L.E.T. Sberbank Golf Masters. Steffi Kirchmayr Leads.

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Steffi Kirchmayr leads the Sberbank Golf Masters in Prague.

 

 Steffi Kirchmayr / Getty Images

Steffi admitted to not liking the course, but she could still play it, carding a first round -7  under par 64 to lead the Sberbank Golf Masters at Golf Park Plzeň;

 ” It’s a great feeling to shoot seven-under. I don’t really like the set-up of this golf course, because it favors the short hitters and good putters, so I can’t take advantage of my length.”

  “I only had one bad hole, where I had to chip out of a fairway bunker, but I hit it close and made the putts. My parents came to watch from Germany just for today so I felt I had to shoot a good round for them. They said it was worth driving for three hours to see a 64.”

Mallory Fraiche, from the U.S.A . is in second place, just one shot behind at -6 under par, she said having her sister on the bag, and playing two practice rounds was of great benefit to her;

“It was very solid and my short game was on point and so it helped save me a lot. This week I knew I needed to practice, so I played the course twice before the tournament, which I also think helped.”

Five ladies are tied in third place, all at -5 under par after their opening rounds of 66, they are Julie Greciet, Amy Boulden, Nikki Garrett, Pamela Pretswell and Ursula Wikstrom.

The L.E.T. rookie Amy is trying to earn enough money to stay on the Tour;

” This is my sixth week in a row after the US Women’s Open. It wasn’t supposed to be like that because I got into the Bucks at the last minute and then the Ricoh Women’s British Open. I’m just trying to make the most of each week because I still don’t have my full card. I’m trying to earn enough money to secure my card for next year.”

Aussie Nikki almost quit golf at one stage last year, a back to back tour winner seven years ago;

“It’s nice, all of the girls out there will know that I’ve struggled with my driver the last few years and I’m hitting it well again and it feels good over it, so it’s a totally different game when you get it in play off the tee. I don’t regret coming out here. When I go home I’ll reassess and see if I come out for the second half of the season.”

Julie said she had putted well, but did card one bogey, because of a plugged ball in a bunker;

I played very well and I had one bogey on nine because my ball was plugged in the bunker and I had no chance, but I had an eagle on 14 and birdie on 15 and 18 so I’m happy because my putting was very good and I took 30 putts and hit 16 greens today.”

Scot Pamela was happy with her good start to the tournament;

“I made a really good start when I got up and down for par at the first and made birdie on two and three and kicked on from there.”

In a strange incident Moroccan Maha Haddioui was disqualified prior to starting her first round due to being nine minutes late on the tee. How can you be so late for your tee time ?

Russian Open. Horsey Still Heads the Field.

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David Horsey still heads the field at the Russian Open in Moscow.

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David Horsey / Getty Images

David shot a second round -4 under par 68 to take a two stroke lead at the mid-way point in the Russian Open at the Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club. After a pedestrian start he conjured up three birdies in the last four holes;

“I got off to a slow start but I managed to bounce back well, I tried to do the same as yesterday and stick to my game and not worry about much else.” 

“Dropping a couple of shots early on is always disappointing, but I knew there’d be plenty of chances to come and I just needed to stay patient and keep giving myself putts for birdie.” 

“The approach shots are the key here. The fairways are wide so you don’t see guys missing too many fairways. There’s a bit of water, so it’s just about minimising to mistakes and not giving away too many shots when you do make a mistake. Then ultimately it’s about holing putts, the same as every other week.” 

“I’ve got a while now until the next round, so I’ll be recharging the batteries this afternoon and hopefully I’ll be raring to go tomorrow.”

In second place is Thomas Pieters, he also had -4 under par 68 today, giving him a -9 under par tournament total. Carding seven birdies, that was mixed with three bogey’s;

“I’ve seen a lot of improvement, which is always nice, and I’ve holed a few putts too. I’m very happy with my game. I’ve been working hard on some stuff and it doesn’t happen right away. It takes time, and it’s nice to see the hard work paying off this week with a couple of good rounds.” 

“I learned a lot from my experience at the Spanish Open. I stayed very calm, which surprised me. I felt comfortable there, which gives me a lot of confidence going into the next two rounds here.”

“The course is great and the best thing that suits me is the driving. If you can drive it long and straight off the tee you will do well on this course.”

Third place is shared between Gary Boyd and Peter Whiteford, both at -7 under par totals.

Peter battled back from being +4 over par on his round today;

“The start was shocking, the first tee shot was straight in the rubbish, and I was four over after five holes. But it was a good fightback. “

“Strangely, I felt like I was swinging it better today, but there are still some absolutely wild ones in there which cost me today. The good shots are really good, but there are some calamities.”

“Even that shot to the last there, it was an easy nine iron and I just hooked it into the bunker. It makes it exciting though, I don’t really know where to look once I’ve struck it! I’m not playing great so I’m delighted with the way I’m scoring and I’m in with a chance, which is just what I need.”

