Euro Tour. N.H. Collection Open. Crespi Collects First Tour Title

dragon logo darkMarco Crespi collects his first European Tour title at the NH Collection Open in Spain.

Marco Crespi  (Getty Images)

Marco Crespi / Getty Images

Italian Marco came through Qualifying School at the 11th attempt in November to earn a first season on The European Tour, and has now won his first tour title here at the NH Collection Open. His final round of -3 under par 69 gave him a tournament total of -10 under par, and a two shot advantage over his nearest rival at La Reserva de Sotogrande Culb de Golf.

He said he had played well, with putting being the key, and obviously was very happy;

” This is my 11th year as a professional and my first on the European Tour. I have been waiting a long time for this moment.”

“I started very well today, I birdied the first and that gave me the confidence to go low. I just had to manage my pressure on the back nine. I lost a couple of shots on 12 and 13. On 12 I hit a very bad eight iron to the green, my only bad shot of the day.”

” On 13 I had a very long iron, a three iron, and it wasn’t a really bad shot. But then I birdied the next, I really like the 14th because I birdied it every day. I played very good and I am very happy.”

“Putting has been the key this week, the greens were perfect, I felt very confident and the ball rolled beautifully. I have been waiting a long time for this moment and I would like to dedicate my win to my wife Elena and to Carlotta, our two-year old daughter.”

Two players tied in second place at -8 under par, they were: Jordi Garcia Pinto and Richie Ramsay. Jordi lept up the leaderboard with a last round -6 under par 66, while Richie carded a -4 under par 68 to get to his total.

Jordi said hard work and dedication had helped him become a better golfer

“I have been working hard all winter. I spend eight hours on the golf course, working on all aspects of the game and the results are starting to show. I came without expectations and things have turned out nicely; 66 is a great score to finish the tournament but we have a long season ahead. I learned that last year when I won in Kenya, I must go on working and trying to score consistently week after week.”

Tied in fourth place at -7 under par were Matthew Nixon and Felipe Aguilar, they had been in contention all week but just did not play well in the final round. Felipe with a -1 under par last round effort and Matthew with +1 over par.

DP World Tour Championship, Luke Leads.

Luke Donald  (Getty Images)

Luke Donald/ Getty Images

Luke Donald, who won in Japan last Sunday, is once again the man to catch after a sparkling -7 under par first round to the $8,000,000 DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Rory McIlroy, uncatchable at the top of The Race to Dubai, is just one shot behind at -6 under par.

Luke said that he always feels different a week after winning, he felt like he could not miss;

” I felt like I couldn’t miss. I hit some really good irons shots too and it’s fun when it seems that easy, You always feel different the week after winning, you just feel like you have that little extra pep in your step and there’s a bit more confidence flowing through you for sure. Especially winning by five as I did last week gave me a huge boost.”

Luke  moved back up to second in the rankings ahead of Tiger Woods by taking the Dunlop Phoenix title at the weekend and is seeking to match Rory with four wins this year.

Rory said he got off to a slow start but is driving the ball beautifully;

“I got off to a bit of a slow start but felt I was hitting the ball well enough to give myself opportunities for birdies. I just had to stay patient. I got it together on the back nine. It’s a great way to start, obviously, I’m confident heading into tomorrow. I think I drove the ball beautifully with the exception of 18.”

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Marc Warren joined Rory on the -6 under par score, Gonzo said the front and back nines were completely different, I know that feeling;

“The back nine had nothing to do with the front nine, I played very well on front nine, believe it or not. I didn’t hole any putts, but I stayed patient, and all of the putts seemed to drop on the back nine. It was worth the wait, that’s for sure.”

Marc was rushing around looking for his waterproofs, he stepped out of his hotel into pouring rain, 20 millimeters of the stuff had fallen in two hours, but it soon cleared up and the conditions were perfect, Marc enjoyed the fact that there was no wind;

There was no wind to speak of and the greens were pure. I felt as if I hit a lot of good golf, Winning is the most fun you can have at a golf tournament and it’s something I want to do again soon.”

Tied in fourth spot with rounds of 67′s were 2009 winner Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Richie Ramsay, Louis Oosthuizen and Fredrik Andersson Hed.

Returning from eye surgery, Sergio Garcia shot 73, he needed the corrective surgery for an astigmatism following the Ryder Cup, Ian Poulter shared the same score, he must still feel deflated after his peculiar aberration at the Australian Open last week, missing a very short putt.

