Euro Tour. N.H. Collection Open. Crespi Collects First Tour Title

dragon logo darkMarco Crespi collects his first European Tour title at the NH Collection Open in Spain.

Marco Crespi  (Getty Images)

Marco Crespi / Getty Images

Italian Marco came through Qualifying School at the 11th attempt in November to earn a first season on The European Tour, and has now won his first tour title here at the NH Collection Open. His final round of -3 under par 69 gave him a tournament total of -10 under par, and a two shot advantage over his nearest rival at La Reserva de Sotogrande Culb de Golf.

He said he had played well, with putting being the key, and obviously was very happy;

” This is my 11th year as a professional and my first on the European Tour. I have been waiting a long time for this moment.”

“I started very well today, I birdied the first and that gave me the confidence to go low. I just had to manage my pressure on the back nine. I lost a couple of shots on 12 and 13. On 12 I hit a very bad eight iron to the green, my only bad shot of the day.”

” On 13 I had a very long iron, a three iron, and it wasn’t a really bad shot. But then I birdied the next, I really like the 14th because I birdied it every day. I played very good and I am very happy.”

“Putting has been the key this week, the greens were perfect, I felt very confident and the ball rolled beautifully. I have been waiting a long time for this moment and I would like to dedicate my win to my wife Elena and to Carlotta, our two-year old daughter.”

Two players tied in second place at -8 under par, they were: Jordi Garcia Pinto and Richie Ramsay. Jordi lept up the leaderboard with a last round -6 under par 66, while Richie carded a -4 under par 68 to get to his total.

Jordi said hard work and dedication had helped him become a better golfer

“I have been working hard all winter. I spend eight hours on the golf course, working on all aspects of the game and the results are starting to show. I came without expectations and things have turned out nicely; 66 is a great score to finish the tournament but we have a long season ahead. I learned that last year when I won in Kenya, I must go on working and trying to score consistently week after week.”

Tied in fourth place at -7 under par were Matthew Nixon and Felipe Aguilar, they had been in contention all week but just did not play well in the final round. Felipe with a -1 under par last round effort and Matthew with +1 over par.

Euro Tour. N.H. Collection Open. Nixon Nudges Ahead.

dragon logo darkMatthew Nixon nudges ahead in the N.H. Collection Open at La Reserva de Sotogrande Club de Golf, in Spain.

Matthew Nixon   (Getty Images)

Matthew Nixon / Getty Images

Matthew takes a one shot lead into the final round of the NH Collection Open in Spain following his third round -7 under par 65, which included two bogey’s. He sits proudly at the top of the leaderboard at -8 under par for the tournament.

So far this year Matthew has made only one cut, and he said everything about this round was nice;

” I really enjoyed it, the sun’s been shining and I played really nicely. I don’t remember much about it apart from the fact that I kept knocking them close and knocking the putts in. If I could do that again tomorrow it would come in handy.”

“Today the conditions are obviously a little better, but it was just one of them days. I had a nice start and it just kept going. Exactly the same day tomorrow would be nice!”

Marco Crespi also had a better round three, shooting -6 under par 66, which left him alone in second place at -7 under par. He is now full of confidence and is going to fight for the title tomorrow;

“I am very happy because I played great all day long. Always in the middle of the fairway, hitting for the pin, just waiting for birdies,  and finally they came, five in a row. And that’s it, that’s the way to make six under. I was patient; normally I am a very patient person.”

“Tomorrow I am going to fight for the title, that’s for sure, and I am pretty confident because I am playing very good. The weather forecast is good and if it’s a day like this I think I can do well.”

Felipe Aguilar is in third place, a third round of -2 under par 70 giving him a tournament total of -6 under par. One shot behind Felipe is Ricardo Santos, who put together a tidy third round of -5 under par 67, giving him fourth place on his own at -5 under par.

