Volvo China Open. Levy Lifts the Trophy

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Alexander Levy lifts his first European Tour trophy, winning the Volvo China Open at the Genzon Golf Club.

Alexander Levy  (Getty Images)

Alexander and Trophy / Getty Images

Apart from a wobble during the final round, carding a double bogey six on the fifteenth hole Alexander cruised to victory. A last round -3 under par 69 was enough to see off the challenge of Tommy Fleetwood, at one point the lead was only one shot. Alexander replied to his double on 15 with birdies at 17 and 18, to post the winning score of-19 under par;

“I didn’t feel pressure, it was a difficult putt, difficult pin position, my ball was in the divot. It was a difficult shot, I made double bogey but I knew I was playing well and I was only thinking about my game.”

“I hit one of my best shots on 17. I didn’t feel pressure on the golf course because I’m confident. I just played my golf and focussed on the target. I saw Tommy made a birdie on the 17th but I like the pressure.”

Of the smile that he has been wearing all week, Alexander had this to say;

“You need to take the pleasure on the golf course and keep the smile because if you are upset about a missed shot or not lucky because you make a lip out or something like that, it’s not good to have this feeling on the golf course. You need to enjoy and have the smile.”

Tommy Fleetwood fired a last round -4 under par 68, but in the end it was not good enough to catch the runaway leader. He congratulated Alexander on great play;

“We aim for wins, but today I didn’t really have a chance. I had to play outstanding golf, but Alex has led from Friday, and that’s one of the hardest things you can do. What a performance from him.”

Alvaro Quiros finished third, his expected charge in the last round did not materialize, he carded a par round of 72, and final score of  -13 under par. Six shots behind his playing partner, and the man he was trying to catch, Alexander.

Henrik Stenson, who needed to win here to overtake  Tiger Woods at the top of the World Golf Rankings carded a final bogey free round -7 under par 65, to finish T5. He really wants that number one spot;

“It’s really tight and I just need to play better if I want to get to that spot. And I should have to play better than I have done earlier on this year if I want to get to world No. 1, that’s for sure,”

Low round of the day went to Anders Hansen, a -9 under par 63. He finished alongside Henrik and Ian Poulter.

Volvo China Open. Levy Hangs Tough, Still Top.

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Alexander Levy hangs tough in the Volvo China Open third round and stays in the top position.

Alexander Levy  (Getty Images)

Alexander Levy / Getty Images

Alexander had to scrap for a score today in the rain, carding a third round -2 under par 70, a long way from yesterdays 62. He carded three bogey’s to end the day with a tournament total of  -16 under par, and will have the luxury of a three shot lead going into the final round.  He said it was tough conditions and he found it difficult to focus;

“My target was to do a good job, like the first two rounds, but it was difficult with the rain coming. It was tough to stay focused, but I kept my mind in good condition and played some good shots. I’m happy with my round today.”

“I’m going to play good golf and take some pleasure from the golf course, because it’s a very nice course to play. I want to continue to play like I have for the first three rounds and to enjoy the moment. I will be nervous, but because you’re nervous doesn’t mean you can’t play well.”

Someone will have to go low to beat Alexander, maybe second placed Alvaro Quiros could step up. Alvaro shot a third round -4 under par 68, for a -13 under par total. He would have been a lot closer except for a couple of sloppy bogey’s right at the end of the round, on 16 and 18. Those two dropped shots would have put the pressure on tomorrow, and he had plenty to say about his performance, and his chances for the title. His putting has also improved;

“It has been a tough day, especially with that finish. I have played well with a lot of heart and passion but unfortunately I made three putts on the 15th, I didn’t birdie 17 and then bogeyed the 18th from the middle of the fairway. I am three shots back going into the final round but that is nothing in this game. The only thing that I can say is that I am trying with all that I have. Tomorrow I have a chance and that is good to know.” 

“It depends on a few things and not just me. If Alex plays really well then we might not be able to catch him but it is good to know that I have a chance to be in the top positions because it is a long time since I have won a tournament and you have to consider that too. It has been two and a half years since I won so I have not had those feeling for a long time. We will see if I can get them back tomorrow.” 

“I have been playing well all week and as I said before I have started to putt better and that is the key for me. I have been starting the ball on line which is the positive for me but there is a dark side to my game this week too because I have been missing quite a few easy shots. You saw on the 18th that I am in the middle of the fairway and I manage to miss the green and make bogey which should never have happened, so I have to be careful of that.” 

Mikko Ilonen is in third place at -12 under par for the tournament, with Tommy Fleetwood and Adrian Otaegui  a shot further back on -11 under par.

 

 

 

Volvo China Open. Alexander the Great.

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Alexander Levy fired a great round of 62 to lead the Volvo China Open at the Half-way stage.

