Lyoness Open. Lundberg Lifts Trophy.

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Mikael Lundberg lifts the Lyoness Open trophy in a sudden death play-off against Bernd Wiesberger.

Mikael Lundberg  (Getty Images)

Mikael Lundberg / Getty Images

Both players had finished the competition at -12 under par, with Mikael carding a superb -7 under par 65 last round, to deny Bernd Wiesberger a home town win at Diamond Country Club.

I am not sure about the ethics of using a par three as the first play-off hole, but that’s what they did. Both players were on green with their tee shots, Mikael forty feet from the pin, Bernd was left with just 18 feet. The longer putt dropped in and the shorter one was missed.

Mikael played and putted well, and everything just fell  into place for him;

“Today just started off really well on the first couple of holes. I made some really nice putts that changed the whole attitude. I tried not to look at the leaderboards and do my thing because they are great players and they had some par fives coming up which I thought they would birdie, so I just tried to put a good number out there and hopefully it was going to take me somewhere close.

“It’s fantastic considering I’ve had to go back to the Tour School the last four years. As for the play-off, what can I say? I didn’t hit a great shot and Bernd hit a fantastic shot but that’s golf. Luckily I had almost the same putt on the 72nd hole so I had the line a little bit, but to hole that putt was fantastic.”

Bernd had gambled by not playing the US Open qualifier at Walton Heath, and needed to win here to be certain of qualification. He now has to wait and see the results from FedEx St Jude Classic on the US PGA Tour.

He said he was very proud of the way he performed at home this week;

“I can be proud of myself this week, I played good, not great. It would be nice to get a chance to play the US Open and if I get there I will be in good form as well.”

“I was happy to take the lead and I had it in my hands, I threw it away a little bit, I hit five bad shots on the 16th which cost me. I hit a better shot in the play-off but he made a great putt. He has not been in the winner’s circle for a while, he deserves it, but I lost it a bit. I would have taken getting into a play-off at the beginning of the day, but it’s a bit cruel now.”

The defending champion Joost Luiten finished in third place at -11 under par, a poor final round of even par dashed any hopes he had of retaining his title from last year.

He was obviously disappointed that he let a two lead at the start of the day slip away;

“I didn’t play great, didn’t get any good breaks and nothing went my way. It was one of those days. If you are two clear you want to win and finish it off and if you don’t do that you’re disappointed.”

Lyoness Open. Joost Jumps Ahead.

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Defending champion Joost Luiten jumps ahead in the Lyoness Open in Austria, and will take a two shot lead into the final round tomorrow.

Joost Luiten   (Getty Images)

Joost Luiten / Getty Images

The defending champion Joost fired his best round of the week so far, as he recorded a -6 under par 66, which gave him a Lyoness Open tournament total of -11 under par, and a two shot lead  at Diamond Country Club.

Joost is playing well, carding seven birdies against one bogey in his round, and making some good putts;

“I’m happy, 66 is good, it could have been a bit lower as I was playing really well, especially the first 12 holes, but it’s been a really good day. I’ve been playing consistently and hitting some good shots and making some good putts.”

“All I can do is focus on this tournament now and playing here, next week is a new week. I am in a good position so I just want to finish it off tomorrow and see if we can win again here.”

“I know Bernd is a good player so it will be a very good battle and there are a few more guys behind who are not out of it yet. It’s going to be an interesting day.”

Local favorite Austrian Bernd Weisberger is in second place, just two shots back of the leader at -9 under par. Bernd also scored seven birdies and one bogey in his -6 under par 66 third round, who could also qualify for the US Open by finishing outright second, depending on results elsewhere;

“I played really well today and created a lot of chances, especially on the front nine when I think I had a birdie putt on virtually every hole. I holed a few longer ones but missed a few shorter ones, so it probably evened itself out overall. I also had a few looks on the back nine and managed to take a couple, although it was disappointing not to take advantage of either of the par fives. But I’ve made a nice move up the leaderboard, which was the main aim today.”

