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Maybank Malaysian Open. Lightning Lee Westwood Wins

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A lightning storm delay could not de-rail Lee Westwood as he wins the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

Westwood romps to victory

Lee Westwood / Getty Images

This win ended a  near two-year absence from the winner’s circle for Lee Westwood, he had to wait a bit longer than he expected due to the threat of lightning, which forced play to be suspended for over four hours at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
Lee carded a final round -4 under par 68, to post a winning total of -18 under par, a massive seven shot margin over his nearest rival.

Knowing what works was the key for Lee, along with putting well;

“I started working with a new coach a few weeks ago, Mike Walker, and Billy Foster came back on the bag at the end of last year, so I was going back to what I had done before because it had worked. It’s started to work already the last couple of weeks, I’ve played well in Houston and at the Masters last week and this week I’ve obviously played very well. It’s a golf course that suits my game; it’s very tight in certain areas. I played well, I putted well, and the short game is good.”

” Now I feel like I’ve got a short game and starting to roll a few putts in. It makes a helluva difference if you can get up-and-down if you miss a few greens and keeps the momentum going.”

Lee will now be heading back up towards the top ten in the World Golf Rankings, he had slipped back to 36th on the ladder.

Three players tied in second place at -11  under par, a whopping seven shots off the pace. Nicolas Colsaerts, Louis Oosthuizen and Bernd Wiesberger were the closest competitors.

Andy Sullivan, who had featured at the top of the leaderboard for a couple of days managed to triple-bogey the second hole, after finding water with his tee shot. Things did not improve much for him as his final round collapsed to a +6 over par 78. He finished the tournament T11 at -7 under par, with four other players.

Maybank Malaysian Open. Showdown for Lee and Andy.

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There will be a showdown in the last round of the Maybank Malaysian Open between Lee Westwood and Andy Sullivan at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood / Getty Images

Lee Westwood had his Maybank Malaysian Open lead whittled down to a single stroke by compatriot Andy Sullivan in the third round, setting up a showdown for the final round. Lee is now at -14 under par for the tournament.

Lee started the day four shots ahead of the chasing pack and at one stage his lead was five strokes, but a closing bogey saw him sign for a third round -1 under par 71.

Lee admitted that today was a hot grind to the end, but is happy with his position;

“It was tricky out there, I didn’t play as well as I did the first two days, but there were some difficult flags and it was really hot. That’s as hot as I’ve been on a golf course for quite some time. It was a real grind, but I’m leading going into the last round so I’m quite happy with that.”

Andy showed his mettle, signing for a third round -6 under par 66 and a total of -13 under par. He said he had been  trying to limit his mistakes, and he made a pretty good job of that;

 “I played well again and tried to limit my mistakes. I only made one mistake but I got it back straight away. I’m delighted with the way I finished. I felt myself getting a bit tired coming up fifteen and sixteen. I made a couple of sloppy swings but I didn’t drop any shots. I holed a good putt on sixteen to keep the momentum going.”

Julien Quesne is in third place at -10 under par, with Nicolas Colsaerts a shot further back in fourth place at -9 under par.

Maybank Malaysian Open. Westwood Out In Front.

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Lee Westwood is out in front of the Maybank Malaysian Open at the half-way stage on the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club course.

 

Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood / Getty Images

Lee added a second round -6 under par 66 to his opening score of 65 to open up a gap of four shots at the top of the Maybank Malaysian Open leaderboard, posting a -13 under par total for the tournament.

The second round did not go without incident,  a bizarre occurrence took place involving Pablo Larrazábal, who had to dive into a lake after being attacked by hornets. Despite the unnerving attack Pablo still carded -4 under par 68, a remarkable effort under the circumstances.

Pablo explained;

“I hit my tee shot just right of the bunker and chipped it out quite well. So I’m walking along and suddenly I felt something on my nose. I swatted it away and suddenly, they were not bees, they were three times the size of bees. They were huge and like 30 or 40 of them started to attack me big time. I didn’t know what to do. My caddie told me to run, so I start running like a crazy guy, but the hornets were still there, so the other players told me to jump in the lake.”

