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Marvelous Manassero Wins Barclays Soggy Singapore Open

Matteo Manassero with his third European Tour trophy  (Getty Images)

Matteo Manassero/ Getty Images

Marvelous Matteo Manassero  the nineteen year-old from Italy won the rain affected Barclays Singapore Open, after a long hard day on the Sentosa Golf Course in soggy Singapore. Matteo beat South African Louis Oosthuizen on the third play-off hole, the par five eighteenth, with a marvelous Eagle, to win his third European Tour Trophy.

Lengthy storms on Thursday and Friday meant the third round had not been completed at the start of play on the final day, and Matteo first finished his third round with a score of -7 under par 64, to lead by two shots beginning the final round. Matteo spoke about the long day’s play;

“It’s been an extremely long day, the adrenaline kept me going and the key was starting really well this morning. Starting with some birdies gave me a lot of adrenaline to go forward. The play-off was just a great honor to play with Louis, it’s been amazing really. This year has been a tough year for me going through a few swing changes, but it has been amazing this week. I’m glad this came in such a great tournament.” 

The win for Matteo, and the resulting second place for Louis meant that the Race to Dubai title was handed  to Rory McIlroy, the Worlds number one ranked golfer, after Rory eventually finished third place alone with his last round of -6 par, 65, the best round of the day,  Rory collected ,296 for finishing in third place at the Barclays Singapore Open, took his season’s earnings to €3,696,597 and with his closest Race to Dubai rival Peter Hanson not playing again until the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Rory has now established an unassailable lead at the top of The Race to Dubai.

Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy/ Getty Images

 

Euro Tour, WGC-HSBC Champions, China. It’s Oosthuizen and Scott

Louis Oosthuizen  (Getty Images)

Louis Oosthuizen/Getty Images

Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott lead the World Golf Championship, HSBC Champions event at Mission Hills, China, with opening rounds of -7  under par, 65, in the calm and excellent low scoring conditions. Both players finished with Eagles on their last hole, the par 5 ninth.

Louis said he did not think that there was a low score to be had;

“I don’t think I saw a really low number out there but once you look at the leaderboard and see the guys are firing it up, all of a sudden you started seeing birdies. I played well, I made five birdies on the par fives, and that got the round going, and then I made two more birdies. I hit a few bad iron shots, but made good up and downs for pars and just glad to have a bogey-free round. I’m always happy with that. There are three rounds left and a lot of golf to be played. The main key is to try to put myself in a spot to win it on Sunday. If I can keep doing what I’m doing on the par fives and hitting fairways, you’ve got a good chance.” 

Adam Scott, he of the long putter, which could be banned shortly, is seeking a win before the ban arrives. Adam, the eight-time European Tour winner said he was having a solid day, that turned into a good day;

It was a solid day that all of a sudden turned into a really good day. I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up finishing close on the last couple holes and I took advantage of that. With five par fives, it sets up well for my game, and the plan is to just take advantage of the fives and hopefully hang in there with the leaders all week.”

Phil Mickleson, who also managed to eagled the ninth, says his game feels really good. Phil joined the group at -6 under par, with his round of 66;

 “My game feels really good, It’s gotten better each week since the PGA Championship and hopefully I can carry on. I certainly feel confident that I will be able to.”

Bubba Watson, Peter Hanson and Shane Lowry are the other players who completed their opening  rounds in 66. It certainly looked like Shane was going to be the clubhouse leader after he bounded into a clear lead when he holed a six footer for birdie at the 15th and gained another shot from ten feet at the 16th. Unfortunately Shane failed to save par from the green-side bunker on seventeen, and then also hit it into the sand on the last, finishing with two bogeys for his 66.

Shane said he was disappointed to finish like that, but he was happy with his position;

I’m happy with six under and I’m in a good position with three days to go. Obviously was very disappointed bogeying the last two, I felt like I had the ball on a string all day and felt like it came very easy to me today.  Just to bogey those last two was disappointing but six under is a good score out there, and I’m looking forward to the next few days.”

