Euro Tour. Alstom Open De France.Fabrizio Zanotti Leads.

Fabrizio Zanotti leads the Alstom Open De France at the conclusion of the second round at the Le Golf National course in Paris. Early fog at Le Golf National outside Paris meant a one-hour delay this morning.

Fabrizio Zanotti  (Getty Images)

Fabrizio Zanotti / Getty Images

Fabrizio carded  a second consecutive round of 68 to lead by one shot, with a tournament total of -6 under par. He said he was very happy with the situation;

” I’m very happy, I struggled a little from the tee but I putted very well during the day and pretty happy with the round. It was pretty tough out there, and the course is playing very hard, so very happy. I think it’s a very good score, so I will try to keep playing like this and just have fun. I haven’t played very well during the year, but I’m working very hard and I think this is because of all the work, I am always positive. It’s pretty tough to keep working when you are not playing good, but that is the way all the guys play good, so you have to keep working to get where you want. On a course like this, I think that you have to accept everything. It’s playing very tough and the greens are getting hard, so it’s going to be very hard. Like I said, keep patient and have fun, there is no other way.”

There is a three-way tie in second place at -5 under par, they are Richard Sterne, Thomas Björn and  Søren Kjeldsen.

Richard said he lost concentration half way round, but then recovered well;

” It was a good finish to the day, I started off well and kind of fell asleep halfway. I made a couple of weak bogeys from the fairway, and I had a good finish.I hit good shots and I made good putts at the right time. I think I needed to finish strong to give myself a chance going into the weekend.”

Soren was just happy to be in contention;

” I haven’t really been in contention in any tournaments this year, so this is a massive bonus. You’re not going to get me to talk about winning and stuff like that, certainly not now. I’m just enjoying playing good golf, and hopefully I can keep going.”

Someone else who is happy to be in contention is Graeme McDowell, who has not been playing too well lately, but is a group of players at -4 under par;

“I’m playing this golf course the way it’s supposed to be played, fairways and greens. Once you start hitting it off-line it will punish you.I just have not got the putter revved up but I am well in touch and right where I need to be. It’s been a rough couple of months for me. I’ve not been playing the kind of golf I’d like to and the key to this week was to come and get myself in the mix for the weekend and get some of the juices flowing again. I’m excited for the weekend and to make a cut really. It feels like a step in the right direction. I certainly know what to do when I put myself in these positions. I just have not had the opportunity to do it lately. I’m probably on one of my worst missed cut runs in a while. It’s nice to break that, first and foremost, and be on the leaderboard.”

 

 

 

Scottish Open, Marvelous Molinari in Control

Molinari lights up Inverness to lead at Castle Stuart

Francesco Molinari (Getty Images)

Marvelous Francesco Molinari has taken control of the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart in Inverness, Scotland. Francesco had a sparkling third round of -5 under par, 67, to lead the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at -17 under par. Francesco has enjoyed arguably the best run of his career with the putter recently, which has been a key factor in his success this week in the first three rounds. He is obviously aiming to win tomorrow, but takes heart at the way he is playing going into The Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

” My golf and my form are getting better and better. Obviously it’s a very good time to be playing this well, and I’ll just see how it goes tomorrow. But however it goes, I know I’m going to be at Lytham playing well and so it’s just a case of keep doing the same stuff and see what happens. I think for the moment, obviously to win here is the first goal.  But it’s good to know, not only from this week, but from last week, as well, that I’m playing well and putting well.”

Dane Anders Hansen is in second spot on his own, thanks to a -7 under par, 65, third round score, and a total of -16 under par.      Anders said of his steady round;

“I played steady today and did not make many mistakes and just kept the ball in play and gave myself some opportunities, and so it was pretty steady. It’s a new day tomorrow.  We’ll see what is going to happen. Francesco is obviously playing very, very good golf at the moment. I had a great finish last week, so it’s going to be fun to play with him. It’s very, very difficult to pick a winner. The scores are so low. It’s very difficult to keep making putts and to keep making birdies.”

Soren Kjeldsen and Scotland’s Marc Warren share third place at -15 under par, Soren is aiming for a good day tomorrow as he targets the one qualification spot available for the Open. He reported;

“I would love to play. If I play well tomorrow and I get in, it’s a bonus, but I have plans to have a little bit of a rest and be away from the game a little bit. If I get the chance to go to Lytham, I will obviously smile and go at it.”

As a local boy, Marc would love to win his home tournament and admitted he had a lot of chances today;

” It was one of the most stress free days really. I felt really in control of everything I was doing, which was different from the first two days. I felt like I was fighting it a little bit, especially off the tee.  But today drove it really well and had a lot of chances. “

There are four players at -14 under par, including another two Scotsmen, Martin Laird and Peter Whitehead, who would also be very keen to win their home Championship. With the same score are American Phil Mickelson and Alexander Noren.

 Alexander, who was Francesco playing partner today, and was really matching Francesco shot for shot until he suffered the ignominy of losing a ball, due to a poor tee shot on the 12th hole. That mishap, which resulted in Alex carding an eight on the hole leaves him three shots off the lead at -14 under par. Martin Laird said he thinks his friends in the gallery will help him tomorrow;

“I did exactly what I needed to; to get myself back in the mix here. My goal was to shoot a low one, and I obviously did that and I’m happy. I’ve got friends and family in the gallery but also the local people cheering me on.  It was great, seemed like every birdie I made, I picked up a few more people and it was great to hear them willing you on.”

Everyone will still be acutely aware of the presence of Phil Mickelson, at just three shots back he is a fierce competitor. Also one shot further back is World number one Luke Donald, I think he will be firmly in the mix coming down the stretch Sunday afternoon.

Reale Seguros Open de España. Molinari Wins

                                                                                                                                      

Magic final round secures title for Molinari

Francesco Molinari (Getty Images)

Francesco Molinari shot a brilliant closing round of -7 under par and 65, and a tournament total of -8, to win the Reale Seguros Open de España, his  third European Tour title. The overnight leader Simon Dyson could only manage a 76 , and that after birdies at the first two holes, Francesco produced the best round of the week, here in Seville, Spain. With seven birdies in the first 14 holes followed by four closing pars gave the 29 year old the first prize of more than €333,330.

Francesco knew he just needed some putts to drop;

“I knew I was playing well. I just needed some putts to drop. I was also hoping the other guys would not go too far under par and everything worked out perfectly. The first leaderboard I saw where I was leading was on 12, but they had a few more birdie chances than me and so I knew I needed a couple more.”

This win moves Francesco back into the world’s top 30, but he is still not in a qualifying position for this year’s Ryder Cup, he commented;

 “I just have to play the same golf a few more weeks and hopefully I will be there.  Everybody is desperate to make the team, but unfortunately for us there are only 12 spots. It’s going to be hard, there are a lot of great players in Europe at the moment.”

In this kind of form Francesco Molinari would be a great asset to the Ryder Cup Team.

Tied in second spot, three shots adrift of the leader were, Alejandro Canizares, Soren Kjeldsen and Pablo Larrazabal. Local favorite Jorge Campillo finished with a tournament score of -3 under par, and five shots off the winning total.