Ricardo spoke about the tough first three holes on this course and his good putting;

“I was very consistent off the tee, which is very important on this course and really solid into the greens. I putted quite well, not really well, but quite well. Today is warmer, with less wind but the course is still tough, specially the holes into the wind.”

“The course is tough because we start with three very strong par fours and if you don’t start really well you are struggling. That’s probably the reason that we don’t have really low scores under the better conditions.”

A tight leaderboard means the winner will need a very good round of golf tomorrow, probably have to shoot the lowest round of the week to lift this trophy.

Euro Tour. N.H. Collection Open, Rain in Spain.

dragon logo dark The first round of the N.H. Collection Open was suspended for two hours and 40 minutes because of heavy rain in Cadiz on the La Reserva de Sotogrande Club de Golf course in Spain.

Jack Doherty  (Getty Images)

Jack Doherty / Getty Images

 

So far Jack Doherty  is  leading the inaugural NH Collection Open with a completed first round of -3 under par.

Jack spoke about a tough day, this is his first year on Tour;

“It was a tough day, we had a 20 yard wind on the front nine and almost 30 yards on the back nine, which is a lot. The ball is going a long way downwind and it’s hardly going anywhere into the wind, but I practice on the West Coast of Scotland which is normally quite windy, so I know how to play it and I just stuck to my game plan.”

“The course is lovely, it’s my first time here and I enjoyed it. I like the way it sets up and it’s in good condition. Considering we had lots of rain yesterday and last night, the course has held up nicely and the greens are fast, especially downwind. This is my first year on the main Tour and my main target is to keep my card for next year; that would be the main goal, as I am limited in my starts. Every week is big, but a big week here would be huge.”

Bradley Dredge has completed his opening round, finishing with a -2 under par score, and currently sharing third place with three other players, but they have yet to finish their rounds.

Approximately 50% of the field are in various stages of their first rounds, and there is a large group of players sat at -1 under par as half of the 144-player field was unable to finish the opening round of this inaugural European Tour event.

European Tour, 2nd round @ Reale Seguros Open de España in Seville

   

Gregory Bourdy  (Getty Images)

     Gregory Bourdy (Getty Images)

Gregory Bourdy leads after the second round of the Reale Seguros Open de España, in Seville. Gregory’s -6 under par round of 66 gives him just a one shot lead over four players with a tournament total of -5 under par. Right behind him at -4 under the card for the tournament are, Simon Dyson, Matteo Manassero, Robert Rock and local favorite Jorge Campillo. Anyone who is under par in this tournament is still in with a chance to win, the field is that close and so far no one has taken a grip on it.

Gregory said of the tough conditions;

“I’ve just been patient, I’ve not made a score like that for a long time in these conditions. It’s good for the confidence. I’m very happy about this round, particularly in these conditions. I made eight birdies and just two bogeys.  Yesterday one over was not so bad in that wind, but today I played really well, I felt comfortable and very solid, very consistent and I also made some important putts, so I’ll try to keep going like this.”

Simon  polished off  his 69 with a 12 foot putt for eagle, using his new belly putter;

“It appeared to bobble and I started walking, but it kept going and dropped.  I switched because I’ve just not been holing out well. It’s harder to get the pace, but I start it on the right line more consistently.”

Matteo was really very happy with his score, but thought he did not actually play that well;

“It wasn’t an easy day and I’m happy because I didn’t really play that well but managed to score.  Today I took the right side of the draw. Early morning we just had a little breeze and it’s certainly going to be more difficult in the afternoon. I didn’t play really well, but never put myself in serious trouble. I’ve scrambled well, I made some good up and downs at the beginning of my back nine, but the last four or five holes I started playing very good golf well and that gives me some confidence.  I’m really happy to be in contention, to be around the lead, and we shall see what happens.”

Notables missing the cut include; Michael Campbell, Alvaro Quiros, Rich Beam, Colin Montgomery, Paul Lawrie and amazingly Miguel Angel Jimenez, the Spaniard has never won his National title.