UBS Hong Kong Open. Rafa Cabrera-Bello Leads.

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Rafa Cabrera Bello leads the UBS Hong Kong Open after the first round at the  Hong Kong Golf Club.

 Hong Kong Golf Club

Rafa Cabrera-Bello / getty

Rafa shot -6 under par 64 to lead the UBS Hong Kong Open after the first round, a good turn of play that has not seen him miss a cut in 2016.

An Eagle on his last hole was the icing on the cake for Rafa, along with some good putting;

“That was nice, I had perfect distance, hit a really good shot and was surprised to see it go in. But I had never really finished a round like that and it felt nice.”

“I played really smart today, made very little mistakes. I hit every green, didn’t get myself in trouble off the tee.”

“I was in control of the round all day and putted nicely too, so it was nice work out there.”

“It’s all about position, position, position and rolling one or two putts and I did that very well today.”

Sebatian Gross holds second place at -5 under par after his opening 65.

There are then ten players tied in third place at -4 under after first rounds of 66. Defending Champion Justin Rose, is still struggling with his golf, even par 70 today, and he has now switched to the feeble claw grip for putting. Watching his putting performance today any sane man would tell him that to get a positive putt, he needs a positive grip.

Get in the Hole: Master Putting Manual by [Robbins, Pete]

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, 1st Round Finally Completed, Florentyna Parker Leads

 

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The Omega Dubai Ladies Masters 1st round has finally been completed, and Florentyna Parker leads at the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.

Florentyna Parker / getty

Play resumed after the untimely death of a caddie yesterday, and the suspension of the round, and Florentyna, from England, shot -5 under par 67 to lead the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.

Florentyna, after starting well, sadly finished with a double bogey six, which included a three putt;

“Yesterday I started so well. I had seven birdies on the front nine and gave myself nine chances.”

“The last three years I’ve missed the cut in Dubai and it’s been very disappointing.”

“I was thinking back to 2010, when I finished fourth. I think I started with a five or six-under on the back nine, which was my front nine.”

“And I said, I need to get that feeling back and somehow do the same.”

“It was good that I made back-to-back birdies and obviously I struggled on the last two holes.”

Sophie Giquel-Bettan and Cheyenne Woods share second place, at -4 under par, after their opening rounds of 68.

Cheyenne was extremely happy with her putter performance;

“I thought I played really well, the two nines were a little different.”

“I thought I played a really solid round, hit the ball well and gave myself a lot of chances for birdies and my putter felt great, so I’m really happy with today.”

The Defending Champion, and world number four, Shanshan Feng went round in even par 72, the same score as poor Anne-Lise Caudal, whose caddie,  Max Zechmann, who was only 56 years old, passed away on the course yesterday.

Anne-Lise Caudal's caddie, Max Zechmann (seen at far right), passed away after an apparent heart attack Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Anne-Lise with caddie  Max Zechmann.

This event has been reduced to 54 holes, because of the sad events of yesterday.

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters. Caddie Dies on Course.

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Fist round play of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters was suspended after a caddie collapses and dies out on the Emirates Gold Club course.

Ladies European Tour CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh announced to the media;

“Everyone at the Ladies European Tour is extremely shocked and saddened today by this sudden death and therefore we have taken the decision to suspend first round play as a mark of respect.”

“On behalf of our membership, we offer heartfelt condolences to the individual’s family and loved ones.”

Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAI said;

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of this caddie.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time. May his soul rest in peace.”

Round one play will resume on Thursday morning, with the tournament now to be played over 54 holes.

Hero World Challenge. Hideki Easily Wins.

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Hideki Matsuyama easily wins the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Matsuyama wins Hero World Challenge

Hideki Matsuyama

Hideki carded +1 over par 73 in th final round of the Hero World Challenge, but his -18 under par total was still good enough for the trophy;

Hideki recently won  the Japan Open, and named some of the great Japanese players;

“There’s been some great golfers in Japan.”

“Just to name a few, Jumbo Ozaki, Isao Aoki, Shigeki Maruyama, Tsuneyuki Nakajima.”

“And to be able to follow in their footsteps is a great honor. And then to come to the PGA TOUR and learn from really the best golfers in the world, it’s really helped my game.”  

“I’m grateful for all of their help. But to answer your question, I’m not the greatest golfer from Japan.”

“Jumbo won a hundred times, so unless I win a hundred times, I wouldn’t be greater than Jumbo.”

“Starting next week all my focus and preparation will be for the Masters.”  

“Hopefully, along the way I can play well on the PGA TOUR, but the Masters is my next goal.”

