The Championship at Laguna National. 1st Round Play Suspended.

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Play in the 1st round of The Championship at Laguna National has been suspended, on the European                       Tour, in Singapore. Clubhouse leader is Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand.

Panuphol Pittayarat / Getty Images

Panuphol shot a bogey free -9 under par 63 to lead The Championship Laguna National, he is currently ranked at 451st in the world. He has missed the last three cuts on Tour, and did not see this sudden burst of form coming;

”I didn’t see it coming, but it did come, I’m feeling good about my game right now. I was just trying to hit straight out there. I managed to hole a lot of putts and a lot of them were unexpected.”

There are four players tied in second place at -8 under par, following their opening rounds of 64. They are; David Lipsky, Byung-jun Kim, Quincy Quek and Scott Jamieson.

Scott’s maiden European Tour win came at last year’s Nelson Mandela Championship, which was shortened to 36 holes due to extremely bad weather. He was to win a proper 72 hole tournament to silence the doubters about his ability;

“You want to win every week but it would be nice if the next one was over four rounds, and if anyone had any questions then it would have answered them. I don’t feel like that myself, given that we knew it was only going to be a two round event and I won in a play-off. But to win over four rounds would be nice.”


“I’ve been hitting the ball well the last couple of weeks, so it was nice to get a round where it all came together. There was just the one mistake with the three-putt on 16, but it was pretty far away and pace putting is always difficult in Asia with the grain. It’s not what someone from Scotland is used to.”

“There’s not much wind out there and apparently there has been a drought here so there is not much rough either. You can still control the ball when you don’t hit the fairway, so I think everyone will have a lot of looks at birdies; the greens a rolling perfectly too. I’ve been hitting the ball really well since we came out to Asia but today was the first time I really capitalised on that.” 

“Golfers strive for perfection so it is always going to feel like you left something out there, but I holed some nice putts so I’m pleased.” 

Defending champion Brett Rumford and  Alex Levy, the winner in China last week, both signed for -2  under par rounds of 70. Looking at the amazing first round scores, this tournament could set a record for the lowest scoring event on Tour. Second round play will commence at 0740 local time tomorrow, once the twenty or so players have completed their first rounds. They are all a way off the lead so the top of the leaderboard will not change. 

Portugal Masters. Waring In Position To Win.

Paul Waring has put himself in position to win his maiden European Tour victory at the Portugal Masters.

Paul Waring   (Getty Images)

Paul Waring / Getty Images

Paul Waring has a two shot lead going into the final round of the Portugal Masters after carding a -4 under par third round of 67, for a -16 under par total.

Paul has been playing on a medical exemption said things got really good on the back nine;

“It was very good towards the end of the round. I started a bit poorly and didn’t quite hit it close enough but holed some nice putts towards the end of the day. I feel pretty good, two ahead, so we will see what happens tomorrow. You don’t know what’s going to happen with the other lads, what anyone else is going to score. You can’t control those sorts of things.All I can do is control what I can control and add them up at the end of the day and see what happens.”

One of four players sharing second place at -14 under par is Scott Jamieson who came agonizingly close to shooting a 59 on the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course. The ball grazed the edge of the hole at the last and Scott had to settle for the 18th round of 60 on the European Tour. Scott only made the cut by one shot at the half way stage. He spoke about his round, and the missed opportunity;

I said to Richard (his caddie) playing 17 I really want to make a birdie here so we have a chance of it going down the last and I could not have asked to hit a better shot in. It pitched just short of the hole, what a chip as well. When I birdied the 13th I said to Richard then ‘A few more and we could be part of history’. I was definitely nervous but thinking about it from the tournament point of view the leaders are going to be a minimum of 16, 17 maybe 18 under going into tomorrow so that kept me going from a pushing point of view. I felt like I have been playing well for a while, a few good rounds in there. Yesterday I didn’t necessarily play poorly, just didn’t score well so it was nice today.”

Tied with Scott in second spot are, Hennie Otto, Simon Thornton and Jamie Donaldson, and seeing the way this course is playing even those players on -13 under par could shoot a low round tomorrow and contest this tournament. Players at -13 include Alvaro Quiros, Chris Doak, and Pablo Larrazâbal.

I wish good luck for Paul Waring in his quest for his maiden victory.

 

Seve Trophy. Only 1 Point In It Now.

There is only one point separating the teams in The Seve Trophy after the second day of competition in Paris.

David Lynn and Scott Jamieson   (Getty Images)

Scott Jamieson & David Lynn / Getty Images

A dramatic last hole win for David Lynn and Scott Jamieson over Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero reduced GB&I’s deficit to just one point at the end of play on the second day of the Seve Trophy.

GB&I Captain Sam Torrance was happy with the golf, but undecided who to leave out for the foursomes;

“The golf that was played was beautiful, Jamie Donaldson was nine under on his own. I’ve pretty much got my mindset what I’m going to do with foursomes. Unfortunately I have to leave two players out but that’s not going to be easy.”

