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Tshwane Open. Fisher Lands Tshwane Trophy

dragon logo darkRoss Fisher lands the Tshwane Open trophy at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate.

Ross Fisher  (Getty Images)

Ross Fisher / Getty Images

Ross had a final round of -2 under par 70, an Eagle on the par five 15th hole, from 25 feet killed off any hope the chasing pack had of catching him. Ross was pleased to win in the testing conditions, and admitted the eagle settled his nerves;

“I’m thrilled to get over the line, it was a testing day with the weather conditions, and playing with Mike he put up a great challenge for me. I set a target of trying to go out there and shoot in the 60s and almost managed to do it. I had a little mishap on the last but I’m just glad to be standing here talking to you as champion.”

“It’s been pretty good to me this week the 15th hole, There have been a couple of eagles, but that was a big putt there. I know I was only a couple ahead. To hit a nice shot there and have a good look at three and to see it drop, I think I went four shots clear with only three to play I knew I could coast in. There was a little wobble on a few of those holes and I managed to make a couple of good par saves on 16 and 17. It would have been nice to shoot 69 but unfortunately I missed one on the last. I’m not going to complain.”

Michael Hoey and  Danie Van Tonder finished the tournament in second place at -17 under par. Danie with a closing -6 under par 66, and Michael carded a -4 under par 68, which still left them three shots adrift of the leader.

Overall Michael was happy with his second placed finish;

“I just lost concentration with my second at the 12th and that cost me, apart from that there wasn’t much wrong, but golf is a fine line. Ross was a solid player this week and I’m happy to have some consistency. I’ve never been consistent, but I was quite consistent this week. It’s nice to be up there and not win; I know that sounds crazy, but normally I just win. For me to finish top three without winning is a good start.”

Carlos Del Moral ended the tournament in fourth place at -16 under par.

Tshwane Open. Fisher Catches Big Lead on Day 3.

dragon logo darkRoss Fisher catches a big lead at the Tshwane Open on Day 3 of the competition at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate.

Ross Fisher  (Getty Images)

Ross Fisher / Getty

Ross fired a third round -5 under par 67 to  take a five shot lead into the final round of the Tshwane Open at -18 under par as he tries to secure his first European Tour title for four years. This the best he has played for some time;

“I feel like I’m playing as good as I ever have, probably similar to when I was contending in Majors and getting myself into the Ryder Cup team. If I were to win here it would be a massive confidence boost and a step in the right direction. My primary goal is to get back in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking. I’ve been there before and I feel like I belong there.”

“I got to seventeen in the world because of my Major performances, but like a few other guys I had a big comedown after the Ryder Cup having achieved the second pinnacle of golf outside of winning a Major and so early in my career. Maybe I suffered a bit from Ryder Cupitus, as I called it. You see guys like Henrik Stenson who got to the top of the game, disappeared, came back, disappeared, and now he’s back where he belongs.” 

“You see guys like that come through adversity, drift off and come back. Lee Westwood is another one, I wouldn’t say my slump was anywhere near as drastic as theirs, but I’ve missed being in the top 50 and playing in the Majors and that’s where I want to be. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for me.”

“I want to win this by a couple of shots, it would be nice to win in a good fashion because I feel like the game is good enough to win by a good number of strokes. I want to go out there and shoot a low number and somebody’s going to have to come out and shoot a ridiculous score to catch me.”

Michael Hoey carded a third round of -3 under par 69, but at -13 under par for the tournament he is a massive five shots adrift of the lead, but occupies second place.

Simon Dyson was looking to join Michael on -13 under par, but bogeyed the last after a poor approach and had to settle for a -1 under par 71 and -12 under par total. That score was matched by his playing partner Carlos Del Moral, winner of the Qualifying School last November.

Tshwane Open. Fisher Catches The Lead.

dragon logo darkRoss Fisher catches the lead at the Tshwane Open at the Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate.

