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They said it: Best quotes from Masters Day 1

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 5, 2018, 11:45 pm

Jordan Spieth is back in a familiar place, on top of the leaderboard after Day 1 of the Masters. Here's the best quotes from the first round:

“I’ll always have demons out here, but I’ll always have a tremendous amount of confidence out here.”– Jordan Spieth (66)

“The crowds have been incredible. It’s been awesome this entire comeback. I got a standing ovation on the range. Coming up to the first tee, the people come out of the clubhouse and the putting green, they’re really into it.” – Tiger Woods (73)

“I was fractionally off today. I just wasn’t quite sharp. I didn’t strike it the way I wanted to, my short game wasn’t quite as sharp as I wanted it to be and I didn’t capitalize on some putts that I’ve usually been making. But what I did do well is I plotted my way around the golf course. I got in in a reasonable score. And if I was fractionally off, I'll get it turned around for tomorrow’s round, and see if I can turn it around when things are clicking a little bit better.” – Phil Mickelson (70)

“It was a much different golf course today than what we’ve seen in practice. And the SubAir must have been running nearly all night last night. That’s Augusta. That’s what we sign up to whenever we come here. You know it’s going to be firm and fast.” – Rory McIlroy (69)

“Obviously I shot 81, which is not great. And, I mean, I was fighting hard, I was doing quite well, obviously had a good possibility on 13 to get back to even and kind of keep my round going after not having a great start and unfortunately we didn’t hit the right club there and hit a great shot and left myself no putt. Then I hit a pretty good birdie putt and unfortunately it lipped out. And then the bogey on the next and then obviously the rest is history.” – Sergio Garcia (81)

“Yeah, it’s been pretty crazy. To be in this position I’m at now; when I woke up this morning, nothing short of a miracle if you ask me. I could barely put any pressure on it. I could barely walk.” – Tony Finau (68)

“I need to start a little bit better. Yeah, like I said, it’s just disappointing because I think I did the exact same thing last year and it’s been like that for the last few years, I get off to a good start and I’m usually around the lead by the end of Sunday, so I got a lot of work to do over the next three days.” – Jason Day (75)

“The last two weeks have been good, and certainly that helps the confidence. Golf is a fickle game, and I think playing good golf breeds more good golf. I’ve felt good the last few weeks and came in looking forward to this week.” – Matt Kuchar (68)

“It’s definitely a course I feel I can win on. Off the tees and some of the iron shots it definitely seemed to fit my eye pretty well and that’s key around here, just to get really comfortable on the shot you’re trying to hit, because just one little mishap will definitely get you in the wrong spot, you can make a big number around here.” – Patrick Reed (69)

“You’ve got to be aggressive at the right times, and you’ve got to know when not to go for it at times. And then still hit high, aggressive shots sometimes into a little bit more of a defensive area.  So it’s really a mixed bag out there. The margin for error is extremely slim.” – Henrik Stenson (69)

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“Yeah, my first round was quite solid and made a lot of putts over there. Actually, I thought I’m going to be nervous on the first tee. It was all right. So just quite happy to see have such a great opening round.” – Haotong Li (69)

“My first competitive round I think in five or six weeks. So all in all it wasn’t bad. Hit a lot of good shots. Didn’t capitalize on a few opportunities that I had, but all in all it was pretty solid.” – Wesley Bryan (74)

“We played bad rounds before, so it’s just another bad round is what it is, which is frustrating. But we have been here before. It’s not the end of the world. We’re going to wake up tomorrow, hopefully.” – Matt Parziale (81)

“It played fair. I think that’s a good way to describe it. It wasn’t too difficult, the pins are fair, it was pretty benign conditions with the wind. I guess if they knew the forecast was going to be this good they probably would have set it up a little tougher.” – Dylan Frittelli (77)

“If I can’t handle it now, I mean I never will. But the way I looked at it, if you're going to win here, you got to play in front of crowds like that, with energy like that. So I looked at it as a positive and preparation for later in the week.” – Marc Leishman (70)

“Definitely pretty nervous on the first hole, but I was more excited just to get started with the tournament, especially after practicing for three or four days and kind of leading up to it. So I was excited to get out there and just play.” – Doc Redman (76)

“You want to put yourself in position after the first round. You can't win the tournament, I’ve proven that, after the first round and I just want to give myself a chance on Saturday and Sunday like I have in the past and I promise you I'll perform a little better this time around.” – Charley Hoffman (69)

“Well I think it just suits my eye. I love working the ball both ways, it’s something that I work on and practice on the range a lot and so it really doesn’t matter the hole, I feel like I can hit the shot that’s required.” – Adam Hadwin (69)

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U.S. Amateur playoff: 24 players for 1 spot in match play

By Associated PressAugust 15, 2018, 1:21 pm

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer and Daniel Hillier were tied at the top after two rounds of the U.S. Amateur, but the more compelling action on Tuesday was further down the leaderboard.

Two dozen players were tied for 64th place after two rounds of stroke play at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. With the top 64 advancing to match play, that means all 24 will compete in a sudden-death playoff Wednesday morning for the last spot in the knockout rounds.