Alexander Levy  (Getty Images)

A casual Alexander Levy / Getty Images

Alexander recorded a -10 under par 62, a course record which put him in command of the Volvo China Open at Genzon Golf Club, with a four shot lead. He has a desire to follow the lead of the other French players into the winners circle, especially his friend Victor Dubuisson;

“It is a great round for me, I played unbelievably today and it’s the first time I have played like that. I really like the course and it is in great shape. I played really well and made a lot of putts to make the lowest score of my career. I shot 63 at Kingsbarns during the Dunhill Links in Scotland last year but this course is a lot tougher and I am only starting to realise how good that score is. “

“I played the right strategy today and I just have to try to do that over the next couple of days. I hope that I can play with Ralph tomorrow because he is a great friend and it would be funny if we could play in the last group together tomorrow.”

“I just tried to play one shot at a time. I didn’t realise how good the score was to be honest because I was focussed on playing shot by shot. I am very happy to be here, this is my first time in China and I feel great to be playing so well in what is a really big event for me.” 

“I think the French players are all very close and Victor’s performances over the last few months is helping all the French players and inspiring them to try to do the same. I am friends with Victor. It is mainly through golf that we have a relationship but we are friends. What he has done over the past few months has been amazing and it has really had an effect on all the French players so hopefully I can try to emulate that.” 

Adrian Otaegui, from Spain, is in second place, a -6 under par 66 for a -10 under par total kept him in touch with the leader. Fellow countryman Alvaro Quiros is a further shot back at -9 under par following his more modest second round of -4 under par 68.

Fourth place belongs to Raphaël Jacquelin, his second round of -5 under par 67 gives him a tournament total of -8 under par, and maybe a slim chance of catching Alexander. He was pretty happy to be where he is, saying he is not playing too well;

“I played a bit better today compared to how I was hitting the ball yesterday, so I feel pretty good. Still a few bad shots, but overall, five under, I’ll take it, definitely.”

Ian Poulter just managed to make the cut, a -1 under par total was due to some poor play and a rules infraction, on the 13th hole. he had driven the ball into trees off the tee, and took the penalty two clubs length relief. The drop left him on a cart path, so he was entitled to relief from that position. A free drop is only one club length, but Ian took two, which incurred a one shot penalty. He finished the hole with an eight on his card.

Volvo China Open. It’s tight at the Top, Play Suspended for the Day.

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It’s very tight at the top of the Volvo China Open at the Genzon Golf Club in ShenzenAlvaro Quiros and Simon Dyson share the clubhouse lead at the end of day one. Play was suspended due to bad light, with some players still to complete their first rounds.

Alvaro Quiros  (Getty Images)

Alvaro Quiros / Getty Images

Alvaro and Simon both shot opening rounds of -5 under par 67, to top the leaderboard on the Volvo China Open. Alvaro is coming back from injury and said things are slowly getting better;

“It was a good round of golf. It was a bit of a shame on the last par five because I was half a metre away from having a great chance to make another eagle but I ended up on the lip of the bunker and had to settle for a chip and two putts. You can’t see it yet on the rankings but I have been playing better. The Middle East swing was a good three weeks for me then I had a good result in Joburg and the last couple of weeks have been better.” 

Simon started on the tenth tee, and played well. He has won here before and that gives him a good feeling;

“I started on the tenth today and the first nine holes I played was the best I have played for quite some time. I really didn’t miss a shot. I missed two fairways just, and didn’t miss a green so gave myself a lot chances which is always nice and then I managed to make a couple of birdies on the other side for a tidy five under. It was a good start and very pleasing.”

“I have to say that because I was absolutely horrendous in the pro-am yesterday. I just went on the range for a couple of hours and managed to find something which I took out on to the course and it seemed to work for me. I’ll tell you what, it is an unbelievable finishing hole. If you need to make par on that hole to win on Sunday and you manage to get it done then you will deserve everything you get because it is a very tough finish.”

“I have had a bit of success here and really enjoy playing in China. Obviously I have won this tournament before so that always gives you a good feeling and like I said, I just played nicely today so hopefully I can continue to do that over the next three days.”

In third place, just one shot off the lead are English rookie Tyrell Hatton and Spanish Challenge Tour graduate Adrian Otaegui, David Horsey and Brett Rumford, who have all compiled completed first rounds of -4 under par 68. Alexander Levy and Il-hwan Park were still on the course when play was suspended, having played seventeen holes, and are also at -4 under par.

There is a posse of players at -3 under par, including Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, they all signed a card for 69. Defending Champion and World Number Three Henrik Stenson was way down the pack at T38 with a completed opening round of -1 under par. There are currently 55 players within four shots of the leaders. A very compacted leaderboard.

OHL Classic at Mayakoba. Water Wins Again.

Water wins again as rain storms halted play on day 1 of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, in Mexico, where more than 3 inches of rain soaked the resort since early Wednesday night.

Play was suspended from 8:40 to 11 a.m., and stopped again at 1:22 p.m, and was then called for the day at 3:30 p.m., with only 15 players able to finish their rounds on the El Camaleon Golf Course.  More rain and thunderstorms  are  forecast for Friday. Slugger White, the vice president of rules and competition for the PGA TOUR said;

“The biggest thing was the lightning threat and the rain we received. We’ll just grind through it again.”

