Australian Open. Jordan Spieth Leads.

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Jordan Spieth leads the Australian Open by one stroke at the conclusion of the first day’s play with -4 under-par 67, opening round.

Tied in second place are Aron Price and Scott Gardiner, both carded rounds of -3 under par 68.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy is two shots behind, with first round -2 under par 69.

Australian Open

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory took a few holes to find his form in the tricky conditions;

“It took me a little while to get going, I gave myself a lot of chances early on in the round and didn’t really take them.

“The conditions were pretty tricky. It was tough to get the ball close to the pins with the wind and these greens being quite firm as well.”

“It was cold, windy and a little bit of rain here and there, when I think of playing golf in Australia, it’s not the kind of day I expected.”

“The wind was up early on, then it died, then got up again.”

“I thought anything under par today was a decent score and it was nice to birdie the last and shoot something in the 60s. It puts me right there going into tomorrow.”

“Golf tournaments are long, all you want to do is give yourself a chance going into Sunday, I definitely feel like there’s a better score out there.”

Rory’s top rival for this title, Adam Scott did not do so well, shooting an opening round +3 over par 74. Before he teed off today Adam reported that he had not played on this course very much;

“I haven’t played here that much in the past. Obviously there’s been a lot of work done and they’ve presented a beautiful golf course for us this week.”

“My feeling is it’s certainly going to favour the longer hitters this week. There’s no rough out there.”

“It seems like it just hasn’t grown in for them yet but hopefully with some pretty long straight driving, I’ll be able to take advantage of a few holes.”

“The wind is the definitive this week. With no rough, so that’s not going to penalise any stray shots as much as it normally would, but the winds still will.”

DP World Tour Championship. Henrik Successfully Defends Title.

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Henrik Stenson successfully defended his DP World Tour Championship title on the Earth Course in Dubai.

DP World Championship

Henrik Stenson and Trophy / Getty Images

Henrik won the DP World Championship, and defending his title for the first time in his career. A final round -2 under par 70 gave him the winning total of -16 under par, and a two shot victory.

He said how good it felt to get his first win of the year, the win also took him to number 2 in the World, but he would have liked to have been number 1;

“It feels great.”

“I’m exhausted to say the least. It was hot out there and tricky on the back nine. I did not play my best and had a shocking hole on eleven.”

“I walked up to the tee with too much club in my hand and instead of changing I tried to cut a two-iron but hit a push, slice, shank straight into the buildings.”

“That knocked me back but I did not give up. I just had to dig in there and wait for something to happen. I had a couple of close calls this year to get my win and it was not to be. It’s been close but eventually you get something if you stick around and I surely did that.”

“It would be nice to have been ranked the world’s best at some point, but if I had the choice I would go for a Major Championship so I am going to try and be in good shape for them next year.”

World Number One Rory McIlroy, with Ryder Cup team-mates Justin Rose and Victor Dubuisson tied in second place at -14 under par. Rory made a challenge in the final round, shooting -4 under par 68, but it was not enough to upset Henrik. But he was very happy to have won the Race to Dubai;

The Race to Dubai

Race to Dubai winner Rory McIlroy

“It’s a great feeling to know that I’ve played the best golf throughout the season of any of the guys for the second time in three years, it’s really nice.”

“I never expected 14 under to have a remote chance of winning this golf tournament.”

“It just seemed like no one really took the tournament by the scruff of the neck and went with it. The two guys, Rafa and Henrik, were on 16 for quite a while, and sort of stayed there.”

“I saw Rafa went back to 15 under as I birdied 15 to get to 14 under and I thought if I could post 16, I might have a chance. 16 would have been good enough for a play-off in the end.”

“I just didn’t play well enough to win this week, and if I had of won by playing like that, it would have been a bit of a surprise.”

“A lot of positives heading into 2015 and something I’m really pleased about this year is that consistency that I’ve shown in my golf. I haven’t finished outside the top 25. My last few results have been very consistent, very good, and a lot of good stuff going into next year.”