Footnote:

Astigmatism is a type of refractive error of the eye. Refractive errors cause blurred vision and are the most common reason why a person goes to see an eye professional. Just incase you were wondering what Sergio’s condition was.

Ballantine’s Championship @ Blackstone GC Seoul South Korea, Wiesberger Wins

Bernd Wiesberger  (Getty Images)

Bernd Wiesberger (Getty Images

Bernd Wiesberger won the Ballantine’s Classic at the  Blackstone GC in Icheon,  Seoul, South Korea on Sunday to record his first European Tour victory.  Bernd cruised through a bogey free last round of -4  under par 68 and a winning tournament total of -18 under par, to give him a deserved five shot victory. It was a majestic tournament from Bernd with rounds of  72, 65, 65, 68.

Richie Ramsay finished alone in second spot after a final round -7 under par 65, and a tournament total of -13. Tied in third place was Victor Dubuisson, and Marcus Fraser. Victor had a last round of -6 under par 66 to give him a total of -11 under par for the tournament. Marcus finished on the same score after a disappointing final round of -2 under par 70. He had been hoping to put some pressure on Bernd at the start of play but the Austrian cruised along while he struggled.

Miguel Angel Jimenez,  and Anthony Wall finished the tournament with a total of -10 under par and tied for fourth  spot.

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Victor Dubuisson leads Ballantines Championship in Seoul

Dubuisson stars in Korea

Victor Dubuisson (Getty Images

Victor Dubuisson leads the Ballantine’s Championship at Blackstone G.C. Seoul in South Korea. Play was suspended due to darkness and will resume tomorrow morning. None of the players still waiting to conclude their rounds can affect the top of the leaderboard standings. Victor had a good first round of -4 under par 68 and leads by two shots from Richie Ramsay, Mark Foster, Paul Casey, Jamie Donaldson and Ji-ho Jung.  All of these chasers had rounds of -2 under par for 70.

Victor was certainly very happy with his opening round, and looking for his first Europen Tour win;

“Very pleased with playing four under today.  My putting was really, really good today and I think it’s the only way to achieve good scoring in these conditions.  On the third hole the wind was from the left, and so on the fourth tee I thought the wind was going to be sort of left to right, but the wind was turning all the time.  The wind just turned right to left and it went into the water. So I was not really upset after this double bogey because I didn’t hit a bad shot.  I did my best to get back my concentration, and I made two birdies, good putts on five and six, and that was the good turn today.”

Only Victor and  England’s Paul Casey played in the more blustery afternoon conditions, of those at the top pf the board. Jamie Donaldson, Mark Foster, Jung Ji-ho and Richie Ramsay all took advantage of more benign morning conditions to move into contention.

Paul Casey knows he has the ability to contend here in Korea, in his quest to return to form after his snowboarding accident;

“I know if I play the golf I’m capable of, I’ve got a very good chance to win. The way I played today, I need to keep that form going, because there’s a long way to go.”

Jamie Donaldson rued bogeying the easiest hole on the course;

“I played nicely. It is tricky. I made a lot of good up and downs but overall a pretty tough day.  You’ve just got to put it in position off the tees and see where it falls. One of the easiest holes was 18, and I bogeyed. You have to play well and put it in position.”

Richie Ramsay said it was a tough day, even though he played in the quieter part of the day;

“I putted beautifully. The greens are really, really nice. It still is tricky because you get gusts of wind.  When I made a mistake, I got up and down and I managed to convert a few opportunities. All in all it was a good day, but it was really getting tough out there. There’s lots of positives from it, and I drove the ball well. But ultimately, I putted nicely, which is great to see and long may it continue.”

Mark Foster also commented on the wind;

“I’ve not seen any scores, but the wind is wicked. It is just all over. It’s not the strength of the wind, it’s funneling, and you just hit it out there and hope it does what you want. Ball flight is everything, really.”

Ji-ho Jung said of his round;

“My iron shots went very well. I had one bogey and three birdies, and the one bogey came from a three putt, so overall I thought the game went very well.”

Highest ranked player in the field, World Number 12 Adam Scott was with the bunch that included Ryder Cup stars Paul McGinley and Ross Fisher, they all finished  in 71 as just 17 players finished under par.