Euro Tour. N.H. Collection Open. 2nd Suspended.

dragon logo darkThe second round of the NH Collection Open at La Reserva de Sotogrande Club de Golf  has been suspended due to darkness.

Marc Warren   (Getty Images)

Marc Warren / Getty Images

Marc Warren and David Horsey are currently tied at the top of the NH Collection Open leaderboard at -5 under par. Marc has completed his second round, a -5 under par 67. David has yet to finish his second round, reaching -5 under par for the tournament after fifteen holes.

Marc spoke about coming back this morning to complete round 1, and then starting over again for round 2;

“My round didn’t finish yesterday so I had to come back and play seven holes this morning and I played ok. At the start of the second round I struggled a bit with concentration, but once I got it going I played really good – long game was excellent, short game was good. I think I got the best out of my round today.”

“Today and yesterday’s conditions were pretty similar, obviously without the rain. The wind is going to stay pretty strong and it’s going to be tough for the guys playing this afternoon. I have been playing well the last few weeks, getting stronger and stronger, so I was really looking forward to this event. It’s like a bonus event for us, coming at the last minute, and I am pleased to see how good the course actually is. I’m looking forward to the next two days.”

“I like the course very much. If it was perfect weather it would still be a good test, but with the strong winds we have here it gets really tough at times.”

There are three players are tied in third place at -4 under par, with only one of them completing the second round, and that was Felipe Aguilar. Adrian Otaegui has played fifteen holes, with Bradley Dredge only finishing twelve holes. Both of these players could improve on their positions at the resumption of play tomorrow, at 9 am.

Sadly the first round leader Jack Doherty carded a second round +2 over par 74 to put a dent in his opening 69, to finish -1 under par.

BMW PGA Championship. Manassero Magic.

Matteo Manassero produced some magic when winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in a play-off that lasted for four holes on the famous West Course.

Tight battle: It took four play-off holes for Manassero to emerge the victor

Matteo has become the youngest player ever to win the BMW PGA Championship with his thrilling victory at the Wentworth Club. The 20 year-old Italian was tied at -10 under par with Englishman Simon Khan, a winner here in 2010, and Scotland’s Marc Warren at the conclusion of regular play.

On the first play-off hole, Marc put his tee shot into the tree’s down the 18th and was subsequently eliminated. Matteo and Simon halved the par 5 eighteenth twice more before Matteo stepped up to birdie the hole at the fourth attempt, for his dramatic win. Simon unfortunately put his second shot into the water, while Matteo found the green in two on the par five, and then had a two putt birdie.

Two Spaniards finished tied in fourth place, Miguel Angel Jimenez and the overnight leader Alejandro Canizares finished the tournament at -9 under par, agonizingly just one shot from the play-off.

Lee Westwood had held a two-shot lead after his birdies on the second, third and fourth holes, but he followed that with a very disappointing back nine performance of 40 , and finished joint ninth at -7 under par.

Fell away: Despite early good form, Lee Westwood barely made the top 10 at Wentworth

 

Lee Westwood wilted under the pressure on the back nine.

BMW PGA Championship. Francesco Molinari Leads at Wet Wentworth.

Francesco Molinari leads at the BMW PGA Championship after the conclusion of the second round at the Wentworth Club on the West Course.

Francesco Molinari   (Getty Images)

Francesco Molinari / Getty Images

On a wet and cold second day at Wentworth Francesco Molinari leads the BMW PGA Championship by just one shot after his second round of -4 under par, for a tournament total of -6 under par.

Francesco is happy to be at t he top, but is under no illusions as to how hard it will be to stay there on this difficult West course;

” I’m really happy with yesterday and today. The conditions were quite tough but I hit the ball well and the putter is working well so I am really happy at the moment. Six under is a good score given the conditions, I live over here now so I am used to it,  and I’m in a great position going into the weekend, but it’s a really tough course so anyone six or seven behind is still in it.”

Tied in second place is George Coetzee, at -5 under par, the South African has fared better than his compatriot James Kingston, who topped the leaderboard yesterday but collapsed today with a second round 77. Ten shots worse than his 66 of yesterday, he now has a tournament total of -1 under par.

Joining George at -5 under par are Alejandro Cañizares, Marc Warren and Mark Foster.

Lee Westwood is lurking at -3 under par and thinks he could be dangerous if his short game keeps improving, and his long game comes together;

 ” My short game’s been red-hot. I played some nice pitches and walking off the back of the 12th green, where I pitched to about four feet, Ernie said ‘Bit of a short-game wizard now.’ I also got up and down on 18 after hitting it in the hazard and those sorts of things can make a big difference to your week and going into the weekend with momentum. If my long game starts to come together, I could be dangerous.”