RBC Canadian Open. Two tied at the Top

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There are two players tied at the top of the  at the top of the RBC Canadian Open, Michael Putnam and Tim Petrovic.

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Michael Putnam / Getty Images

Michael carded a bogey free first round -6 under par 64 to lead the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

Michael said after his round that he felt comfortable on the  somewhat easy course;

“Obviously it was playing easy. The course is very similar to the courses I play back home, same grasses, same kind of terrain, so I feel pretty comfortable.” 

“I hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens. Obviously it got windy there this afternoon and it was tough ball-striking, but somehow I was able to keep it in the fairway.”

“It was tough ball-striking, but somehow I was able to keep it in the fairway and take advantage of the soft greens to hit a couple of shots close.”

Michael was the leading money winner on the Web.com Tour last year, and was also voted the Web.com Tour Player of the Year, and that experience has helped him on the PGA TOUR;

“It was huge, I think I was in contention in half the events I played last year, so I got used to doing a lot of media interviews, seeing cameras behind me while I swing. So I feel very comfortable.”

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Tim Petrovic / Getty Images

Tim was also bogey free in his -6 under par 64 even though he did not get a chance to play a practice round at Royal Montreal GC, finding his way into the field after Benjamin Alvarado had to  withdraw on Tuesday. He said he was concentrating on hitting fairways and green in regulation;

“I was just trying to hit fairways and greens, trying to see the golf course and see if I could make a few putts. I drove the ball pretty good overall.”

Canadian amateur, Taylor Pendrith, is happily just a stroke off the lead after a -5 under par 67, carding seven birdies and two bogey’s in his first PGA Tour start. He is also the leading Canadian player, with David Hearn the next at -3  under par.

Taylor did not expect to be so high up the leaderboard;

“I never expected that, I was playing good golf coming in here, so I just played golf. Five under is pretty nice. Everybody has some nerves. If you didn’t have nerves on the first tee something would be wrong with you. But after I played the first hole, I felt calm and felt I should be here.”

“I made a lot of birdies and hit it in some good spots off the tee. I just played golf and did my own thing. It was a fun day.”

“I’ve played in some big tournaments, but none as big as this’”

Kyle Stanley shares third place with Taylor at -5 under par.

It has been a while since a Canadian won this tournament, but they have a first here,  Dianne Barabe is the first-ever female rules official, to work the RBC Canadian Open. Last Canadian winner was Pat Fletcher in 1954.

Russian Open. David Horsey Leads.

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David Horsey leads the Russian Open in Moscow.

 

 

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David Horsey / Getty Images

David carded a flawless opening round of -7 under par 65, to lead the M2M Russian Open by one shot in Moscow.

” It was very solid, I birdied the first and then had a few shaky holes where I managed to scramble pars with eight to ten-footers.”

“After that it was flawless and probably could’ve been a few better. It was a bit breezier this afternoon, but I was just trying to concentrate on giving myself opportunities to make birdie.”

“I’ve been working hard on my swing over the last nine or ten months and it’s been a bit inconsistent. The good stuff’s really good, but there are inconsistencies and a lack of confidence with it, which I guess comes with the territory when you try to change something.”

 Second place is being shared between Scott Jamieson and Peter Whiteford at -6 under par following their first rounds of 66.

Scott has played really well of late, and hopes to continue his good form here;

“I played really well in Paris, the best I’ve played all season, and then had another good week in Scotland to get in The Open. Unfortunately I didn’t play well at Hoylake. It was difficult as I played late on the first day when the wind had got up and it was difficult to get at pins.” 

“I wasn’t on the fairway enough either. When I was hitting from the fairway I felt in complete control, but that didn’t happen often enough. Fortunately the fairways are nice and wide here in Russia.”

“This week you have to get in a different mind-set. At The Open, although you’re hopeful of doing well, you have relatively low expectations as you’re up against the best players in the world.”

“This week the field is completely different and expectations are much higher, but you have to manage those expectations and not get down on yourself if you’re not leading from the first day. You just have to play your normal game and not worry about much else. I always tend to play better if I’m not expecting too much of myself.”

I guess what Scott was really trying to say was that the best players in the world are not supporting this tournament, probably because of the war with the Ukraine. Not to mention the Russians shooting down the Malaysian passenger jet.

LPGA Marathon Classic. Lovely Lydia Wins

 

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Lovely 17 year-old Lydia Ko wins the Marathon Classic at the Highlands Meadows Golf Club in Ohio.

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Lydia on the way to her win / Getty Images

 

Lydia shot a final bogey free  round -6 under par 65 to reach her winning total of -15 under par, a one shot victory. A successful birdie putt on eighteen was crucial as So Yeon was applying the pressure. Lydia was trying to watch as So Yeon attempted her birdie putt, but her vision was partially blocked by spectators;

” I knew I needed to make birdie. I couldn’t see it properly. I was behind some people.”

