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Euro Tour. Alstom Open De France.Fabrizio Zanotti Leads.

Fabrizio Zanotti leads the Alstom Open De France at the conclusion of the second round at the Le Golf National course in Paris. Early fog at Le Golf National outside Paris meant a one-hour delay this morning.

Fabrizio Zanotti  (Getty Images)

Fabrizio Zanotti / Getty Images

Fabrizio carded  a second consecutive round of 68 to lead by one shot, with a tournament total of -6 under par. He said he was very happy with the situation;

” I’m very happy, I struggled a little from the tee but I putted very well during the day and pretty happy with the round. It was pretty tough out there, and the course is playing very hard, so very happy. I think it’s a very good score, so I will try to keep playing like this and just have fun. I haven’t played very well during the year, but I’m working very hard and I think this is because of all the work, I am always positive. It’s pretty tough to keep working when you are not playing good, but that is the way all the guys play good, so you have to keep working to get where you want. On a course like this, I think that you have to accept everything. It’s playing very tough and the greens are getting hard, so it’s going to be very hard. Like I said, keep patient and have fun, there is no other way.”

There is a three-way tie in second place at -5 under par, they are Richard Sterne, Thomas Björn and  Søren Kjeldsen.

Richard said he lost concentration half way round, but then recovered well;

” It was a good finish to the day, I started off well and kind of fell asleep halfway. I made a couple of weak bogeys from the fairway, and I had a good finish.I hit good shots and I made good putts at the right time. I think I needed to finish strong to give myself a chance going into the weekend.”

Soren was just happy to be in contention;

” I haven’t really been in contention in any tournaments this year, so this is a massive bonus. You’re not going to get me to talk about winning and stuff like that, certainly not now. I’m just enjoying playing good golf, and hopefully I can keep going.”

Someone else who is happy to be in contention is Graeme McDowell, who has not been playing too well lately, but is a group of players at -4 under par;

“I’m playing this golf course the way it’s supposed to be played, fairways and greens. Once you start hitting it off-line it will punish you.I just have not got the putter revved up but I am well in touch and right where I need to be. It’s been a rough couple of months for me. I’ve not been playing the kind of golf I’d like to and the key to this week was to come and get myself in the mix for the weekend and get some of the juices flowing again. I’m excited for the weekend and to make a cut really. It feels like a step in the right direction. I certainly know what to do when I put myself in these positions. I just have not had the opportunity to do it lately. I’m probably on one of my worst missed cut runs in a while. It’s nice to break that, first and foremost, and be on the leaderboard.”

 

 

 

European Tour, KLM Open. Graeme Storm leads after 1st round

Storm pleased to overcome trying time

Graeme Storm /Getty Images

Graeme Storm of England leads the European Tour KLM Open after the first round at Hilversumsche Golf Course with a faultless round of 63, a -7 under par effort. Graeme is trying to overcome personal tragedy away from the course, with his grandfather passing away prior to June’s BMW International Open.

“I’ve had a tough run and it’s all been a bit of a struggle. I’ve just not been enjoying it. I lost my grandfather on the Wednesday morning of Germany and since then I have really struggled. I kind of kept it to myself what happened but it hit me really hard. You can get punished round here but I played the best I have probably played all year. I’m just happy to get a round like that under my belt after recent months. The golf course here is fantastic, the best I have ever seen it, so you have to hit it straight and that is what I did. I made the birdies when I gave myself the chances and got up and down when I missed the greens. There is still a lot of play for this season. Keeping my card is the goal. At the start of the season it was getting into the top 60 on The Race to Dubai but I’m a long way from that so my goal now is to keep my card.”

I wish Graeme well, and hope that he will retain his card.

There are three players tied in second place, European Ryder Cup player Martin Kaymer, Raphaël Jacquelin and  Fabrizio Zanotti, who all had rounds of 65, -5 under par and two shots adrift of the leader.

Martin and Raphaël both had eagles on the par five twelfth hole, Martin saying he is working hard as he seeks to recapture his best form.

” Two years ago when I won here was very nice but that was a period of time I could have played golf with my eyes closed. Now is a different time when I need to work and it takes a lot of energy and a lot of concentration. I really need to focus on the things on the range. Two years ago it was more automatic.”

Defending Champion here is Simon Dyson, a three times a winner of this event, he began his defense of this title beginning the week with a 70 that featured a welcome Eagle on 18.

Irish Open @ Royal Portrush, Jamie Donaldson Wins

Dominant Donaldson takes crown

Jamie Donaldson (Getty Images

Jamie Donaldson won his first European Tour event at The Irish Open a t Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim on Sunday, watched by 112,280 spectators who flocked to Northern Ireland. This was Jamie’s 255th event on Tour and he easily won, by four shots in a last round that included eight birdies, shooting a last round of  -6 under par, 66, and a total of -18 under par. During his last round Jamie kept his head down, not glancing at  the leaderboard at all;

” I didn’t really look at any leaderboards on the way around. I didn’t really know what was going on. To have a hole in one the first time in a tournament, and to win it, as well, is very special. “

This was also the last time his caddie of five years, Jamie Baker would be on his bag, and he paid tribute to his long time friend;

‘ He’s a great mate and he did great for me for four or five years. He’s a good mate of mine and I think he’ll just be happy obviously to see me win, really.“

Anthony Wall, who was one of the players finishing in a tie for second was full of praise for his playing partner, Donaldson;

” I’ve never doubted him. He’s a class act and a super, super player, and he deserves everything he gets because he does work hard and he’s got loads of talent. “

Anthony completed the tournament in -14 under par, along with, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Fabrizio Zanotti. Unfortunately for Ireland Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington were unable to provide a fairytale finish for the viewing masses, Padraig being the best of the local contingent finishing tied for seventh on -12 under par, six shots off the lead.

