BMW PGA Championship. Record Breaking Rooking Wins

White Dragon Golf

Record breaking rookie, South Korean  Byeong-hun An wins the BMW PGA Championship, finishing at -21 under par and beating the previous tournament record by two shots, at Wentworth Club West Course on Sunday.

BMW PGA Championship.

Byeong-hun An / Getty Images

Rookie Byeong-hun carded a fabulous bogey free final round -7 under par 65, to win the BMW PGA Championship with a -21 under par total, and a massive six shots ahead of his nearest challenger.

Obviously he was over the moon with his maiden European Tour win, and securing a place in the US Open and Open Championship;

“I’m still really excited and over the moon right now.”

“I wasn’t expecting this. I didn’t know that a win was this close. It came all of a sudden. I’ve been playing well all year but I never thought I would win this event.”

“I played really well today. I was nervous at the start of the day but confident on every hole because I was hitting it well and putting nicely. I made some mistakes but being bogey-free I think is very good out here.”

“It was great to go into the last hole with a six-shot lead and I love that I’m the first Asian to win this event. It’s great.”

“It’s like a fifth Major to me. It’s the biggest title I have won and gets me into a lot of events. This is life-changing.”

BMW PGA Championship

Byeong-hun and Champagne / Getty Images

Miguel Angel Jiménez and Thongchai Jaidee were tied in second place, those six shots off the pace at -15 under par for the tournament.

England’s Chris Wood, who suffered a broken wrist earlier in the year, finished in fourth spot, a last round -6 under 66, which included an Ace at the 179 yard par three 14th, and gave him a total of -13 under par. The Ace also came with the reward of a  BMW i8, Chris went over to the car, and squeezed in the gull-wing door and tried it out for size;

“I just about fit in there.”

BMW PGA Championship

Chris Wood and BMW i8 / Getty Images

“Last night at the hotel I bumped into Miguel [who had the tenth hole-in-one of his career on Saturday] and I said, another hole-in-one, when is it my turn?”

“All the players took on the 14th on Tuesday when we have a practice round and we think, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice, a BMW i8?’ You never think that it’s going to happen to you.”

“I hit a great shot and it was a bit of a delayed reaction because you hear two cheers; one sounded like it just missed and the second one it went in.”

“It was a long winter at home and you do worry whether you’re going to come back to the player you were, but to finish top five in a marquee event here at Wentworth is a big boost in confidence.”

 

Crowne Plaza International. Kevin on Course at Colonial.

White Dragon GolfCrowne Plaza Invitational

Kevin Na is on course for victory at Colonial, in the Crowne Plaza International.

Crowne Plaza International

Kevin Na / Getty Images

Kevin will take a one shot lead into the final round of the Crowne Plaza International at Colonial. He had a third round score of -1 under par 69 for a total of -11 under par. The tee times have been moved up again for tomorrow due to a rainy Sunday forecast.

Kevin thinks there is a low round hiding out there somewhere, and he is worried that the low round of the day will win the title;

“It’s out there but it’s hiding somewhere, it’s hard to find because you have to be so precise off the tee, second shots, putts and everything.”

“I know the hole locations tomorrow are going to be difficult. So honestly, I don’t really see a 61 or 62. Maybe a 63 or 64. Maybe.”

“Not as much fireworks as the first few days, but overall I was pleased.”

“I’ve had a pretty successful career except I think I lack in wins, I think it’s time for me to catch up to that number that I need to be at.”

Poults is seeking his first stroke-play win in the U.S. and will be in a good frame of mind if his team Arsenal win in the English Premier League tomorrow. He is currently in second place at -10 under par;

Crowne Plaza International

Ian Poulter / Getty Images

“It’s very easy to think too far ahead, there’s a few good guys right behind that are only a couple of shots off. I just have to focus on the first hole tomorrow.”

“I won’t be thinking anything past that, to be honest.”

“I can always deal with another plaid jacket in my closet. It will look just fine with my outfit tomorrow.”

“Hopefully we can get some golf in tomorrow, we’re going to have to wait and see what the weather’s going to do with us.”

Kevin and Poults are aware that they have lots of company in the quest to sport the tartan jacket, there are sixteen golfers are within five strokes of the lead.

Charlie Hoffman is in third place, despite his bad back, at -9 under par following his -4 under par third round of 66, saying it was the best he could have done;

“I probably couldn’t have shot much lower than I did.”

“I think we’ll play probably into Tuesday if need be.”

