Australian Open. Lefty Greg Leads

White Dragon GolfEmirates Australian Open

Lefty Greg Chalmers leads the Emirates Australian Open at the half-way stage at the Australian Golf Club Sydney.

 

Greg shot a second round -5 under par 66 to lead the Australian Open with that score by one shot.

Rory McIlroy shares second place, at -4 under par, with three other players they are; Adam Crawford, amateur Todd Sinnott and Conrad Schindler.

Rory thinks he missed a good chance today to get away from the field;

“I felt like I had an opportunity today to maybe shoot a good one and put a little bit of space between myself and the rest of the field, but it didn’t really pan out that way.”

Jordan Spieth, Brett Rumford and Geoff Drakeford are tied in sixth spot at -3 under par.

Jordan did not have a good day, but stayed in touch with the leaders;

“It was a struggle, big-time struggle, I wasn’t hitting it well. If I wasn’t putting well I may have shot 45 on the back nine.”

“I just didn’t find the ball-striking until the last few holes and then was very fortunate to grab a few birdies. I was really looking at making 4s and getting in and regrouping for tomorrow. But instead I kept myself in the tournament.”

Adam Scott is tied in ninth position at -2 under par following his second round -5 under par 66, he was happier with his effort today;

Australian Open

Adam Scott / Getty Images

“Yesterday I got off to a bad start, and I didn’t scramble well when I had to and it started to get away from me.”

”Today a couple of good shots coming up 14 and I made an eagle and momentum is on your side.”

“I think the greens were certainly testing us, getting to understand the slopes on the greens and especially around the edges,”

“I’ve hit a lot of wedge shots that have been a little mis-struck and then spinning off the greens. I guess that’s got to do with the pin positions as well. So getting it very close to the hole is not that easy. I think the greens have to be the defense because there is no rough.”

 

Australian Open. Jordan Spieth Leads.

White Dragon GolfEmirates Australian Open

Jordan Spieth leads the Australian Open by one stroke at the conclusion of the first day’s play with -4 under-par 67, opening round.

Tied in second place are Aron Price and Scott Gardiner, both carded rounds of -3 under par 68.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy is two shots behind, with first round -2 under par 69.

Australian Open

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory took a few holes to find his form in the tricky conditions;

“It took me a little while to get going, I gave myself a lot of chances early on in the round and didn’t really take them.

“The conditions were pretty tricky. It was tough to get the ball close to the pins with the wind and these greens being quite firm as well.”

“It was cold, windy and a little bit of rain here and there, when I think of playing golf in Australia, it’s not the kind of day I expected.”

“The wind was up early on, then it died, then got up again.”

“I thought anything under par today was a decent score and it was nice to birdie the last and shoot something in the 60s. It puts me right there going into tomorrow.”

“Golf tournaments are long, all you want to do is give yourself a chance going into Sunday, I definitely feel like there’s a better score out there.”

Rory’s top rival for this title, Adam Scott did not do so well, shooting an opening round +3 over par 74. Before he teed off today Adam reported that he had not played on this course very much;

“I haven’t played here that much in the past. Obviously there’s been a lot of work done and they’ve presented a beautiful golf course for us this week.”

“My feeling is it’s certainly going to favour the longer hitters this week. There’s no rough out there.”

“It seems like it just hasn’t grown in for them yet but hopefully with some pretty long straight driving, I’ll be able to take advantage of a few holes.”

“The wind is the definitive this week. With no rough, so that’s not going to penalise any stray shots as much as it normally would, but the winds still will.”

CME Group Tour Championship. Lovely Lydia Wins The Lot.

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Lovely Kiwi Lydia Ko wins the lot at the CME Group Tour Championship, and the Race to the CME Globe, all in her rookie year on the LPGA.

 CME Group Tour Championship . Race to CME Globe

Lydia & Trophies / Getty Images

Lydia won the CME Group Tour Championship, in a play-offand the Race to the CME Globe competition here in Florida.

Lydia shot a final round -4 under par 68, for a -10 under par tournament total, a score she shared with Carlota Ciganda and Julieta Granada. She won everything with a par on the fourth extra hole, a story more amazing than Mary Poppins.

This is what she had to say afterwards;

When I saw that $1 million in the box, I was like, ‘Wow, I wonder who the winner of that will be?’

“It’s amazing. I’ve never seen that much cash in one place before. This year has been awesome. Three wins, Rookie of the Year, it’s a huge honor for me to be here in this position.”

“I’m looking forward to what’s coming up next year.”

Lydia was the youngest player in the field at the CME Group Tour Championship, at just  17-years-old. She netted the largest payday in women’s golf history on Sunday, when she won the $1 million Race to the CME Globe and $500,000 CME Group Tour Championship, and all this before she even has her driver’s license.

Lydia has never missed a cut in her 42 LPGA starts, and was one of only three players on Tour in 2014 to record three wins. She now has five career victories, two of those came when playing as an amateur.

