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BMW PGA Championship. Manassero Magic.

Matteo Manassero produced some magic when winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in a play-off that lasted for four holes on the famous West Course.

Tight battle: It took four play-off holes for Manassero to emerge the victor

Matteo has become the youngest player ever to win the BMW PGA Championship with his thrilling victory at the Wentworth Club. The 20 year-old Italian was tied at -10 under par with Englishman Simon Khan, a winner here in 2010, and Scotland’s Marc Warren at the conclusion of regular play.

On the first play-off hole, Marc put his tee shot into the tree’s down the 18th and was subsequently eliminated. Matteo and Simon halved the par 5 eighteenth twice more before Matteo stepped up to birdie the hole at the fourth attempt, for his dramatic win. Simon unfortunately put his second shot into the water, while Matteo found the green in two on the par five, and then had a two putt birdie.

Two Spaniards finished tied in fourth place, Miguel Angel Jimenez and the overnight leader Alejandro Canizares finished the tournament at -9 under par, agonizingly just one shot from the play-off.

Lee Westwood had held a two-shot lead after his birdies on the second, third and fourth holes, but he followed that with a very disappointing back nine performance of 40 , and finished joint ninth at -7 under par.

Fell away: Despite early good form, Lee Westwood barely made the top 10 at Wentworth

 

Lee Westwood wilted under the pressure on the back nine.

Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, Wood Carves out a Lead

Chris Wood   (Getty Images)

Chris Wood / Getty Images

Chris Wood of England has carved out a decent chance of his first European Tour Title win at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in Doha.

Chris has previously had nineteen top ten finishes, but now has an excellent chance to secure his first win after his third round of -8 under par 64, for a tournament total of -15 under par, three shots clear of the field. Chris said he was very excited to be in this position;

“I’m very excited. I wouldn’t say it was one of my best rounds, but I played very solidly and was giving myself loads of chances. Going out today I thought as long as I kept myself in the mix going into tomorrow, then I was going to be really looking forward to it. Leading gives me a bit of a cushion, obviously it’s going to be hard, it’s hard to win any tournament on The European Tour, so it’s going to be difficult.”

There are three players at -12 under par for the tournament, Simon Khan, Alexander Noren and New Zealand’s Michael Campbell. Michael is continuing with his recent good form, and a win here would complete his come-back to perfection. Currently at 264th in the World Golf Rankings, 40 year-old Michael has not won since his HSBC World Matchplay Championship at Wentworth in 2005. He is amazed at the feelings he is experiencing right now;

“It’s been a tough couple of years since winning at Wentworth and it’s amazing that the feelings start to come back quickly.  The confidence is increasing every day. Six months ago, I was desperate, I think I made two cuts in about two years, 18 months or something, and now I have a chance of winning a couple of times last year and maybe tomorrow. We are just going back to what is working and what worked before, and going back with my coach Jonathan Yarwood six months ago definitely helped. That’s really one thing I’ve been working the last six months is just smile after each round of golf, whether it’s a good one or a bad one, and it’s working so far.  It’s really simple stuff. It’s just nice to be out here and having some fun at the same time and maybe have a chance of winning.”

Michael Campbell  (Getty Images)

Michael Campbell / Getty Images

Tied for fifth at -11 under par are Branden Grace and Sergio Garcia. Sergio slipping back down the leaderboard after going in the water with his third shot to the par five last and taking an undignified six.

Good Luck to Chris Wood, I hope he gets his first European Tour Win.

European Tour, Barclays Singapore Open. 1st round Play Suspended

Thomas Bjorn  (Getty Images)

Thomas Bjorn/ Getty Images

European Tour event the Barclays Singapore Open got off to a slow start as play was suspended midway through the day. Thomas Bjorn, of Denmark was the clubhouse leader at the suspension of play, with his -5 under par round of  66 at the Sentosa Golf Club. Thomas had won three times on the European Tour last year, but has yet to record a victory in 2012, but he said he always enjoys coming to Singapore, commenting that it is not a long course;

“I came here and saw the golf course, and knew that everything was about driving the golf ball well. It’s not the longest golf course in the world, so if you can keep it in the fairway you can produce a score, and I did that very well today. It’s only round one though, so we’ll work from here. I always enjoy coming to Singapore and Malaysia., you have got to pace yourself a little bit, and not use too much energy through the week. It is quite nice for the body to be feeling nice and warm out there, with no cold for the old joints to get you into trouble”

There are three players who have finished at -4 under are, they are Simon Khan, Chinnarat Phadungsil and Pablo Martin. The former BMW PGA Champion Simon Khan led the way for most of the morning but slipped up with two bogeys in his last three holes, Simon remarked on the heat out on the course;

“The heat wasn’t quite as intense first thing, but it soon warms up here. Round the front nine I really got it going nicely but on the back nine maybe I didn’t hit it quite where I wanted to. I dropped my first shot on sixteen, trying to get a bit cute between clubs, then just hit a bad tee shot on the last. I wasn’t really concentrating on the tee, I think by that point the heat had got to me a little bit, but overall I was pleased how I handled it today, and it’s a good start.”

Pablo Martin needs to climb 51 places by the end of next week to retain his playing privileges and to hopefully avoid a trip to the Qualifying School, he hopes he can put together four good rounds this week and is yearning for some good luck;

“I haven’t been playing or scoring well all year really. I haven’t been able to put together four decent rounds in a row, which has been very frustrating. But hopefully my luck will turn here, and this can be my week. I’ve got two tournaments left until the end of the season, so I want to make the most of them and finish the season strongly.”

Phil Mickelson has had a miserable day, finishing at +2 over par, after his opening round of 73. Rory McIlroy has played eight holes and is cruising along at par, while Adam Scott has completed his round at par. Play will resume early Friday morning, preceding the second round.

I was expecting some much lower scores on this course, as the players have been allowed to pick and place the ball, just because there there could be some mud on the ball. Play the ball as it lies, that is what we all have to do.

I am going on a golf trip at the weekend, and there is no WIFI where I am going so will have to catch up reporting on this tournament when I return.

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