European Tour BMW International Open 2nd Round. Swede Joel Sjoholm Leads.

 

 

Joel Sjoholm (-11) - BMW International Open day 2  (Getty Images)

Joel Sjoholm / Getty Images

Joel Sjöholm of Sweden has a two shot lead at the halfway stage of the BMW International Open as he eagerly seeks his first European Tour title. Joel had a wonderful second round at the Gut Lärchenhof golf course, with two eagles and four birdies for a  -6 under par, 66, and a tournament total of -11 under par. The snappily dressed Swede is happy to be at the top of the leaderboard;

” Now I saw that I’m up there, and of course it’s going to be a new situation for me. But then I watched a lot of Euro Cup the last two or three weekends, I’ve seen what happens after four or five minutes, and I’m happy to be on top at the moment, but I would rather be on top on Sunday. I’m just enjoying this so much, I don’t really think too much about it. It’s just a great feeling and a fantastic tournament. I’ve always played here in Germany, and it was good to play well at the new venue.”

Chris Wood is one of the four players tied for second spot at -9 under par, he is happy to be in contention;

“It’s always nice to put yourself in contention. Nothing beats it really, and the more and more you can do it, the more chance you have to win and hopefully one will come along. The results haven’t really backed up the way I’ve played. I’m finishing top twenty with what I feel is top ten, top-five form really. I’ve just got to stay patient and wait for that to happen.”

The others joining Chris are; Danny Willett, Paul McGinley and Fabrizio Zanotti, and all have a real chance to go on and win this title, I personally would like to see the elegantly dressed Joel Sjoholm step up and take the win.

The highest ranked player in the field this week, Martin Kaymer, has missed the cut. It seems he could not recover from the jet lag he suffered on the trip back from the States to Europe. Martin missed the -1 under par cut line by just one shot, finishing his two rounds in par.

European Tour, BMW International Open

Fraser and Zanotti show the way

Fabrizio Zanotti -8 under par /  BMW International Open day 1 (Getty Images)

Marcus Fraser and Fabrizio Zanotti scored rounds of -8 under par, in good scoring conditions in Cologne to lead the BMW International Open in the opening round.

Fabrizio had an action packed round, it contained two eagles, seven birdies, a bogey and a double bogey;

“I played very well and made good putts, I only had hit one bad shot and made the double bogey, but I played really good. Tomorrow I’ll just try to play like I did today, come and play the course shot by shot and see what happens. I’m very happy because when I made the double, I made the birdies again. So I kept fighting and concentrating and I kept calm.”

Marcus Fraser said of his day;

It’s great, I played really well, drove the ball really straight, only missed one fairway.  Any time you do that, you’re going to give yourself plenty of chances. The greens were nice this morning and I managed to make a few putts and especially a few at the end, which was great. On 17 I just missed the left edge, so could have been six. But that’s always the story; we’re never happy. I played really well and gave myself a lot of chances so it was nice to roll a few in. Towards the end of last year it felt like everything took a turn for the better and I was heading in the right direction,” he added. “So if you keep giving yourself a chance you never know when it might happen, I just have to keep practicing and playing hard and hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later.”

They lead by one shot from Ireland’s former Ryder Cup vice captain Paul McGinley and English pair Danny Willett and Chris Wood.

Handa Wales Open @ Celtic Manor, Ross Fisher Leads after 2nd round.

Ross Fisher  (Getty Images)

Ross Fisher (Getty Images)

Ross Fisher of England shot a -5 under par, 66, to lead the Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor by two strokes from yesterday’s first round leader Lee Slattery. Lee had an ordinary second round of just par following his 66 yesterday, while Marcel Siem had an awful +4 over par, 75 after his good start in the first round with a 68.

Ross likes this course, he said in interview;

“It’s always nice to come back to good hunting ground, familiar turf. The Ryder Cup was a great experience, I played really well that week and enjoyed it. There are certain spots that you think, yeah, the pin was there in The Ryder Cup, or I hit it here and holed this putt, or hit that shot from here.  You do try and remember those memories, and feed them into a positive outcome for this week.  I have some fond memories and I’ve had some decent results here, but it’s a course that I feel should suit me.

He explained about his shot into the par three third;

” I hit a nice six iron below the hole to about 12 feet, 15 feet and made that. I actually felt like I was going to hole that because I think either I had that putt or Poults had that in The Ryder Cup, so I knew exactly where I was going to hit it. There was no way I was missing that one.”

Lee Slattery had an eagle on the eleventh hole, which helped him recover from a wobbly start to the second round;

“I think the eagle on 11 was  the turning point in the round. The swing certainly didn’t feel as good as yesterday. I hit a lot of shots left but just managed to bounce back well.”

Ross is now at -6 under par for the tournament, with Lee Slattery at -4. Still in the hunt are three players on -3 under par, the are; Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay, Jaidee Thongchai from Thailand and England’s Chris Wood. Another name in the frame after the first round Tim Sluiter from the Netherlands also had a poor second round, a +1 over par effort that leaves him with a tournament score of -2 under par.

Dutchman Tim Sluiter remained upbeat despite bogeying three of his last five holes.

“On this course, anything around par is a good score. I’m very pleased where I am, and I kept myself in it.”

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