Ross Fisher  (Getty Images)

Ross Fisher / Getty Images

Ross Fisher came home in just 30 strokes to claim the halfway lead at the Tshwane Open, carding a round of -7 under par 65, for half-way total of -13 under par;

“It was pretty special, any time you can do that is very pleasing. I made a nice birdie on the start of the back side and then hit a lovely shot into 13 to about a foot and that really got me going. Eagling the par five was a huge bonus. It was a shame not to birdie eighteen, but it was nice to cosy that chip up stone dead and walk off seven under. I set high expectations for myself having got to seventeen in the world. I’ve gotten there before and I know I can get back, it’s just a case of working hard.”

I’ve felt ready to win for a long time, it’s just trying to piece all departments of the game together on the same week. I’ve said it many times – the long game has been there for a long time and the putting has let me down. I’m really positive and looking forward to the weekend knowing that the long game is in shape and that I’m putting nicely.”

“I haven’t won for a few years, even though I’ve played well. I’ve had chances and the putter has let me down for a number of tournaments and for quite some time now. To see the ball going in yesterday and holing some nice putts today gives me a lot of confidence and it all bodes well for a good weekend.”

Second placed Morten Ørum Madsen, the South African Open Championship winner, carded seven birdies in a flawless second round 65  reaching -12 under par for the week;

“I got off to a great start this morning. Winning has calmed me down a little bit, just by knowing what to expect. It’s hard to birdie every hole and you’ve got to deal with adversity well, because you’re not going to play perfect golf for 72 holes. “

“Whoever deals with the bad holes and bad shots the best is probably also the guy who’s going to be on top come Sunday. I stayed patient in the beginning of my back nine and made a couple of birdies on six and seven, and then I saved a nice par on nine, so it was a nice way to finish. It’s always fun to see your name up there on the leaderboard and that’s what we play for. I practice to put myself in that position and to have a chance at the weekend is always great and it’s something I really cherish.”

First round leader Simon Dyson maintained his bid for a seventh European Tour title with a second round of -4 under par 68, and is two shots back of the leader at -11 under par. He shares third spot with Carlos Del Moral.

Simon knew it was going to be a tough ask to card another really low round;

“It’s always tough to follow a low score, because you always feel like you’re losing ground on what you had the day before. I’ve been out here quite a while now and I knew there were plenty of chances to come today. I also knew that I was putting nicely, so I just stayed patient and hit good putts and eventually a few of them dropped.”

Tshwane Open. 2 Tied at the Top, Play Suspended.

dragon logo dark

Two players were tied at the top of leaderboard at the Tshwane Open when play was suspended on the  1st day at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate in South Africa.

Simon Dyson  (Getty Images)

Simon Dyson / Getty Images

Simon Dyson birdied his last four holes to grab the clubhouse lead with his completed, bogey free, first round of -7 under par 65. He is joined at the top of the Tshwane Open leaderboard by Trevor Fisher Jnr, who has yet to finish his round. Trevor has completed 16 holes and will return to the course at 0645 tomorrow to finish his first round, with the second round beginning at 0700.

Simon explained how he played, and how his putting has improved;

“It was really nice, it’s a lovely start. It’s my lowest round in a good few years, especially on the first day. It just puts you in a nice frame of mind, a good stead, and sets it up nicely to have a good weekend. I holed a good six footer for par at the first and then about a 40 footer for birdie at the second and that was it, I was off and running.

I had made three really good up and downs on the holes before the 15th. I drove it in the bunker down 12 and then missed the green left and chipped it to about ten feet and rolled that one in for par. On the next I hit a good shot and it just released and rolled into the bunker and I upped and downed that, rolled in about an eight footer for par. I flew the green at 14 and then made a really good up and down. 

“You just kick on after that and next I had the par five, where you always have a chance. Putting has been the let-down for the last few weeks, but me and my caddie had a chat about what I’m doing wrong. We spent about an hour and a half on the putting green yesterday and I managed to get a good feel for it.”

Trevor likes playing at home in South Africa;

“I got into a nice steady run with four birdies in a row on the front nine, which was my back nine, unfortunately I dropped one at the last, but I can’t complain too much with seven under. The course is pretty soft after all the rain we’ve had and it depends on what happens this afternoon, but if you drive it well then you’ll have a lot of looks at birdie. My game feels in good shape coming off the back of a good result in South Africa a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know what it is, I just enjoy playing down here and I seem to play quite well.”