“It’s always nice to play well in front of the home fans and they were great today. It was an important putt to make, to make up some ground on Joost, and I think the crowd’s reaction showed that. It’ll be important not to get too much into match play mode tomorrow, because then other players could sneak up on us. All I can do is try my best and hope it’s good enough.”

“I’m not going to think about the US Open tomorrow. I’ll try to get myself into position to lift the trophy, which would mean I can play next week as well, but it won’t be on my mind. I’ll just try and do the same thing as today. Everybody says that in my position, but I am feeling calm and good.”

Fabritizo Vanotti is holding third place at -7 under par, while David Horsey signed for the round of the day a -7 under par 65, which gave him a -5 under par total and a share of fifth place.

David was happy to take his good practice game out onto the course;

“It’s been coming for a while to be honest, I’ve been hitting it nicely on the range and just not quite been able to take it out on the golf course.” 

Lyoness Open. Lundberg Leads at Half-Way.

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Mikael Lundberg leads the Lyoness Open at the half way stage at the Diamond Country Club in Austria.

Mikael Lundberg  (Getty Images)

Mikael teeing off on the 10th / Getty Images

Mikael followed his open round 67 with his second round -4 under 68, to lead the Lyoness Open by one shot at -9 under par for the tournament. He is not surprised to be in that position;

“I hit a lot of good shots early on and managed to make some putts, so that got my confidence up. It’s a nice feeling when you get your distance control right with your wedges, because it takes a lot of pressure on your putting. Starting early means the course was slightly softer. On the back nine it started to dry out and that made it harder.”

“It got tougher and tougher the longer the round went on, because the course got really firm and fast towards the end, so whilst it may look and feel easy, it never is. I’ve been doing some great work with my new coach, Neil Jordan, over the last few weeks, and my game is feeling a lot more solid as a result. So whilst I didn’t maybe expect to play this well here, it’s not a complete shock to me either.”

Second place belongs to Lee Slattery who had a great second round of -6 under par 66, to get him up to -8 under par in the competition. Lee carded an Eagle, five birdies and one bogey in his round, saying it was indeed great to get back into form after a hectic few months;

“We moved house, got married and had a baby so it’s been a really hectic six to nine months, it’s nice to find a little bit of formIt was great, I got off to a decent start again today, and I was off and running. I made some good up and downs at important times, which kept the momentum going. “

 

“It’s a tricky course, there are potential disasters on every hole so you definitely can’t afford to get ahead of yourself. It’s quite old school golf where you’ve got to control your ball and put it in the right places. That suits me, so I’m enjoying it.”

Fabrizio Zanotti is in third spot at -7 under par, he also carded -4 under par 68 today. Defending Champion Joost Luiten carded -5 under par 67 to move into contention at that score, tied in fifth place. He was very happy to be back in the hunt;

“I’m very happy with five under, I made some nice saves for par and that’s what you have to do around this course. You are going to be out of position sometimes and you have to play smart and try to save par.”

“I am right back in there and that was the goal today, to try to make some ground on the leaders. We will see what happens and we have still 36 holes to go.”

 

Lyoness Open. Two at the Top.

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There are two players tied at the top of the Lyoness Open, Mikael Lundberg and Adam Gee.

 

Mikael Lundberg  (Getty Images)

Mikael Lundberg / Getty Images

Mikael is looking to return to the winners circle for the first time in six years, as he finds his best form to share the lead in the Lyoness Open. He has had to come through the Qualifying School in each of the last three seasons but fired a -5 under par 67 here to join Adam Gee at the top of the leaderboard. The leading five players on the board came from the afternoon rounds, they missed the mornings high winds on the  Diamond Country Club course in Atzenbrugg, Austria.

Mikael reported that he had played well, and his putter was working too;

“I played pretty solid all day and made a few putts, so it all added up to a pretty good day. Nothing was spectacular today, but everything was pretty solid. I’ve been working well with my new coach, and we’ve made a lot of progress over the past four weeks.” 

