BMW Masters. Gonzo Grabs The Title.

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, nickname “Gonzo” grabs the BMW Masters Title at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China.

Fernandez-Castaño takes the spoils in Shanghai

Gonzo / Getty

Gonzo carded a final round -64 under par 68, to win the BMW Masters with a -11 under par total. Gonzo had six birdies on his card and no bogey’s until the last hole. He somehow managed to bogey the par 5 18th hole when he was seemingly cruising along. He said it was definitely a fighting six after finding two bunkers en-route to the green;

“I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy round, especially the way I started. I started hitting the ball pretty bad, but my caddie kept me cool and told me how good I had been hitting the ball through the week and I played fantastic after that. On the last I played too conservative and it was a fighting six at the end for sure.”

Just one shot adrift In second place at -10 under par are Francesco Molinari and Thongchai Jaidee, Francesco finishing strongly with -8 under par 64 final round. Thongchai was not far behind with a -6 under par 66 last round.

The leaders at the start of play today, Luke Guthrie and Rafael Cabrera-Bello, could not maintain their good play, Luke scoring a final round of -1 under par and a tournament total of -9 under par, four shots off the pace, and alone in fourth place. Rafa fared worse, carding a last round +2 over par and falling back into a tie for 11th place at -6 under par.

Best round of the day went to Peter Hanson, a marvelous -9 under par 63, which lifted him up the scoreboard into a tie for 8th place at -7 under par. From nowhere to eighth in one round, golf is a strange game, Peter joked that he was trying to impress the next Ryder Cup Captain, who was his playing partner for the day;

“I was playing with Paul McGinley, the Ryder Cup Captain, and I guess I wanted to impress him. I had no expectations on coming back from injury and I was obviously very rusty on Thursday. But I have felt better and better throughout the week and to finish with a round like that is very pleasing. As a defence, it wasn’t bad!”

The Race to Dubai Final Series remains in China for next week’s WGC-HSBC Champions, before heading to Turkey and then Dubai, where the top 60 will compete for the DP World Tour Championship.

BMW Masters. Luke Shares Lead With Rafa

Luke Guthrie shares the lead at the BMW Masters with Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello at the end of day 3.

Cabrera-Bello joins Guthrie in Shanghai lead

 Rafael Cabrera-Bello/ Getty

Luke and Rafa are tied at -8 under par for the tournament at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai. Luke struggled today, an even par round of 72 let the field catch up to his blistering start to this competition, his four shot lead disappearing.

He was philosophical about his position;

“At the beginning the week, if I was tied going into the fourth round tied for the lead, I’d have taken it. As today went it was a little frustrating. When I made a couple birdies, I seemed to step on my own foot a few times. Like at 18, I didn’t hit my greatest shot obviously, but wish I didn’t have to chip it on the green to get it close. Overall I was hitting it well, putting well, and just let a few shots get away toward the end and that’s never fun really. I’m tied for the lead going into tomorrow and I’m excited.”

Rafa said he was happy, and will enjoy the final round tomorrow;

” Really happy to keep playing good and happy, also, to put a good round together and be in contention tomorrow. I started with two birdies today, which was good. It gave me confidence straightaway, and then I just stayed calm, one shot at a time, and today it worked.  I’m happy, I’m proud, I’m confident and I’m enjoying the tournament so far, so hopefully tomorrow I can keep those feelings and take them on to the golf course with me, go out there, play my best and enjoy.”

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño is in third place at -7 under par, just one shot off the lead, while Gregory Bourdy is another shot back in fourth pace.

Simon Dyson’s chances of victory disappeared when he was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score in the second round. European Tour Chief Referee John Paramor said in a statement:;

“Simon Dyson has been disqualified from the BMW Masters presented by SRE Group under the rules of golf (6-6d). Simon was found to have breached rule 16-1a, which states that a player must not touch his line of putt.”

” When the footage was reviewed, Simon was seen to touch the line of his second putt after marking and lifting his ball on the green. He subsequently failed to add a two-shot penalty to his score when signing his card, and as a result has now been disqualified. He was bitterly disappointed. He had no way of explaining why or how he came to do what he did. He had no recollection of it until I showed him and even then he said ‘I can’t even remember doing it.’ It’s a very sad thing and unfortunately his event is over.”

I have not seen the video, but if you clear your line of putt of leaves or debris are you not then actually touching your line of putt in the act of doing that.?

 

BMW Masters. Guthrie Gathers Speed.

Luke Guthrie gathers speed as he extended his lead at the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren in Shanghai, China.

Luke Guthrie in action on day two of the BMW Masters in Shanghai

Luke Guthrie / Getty Images

After a second round of -1 under par 71 Luke was able to push his lead over the field out to four shots, with a tournament total of -8 under par.

