HSBC Champions. Dustin Does It Easily.

Dustin Johnson does it easily at the HSBC Champions event at Sheshan International Golf Club, ShanghaiChina with a three shot winning margin.

Dustin Johnson  (Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson / Getty Images

Dustin’s final round of -6 under par 66 included an Eagle two at the par four 16th hole and a birdie two at the par three 17th. He finished the tournament with a -24 under par total.

Dustin said that he was under pressure at the start because of his slow start to the round compared to Ian and Graeme;

“I didn’t get off to the best start and Poulter and McDowell got off to great starts and put a lot of pressure on me, but I am swinging well and putting well so I thought just stick to my game plan and play the golf course how I want to play it and it’s going to come. I played really well the last few holes on the front nine and then had a great back nine. The guys made it really interesting but I just played really well coming down the stretch. The last few holes here you can make some birdies. It was a lot of fun out there, it was a good match from both of them. They put a lot of pressure on me but I am really proud of myself and the way I handled it. It takes a while to learn that maturity and patience, I wish I would have had some of that a few times a few years ago, but you learn from your mistakes and try to get better from them and I think I showed a lot of patience and a lot of discipline with clubs I picked and shot selection. This is probably my biggest win and hopefully there are better things to come.”

In second place on his own at -21 under par was defending Champion Ian Poulter. Ian matched Dustin’s -6 under par 66 final round score, but sadly it was not enough for him to retain his trophy.

Third spot was secured by Graeme McDowell, finishing the tournament on -20 under par. He also had a final round -6 under par 66, but could not reel in Dustin.

Sergio Garcia had a super final round of -9 under par 63, a par at the par five 18th robbed him of the chance to equal the course record. Sergio finished in fourth place at -18 under par.

Justin Rose completed the tournament at -16 under par, just one shot ahead of the improving  Rory McIlroy at -15 under par.

HSBC Champions, Dustin Holds Firm, And He Needed To.

Dustin Johnson held firm to hold the 54 hole lead at the  World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions at  Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China.

Dustin Johnson / Getty Images

Dustin needed to be strong in the third round, and he was, shooting a -6 under par 66, which kept him on top of the leaderboard at the HSBC Champions event, by three shots, on -18 under par. He felt he left a few shots out on the course;

“If you would have told me I would shoot 6 under before teeing off today, I’d have taken it. Obviously left a few shots out there.”

Hot on his heels for most of the day was defending Champion Ian Poulter, Poults had a -9 under par 63, for a -15 under par total, which keeps the pressure on Dustin going into the final round tomorrow;

” I just need to do my thing tomorrow and make a lot more than what he does. I’m going to have to see what happens coming down the stretch. It will always be great to be in the last group, seeing what’s going on.  It fires you up even more. It’s only Saturday, you can’t win tournaments on Saturday. It’s all about playing well on Sunday. I need to do that. I need to make plenty of birdies, try and make an eagle. if I can, I can get close.”

Graeme McDowell is alone in third place at -14 under par four off the pace after his third round -8 under par 64. Graham DeLaet (65), Justin Rose (65) and Rory McIlroy (67) were two more shots back at -12 under par, tied in fourth place.

Graeme thinks Dustin is pretty safe;

“From here, it looks like Dustin is going to have to beat himself for anybody to have a chance to catch him. Race to Dubai points will be very important to me. I have a lot to play for tomorrow. If not the trophy, second place will certainly be worth my while.”

Martin Kaymer shot up the leaderboard with  a record breaking third round of -10 under par 62, he was looking like shooting 59 but finished up parring the last two holes, as well as making par on two par fives;

“I didn’t really play much different than the last few days. I just made a few putts, a couple unexpected ones.”

HSBC Champions, Dustin Delivers On Day 2

Dustin Johnson delivers the goods on day two at the HSBC Champions event on day two in Shanghai.