With this win Lydia has become the youngest ever player to amass one million dollars in career earnings on the LPGA, she then commented that the winning check would go  into her Mom’s account;

”I’ll probably see that going into my mom’s account.”

So Yeon Ryu was in second spot at -14 under par, after she missed a shortish putt on the 18th green to force a play-off. She was obviously upset at the final outcome;

Absolutely I’m disappointed I missed that birdie putt. Sometimes if I get something lucky, then I get something that is unlucky. I just accept it and let it go.”

In third place was Cristie Kerr at -12 under par for the tournament, she was enjoying a good round until the final few holes, when suddenly things started to go wrong. A disastrous five at he par 4 15th hole, which was followed by two pars on the closing final holes 17 & 18, both par fives.

Ladies German Open. Kylie Wins, In A Playoff.

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Kylie Walker won the Ladies German Open, in a play-off against Charley Hull.

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After creating a new record of three rounds at -8 under par 64, Kylie could only manage a final round of -1 under par 71, which gave her a tournament total of -25 under par. She won with a par on the first extra hole;

“It was pretty nerve-wracking. Charley played brilliantly today because it was slightly tougher conditions as well. I wasn’t quite playing as well as I have done the rest of the week but I’m delighted to have hung in there today and get the win. “

“I was hoping not for a play-off, I was trying to win it in regulation play but it didn’t happen and Charley made a great birdie on 17 to tie for the lead. I was delighted in the play-off that I made a solid par and managed to get it. I’m delighted. I’m just living the dream at the moment. I’m really happy and enjoying my golf.”

Charley Hull, who had two rounds herself of -8 under par finished with a bogey free last round of -7 under par 65, to catch Kylie at the top on -25 under par. An errant tee shot on the first play-off hole was her undoing;

“I just blocked my tee shot on the last which was annoying but I hit a good shot in and a good putt. I’m quite happy. It’s been a long three weeks and I’m a bit tired now because I’ve been in contention all three weeks and especially with a major in the middle of it. To finish it off with a second place is not too bad.”

“I’m looking forward to my next competitions after I have a week or so off because I feel like my game is in really good condition. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. It’s a shame because in regulation play on 18 I hit my drive 305 yards, so it’s a shame for me to push it a little bit in my play-off hole.”

Defending  Ladies German Open champion Carlota Ciganda fired in a tournament low round -9 under par 63,  to finish in solo third place on -23 under-par.

“I’ve been playing really good the whole day. I starting hitting great shots and not making putts but I tried to stay patient and I made an eagle on 12 and then on 14 I hit the hole and the ball ended 10 metres away. Then I finished with two birdies in the last four so I’m very happy with that.”

It’s really nice to play once in a while in Europe because you come from the States and the courses here are a bit easier, shorter, and the confidence goes up. I’m really happy with the way I played this week. I love Europe and everything I can do to support I’ll always do.”

The Open. Wire to Wire Win for the Wizard of Hoylake, Rory.

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Rory McIlroy was the wire to wire wizard of The Open at Hoylake, winning the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

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Kissing the Claret Jug, Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy wins his third Major championship, and all before the age of 25, equaling the achievements of Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods before him.

Rory carded a final round of -1 under par 71, for his winning total of -17 under par, a two shot victory. The other guys did not make it easy for him, there were some great sores out on the course today;

“It feels incredible, today wasn’t easy. There were a lot of guys making runs at me and I just needed to stay focused, keep in the present and concentrate on what I was doing out there.”

“To be three legs towards the career grand slam at the age of 25 is a pretty good achievement. It’s not going to sink in for a while. I knew I had some holes where I could make birdie and 16 was the real hole for me which I think settled the championship.”

 “Well done for putting up such a fight. Rickie, no doubt with the way your Major record is this year your time will come, and Sergio too, two of the best players in the world.”

“It’s pretty hard to describe right now, to be honest, I feel like I’ve come a long way in the last 18 months. A lot has happened to me on and off the golf course. My determination and hard work has really paid off.”

“This is the first Major my mum has been to that I’ve won, so mum, this one’s for you. I just can’t wait to get back and defend this thing at St Andrews next year.”

Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler tied for second place at -15 under par. Sergio charged at Rory, carding a -6 under par 66, and Rickie, who was playing alongside Rory threw in a final round -5 under par 65.

If Sergio really wants to win a Major, he will have to address the problem of that fragile putting grip.

Jim Furyk had a -7 under par 65 and finished alone in fourth spot at -13 under par for the championship. Tiger Woods ended his tournament returning a final total +6 over par. Defending Champion Phil Mickelson returned a final total of -5 under par.