Johnnie Walker Championship, A Double At Gleneagles

There is a double at the top of the Johnnie Walker Championship after the first round at Gleneagles. Bernd Wiesberger and Ricardo Gonzalez are the leaders.

Ricardo Gonzalez  (Getty Images)

Bernd Wiesberger / Getty Images

Both of the leaders at the Johnnie Walker Championship had opening rounds of -7 under par, 65 on The Gleneagles Hotel course. Ricardo recorded two bogey’s in his round while Bernd shot a clear round;

 ” I didn’t make a lot of mistakes, I had troubles the last couple weeks driving the ball, and coming off Major Championships where you have to be very precise off the tee, I felt I had a bit more margin of error here. My driving is better the last couple of days, which helped a lot, and I’ve got shorter clubs into the greens, and I could take advantage of those. I came here with the feeling that I like the golf course, I like the weather, playing in these colder conditions, I think it suits me. I’m very relaxed, had last week off, so quite fresh into this tournament and that helped me.”

Ricardo, who has not had a top ten finish this season, but has four European titles to his name said he had played well;

“I played very good from the tee, made some good putts, and that’s why it’s a good score. I like the course, I think the weather opened my eyes and made me take more concentration on my putter and my driver.”

In a very tightly compacted leaderboard there are no less than six players tied in third place at -6 under par. One of them, Oliver Fisher could have joined the top two but unfortunately made bogey at his final hole. The others sharing with Oliver at -6 under par are; Mark Foster, Ross Fisher, Brett Rumford, Thongchai Jaidee and Ignacio Garrido.

Oliver explained how he had benefited from playing  with Jason Dufner, golf’s latest Major Champion, while at The Open Championship;

“I played with Jason the last round, I think he shoot four under and I shoot three, and there’s not a lot between. He’s just gone on to finish second at Bridgestone and won the PGA, and I sat at home watching it on telly. It doesn’t take a lot, the difference in the game to completely change your year or change your career, if you like. I’ll just keep believing and being patient. I know the golf I can play and it’s just a matter of getting out there and taking a bit of responsibility I guess.”

Defending champion Paul Lawrie birdied two of the last three holes for a -2 under par, 70, and is five shots off the lead.

No Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2014

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Gleneagles Golf Course

Created  by Jack Nicklaus, the PGA Centenary Course is the Host Venue for The 2014 Ryder Cup, and a decision by Ryder Cup director Richard Hills, has revealed the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles will not feature on the European Tour in 2014. Richard announced;

 “We are very grateful to the management of both Diageo, the owners of Johnnie Walker, and The Gleneagles Hotel for agreeing to postpone the Johnnie Walker Championship so that preparations for the Ryder Cup can begin as planned in July 2014. The magnitude of the Ryder Cup is such that trying to host the Johnnie Walker Championship in the same season would have compromised both events.”

The  chief operating officer and director of international policy for the European Tour, Keith Walters revealed that a lot of thought had gone into making the decision;

” We looked at rescheduling the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles to an earlier week on the 2014 schedule but a suitable date could not be found. But we are delighted all parties have agreed to reschedule the Championship for 2015.”

This is a sad but unavoidable conclusion, we look forward to the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2015.