Johnson surges ahead

Dustin Johnson / Getty Images

 Dustin equalled the course record at Sheshan International Golf Course, shooting a second round -9 under par 63, for a tournament total of -12 under par. That equates to a five shot lead after just two rounds of golf.

Dustin modestly admitted he played very well;

“Yesterday, I didn’t start off so good but I played well after that. I hit it really good out of the gates today and obviously I putted really well.”

Yesterdays first round leader Rory McIlroy had a rather quiet round today, an even par round of 72, leaving him tied in second place at -7 under par. Sharing that spot with him are Bubba Watson and Boo Weekley, Bubba with his -3 under par second round and Boo with a -5 under effort.

Rory said he was disappointed;

“Disappointing, frustrating, obviously played nicely the front nine and then started to hit a lot of sloppy shots on the back. Missed the last six greens in a row. Missed seven greens on the back nine, so a bit of work needed on the range this afternoon. It would have been nice to play a bit better and start tomorrow with a few more shots in hand but I guess I’m in a decent position going into the weekend, and still have a great chance at winning this tournament,” 

Bubba made a mistake today, but finished strongly;

” I made a double on No. 10, a quick double after being in the middle of the fairway, but then I made some good putts, some good quality shots, and finished up strong.  We’ve still got two more days, two more days, a lot could happen. I could be dead last by the end of the week. Right now I’m just taking it in my stride and hopefully come out and make some putts and hit the ball just as could.”

There are six players tied in fifth place at -6 under par, six shots off the lead and must be thinking the title is already destined to go elsewhere. Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Gonzo Fdez-Castano, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter are going to be fighting for the minor placings, unless Dustin somehow implodes.

HSBC Champions. Mighty Mac Is Back

Rory McIlroy proved that mighty Mac is back, by leading the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, China, on the first day of play.

Rory McIlroy   (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory reminded everybody that he is still a force to be reckoned with by firing an opening round of -7 under par 65 at Sheshan International Golf Cub, for his opening round. This follows his victory over Tiger Woods in that irrelevant exhibition match last week.

Rory is currently 62nd on The Race to Dubai rankings, and needs to move into the top 60 this week to have a chance of qualifying for the DP World Tour Championship in November. He spoke about how he likes this golf course;

“I came here yesterday and talked about how I like this golf course and how I felt like it set up well for me, it felt good to be out there and be in control of my golf ball. I gave myself a lot of looks for birdies. 
It’s a great start. It’s only one round of golf but it’s definitely the way I wanted and needed to start this week, keeping in mind that I obviously want to play myself into Dubai and try to pick up my first win of the season, as well. 
It felt pretty good out there. I let a couple of putts get away from me, a couple of the downhill ones, but I was able to hole ones coming back, which was good. I’ve tried to stay patient the entire season, and I know that if I believe that I’m working on the right things and I am working on the right things, then things will start to fall into place sooner or later. 
It’s obviously frustrating when you’ve had a couple of seasons previously where you have had success, and not being able to emulate that, there’s times where you definitely get frustrated. I wouldn’t say that I was restless in terms of trying to get a win this season, because I think that the best way to approach it is to stay patient and not to force the issue too much.” 

Tied in second place at two off the pace of the leader, at -5 under par after their rounds of  67 were Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Jamie Donaldson. 

Jordan Spieth, Tommy Fleetwood, Bubba Watson and Justin Rose all opened with -4 under par 68. There is a long way to go, but Rory seems like he is back in business.

BMW Masters. Gonzo Grabs The Title.

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, nickname “Gonzo” grabs the BMW Masters Title at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China.

Fernandez-Castaño takes the spoils in Shanghai

Gonzo / Getty

Gonzo carded a final round -64 under par 68, to win the BMW Masters with a -11 under par total. Gonzo had six birdies on his card and no bogey’s until the last hole. He somehow managed to bogey the par 5 18th hole when he was seemingly cruising along. He said it was definitely a fighting six after finding two bunkers en-route to the green;

“I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy round, especially the way I started. I started hitting the ball pretty bad, but my caddie kept me cool and told me how good I had been hitting the ball through the week and I played fantastic after that. On the last I played too conservative and it was a fighting six at the end for sure.”