Lee’s Ryder Cup team-mate Luke Donald made a premature exit in his bid for a hat-trick of titles and fellow heroes of the Miracle at Medinah also made an early departure from The European Tour’s Flagship Event, with Rory McIlroy (75), Graeme McDowell (75), Ian Poulter (76) and Paul Lawrie (72) all joining Luke in missing the halfway cut.

DP World Tour Championship, Its Luke and Rory Tied at the Top

Luke Donald v Rory McIlroy at the DP World Tour Championship  (Getty Images)

Luke & Rory/ Getty Images

The World number one Rory McIlroy and World number two Luke Donald are tied at the top of the DP World Tour Championship after three rounds at the Jumeirah Golf Estates Earth Course in Dubai. Both of these splendid players have a Tournament score of -17 under par, attaining that number with third rounds of -6 under par 66’s.

 Luke  has amazingly extended his bogey free run at Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Earth Course to 100 holes, that was good enough to distance himself from the rest of the field, with the exception of the World number one Rory, who started with a bogey at the first, but that was cancelled out by five birdies and an eagle at the long 14th.

100 holes without a bogey at this tournament, Luke could not believe it:

I’m not sure I can believe that, that’s pretty good. I guess that’s my style, I don’t make too many mistakes. It’s going to be fun, great for the crowd and everyone watching around the world. Hopefully we can make some birdies.”

Rory said he had suffered another bad night with his fever, it did not show his golf;

I woke up at four and was not feeling great, but I guess the adrenaline keeps you going when playing, “

When informed about Luke’s wondrous  run without a bogey, Rory smiled and replied,

He must be due one. I think everyone is looking forward to the Number One and Number Two duel tomorrow, and that’s the way it’s panned out. I know I’m excited about it, and I’m sure a lot of people are. It will be a great way to finish the 2012 European Tour season.”

Joint halfway leader Marc Warren could only manage a par round of 72 to stay at -11 under par, now six shots behind Luke and Rory. Tied in second place at -14 under par are South African Major Champions Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen, with four-time European Tour winner Branden Grace and Dutchman Joost Luiten two shots further back at -12 under par.

Given the Status of the leading pair, everyone else is probably too far back to make an impact in this Tournament, so it’s down to Luke and Rory to put on a show for the watching and waiting World.

 

DP World Tour Championship, Luke has Rory and Marc for Company at the top.

Luke Donald shot a second round -4 under par 68, to remain at the top of the leaderboard at the DP World Tour Championship on the Jumerirah Golf Estates course in Dubai. He was joined at the top by Rory McIlroy who shot a second round -5 under 67, and Marc Warren who matched Rory’s score on the day. All three players are at -11 under par for the Tournament.

Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy/ Getty Images

Rory thinks he was suffering from a bit of sunstroke, and said although he took some medicine he was not feeling too good out on the course;

“I got off the course yesterday and had a really sore head and a fever, I think it was a bit of sunstroke. I took a few things and felt better, but I’m not feeling great again. The sun’s taking it out of me a bit.”

Luke thought he was not as sharp on the greens today, but is looking  forward to a fun weekend;

” Obviously I haven’t dropped a shot in 36 holes so feel good about that. I wasn’t quite as good on the greens today. I had some opportunities, ten to 15 footers on a few holes that I just misread, but that was a solid round of golf. It was reasonably straightforward. I didn’t put myself in too much trouble today, but certainly when I gave myself a little bit of trouble out on the course, I was able to recover with the putter. It’s a great field in general and it usually produces a really exciting weekend. The last tournament of the year, we are looking forward to going out on a high note, and obviously Rory is playing well and a bunch of other guys are playing well, so should make for a fun weekend.”

Marc said he was happy to be the Scot amongst all the high quality people near the top of the leaderboard;

“It was nice to be the Scot in that pack with the Englishman and the Northern Irishman. It’s great to be in contention with guys like that, and looking down the leaderboard, it’s a high-quality leaderboard and doesn’t get any better anywhere in the world really. It’s great for The European Tour and it’s great for The Race to Dubai, and it’s great to be a part of that.”

Two South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace are only a stroke behind, lurking with intent at -10 under par.

Round of the day went to Sergio Garcia, who shot one of golf’s most remarkable course records in Dubai – two eagles, nine birdies, two bogeys and a triple bogey seven, to match the course record. We have to assume the operation to remove that astigmatism has helped him see things more clearly now;

Sergio Garcia  (Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia/ Getty images

Sergio was amazed at his record equaling round;

“It was unbelievable, wasn’t it? I’m still kind of getting used to it, my sight’s not changed immensely, but the main reason was that with contact lenses I was feeling very uncomfortable.”

