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Volvo China Open. It’s tight at the Top, Play Suspended for the Day.

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It’s very tight at the top of the Volvo China Open at the Genzon Golf Club in ShenzenAlvaro Quiros and Simon Dyson share the clubhouse lead at the end of day one. Play was suspended due to bad light, with some players still to complete their first rounds.

Alvaro Quiros  (Getty Images)

Alvaro Quiros / Getty Images

Alvaro and Simon both shot opening rounds of -5 under par 67, to top the leaderboard on the Volvo China Open. Alvaro is coming back from injury and said things are slowly getting better;

“It was a good round of golf. It was a bit of a shame on the last par five because I was half a metre away from having a great chance to make another eagle but I ended up on the lip of the bunker and had to settle for a chip and two putts. You can’t see it yet on the rankings but I have been playing better. The Middle East swing was a good three weeks for me then I had a good result in Joburg and the last couple of weeks have been better.” 

Simon started on the tenth tee, and played well. He has won here before and that gives him a good feeling;

“I started on the tenth today and the first nine holes I played was the best I have played for quite some time. I really didn’t miss a shot. I missed two fairways just, and didn’t miss a green so gave myself a lot chances which is always nice and then I managed to make a couple of birdies on the other side for a tidy five under. It was a good start and very pleasing.”

“I have to say that because I was absolutely horrendous in the pro-am yesterday. I just went on the range for a couple of hours and managed to find something which I took out on to the course and it seemed to work for me. I’ll tell you what, it is an unbelievable finishing hole. If you need to make par on that hole to win on Sunday and you manage to get it done then you will deserve everything you get because it is a very tough finish.”

“I have had a bit of success here and really enjoy playing in China. Obviously I have won this tournament before so that always gives you a good feeling and like I said, I just played nicely today so hopefully I can continue to do that over the next three days.”

In third place, just one shot off the lead are English rookie Tyrell Hatton and Spanish Challenge Tour graduate Adrian Otaegui, David Horsey and Brett Rumford, who have all compiled completed first rounds of -4 under par 68. Alexander Levy and Il-hwan Park were still on the course when play was suspended, having played seventeen holes, and are also at -4 under par.

There is a posse of players at -3 under par, including Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, they all signed a card for 69. Defending Champion and World Number Three Henrik Stenson was way down the pack at T38 with a completed opening round of -1 under par. There are currently 55 players within four shots of the leaders. A very compacted leaderboard.

Lesley Carter. Toddlers Bucket List

 

Just recently I have been sharing some information with Lesley Carter, the travel bucket list girl, about the pro’s and con’s between Disneyland and Disney World. Lesley writes a great column so I suggest you pop over and read it, click here, its full of derring-do, crazy stunts that I would not attempt. Leaving a perfectly serviceable airplane in mid-flight, by the side door would never appeal to me.

But we do share a fondness for Disney, I prefer World to Land. Actually, as I was telling Lesley, when we first flew over from England with our two young (then) daughters, it was a truly magical experience.

Disney World

 Disney

We stayed in a motel right across the street from the Disneyland car park. A quick walk through to the main gates and you were in.

There is so much to see and do, which is why we kept going back. For me it was a life changing first trip. In those days, sixties and seventies in London was a magical mystery trip all of its own. We were happy and carefree, I did not have a steady job, did not need one. But my wife Wendy, insisted that I got a proper job, and applied for one for me with an airline, TWA.

Somehow they hired me, I agreed with her indoors to stay at the airline long-enough to qualify for cheap rate tickets, and we would take the kids to Disneyland. Back then just the flight on a Boeing 747 jumbo jet was magical. It is still the best aircraft in the sky.

Once we had all tasted Disney, and the wonderful people of America, that was it, the kids insisted we have got to do that again. Next trip was to Disney World, that trip was even better, I could see myself working for the Airline forever, actually I stayed for about 23 years. TWA were replaced by American Airlines and things just got better and better.

Arrival at Disney World is so much more grand, a drive down a  huge multi-lane highway, at least three miles long, that is just up to the main gate. A train ride from the car park to the turnstiles and then chose whether to ride the mono-rail, or sail over in a boat to the Magic Kingdom. It always ended, after a very long day, with the Electric Light Parade, and fireworks display. The kids thought it was a miracle, my back-yard efforts with fireworks on 5th November were resigned to the bin.