Defending Champion Adam Scott is trying to become the first player to successfully defend this title, Ben Hogan is the only player so far to do so, he actually did it twice.

Adam is four shots off the lead T10 at -6 under, but once again mentioned the putting;

“I’m going to need a round where they do all go in tomorrow, obviously it’s about giving yourself a lot of chances out there.”

“But you’ve got to make some putts, and as long as I keep hitting good ones, they might go.”

The organizers have made a 54-hole cut, to reduce the field to top 70s and ties. Those players who will not play on Sunday are; Jarrod Lyle, Harrison Frazar, Steve Wheatcroft, Chad Collins, Patrick Rodgers, John Peterson and Kyle Reifers.

BMW PGA Championship. It’s a Tie at the Top.

White Dragon Golf

It’s a tie at the top of the BMW PGA Championship leaderboard after 54 holes at the Wentworth Club.

Byeong-hun An birdied the 18th hole to catch Francesco Molinari at the top of the leaderboard at -14 under par.

BMW PGA Championship

Byeong-hun An & Francesco Molinari / Getty Images

Francesco is looking for a wire to wire win at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, but Byeong-hun is seeking his first European Tour victory, and is making a real fight of it, carding a -5 under par 67 third round to Francesco’s -4 under 68.

Francesco spoke about Tommy Fleetwood holing out with a seven iron from 198 yards on the par four 4th hole on Wentworth’s West Course for just the third albatross in the history of this tournament, and putting some pressure on the guys at the top;

“There were a few guys flying at the start with the albatross and other stuff you don’t want to see when you’re leading a tournament.”

“I stayed calm and overall it was a good day.”

“Every tournament is different but to win here would be pretty much at the same level I would say as the WGC events.”

“I think it’s one of these tournaments that it’s just a little step underneath the Majors but definitely one that you want to have on your resume in your career.”

South Korean rookie Byeong is playing very well in his first season, having already recorded three top-ten finishes in an impressive start to his professional career.

“I was really consistent all day, I hit it well and then missed a couple of shots, which is possible on this course, but overall I played great today.”

Thongchai Jaidee from Thailand is in third position at -12 under par, just two shots off the pace, he signed a card for a third round -4 under par 68.

Tommy Fleetwood, apart from his Albatross, scored an Eagle on the par five 12th, to get to -11 under par for the tournament, and 4th place with a third round -7 under par 65;

“That was about as good as you can play a hole of golf.”

“Perfect drive, 198 yards to the pin. I was thinking one club less but went with a normal seven iron and it pitched seven or eight feet right of the pin and span in.”

“Wobbly [his caddie Phil Morbey] was pretty excited because it was his choice of club, not mine.”

“You have to try and calm down after that, and I fired a five iron miles over the green on the fifth with a little bit of adrenalin.”

“The last seven or eight months I’ve had a lot of top fives and a lot of top threes. I’ve come close and people have just played better than me.”

There’s not much I could have done about it. It’s just such a fine line between winning and finishing second and third. You want to be remembered for winning and it would be great to win this week.”

Miguel Angel Jiménez sits in fifth spot, thanks to another hole in one, last week it was at the Spanish Open, which won him 288 bottles of beer, this one set a new European Tour record;

“It’s very prolific this year, the last few months.”

“You get the right distance, the right club, hit a good shot and that’s the ingredients you need to make a hole-in-one. It’s nice to have the record.”

 

 

 

 

Crowne Plaza International. Kevin Na In Control.

White Dragon GolfCrowne Plaza Invitational

Kevin Na is in control of the Crowne Plaza International at the half-way stage at Colonial.

Crowne Plaza International

Kevin Na / Getty Images

Kevin shot a second round -4 under par 66 at Colonial, to sit on top of the Crowne Plaza International leaderboard at the half-way stage, with a -10 under par total.

Kevin celebrated sinking a 22-foot birdie putt at the 13th hole during Friday’s second round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, with something only usually seen on Sesame Street episodes, the Big Bird Dance;

“It just came out, I wasn’t really thinking about it. When the crowd went wild on that hole, I gave them a little show.”

“I’m just having a lot more fun, obviously, if you’re playing well, it’s easier to have fun.”

“But I let the bogeys not bother me as much, and I’m swinging it well, my ball-striking is the best ever.”

Ian Poulter is in second place, carding a second round -3 under par 67, for a tournament total of -8 under par.

White Dragon Golf

Poults

Poults is happy with the way things are going;

“I hit a lot of good golf shots. I’m pleased with the way I played the last two days.”