Henrik Stenson was second with a -16 under par total, his final round -4 under 68 was decent, but it did not create any pressure on the man in front of him.

Henrik mentioned the eight shot gap at the start of his round;

“I was miles away and it reminded me of the final round at Pinehurst in 2014 when Kaymer was miles ahead and you were just kind of walking in a bit of a vacuum.”

“I started picking up a few shots, made a nice eagle on 9. Then Hideki ended up in a bit of trouble.”  

“Unfortunately, I three putted from long range on 10, but I still picked up a shot there and then it was the double swing on 14 when he made a bit of a clumsy bogey and I made a good up and down for birdie.” 

“Now all of a sudden it felt like, okay, three back with four to go, there’s an outside chance if I keep on pressing on.”

Matt Kuchar, -2 under 70 today, Rickie Fowler, -3 under 69, and Dustin Johnson, -1 under 71, all shared third place at -13 under par.

Tournament host Tiger Woods could only manage a last round +4 over par 76, for a -4 under total, he was full of praise for Hideki;

“It’s going to give him a boatload of confidence going into next year and he’s going to be one of the top guys to beat for a very long time.”  

“Look at his swing, look at his game and look at the body that he has, it’s built for a workload and it’s built to handle the test of time.”  

“He’s going to be one of the players that we’re going to have to beat for a long time.”

 

 

Alfred Dunhill Championship. Brandon Stone Wins.

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Brandon Stone wins the Alfred Dunhill Championship, by a massive seven shots at Leopards Creek Country Club in South Africa.

Alfred Dunhill Championship

Brandon Stone / getty

Brandon, a home boy from South Africa,  shot -5 under par 67 in the final round, to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship by a comfortable seven shots, with  -22 under par total;

“To get this win before Christmas is obviously great but more importantly it gets me a good start on the Race to Dubai.”

“Obviously I finished 50th this year and I want to build on that and this is the perfect stepping stone to do that.”

“On the front nine, I was tied for the lead at one stage. But I knew my game plan was to try to get maybe one or two under par through the turn and try to score on the back nine.”

“That was the game plan I set myself on Thursday and that was the game plan I was going to stick to today.”

“I knew I could score and I holed some great putts at the first three holes on that back nine which really got the momentum going.”

“I just played some incredible golf the whole week to be fair.”

“I think my ball striking this week was superb from the first hole to the last.”

“That score that I shot this week – 22 under par around here is not a simple task, to do that is obviously quite something.”

Richard Sterne, also from South Africa, was second, at -15 under par, he carded a last round -5 under 67, which was good enough for second on his own.

In third was German Thomas Detry, his final round -4 under 68 moving him up the leaderboard, to finish with a -13 under total, as all the other possible contestants crumbled away.

Australian PGA Championship. H.V.3 Is Champion.

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H.V.3, Harold Varner the Third, is the Australian PGA Championship 2016 Champion at the Gold Coast in Australia, his maiden Tour victory.

Australian PGA Championship

Harold Varner 111 / getty

Harold shot -7 under par 65 in the final round of the Australian PGA Championship, to cruise to victory with a -19 under par total, and a two shot win. Last year he lost in a play-off, this year he returns in glory to claim the title;

“That was pretty awesome, I had a lot of fun out there today.”

“I’ve thought a lot about losing the play-off here last year, it was the closest I came to winning last season so it’s been playing on my mind a little bit.”

“I’m now a much better, more mature player than I was 12 months ago and this win is big for me.”

“Winning is hard, I don’t care where you tee it up, so to get it done feels great.”

Andrew Dodt was looking for a wire to wire win, but could not keep up with the leader over the closing nine holes, -3 under par 69 last round for a -17 under par total, and second place.

Adam Scott, who has won this title before had to settle for third place, at -15 under par, a last round -5 under par 67 not good enough to mount a serious challenge.

 

Hero World Challenge. Hideki Holds The Aces.

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Hideki Matsuyama, from Japan, holds all the aces going into the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas.

Hero World Challenge

Hideki Matsuyama

Hideki shot -7 under pr 65 to lead the Hero World Challenge after 54 holes with a -19 under par total, and a comfortable seven shot advantage over his nearest rivals.

Henrik Stenson, -6 under par 66 today and Dustin Johnson with a miserly even par round of 72 are the two players closest to the leader, both at -12 under par.

The reason Tiger is not leading the competition, according to him was that he could not putt today;

“I didn’t hit the ball that poorly today, but hit bad putts in the middle part of the round.”

Even President elect Donald Trump was pleased to see Tiger back, he tweeted

@TigerWoods: Can’t wait to get back out there and mix it up with the boys. –TW ” Great to have you back Tiger – Special!