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Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, Chris Wood Wins

Chris Wood won his first European Tour Title at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in Doha, finishing the tournament at -18 under par.

Chris Wood   (Getty Images)

Chris Wood / Getty Images

Chris had some problems during his last round, his three stroke overnight lead had been transformed into a two shot deficit by the end of the first nine holes. He clawed his way back into the match, but was still one shot adrift of Spaniard Sergio Garcia and South African George Coetzee.

Chris needed a birdie at the last hole to get into a play-off. He boomed his drive down the fairway and followed that with a six iron shot over water to the green. The perfect six iron strike flew 202 yards and finished just ten feet from the cup, Chris calmly rolled in the Eagle putt to claim his maiden victory. He said the win had lifted an enormous weight off his shoulders;

” There’s an enormous weight lifted off my shoulders today, I feel like I can go on and win more. I knew it was going to be hard no matter how I played, winning on The European Tour is not easy. I’ve been knocking on the door in previous times and it’s not happened. To get it today, to get my first win, it’s such an honor, I’m so pleased. It feels good, blimey, I’ve seen a few mates picking up trophies and I’ve been waiting patiently for my time. I felt like I was due to win for a couple of years. Nice way to finish!” 

Sergio Garcia and George Coetzee were forced to settle sharing second place at -17 under par, but must have thought they would be in a play-off for the title, until Chris sank his eagle putt.

Sergio would have regained a place in the Worlds Top Ten if had won, but the Ryder Cup star was gracious in his defeat;

” Chris hit a great drive and a great six iron and then a wonderful putt. Obviously he’s been trying for a while and he deserves it, and after the start he had today, it’s quite impressive for him to come back the way he did and win.  I gave it my best effort.”

The top three golfers were way ahead of the field, the next best score was -13 under par, five shots adrift. Justin Rose finished in joint 16th place, and remained at number four in the World Golf Rankings.

 

 

 

Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, Wood Carves out a Lead

Chris Wood   (Getty Images)

Chris Wood / Getty Images

Chris Wood of England has carved out a decent chance of his first European Tour Title win at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in Doha.

Chris has previously had nineteen top ten finishes, but now has an excellent chance to secure his first win after his third round of -8 under par 64, for a tournament total of -15 under par, three shots clear of the field. Chris said he was very excited to be in this position;

“I’m very excited. I wouldn’t say it was one of my best rounds, but I played very solidly and was giving myself loads of chances. Going out today I thought as long as I kept myself in the mix going into tomorrow, then I was going to be really looking forward to it. Leading gives me a bit of a cushion, obviously it’s going to be hard, it’s hard to win any tournament on The European Tour, so it’s going to be difficult.”

There are three players at -12 under par for the tournament, Simon Khan, Alexander Noren and New Zealand’s Michael Campbell. Michael is continuing with his recent good form, and a win here would complete his come-back to perfection. Currently at 264th in the World Golf Rankings, 40 year-old Michael has not won since his HSBC World Matchplay Championship at Wentworth in 2005. He is amazed at the feelings he is experiencing right now;

“It’s been a tough couple of years since winning at Wentworth and it’s amazing that the feelings start to come back quickly.  The confidence is increasing every day. Six months ago, I was desperate, I think I made two cuts in about two years, 18 months or something, and now I have a chance of winning a couple of times last year and maybe tomorrow. We are just going back to what is working and what worked before, and going back with my coach Jonathan Yarwood six months ago definitely helped. That’s really one thing I’ve been working the last six months is just smile after each round of golf, whether it’s a good one or a bad one, and it’s working so far.  It’s really simple stuff. It’s just nice to be out here and having some fun at the same time and maybe have a chance of winning.”

Michael Campbell  (Getty Images)

Michael Campbell / Getty Images

Tied for fifth at -11 under par are Branden Grace and Sergio Garcia. Sergio slipping back down the leaderboard after going in the water with his third shot to the par five last and taking an undignified six.

Good Luck to Chris Wood, I hope he gets his first European Tour Win.

Paul Lawrie Wins Qatar Masters

Paul Lawrie shot a smooth round of 65 to win the Qatar Masters for the second time with a four-shot win over Jason Day and Peter Hanson at the Doha Golf Club on Sunday. This flawless performance, a last round of 65 for a total of – 15 under par, elevates ‘Chippy’   into the worlds top 50 for the first time since 2003. Just a year ago the 1999 Open champion was down at 272nd in the rankings, now he is part of golf’s elite group again. Chippy said after his last round;

“I don’t think I can play much better than that, I’ve been playing well for a long, long time, but it’s just nice to come out one ahead and shoot seven under.’When you’ve got a chance to win a tournament you don’t sleep as well the night before and things go racing through your mind. You’ve got to get back to basics and I did that. I hit some nice shots coming in.”