Boo Weekley is in third position at -7 under par for the competition despite only carding a -1 under par 69 today. He put his early mistakes down to his stiff back problem that has plagued him all week, today it did not loosen up until the fifth hole;

 “I hit it left, but at least that swing felt like all right, now we’re back.”

 “Now we’re getting where we can kind of work it around this golf course a little bit.”

Defending champion Adam Scott needed to make up ground in order to reach the weekend, and did so with a bogey-free -4 under par  66, which raised him to T25 at -2 under for the competition.

Adam said he had played well, but reiterated once again that poor putting let him down;

“I played really good today, I just couldn’t buy a putt coming in.”

Jordan Spieth got a case of the jitters today, signing for a +3 over par 73, leaving him with a -3 under par total, and T15;

“A couple bad swings was all it was, I feel good on the golf course, I just didn’t see many putts go in and got off with the long clubs.”

 

 

BMW PGA Championship. Francesco Stands Firm.

White Dragon Golf

Francesco Molinari stands firm at the top of the BMW PGA Championship leaderboard at Wentworth Club.

BMW PGA Championship

Francesco Molinari / Getty Images

Francesco had to recover from a poor start, with two bogey’s in the first three holes, and was delighted to finally card a second round -3 under par 69, to remain at the top of the BMW PGA Championship with a -10 under par total;

“The start is really tricky the first three holes. I think I played them okay.”

“My chipping wasn’t good enough on the first and on the third to save par. I managed to steady the ship and made a few birdies coming in at the end, so a good day.”

“Obviously I’m delighted to have gone a little bit further under par from yesterday and just need to keep doing the same.”

“I know how hard I’ve been working the last few months, so it’s nice to see that it’s paying off on the course.”

In second place on his own is South Korean Byeong Hun An who returned a marvelous card of -8 under par 64 in the second round, to reach a -9 under par total.

Tied in third position at -8 under par are Emiliano Grillo and Jaidee Thongchai, the Argentine and Thai players making it a very international top of the leaderboard.

Emiliano Eagled the two par fives on the back nine, the 486 yard 12th and 539 yard 18th, and was enjoying his day;

BMW PGA Championship.

Emiliano Grillo / Getty Images

“I am enjoying the moment and playing well and being in contention is what I need.”

“If I keep knocking someone is going to open the door.”

“I’ve been looking for a win since I turned pro and it’s going to come soon. There’s a lot going on when you are in contention and you have to be prepared.”

“Playing well definitely pushes the confidence up and it’s nice to be on the leaderboard every week. This is a big week, the Flagship Event of The European Tour and it would be great to win.”

Best placed Englishman is James Morrison, who last week won the Spanish Open. James returned a second round score of -6 under par 66, which gave him a tournament total of -7 under par, and fifth place. James lives just 20 minutes from Wentworth Club, but discovered on Thursday evening that staying at home is not always an advantage, due to a power cut;

“I thought we had been burgled at first, I couldn’t even charge my phone and a cold shower this morning at 5:30 was no fun.”

World number one, and defending champion, Rory McIlroy carded a second round +6 over par 78, and missed the cut here at Wentworth, with a +5 over par 36 hole total.

He was in a hurry to leave the course, to get to Heathrow Airport;

“Flight to catch.”

“I’m not angry, a little disappointed I’m not going to be here for the weekend. I’m not going to read too much into it. It was inevitable at some point that the run was going to come to a bit of an end.”

“I’m sort of back to my usual at Wentworth. It wasn’t great before I won last year and it hasn’t been great after.”

“If anything good comes out of this, it’s just that I get a little bit of a rest over the next couple of days, and feel a bit fresher for what’s going to be a really big week for me next week.”

BMW PGA Championship

Disappointed Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

 

Crowne Plaza International. 4 Way Tie at the Top.

White Dragon GolfCrowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Logo

There is a 4 way tie at the top of the leaderboard in the Crowne Plaza International at Colonial with four excellent rounds of 64.

Crowne Plaza International

Boo Weekley / A/P

Boo was first in the clubhouse with a -6 under par 64, and was soon followed by Kevin Na, Ryo Ishikawa and Jordan Spieth.

Prior to his round today Boo had complained of a bad back, saying it was not 100 percent, and it showed with a couple of one-handed swing finishes with the golf club, but he made up for it with his excellent putting;

“Made a lot of good putts, that’s the key for me out here. If I can make the putts, then we should be fine.”

“We read the greens good today, we had fun.”

