Maybank Malaysian Open. 1st Round Play Suspended.

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1st round play has been suspended in the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, where Lee Westwood leads.

Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)

 Lee Westwood / Getty Images

Lee shot a completed first round of -7 under par 65 to take the clubhouse lead at the Maybank Malaysian Open. There was a delay of around 75 minutes during the afternoon, due to the threat of lightning, that meant the first round could not completed on schedule. 

Lee and second placed Nicolas Colsaerts had to make the long journey from the United States to Kuala Lumpur to compete here.
Lee shrugging off the jet lag, saying he was full of momentum;

“I played well in Houston the week before the Masters and used that momentum going into the Masters. I played well last week in finishing seventh and I was happy to carry that on today. I’m pleased to get off to a good start. It’s nice to have a good one and build some momentum for the week.”

“I didn’t make the best of starts but fortunately that didn’t set the tone for the day, I hit it really well and hit it close a lot. I had to be patient because I was hitting good putts and they weren’t going in. I holed one from about eight feet on my 16th, twenty-five feet on the second-last hole and a nice fifteen footer with a bit of curl on the last. So it was a good round of golf in tricky conditions.”

Nicolas posted an opening round of -6 under par 66, and said he had been waiting quite a while for a decent round, and it was nice to get some confidence back;

“I’ve waited for a round like this since January 1, I just kept my momentum going and made a few bounce-backs. I parred the two par fives on the front which is a bit disappointing, but I kept very patient and that in the end was what made a difference.”

“I’ve felt I’ve played pretty well since early in the season, but there has always been a stretch of holes where I’ve shot myself in the foot for some reason. I’ve missed good opportunities to have good weeks. So the plan is to come back here to get some momentum and confidence back.”

Michael Hoey and Ricardo Santos are tied in third place, both with completed rounds of -5 under par 67. Michael had a strange experience with the grips on his clubs, but happily the putts were dropping;

 “A lot of putts went in, that was the highlight. I holed a fifty footer on the 13th up the hill. It was good chipping and putting all the way, so I’m really happy. It’s weird because my grips hadn’t set properly and I didn’t have a lot of confidence before I went out. The grips were moving slightly so I had to hold down the grip. So it just shows you in golf if you have low expectations you can play well.”

The defending champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat carded a -1 under par first round of 71, and will have to put together a good second round if he wants to catch the big guns at the top. First round play is set to resume at 0740 local time on Friday.

Tshwane Open. Fisher Lands Tshwane Trophy

dragon logo darkRoss Fisher lands the Tshwane Open trophy at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate.

Ross Fisher  (Getty Images)

Ross Fisher / Getty Images

Ross had a final round of -2 under par 70, an Eagle on the par five 15th hole, from 25 feet killed off any hope the chasing pack had of catching him. Ross was pleased to win in the testing conditions, and admitted the eagle settled his nerves;

“I’m thrilled to get over the line, it was a testing day with the weather conditions, and playing with Mike he put up a great challenge for me. I set a target of trying to go out there and shoot in the 60s and almost managed to do it. I had a little mishap on the last but I’m just glad to be standing here talking to you as champion.”

“It’s been pretty good to me this week the 15th hole, There have been a couple of eagles, but that was a big putt there. I know I was only a couple ahead. To hit a nice shot there and have a good look at three and to see it drop, I think I went four shots clear with only three to play I knew I could coast in. There was a little wobble on a few of those holes and I managed to make a couple of good par saves on 16 and 17. It would have been nice to shoot 69 but unfortunately I missed one on the last. I’m not going to complain.”

Michael Hoey and  Danie Van Tonder finished the tournament in second place at -17 under par. Danie with a closing -6 under par 66, and Michael carded a -4 under par 68, which still left them three shots adrift of the leader.

Overall Michael was happy with his second placed finish;

“I just lost concentration with my second at the 12th and that cost me, apart from that there wasn’t much wrong, but golf is a fine line. Ross was a solid player this week and I’m happy to have some consistency. I’ve never been consistent, but I was quite consistent this week. It’s nice to be up there and not win; I know that sounds crazy, but normally I just win. For me to finish top three without winning is a good start.”

Carlos Del Moral ended the tournament in fourth place at -16 under par.

Tshwane Open. Fisher Catches Big Lead on Day 3.

dragon logo darkRoss Fisher catches a big lead at the Tshwane Open on Day 3 of the competition at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate.

Ross Fisher  (Getty Images)

Ross Fisher / Getty

Ross fired a third round -5 under par 67 to  take a five shot lead into the final round of the Tshwane Open at -18 under par as he tries to secure his first European Tour title for four years. This the best he has played for some time;

“I feel like I’m playing as good as I ever have, probably similar to when I was contending in Majors and getting myself into the Ryder Cup team. If I were to win here it would be a massive confidence boost and a step in the right direction. My primary goal is to get back in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking. I’ve been there before and I feel like I belong there.”

