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Nedbank Golf Challenge. Donaldson Dominates.

Jamie Donaldson dominates at the Nedbank Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa.

Jamie Donaldson  (Getty Images)

Jamie Donaldson / Getty Images

Jamie carded a -5 under par 67 in round three of the Nedbank Golf Challenge to lead the tournament at -16 under par, a three shot advantage going into the final round. It would have been a shot more had he not bogeyed the 17th hole, he said he was between clubs;

“I was in between clubs and it put me in trouble but in the end I came out with a good five. I’m still in a strong position and I’ve got to go out there tomorrow and play really good golf.  It’s a tough field, a lead of three doesn’t mean much among these guys.”

Thomas Björn and Ryan Moore are tied in second place at -13 under par, Thomas thinks he still has a chance tomorrow in the final round, if he can go low;

“I got off to a good start and played solid golf. That’s what you need to do on this course. If I can shoot 66 or 67 tomorrow, I’ll give myself a chance. But you have to play sensible golf, not try and chase down the leader.”

Ryan, a recent winner on the US PGA Tour, carded a -3 under par 33 front nine, before picking up two further shots on the back to complete a -5 under par 67 third round.

Five shots off the lead at -11 under par for the tournament are Thongchai Jaidee, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson.

Henrik will be ruing his compounded error, twice finding the water en route to a double bogey seven at the par four ninth hole.

Sergio produced one of the shots of the day, to chip in for an Eagle 3 at the par five 14th hole, and followed that with birdies at 16 and 17. While Thongchai went bogey free in his round of -6 under par 66.

Volvo World Match Play Championship. G-Mac Wins

G-MacGraeme McDowell, won the Volvo World Match Play Championship. beating Thongchai Jaidee 2&1 in the final round at Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort in Bulgaria.

Graeme McDowell  (Getty Images)

G-Mac with the coveted Trophy / Getty Images

Graeme had to come from behind to beat Thongchai Jaidee in the final round of the Volvo World Match Play, he was last years runner-up, and was determined to go one better this year. One down at the turn G-Mac had a winning streak of three wins in four holes, which was enough for him to lift the Trophy.

G-Mac was elated to finally add his name to the illustrious trophy;

 ” Obviously a nice day and a great trophy. I talked about it all week about the prestige of this event and how many great champions, and nice to add my name to that list of legends. We talked a lot about what Volvo have done with this event, what they have done with golf around the world and coming to Bulgaria this week obviously was a brave move, but I think it’s paid off. Sitting here with the trophy I’m going to say great things about the place but I think if you talk to all the players, I think everyone enjoyed themselves, everyone enjoyed the golf course. It was a little bit more tentative this afternoon. It was tough to keep that level of golf up all weekend, and the key putts really this afternoon were with the par saves on nine and ten , they were massive.  I sensed from Thongchai after that that he was starting to fatigue a little bit; I really sensed a bit of an opening. I just had to hit the shots and I did that well coming down the stretch. The mistake he made on 14 and then the birdie I made on 15 was really the telling stuff. “

“Like I say, it’s great to put my name on the trophy. I’m looking across to see Montgomerie and Westwood just popping off the trophy at me, great European Tour legends, Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, the history of this event, it’s fantastic. This feels really, really like a special win. I’m sure Volvo are going to work hard to take this tournament from strength to strength and get it back as one of the premiere events, one of the special events on The European Tour season, which it needs to be. Els, Montgomerie, Westwood, Ballesteros, Norman, Lyle, Faldo, Player, Palmer, it’s just crazy stuff really. To thrust yourself into that – to have your name on a trophy this cool is pretty special.I’ll drink a couple of cold ones tonight and enjoy this. This is a special moment in my career, no doubt about it. Wins are super special, two in five weeks, that’s great. I’m feeling pretty good right now.”

Final Results, winners in Blue.