We went backwards and forwards until the kids were pretty much grown-up. Then before we knew it the grand-children arrived, as each one got to around 4 or 5 we took them to Disney. We had to rent two houses, side by side just to accommodate everyone. The headcount of the last trip was, two grownup daughters and husbands, two teenage grand-kids, four younger ones, for a total of twelve.

Where is all this going, I here you say, I will tell you mate, we now have a great-grandson, who is five and ready for Disney. They all expect good-old granddad to take everyone to Disney, just like the old days. Apparently I am rich enough to pay for the now three houses we will need, but how can you resist a little one like this;

tyler 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tyler in his First Class travel suit.

Tyler swimmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for the pool.

 

 

 

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.

LPGA Lotte Championship. Michelle Wie Wins

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Michelle Wie won the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii on the Ko Olina Golf Club course.

Michelle and her victory Hula dance / Getty Images

Michelle shot a final round of -5 under par 67, to post a winning total of -14 under par for the Lotte Championship title. The winning margin could have been greater, but her short range putting is still suspect, even missing one from inside two feet.

“This is a dream come true for me, the amount of love I felt this week was unbelievable. I think being back home, I think just not putting pressure on myself, just feeling all the support from the people this week, and you know just being patient. I just had a blast this week.”

I’m just having fun out there, I was out there and nervous. Every time I felt nervous out there, I was looking around, I felt there was no place I’d rather be.”

” The highlight of this week was to come back home, there wasn’t just one moment. From the first tee shot that I made to the last putt, the aloha that I felt from everyone was unbelievable.”

” My caddie isn’t one for pep talks, but he gave a good one today. He said, it’s windy out there today, but play your game, and that’s really what I did. I didn’t try to force anything. I had a number in my head that I thought I needed to shoot, and I got it.”

Angela Stanford finished in second place after her last round of +1 over par 73, a very poor effort by her standards. She started the day with a four shot lead, and ended it two shots adrift at -12 under par.

Angela rued her decision making, and poor putting;

“Today, just didn’t make the putts that I’ve been making,  I wasn’t hitting it great today. Just misclubbed a couple of times. Just didn’t make good decisions. She’s been playing great, she’s having a great year, so it was bound to happen. I just happened to be the one that caught the buzz saw.”

Inbee Park also carded a final round -5 under par 67, which took her into third position on her own at -11 under par.

Embedded image permalink

A selfie from Michelle.

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.

LPGA. Lotte Championship. Awesome Angela Extends Lead.

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An awesome third round from Angela Stanford saw her extend her lead in the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

Angela Stanford / Getty

Angela compiled at third round of -5 under par 67 to extend her lead to four shots, with her total of -13 under par, at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Hawaii.

She said afterwards that she was happy to have picked up three birdies early on, when the wind was not quite as strong as it became later in the day;

“I didn’t think the wind was blowing as hard when we started, so it was kind of nice to get out there and get a little bit of a rhythm. It really picked up on the back. So it got tough towards the end just because it was windy and it started to become a really long round. But for the most part, my putter was great again, so that was a lot of it.”

“I just like some of these holes and I think every golfer will tell you, when you play different golf courses, there are some holes you like and some you don’t. I’m fortunate that the ones I like are grouped together, so that’s fine, nice. The ones I don’t like are kind of bookends.”

Sharing second place, and now four strokes adrift are, Michelle Wie and Hyo Joo Kim, both at -9 under par for the tournament.

Local favorite Michelle admitted to missing a few shots on the course today;

“Yeah, left a couple of shots out there today, but I have one more day and hopefully tomorrow I’ll make a lot of birdies and catch up to her. It’s going to be fun tomorrow. Ideally going into tomorrow I wouldn’t want to be this far behind. I think it’ll make it more interesting tomorrow. Just go out there and try to make some birdies early on and see what I can do.”

Hyo Joo Kim had set herself a target of a top ten finish here, and has not changed her mind;

“I’m not going to change my goal today or tomorrow, the top ten is still my goal, but anything I know where I am now and anything that happens from this point on, and if I finish better than top ten, that is a bonus and I will have a good time.”

