Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. David Howell Wins.

David Howell won his first European Tour event in seven years with a victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

David Howell  (Getty Images)

David Howell / Getty Images

David won in a sudden death play-off against American Peter Uihlein, both players had finished the tournament on -23 under par. David had the clubhouse lead after he set the target with his final round of -5 under par 67 on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Peter had a winning birdie attempt from 15 feet on the last hole which came up inches short, sending then into the sudden death play-off.

David won the play-off with a birdie from eight feet, Peters long rang birdie attempt was short.

David was ecstatic with his victory;

” It’s incredible, the sun is shining and the crowd have come out, I have never played in an Open Championship here but to win a golf tournament as a professional at the Home of Golf is quite amazing and I am really thrilled. I was really nervous all week and strangely less nervous today, I can’t explain that at all. I stayed calm and smooth under pressure and that was really pleasing. It’s been a long, long road from the depths of despair. I have had a lot of support from people around me and this is for them, too. It is sweet to win and a dream. “

Peter did not make the putts he needed to on the day;

“He made more putts than I did at the end of the day and he did great. Hats off to David, he played great and made a nice birdie so congratulations to him. I just didn’t make the putts when I needed to come out and that’s the way it is.” 

Shane Lowry and Tom Lewis finished tied in third place, just one shot outside the play-off at -22 under par. Tom came charging through the field with a final round of -8 under par 64, while Shane carded a closing round -4 under par 68.

Tom’s finish has put him into the top 110 in the Race to Dubai, and he said that he had played well all week;

“I played well all week, it’s just a shame a couple more putts can’t go in, and I messed a couple holes up yesterday at Carnoustie. Today was nice to have kept a clean sheet, no bogeys, and it was really important because I expected to drop a couple. It’s a great week and it’s my best week of the year and hopefully I can go forward from here.” 

Tommy Fleetwood was in fifth place on his own at -21 under par, a final round of -3 under par 69, was enough for a good tournament for him.

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Lewis Leads

Tom Lewis leads the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the conclusion of the second round in Scotland.

Tom Lewis  (Getty Images)

Tom Lewis / Getty Images

Tom Lewis, who currently stands at 155 in the Race To Dubai, and only has three weeks left to climb back into the top 110, has helped his cause by leading the Alfred Dunhill Links championship at the half way stage. Tom recorded a -7 under par 65 in the second round, played on the Old Course at St Andrews, to top the leaderboard at -15 under par.

Tom said the lack of wind today made it easier;

” Seven under is a good score at St Andrews but there was no wind today so I think you would be disappointed if you did not shoot better than five under. I feel like I am home again. Links golf suits me, I won the St Andrews Links Trophy here in 2011 and it’s great to come back. I knew I had good form coming in but Friday has been my enemy this year so it’s good to get it out of the way.”

Joost Luiten is alone in second place at -14 under par, he carded a second round -9 under par on the Kingsbarns course, starting on the tenth tee.

There are six players all tied in third place at -13 under par, Tommy Fleetwood, Mark Foster, Oliver Wilson, Richard McEvoy, Hennie Otto and Peter Uihlein.

Peter, playing Kingsbarns backwards, starting on the tenth tee, came close to making history. His Eagle attempt on the ninth just rolled past the edge of the hole, which would have given him a round of 59. It would have been the first 59 ever recorded on the European Tour. Even so a -12 under par 60, is a superb effort around the Kingsbarns course;

“I knew I needed to make an eagle and I thought I hit a good putt. I thought it would come back to the right but it kept going left. I had a lot of good moments today and I drove the ball well and hit a lot of wedges. Today started off with me hitting it close and not making anything and then I started holing it from everywhere. It was just one of those days that went for me. When I made that birdie on the 17th to go 11 under that was the first time 59 crossed my mind. I was in the zone out there and it was cool. I am definitely not as calm underneath as it looked, but I just tried to stay with my routines and keep the same swing thought. I put a lot of work in during the off-season and even on my off weeks I’m still practicing and grinding so it’s nice to see the results so quickly.”

Richard is battling to avoid a second successive visit to Qualifying School, he sits at 171 on the list, a long way from the top 110;

“In a way that kind of helps, because I need to keep pushing, I can’t sit back and think that I can maybe finish top 20 and that will can keep my card, because it won’t. I need to keep pushing and I need to keep making birdies. I need to keep playing the aggressive golf I’ve done the first two days and I think that helps.”

Euro Tour. Lyoness Open. Tom Lewis Leads.

Tom Lewis, from England, leads after the first round of the Lyoness Open, powered by Greenfinity, at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, Austria.