“There are a lot of stories around the golf courses around the world but looks like I always have the crazy ones. Maybe I start to write a book.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=W5uV-usCmEk

Back to the golf:

 Lee reported that his new coach, Mike Walker is making a good impact on his game;

“I started with Mike six or seven weeks ago and I felt an almost immediate improvement on the range, but it was difficult to take it onto the golf course. But the last three weeks I have managed it. I played well in Houston, last week at the Masters I started playing a lot better and this week I am gradually grinding it back in.”

“I played well, on the front nine I shot five under, for the second day running,  and I think the longest putt I holed was from four feet on the first. It was solid stuff. I got a little unlucky at eleven I thought, it was one of the best shots I hit all day and the wind just gusted on me and it came up short in the water. But I rallied after that and ended up shooting 66.”

“I have always played well in Asia, my strike rate is really good. It must be the heat or rice or something, I can’t put my finger on it.”

Nicolas Colsaerts and Antonio Lascuna share second place at -9 under par, four shots adrift of the leader. England’s Danny Willett is in fourth place on his own at -8 under par for the tournament, while compatriot Andy Sullivan shares fifth spot with Eduardo De La Riva and Julien Quesne, all at -7  under par.

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.

Farmers Insurance Open. Jordan Just Oozed Confidence.

 

Jordan Spieth judragon logo darkst oozed confidence in the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open recording a second round of -9 under par 63.

No fear

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan achieved the very rare feat of upstaging his playing partner, Tiger Woods, in the second round at one of Tiger’s favorite courses, Torrey Pines. Jordan carded his -9 under par 63 on the easier North Course, Tiger could only manage a sad second round of -1 under par on the same course.

Jordan said that was special;

“Any time you can shoot a lower score than a 66 or 65 and you can really get it deep and be in a zone and not worry about what your score is , that’s special. That’s proving that I can play my best golf when it matters on a PGA TOUR venue. Each time you can do that, you get more and more confident that you can do it more often.”

Stewart Cink is in second place, struggling round the South course today, in -1 under par 71, he said he was looking forward to playing alongside Jordan for the first time, on Saturday;

“I’m looking forward to playing with Jordan. I’ve never seen him hit a ball, so that will be fun. It’s always exciting to see the young guys play. I’m playing really well.”

Nicolas Colsaerts is in third place at -8 under par, following his second round of -5 under par 67 on the more difficult South Course.

Tiger could only admire the strength and putting power of Jordan, after watching his top-notch performance first hand;

 ” The kid’s got talent, he hits it a long way, phenomenal putter. He made a boatload of putts today from the ten to twenty-foot range. He was pouring them in there. I was just a fraction off, and at this level and on golf courses like this, if you’re just a fraction off it doesn’t take much, especially as tight as the North Course is. I had so many balls that landed in the fairway that went in the rough. Now I can’t be aggressive, I’ve got to play conservative into some of these flags.”

Tiger remembers the time he made the cut by two shots in 1999, and then had a 62-65 weekend to win by two shots. That of course was before the South Course was lengthened. This year, no-one has carded better than -5 under par 67 over the first two rounds on the South Course.

The cut today was at made at even-par 144, and 83 players advanced. There will be another cut to top 70 and ties after the third round, both rounds will be played on the longer South Course.

Sadly missing the cut was Rickie Fowler, not sure what the problem is , but he needs to get it sorted out. I think he needs to concentrate more on his golf, there seems to be too many outside influences taking up some of his time. Just a personal observation.

Euro Tour, Italian Open. Flawless Fraser Flying High.

Marcus Fraser is flying  high in the Italian Open, a flawless third round saw him flying high at the top of the leaderboard at Golf Club Torino, in Italy.

Marcus Fraser   (Getty Images)

Aussie Marcus Fraser / Getty Images

Marcus had a bogey free -4 under par, 68 in the third round of 70° Open d’Italia Lindt, which put him at the top of the leaderboard by one shot at -11 under par. Marcus likes this course, saying it was similar to the one which he grew up on;

“It’s similar to what I grew up on before I moved to Melbourne, I grew up on a very tight, tree-lined golf course with tiny little greens and the emphasis was on getting it in play and hitting little shots around the greens and that’s exactly what this demands. I think it’s a brilliant golf course and wish we could play it every week of the year.”