“My long game is working well, my short game comes and goes so I’m still a little bit inconsistent around the greens, but I’m getting there. You have to be very careful out there. The course is very firm, so you have to be very precise off the tee, you don’t want to take any unnecessary chances, because you can soon get caught out.”

Adam, who also came through November’s Qualifying School and join the 2014 Race to Dubai, was relieved to have missed the morning’s high winds;

“When we arrived at the course the wind was blowing pretty hard, which is maybe why a few of the guys struggled a bit more in the morning. I think we definitely got the better half of the draw, which was another bit of fortune that went my way, but I’ll certainly take it.”

“I’ve been playing quite nicely lately, there were some good signs last week and I’ve continued that progress here. There’s still a long way to go, but the signs are encouraging.” 

Rhys Davies, Matthew Baldwin, Richard Finch and Berry Henson are a shot further back, after their opening rounds of -4 under par 68.  Austrian home favourite Bernd Wiesberger carded -1  under par while defending champion Joost Luiten went round in level par.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Euro Tour. Diamond Joost Wins Lyoness Open.

Bright Diamond, Dutchman Joost Luiten won the European Tour Lyoness Open title in Austria on Sunday.

Joost Luiten  (Getty Images)

Joost Luiten / Getty Images

Joost had a final round of -1 under par, 71 which was good enough to win him the Lyoness Open trophy at the Diamond Country Club, in a weather delayed afternoon in Austria. His final total of -17 under par was two shots ahead of Dane Thomas Björn, who finished alone in second place at -15 under par for the tournament.

Joost was obviously very happy with his win, his previous victory came in the Iskandar Johor Open in 2011;

“It’s been a great week so I am really, really happy. It was a long day, I started off with a bogey but I hit the ball nicely so I just wanted to focus on that, hit the greens, two-putt and make the others chase me. Unfortunately I made a few mistakes on the greens and didn’t make a lot of putts, but in the end I was three clear after my birdie on 16 and that gave me a little bit of air. It’s always nice to finish par, par and hold the trophy.”

Joost spoke about the one hour weather delay, due to the threat of lightning in the area;

“At that time I wanted to play on but it was good to have a break for me because I wasn’t playing really well so I just had some food and tried to focus again and went out there and tried to make pars and sneak in a birdie and that’s what I did.”

Thomas rued the minor golfing mishaps he endured, but was gracious in defeat;

“I played very well at the weekend but I just didn’t do enough today. I bogeyed the sixth and that made it a tough challenge, but I played well down the stretch and tried to put some pressure on.I was unfortunate on the 17th with the bounce. I never really applied enough pressure. But I came here to win or to at least get a top ten and I’ve done that and I’m pretty happy.I hit a lot of good shots. I was a little too aggressive with the putt on the 16th. They didn’t quite drop today, but I putted really well all week and that’s the biggest thing I’ve been struggling with for a long time. It’s been nice to putt well two weeks in a row. Joost has been knocking on the door for a long, long time and he’s a great player so I have to take my hat off to him. He played some wonderful golf this week and deserves it as much as anyone else on Tour. I played with him last week on Sunday and he’s got everything to make him a world-class player. He’s carried himself well when he’s come close to winning but not done it, so hats off to him, he deserves it.”

Third place was shared by Liang Wen-chong from China and Frenchman Romain Wattel, both finished the tournament on -14 under par.

Euro Tour. Lyoness Open, Joost Jumps Into Three shot Lead.

In the European Tour Lyoness Open third round Joost Luiten has jumped into a three shot lead at the Diamond Country Club in Austria.

Joost Luiten  (Getty Images)

Joost Luiten / Getty Images

Joost took a leaf out of the balloon’s performance and took off during the third round with a -5 under par, 67 that elevated the Dutchman to the top of the leaderboard at -16 under par, and three shots clear of the field going into the final round.

