Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Brilliant Ben Martin Wins

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A brilliant putting performance from Ben Martin wins him his first PGA Tour event, the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, in Las Vegas.

Shriners Hospitals For Children Open

Ben Martin / Getty Images

Ben carded a final round of -3 under par 68, which included two birdies and an eagle in his last four holes at TPC Summerlin, to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. His tournament total -20 under par gave him a two shot winning margin of victory;

“It was just an awesome way to finish, I didn’t really feel like I had much going all day, but to finish 4 under in the last four to cap my first win was just awesome.” 

In second place was Kevin Streelman at -18 under par, a -6 under par 65 was not good enough for him to win, but he pushed all the way.

Russell Knox was alone in third place at -16 under par, he was paired with Ben, and was witness to a couple of amazing birdie putts.

Hong Kong Open. Scott Hend Wins In A Play-Off

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Scott Hend wins the Hong Kong Open in a play-off at Hong Kong Golf Club.

Hong Kong Open

Scott Hend / Getty Images

 

Scott had a final round -3 under par 67 to get into the play-off at -13 under par. He was joined on that score at the Hong Kong Open by Angelo Que, who carded a last round -4 under par 66 to reach -13 under par, and the play-off.

Scott won on the first extra hole, the par 4 18th with a par, against Angelo’s bogey 5.

Obviously Scott was delight with this play-off win;

“I felt quite calm. The only thing is that you don’t want to go for the pin on 18 as you can make bogey quite easily.”

I wasn’t sure how to play it and we discussed it and we said we’ll play it like how we would in regulation play.”

“Unfortunately, Angelo made a bogey. I would rather see one of us make a birdie as he’s a great guy and it would be nice to win a play-off with a birdie. However, I’ll take the win. I’m ecstatic.”

I’m very happy to get this done, and my kids Aston and McLaren and my wife Leanne back in Florida, this one’s for my kids and this one’s to be treasured. They’ve been sending me messages the last few mornings.”

“I’ve come close on the PGA Tour and The European Tour just not to get across the line and finally at the age of 41 I’ve won a European Tour event so it’s very special. It’s awesome, I love it – Europe here I come.”

Angelo’s runner-up cheque of US$144,440 has got him into 6th place on the Order of Merit which earned him a place in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia in two weeks’ time;

“It actually panned out better than I thought. I had a chance to win, yeah, I did, but I didn’t win, so just move on.  That’s how it is.”

“There’s only one winner. Unfortunately I bogeyed the last in play-off.” 

Kevin Phelan managed to birdied the last three holes in his final round -4 under par 66 to take third place on -11 under par, and significantly improve his chances of remaining on The European Tour next year.

World Match-Play Championship. Mikko Ilonen Wins

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Mikko Ilonen has won the World Match-Play Championship at London Golf Club.

World Match-Play Championship

Mikko Ilonen / Getty Images

Mikko said he just stuck to his game plan, and it worked;

“The game-plan was not to make any mistakes and I didn’t make any.”

“I definitely felt really comfortable going into the final and I felt I had a good chance of beating him.”

Mikko is the first Finn to win the Match Play Championship and joins an impressive list of players who have won this tournament on their debut

Arnold Palmer (1964), Tom Weiskopf (1972), Hale Irwin (1974), Isao Aoki (1978), Bill Rogers (1979), Greg Norman (1980), Ernie Els (1994), Paul Casey (2006), Ross Fisher (2009), Ian Poulter (2011) and Mikko Ilonen (2014).

Henrik, with all the golf he has been playing just ran out of energy;

“I felt I was running low on energy and I don’t know where I found the energy to finish this afternoon.” 

“I didn’t play my best and was unlucky on a couple of holes but all credit to him.”

 

Semi Finals FIN Mikko ILONEN won 2&1 over Joost LUITENNED

Semi Finals RSA George COETZEE lost 1 down to Henrik STENSONSWE

Playoff 3rd/ 4thNED Joost LUITEN  won on the 19th over George COETZEERSA

Final FIN Mikko ILONEN won 3&1 over Henrik STENSONSWE

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Ben Martin Leads

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Ben Martin leads the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas at TPC Summerlin.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Ben Martin / Getty Images

Ben carded a beautiful third round of -9 under par 62, to top the Shriners leaderboard with a three round total of -17 under par. He will now take a two shot lead into the final round tomorrow.

Ben said in interview he could no wrong today;

“It’s just one of those days when you get in the zone.”

“Feels like every single number I had was the perfect number. Every time I grabbed a club it was the perfect number.”

In second place at -15 under par is one of the overnight leaders Russell Knox, he shot -5 under par 66 today, which compared to Ben’s 62, seemed pretty average. He keeps the leader in sight, and with light winds forecast tomorrow, the scoring could be low once again.

There were three rounds of -9 under par 62 today, the last of them came from Jim Herman, who is at -11 under par, and tied ninth.

Jimmy Walker and Andrew Svoboda are tied in third place at -13 under par for the tournament. Jimmy equaled the low round of the day, -9 under par 62. Andrew carded a second successive -4 under par 67.

The top 16 golfers are within six strokes of the lead, including defending champion Webb Simpson, who sits at -12 under par after a round of -4 under par 67 today.

Webb knows he will have to go low tomorrow to have any chance of defending his title;

“I stayed patient and was able to get on a run, it’s going to take a really special round out of me tomorrow because I think we’re going to have light winds.”

Hong Kong Open. Marcus Fraser In Front.

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Marcus Fraser leads the Hong Kong Open at the end of day 3 at the Hong Kong Golf Course.

Marcus Fraser / Getty Images

Marcus Fraser / Getty Images

Aussie Marcus is enjoying his return to form he carded -5 under par 65 in the third round of the Hong Kong Open. to lead the tournament by one shot going into the final round tomorrow.