“I feel like, as you said, this year has been full of up-and-downs, mainly ups, which is a great thing.I learned a lot from it and I feel like I came through this year stronger and wiser, and I can go into 2015 in a much better place.” 

“I’m happy with the success that I’ve had, and I feel like there’s been a lot that I’ve learned this year, as well, and that’s a great thing going into the future.”

 

 

DP World Tour Championship. Henrik & Rafa Pull Clear.

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Henrik Stenson and Rafa Cabrera- Bello pull clear of the field in the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course in Dubai.

DP World Tour Championship

Rafa Cabrera-Bello / Getty Images

Rafa shot a great third round -7 under par 65, to share the DP World Tour Championship lead with Henrik at -14 under par, the pair of them now have a three shot advantage going into the final round tomorrow.

Rafa said it had been a very special day for him;

“Obviously it’s been a very special round for me today,” he said. “I’m really, really pleased with the score, and obviously with the good finish.”

“The short game and putting has been unbelievable, probably the best day of my life for short game.”

“I think that that’s what helped me hang in there on the front nine and I did play better on the back nine. I was playing more aggressive going for it, hitting good shots, and giving myself a lot of chances and I did make some of them.”

Henrik did nothing wrong today, a bogey free -4 under par 68, and reported he had recovered from hitting the wall yesterday, he put it down to old age. He has never successfully defended a title, and wants to win here;

“I felt a little stronger today but I wasn’t exactly jumping out of bed this morning, but what do you expect at 38 years old? I’m a little low on energy but when the mind wants something you can pull through.”

“It would be great to win. It’s a great championship and it would mean a lot to defend a title and get the win. It’s been a good year but when you assess it you always look at the trophies and there hasn’t been one yet.”

“All in all it was a good day and we’re still at the races so I am pretty pleased.”

Justin Rose scored a -4 under par 68 today to move himself into third place alone, at -11 under par. He played alongside Rafa and could only admire what he saw;

“I watched an incredible round of golf today, Rafa was unbelievable. He really struggled with his game the first few holes, up-and-down, up-and-down, up-and-down, and then got some flow going.”

“He had 15 one-putts today. His short game was Seve-like. It was awesome.”

“He was chipping it to a foot and it was awesome. Chipping around this golf course is difficult, very grainy, very tough, very sandy underneath the ball. It was a masterclass.”

Tied in fourth place at -10 under par are; Rory McIlroyVictor Dubuisson, Tyrrell Hatton and Thorbjørn Olesen.

Rory had another off day, -2 under par 70,with a couple of double bogey’s thrown in, and is now four shots off the lead;

“It makes life a little more difficult for me tomorrow. I need to be aggressive, I need to go at pins, hit it close and make some putts.”

“I felt a little better out there today than yesterday so knew if I stayed patient the birdies would come. I got on a nice run with three birdies in a row from the fifth and another one at ten, but unfortunately the back nine was not quite as good as the front.”

“It was annoying to follow one double bogey with another. I was a little frustrated but it was nice to get a couple back and at least keep myself in touch.”

DP World Tour Championship. Henrik Has Half-Way Lead.

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Henrik Stenson has the half-way lead in the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course in Dubai.

 DP World Tour Championship

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik posted a second round -6 under par 66 to lead the DP World Tour Championship at the half-way point by two shots on -10 under par.

He reported that he felt like he was running on empty, after a long season;

“Around the 12th hole I felt like I was running out of steam. It was difficult mentally from there on. I had to really focus hard and drag myself over the finish line.”

“It’s hot and sticky and even though I’m drinking well and getting plenty of energy, I just felt like I hit the wall on 12.”

“If it’s one or two holes left, you normally feel like, ‘okay, I can hang on’. But it was a bit of an uphill struggle from there. I managed to finish in good style anyway so I’m pleased with that.”

“There’s still a lot of golf to play and I’m really happy with how I closed this round.”