The slim one shot lead going into the final round will not seem too much like a daunting task to the quality of players who are trying to catch Marcus. Local favorite Francesco Molinari, who was a member here at Golf Club Torino when he was just eight years old, is one of those players on -10 under par. He is joined on that score by Joakim Lagergren and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Francesco said he was a little bit unlucky today, but just loves the support the fans are giving him;

” It was a different round compared to the first two, I didn’t put the ball as close as the first two days but it could probably have easily been my first bogey-free round. I was just a bit unlucky on nine to find a piece of mud behind the ball. I could have been a bit more aggressive but there is still tomorrow to do that. I am still up there and will try to do well tomorrow. It’s fantastic and they are all rooting for me, maybe today they weren’t as happy as the first two days but I will try to give them some more joy tomorrow. It’s crazy. I haven’t seen that many people here in Italy ever.”

Nicolas could also have been sharing the lead, except for a three putt bogey on the last hole;

” I played okay, missed a few chances and missed the one on the last so 70 is probably what I deserved. I am not as close to the flags as I want to be because I am not in as much control as I want to be. Sometimes I have short irons in and am not getting it as close as I want to but I am putting okay and it showed on the first day, you can go low.”

Joakim shot  one of the lowest rounds of the day, -5 under par 67 for his -10 under par total. Overnight leaders Simon Thornton and Felipe Aguilar lie two off the lead at -9 under par, after both players carded par rounds of 72.

It is a very tightly packed leaderboard, and there will be some excitement and good golf for the fans to enjoy, as they follow their local hero Francesco Molinari, and hope to cheer him on to victory.

Euro Tour. 70° Open d’Italia Lindt. Three-Way Tie At The Top

There is a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the European Tour, 70° Open d’Italia Lindt at the Golf Club Torino in Italy.

Nicolas Colsaerts  (Getty Images)

One if the three Nicolas Colsaerts / Getty Images

Nicolas said he had some rest at home, on his mum’s couch, before coming to Italy, and it had really helped him to re-energize his batteries. A -7 under par 65 opening round at the Italian Open to get in a tie at the top;

“Nothing beats being back home with your mum looking after you, I was sitting at home on the couch watching the golf from Holland and was quite happy to be looked after by my mum on the couch. It was the best place to be for me. Apart from the bogey at the tenth, my first hole of the day, I got off to an amazing start and was kind of flying on my front nine. Then I didn’t make birdie on the first which is an easy par five and then there were a few occasions where I had wedge in hand and didn’t give myself the chances for birdies that I probably should have. It was nice to finish with a birdie though and get a good round in. It should have really have been eight or nine under after the start I made but I kind of got a bit sloppy on the inward nine. I was just a bit too far away from those flags to make the birdies and get to a really low number.”

Sharing top place after the first round with Nicolas are Ricardo Gonzales and Maximillian Kieffer, both with -7 under 65′s first rounds themselves. Ricardo said he hit it well and is looking forward to the next three days;

“I hit it perfect, I only missed two shots from the tee, then I hit fairways, hit greens, made some good putts and that’s why I shot 65. I tried to relax the last two or three weeks but I played with little tension. On Tuesday’s practice I said ‘come on, relax’ and it worked. I’m feeling very good and we’ll see what happens over the next three days.”

Maximillian had been suffering from a cold in the build up to this tournament;

” I’m very happy, 65 is a very good score. I didn’t feel so good coming here because I wasn’t hitting it that well the last few weeks and I’ve had a cold. I wasn’t really expecting a lot and I just took it shot for shot. Mentally it’s nice to shoot a good score, you always feel better when you’re playing well and have a good score so hopefully I’ll have another three good rounds.”

Marcus Fraser is alone in fourth place at -6 under par, just one shot adrift of the leaders. Local favorites Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero both made good starts, Francesco with a -4 under par 68, while Matteo opened with a -2  under par 70.