Brian Stuard leads the the rain affected tournament, at -5 under par with 15 holes completed, carding  six birdies and a bogey so far in his opening round.

The two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton and Alvaro Quiros were a stroke back at -4 under par. Eric has  completed 17 holes, and Alvaro finished 15.

Harris English, Jeff Maggert, Josh Teater and Jamie Lovemark were at – 3 under par when play was suspended for the day. Harris finished 17 holes, Jeff played 15, and Jamie has completed just 12 holes.

This PGA TOUR event offers full FedExCup points for the first time, and the winner will get a spot in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and the Masters Tournament.

It’s Seven Up at the Portugal Masters.

There are seven players tied at the top of the leaderboard at the Portugal Masters on the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course.

Alvaro Quiros   (Getty Images)

Alvaro Quiros / Getty Images

Alvaro, who now lives in Portugal, recovered from two early bogeys at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course to storm home in 29 strokes and share the lead at the Portugal Masters with a  -6 under par 65 opening round.  Felipe Aguilar, Jamie Donaldson, David Lynn, Max Kieffer, Graeme Storm and Simon Thornton also carded -6 under par 65′s. Spaniard Alvaro won every year on The European Tour from 2006-2011, including this event in 2008. He then underwent surgery for a wrist problem, and has missed five months of golf.

Alvaro is one of the game’s longest hitters, and said it was a good recovery from his poor start;

“It was a good fight after being two over after five holes, I was putting beautifully and that was the key. This is my second home tournament and now that I’m living here I have to consider Portugal home. It’s always good, this event has been special since I’ve been coming here.” 

Of the seven players at the top only Max Kieffer had a bogey free round, and he also managed to throw in an Eagle as well, at the par 5 twelfth hole.

Max is  in contention for the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award, and reported he had played well again;

” It was a good round today, it was good fun, I played really good. I had so many shots close and there were a lot of good putts that didn’t go in. I’m surprised nobody shot really low.” 

Seve Trophy  team-mates Jaime Donaldson and David Lynn swiftly banished any disappointment from Great Britain & Ireland’s 15-13 points loss to Continental Europe.

Jamie had got to -7 under par before three-putting the eighth, for his only bogey of the day,

“It was good playing under tough competitive conditions so it’s nice to play well and just bring it on to this week. Those team events were fantastic, we had great fun all week.”

 David managed to pick up three shots over his last five holes. He talked about the Seve Trophy, team games, ailments and the need to improve in The Race To Dubai;

” I keep taking medication but a 65 cures any ailments, if I don’t pull my finger out this week I’m not going to make The Race to Dubai.”

Irishman Simon Thornton, who won earlier this year at Saint Omer, said he had played lovely;

“I played lovely, it’s always nice to get off to a good start, I hit it straight off the tee and had lots of chances. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been playing much more consistently.”

In a tightly packed leaderboard there are then nine players tied at -5 under par, it looks like this is going to be a fiercely contested tournament.

Volvo World Match Play Championship, Poulter out

Defending champion Ian Poulter has been knocked out of the 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championship by Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, with what looks like an easy win at 4-3. Another Englishman,Justin Rose is also out, beaten by Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium by the same 4-3 score. In fact there are no Englishmen competing on day four of the tournament. Tom Lewis went down to Sergio Garcia, Richard Finch to Graeme McDowell and Robert Rock  fell to Retief Goosen.

In the quarter finals G-Mac eased out local boy Sergio Garcia, and Paul Lawrie had an easy time of it despatching Retief Goosen 6 and 5. Brandt Snedeker and his borrowed clubs finally fell to Nicolas Colsaerts, while Alvaro Quiros lost to countryman Rafael Cabrera-Bello 3 and 1.

Paul Lawrie will now face Nicolas Colsaerts, and Rafael Cabrera-Bellow will play Graeme McDowell in the semi finals.

Rafael said of his match against Alvaro Quiros;

“I got to play with a friend in Alvaro. I’m very happy for me but I feel sorry for him, and he’s such a good guy. We had a good match today. I feel like I’m playing really good.  This morning I recovered in a tough game, being two down with five to play, and now this afternoon, three down after nine and being able to win, I feel really proud of that. I have to play G Mac, and he has a lot of experience and is a Ryder Cup hero, so he’s obviously going to be a very, very tough guy to beat.  I’m going to try my best and I’m playing good. Hopefully I can start as good as I did on my first two matches and if I don’t, I know I can come from behind and make it through. So we’ll just see what happens.”

Graeme thought he was pretty lucky to get past Sergio Garcia;

“It wasn’t exactly El Classico and I feel like I dodged a bullet there. I kind of resigned myself to the fact that I was going home, but sometimes you have to win ugly and sometimes to win you need what just happened to me. I count myself lucky.”

Sergio was disappointed but said he was not quite playing well enough;

I’m playing so badly this could happen at any moment.  Making it to the quarter finals having played so badly means it was a good tournament. I had no good quality shots.  He gave me some chances that I could not take and I have been saying it from the first day that I have not felt comfortable and I am not happy with my game.”