Lydia essentially rewrote all the age related LPGA records, becoming the youngest winner in Tour history, youngest Rolex Rookie of the Year ever and now the youngest to $2 million in career earnings.

Above everything else Lydia is a delight out on the golf course and is a great credit to New Zealand.      CME Race To the Globe

 

DP World Tour Championship. Henrik Successfully Defends Title.

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Henrik Stenson successfully defended his DP World Tour Championship title on the Earth Course in Dubai.

DP World Championship

Henrik Stenson and Trophy / Getty Images

Henrik won the DP World Championship, and defending his title for the first time in his career. A final round -2 under par 70 gave him the winning total of -16 under par, and a two shot victory.

He said how good it felt to get his first win of the year, the win also took him to number 2 in the World, but he would have liked to have been number 1;

“It feels great.”

“I’m exhausted to say the least. It was hot out there and tricky on the back nine. I did not play my best and had a shocking hole on eleven.”

“I walked up to the tee with too much club in my hand and instead of changing I tried to cut a two-iron but hit a push, slice, shank straight into the buildings.”

“That knocked me back but I did not give up. I just had to dig in there and wait for something to happen. I had a couple of close calls this year to get my win and it was not to be. It’s been close but eventually you get something if you stick around and I surely did that.”

“It would be nice to have been ranked the world’s best at some point, but if I had the choice I would go for a Major Championship so I am going to try and be in good shape for them next year.”

World Number One Rory McIlroy, with Ryder Cup team-mates Justin Rose and Victor Dubuisson tied in second place at -14 under par. Rory made a challenge in the final round, shooting -4 under par 68, but it was not enough to upset Henrik. But he was very happy to have won the Race to Dubai;

The Race to Dubai

Race to Dubai winner Rory McIlroy

“It’s a great feeling to know that I’ve played the best golf throughout the season of any of the guys for the second time in three years, it’s really nice.”

“I never expected 14 under to have a remote chance of winning this golf tournament.”

“It just seemed like no one really took the tournament by the scruff of the neck and went with it. The two guys, Rafa and Henrik, were on 16 for quite a while, and sort of stayed there.”

“I saw Rafa went back to 15 under as I birdied 15 to get to 14 under and I thought if I could post 16, I might have a chance. 16 would have been good enough for a play-off in the end.”

“I just didn’t play well enough to win this week, and if I had of won by playing like that, it would have been a bit of a surprise.”

“A lot of positives heading into 2015 and something I’m really pleased about this year is that consistency that I’ve shown in my golf. I haven’t finished outside the top 25. My last few results have been very consistent, very good, and a lot of good stuff going into next year.”

“I feel like, as you said, this year has been full of up-and-downs, mainly ups, which is a great thing.I learned a lot from it and I feel like I came through this year stronger and wiser, and I can go into 2015 in a much better place.” 

“I’m happy with the success that I’ve had, and I feel like there’s been a lot that I’ve learned this year, as well, and that’s a great thing going into the future.”

 

 

Xiamen Open. Amateur Ssu-Chia Cheng Wins.

Xiamen Open

Seventeen year-old Ssu-Chia Cheng, from Chinese Taipei, wins the inaugural Xiamen Open at Orient Golf and Country Club in China.

Xiamen Open

Ssu-Chia Cheng / Getty Images

The young amateur collected her first Ladies European Tour title, carding a final round -4 under par 68, for a winning total of -10 under par in this 54 hole tournament in China. Although she has already won three times on the Taiwan LPGA Tour, Ssu-Chia said she had felt nervous playing today in the final round of the Xiamen Open;

Actually I was pretty nervous today in my heart, inside myself. For the last part my heart was like, ‘boom, boom, boom,’ so I tried to stay calm.”

 “It’s the first time I’ve played in a Ladies European Tour tournament so I feel it was a challenge to myself and made me play well. I did not have high expectations entering this week. I thought it would be a great result if I finished in the top ten.”

“I am excited that I finally won because LET players are very competitive. So far it’s my largest win. I played great this week. I should thank Orient Golf and CLPGA for the invitation extended to me.”

Marion Ricordeau, from France, was in second place, finishing with a -7 under par total, three shots off the lead. She also admitted to a case of nerves today;

“I wasn’t nervous the first two rounds but I was today and I didn’t play really good the first nine holes.”

“I didn’t hit it well and my contacts were poor but something changed on the course when I realised I was on the leader board. I thought, ‘there’s a chance you can do something, so do something and go for it!”

“I played better on the back nine and holed some putts. I knew I was playing better than the last few months but I didn’t know China, I’ve never been to China before so I was a little bit worried about this big trip. I worked well so I’m really happy.”

Tied in third place was another Frenchwoman Alexandra Vilatte and Beth Allen of the United States, both on -6 under par for the tournament.

Alexandra was happy with her putting;

“I had great putting all week so that saved me and my short game was okay but I had some trouble with my driving.”

“I was on the fairways but not very far. I’m happy because I had a very bad week last week and I trained a lot at the beginning of the week so I’m happy with the result.”