Luke Donald has made a good start to this tournament, a -4 under par 68, a good solid start, Luke has a good record in the WGC, and could figure in this one.

BMW Masters, China, Peter Hanson Wins

Peter Hanson  (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson/Getty Images

Ryder Cup player Peter Hanson won the BMW Masters at  Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China, shooting a last round of -5 under par 67, to lift the title with a tournament total of -21 under par. He held at bay another Ryder Cup player, World number one, Rory McIlroy who also had a last round of -5 under par 67, and was beaten by just one shot.

Members of the 2012 European Ryder Cup Team filled the first four places with Luke Donald finishing alone in third place after his final round of -6 under par 66, and he must be ruing his customary slow start to a tournament. Best round of the day came from another Ryder Cupper, Ian Poulter, who fired in a final round -7 under par 65, to end up in fourth spot on his own. Ireland’s Shane Lowry finished in fifth place alone on -15 under par.

It was nice to see a return to form from England’s Paul Casey, who finished the tournament at -14 under par, he was tied for sixth place along with, Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen, Noren Alexander and the man from Zimbabwe, George Coetzee.

Jamie Donaldson, who led the tournament after his amazing first round 62, finished tied in sixteenth place, his first round was followed by rounds of 74, 72 and a 69.  A really sad end to a brilliant start to the tournament.

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

 

 

Euro Tour, BMW Masters, China

 

Peter Hanson  (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson/ Getty Images

Peter Hanson has the second round lead in the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China, after shooting -8 under par 64 to secure the top spot at -14 under par for the tournament. Peter is two shots ahead of Rory McIlroy who surprisingly has not won a regular European Tour event since last year’s Hong Kong Open. Rory shot a second round -7 under par 65, but it was not enough to catch Ryder Cup teammate Peter, who unfortunately started the day with a bogey at the first;

It’s amazing how many good rounds come together after a bogey on the first. It’s pretty soft so you can see yourself shooting some low scores here. I’m happy with the way I played so far and I know it’s going to be a tough one coming up against the World Number One these last couple of days on a golf course he obviously loves.  He won here last year.” 

Rory was pleased he played better today than he did in the first round, the U.S. PGA Champion said;

It was a very good day, I played very well , a little better than I did yesterday. I hit the ball a lot better, and gave myself plenty of opportunities. When I did need to make a par putt here or there, I was able to save those, and overall it was just a very good round of golf and obviously in a great position going into the weekend.” 

Yesterday’s first round leader Jamie Donaldson could not repeat anything like his brilliant first round 62, slipping to a +2 over par 74 in the second round, and is now six shots behind the leader. Jose Maria Olazabal also struggled to a second round of 72, plunging from fourth position to twenty-first.

Robert Karlsson is in third spot with a second round -8 under par 64, and a tournament total of -9 under par, five shots from the top. There are four players on -8 under par, with Justin Rose are Shane Lowery, winner of the Portugal Masters two weeks ago, Noren Alexander and first round leader Jamie Donaldson.

Luke Donald had a better second round, a -5 under par 67, to move into a tie for eighth place, with a posse of seven other players, which includes other Ryder Cup players Martin Kaymer and Nicolas Colsaerts. Luke will need a really good third round if he is to contest this title. It has been another tournament where Luke has started slowly, he has made a bad habit of that this year.

European Tour, BMW Masters, China

 

 

Jamie Donaldson  (Getty Images)

 

Jamie Donaldson/ Getty Images

Jamie Donaldson leads the field after the first round of the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club, in Shanghai China, shooting a -10 under par 62, to lead by four shots from the chasing pack. Jamie who had a victory at the Irish Open in July, it was his first win in 255 European Tour events. Jamie was well pleased with his great round;

“It was one of those rounds where you hit every shot where you want to and every putt where you want to. I played great from the word go, hit a lot of fairways and put myself in really strong positions and capitalised when I had putts. I didn’t have many long putts, just played really well, and one of those days where everything went for me. It’s been a really good day. The course suits me. The fairways are quite generous and if you miss the bunkers you can play aggressive golf. It’s an awesome field, so I need to keep playing like that to stay ahead of them. The strength and depth across The European Tour nowadays seems to be very strong , it’s just particularly strong this week. I’m just going out there trying to play my own game and whoever I play with, I’m just trying to do what I do and control what I can control. I’ve just got to play well for the next three days to finish on top.”