Rory McIlroy is just two shots behind at -8 under par, sharing second place with Richie Ramsay and Danny Willett.

Rory said he will try to close the gap on the leader tomorrow;

“I’m in a good position and there is a lot of golf left, I’ve definitely been in worse positions after two rounds and still won.”

“It could have been worse but it probably could have been a little better. I definitely didn’t have it like I did yesterday. I had to dig in a little bit so hopefully that’s the bad one out of the way and I have 36 holes now to make some ground up on Henrik.”

“Henrik’s very comfortable on this golf course obviously. I can’t let him get too far ahead tomorrow. I have to get off to a fast start and try and put a bit of pressure on him. Hopefully I can do that.”

Shane Lowry, aided by a hole-in-one on the 13th, and former US Open Champion Justin Rose are among the five-strong group of players another stroke back at -7 under par.

Shane spoke about his first ever Ace in tournament play, on the 204 yard par three 13th, and how good it felt;

“It was a beautiful shot, a perfect number for my six iron.”

“It’s my first in tournament play and only my second ever so it was pretty exciting. It was hard to go on and play the next hole after that.”

“I am still in the tournament and I suppose if you had given me that on Thursday I would have taken it.”

DP World Tour Championship. Rory & Shane Share the Lead.

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Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowery share the first round lead in the season ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

DP World Tour Championship

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory and Shane both carded first rounds of -6 under par 66 to sit on top of the DP World Tour Championship leaderboard on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Rory already has The Race to Dubai title in his pocket, but has stated he will contest here, he wants to win;

“It was a great way to start, you never expect to start like that, but I’ve been hitting the ball well for the last couple of weeks that I’ve been practicing and it was just a matter of trying to take that good range play on to the course, and I was able to do that today, which I’m really happy about.” 

“I feel like it really suits my style of play. I can be aggressive with the driver, and that can set me up to hit shorter irons into greens and obviously give myself a lot of birdie opportunities like I did today. 

“I didn’t feel like I took as many of them as I could have but it still added up to six under and I’m very happy with that.”

Shane proved he is still in good form, he birdied four of the last six holes, but said he was thinking about his poor final round last Sunday in Turkey;

The whole day Sunday and the flight down here you’re thinking about it, it’s one of those things. But I gave myself a chance to win last week. If I can give myself a chance to win again this week, maybe I’ll do it.”

“I have been playing well for most of the year. I’ve been very consistent. I’ve been shooting some great scores, making a lot of birdies and I did that today again.”

Richie Ramsay and Thorbjørn Olesen are a shot off the pace on -5 under par under, with defending champion Henrik Stenson another stroke back sharing fifth place with Emiliano Grillo.

Richie was also happy with his opening round;

“I’m really happy. Obviously it was a great start, three birdies on the spin, and then played lovely in the middle, had a lot of chances but just didn’t take a few.”

“But most important was I stayed patient, stayed with it. I kept on hitting good shots and then took a couple of chances on 14 and 15 and then finished off pretty solid coming down the stretch.”

“I played great in the middle part of the season. I know the game is there, just a matter of staying out of my own way and committing to it.”

Thorbjorn has been in contention a few times this season, and won the  ISPS Handa Perth International;

“It feels like a second home golf course for me really.”

“I played lovely, hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens. Hit a few really close, and the putter was working nicely. It was a really solid day.”

“When you’re seven under going to 16, and you know you have 18 which is a possible birdie chance, also, of course it’s a little bit disappointing, but I took a chance and it didn’t work out very well.” 

“I felt like it was going so well and I felt like I could pull it off – that’s what happens in golf.”

Turkish Airlines Open. Brooks Koepka Wins.

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Brooks Koepka wins the Turkish Airlines Open at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course in Turkey.

Turkish Airlines Open

Brooks Koepka / Getty Images

Brooks won his first European Tour trophy at the Turkish Airlines Open, shooting final bogey free round of -7 under par 65, to post a total of -17 under par. This result made sure that Rory McIlroy won The Race to Dubai, for the second time in three years, as no one can now catch him.