Volvo World Match Play Championship. Day 3. McDowell & Aiken in Semis

Graeme McDowell beat Nicolas Colsaerts, a revenge for being knocked out of the competition by him in the quarter finals in 2011. Thomas Aiken knocked out Francesco Molinari , he will face Thongchai Jaidee in the other last four match.

Graeme McDowell   (Getty Images)

Graeme McDowell / Getty Images.

Graeme was cruising at three up after nine, and was set to go four up when Nicolas hit his drive on ten into a public toilet. Nicolas was heard to say;

” I ain’t hitting from in the loo!”

The rule book says take a one shot penalty drop, ” At the nearest point of relief” which explain the position perfectly. Nicolas took the penalty drop, pitched the ball on the green, and then sunk the 15 foot putt for par, and a halve.

Nicolas was laughing;

“I was laughing because I was going to look like a clown. “I’m going to make ‘A Question of Sport’ and I’m sure it’s going to make the news, some Belgian dude dropping the ball in a toilet. It’s fun to be recognised for stupid stuff like that.”

Graeme explained it like this;

“I was looking like going four up on the tenth and Nicolas then literally makes par from the toilet. It’s when the Rules of Golf get a bit funny and wacky and people watching will be wondering what’s going on, but what a four he made. I keep giving guys a look in and you don’t want to give them too many chances. I’m happy to get through and excited to be in the semi-finals. It’s a very historic event and a trophy with a lot of legendary names on it. The golden years at Wentworth I remember watching a lot of my heroes win it and I would dearly love to add my name to the list. Branden will be a very tough competitor. My game plan has been to hit fairways and greens and not give my opponent too much of an opportunity and it has worked pretty well so far.”

Thomas Aiken wishes he was a little fitter, playing thirty six holes a day is tiring;

I wish I was a little bit fitter, but I think if you can get through the match tomorrow morning you’ll be extremely focused for the afternoon.”

Branden Grace is also feeling worn down;

 “I have little aches and pains, a little stiff. It’s been a long day and I can’t remember the last time I played 36 holes in a day.”

Thongchai Jaidee is showing no signs of distress;

” Im playing very well all week, I’m very confident with this format. I’m confident in my golf game this week, we’ve won all the matches, and we look forward to tomorrow.”

 

16 Qualifiers RSA Branden GRACE 4&3 Brett RUMFORD AUS
16 Qualifiers RSA Richard STERNE 5&3 Chris WOOD ENG
16 Qualifiers ITA Francesco MOLINARI 6&4 Carl PETTERSSON SWE
16 Qualifiers IRL Shane LOWRY 19th Thomas AIKEN RSA
16 Qualifiers SCO Scott JAMIESON 1 Hole Felipe AGUILAR CHI
16 Qualifiers THA Thongchai JAIDEE 21st Peter HANSON SWE
16 Qualifiers ESP Gonzalo FDEZ-CASTAÑO 2 Holes Nicolas COLSAERTS BEL
16 Qualifiers NIR Graeme MCDOWELL 1 Hole Bo VAN PELT USA
 

Quarter Finals

Quarterfinal RSA Branden GRACE 2&1 Chris WOOD ENG
Quarterfinal ITA Francesco MOLINARI 3&2 Thomas AIKEN RSA
Quarterfinal BEL Nicolas COLSAERTS 2&1 Graeme MCDOWELL NIR
Quarterfinal SCO Scott JAMIESON 4&3 Thongchai JAIDEE THA

 

 

Volvo World Match Play Championship. Poulter Exits

South African Thomas Aiken beat Ian Poulter on the final green, and in doing so secured his spot in the last 16 of the Volvo World Match Play Championship and send the 2011 winner home after the group stage at the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, Bulgaria.

Thomas Aiken  (Getty Images)

Thomas Aiken / Getty Images

Thomas was overjoyed to beat Ian;

“It’s fantastic to be here for the rest of the week, it all starts again tomorrow, another 36 holes.  I had two tough matches today, Thongchai this morning, we played some really good golf, the back nine, every hole was won with birdie pretty much. Then this afternoon against Ian, I got off to a good start and got it to two up, but as you expect from him, he came back. All square with two to play, and fortunately I just didn’t make any mistakes on the last couple of holes and he made an error on the last.”