He admitted to being surprised;

“Nobody’s more surprised than I am that’s for sure. After eight months of sitting on the couch,  it hasn’t been the best eight months but when you play like that it makes it worthwhile.”

“Practice last week felt really good so I felt like I was heading in the right direction, finally, after I started practicing six or seven weeks ago.

“It was going okay but then last week it felt like everything fell into place but then coming out and playing a tournament is just a completely different thing so after not playing for eight months I wasn’t too sure what to expect. To come and play the way I did on the back nine today was pretty pleasing.”

“I think I’ve had three top tens here in the past and I was third a couple of years ago – I just love the golf course and wish I could take this course every week we play; I think it’s the best golf course we play all year.

“It’s just a proper golf course where you have to play well and stay out of trouble, and you need to hole putts – I’m pretty sure that’s the way the game was designed and it’s a credit to the way they’ve turned it out this week, it’s in the bet condition I’ve ever seen it.

“I had no idea going into the week and I’ve no idea going into tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll keep playing the way I’m playing and I feel pretty comfortable out there at the moment. I’d forgotten how much fun it is to play golf tournaments, especially being in the mix it’s good fun.”

Scott Hend is in second place, a -3 under par 67 third round giving the Aussie a -9 under par total for the tournament.

Tied in third place, at -9 under par, are Jbe Kruger, Angelo Que and Mark Foster.

Yesterdays leader Ernie Els slipped up today, a +1 over par 71 was not what he was hoping for. He still thinks he has a chance, if he can go low. Ernie is T6 at -8 under par;

“It was a little hectic, especially the ninth hole. I tried a couple of things and they didn’t come off but I don’t see there’s any reason not to still go for it.

“I need something low obviously, but I’d like to go really low just for my own wishes.”

World Match-Play Championship. Quarter Final Results.

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The World Match-Play Championship quarter finals at the London Golf Club turned up some surprising results, not least the departure of Patrick Reed, beaten by George Coetzee.

World Match-Play Championship

Patrick & George Shake Hands / Getty Images

 

George Coetzee put on a great display to beat American Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed, 2 and 1. He said that he has been playing well;

“I’ve actually been playing nicely the last couple of weeks. My ranking took a knock this year, but it’s starting to come together nicely.”

 Patrick thought he had played well;

I played well and any time you are six under you would hopefully win the match but George played extremely well.”

“He beat me in extra holes in the Accenture Match Play earlier this year but that was a match where we both played really poorly and it was more of a pillow fight. Today was just one of those things about match play – even if you play really well you can still get beat.”

 

Quarterfinal USA Patrick REED lost 2&1 to George COETZEERSA

Quarterfinal FRA Victor DUBUISSON lost 2 down to Mikko ILONENFIN

Quarterfinal NED Joost LUITEN won 6&5 over Pablo LARRAZÁBALESP

Quarterfinal SWE Henrik STENSON won 2 up over Jonas BLIXTSWE

Joost has maintained a 100% winning record, he said through his aggressive play;

“The course is playing soft so I think a lot of the boys out there are having a lot of birdies and you really have to make birdies to win holes.” 

“A lot of times you make birdie and you only halve the hole. You have to be aggressive and stay aggressive in this format and I’ve done that well in the last couple of days.”

Mikko admitted his match could have gone either way;

“It felt like it could have gone either way and I was lucky to come out on top in the end. The goal was obviously to play all week and we’re there.”

“So now we just have to keep pushing.”

Henrik was cruising along when Jonas suddenly came back at him in the all Swedish affair;

“Everyone comes back at me, no one lets me have an easy finish here, which you kind of expect that but not every time.”

“He definitely pushed an old man all the way to the last there and made it very interesting.”

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Andrew Putnam & Russell Knox Tied.

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Andrew Putnam and Russell Knox are tied at the top in the second round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Andrew Putnam / Getty Images

Andrew Putnam scored a second round -6 under par 65, to share the Shriners lead at the half-way stage with a -10 under par total.

Andrew was  just two shots off the lead, entering the final round of the 2013 Web.com Tour Championship, where a  top-five finish would have guaranteed him a TOUR card. He was only one round away from fulfilling his dream, but unfortunately shot +5 over par  75 last round;

I wasn’t comfortable in that situation, I felt like my swing was a little loose, so it was good to have one more year on the Web.com Tour.”

“I was able to tighten up my swing a little bit, work with my swing coach and improve a lot from last year to this year.”

Russell feels comfortable on this Las Vegas course, carding -4 under par 67 today, to share the lead at -10 under par;

“I’ve been in this position before on this course the last couple years.”

“I’ve played nicely and just haven’t really played well four days, so I’m off to a good start and hopefully two more good ones to go.”

Andrew Svoboda and Tony Finau are tied in third place, both just one shot off the lead at -9 under par; Andrew with a -4 under par 67 and Tony a -6 under par 65.

Tony is in unfamiliar territory;

“It’s a spot I’m not real familiar with on the PGA TOUR level, but on the Web.com Tour I was able to be pretty successful, so we’ll see how it goes this weekend.”

Funny thing is, if you check out the stats, Andrew Putnam only appears in the putting category, just proves how important putting is.

STATISTICS

Category Player Statistic
Strokes gained: tee-to-green Tony Finau 5.31
Driving distance Tony Finau 336.8 yards
Driving accuracy Steven Alker, Hudson Swafford 23 of 28 (82.1 percent)
Greens in regulation Martin Laird, Webb Simpson 32 of 36 (88.9 percent)
Strokes gained-putting Carlos Ortiz 2.79
Putts per round Kevin Kisner, Andrew Putnam, Andrew Svoboda 26.5
Total birdies Russell Knox, Spencer Levin 14