Semi Finals

RSA Thomas AIKEN 3&2 Thongchai JAIDEE THA

RSA Branden GRACE 3&2 Graeme MCDOWELL NIR

 

Final

THA Thongchai JAIDEE 2&1 Graeme MCDOWELL NIR

 

 

Volvo World Match Play Championship

Results after the opening round of the Volvo World Match Play Championship on the European Tour at the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort in Bulgaria. The biggest upset of the day was Thongchai Jaidee beating Ian Poulter 3&2 in the Pool Gabrielsson.  Poults now has to beat Thomas Aitken tomorrow to progress through to the knock-out rounds. Although it must have come as a bit of a shock to Poults, regarded as the King of match-play, he said it was no drama;

“No dramas. He’s a great player but I gave him holes today and you don’t do that in match play, it’s dead simple. It’s a tough golf course where if you hit a couple of errant shots then you’re going to be struggling to be back in the hole. If you miss a couple of shots then it’s very penal and it’s hard to put your opponent back under pressure. But I’ll be fine. It’s not often you lose in match play and everything is fine.”

Ian Poulter lost to Thongchai Jaidee on Thursday in the first round at the Volvo Match Play, but is still alive due to the group format of the event.

Ian Poulter / Getty Images

Another player with work to do is Nicolas Colsaerts, the defending Champion,who lost his opening match to Branden Grace. He has to beat Kiradech Aphibarnrat to progress. Nicolas also remarked that he was lucky the first matches were not knock-out;

” I know that if I have a good game tomorrow then at least I’m in a playoff. I’ve got the possibility to go through, that’s the consolation of the format.”

Other results are as follows, winners in blue:

ESPGonzalo FDEZ-CASTAÑO 1 up Jamie DONALDSONWAL

DENThorbjørn OLESEN 4&3 Carl PETTERSSONSWE

SWEHenrik STENSON 2&1 Francesco MOLINARIITA

RSABranden GRACE 4&3 Nicolas COLSAERTSBEL

USABo VAN PELT Match Halved Richard STERNERSA

SWEPeter HANSON 2&1 George COETZEERSA

ENGIan POULTER 3&2 Thongchai JAIDEETHA

NIRGraeme MCDOWELL 5&3 Chris WOODENG

Arizona and Snow, not two words that usually go together !!!

Snow covers a signage banner   (Getty Images)

Snow in Arizona, and the caddies had a snowball fight. / Getty Images

Heavy snow in the Arizona desert reduced the WGC Accenture Match Play tournament to less than four hours’ play on the opening day at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain.

Early on in the freezing temperatures, Sergio Garcia was able to get the tournament off on time at an unearthly time of  7.25 am, and amazingly he was on the 16th green and two up against Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, when the action was called off. Sergio was possibly one putt away from victory, but he, like everybody else was just happy to retreat to the warmth of the clubhouse.

This tournament does have the ability to make up a lot of lost time, with the likeliest scenario now being that the third round and quarter-finals will both be staged on Saturday, play will now resume at 08:30 am on Thursday.

This tournament is now on hold.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Justin Jogs Along

 

Justin Rose  (Getty Images)

Justin Rose / Getty Images

Justin Rose jogged through the third round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship with a -4 under par round of 68. He now has a two shot lead over the field. Jamie Donaldson is in second place at -10 under par after his third round score of -3 69, he shares second spot with Thorbjorn Olesen.

Thongchai Jaidee is alone in fourth place at -9 under par following his marvelous round of -6 under par, 66. New Zealand’s Michael Campbell is still showing some interest in this tournament, he now at -7 under par, five shots off the pace going into the last round.

Justin was pretty candid with his comments;

“I came here with no expectations, I came here to see where my game is at. Anybody who wins this week, they have beaten the Number One and Number Two in the world. You can say you’ve beaten the best. I believe that any tournament I tee up in I can win.”

Jaime Donaldson had a victory last year in the Irish Open, so far that is his only triumph, but he is feeling confident here;

“I feel pretty good, I played some great recovery shots out there. It was another tough day out there, even though there wasn’t much wind. I couldn’t have really scored much better than that.”

Thorbjorn Olesen won the Sicilian Open last year, and is also full of confidence;

“I won last year and that gave me a lot of confidence, and I had a few second places. So I’m learning in every tournament, and it’s been a really good process the last three years. Hopefully I can make a few birdies tomorrow and make it exciting.”