Paul Lawrie of Scotland

When he was prompted that after his last Qatar Masters win he then went on to win the Open and raise the Claret Jug in 1999  he smiled and said;

“Now wouldn’t that be nice to get that again?’

The Ryder Cup question was asked;

“I’ve been trying to keep that to the back of my mind.  If I keep playing as I am I will get in, there’s no question, but there’s a long way to go and I know as well as anyone that there are a lot of good players.”

 

American John Daly finished in 4th position at -9 under par, his best finish since 2009 and his 2nd place in the Italian Open.

Paul Lawrie takes lead into final round of Qatar Masters in Doha

Paul Lawrie  shoots a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead over Nicolas Colsaerts into the final round of the Qatar Masters in Doha. He had to recover from a penalty for the silly mistake of dropping his ball on a marker, but still managed to lead the field at the end of play at -8 under par for the 54 hole tournament. Paul said of his round;

“I played very good again, hitting it beautifully tee to green.  Anytime you play as solidly as that and hit a few putts in there it’s a fair chance you are going to play well.”

The ball dropping incident  was a similar mistake to that made by Ian Poulter during a two-way playoff at the Dubai World Championship in 2010, when his penalty essentially gave the win to Robert Karlsson of Sweden. Lawrie seemed a little bemused by the ruling, commenting;

“I didn’t see it and no one else saw it so you have to take the penalty and kind of kick on. It’s one of these freak, stupid rules, it’s like Poulter in Dubai, the same thing. It’s one of those many rules that could do with changing a wee bit.”

 

Getty Images

 

 

Nicolas Colsaerts is just one shot back and feeling very comfortable with his game;

“I am playing very well even though I think I could have hit closer to some flags. “I managed quite well, kept the ball in play and didn’t do anything stupid.”

John  Daly, the clubhouse leader when play was suspended struggled all day and finished tied for 17th place at -4 under par. He was pretty philosophical about his days play;

“I didn’t hit the tee-balls as good as I did Thursday. But I hung in there. Some of those bogeys I made could have been doubles or triples just as easy.”

Getty Images

Doha Wind Halts 2nd round in Qatar

45mph gusts of wind meant less than three hours’ play was possible on the second day of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters and the competition has now been reduced to 54 holes.  David Probyn,  tournament director, announced  that the sponsors did not want the event to extend into Monday and the second leg of The European Tour’s Middle East swing has now been cut to 54 holes.

Probyn said;

“The course is still on the verge of playable, but there’s no point sending the guys out for an hour or two on a marginal course. The winds will be down a notch tomorrow and decreasing during the day, while the forecast for Sunday is for much calmer conditions.”

Play is scheduled to resume at 8.45am tomorrow and the aim is to complete the second round by the end of the day and then stage the third round on Sunday.

Fernandez-Castaño, the first round leader reported;

“It was windy when we went out and I had a few birdie chances, but then I bogeyed two holes into the wind. I hope tomorrow I can take advantage of the remaining ten holes I have. I didn’t have any balls moving, but certain shots you could hardly keep balanced. Being selfish I’m quite happy play was called off.”

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Getty Images)Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano  (Getty Images)

As things stand, John Daly is top of the leaderboard, and he has yet to even start his second round but in these conditions anything could happen, so it really is anyone’s tournament. I will keep you posted.

Qatar Masters in Windy Doha

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano had to endure a windy desert storm to snatch the lead by one shot from John Daly on the opening day of the Qatar Masters in Doha. He leads major winner American John Daly, who earlier had returned to form with a five-under-par 67. Gonzo  birdied four of the last five holes in shooting a brilliant 66, for total of six under par.

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano

 

John Daly surprised even himself with his effort in the windy conditions, he said:

“It’s one of the best rounds I’ve ever played in a wind like that. You feel like you are eating a lot of sand , it was brutal. I’m pretty shocked myself. I had five and a half weeks off and really didn’t touch a club much.”

 

QATAR MASTERS, DOHA – LEADERBOARD

  • -6: G Fernandez-Castano (Spa)
  • -5: J Daly (USA)
  • -4: KJ Choi (Kor), J Day (Aus)
  • Selected Others: -3: D Willett (Eng), P Lawrie (Sco), R Finch
  • -1:Lee Westwood (Eng), S Khan (Eng)
  • Par: S Garcia (Spa)
  • +7: T Bjorn (Den)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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