Rory Beats Tiger in the Duel at Jinsha Lake

The Worlds number one ranked golfer beats the worlds number two ranked player in the Duel at Jinsha Lake, that means Rory beat Tiger in the first one-on-one exhibition match between golf’s two biggest names.

 

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have a light moment when they wait to receive their trophies. Photo / AP

Tiger & Rory/ Photo / AP

Rory engineered  a 5-under 67 round to beat Tiger by one stroke in an 18-hole match between these two top-ranked golfers at the Jinsha Lake Golf Club in central China overnight, where the total money prize was a reported $US two million.

Tiger may have lost this match, but he said it was fun;

” This is certainly not like most Mondays, to have this many people come out and watch us play golf in an exhibition was something special. This doesn’t happen, as far as doing something like this down the road, it would be fun.”

This event is the first time the two golfers had played head-to-head without other competitors, and it probably won’t be the last given the spectator interest and support for this match-up. It could become similar to the rivalry between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray that have made men’s tennis so exciting in recent years.

Tiger thinks it could only be good for the game of golf;

“If you look at the history of the game, it’s not like other sports where the guys play against each other all the time. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer didn’t go at it that often. But you know what, if we can do this for the next 10, 15 years, then certainly we can have that type of rivalry. I think having matches like this to promote the game of golf is what it’s all about. We’re trying to promote the game of golf in this region and it’s come a long way since my first time here 11 years ago.”

Rory’s win was some consolation for not winning his last tournament, when he was in position to do so;

“It’s been a nice distraction to not dwell on what happened yesterday. I let a great chance to win a golf tournament slip through my fingers. Coming to do something like this today has definitely made it a little easier to deal with.”

The game of golf is certainly taking off in China, and sponsor ship events like this will only help towards spreading the news and attracting youngsters to the game. Apart from the golf on offer, there were stunt planes buzzing overhead. A fleet of Rolls Royce’s elegantly whisked the players to the course, cruising past helicopters for sale and Aston Martins and Maserati’s, all with showgirls draped over them. After the two struck a gong to open the event, fireworks exploded behind them and confetti cannons rained gold flakes over the jostling crowd. Not sure what that was all about, but the crowd seemed to enjoy all the razzmatazz.

Belly Putter Ban Imminent ?

It is commonly understood an official from the R&A will make presentations to the golf playing professionals at this week’s HSBC WGC Champions event in Shenzhen and then at next week’s Barclays Singapore OpenMike Davis, the chief executive of the USGA, has already held such a seminar with PGA Tour players. It is likely that they will take a formal vote in March, to decide if, and when, the ban will come into force. It is possible that a ban could be in place for competition from the start of 2013, or they may wait until the end of the current rules cycle which runs through December 2015. Either way it looks fairly certain that  they are going to eradicate the belly putter altogether. The catalyst for this action seems to be the fact that three of the last five major winners have used belly-putters. Strangely enough there is no mention of the broom-stick putter in this decision-making process, but if the ruling is based on Anchoring, rather than the length of the putter, jamming a putter under your chin, or chest would also be eliminated.

Davis Love 111, the US Ryder Cup captain, attended the meeting with the USGA representative in Georgia, he expressed the view that whatever path the authorities took, they should proceed with haste.

” If they said today, we met with the Tour and we’re going to change putters; Keegan Bradley is going to get himself a conforming putter and he’s still going to be a really good putter. He’s just going to have to make a change, but you’d rather not talk about it for three years and have it be a distraction.”

Webb Simpson, the US Open champion is already practicing with a conventional putter, in readiness of a rule change, although he disagree’s with the argument for a ban;

” I’m friends with a lot of the R&A and the USGA guys and I know they are trying to do it for the betterment of the game. But I don’t think it’s a good decision. If you look at the stats, last year there was no one in the top 20 of the strokes gained category who anchored a putter. So you have to throw out the argument of  it’s an advantage right there. There’s a bunch of arguments going around but I haven’t heard a good one yet.”

Players like Matt Kuchar, who use a long putter but do not Anchor it will be free to continue using such equipment if the ban itself is centered on the anchoring point and not just the length of the putter. It will be extremely interesting to see how this event pans out, is it really going to make the game better, or fairer, I actually doubt it.