Ross Fisher and four more South Africans, Erik Van Rooyen, Jared Harvey, Darren Fichardt and Danie van Tonder are tied in third position, all on -6 under par under. Darren and Danie have yet to complete their first rounds.

ISPS Handa Perth International. Jin Jeong Wins Perth Play-Off

Jin Jeong won the ISPS Handa Perth International after a sudden death play-off at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Australia.

Jin Jeong   (Getty Images)

Jin Jeong / Getty Images

Jin Jeong, from Korea, fought like a Tiger to come back from a disastrous four-putt double bogey on the first hole to win his maiden victory on the European Tour. Jin  started the day one behind home favourite Brody Ninyette, and fought back with a -3 under par 69, to finish in a tie for first place with Ross Fisher, both at -10 under par.

On the first play-off hole, the par four 18th, Ross hit an approach shot that flew through the green and he was unable to get up and down, Jin made his two putts for par and won the competition.

He said it had been unbelievable to contest the play-off;

” I was nervous, I was shaking but I controlled myself pretty well all day I thought, I don’t know what I’ve done to be honest. I was struggling quite a bit when I was turning pro, but it was going to happen in the learning circuit I guess. I had played play-offs in mini tour events, but playing with Ross Fisher, he’s one of my heroes. Playing with him in the play-off, it was unbelievable.”

Ross carded at final round -4 under par 68, but said that he had come up a bit short on the day;

“Obviously it would have been lovely to have come here and won, but that’s golf. Unfortunately I came up a little bit short, but I can be very pleased the way I played today. I hung in there really well. it was always going to be tough. There are some good names up there and I knew I needed to just play really well. I felt like I did that. Hats off to Jin for winning his first professional tournament.”

“I’m just pleased I’m knocking on the door and I know one of these days, it will come. The Race to Dubai, I’ve moved up; I should hope that’s got me into next week in China. Good World Ranking points, so hopefully that might put me back in the top 100, so it’s definitely a step in the right direction. I can’t be too disappointed with finishing second.” 

Brody Ninyette could only muster an even par 72 final round and finished tied in third place at -8 under par for the tournament. Joining him on that total was Dimitrios Papadatos with a last round -4 under 68 and Danny Willett, who carded a -3 under par 69.

Congratulations to Jin Jeong on winning his first European Tour title.

 

Wyndham Championship, Two Tied At The Top.

Chris Stroud and Ross Fisher are the two players tied at the top of the leaderboard at the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club.

Two tied at Sedgefield

Chris Stroud and Ross Fisher / Getty Images

Chris and Ross both had rounds of -6 under par 64 on the par 70 Sedgefield Country Club course. Chris was surprised that he had not played well here in previous years;

” I’ve even told people I love this golf course, I have no idea why I don’t play well here. I’m playing too well to go home and just sit and get rusty, I said I want to get sharp for The Barclays. Let’s go to Greensboro, low expectations since I haven’t played that great here.”

Ross was told he had nothing to lose today, just go out there and go for it, meaning qualify for the FedEx Cup;

” My manager said, You’ve got nothing to lose. Just go out there all guns blazing and see what happens. I know what I’ve got to do, and I’ve just got to go enjoy it, and if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. I don’t want it to end here.”

The defending Champion, Sergio Garcia, who claimed a two-stroke victory here last year, had a bogey free round of -5 under par 65. He shares third place with Matt Jones, Robert Garrigus, Jordan Spieth, Trevor Immelman, Morgan Hoffmann, Patrick Reed and Andrew Svoboda.

Sergio was happy with his round today but was aware it was only the first round;

“It was a great round today, but it’s only Thursday,” 

Robert was impressed with the speed of the greens;

” It’s unbelievable, the difference from where they used to be, it’s very refreshing.”