Just one shot adrift In second place at -10 under par are Francesco Molinari and Thongchai Jaidee, Francesco finishing strongly with -8 under par 64 final round. Thongchai was not far behind with a -6 under par 66 last round.

The leaders at the start of play today, Luke Guthrie and Rafael Cabrera-Bello, could not maintain their good play, Luke scoring a final round of -1 under par and a tournament total of -9 under par, four shots off the pace, and alone in fourth place. Rafa fared worse, carding a last round +2 over par and falling back into a tie for 11th place at -6 under par.

Best round of the day went to Peter Hanson, a marvelous -9 under par 63, which lifted him up the scoreboard into a tie for 8th place at -7 under par. From nowhere to eighth in one round, golf is a strange game, Peter joked that he was trying to impress the next Ryder Cup Captain, who was his playing partner for the day;

“I was playing with Paul McGinley, the Ryder Cup Captain, and I guess I wanted to impress him. I had no expectations on coming back from injury and I was obviously very rusty on Thursday. But I have felt better and better throughout the week and to finish with a round like that is very pleasing. As a defence, it wasn’t bad!”

The Race to Dubai Final Series remains in China for next week’s WGC-HSBC Champions, before heading to Turkey and then Dubai, where the top 60 will compete for the DP World Tour Championship.

BMW Masters. Luke Shares Lead With Rafa

Luke Guthrie shares the lead at the BMW Masters with Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello at the end of day 3.

Cabrera-Bello joins Guthrie in Shanghai lead

 Rafael Cabrera-Bello/ Getty

Luke and Rafa are tied at -8 under par for the tournament at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai. Luke struggled today, an even par round of 72 let the field catch up to his blistering start to this competition, his four shot lead disappearing.

He was philosophical about his position;

“At the beginning the week, if I was tied going into the fourth round tied for the lead, I’d have taken it. As today went it was a little frustrating. When I made a couple birdies, I seemed to step on my own foot a few times. Like at 18, I didn’t hit my greatest shot obviously, but wish I didn’t have to chip it on the green to get it close. Overall I was hitting it well, putting well, and just let a few shots get away toward the end and that’s never fun really. I’m tied for the lead going into tomorrow and I’m excited.”

Rafa said he was happy, and will enjoy the final round tomorrow;

” Really happy to keep playing good and happy, also, to put a good round together and be in contention tomorrow. I started with two birdies today, which was good. It gave me confidence straightaway, and then I just stayed calm, one shot at a time, and today it worked.  I’m happy, I’m proud, I’m confident and I’m enjoying the tournament so far, so hopefully tomorrow I can keep those feelings and take them on to the golf course with me, go out there, play my best and enjoy.”

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño is in third place at -7 under par, just one shot off the lead, while Gregory Bourdy is another shot back in fourth pace.

Simon Dyson’s chances of victory disappeared when he was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score in the second round. European Tour Chief Referee John Paramor said in a statement:;

“Simon Dyson has been disqualified from the BMW Masters presented by SRE Group under the rules of golf (6-6d). Simon was found to have breached rule 16-1a, which states that a player must not touch his line of putt.”

” When the footage was reviewed, Simon was seen to touch the line of his second putt after marking and lifting his ball on the green. He subsequently failed to add a two-shot penalty to his score when signing his card, and as a result has now been disqualified. He was bitterly disappointed. He had no way of explaining why or how he came to do what he did. He had no recollection of it until I showed him and even then he said ‘I can’t even remember doing it.’ It’s a very sad thing and unfortunately his event is over.”

I have not seen the video, but if you clear your line of putt of leaves or debris are you not then actually touching your line of putt in the act of doing that.?