Beth played well, and said the winning score was a decent total;

“I played really well today. I had one bad shot on the last but other than that it was really solid so I was happy with that. 10 under for Cheng is a pretty good score.”

Xiamen Open

Alexandra Vilatte, Marion Ricordeau and Beth Allen / Getty Images

CME Group Tour Championship. Julieta Hangs On.

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Julieta Granada just hangs on to the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship at  Tiburon Golf Club in Florida.

 CME Group Tour Championship

Julieta Granada / Getty Images

Julieta hung on to the CME Group Tour Championship lead, carding a -2 under par third round for  -9 under par tournament total, a one shot lead over the field going into the final round tomorrow.

Julieta needs her consistency of finding the fairways, the gap in length off the tee between her and Carlota is huge. On the par five 17th Carlota  out drove her using only a three wood, and even that was some by some distance;

“I played pretty well today; super consistent, I hit a lot of fairways and I hit a lot of greens.”

” I made some good putts out there. So I’m looking forward to tomorrow, see what tomorrow brings.”

I”’m aware of what’s going on, I like to know where I stand.  Like I said before, I just have to keep playing my game and trust my game, that it’s good enough to win out here.”

Carlota Ciganda and Morgan Pressel are sharing second place at -8 under par, with -2 under par and -1 under par respectively for their third rounds.

Just to prove the distance superiority Carlota reached the par five 17th in two, and narrowly missed her Eagle putt, that would have put her level with Julieta. Sandra Gal is in fourth place on her own at -7 under par, unfortunately finding the greenside hazard with her approach shot on the 18th, and dropping a shot there.

Lydia Ko and So Yeon Ryu are at -6 under par, tied in fifth spot. Lydia’s -4 under par 68 moved her into second place in the Race to CME Globe. Still in first place in that race is Stacy Lewis, who had a -2 under par 70 today, and has a lot on her mind;

“I’ve been thinking about all these awards and the Race to the Globe that kind of stuff for three, four weeks now.”

“Unfortunately that’s not going to go away overnight, I’ve just got to go hit some greens tomorrow.  That’s all I’m going to try to do.  If the putts go in, great; if they don’t, I’m going to take any par on this golf course, good.”

Lydia is not going to think about all the trophies and money;

“I’m not going to really think about it, I’m just going to go out there tomorrow like did today and not think about the big money that comes at the end of tomorrow.”

DP World Tour Championship. Henrik & Rafa Pull Clear.

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Henrik Stenson and Rafa Cabrera- Bello pull clear of the field in the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course in Dubai.

DP World Tour Championship

Rafa Cabrera-Bello / Getty Images

Rafa shot a great third round -7 under par 65, to share the DP World Tour Championship lead with Henrik at -14 under par, the pair of them now have a three shot advantage going into the final round tomorrow.

Rafa said it had been a very special day for him;

“Obviously it’s been a very special round for me today,” he said. “I’m really, really pleased with the score, and obviously with the good finish.”

“The short game and putting has been unbelievable, probably the best day of my life for short game.”

“I think that that’s what helped me hang in there on the front nine and I did play better on the back nine. I was playing more aggressive going for it, hitting good shots, and giving myself a lot of chances and I did make some of them.”

Henrik did nothing wrong today, a bogey free -4 under par 68, and reported he had recovered from hitting the wall yesterday, he put it down to old age. He has never successfully defended a title, and wants to win here;

“I felt a little stronger today but I wasn’t exactly jumping out of bed this morning, but what do you expect at 38 years old? I’m a little low on energy but when the mind wants something you can pull through.”

“It would be great to win. It’s a great championship and it would mean a lot to defend a title and get the win. It’s been a good year but when you assess it you always look at the trophies and there hasn’t been one yet.”

“All in all it was a good day and we’re still at the races so I am pretty pleased.”

Justin Rose scored a -4 under par 68 today to move himself into third place alone, at -11 under par. He played alongside Rafa and could only admire what he saw;

“I watched an incredible round of golf today, Rafa was unbelievable. He really struggled with his game the first few holes, up-and-down, up-and-down, up-and-down, and then got some flow going.”

“He had 15 one-putts today. His short game was Seve-like. It was awesome.”

“He was chipping it to a foot and it was awesome. Chipping around this golf course is difficult, very grainy, very tough, very sandy underneath the ball. It was a masterclass.”

Tied in fourth place at -10 under par are; Rory McIlroyVictor Dubuisson, Tyrrell Hatton and Thorbjørn Olesen.

Rory had another off day, -2 under par 70,with a couple of double bogey’s thrown in, and is now four shots off the lead;

“It makes life a little more difficult for me tomorrow. I need to be aggressive, I need to go at pins, hit it close and make some putts.”

“I felt a little better out there today than yesterday so knew if I stayed patient the birdies would come. I got on a nice run with three birdies in a row from the fifth and another one at ten, but unfortunately the back nine was not quite as good as the front.”

“It was annoying to follow one double bogey with another. I was a little frustrated but it was nice to get a couple back and at least keep myself in touch.”