There are two players tied in second place at -6 under par, they are Peter Hanson and Francesco Molinari, they are just one shot ahead of winning Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal, who is without a top ten finish since January, World Number One Rory McIlroy and  Michael Hoey, they all signed cards for -5 under par, 67s. José said he needed to improve his driving;

“It’s great to shoot a low round, hit a lot of good iron shots and had quite a few birdie chances, that’s why I managed to score well. Tomorrow and the next few days if I want to score well I will have to improve the driving.”

Justin Rose was round in -4 under par, 68, and Branden Grace shot a -2 under par, 70. Rory McIlroy can be leapfrogged by either Rose or Grace this week, but was delighted to steal a march on the pair after an impressive first round. Rory was especially pleased with his 9 iron shot to the last green;

Definitely a nice way to finish, I hit probably my best drive and my best iron shot of the day into the last, so always nice to finish like that.”

Luke Donald and Lee Westwood were in the group on -2 under par. Jamie has a real march on the rest of the field, but there is still a long way to go, it will be interesting to watch him and see if he can survive at the top for the next three days.

 

Ryder Cup 2012; Europe beat USA after record comeback

 

European Ryder Cup Winning Captain Jose Maria Olazabal

The Ryder Cup 2012 turned into a magical explosion of great golf as the European Ryder Cup Team produced a stunning final-day comeback to win the Ryder Cup at a shell-shocked Medinah Country Club on the final day of this wonderful competition, to beat Team U.S.A. I personally have to eat humble pie, after yesterday saying a betting man would not give Europe a chance, you can see why I am not a gambling man.

Team U.S.A.  only required four points from the 12 on offer on the last day, Team Europe somehow secured eight and a half to clinch a historic 14½-13½ win. German Martin Kaymer sank a five-foot putt on the 18th green to get his team to the 14 points needed to retain the Ryder Cup Trophy, before a Tiger Woods bogey in the final match gifted them overall victory.

Etched in the sky during the last day was a message about remembering  Seve,  so I guess it worked. Team Europe wore the trademark Seve Ballesteros colors for the final day, it was a fitting tribute. European Team Captain said,

Seve will always be present with this team. He was a big factor for this event, for the European side, and last night when we were having that meeting, I think the boys understood that believing was the most important thing, and I think they did.”

This was the first time in three days that Team Europe had come charging out of the traps, Luke Donald going into an early two-hole lead over Bubba Watson and muting both his opponent and the crowd in the process. Then with Justin Rose also two up on Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy held off the previously unbeatable Keegan Bradley and the unsung hero Paul Lawrie taking early control against Brandt Snedeker. There was an entirely different atmosphere around the course than there had been on the first two one-sided days. Team Europe won the first five matches of the day, and that set the tone, and paved the way to Victory.

In the end  it came down to the last two matches on the final two holes, both matches were all-square and is was all square on the leaderboard.  None of the four, Martin Kaymer, Steve Stricker, Francesco Molinari or Tiger Woods, had won a single point between them all week. Then suddenly Steve Stricker three-putted on the 17th green and Martin Kaymer had a one-hole lead. Tiger Woods went one up on Molinari on the 17th which left Martin Kaymer two putts for the Cup, and he somehow held his nerve as the shadows lengthened to seal an extraordinary triumph. The usually noisy home galleries were silent with disbelief, as a dazed Tiger Woods blew two putts from within eight feet to hand Molinari a half point, and with it victory.

U.S.A. Team Captain Davis Love 111 said in disbelief;

“We know what it feels like now from the ’99 Ryder Cup, it’s a little bit shocking. We were playing so well.”