BMW Masters, China, Peter Hanson Wins

Peter Hanson  (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson/Getty Images

Ryder Cup player Peter Hanson won the BMW Masters at  Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China, shooting a last round of -5 under par 67, to lift the title with a tournament total of -21 under par. He held at bay another Ryder Cup player, World number one, Rory McIlroy who also had a last round of -5 under par 67, and was beaten by just one shot.

Members of the 2012 European Ryder Cup Team filled the first four places with Luke Donald finishing alone in third place after his final round of -6 under par 66, and he must be ruing his customary slow start to a tournament. Best round of the day came from another Ryder Cupper, Ian Poulter, who fired in a final round -7 under par 65, to end up in fourth spot on his own. Ireland’s Shane Lowry finished in fifth place alone on -15 under par.

It was nice to see a return to form from England’s Paul Casey, who finished the tournament at -14 under par, he was tied for sixth place along with, Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen, Noren Alexander and the man from Zimbabwe, George Coetzee.

Jamie Donaldson, who led the tournament after his amazing first round 62, finished tied in sixteenth place, his first round was followed by rounds of 74, 72 and a 69.  A really sad end to a brilliant start to the tournament.

CIMB Classic, Malaysia, Wonderful Watney Wins

           

Magic in Malaysia

Nick Watney/ Getty Images

Nick Watney shot a course record last round on Sunday of -10 under par, 61 to win the CIMB Classic at The MINES Resort & Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a tournament total of -22 under par. Nick had a chance to go for a 59, but a wayward tee shot on eighteen left him with a difficult approach to the green from the left rough. His effort failed to reach the green, and he was then left with a long pitch shot for par, he failed in his attempt and dropped a shot at the last. That mistake left Bo Van Pelt needing to finish with a birdie to tie Nick at -22 under par. Bo was seeking back to back wins after his victory last week in Australia. Bo also missed the fairway on eighteen, then his approach landed in the green-side bunker, and he got up and down for par, to tie second place with Robert Garrigus, who birdied eighteen for his -21 under par tournament total. Both players had last round scores of -6 under par 66.

Tiger Woods made the charge he promised after his disappointing error strewn second nine on Saturday. Tiger had a last round score of -8 under par 63, and finished just three shots off the lead, tied in fourth place, after starting ten shots adrift of the final pairing of Van Pelt and Garrigus. Sharing fourth place with Tiger was Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge, who had a final round of -5 under par, 66, and Chris Kirk who had an average last round of -4 under par 67.  Another really low round came from Carl Pettersson with a -9 under par last round effort, giving him seventh place on his own.

CIMB Classic, in Malaysia, Tiger Tumbles Down

 

 

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods/Eurosport

Tiger Woods tumbled down the leaderboard at the CIMB Classic at The MINES Resort & Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, shooting a third round -2 under par,69. Tiger had cruised through the front nine, reaching the turn in 30 strokes, after five birdies and four pars, but suddenly his round unraveled on the back nine as he dropped five shots to offset two more birdies on another stifling day in Kuala Lumpur. Tiger managed to put his ball into lakes, bunkers and onto cart paths to stall his third round charge, he said it was due to bad swings;

“I made a couple of bad decisions, bad swings on top of that, just all-in-all made too many mistakes and on a golf course that is playing this benign, you can’t afford to do that. I’m going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow, something similar like Bo did today, but probably being this far back, I’m going to need some help, a great round tomorrow might not win that’s the only problem.”

The round of Bo Van Pelt Tiger referred to was a super -9 under par 62, which puts Bo in a share of the top leaderboard at -16 under par with Robert Garrigus. Roberts third round was a conservative -2 under par 69.

At one stage Bo was thinking of a magical 59 but things went wrong for him;

“Obviously disappointing to finish with a double, but I look back on the 17-and-a-half holes I played well, and you know, hopefully that will carry over into tomorrow, not the last half.”

Chris Kirk is alone in third place, after his sparkling round of -8 under par 63. This golf course is playing so easy that there could be some really low scores again tomorrow, but Tiger can only hope the leaders fall over if he is to win from tenth place.

