending on the wind. The easiest was the par 5 first which plays 503 yards from an elevated tee box.

We will be treated by the presence of 3, 4 & 5 again, Harrington, Singh and Mickelson, as well as #8 Geoff Ogilvy and #10 Kenny Perry. Zach Johnson, Nick Watney, Dustin Johnson, Pat Perez, Charley Hoffman, Mike Weir and Kevin Na will be in the field. Past winners not previously mentioned Rory Sabbatini, Robert Allenby, Ernie Els, Cory Pavin, Mark Calcavecchia, Charles Howell III, Kirk Triplett, Billy Mayfair and Freddy Couples. Jeev M. Singh from India will be playing, he is a man to keep your eye on he has been dominant in European and Asian play the past couple years. Several Major tournament winners are playing, those not already mentioned include; Retief Goosen, Angel Cabrera, David Duval, Rich Beem, Jim Furyk, Todd Hamilton, Steve Elkington, Mark Brooks, Tom Lehman, Trevor Immelman, Ben Curtis, Justin Leonard and Paul Azinger. Garcia, Kim and Villegas are all committed to playing in Australia and won’t be in the field. Despite that this is probably the strongest field we’ve seen so far this year.