USA 13½-14½ Europe

Singles matches:

Watson lost to Donald 2&1

Simpson lost to Poulter 2 up

Bradley lost to McIlroy 2&1

Mickelson lost to Rose 1 up

Snedeker lost to Lawrie 5&3

D Johnson beat Colsaerts 3&2

Z Johnson beat McDowell 2&1

Furyk lost to Garcia 1 up

Dufner beat Hanson 2 up

Kuchar lost to Westwood 3&2

Stricker lost to Kaymer 1 up

Woods halved with Molinari

European Tour, KLM Open, Hanson Wins

Rory McIlroy and Peter Hanson have both had the ideal preparation for Medinah after their wins past weekend  (EuropeanTour)

Rory McIlroy & Peter Hanson/EuropeanTour

Peter Hanson won the KLM Open in The Netherlands with a final tournament total of -14 under par, after Peter had produced an eagle on the par-five 18th hole to win at the Hilversumsche Golf Club.  Peter had considered withdrawing from the tournament after his one-year-old son, Tim, was hospitalised with a respiratory virus on Friday, but after receiving some good news concerning Tim, Peter elected to play on;

” It was especially hard yesterday, with having him in the hospital, on Friday night I didn’t sleep a lot. Yesterday was very tough, but I kind of calmed down a little bit yesterday evening when I heard he was over the worst of it.”

With Rory McIlroy winning on the USPGA Tour again the European Ryder Cup Team have had a good few months of wins in preparation for the contest in Medinah. The list includes  Sergio Garcia, Paul Lawrie, and now Sweden’s Hanson in what has been a morale-boosting few weeks for Olazábal’s side.

Nicolas Colsaerts and Martin Kaymer are to be joined by fellow continental Francesco Molinari at this week’s BMW Italian Open, as preparations continue and The 39th Ryder Cup draws another week closer.

U.S. Ryder Cup Captain DL111 & his Team

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Davis Love 111/U.S. Ryder Cup Captain/Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Davis Love 111, the U.S. Ryder Cup Captain had made his wildcard picks and now has his Team to challenge the Europeans at Medinah, starting on September 28th 2012. D.L 111 has included these players in his team as his four wildcard entries, they are; Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker.

Here is the line up of both Teams;

USA                                                                         Europe 

Davis Love III (C)                                                Jose Maria Olazabal (C)
Tiger Woods                                                          Rory McIlroy
Phil Mickelson                                                     Luke Donald
Matt Kuchar                                                         Martin Kaymer
Zach Johnson                                                      Lee Westwood
Webb Simpson                                                    Ian Poulter
Bubba Watson                                                     Nicolas Colsaerts
Keegan Bradley                                                  Paul Lawrie
Jason Dufner                                                       Graeme McDowell
Dustin Johnson                                                  Sergio Garcia
Jim Furyk                                                             Justin Rose
Brandt Snedeker                                                Peter Hanson
Steve Stricker                                                     Francesco Molinari

 

Europe have World number one Rory McIlroy at the top of their lineup, and he is backed up by other consistent players like Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose, the Europeans have a formidable squad.

The U.S. commentators think the American Team offer more consistency from top to bottom than the Europeans, and with the likes of Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner and Webb Simpson, it’s a US squad that’s not to be dismissed easily.

Hunter Mahan said he felt empty when D.L. 111 told him the news of his omission from the U.S. Team;

 

” To not be a part of it, it feels empty right now, it feels more empty being at the course. It didn’t feel that bad when Davis told me because,  it ended up being a two-week trial, kind of a sprint to the finish, who was going to play the best, because I think he stated he wanted Stricker and Furyk, so there was really only two spots left, and Brandt and Dustin just outplayed me at the end of the day. I just didn’t play good enough. And that’s OK. It’s OK to get beat by somebody. That’s part of golf, and that’s part of the game. But like I say, it just feels empty right now.”

