Turkish Airlines Open. Victor Victorious.

Victor Dubuisson was victorious at the Turkish Airlines Open on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course in Antalya.

Victor Dubuisson  (Getty Images)

Victor Dubuisson / Getty Images

Victor kept his head while the high-profile chasing pack tried to whittle away at the five shot lead he started the day with. A final round of -3 under par 69 was good enough to keep him in front and pick up the Turkish Airlines Open, his total score at -24 under par.

He said the pressure was great, it was the longest day on a golf course for him;

“I don’t know how to describe it, now I don’t realise what’s happening. I felt so much pressure on the last hole. Holing this putt on 17 was like; it was incredible. It was incredible, and the birdie on 18, it’s a bonus. But even on the last putt, I was feeling so much stress.  After this day, it was the longest day on the course that I’ve ever had. I’m very proud of what I did.”

With the big guns failing in their task of catching Victor, Jamie Donaldson worked his way up the leaderboard, to finish in second place at -22 under par, just two shots adrift.

Jaime received one million air miles from the tournament sponsor after holing his tee-shot at 16 for an Ace, using a seven-iron. This result has moved him up to fifth place in the Race To Dubai standings.

“It’s mad, it’s weird, when it goes in. You hit it right down the flag and you’re hoping in the air that it’s going to be close.When it lands and vanishes it’s like, ‘Where’s that gone?’. The fact you get something extra for it as well, is nice.”

Tied in third spot at -20 under par were US Open Champion Justin Rose and Tiger Woods.

 Justin was happy that he had made up ground on Henrik in the Race to Dubai.

“I think I’ve gained some ground, yeah, for sure. It’s nice to be able to control your own fate next week. So if I go in and have a good week, win a golf tournament, which is obviously the aim any time you tee it up, but if I go ahead and do that, that’s going to obviously be the exact scenario I’m looking for. Fifth last week, probably tied for third this week, I like the way that’s trending towards No. 1.”

Tiger lamented that he just did not make enough birdies;

“On a golf course like this where you have to make so many birdies, I just didn’t make enough. You just had to be so aggressive all of the time and that is reflected by how many guys made runs of four or five birdies in a row.”

Ian Poulter tied in fifth place, his final score at -19 under par, but he too is closer to Henrik for next week’s finale in the Race to Dubai.

Henrik battled on with his wrist injury and finished just two shots adrift of Justin and one behind Ian. He hopes to have the wrist sorted out by next week;

“I’m still happy with the Top 10 and thanks to a few of the other guys, yeah, I’ve still got the lead heading into the last week. My preparation is going to be less than I would have liked (due to his wrist), but again, I’ve played Jumeirah Golf Estates so many times, so hopefully I shouldn’t have to be further behind than I need to do that. So the most important thing is to get healthy long-term, and be able to play next week.”

Tshwane Open Rd 1, Darren Fichardt Leads.

Darren Fichardt  (Getty Images)

Darren Fichardt / Getty Images

Darren Fichardt secured the first round lead as he goes in search of a second European Tour win in as many weeks at the inaugural Tshwane Open, at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate in South Africa. Darren had a first round of -7 under par 65, and is looking to add to his  African Open victory a couple of weeks ago. Darren also likes the Ernie Els designed course here;

“The swing is good and I’m putting well, this golf course is awesome , it’s very fair. The greens are very soft, so you’re able to attack the flags. I’m happy with seven under to start off with. Right now it’s been eight weeks in a row and I don’t even know what’s going on! I’m just going with the flow and hitting one shot at a time. I’m looking forward to a break. I’ll take it one day at a time and do my best this week.”

In second place is  qualifying school graduate, Sweden’s Bjorn Åkesson, shooting a round of -6 under par 66, he said afterwards;

“I got off to a great start with two birdies through the first three, back nine I kept playing really good and made a lot of putts. That’s what you need to do to shoot low scores.”

This is the sixth and final event co-sanctioned between The European Tour and Sunshine Tour on The 2013 Race to Dubai, and so far they have been predominately South African winners. The only exception to this run was the win of   Scott Jamieson at the Nelson Mandela Championship, which was presented by ISPS Handa

The former Ryder Cup star, England’s David Howell, along with countryman Gary Lockerbie,  are accompanied by India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, Chilean Mark Tullo and South African Jean Hugo, all  are two shots off the pace in a share of third. Jeev Milkha Singh said he just loves playing here;

“I love playing in South Africa,  I’ve always had good results and it always gives me positive vibes and good memories when I come back. This year I played the Volvo Champs in Durban and it was my first time back in South Africa after eight years. Every time I wanted to come back there was an event in Asia or Europe and I was missing coming back.  Things have worked out nicely that I’m back here and I love the course. I’m happy with the way I hit the ball and I putted well. When it’s windy and you miss a few greens you need to make some up and downs and that’s what I did. I holed a lot of putts today and I’m happy with the way the round turned out.” 

European Tour, Down Under, ISPS Handa Perth International

The European Tour has gone down under, to be precise the event is the ISPS Handa Perth International, being contested at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club.

Cañizares claims share of lead Down Under

Alejandro Cañizares/getty images

Alejandro Cañizares of Spain shares the first round lead at the ISPS HANDA Perth International with Michael Hendry from New Zealand. Both players had opening rounds of -7 under par, 65 on the Lake Karrinyup Country Club course.