Ian said his play had been unacceptable;

“I have no excuses, there is no excuse for that display of golf over the last two days. I should have been able to finish the match off. My concentration was simply not there and therefore you make mental errors when you have not used your brain. It’s completely unacceptable.”

The defending Champion Nicolas Colsaerts beat Kiradech Aphibarnrat and made it through to the last 16. He said he was able to keep the ball in play a little better than yesterday;

“I played a little better of course, I kept the ball in play a bit more than yesterday. That’s what the plan was, so mission accomplished.”

Morning results, winnners in Blue;

WAL Jamie DONALDSON 5&3 Brett RUMFORD AUS
SWE Carl PETTERSSON 1 Hole Scott JAMIESON SCO
ITA Francesco MOLINARI 4&3 Felipe AGUILAR CHI
BEL Nicolas COLSAERTS 3&2 Kiradech APHIBARNRAT THA
RSA Richard STERNE 5&4 Geoff OGILVY AUS
RSA George COETZEE 3&2 Shane LOWRY IRL
THA Thongchai JAIDEE 1 Hole Thomas AIKEN RSA
ENG Chris WOOD 2&1 Stephen GALLACHER SCO

Afternoon results, winners in Blue;

ESP Gonzalo FDEZ-CASTAÑO 3&2 Brett RUMFORD AUS
DEN Thorbjørn OLESEN 5&3 Scott JAMIESON SCO
SWE Henrik STENSON 3&1 Felipe AGUILAR CHI
RSA Branden GRACE Match Halved Kiradech APHIBARNRAT THA
USA Bo VAN PELT Match Halved Geoff OGILVY AUS
SWE Peter HANSON 5&4 Shane LOWRY IRL
ENG Ian POULTER 1 Hole Thomas AIKEN RSA
NIR Graeme MCDOWELL 4&2 Stephen GALLACHER SCO

 

 

 

 

Volvo World Match Play Championship

Results after the opening round of the Volvo World Match Play Championship on the European Tour at the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort in Bulgaria. The biggest upset of the day was Thongchai Jaidee beating Ian Poulter 3&2 in the Pool Gabrielsson.  Poults now has to beat Thomas Aitken tomorrow to progress through to the knock-out rounds. Although it must have come as a bit of a shock to Poults, regarded as the King of match-play, he said it was no drama;

“No dramas. He’s a great player but I gave him holes today and you don’t do that in match play, it’s dead simple. It’s a tough golf course where if you hit a couple of errant shots then you’re going to be struggling to be back in the hole. If you miss a couple of shots then it’s very penal and it’s hard to put your opponent back under pressure. But I’ll be fine. It’s not often you lose in match play and everything is fine.”

Ian Poulter lost to Thongchai Jaidee on Thursday in the first round at the Volvo Match Play, but is still alive due to the group format of the event.

Ian Poulter / Getty Images

Another player with work to do is Nicolas Colsaerts, the defending Champion,who lost his opening match to Branden Grace. He has to beat Kiradech Aphibarnrat to progress. Nicolas also remarked that he was lucky the first matches were not knock-out;

” I know that if I have a good game tomorrow then at least I’m in a playoff. I’ve got the possibility to go through, that’s the consolation of the format.”

Other results are as follows, winners in blue:

ESPGonzalo FDEZ-CASTAÑO 1 up Jamie DONALDSONWAL

DENThorbjørn OLESEN 4&3 Carl PETTERSSONSWE

SWEHenrik STENSON 2&1 Francesco MOLINARIITA

RSABranden GRACE 4&3 Nicolas COLSAERTSBEL

USABo VAN PELT Match Halved Richard STERNERSA

SWEPeter HANSON 2&1 George COETZEERSA

ENGIan POULTER 3&2 Thongchai JAIDEETHA

NIRGraeme MCDOWELL 5&3 Chris WOODENG

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