 

 

 

 

 

Euro Tour, BMW Masters, China, Hanson Heads McIlroy

Peter Hanson  and Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson and Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson heads Rory McIlroy by one shot after the third round at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai China. Peter had a -2 under par third round to stay on top of the leaderboard at -16 under par, while Rory shot -3 under par 69 to claim second place, just one shot adrift of his Ryder Cup Teammate at -15 under par. Peter said he enjoys Rory’s company on the golf course;

” The wind was blowing from opposite direction today which made it a little bit trickier, and some of the pins were tucked away. It’s great to play with Rory, every time you get the chance to play against the World Number One it’s a fantastic thing to do. Hopefully I can stay ahead of him but I think it’s going to be a tough one tomorrow and I need to play a little bit better than I did today.Winning on The European Tour is always massive and this is the start of a big stretch for us. If I can get it back to the first two rounds I think I’ve got a good chance.”

Rory has already captured the U.S. PGA Tour money list over in the States, and a win here would put him in position to also gaining the European money title, emulating Luke Donald’s achievement of last year. Rory said he is in a great position and will really go for it tomorrow;

” I’m one behind and in a great position, I’ll try to go out and shoot the best score possible and see what happens. As long as you’re up there near the lead, it’s a good position to be in. Whether I’m one ahead or one behind or level, I can go out there tomorrow and give it my all and hopefully that’s good enough.”

South African George Coetzee conquered the breezy conditions at Lake Malaren Golf Club, to shoot an impressive third round of -6 under par 66, to move into third place alone with a tournament total of -13 under par. There is a whole host of players, six to be exact, who are at -11 under par, and probably out of contention. Luke Donald, last years double money list double winner, is joined by Justin Rose, Michael Hoey, Charl Schwartzel, Noren Alexander and Shane Lowery. One shot behind these guys, at -10 under par is Graeme McDowell who equalled today’s best score of -6 under par 66 with George Coetzee. If one of the chasing pack goes really low tomorrow, and the players at the top have a big score to chase, it could make it very interesting.

 

Lake Malaren Golf Club

 

 

Euro Tour, BMW Masters, China

 

Peter Hanson  (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson/ Getty Images

Peter Hanson has the second round lead in the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China, after shooting -8 under par 64 to secure the top spot at -14 under par for the tournament. Peter is two shots ahead of Rory McIlroy who surprisingly has not won a regular European Tour event since last year’s Hong Kong Open. Rory shot a second round -7 under par 65, but it was not enough to catch Ryder Cup teammate Peter, who unfortunately started the day with a bogey at the first;

It’s amazing how many good rounds come together after a bogey on the first. It’s pretty soft so you can see yourself shooting some low scores here. I’m happy with the way I played so far and I know it’s going to be a tough one coming up against the World Number One these last couple of days on a golf course he obviously loves.  He won here last year.” 

Rory was pleased he played better today than he did in the first round, the U.S. PGA Champion said;

It was a very good day, I played very well , a little better than I did yesterday. I hit the ball a lot better, and gave myself plenty of opportunities. When I did need to make a par putt here or there, I was able to save those, and overall it was just a very good round of golf and obviously in a great position going into the weekend.” 

Yesterday’s first round leader Jamie Donaldson could not repeat anything like his brilliant first round 62, slipping to a +2 over par 74 in the second round, and is now six shots behind the leader. Jose Maria Olazabal also struggled to a second round of 72, plunging from fourth position to twenty-first.

Robert Karlsson is in third spot with a second round -8 under par 64, and a tournament total of -9 under par, five shots from the top. There are four players on -8 under par, with Justin Rose are Shane Lowery, winner of the Portugal Masters two weeks ago, Noren Alexander and first round leader Jamie Donaldson.

Luke Donald had a better second round, a -5 under par 67, to move into a tie for eighth place, with a posse of seven other players, which includes other Ryder Cup players Martin Kaymer and Nicolas Colsaerts. Luke will need a really good third round if he is to contest this title. It has been another tournament where Luke has started slowly, he has made a bad habit of that this year.