Flawless Lewis leads at Diamond Country Club

Tom Lewis / Getty Images

Tom Lewis stamped his authority on the Lyoness Open with an opening bogey free round of -9 under par 63, which gave him a two shot lead over the field.

Tom said it was really only his putting today that made the difference between today and the rest of his year;

“It’s a great start, “I had some good fortune around the 17th and 18th, which was my front nine, and that made the back nine more relaxed. I holed a lot of putts, which was really the only difference between today and the rest of the year. This year’s been tough but I’ve been very close and shown a lot of good stuff. Today it all came together and if I can have three more rounds like that I’ll be alright. I always seem to throw in a double bogey in a round or a tournament and it pushes me out of contention. I’ve got to try to limit the mistakes and not get too down on myself, and I’ve been working hard on that with a lot of people. I’ve got a lot of support from friends and family, and good coaches, so with a bit of talent I’ve got no excuses.We travel so much and there’s so many different places, grasses, time differences – it can get to a lot of players. Some weeks you’re feeling great and some weeks you’re not. I need to turn the great weeks into really great weeks, and the not so great weeks I need to grind it out. I’ve got high expectations and not very much patience. Because I’ve struggled the last year or so I’ve lowered my expectations, which has been a good thing and has got my confidence back up. Hopefully I can get off to a good start tomorrow and make a few birdies early on. If I make a few mistakes, which I will this week, I just need to not get down on myself and I’ll be fine.”

Dutchman Joost Luiten is in second place, with his opening round of -7 under par, 65, he also said his putter was his best friend today;

It always feels good to have a great score in the first round, I was four under after four and that keeps the round going. I hit a lot of fairways and greens and the putter was my best friend today. The course is starting to dry out but you don’t get any roll on the ball. The greens are very good so you can really make some putts. The weather was perfect today and there was no wind, which was good because when it’s windy it’s a very tough golf course. I played well two years ago which was my first and only time here. I finished third, so I know I can play well on this course and I showed it again today. It doesn’t matter who’s the favourite, you just have to go out and shoot as low a score as possible.”

There are four players tied in third place, all at -6 under par, they are; Graeme Storm, Alexander Levy, Richard McEvoy and Simon Dyson.

Graeme thought he should have been at -8 under, the way he played, but missed some chances;

“I stayed very composed and tee to green I played as well as I could have, I think I only missed three greens and I holed a few nice putts. I felt as though I could have shot eight under today, but I missed a couple of chances. It’s slightly disappointing bogeying the last as I had the perfect yardage for a six iron. I just pulled it a bit, which I did with a couple of irons in the last few holes, so I’ll be going to the range after lunch to fix that. Other than that I played great all day. I had a nice little run on seven, eight and nine, and should have birdied the tenth as well.”

Defending champion and home favorite Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, had consecutive birdies at the sixth and seventh as he opened his account here with a -4 under par. 68.

“I’m not ecstatic, but it’s a good start, I kept it together well and had to scramble a lot, especially on my front nine. On the back nine I had a few chances and managed to take a few of them. I started with a 71 last year so this is three better. Hopefully that means I can get to 20 under this time.”

Volvo World Match Play Championship, Poulter out

Defending champion Ian Poulter has been knocked out of the 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championship by Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, with what looks like an easy win at 4-3. Another Englishman,Justin Rose is also out, beaten by Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium by the same 4-3 score. In fact there are no Englishmen competing on day four of the tournament. Tom Lewis went down to Sergio Garcia, Richard Finch to Graeme McDowell and Robert Rock  fell to Retief Goosen.

In the quarter finals G-Mac eased out local boy Sergio Garcia, and Paul Lawrie had an easy time of it despatching Retief Goosen 6 and 5. Brandt Snedeker and his borrowed clubs finally fell to Nicolas Colsaerts, while Alvaro Quiros lost to countryman Rafael Cabrera-Bello 3 and 1.

Paul Lawrie will now face Nicolas Colsaerts, and Rafael Cabrera-Bellow will play Graeme McDowell in the semi finals.

Rafael said of his match against Alvaro Quiros;

“I got to play with a friend in Alvaro. I’m very happy for me but I feel sorry for him, and he’s such a good guy. We had a good match today. I feel like I’m playing really good.  This morning I recovered in a tough game, being two down with five to play, and now this afternoon, three down after nine and being able to win, I feel really proud of that. I have to play G Mac, and he has a lot of experience and is a Ryder Cup hero, so he’s obviously going to be a very, very tough guy to beat.  I’m going to try my best and I’m playing good. Hopefully I can start as good as I did on my first two matches and if I don’t, I know I can come from behind and make it through. So we’ll just see what happens.”