Luke said it had been another tough day on the course, an under par score was a good effort;

“It was another difficult day out there, anything in the red was another good number and I was able to manage one under. I made a few more mistakes out there, made a few bogeys, which was a little disappointing. It’s never fun to bogey the last hole, but it’s playing tough. I hit a lot of good shots, a lot of things to build on. I made two great swings on 17 and 18 with irons to finish, and build on that going into tomorrow. I was in good form coming here; got a tie for fifth over in Las Vegas on the PGA Tour, and been hitting it really well.” 

His nearest rivals are at -4 under par, all six of them: Simon Dyson following his first two rounds of -2 under par 70, Thongchai Jaidee, Paul Casey, Craig Lee, Scott Jamieson and Ricardo Gonzales.

Craig Lee holed out from 188 yards on the 16th for an Eagle in his round of -2 under par 70, he did not know the ball was in the hole, he had already pulled his putter from the bag;

“Just when I was starting to get a bit frustrated about not moving forward, then bang! I hole a four iron straight into the wind from 188 yards.  Always helps the scorecard, especially from a birdie on the hole before, so it was great.” 

Former World Number Ones Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy are seven shots off the lead on -1 under par, with Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson +2 over par after a 74.

BMW Masters. Luke Guthrie Leads, Big John Daly Right Behind.

Luke Guthrie leads the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China, but Big John Daly is right behind him.

Luke Guthrie   (Getty Images)

Luke Guthrie / Getty Images

Luke required just 19 putts in his opening round -7 under par 65 at the  BMW Masters presented by SRE Group as the Final Series began in Shanghai. The 23-year-old American, who only turned professional last year and is playing his first regular European Tour event, carded five birdies and an Eagle, a chip in on the par five 15th hole.

Not surprisingly Luke said it was a great day;

“It was a great day, I had 19 putts, and that was definitely the key to my round. I had about five weeks off before I played the last two weeks over on the PGA Tour, and I’ve been playing solid, hitting it a lot better and just been getting a lot out of my rounds again, which is nice.

“I love Shanghai. This is my first time over in China and Asia, and I just wanted to challenge myself to come travel abroad and get used to this, and just keep gaining experiences and get better at becoming a global player. I was really looking forward to this tournament on my schedule and I just can’t be more happy to be here.”

Big John Daly  had been recovering on the sidelines for four months, following elbow surgery, and the 47-year-old was delighted with his return. A round of -4 under par 68 announced his return to golf;

“When you don’t play competitive for a while, especially against all these guys out here, as good as they are, you want to execute and hit solid shots. Luckily I got a lot of shots that came out right today.”

“My elbow has been ailing me for probably six years, and the last four have been really just brutal and finally to get the surgery done, it’s nice to be able to pinch chips, which I haven’t been able to do in a long time, so that’s encouraging.”

Completing an American top three is Peter Uihlein, an opening round of -3 under par is another good start to his first European Tour season. Peter has been in contention all season long , and has a win in Madeira and finished runner-up to at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Peter said it had been really tough out there today, and was amazed at the effort of Luke;

“That was tough today, that was really hard, that was some round by Luke. I don’t know what course he played, but that was really difficult today. I got off to a bad start and I was able to grind it out and finish well, so it was nice.”

In the contest to be European Number One, Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson carded a level par 72, while his nearest challenger Graeme McDowell shot a -2 under par 70, helped by an Eagle from around 100 feet on the par five 13th hole.

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.

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.

PGA Grand Slam of Golf, Padraig Harrington Wins in Bermuda

 

Padraig Harrington walks up the 16th hole during the PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda.

Padraig Harrington/Getty Images

Padraig Harrington won the  PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda, while the other guys were surveying the view Padraig surprised them with  a 35 ft birdie, and went on to win the tournament, fully focused on golf.

The eighth green at Port Royal Golf Course, offers pleasure seekers an ocean view that can leave you breathless, it was certainly spectacular when Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, and Bubba Watson decided not to survey their birdie putts on eight; instead, they marched to the back of the green, accompanied by their caddies, Paul Tesori, Steve Hale, and Ted Scott, respectively, and the six of them put the business of golf on hold to indulge a sight that left them in awe.

Keegan Bradley said;

“It’s up there with any view in the world, it’s nuts. I am amazed at the view and since it was so calm out, it was better than I’d ever seen it.”

Webb Simpson agreed;

“Pebble Beach is the most beautiful place I’d ever been, until I came to Bermuda. It’s like Pebble, the same views, but with clear water. It’s beautiful. I could stay there all day.”

Padraig was more interested in his golf, mainly because it was only five days ago he was hitting balls back home in Ireland, preparing himself mentally for a lengthy flight to play in China at the BMW Masters. Out of the blue Ernie Els somehow managed to hurt his ankle and had to pull out of the Grand Slam of Golf. The very next day, Padraig’s entry was confirmed, so he skipped China, and joined the tournament in Bermuda. Talking about the viewing antics of the American trio, knowing full well why Simpson, Bradley, and Watson were paying so very little attention.

” I felt very lonely !  It was as beautiful a scenic spot as you could find anywhere in the world, and when you made a birdie and holed a long putt, it’s even nicer. Hard to believe. It was always the right decision to come, no matter what.”