 Padraig Harrington shot a +3 over par 73 to put his FedExCup Playoffs fate in great jeopardy. Matt Jones, who has had the experience before sympathizes with Padraig’s position;

“I’ve definitely been there before, I know what they’re going through. It’s not a comfortable feeling.”

Tomorrow will be an interesting day, in a tightly packed field lets see who makes the cut.

Did you notice that last week the two contenders for the PGA Championship Title, Jason Dufner, the winner, and Jim Furyk were both using mid-size grips on their putters. White Dragon Golf fit Winn mid size grips to their putters, check them out here. If you want to win, fit a Winn.

Farmers Insurance Open. K.J. equals Brandt Snedeker for Lead

K.J. Choi has never liked Torrey Pines. In fact, he even sat out last year’s Farmers Insurance Open, as Brandt Snedeker went on to win. This year though he opened with a -7 under par 65 to tie defending champ Brandt Snedeker for the first-round lead. K.J. took on the tougher South Course in perfect conditions, but the forecast is not looking too good with rain predicted for Friday.

K.J. said in interview;

” The course is pretty long, the greens are pretty hard, so I felt like the course didn’t really fit me too well before, but I found something on the range this morning. Surprisingly, today all of my iron shots were kind of stopping into the green.”

Brandt Snedeker is also bemused why he always seems to play well, although the course does not set up well for him;

“It’s funny, you look at all the golf courses I should play well on, this should not be one of them. This is a long, difficult golf course with lots of rough and hitting a lot of iron shots. My strength is driving and putting, so it doesn’t really add up well around here, but for some reason, it’s been good to me.”

Brandt SnedekerHelen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

By contrast Phil Mickleson could manage only even par on the easier North Course, and he is tied for 90th place with a round on the tougher South Course coming up. Phil has no illusions about the task ahead of him if he is to make the cut;

” I’ve got to shoot something in the 60s, and if I can get a couple of putts to go, I putted very poorly, I’ve got to get that putter going. If I can putt well, hopefully, the mid-60s. I’ve been playing better than this, and there’s no excuses. Very lethargic off the first tee, I’ve got to get my head a little bit more focused on the shots, and I haven’t been as mentally focused starting out. So, hopefully, I’ll be able to turn that around tomorrow and start a little bit more effectively in the future. It’s going to take some exceptional golf over on the South, but three of the rounds are on the South, and there are some low scores out there if you play the course right and effectively. There’s probably half the holes where you’ve got to play for par and the other half you can make some birdies. 

Tiger Woods said he thought he had done a good job shooting -4 under par 68 for his first round at the Farmers;

“After being 1 under and then 1 over, to battle back and get to 6 at one point was a good job. It is different this tournament, because we didn’t play this fast, we had some rain overnight last night, but still these fairways are zipping. At least the greens are receptive. The greens are a little more receptive than in the practice round. I knew I had two par fives on the front side so I could get it down to par, and then maybe get two or three on the back, I thought that would be a good score. And lo’ and behold, I get it rolling. Get to 6 and a chance to go to 7, so it can change quickly. But, we had the perfect conditions for it. We couldn’t ask for better conditions to score than we had today.”
There are eight players tied in third place at -6 under par, Josh Teater, Adam Hadwin, Luke List, Ross Fisher, Billy Horschel, Chucky Three Sticks, Mike Weir and Scott Stallings. Tomorrow’s bad weather will soon sort that bunched pack, it will be an interesting days play.

European Tour, Portugal Masters, Shane Lowery Wins

Lowry evades Fisher to net Portugal Masters

Shane Lowry /EuropeanTour

Shane Lowry beat England’s Ross Fisher by one shot at the Portugal Masters after a thrilling final day in Vilamoura and became another golfer to win his maiden tour event this year, as a professional. His previous victory on Tour earned him nothing because of his amateur status. Shane had a last round of -5 under par, 66 to finish with a winning tournament total of  -14 under par,  and a cheque for €375,000 in addition to the trophy.

Shane said he was over the moon with his win;

“I cannot believe this, I can’t explain how I feel really. It’s a dream come true, I’m over the moon. Everyone was referring to me as the fella who won the Irish Open as an amateur, but now I’ve won such a prestigious event I don’t know what to say. It was like playing in Ireland, it was crazy, it was great.