Graeme thought he was pretty lucky to get past Sergio Garcia;

“It wasn’t exactly El Classico and I feel like I dodged a bullet there. I kind of resigned myself to the fact that I was going home, but sometimes you have to win ugly and sometimes to win you need what just happened to me. I count myself lucky.”

Sergio was disappointed but said he was not quite playing well enough;

I’m playing so badly this could happen at any moment.  Making it to the quarter finals having played so badly means it was a good tournament. I had no good quality shots.  He gave me some chances that I could not take and I have been saying it from the first day that I have not felt comfortable and I am not happy with my game.”

 

The Volvo World Match Play Championship

 

 

Poulter sees off Lewis to top group

Ian Poulter (Getty Images)

Defending Champion  Ian Poulter recorded his second win in the Volvo Match Play Championship in Spain, but 21 year old Tom Lewis, the man he beat, is also through to the last 16. Ian won it  comfortably at 4 and 3 after they had made the turn at all square.The champion  Poulter now faces Alvaro Quiros, while Tom Lewis is also up against Spanish opposition in Sergio Garcia.

Alvaro Quiros will be a tough task according to Ian;

“I don’t think either of us were 100 per cent switched on. I guess it was hard to get that adrenaline rush you normally get in match play.
It’s always nice to play well over the first couple of days, and I’ll be going into the weekend with that mind set and rather than obviously playing okay. Sergio, or Alvaro, are both two tough matches. It’s in Spain, they feel at home, they are going to have a lot of support and are both good players. Either one is going to be a tough match. I’ve driven the ball nicely and holed key putts at the right time, and that’s obviously what I did last year throughout the weekend. I holed nice putts and hit good shots but I definitely holed putts at the right time, and that’s obviously the key to playing well in match play.”

Sergio also wins his group, besides admitting he did not play his best;

 “I wasn’t hitting the best of shots, but somehow I found a way of getting the ball in play and hitting a couple decent iron shots, gave myself good birdie chances on 11 and 12 and 15, and rolled a good putt in to get things going.  I obviously got a little bit fortunate because neither of my playing partners played great the first two days. I got on a good run today after starting poorly the first seven holes. Overall I think it was a mix of hitting a couple of good shots at the right times, and getting a little bit lucky. Throughout my career, I’ve been fairly good at match play. As a professional, maybe not as good but as an amateur I was usually pretty good. It’s nice to get a couple of wins and hopefully we’ll play well tomorrow and have a chance of winning again.”

Afternoon results;

PLAYER ENG Ian POULTER 4&3 Tom LEWIS ENG
McCORMACK USA Brandt SNEDEKER 4&3 Branden GRACE RSA
NORMAN SWE Peter HANSON 6&4 Camilo VILLEGAS COL
WOOSNAM ESP Sergio GARCIA 4&2 Tetsuji HIRATSUKA JPN
LARSON NIR Graeme MCDOWELL 4&3 Jbe KRUGER RSA
PALMER RSA Charl SCHWARTZEL 4&3 Retief GOOSEN RSA
GABRIELSSON ENG Justin ROSE 6&4 Darren CLARKE NIR
BALLESTEROS GER Martin KAYMER 1 Hole Richard FINCH ENG
A/S S Garcia 06:45 T Lewis A/S
A/S G McDowell 06:55 R Finch A/S
A/S P Lawrie 07:05 T Bjorn A/S
A/S R Goosen 07:15 R Rock A/S
A/S B Snedeker 07:25 C Villegas A/S
A/S J Rose 07:35 N Colsaerts A/S
A/S I Poulter 07:45 A Quiros A/S
A/S R Cabrera Bello 07:55 R Karlsson A

Last 16 matches are above.

Volvo Golf Champions – Grace leads after 2nd roundr

Branden Grace took over at the top of the leader board after the second round of the Volvo Golf Champions at The Links at Fancourt, firing a 66 to be at -12 for the tournament. He is now four shots clear of  Thomas Aiken in second place who is  at -8.

Nicolas Colsaerts went from four ahead to four behind in a dismal start to his second round eventually scoring a 76 finishing at -6 and six shots off the lead. Lee Slattery of England is tied for second place with a commendable round of 65, a real improvement from his first round effort. Compatriot Tom Lewis slipped to a 74 and is now eight stokes from the top.

Biggest surprise of the day was the great performance from Ryder Cup Captain  José María Olazábal who had a beautiful round of 68 today to add to his first round 71 . This gives him a tournament total of -7 and is in fourth spot on his own. Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington continue to struggle with the course and are now 8 shots adrift of the leader.