“I got to seventeen in the world because of my Major performances, but like a few other guys I had a big comedown after the Ryder Cup having achieved the second pinnacle of golf outside of winning a Major and so early in my career. Maybe I suffered a bit from Ryder Cupitus, as I called it. You see guys like Henrik Stenson who got to the top of the game, disappeared, came back, disappeared, and now he’s back where he belongs.” 

“You see guys like that come through adversity, drift off and come back. Lee Westwood is another one, I wouldn’t say my slump was anywhere near as drastic as theirs, but I’ve missed being in the top 50 and playing in the Majors and that’s where I want to be. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for me.”

“I want to win this by a couple of shots, it would be nice to win in a good fashion because I feel like the game is good enough to win by a good number of strokes. I want to go out there and shoot a low number and somebody’s going to have to come out and shoot a ridiculous score to catch me.”

Michael Hoey carded a third round of -3 under par 69, but at -13 under par for the tournament he is a massive five shots adrift of the lead, but occupies second place.

Simon Dyson was looking to join Michael on -13 under par, but bogeyed the last after a poor approach and had to settle for a -1 under par 71 and -12 under par total. That score was matched by his playing partner Carlos Del Moral, winner of the Qualifying School last November.

Euro Tour. M2M Russian Open. Michael Hoey Victorious.

Michael Hoey was victorious at the M2M Russian Open at the Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club in Russia.Michael Hoey   (Getty Images)

Victorious Michael Hoey / Getty Images

Michael romped home to victory in the M2M Russian Open, his total of -16 under par was a comfortable four shots clear of the chasing field.  A steady -2 under par final round of 70 was enough to keep the challengers at arms length, and naturally he said he loved the course this week, with putting being the main ingredient;

“I have absolutely loved the golf course this week, it is a great Nicklaus design and one of the best we will play on Tour for the whole year. The greens are just so pure and when you have surfaces like that to putt on then you can make a lot of putts. The putting was the key for me this week. I have been working hard on that a lot recently and the improvement is really showing because I making a lot of birdies. 
That is the main difference at this level, you have to be able to make a lot of putts because the standard is so high these days that it usually comes down to who makes the most putts. It’s pretty amazing to think that I have won five European Tour titles. It is a great feeling to win and every time you do it you just want more and more. Hopefully I can get at least another one before the end of the season. It has given me a great boost. I am not the most consistent player in the world but when I get into these positions I usually do ok. But the next aim for me has to be to become a bit more consistent because that is the only way I will be able to get back among the best players in the world and stay there. It was tough for me today because when you have a five shot lead your natural instinct is to defend the lead,” added Hoey. “I was trying to be more aggressive because that is usually the best form of defense but it is tough in the final round when you know you are so far ahead. Then there are always a couple of guys who are going to come out of the pack. It was Rikard Karlberg who I was playing with, on the front nine and then Alex really got close to me on the back nine.I did feel the pressure a bit today because I wasn’t swinging it as freely as I had done yesterday but I got the job done in the end. Making my first birdie of the day on the seventh was a bit of a turning point because I had burned a few edges before that and you start to wonder if it is going to be your day.”

Tied in second place, at -12 under par, were Alexandre Kaleka and Matthew Nixon.  J.B. Hansen finished alone in fourth spot, after he dropped two shots on the 18th for a -11 under par. Liang Wen-chong, Gregory Havret, James Morrison and Mark Foster were another shot further back on -10 under par.

Euro Tour. M2M Russian Open. Michael Hoey Has It In His Hands.

Michael Hoey has the Euro Tour M2M Russian Open in his hands at the conclusion of the third round, ending the day five shots clear of his nearest rival.

Michael Hoey  (Getty Images)

Michael Hoey / Getty Images

Michael shot an amazing third round of -7 under par 65, giving him a tournament total of -14 under par. I know funny things can, and do happen in golf, especially in the last round, but it would be difficult to lose the title from this position, wouldn’t it ?

So far this season the Northern Irishman, a four-time winner on the Euro circuit, has not finished better than 25th place,  his last win was at last years Trophée Hassan II, Lets hope that Michael can hold it altogether tomorrow at the Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club. He said that it was just one of those days when everything went right, especially the putting;

” It was one of those days where everything went my way for the most part. I played really well and was swinging the club well, but I got a few breaks here and there that really helped the score, I holed a 70 foot putt on the ninth for example, that was probably the biggest break I had out there. You just don’t really expect to hole those ones so that was a bit of a bonus. I started with a great birdie on the first to really set the tone. I hit a great eight iron in there to about five feet and then I had that great run around the turn. I holed out from off the green on the seventh and then the eagle on eight was nice. I hit driver then three iron to eight feet there. It was just going my way as I said. I made the monster putt on nine and then stiffed it on ten for another birdie. The only blip of the day was on 11 but I did have a lot go my way too. I am making a lot of putts this week and that is always the difference at this level. It’s all about putting. Obviously I have a good lead but you just can’t take it for granted. Things went my way today but it might be someone else’s day tomorrow. I am just going to go out there and try to enjoy it. I have been in positions to win before and finished it off and that will help a bit, but you still need to hit the shots and hole the putts.”