Tiger Woods commented on Hunter’s plight;

” It’s tough for Davis and it’s tough for Hunter. Unfortunately it just didn’t go Hunter’s way. I know that he’s pretty down about it, but he’s got two big events to play in. He’ll turn around and he’ll just start playing well.”

European Captain Jose Maria Olazabal said his was surprised that Hunter was left off the U.S. Team;

” They are very solid picks,  all the American players, from nine to 14 on the list, were very solid and Davis could have picked any four. The only question mark as I see it was Snedeker picked ahead of Mahan, but then Davis has gone for form. Snedeker has pretty much been playing well from the start of the summer and all the way to the FedEx series. However, Mahan has not been playing all that well, so Love went for form and in that regard, he has my respect.”

This is going to be a great Ryder Cup, let’s go play golf.

 

 

Poulter and Colsaerts,Euro Ryder Cup Wildcards

Poulter and Colsaerts get Ryder Cup wildcard picks  (Source: Photosport) Ian Poulter/ PhotosportYou're in: Jose Maria Olazabal named Nicolas Colsaerts (right) in his European Ryder Cup team

Ryder Cup Captain Jose Maria Olazabal & Nicolas Colsaerts

Ian Poulter of England and Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium were named by captain Jose Maria Olazabal as Europe’s two wildcard picks for next month’s Ryder Cup at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois. Jose spoke at a press conference at Gleneagles, Scotland, he said,

“Every one of you pretty much guessed Ian was going to be there. That was not a difficult pick because he has a great Ryder Cup record and he’s playing well. He had some issues earlier this season when he got ill and couldn’t play as much as he wanted. But his attitude and his spirit in the Ryder Cup has always been great and he is a player that likes to be in that environment. It gets the best out of him. At Valhalla in 2008 and at Celtic Manor in 2010 you didn’t need to motivate him. Just by looking into his eyes you could tell he was going to give everything he had.”

Nicolas is one of the longest hitters on the European Tour, and will become the first Belgian to play in the Ryder Cup. Captain Olazabal explained his reasons for picking the Belgian Bomber;

“Nicolas has shown a lot of heart, a lot of character, and I think he has got the game and the desire to do well. It’s also a long course at Medinah and he can take advantage of that, he will be suited to it. He has had a very solid season and on top of that he has made the extra effort to try and get in the team, that showed me he wants to be a part of it. Nicolas is going to be the only rookie in an experienced team but his match play record is very good, he won the World Match Play Championship in Spain this year.”

Among those who missed out on selection were Padraig Harrington of Ireland, Paul Casey, Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson. Jose said he had called the disappointed players;

“I talked to the next few guys on the points list, David Lynn, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Alvaro Quiros and Padraig. I made those phone calls and it wasn’t easy. They were disappointed not to make the team but they all took my decision well. Padraig played well at the US Masters, finishing eighth, he also had a good US Open and a good Irish Open, but he is 19th on the points list and he was just a little bit too far down. I know he’s a great player and I would have loved to have him in the team, in the same way I’d have loved to have Paul Casey, Robert Karlsson, Henrik Stenson, but you need to be playing well too,”

Jose has stated that the European Team  and the American Team, captained by Davis Love III, are evenly matched for the contest  at Medinah, even though Europe won 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 in the previous edition of the competition at Celtic Manor, Wales.

“Both teams are strong and I don’t see that there is a favorite. But the support of the home crowd will be massive to the U.S. They will also set up the course the way they want and we are going to have to play really well to have a chance to win.The atmosphere will be electrifying so I need to prepare my players for that and make sure they don’t allow themselves to be bothered by it. Luckily the guys have the experience to make that easier. We are playing great opponents but anything can happen.”

European team are: Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), Justin Rose (England), Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland), Paul Lawrie (Scotland), Francesco Molinari (Italy), Luke Donald (England), Lee Westwood (England), Sergio Garcia (Spain), Peter Hanson (Sweden), Martin Kaymer (Germany), Ian Poulter (England), Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium).

US captain Davis Love will announce his four wildcard picks on September 4 in New York, I love the Ryder Cup, and match-play.

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