 

BMW Masters. Guthrie Gathers Speed.

Luke Guthrie gathers speed as he extended his lead at the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren in Shanghai, China.

Luke Guthrie in action on day two of the BMW Masters in Shanghai

Luke Guthrie / Getty Images

After a second round of -1 under par 71 Luke was able to push his lead over the field out to four shots, with a tournament total of -8 under par.

Luke said it had been another tough day on the course, an under par score was a good effort;

“It was another difficult day out there, anything in the red was another good number and I was able to manage one under. I made a few more mistakes out there, made a few bogeys, which was a little disappointing. It’s never fun to bogey the last hole, but it’s playing tough. I hit a lot of good shots, a lot of things to build on. I made two great swings on 17 and 18 with irons to finish, and build on that going into tomorrow. I was in good form coming here; got a tie for fifth over in Las Vegas on the PGA Tour, and been hitting it really well.” 

His nearest rivals are at -4 under par, all six of them: Simon Dyson following his first two rounds of -2 under par 70, Thongchai Jaidee, Paul Casey, Craig Lee, Scott Jamieson and Ricardo Gonzales.

Craig Lee holed out from 188 yards on the 16th for an Eagle in his round of -2 under par 70, he did not know the ball was in the hole, he had already pulled his putter from the bag;

“Just when I was starting to get a bit frustrated about not moving forward, then bang! I hole a four iron straight into the wind from 188 yards.  Always helps the scorecard, especially from a birdie on the hole before, so it was great.” 

Former World Number Ones Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy are seven shots off the lead on -1 under par, with Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson +2 over par after a 74.

L.E.T. Sanya Ladies Open. Nikki Campbell Leads.

Sanya Ladies Open*

Nikki Campbell shot a sizzling second round to lead the Sanya Ladies Open at Yalong Bay Golf Club in China by one shot.

Nikki Campbell / Getty Images

Nikki said she had played some great iron shots, which helped to record a first round of -9 under par;

” I hit a lot of good iron shots. I had a lot of one or two metre birdie putts and fortunately they all went in. My short iron play was really good so I just had a lot of opportunities.  This year I haven’t played that good golf but I went home with my coach and worked on a few things. Even on the range this morning I was like, ‘It feels okay, but I’m not sure how it will go.’ I felt comfortable out there and hit a lot of shots close. I was lucky to get into this event. I was given a sponsor’s invitation so I was very grateful to be coming to China and to be playing.”

Ye Na Chung shot a career best round of -8 under par 64 in the opening round of the Sanya Ladies Open at Yalong Bay Golf Club, to occupy second place on her ownShe reported that she really likes this course, that should be a worry for her competitors;

” My putting was really good and I had confidence so I’ll take it. This course, I’m here for the first time so I’m not thinking, only thinking about hitting the ball straight. I really like it here. My shots from inside 100 metres were particularly good.”

Ye Na Chung / Getty

Anne-Lise Caudal is one of seven ladies who are at -5 under par for the first round, she is putting well and feeling relaxed;

” I’m very relaxed, everything I’m doing is a bonus. If I’m playing under par it’s a bonus. I’m very happy and mentally I’m very relaxed. I think it was my putting. I had strong putting today and was very confident from the first hole so I was happy with that. I made some changes in my swing so it was difficult to get confidence and everything was quite difficult: my game, my putting and my confidence. Now I feel more free when I’m on the golf course and much happier also. I’m just enjoying it.”

” The weather is perfect and the golf course is really good and the hospitality also. The Chinese people are very nice to us and it’s very comfortable here. I’m going to be patient because there are a lot of good players here this week so we’ll see. I’ll try my best.”