David Howell, is at -8 under par, his last victory was  in 2006 at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, but has kind of dropped off the radar since then. David commented about his record in this tournament;

 “I’ve never really played well here, a couple of top twenties I think maybe. But if I can have a great day tomorrow obviously I can post a very good total. I’ve played really consistently for the best part of a year and I’m playing some of the best golf I ever have really. I’m just coming from a low position. It’s hard to fight your way back up there, but I’m doing it bit by bit and a big finish or a win would go a long way to taking me right back to where I want to be.”

I honestly don’t think David, or anyone can catch Justin, with the mood that he is in. He was relegated to fifth in the Official World Golf Rankings by Louis Oosthuizen’s victory in South Africa last week, Justin would take the position back by lifting a title worth €336,725.

 

 

Volvo Golf Champions, Awesome Oosthuizen Wins

Louis Oosthuizen   (Getty Images)

Louis Oosthuizen / getty images

Louis Oosthuizen won the Volvo Golf Champions tournament in South Africa at the Durban Country Club on Sunday. He shot an awesome last round 66,  -6 under par, for a -16 under par total, to win by one shot from Scott Jamieson, who could only manage a par round of 72, and watched as the title slipped through his fingers, he finished at -15 under par.

This win is Louis’ sixth European Tour title and one that elevates him to a career-high fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking, pushing England’s Justin Rose down to fifth in the world.

In interview Louis said;

” It was a great week, a lot of things happened. It’s a great start to the year, I knew I had to come out and get my name up there. After being five down, to make it up after 12 holes, I was really chuffed about that. I just played really well all day.”

Scott Jamieson had no shame in losing out to a Major Champion, but was annoyed about his double bogey on hole 5:

“Louis is a Major Champion, there’s no shame in losing to him, I gave it my all, but it wasn’t to be. The double bogey was a kick in the teeth, but I had tons of chances and couldn’t take them.”

Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand secured  third place at – 14 under par, closing with a round of 68, with Ireland’s Padraig Harrington also closing with a -4 under par 68, to climb to fourth position on his own at -12 under par for the tournament.

Alstom Open de France, 1st round, Christian Nilsson Leads

Sweden’s Christian Nilsson leads the Alstom Open de France after the first round at Le Golf National in Paris. His opening round of -6 under par 65, on the par 71 layout, gives him a one shot advantage over three other competitors. The players tied for second spot on -5 under par are; England’s Gary Boyd, Italy’s teenager Matteo Manassero  and Thongchai Jaidee from Thailand.

Christian Nilsson  (Getty Images)

Christian Nilsson (Getty Images)

Christian said in interview;

“It’s been a struggle for me so far this year. My long game was pretty bad, but it’s improved and this is good for my confidence. I’ve been very patient I think. I’ve been practising on things I believe in and just waiting for something to happen, finally looks like it did.”

Gary Boyd referred to the terrible round he had at Celtic Manor;

“That was a bit of a disaster, but I’ve had a lot of positive signs the last three weeks. I’m working on the right things I feel and am getting comfortable again. My game wasn’t where it needed to be and it was time to take a time-out.”

Matteo was happy with his round;

“It was a very good round, everything was going the right direction, the way I wanted. You have to give yourself the most opportunities for birdies that you can, and I didn’t feel like I putted that well, but I was solid and I made some of those chances.”

England’s World Number Three Lee Westwood recovered from four over after six holes and from playing one shot while standing in a lake, to match Open Champion Darren Clarke’s 70. Lee said he did not do too much wrong;

 “I didn’t do much wrong to be four over, but there’s not a lot of panic in me any more , I haven’t got much time for that. It was not going my way, but you just have to get it out of your mind.”

Of the water adventure on hole nine, Lee remembered Thomas Levet jumping in the lake and breaking his leg after winning last year,  he said;

” I didn’t know what was in there, I’ve got plenty of shoes with me.”