In fourth place on her own at -8 under par is Cristie Kerr, rookie Amy Anderson, top-ranked Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu were tied for fifth place at -6 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.

RBC Heritage. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a three-way tie at the top of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island.

Matt Kuchar carded his 19th round in the 60s this season. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

One of the three, Matt Kuchar / Getty Images

Matt Kuchar, Scott Langley and William McGirt all posted rounds of -5 under par 66 to share the first round lead at the RBC Heritage.

Matt  birdied both the par five holes on the front nine before finishing with a birdie on his final hole, the ninth. He thinks a lot of the players coming from the Masters will play well here;

” It was some awfully steady golf. You’re going to see a lot of guys, if they’re not too run down from a major championship, come out and play some pretty good golf the week following.”

Scott was inspired by the performance of Jordan Spieth at the Masters;

“Seeing Jordan do so well, almost win the Masters, inspired me a little bit.”

William McGirt was catching the good vibes from Scott;

“Scott and I were both making birdies left and right, it was easy to feed off each other.”

Harris English is alone in fourth spot at -3 under par, just two shots off the lead. There are a whole host of players at -2 under par, 15 of them in total. Fresh from his exploits at the Masters was Jordan Spieth, he was among those guys on -2 under par for the day, and was paired with the U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain, Tom Watson and 2012 Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III.Both of these guys have been winners here, and Tom wanted to take a close look at the way the young man played, so Jordan could find his name on the team sheet;

“It was unbelievable just to be playing with them. I was anxious to get back out and play another competitive round, so today was going to be kind of therapy, in a sense, from last week.”

If Nick Faldo does not pull his socks up he will find himself back in the TV booth pretty quickly. Nick stuttered to an opening round of +6 over par 77. This the course where Nick won his first ever U.S. PGA Tour title, in 1984.

LPGA Lotte Championship. Three Tied in Hawaii

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There are three Ladies tied at the top of the leaderboard in Hawaii at the LPGA Lotte Championship being played on the Ko Olina Golf Club course.

Se Ri Pak

Se Ri Pak / Getty

South Koreans Se Ri Pak, Se Yeon Ryu and Hyo Joo Kim sit atop of the leaderboard in the LPGA Lotte Championship after recording first round scores of -4 under par 68.

Se Yeon Ryu was first in the clubhouse at -4 under par and reported that the wind was so strong it made it a hard day;

“The wind was pretty strong, so it was really hard to play with this much strong wind. The most difficult part was sometimes gust wind is super extremely strong, so also it was affecting the putting.  It was really hard to read a line.  The really good thing is my iron shot was really nice, so my birdie putt is almost just short.”

Se Ri Pak had an Eagle today, at the par five 5th. She has also reverted back to cross-handed putting, not a good sign of a confident putter, but she seems happy with it;

” I think that most of the last few years have been giving little time for my putting, but the last couple of weeks have more consistency. I feel great and I make some more putts that I’m supposed to make, so that’s giving more momentum as we walk to the next hole.  That helps a lot.”

“That’s all I have right now, it’s more comfort with the golf course and hitting a lot more better, like more great tempo, my putting is more solid, I guess overall my game has gotten together to make it score well.”

Hyo Joo Kim was bogey free through 17 holes, but sadly three putted the last;

” Except for the very final hole here, the putting in general was really good for the day. So I was really happy with my putting in general except for the 9th hole here.”

Ayako Uehara sits in solo fourth and one shot back at 3-under par. while Michelle Wie, Inbee Park and the amateur So Young Lee are in close contention at -2 under par.

Michelle was having a great time;

“It’s awesome, I’m having a blast out here.  It’s great to see a lot of friends out there today.  Hopefully more will show up in the next three days.  I like I said, I think I’m in a good position and see what I can do in the next three days.”

Inbee mentioned the wind getting up, and also her good putting;

” Obviously, the wind wasn’t blowing as hard for my first five holes, then it started to really blow. I’ve never seen this golf course playing this hard before.  It’s been definitely the most it’s blown so far.” 

“The greens seems like it’s a little bit more slippery, especially downwind. I had trouble on the back nine with controlling the distance.  I hit it over the couple of greens.  It was almost impossible to get it up‑and‑down from there.  A couple of mistakes on the back nine, but I feel like I’m putting a lot better than I have this season.”

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.

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