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They'll be divided into six foursomes and start the playoff at 7:30 a.m. on the par-3 17th at Pebble Beach, where Tom Watson chipped in during the 1982 U.S. Open and went on to win.

The survivor of the playoff will face the 19-year-old Hillier in match play. The New Zealander shot a 2-under 70 at Spyglass Hill to share medalist honors with the 18-year-old Hammer at 6 under. Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas who played in the 2015 U.S. Open at age 15, shot 68 at Spyglass Hill.

Stewart Hagestad had the low round of the day, a 5-under 66 at Pebble Beach, to move into a tie for 10th after opening with a 76 at Spyglass Hill. The 27-year-old Hagestad won the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur and earned low amateur honors at the 2017 Masters.

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Hammer in position (again) to co-medal at U.S. Am

By Ryan LavnerAugust 14, 2018, 10:37 pm

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer is in position to go for a rare sweep in this summer’s biggest events.

Two weeks ago, Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas, was the co-medalist at the Western Amateur and went on to take the match-play portion, as well.

Here at the U.S. Amateur, Hammer shot rounds of 69-68 and was once again in position to earn co-medalist honors. At 6-under 137, he was tied with 19-year-old Daniel Hillier of New Zealand.

“It would mean a lot, especially after being medalist at the Western Am,” Hammer said afterward. “It’s pretty special.”

No stroke-play medalist has prevailed in the 64-man match-play bracket since Ryan Moore in 2004. Before that, Tiger Woods (1996) was the most recent medalist champion.  

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On the strength of his Western Am title, Hammer, 18, has soared to No. 18 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He credited his work with swing coach Cameron McCormick and mental coach Bob Rotella.

“Just really started controlling my iron shots really well,” said Hammer, who has worked with McCormick since 2015, when he qualified for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay as a 15-year-old.

“Distance control with my wedges and all my iron shots, playing different shots, has become really a strength in my game. I’ve really turned the putter on this year, and I’m seeing the lines and matching the line with the speed really well. I think that’s been the key to my summer.”

A two-time New Zealand Amateur champion, Hillier is ranked 27th in the world. He said that, entering the tournament, he would have been pleased just to make it to match play.

“But to come out on top, it’s amazing,” Hillier said. “Cole is a really good golfer and has been playing well lately. So, yeah, I’m in good company.”

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Tee times, TV schedule, stats for Wyndham Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 14, 2018, 9:55 pm

It's the last tournament of the PGA Tour's regular season as the top 125 in the FedExCup points list advance to next week's playoff event. Here's the key info for the Wyndham Championship. (Click here for tee times)

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream:

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream:

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Purse: $6 million

Course: Sedgefield Country Club (par 70, 7,127 yards)

Defending champion: Henrik Stenson. Last year he defeated Ollie Schniederjans by one stroke to earn his sixth career PGA Tour win.

Notables in the field

Henrik Stenson at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Henrik Stenson

• Missed the cut last week at the PGA Championship

• Six top-10 finishes this year, including T-5 at the Masters and T-6 at the U.S. Open

Sergio Garcia

• Eight missed cuts in last 10 PGA Tour starts

• Currently 131 in FedExCup standings (33 points back of 125th)

Webb Simpson

• Five top-10 finishes in this event since 2010 (won in 2011)

• 56 under par in last five years in this event (best of any player in that span)

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Faldo: Woods told fellow Masters champ 'I'm done' in '17

By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 7:42 pm

Fresh off his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, it's easy to get caught up in the recent success and ebullient optimism surrounding Tiger Woods. But it was not that long ago that Woods even hitting another competitive shot was very much in doubt.

Six-time major champ Sir Nick Faldo shed light on those darker times during a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show when he relayed a story from the 2017 Masters champions' dinner. The annual meal is one of golf's most exclusive fraternities, as only the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club is allowed to dine with the men who have each donned a green jacket.

Last spring Woods had not yet undergone spinal fusion surgery, and Faldo explained that Woods at one point turned to an unnamed Masters champ and grimly assessed his future playing chances.

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"I know he whispered to another Masters champion, two Masters dinners ago, 'I'm done. I won't play golf again,'" Faldo said. "He said, 'I'm done. I'm done, my back is done.' He was in agony. He was in pain. His leg, the pain down his legs, there was nothing enjoyable. He couldn't move. If you watched footage of him, he couldn't even get in and out of the golf cart at the (2016) Ryder Cup when he was a vice captain."

But Woods opted for fusion surgery a few weeks later, and after a lengthy rehab process he returned to competition in December. His 2018 campaign has been nothing short of remarkable, with a pair of runner-up finishes to go along with a T-6 result at The Open when he held the outright lead on the back nine on Sunday.

After apparently even counting himself out, Woods is back up to 26th in the latest world rankings and appears in line to be added as a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup next month.

"What he's been able to do is unbelievable," Faldo said. "To turn this aruond, to get this spine fusion, it's completely taken away the pain. To have this mobility is absolutely amazing. Great on him, and great for golf."