Continental Europe Captain José María Olazábal was just a bit disappointed with the outcome today;

“There is just a fraction of disappointment. We let a point go with the Italians; they had the match under control until the very end. Overall 3 -2 is not that bad. It’s pretty much what we’ve said all along, these guys play great golf, and you have to be on your toes. When you play at this kind of level, it’s decided on little things, and today was a good proof of that. I’ve left out Thomas Björn and Mikko for tomorrow morning. Thomas I think is okay. He played well today but 36 holes tomorrow, it could be just a little too much in the sense that I want him fresh for Sunday. I kept two pairings the same way because they have done well so far, and I’ve had to rest another guy and in this case it was Mikko. But most probably he will be playing in the afternoon.”

The Continental Europe Team looked set to extend their overnight lead for much of Friday’s play but a sterling fight back started by Scott Jamieson left the score at 5 ½  to 4  ½ heading into the weekend.

 Paul Casey and Simon Khan had given Great Britain & Ireland a good start with a 3 and 2 victory over Mikko Ilonen and Thorbjørn Olesen, then Nicolas Colsaerts and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño equalled the biggest winning margin in the tournament’s history with a 6 and 5 victory over Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher. That result restored Continental Europe’s two shot margin.

 Jamie Donaldson and Marc Warren once again reduced the deficit with a 4 and 2 win over Thomas Björn and Miguel Angel Jiménez, 

Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero looked to be cruising to victory against Scott Jamieson and David Lynn, having a two-stroke lead with two holes to play.  Scott’s birdie on the 17th took it to the final hole, where he rolled in a six-foot birdie putt for the dramatic win.

In the last match of the day, Tommy Fleetwood and Chris Wood came up agonizingly short against Joost Luiten and Gregory Bourdy, losing on the final hole.

Tomorrow’s 36 holes will be decisive, a good lead at the end of the day will make it an easier task in the singles on Sunday.

Maybank Malaysian Open. Kiradech Aphibarnrat 1st Round Leader

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is the first round leader at the Maybank Malaysian Open, being played at  the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat   (Getty Images)

Kiradech Aphibarnrat / Getty Images

Kiradech opened the tournament with a -7 under par round of 65, he managed to get in the clubhouse before the thunderstorms brought proceedings to a halt.

There are four players hot on his heels,  just one shot back on -6 under par are Anders Hansen, Edoardo Molinari, Scott Jamieson and Grégory Bourdy.

Grégory birdied five of his first seven holes and said -6 is a good score on this course;

” It’s great to start the tournament like this, six under is a good score on this course. I finished second here two years ago, so I like the course a lot. It’s maybe one of the best we play all season and it’s in great shape again this year. The area is great also, and the weather is very good. I’m enjoying this event again and I hope my game stays like this until Sunday.”

Anders has been struggling a bit this season and was very pleased with his opening round;

” I’m very, very pleased. I’ve been struggling a bit all year, but this week I’ve worked very hard on the range even though it has been so hot.  I hit a lot of good shots today, although I had a couple of loose ones at the start. I hit it in the water on the first which wasn’t good, but I made a good recovery. I hit some very solid golf shots yesterday in the pro-am and that gave me some confidence for today. It’s too hot to get frustrated so you just have to stick in there. It’s extreme and very difficult for everyone.”

World Number Three Luke Donald made his now customary slow start to a tournament and could only manage a +2 over par round of 74, despite chipping in for birdie at the first. Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington has made a good start in Kuala Lumpur with a three under par 69 for a share of tenth place.

Not everybody has completed their first rounds yet, so there could be some changes to the leaderboard before the start of the second round. Scott Jamieson is at -6 under par through ten holes, and could yet top the leaderboard himself.

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.” 

Volvo Golf Champions, Awesome Oosthuizen Wins

Louis Oosthuizen   (Getty Images)

Louis Oosthuizen / getty images

Louis Oosthuizen won the Volvo Golf Champions tournament in South Africa at the Durban Country Club on Sunday. He shot an awesome last round 66,  -6 under par, for a -16 under par total, to win by one shot from Scott Jamieson, who could only manage a par round of 72, and watched as the title slipped through his fingers, he finished at -15 under par.

This win is Louis’ sixth European Tour title and one that elevates him to a career-high fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking, pushing England’s Justin Rose down to fifth in the world.

In interview Louis said;

” It was a great week, a lot of things happened. It’s a great start to the year, I knew I had to come out and get my name up there. After being five down, to make it up after 12 holes, I was really chuffed about that. I just played really well all day.”

Scott Jamieson had no shame in losing out to a Major Champion, but was annoyed about his double bogey on hole 5:

“Louis is a Major Champion, there’s no shame in losing to him, I gave it my all, but it wasn’t to be. The double bogey was a kick in the teeth, but I had tons of chances and couldn’t take them.”

Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand secured  third place at – 14 under par, closing with a round of 68, with Ireland’s Padraig Harrington also closing with a -4 under par 68, to climb to fourth position on his own at -12 under par for the tournament.