Alejandro said he needs a good finish here to propel himself up the board in the Race to Dubai;

“I’m 70th at the moment so this is either my last or my second to last tournament of the year. I need a good finish, if I win it will fix a lot of things. I’m not sure what finish I need because there are still some big tournaments going on at the moment. Singapore is a big tournament and BMW and HSBC, some guys behind me are playing that, so you never know. I’m just going to try to play my best. It was a good round, I hit the ball really well and made some putts, so I’m really happy. I was pretty steady the whole round and gave myself plenty of chances. I think I only missed two greens in the whole round. The year has been a little slow since March. I started pretty well, a couple top tens, a top five in México in the US PGA Tour event, and then finished second in the Spanish Open. Since then, it’s been very slow.  I haven’t played good enough to be in contention, and every week I was falling down the rankings. So I came here from Portugal, I didn’t play very good last week. I hit the ball terribly, but I came here and I felt great. Maybe the 24 hours travelling helped, I feel good with my swing and hopefully the week keeps going like this.”

Michael, who usually plays on the OneAsia Tour, said he just repeated the round of 65 he had in the Pro-Am yesterday;

“I actually shot 65 in the Pro-Am yesterday as well. I think around here, if you can hit your drives in the right place, you can give yourself lots of opportunities to hit it close with wedges. I hit my driver pretty well and wedged it well and putted it well. All in all, just a really solid round of golf. If you’re going to play good golf, you’re going to have a lot of opportunities around this golf course. Luckily enough, I capitalized on them today.”

Emiliano Grillo, a 20-year-old Qualifying School graduate, from Argentina is alone in third place after his opening round of -6 under par, 66. Emiliano said he was pleased with his days work;

“ I hit a lot of fairways out there, that’s very important on this golf course and a lot of greens and then the ones that I missed, I got up and down, so it was a good round overall. There are not many tournaments left, so I’m trying to make as much ground as I can this week. It was very nice to get my card through Q School last year. It’s been a great year so far and I’m enjoying it.”

Paul Casey and English compatriot Andrew Johnston, both had rounds of -5 under par, 67, to be just two shots off the lead.

 

 

Dubai World Championship

Luke Donald finishes third in the Dubai World Championship, which leaves him topping the European money list. Congratulations Luke on becoming the first man to top the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic. Congratulations also to Alvaro Quiros on winning the Championship, with an eagle on the last to edge out Paul Lawrie.

European Tour chief executive George O’Grady has said the Championship will stay at the Jumeirah Golf Estates course for the next three years. As of next year it will be rebranded to DB World Championship. I wonder why people spend all that money on a brand name, and then go and change it.

Luke Donald: Confirmed as Europe’s number one after his Race to Dubai victory

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When asked if he checked the leader board on the way round Luke responded,

“I didn’t really look at a leaderboard until 13, I knew I was a few back, but I didn’t see Rory’s name on it and at that point I knew the double was mine and I was going to finish number one in Europe as well,” he told Sky Sports.

 

Luke now wants to concentrate on winning a major and puts his success this year down to hard work, and a good work ethic.

“Any time you’re able to dig deep and find the right shots when it becomes the hardest, then it serves you well and hopefully I can use that to guide me to a major or two coming up.”
Luke Donald

Race to Dubai

Luke Donald bounces back after his slow start in Dubai, Rory McIlroy has fallen behind after three rounds. Rory has said the race is over and is full of praise for Luke’s effort.

“It’s over — definitely. And Luke deserves it,” McIlroy conceded after his one-under-par 71 left him tied for eighth.

For his part Luke is not going to rest on his laurels and will try to catch the leader Alvaro Quiros .

“I would be foolish to think it’s over,” said the Englishman. “Tomorrow it will be just like any other day in terms of my focus.

“It will be on trying to catch whoever is the leader and trying to win the tournament. I’m not going to count on anything. But if it all works out, tomorrow night will be fun — it would be a pretty amazing feat. It’s history.”

England’s world No. 1 Luke Donald moved up to fourth in the third round of the Dubai World Championship on Saturday

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England's world No. 1 Luke Donald moved up to fourth in the third round of the Dubai World Championship on Saturday.

McIlroy has early edge in Race To Dubai

Rory McIlroy shot 66 in the first of the Dubai World Championship just two shots of the lead of Peter Hanson. Rory was really happy with his round.

“It was a perfect start to the tournament for me,” said McIlory, who has been complaining of fatigue from a lingering virus.”To shoot a great score like that really sets me up nicely for the next three days. The back nine was just pretty much flawless. I held some really, really nice putts. Just giving myself chances and opportunities for birdies, and lucky enough I was able to make a few.”

 

Luke Donald had a mixed round to finish with 72 and a share of 26th place. The sad death of Lukes father and then the birth of his daughter two days later has left a deep emotional experience to be overcome. Before the golf he spoke about the two very different emotions.

“For it to happen only a few days before my daughter was born, there was a wide range of emotions,” he said. “It’s something you can’t ever prepare for and it was very, very sad.

“I lost a good friend in my dad — somebody who, I think, brought me up in a proper way as he was with bringing me up as a decent person, with good morals, setting an example for a way to live. He taught me to treat people as I would want to be treated myself. That’s something I will always remember my dad for.”

 

He was not too happy with his on course experience.

“I played solid the front nine and hit a few shots that cost me, poor drives on 14 and 15 and it was bit of a loose back nine, unfortunately. But trying to get better from here on out.”

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Rory McIlroy (R) finished the day six shots clear of Race to Dubai rival Luke Donald (L)

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