Tied in second place are Rikard Karlberg and Mathew Nixon, both have a tournament total of -9 under par, and probably a forlorn hope that Michael will have a bad day and one of then will have an exceptional day, otherwise it is all over bar the shouting.

The Irish Open. Rory Feels Lost. Oscar Floren 1st Round Leader

Oscar Floren of Sweden found some unexpected form to lead The Irish Open by one one shot after the first round at Carton House Golf Club, at Kildare Ireland.

Oscar Floren   (Getty Images)

Oscar Floren / Getty Images

Oscar fired in his best round of the season, -6 under par, 66,  to top the leaderboard at The Irish Open on day one of the tournament. Previously this season Oscar has not finished above 25th place in a European Tour event, but carded a bogey free round that included four birdies and an Eagle. The eagle came at the par four 13th, where Oscar holed out in two shots.

Oscar was pleased with his performance;

“I played great today, It was nice to get off good start today. I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, and eventually a few putts are going to drop. Mentally I’ve changed a bit and put in the work, doing the smart things every day. After March/April I changed things and it’s been paying off. I’ve been in form the last few weeks, I finished well in Germany but I played well in St Omer and Austria the first two rounds as well.”

Hot on Oscar’s heels are a posse of five players on -5 under par, led by Irish favorite Shane Lowery. Shane is joined in second place by, Michael Hoey, Joost Luiten, Peter Uihlein and Jean-Baptiste Gonnet.

Shane Lowery owns a house on the course, but has banned his family, he shares it with Graeme Storm and Oliver Fisher during the tournament;

“Family are banned from the house until Sunday afternoon. I always hang out with Graeme Storm and Oliver Fisher and when the tournament was announced I said they could stay with me. I’m trying to keep my routine as normal as possible this week. It would seem like there should be more pressure on me this week, but I’m looking at it as an advantage. I play this course week-in, week-out and know it like the back of my hand. I went to Baltray just happy to be there and would have been happy going home with four rounds under my belt, but obviously I came away with a lot more than that. This week and 2009 is like chalk and cheese. You can say I’m coming here trying to win the tournament but I’m trying not to talk too much about it.”

Rory McIlroy

Lost Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy shot a +2 over par, 74 in the first round of The Irish Open, and admitted that he felt lost out on the course;

” At the moment, no aspects of my game are strong and I’m just feeling a bit lost at the moment. It feels good on the range and I can hit all the shots but when I get out on the course it really does not seem to be there. Off the tee, I am missing one right and then missing one left and it’s just not going where I want it. It puts you in two minds every time you are playing a tee shot. The game is just not coming easy to me at the moment and while I was struggling at this point last year, I was able to turn the corner in the middle of the summer and have a great end to my season. I don’t know whether it’s a matter of trying to play my way out of it or just keep grinding away on the range or whatever.”

Euro Tour, BMW Masters, China, Hanson Heads McIlroy

Peter Hanson  and Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson and Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson heads Rory McIlroy by one shot after the third round at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai China. Peter had a -2 under par third round to stay on top of the leaderboard at -16 under par, while Rory shot -3 under par 69 to claim second place, just one shot adrift of his Ryder Cup Teammate at -15 under par. Peter said he enjoys Rory’s company on the golf course;

” The wind was blowing from opposite direction today which made it a little bit trickier, and some of the pins were tucked away. It’s great to play with Rory, every time you get the chance to play against the World Number One it’s a fantastic thing to do. Hopefully I can stay ahead of him but I think it’s going to be a tough one tomorrow and I need to play a little bit better than I did today.Winning on The European Tour is always massive and this is the start of a big stretch for us. If I can get it back to the first two rounds I think I’ve got a good chance.”

Rory has already captured the U.S. PGA Tour money list over in the States, and a win here would put him in position to also gaining the European money title, emulating Luke Donald’s achievement of last year. Rory said he is in a great position and will really go for it tomorrow;

” I’m one behind and in a great position, I’ll try to go out and shoot the best score possible and see what happens. As long as you’re up there near the lead, it’s a good position to be in. Whether I’m one ahead or one behind or level, I can go out there tomorrow and give it my all and hopefully that’s good enough.”

South African George Coetzee conquered the breezy conditions at Lake Malaren Golf Club, to shoot an impressive third round of -6 under par 66, to move into third place alone with a tournament total of -13 under par. There is a whole host of players, six to be exact, who are at -11 under par, and probably out of contention. Luke Donald, last years double money list double winner, is joined by Justin Rose, Michael Hoey, Charl Schwartzel, Noren Alexander and Shane Lowery. One shot behind these guys, at -10 under par is Graeme McDowell who equalled today’s best score of -6 under par 66 with George Coetzee. If one of the chasing pack goes really low tomorrow, and the players at the top have a big score to chase, it could make it very interesting.

 

Lake Malaren Golf Club