Brooks was absolutely delighted with his win, saying he had been knocking on the door for some time;

“It’s awesome, I played well. This field is first class, some of the best players in the world, and it’s nice to get the win.”

“It’s a special week obviously, these four events and The Race to Dubai are ones you prepare for all year, and to win one of them is very special.”

“I feel like I’ve been playing really well. I’ve been knocking on the door, and these last maybe two, three months, I’ve been very close over here and in the States, I felt like I should have won a couple.” 

“But I’ve been knocking on the door and I’ve learned something every time, and used that today. I was very relaxed, very calm today, and it showed I guess.”

“To look where I was a year and a half ago on The Challenge Tour and now to be a winner on The European Tour is incredible, especially winning four times there and winning out here, it’s very special. So I’m excited to get to next week and hopefully carry my form over.”

“To jump into the top 50 in the world and be in all the Majors and I guess some of the World Golf Championships events, it will be special.”

Ian Poulter finished in second place at -16 under par, a last round -5 under par 67 not good enough, and he lamented his very poor round on Saturday;

“The damage was done on Saturday. That, for me, is really disappointing. To have played three great rounds of golf, and just one blip on Saturday, which is a real shame.”

“So you know, it’s frustrating, is what it is. There’s no other word for it. Yes, I’m going to be angry. I’ll be angry for a good few days. But that’s fine. I’ll keep myself in my own little room and have a little chat with myself and come out and win next week.”

Henrik Stenson climbed up into third place with a final round -8  under par 64, to give a -14 under par total for the tournament.

You have to feel sorry for Marcel Siem, who revealed he had dislocated a rib while warming up in the gym before his round. Some medical attention gave him the opportunity to play, but it obviously affected his swing. He finished at -12 under par and T 12;

“My physio tried to crack it back in, it didn’t work and then we went so see the chiropractor and they pushed it back in. I couldn’t have a proper backswing but I played all right. I don’t want to blame it on anything to be honest.”

 

OHL Classic at Mayakoba. Jason jumps Ahead in the Rain.

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Jason Bohn jumps ahead in the rain at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico.

Jason Bohn / Getty Images

Jason Bohn / Getty Images

Jason shot a third round -4 under par 67, and a tournament total of -15 under par, to take the lead by one stroke at the rain-soaked OHL Classic at Mayakoba. He said that he had played well in the terrible conditions;

“It was a very difficult day to play golf with the rain coming in and coming out and the wind picking up and dying down, but I played well.”

“I relied a lot on my short game today and kept the ball in front of me. It was a little sour to finish with a bogey, but that’s the way it works.”

Shawn Stefani is in second place, a 20 foot birdie putt on the last hole gave him a -3 under par third round and -14 under par total.

Shawn is looking his first PGA TOUR win, he lost to Justin Rose in a play-off at Congressional in July. He spoke about the tough finish today, the bogeys on 16 and 17, and a birdie on 18;

“I walked off the green on 17 and said, `Just try to hit one in the fairway.’ Hit a good shot in there and just tried to make birdie to end on a positive note.”

 “Sixteen and seventeen were just kind of mental errors, getting tired late in the day. You can’t do that. It happened. But I stayed positive walking onto 18 tee box, and hit a couple good shots and knocked her in there.”

Charlie Hoffman and Alex Chejka are tied in third position, both at -12 under par for the competition. Charlie with a -4 under par third round and Alex -3 under par.

Ken Duke, T 5 at -11 under par also mention the wind and the rain;

“The first few holes we had some wind and, obviously, we could see that weather coming in with the wind.”

“It’s a golf course you have to be patient on, it’s tough out there in the rain, you’re just soaked out there.”

The 36 hole leader Michael Putnam crashed out of contention, recording +6 over par 77, reducing his total to -6 under par and T 26.

There are seven players, who sit within four shots of the lead, it should make interesting golf on Sunday with so many players in with a chance.