It is still a very tightly packed leaderboard, and it is indeed going to be a great weekend, and a fine finish to the regular season, with the World number one and two battling it out between them. I trust they will both stay focused and not lose sight of the others in this field who are perfectly capable of winning this tournament.

BMW Italian Open, 2nd Round

BMW

Richard Bland  (Getty Images)

Richard Bland /Getty Images

Richard Bland birdied the last three holes of his second round to put himself into the halfway lead at the BMW Italian Open at Royal Park I Roveri  in Turin. Richard is unfortunately yet to win on The European Tour despite ten years of trying,  he now has a fantastic chance to break his duck here at the BMW Italian Open  after a -6 under par second round of 66 took him to -12 under par in the tournament. Apart from  trying to secure a first title, Richard is also in need of a good week to retain his place on The European Tour for 2013. He currently lies 126th on The Race to Dubai, and only the top 115 keep their cards. Richard commented;

” I’ve had a tough couple of years, but that’s behind me now and I’m just trying to move forward and improve every day. When it wasn’t going my way on the front nine, I didn’t panic. I knew there were chances out there and it was just a question of waiting. I don’t go for the panic button which I might’ve done five or six years ago. There’s still 36 holes to go, all it is right now is a great position. There are great players behind me, its low scoring, so two 70s isn’t going to get it done. I’ll probably have to shoot ten under from here, but that’s a good thing. You’ve got to keep making birdies, you have to keep your foot on the accelerator. It was a strange day because I birdied the first then struggled to get anything going, I missed a couple of chances and struggled to get the pace of the greens.

” But I holed a nice putt at the 14th for birdie, then hit a couple of shots really close at the 16th and 17th, then hit two great shots at the 18th. It all happened at once really. You’d expect in a 66 that you’d hit a lot of really good shots, but I’m hitting a lot of okay shots. I’m not putting myself in any problems, which is great, but on this course you have a lot of short irons and you feel like you should be hitting it close all the time. I’m leading and I’m not going to complain, but I feel there’s a lot of room of improvement. When you don’t feel like you’ve got your A-game and you’re 12 under and leading, it’s fantastic. If I can get my swing clicked into place, it should be a good weekend.”

There are four players in second place at -11 under par, and just one shot behind the leader, they are;  Grégory Bourdy,  Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Garth Mulroy and Marc Warren.

Fernandez-Castaño admitted the advice of Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal had helped his putting in a round of 65.

” Olly  helped me with my putting two years ago, when he recommended that I putt with my feet together. Last year I had another tip from a fellow Spaniard, telling me to use the claw grip, and it has made a massive difference. I’ve been working with psychologists too, but it’s not until you see the ball rolling into the hole on a regular basis that your confident levels go up and you believe you can putt.”

Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal made the cut on the mark at four under, as did defending champion Robert Rock.

Scottish Open, Molinari misses out in Play-Off

Francesco Molinari lost the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart in a play-off to Indian Jeev Milhka Singh.

Singh hits winning note

Jeev Milkha Singh (Getty Images)

Jeev Milkha Singh had set an early clubhouse target of -17 under par, and was drinking tea watching the rest try and catch him. Francesco finally did, forcing the play-off. Jeev won with a birdie at the first extra hole, the 18th, in the play-off against Francesco, Jeev calmly sinking a 15 foot putt. Francesco’s birdie attempt, from 25 feet had come up well short of the hole, giving the chnace to Jeev, which he took.

Both players had finished the tournament at -17 under par, Jeev shooting a final 67, -5 under par. Francesco could only manage a par round of 72, that’s 10 shots more than his opening round of 62.

With this win Jeev gains a place in the Open next week, and thinks God has been kind to him;

“I was just enjoying a cup of tea and some chocolate cake and watching it on television, and suddenly got excited. I think God has been kind, and I think the field came back and I put myself in a to go in for a play-off , I’m very fortunate.
I would like to thank a lot of people who have been by my side the last three, four years that have been a struggle for me with the injuries: My family, my friend who coaches me. Janet, who was on my bag, my sponsors who stood by me like Callaway, UPS, Societe Generale, golf in Dubai. All of these guys have been great and supported me through a tough time and I want to thank them all for this. It has been really tough, frustrating more than anything else. You feel like your game is coming back and another injury creeps up, but I just stuck myself in there and said that you need to work on the physical side, and I worked hard on that. Everything has paid off, and I just want to think about the good things and not what’s past and I want to look towards the future now.”

Francesco was obviously disappointed;

“It was a good week, positive. It’s obviously disappointing at the moment not to finish it off. The two putts at 15 and 16 that I missed made all the difference in the end.”

Alex Noren and Scotland”s Marc Warren were tied in third place at -16 under par. World Number One and defending champion Luke Donald  finished tied for 16th with, among others, Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington.