Patrick Reed Ryder Cup (Courtesy of Getty Images via golfdigest.com)

USA Starts Ryder Cup on Top, Europe Responds During Afternoon Session

In an eventful Friday morning at Hazeltine National Golf Club, Team USA put their pedal to the floor winning every single foursome to go up by a score of four to nothing.
Friday morning started off with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed for team USA taking on Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose of team Europe. Spieth and Reed jumped out to an early lead winning two of the first three holes to go up by two points on the score card. Team USA would go up by one more stroke on the front but ended up giving it back after bogeying the ninth hole. After the ninth, both Europe and the USA played evenly until Patrick Reed sunk this putt to win the first point of the Ryder Cup. Coincidentally, this is the first time in over 20 years that team USA has notched the first point.

 

 

Team USA wasn’t able to continue their dominant stretch over the course of the four-ball event later that day as Team Europe won three of the four, afternoon matchups. Team Europe, headlined by Gold and Silver medalists Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, finished the day down by just one point giving them a solid opportunity at evening the score in the next set of matchups.

 

Along with the pair of medalists at the Olympic games, Sergio Garcia continued to pad his Ryder Cup record moving himself to 16 career Ryder Cup points.

 

These next two events on Saturday will certainly help either team on Sunday, but if there’s a Sunday in golf to watch, it’s definitely Ryder Cup Sunday. This Sunday each and every one of the 12 players on both teams will go 1-on-1 for a total of 12 points up for grabs.

 

But until then, enjoy your Saturday.

 

Dustin Johnson (Courtesy of AP Photo/ Scott Bazemore/ via kmov.com)

Johnson Posting Strong Numbers at East Lake

Through two rounds at the Tour Championship, the PGA Tour has seen a player in the running for the Fed-Ex Cup withdraw, a player penalized for addressing the ball and having it roll, and a lot of those cardboard cut outs of golfers face.

(I don’t know about you, but these things creep me out.)

To get things started, Dustin Johnson holds the lead at seven-under par. Johnson has been, as per usual, smashing the ball off the tee averaging 304.6 yards per drive, but he’s not just a one-trick pony. Johnson has also put up a strokes-gained tee-to-green of 2.24 and a strokes-gained-putting of .935.

Jason Day has withdrawn at East Lake this weekend after a recurring back injury flared up again. A strained ligament in his back is causing a sharp pain when it comes to his driver, and after going even par through seven holes on Friday, Day struggled immensely on the eighth hole and decided to shut it down for the season finale.

As for the player who was assessed the penalty during the second round, that would be Justin Rose. According to the officials at East Lake, when Rose addressed his ball on the 11th, the ball rotated ever so slightly. Rose disagrees with the wording of the rule that a downhill grade of four degrees is a flat surface. Unfortunately for Rose, that put him at one-over on the day and one-under on the tournament, putting him tied for eighth place.

 

The day wasn’t a loss for Rose. However, he got to spend the day trying to show up his good buddy, Jordan Speith.

 

Patrick Reed Wins The Barclays (Courtesy of Getty Images/Via wsj.com)

Reed Conquers Bethpage Black to Win the Barclays

The end of the first stage in the FedEx Cup Playoffs is over, and United States Olympian Patrick Reed came out victorious at the Barclays.

Reed sat atop the leaderboard after day two but fellow Olympian Rickie Fowler eeked his way into the leader position at 9-under-par after posting a 3-under in his third round. Poised to stay amongst the leaders, Fowler was 1-under through his first nine holes in his fourth round. It wasn’t until the 16th hole where Fowler felt his lead slip through his fingers.

Headed to the 15th at even par on the day after bogeying the par-4 11th hole ending his 55-hole bogey-free streak, Fowler would run into trouble after yanking his drive left and his second shot into a greenside bunker causing him to finish with a bogey on the 16th Fowler’s misfortunes weren’t quite over yet. Fowler would also double-bogey the par-4 16th after a yanked drive and duffed pitch shot into the greenside rough left him scrambling to save bogey.

Fowler did show grit in his final moments at Bethpage Black by knocking in a long birdie put on the par-3 17th hole.

Fowlers struggles continued, however, as he would go on to bogey the 18th hole after a third yanked drive in three attempts, paving the way for Reed to capture his first title of the year and the fifth of his career.

Reed’s successful weekend didn’t just bring home a nice payday, but it also catapulted him to the top of the FedEx Cup standings by scoring 2,000 points and earned him a spot on the United States Ryder Cup team.

Next week, the PGA Tour heads to TPC Boston where Fowler will try to shake off this weekend’s breakdown and reclaim his title, but until then here’s Justin Rose flaunting his Olympic Gold to finish his tap in on the 18th hole.

Rose Snags Gold, Moore Hoists Fifth Trophy

The weekend 112 years in the making has finally come to an end. Justin Rose finished his weekend at 16-under-par which was plenty enough to secure him the gold medal for Great Britain. Henrik Stenson recorded enough birdies to put him into a tie with Rose, but two bogies on the day dwarfed his chances of donning the gold medal, but a silver medal and a major championship isn’t something to be scoffed at. The bronze medal went to Matt Kuchar of the United States of America. Kuchar shot an 8-under 63 in his final round at the Olympic Golf Course to climb his way up to a third-place finish.

Other PGA Tour notables Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, and Emiliano Grillo finished tied for eighth at 7-under.

Up in Silvis, Illinois, the TPC John Deere Classic came to a conclusion with Ryan Moore coming out on top with an aggregate score of 22-under-par. Moore seems to have a soft spot for TPC Deere Run, especially since his last 23 rounds on the course have all been under par. Unfortunately, he hadn’t been able to piece together a win at this event until now.

Moore shot 6-under-par 65’s in his first three and didn’t find the same success in his final day but a 4-under 67 is still a great score, especially considering he didn’t record a bogey in his round.

Ben Martin finished the John Deere Classic at 20-under par, just two back of Moore. Martin, much like Stenson, put up five birdies on the day, which would have put him in a tie with the first-place finisher, but two bogies early in his round killed his chances of winning.

Next week, the PGA Tour is back in full form at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, so be on the lookout for next week’s players to watch.

Until then, enjoy this picture of Henrik Stenson poking a Caiman (small alligator).

Spieth Claims First Victory in Home State of Texas

Last week, Jordan Spieth’s sporadic play cost him the AT&T Byron Nelson. This week at the Dean and Deluca Invitational, he made it a point to not let it happen two weeks in a row. Spieth finished the tournament with a 5-under 65 to put his aggregate score at 17-under-par 263, three shots ahead of Harris English.

Spieth fought his way through the first nine and managed to make nine straight pars. After rounding the turn to take on the back nine, Spieth slammed his foot on the gas and notched three straight birdies. Spieth’s only error on the day was a bogey on the par-3 13th hole where he pulled his tee shot into the bunker on the left and then missed the green on his shot from the bunker. After pars on the 14th and 15th hole, Spieth hit a second wind and birdied another three consecutive holes to finish out his round.

Trouble nearly struck Spieth late when his second shot on the par-4 17th found the right rough. Somehow, Spieth was able to land his third shot on the fringe and have it roll straight into the cup to put him two strokes ahead of English with only one left to play. Spieth didn’t need to birdie the par-4 18th but he did so by sinking 34-foot putt giving him his first win in his home state of Texas.

This weekend’s win give’s Spieth his eighth for his career. He’s not even 23 yet.

Next week, the PGA Tour heads to Muirfield Valley Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio for the Memorial Tournament. David Lingmerth will attempt to defend the title he claimed from Justin Rose in a 3-hole playoff last year.