Ballantine’s Championship. Another Golfing Weather Delay.

The Ballantine’s Championship at Blackstone Golf Club in South Korea has started with a weather delay in the first round, wonder if its the same storm clouds that interrupted Harbour Town.

Louis Oosthuizen   (Getty Images)

Lewis Oosthuizen / Getty Images

There are currently five players tied at the top of the leaderboard at the Ballantine’s, all at -5 under par, with completed rounds of 67. there are still some players who could impact the top of this board, including Lewis Oosthuizen, who actually started his round with four birdies. Lewis still has two holes to complete, along with Tommy Fleetwood, both currently at -4 under par.

Lewis said he was happy with his start;

” It’s a good start, I’m hitting it really well. I made nice putts, hit it fairly close the front nine, and probably made one or two longish birdie putts. Then teed off on ten and the wind came in, with the weather coming in, and I probably just missed two shots and put myself in really tough spots to get up and down and then made bogey. But I’m feeling good, spinning it well, I haven’t hit it that well in a while like I did on the front nine.”

At the top are, Jean-Baptiste GonnetKieran PrattJohan EdforsMatthew Baldwin and local player Kim Gi-whan all completed their rounds after the delay of  two hours and ten minutes, due to rain and poor visibility.

Unfortunately there are no Americans contesting this tournament, the political tensions with North Korea have turned the competition into a no go area for them.

Jean-Baptiste was happy to be at the top;

” It was good to put my name up right away, because I haven’t played like this for more than a year. I played pretty straight off the tee, and my putting was great; five under is a good score.”

Another happy camper was Johan Edfors;

” I was really happy I came out of the block pretty good there on the front nine and played some really, really good golf.”

The first round will be completed tomorrow, before the start of the second round, lets hope for some better weather.

 

Emirates Australian Open, Advantage to Broomsticks in the Wind.

Peter Senior

 

Peter Senior / The Daily Telegraph

Veteran Aussie, 53 year-old Peter Senior won the Emirates Australian Open, leaning on his broomstick in the gale force winds. Peter achieved his win shooting par in the last round to win by one shot at -4 under par. In second place was Brendan Jones at -3 under par, also another of the Broomstick brigade. If you have ever had any doubts about the advantage gained from using a Broomstick, this tournament was a glaring example of the advantage in windy conditions. It was plain to see that both players were standing steady on the greens over their putts, anchored to the ground before stroking the ball.  Peter said after his round;

” These are the conditions I thrive in,  if the conditions were good, the really good players would have shone this week,”

Peter becomes Australia’s oldest winner of the Stonehaven Cup, surpassing the great Peter Thomson, who won as a 43-year-old in 1973.

Cameron Percy was in third place at -2 under par with world number four Justin Rose finishing tied in fourth place with Kieran Pratt and Kim Felton. Justin Rose struggled with the putter in the terrible conditions, so bad were the winds that play had to be suspended for over three hours. The howling wind blew over a television tower and a marquee got crushed during the mayhem, which finished in near darkness, Justin Rose summed it up;

” It was like a day-night match,  I’ve never played a hole with shadows from a spotlight.”

 

Emirates Australian Open, John Senden Regains Lead

Emirates Australian Open

John Senden

John Senden / emiratesaustralianopen.com.au

John Senden regained the lead of the Emirates Australian Open at The Lakes, Sydney, with a battling third round of  -2 under par, 70 and a tournament total of -7 under par.  John takes a handy two-shot lead over Justin Rose of England into tomorrow’s final round, the second year in succession that he has led the national championship through 54 holes, but last year at The Lakes he was reeled in by Greg Chalmers. That statistic is something that John is acutely aware of, he mentioned it in his report, along with his Eagle at the par 5 eleventh;

“I know where I stand,’ I have to deal with that and go out tomorrow and play my game. You have to be able to control the ball any time you play golf, but in these conditions you have to be really on your game. I had a good number I was planning on just hit through the shot. If it goes a little long, that’s okay’. I took a risk there and pulled it off.’’

John is also mindful of the speed of the greens. and hopes the tournament organisers are also thinking about the course set up, the putting surfaces were running at 11 on the stimpmeter at the start of today’s round, but were much quicker by the end.

“If they’re predicting windier conditions tomorrow, they’ve got to make sure they take care of that,’

World number four Justin Rose  is in second place alone at -5 under par, he was superb with his control, not making a single bogey until the 17th hole, and had possession of the lead for some time. But then the Englishman chipped off the green and dropped a shot, then missed the 18th green to the right and could not make par there either, Justin finished with signing for a -2 under par, 70, and will start two shots adrift of John Senden, but will be playing along side of him in the final pairing tomorrow. Justin said the conditions got tougher as the day went along;

“It got progressively tougher as the day went on, by the end of the round it was tough to even tap in, to be perfectly honest with you. Even from three feet you were getting buffeted around, the wind’s moving you. It’s very difficult to get the ball in the hole. Whoever literally stands up, the last man standing will win the golf tournament. I think it’s going to be a battle.’’

There are three Aussies tied in third spot at -4 under par for the tournament, Matthew Jones, Kieran Pratt and veteran Peter Senior.  2009 Australian Open champion Adam Scott is not quite  out of the running just yet.Adam is at two-under-par for the tournament, just five shots back of the lead, especially if he gets the type of generous early morning conditions that most of the players have experienced this week.

Marcus Fraser had a disastrous third round of +4 over par 76, and he also will need something special on Sunday if he wants to get up and contend this trophy.