Ross Fisher, of England, had a short putt  on the 18th to force a play-of, but the sad effort lipped out, leaving Shane victorious, and Ross one shot back on -13 under par, with a mediocre  last round of -1 under par 70.

Alone in third place, “Welcome Back Michael Campbell”,  Michael finished the tournament at -12 under par. The Kiwi was the  2005 US Open Champion, and then suddenly encountered a serious loss of form since he beat Tiger Woods at Pinehurst. Michael even fell outside the Official World Golf Ranking’s top 1,300 at one point, and only two seasons ago had made just one cut in his 19 starts. This was Michael’s best finish in four years, amazingly the last time he had four rounds in the 60′s was nine years ago. Nice to see you in contention again Michael.

Michael Campbell

Kiwi Michael Campbell/European tour

Westy Wins In Sweden @ Nordea Masters

Westwood romps to victory

Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood easily won his third Nordea Masters title in Sweden, at the  Bro Hof Slott GC, cruising to a five shot cushion over his rivals. Lee had a last round of -3 under par, 69 for a tournament total of -19 under par. Nearest man to him was compatriot Ross Fisher, Ross could only muster a last round of -1 under par and finished with a total of -14 under par, alone in second place.

Although it was a steady last round Lee was not too impressed with some missed chances;

“I missed a few short putts on the front nine, had a lot of chances the first ten holes and could have really put some breathing space between me and the field. Having said that when I needed to on the back nine, when they got a bit closer and put me under a bit of pressure, I managed to make a great eagle at 12, good birdie at 15 and pull away. I hit some really solid shots. It didn’t look like I was hitting it close on the last three holes but I can tell you those last three holes I hit it exactly where I wanted to every time.”

This is first Lee’s first European Tour victory since the 2011 Ballantine’s Championship, but is his 22nd European Tour International Schedule victory in his 408th European Tour event and keeps him in third spot in the World Golf Rankings, behind Rory McIlroy and number one Luke Donald.

Ross Fisher’s brave challenge really went awry when he found water at the 13th and double bogeyed that hole. The Ryder Cup star recovered brilliantly with a hattrick of birdies from the 15th giving him a 71 and solo second place on 14 under par.

The host country, Sweden ,saw their chance winning the trophy for third time in a row disappear, when Peter Hanson ran up a double bogey seven on the back nine at the 15th, and finished his final round at -1 under par, 71. This score saw him finish in a tie for third on -13 under par with Mikko Ilonen from Finland and Sergio Garcia of Spain.

Westwood still in control in Sweden @ Nordea Masters

Westwood still in control

Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood is still in control in Sweden at the Nordea Masters after the conclusion of the third round at the  Bro Hof Slott GC.  Lee retained his three shot lead after recording a -4 under par third round of 68, for a tournament total of -16 under par. The round did not reach the same classic heights as his stunning second round 64, but it did leave him three clear of fellow Englishman Ross Fisher.  Lee said in interview;

“I played well. I hit a lot of good shots and it was solid stuff. I didn’t get into too much trouble, I had a bit of a flyer on the second and that was the only bogey I made all day.”

Ross Fisher was a happy camper after his beautiful -7 under par third round of 65, and a total for the tournament of -13 under par;

 “I’ve played really nicely, I’m gradually getting better. Hopefully I can continue the trend tomorrow. I’ve gone head to head with Westy a couple of times, he’s a world-class golfer and that’s how we judge our game, against the best players in the world.”

Swedish hopes of a third consecutive home win in this event seemed to have stalled, with Peter Hanson now four shots adrift of the leader after his -3 under par third round of 69. He is the best placed Swede to make a challenge, but he will have to produce something really special to loosen Lee Westwood’s firm grip on this trophy.

Alexander Noren continued with his remarkable recovery from an opening round of 74, carding a second successive 66 to move into fifth on ten under, alongside compatriot Michael Jonzon. Six shots behind an inform Lee Westwood would really seem like an impossible task.

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