Jordan who is playing a PGA TOUR event in hometown Texas for the first time since his victory at Augusta National last month was very happy with his birdie on the closing hole. It got him into a share of the lead;

Crowne Plaza International

Jordan Spieth /Getty Images

“I had a few of those on the back nine, a few good looks where I knew what the putt was doing, I just didn’t match the line and speed right.”

“I was getting a little frustrated through 17 there. I was like just one more look. I didn’t really count 18 as a look, but maybe more like luck, and we’ll take it.”

“I was little frustrated to see where my ball went, but I was still was able to soak in kind of the welcoming to the 18th green.”

“We couldn’t have had better scoring conditions today. Just the wind died down, and you could just throw darts, and they were landing and stopping.”

“I’d like to play golf in this weather the rest of my life.”

Kevin was facing a three-hour rain delay to start his early morning opening round, so he decided to take a nap;

Crowne Plaza Invitational

Kevin Na / Getty Images

“Pulled off a little veteran move, took about an hour nap”

“If I keep putting myself in that position, I’m going to get some wins.”

George McNeill and Ian Poulter are tied in 5th place at -5 under par after their opening rounds of 65.

George admits he is usually a slow starter, and is surprised to be near the top of the leaderboard after the 1st round;

“I’m not a fast starter, I really don’t know why, I can’t pinpoint it. If I knew why, obviously I’d try and fix it. Maybe I did today.”

“So it was quite a surprise for me to play or score as well as I did today, I’ll take it. Hopefully it’s the worst score I shoot all week.”

Crowne Plaza International

George McNeill / Getty Images

Poults tweeted about how well he had played today;

“Played lovely today and started to hole some putts. I looked at an old photo of my putting grip from a while ago, and changed back to it.”

 

 

 

 

BMW PGA Championship. Francesco Leads.

White Dragon Golf

Francesco Molinari leads the first round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club.

BMW PGA Championship.

Francesco Molinari / Getty Images

Francesco opened the BMW PGA Championship with a blistering -7 under par 65, hitting 17 out of the 18 greens in regulation, to lead by two shots on the first day at Wentworth.

“I think I missed one green on the third and chipped up to two feet, so it was as stress-free as it could be round here.”

“I love this place and it’s good to be back. It rewards accuracy, which suits my game.”

“I missed the Masters this year after 22 Majors in a row and it was not a nice feeling, so I hope I will be back soon.”

In second place is Robert Karlsson, with his first round -5 under par 67. Robert has some happy memories of Wentworth, shooting a course-record 62 in the third round in 2010, after having to hire a private jet to get back to London on Saturday morning, because he had flown home to Monaco the day before thinking he had missed the cut.

Third position is shared between five players; Jorge Campillo, Chris Wood, Y.E. Yang, Marc Warren and the oldest man in the field Miguel Angel Jiménez.

Chris has played just six events this season after spending five months on the sidelines with a broken bone in his wrist following a fall;

“It’s a long way for me to fall and it hurt.”

“It was misdiagnosed as bone bruising for a month and then I was in a cast for two months at home.”

“It was a nightmare because I fell out of the top 60 on The Race to Dubai and plummeted down the world rankings.”

It’s been a struggle and feels like I have been working hard to finish 30th every week. I did finish third in Morocco but I think it was always going to be a bit of a battle after five months.”

Big highlight of the day was Andrew Johnson carding an Ace at the 184 yard par three 8th hole, which won him the sponsors prize of a brand new BMW M4;

BMW PGA Championship

Andrew and his new BMW M4Getty Images

“It took one bounce and hit the flag and went straight in. It just happened so quick, so I didn’t really know what to do.”

 “I just saw him. He looked and I was like, ‘All right, now is the time to go’.”

World Number One Rory McIlroy, last weeks winner at Quail Hollow had a quiet first round -1 under par 71, but was mentally a little angry;

“Physically I am all right, I got back to my hotel at 4:30pm (on Wednesday) and did not leave it until 6:30 this morning, but mentally I could feel myself getting a little angry out there.”

“Acceptance of bad shots is the thing I have been doing so well and I feel like my patience was wearing a bit thin today.”

“I just need to stay in control of my emotions because I feel like that’s one of the things, if I’m a little tired or a little fatigued mentally, I’ll start to be hard on myself and start to get down on myself.”

“I played okay. There weren’t really any aspects of my game I thought were really good, but at the same time I don’t feel any aspect of my game was really off.”

One thing for Rory to think about is that no one has won here from being more than four shots off the lead after the opening round, he is six shots back.