Charley Hull is also on -5 under par, she said her play was just alright, and did not know how many putts she had today, she does not count them;

” It was alright. It was pretty simple out there: fairways and greens and I holed a few putts. I don’t know because I don’t count {putts}. I hit it, find it, and hit it again. It’s pretty and nice views. I like the beach. The golf course is pretty simple and it’s good.There were a few putts that I could have holed but stayed out of the hole. The grain is always different every yard or five yards. I mainly holed the ones that I hit close.”

Another on -5 under is Lee-Ann Pace, she felt tired because of the jet-lag;

” Front nine one-under, back nine four-under, so it was really consistent. I was a bit tired today. I think maybe the 12 hours jet lag finally caught up with me but it was fine, I putted well and hit some good shots.”

BMW Masters. Luke Guthrie Leads, Big John Daly Right Behind.

Luke Guthrie leads the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China, but Big John Daly is right behind him.

Luke Guthrie   (Getty Images)

Luke Guthrie / Getty Images

Luke required just 19 putts in his opening round -7 under par 65 at the  BMW Masters presented by SRE Group as the Final Series began in Shanghai. The 23-year-old American, who only turned professional last year and is playing his first regular European Tour event, carded five birdies and an Eagle, a chip in on the par five 15th hole.

Not surprisingly Luke said it was a great day;

“It was a great day, I had 19 putts, and that was definitely the key to my round. I had about five weeks off before I played the last two weeks over on the PGA Tour, and I’ve been playing solid, hitting it a lot better and just been getting a lot out of my rounds again, which is nice.

“I love Shanghai. This is my first time over in China and Asia, and I just wanted to challenge myself to come travel abroad and get used to this, and just keep gaining experiences and get better at becoming a global player. I was really looking forward to this tournament on my schedule and I just can’t be more happy to be here.”

Big John Daly  had been recovering on the sidelines for four months, following elbow surgery, and the 47-year-old was delighted with his return. A round of -4 under par 68 announced his return to golf;

“When you don’t play competitive for a while, especially against all these guys out here, as good as they are, you want to execute and hit solid shots. Luckily I got a lot of shots that came out right today.”

“My elbow has been ailing me for probably six years, and the last four have been really just brutal and finally to get the surgery done, it’s nice to be able to pinch chips, which I haven’t been able to do in a long time, so that’s encouraging.”

Completing an American top three is Peter Uihlein, an opening round of -3 under par is another good start to his first European Tour season. Peter has been in contention all season long , and has a win in Madeira and finished runner-up to at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Peter said it had been really tough out there today, and was amazed at the effort of Luke;

“That was tough today, that was really hard, that was some round by Luke. I don’t know what course he played, but that was really difficult today. I got off to a bad start and I was able to grind it out and finish well, so it was nice.”

In the contest to be European Number One, Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson carded a level par 72, while his nearest challenger Graeme McDowell shot a -2 under par 70, helped by an Eagle from around 100 feet on the par five 13th hole.

BMW Masters, China, Peter Hanson Wins

Peter Hanson  (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson/Getty Images

Ryder Cup player Peter Hanson won the BMW Masters at  Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China, shooting a last round of -5 under par 67, to lift the title with a tournament total of -21 under par. He held at bay another Ryder Cup player, World number one, Rory McIlroy who also had a last round of -5 under par 67, and was beaten by just one shot.

Members of the 2012 European Ryder Cup Team filled the first four places with Luke Donald finishing alone in third place after his final round of -6 under par 66, and he must be ruing his customary slow start to a tournament. Best round of the day came from another Ryder Cupper, Ian Poulter, who fired in a final round -7 under par 65, to end up in fourth spot on his own. Ireland’s Shane Lowry finished in fifth place alone on -15 under par.

It was nice to see a return to form from England’s Paul Casey, who finished the tournament at -14 under par, he was tied for sixth place along with, Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen, Noren Alexander and the man from Zimbabwe, George Coetzee.

Jamie Donaldson, who led the tournament after his amazing first round 62, finished tied in sixteenth place, his first round was followed by rounds of 74, 72 and a 69.  A really sad end to a brilliant start to the tournament.