Joost said he found it easy;

“It’s easy if you play like I did on the back nine, but the first fives holes were tough. Once I settled down a bit I started to play better, hit some good shots and make some putts. The first hole you’re always nervous. It’s always better to be leading than be behind. I don’t mind playing with the lead.”

Tied in second place at -13 under par are the Spanish armada of Jorge Campillo and Eduardo De La Riva, who will be fighting to chase down the leader all the way to the end on Sunday. These two are the only ones who realistically have a chance to challenge for the lead during the final round.

Round of the day went to Thomas Björn of Denmark who had a sparkling third round at the Diamond Country Club of -8 under par 64. This score fired him up the leaderboard for a share of fourth place at -11 under par. His polished performance started to shine in strange circumstances on the par fourth 12th hole, when he was contemplating changing his ball , then saw his approach shot find the hole;

” I hit the drive and I said to my caddie to change the ball at the next hole as the flight was a bit funny. Then I holed the second shot and he looked at me and said, flying funny is it. I’ve been plodding along and playing alright but not great. Something clicked into place today and I couldn’t stop making birdies on the back nine.”

Thomas could produce another sparkling round tomorrow, but Joost is the one holding all the aces at the Diamond Country Club.

 

 

Euro Tour. Luiten Lights Up Lyoness Open.

Joost Luiten shining second round lights up the Lyoness Open on the European Tour at the Diamond Country Club, in Austria.

Joost Luiten   (Getty Images)

Joost Luiten / Getty Images

Joost Luiten shot a second round of -4 under par, 68 to break clear of the pack and lead the Lyoness Open by one shot at -11 under par.

Joost said he round was good, and the rough meant you had to play smart golf;

“It was good “I hit some nice shots in close for birdie. I didn’t make as many putts as yesterday but I’m really happy with the score. On this course you know you’re going to make a few bogeys but there are a lot of chances for birdie as well. You just have to try to stay patient and I think I did that well today. The greens are great, maybe the best of the season. They’ve had a lot of rain but they’re still probably the best greens we’ve played on this year. They hold the shots going in and they are quick. What a good job they’ve done here. You have to play smart on some holes and it’s playing long, the rough is very tough.”

There are three players tied in second place at -10 under par, Paul Waring, Callum Macaulay and Eduardo De La Riva.

Spaniard Eduardo is a Qualifying School graduate, and started his second round with an eagle at the long tenth, and finished it with five birdies in his last seven holes which propelled him into contention.

Eduardo was very happy with his round and his putting;

” Five birdies in the last few holes is very good, and the last two holes were only from a couple of inches. I’ve played very good in some tournaments but I’ve had some problems with my putter. With some good work it’s better, today I putted very well and I’m very happy.”

Paul was also happy, especially as his wrist problems have gone away;

“I’m very happy, I finished a little bit poorly but I played awful the last few weeks to be honest so it’s nice to feel I have got my swing back where it needs to be. I did a lot of work after missing the cut in Sweden and because I know the course here I even had Tuesday at home practising before flying out. The wrist is absolutely fine now, nothing to worry about, which is nice. I can go and play golf and practise as much as I want and we are starting to see some results out of it.”

Cullum has his brother on the bag this week, and it appears to have been a good selection;

“It’s unchartered waters for the last two or three years, and if I’m being honest it’s come out of nowhere. I’ve had a really poor start to the season and I’ve worked exceptionally hard to improve, but things haven’t been going my way. I did a lot of work last weekend in Sweden with Scott Arnold, who also missed the cut, and he made a couple of suggestions. It was very simple, I was de-lofting my irons on the way back and not getting any height. It’s taken a lot of repetition and it still feels a little bit funny, but I just need to keep hitting balls and get more comfortable. This sport can change in a heartbeat and you have to keep plodding along hoping things will turn. This is a big step in the right direction. I’ve got my brother caddying for me this week and he’s always pretty cool no matter what. It’ll be new for me playing in the last few groups in a European Tour event, but that’s why we play the game. We want to get better every week.”