Darren Clark, who made his first cut of the year at Royal Portrush last Friday, managed to mix five birdies, two of them in the dangerous last three holes , with two bogey sixes and a double bogey six, for his -1 under par round of 70.

Handa Wales Open @ Celtic Manor, Jaidee Wins

Thongchai Jaidee  (Getty Images) Thongchai Jaidee (Getty Images)

Thongchai Jaidee won the Handa Wales Open at a wet and windy Celtic Manor to claim his first European Tour win on European soil, all four of his previous victories on his home continent. Thongchai’s last round 72 gave him a tournament total of -6 under par, to win by one shot from Thomas Bjorn, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano, Joost Luiten and Richard Sterne, who all finished at -5 under par.

Thongchai was really pleased with his win. albeit with rules officials assistance;

” I want to say thank you to all my family, all the supporters and the sponsors here. Conditions were quite tough for me. I tried to hit everything on the fairway, that’s the main thing, then hit the ball on the green. It was very, very tough for me, not like Thailand!”

 Ross Fisher finished at -4 under par and left with far less happy memories this time after being penalised a shot for slow play when one off the lead. Ross  fell foul of European Tour rules when he took too long over shots at the 11th and 14th holes, exceeding the allocated 40 seconds on both occasions. By comparison, Joost Luiten was told to speed up, but no penalty stroke awarded. Would be interesting if they used this 40 second rule on the USPGA Tour, the amount of time some of those players take, they could be in danger of losing a few players at each tournament.

So golf is now another one of those sports where the winner is decided by officials, rather than the team or player who actually performs better but just gets a contentious call from officialdom. Are all the officials on the course presented with a stop watch at the start of play everyday ?

Ross commented after the tournament;

” I don’t think it’s justice, but there you go.”

Handa Wales Open @ Celtic Manor,Thongnchai Jaidee leads by one.

Thongchai Jaidee  (Getty Images)

Thongchai Jaidee (Getty Images)

Thongchai Jaidee has given himself an opportunity to register his first victory on European soil as a third round -4 under par,67  in the Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor puts him in the lead at  the top of the leader board. The Thai golfer now has an advantage in the ISPS Handa Wales Open,  over second round leader Ross Fisher, who could only muster a par third round and also Joost Luiten. Joost had an amazing third round of -7 under par 64, which propelled him up the leader board into tied for second place.

Thongchai is excited by the opportunity to win in on European soil for the first time;

 I’ve won a lot of times in Asia and I’ve played well a lot of times in Asia. In Europe, it’s very important for me to do well because the weather is going to be very difficult for me. I’ve learned a lot of things, how to play with these conditions. I think this time it’s a very good chance. You never know how it’s going to be tomorrow, but I’ll try to give it my best and look forward. If I keep my game plan like this, I have a good chance. I’ll play my own game, the best thing to do is to hit fairways, hit the greens and putt well. That’s my key tomorrow.”

The 42-year-old Thongchai birdied the par five 18th after an incredible drive measured at 410 yards,and then only needed a seven iron second to the 575 yard hole. He unfortunately pushed it into a bunker, but made a 12 foot putt for the outright lead.

 He was pleasantly surprised with the drive;

“I think 320 is the longest for me, so when we got to the top of the hill I asked ‘where’s the ball?’ and a marshal told me. I thought it was 390, but 410 sounds better.” He

Ross Fisher stubbed his toe in his hotel room on Friday night;

“There were a few expletives and it was extremely painful. I couldn’t put any weight on it and half-contemplated playing in trainers.
One of the toes is as purple as anything. I iced it and two of the toes were strapped together, but I hit it everywhere and I’m glad to finish. It would mean a lot to win. I set very high standards and I reached 17th in the world, so I know I have the game. “

“Given where I hit it that’s one of the best level par rounds I’ve ever had. I hung in there and dug deep.

Dutchman, Tim Sluiter is another shot further back after his third round score of  -3 under par, 68, and is alone with a tournament total of -5 under par.

Germany’s Marcel Siem has made a remarkable recovery from yesterday’s poor round, to shoot a third round -5 under par 66, which has put him in good position to maybe have a say in the outcome of this tournament tomorrow.

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