Jo’Burg Open. Nic Henning Leads after Record Breaking Round.

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South African Nic Henning leads the Jo’Burg Open following his record breaking first round.

Jo'Burg Open

Nic Henning / Getty Images

Nic Henning carded a record breaking first round of -10 under par 62 to lead the Jo’Burg Open on the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington’s West Course.

Nic has won four times on the co-sanctioning Sunshine Tour between 1999 and 2005, and looks set to challenge again, with five birdies and an eagle two in a remarkable outward nine of 29. He was obviously elated;

“It was fantastic,  I haven’t shot 29 for a couple of years, and I was a bit nervous coming down the last hole.”

“On the last hole of the front stretch I told myself that I had to make birdie and eventually I did that.”

“I’ve been playing well for the last few months, but my scores haven’t showed it. Over the last few years my scores have been really terrible and it’s nice to have a good round under the belt to prove to myself that I can still play well.

“It’s been a long time since I shot 62. I’ll try to do the same thing as I did today, just try to stay calm. I was calm today.”

“I’ll try to hit fairways and put myself in a good position. It’s about staying in the moment and taking every shot as it is.”

Tied in second place are Thomas Pieters, Titch Moore and Tjaart van der Walt, one shot back at -9 under par, in a low scoring day in South Africa.

Thomas was happy to make a good start to the competition;

“It was a good day and a good start.”

“You need to make a good score on this course, so I’m happy and hopefully we’ll have more of the same tomorrow.”

“It’s very possible to go low on East. The par fives are very reachable for me, so I’m going to take advantage of those.” 

“This season I gave myself a great chance in Abu Dhabi. I also had a top-ten at Leopard Creek, but I wasn’t really in contention.”

“In the Middle East I played good, but had one bad round in there. If I can play four solid rounds then hopefully a win will come soon.”

The newly appointed European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke birdied his last two holes on the East Course for a level par 72.

 

Northern Trust Open. James Hahn Wins in Play-Off

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James Hahn wins his maiden PGA Tour victory at the Northern Trust Open, in a play-off at Riviera Country Club.

Northern Trust Open

James Hahn / Getty Images

James, along with Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey all tied at the top of the Northern Trust Open leaderboard at the conclusion of the final round with tournament totals of -6 under par.

They went into a sudden death play-off, which lasted for three holes, James carding a birdie at the par three third hole, the 14th to win. All three pared the 1st extra hole the 18th, Justin and James birdied the 2nd extra hole, the 10th, with Paul being eliminated there.

Jame’s never thought he had a chance to win this tournament;

“This is amazing, I never would have thought I would win this tournament.”

D.J. congratulated James, and mentioned his putting;

“Hats off to James, making a long putt like that.”

“I played with him all day, so I knew he was rolling the putter really well.”

Paul was amazed at how well everyone played;

“I didn’t think I would have the longest birdie putt after seeing where those guys were.”

“But those guys played phenomenal recoveries, absolutely brilliant.”

Sergio admitted he was not good enough eventually finishing T4 at -5 under par;

“I’ve always been truthful to myself and I didn’t deserve to win this week. It’s as simple as that.”

 “It caught up with me on the last six, seven holes. It was already a good effort for me to have a chance.’

“Unfortunately, it’s never nice to finish bogey-bogey. But I can’t really be disappointed because I didn’t play well enough.”

He was joined on that -5 under par total by Keegan Bradley, Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama.

Retief Goosen held on as long as he could, a double bogey on the unlucky 13th was the beginning of his undoing. He followed that mishap with three consecutive bogeys, finishing T8 at -4 under par;

 “I’m kicking myself, that’s for sure.”

“That was an opportunity missed, and we’ll move on. It won’t be a nice pill to swallow, but that’s just the way this game is.”

Hero Indian Open. Anirban Lahiri Wins in a Play-Off.

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Anirban Lahiri wins his home tournament, the Hero Indian Open, at the Delhi Golf Club, in a play-off.

Hero Indian Open

Anirban Lahiri / Getty Images

Anirban carded a final round -2 under par 69 to get into a play-off against long time leader S.S.P. Chawrasia at -7 under par for the Hero Indian Open.

Anirban made birdie at the first play-off hole, the par five 18th, to claim his National Title, something he did not think he had a chance of doing a the start of play today;

“It’s incredible, starting today I didn’t really think I had a chance.”

“It was one of the toughest days ever that I’ve played golf at Delhi Golf Club and I’m really happy to have accomplished this, it’s a childhood dream.”

“I was just trying to play well and give myself a chance on the back nine. There were about eight of us who could have pulled through so I feel really lucky and fortunate, and really happy.”

“It’s hard to come to terms with.”

“Just six months back I was in Spain at Qualifying School and really relieved having stared at not having my card with five holes to go, so it feels like I’ve skipped a couple of steps to get to where I am right now.”

“It’s obviously a fantastic feeling and hopefully I can keep playing well through the year.”

“The Masters is definitely one of my targets, I don’t know how far I’ll move up, but I’m pretty confident now with this win I should have a pretty good chance.”

S.S.P. collapsed in the last round, scoring +5 over par 76, which gave him the same -7 under par finishing total, and put him in the play-off.

Four players tied in third place at -5 under par for the competition, Joakim Lagergren, Mithun Perera, Prayad Marksaeng and Marcus Fraser.

 

ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open. Lovely Lydia Wins.

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Lovely Lydia Ko wins the ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open at Royal Melbourne in Australia.

ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open

Lovely Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Lydia, the World Number One claimed the ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open title and picked up the  Patricia Bridges Bowl. Carding a final round -2 under par 71 giving her  two shot winning margin at -9 under par for the tournament around the dangerous Composite Course at Royal Melbourne.

Lydia’s coach, David Ledbetter had been telling her to stand tall, she was head and shoulders over everyone else in this competition;

“We’ve been working on my swing and be tall is the part in my swing where I shouldn’t dip my head and I would say my height is 5’3″ so he said ‘Lydia, you were 4’11” the other day’.”

“He told me to keep my height and said I was 5’3”.8’ and I was like, ‘Ok, I’m getting taller’. We were talking about that in the sense of ‘be tall’.”

“Be cool was because we discussed that it was going to be hot and also be cool in the head too, be smart, play safe when you need to and then be aggressive.”

“Play smart was really the biggest thing he told me at the beginning of this week.”

She stayed cool when the pressure came, at the short par-four, the eighth, her wedge shot flew through the green and down into a deep swale behind the putting surface, giving her virtually no chance of getting up and down. A missed flop shot compounded the error, she gathered all her mental strength, got the ball on the green, and then sunk the long bogey putt;

“After I hit the shot, I said, I should have just hit that second shot the first time.”

“Even if I didn’t make a par, it’s an easier bogey and I had to work really hard for that bogey.

“I think that bogey putt was really good and if I’d made a double, today could have been a whole different story.”

“Time flies, but I’m still 17 though.”

Amy Yang finished in second place with a -7 under par total, her final round -1 under par 72 was not enough, but she did have chances.

Ariya Jutanugarn had a calamitous last round, +3 over par 76, it gave her third position with a -4 under par total, and left her five shots behind the leader.

Northern Trust Open. Goosen Is Going for It.

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Retief Goosen is going for the win at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

Northern Trust Open

Retief Goosen / Getty Images

Retief stamped his Major qualifications all over the Northern Trust Open, carding a third round -2 under par 69, for tournament total of -8 under par, a lead of two shots gong into the final round tomorrow.

Retief said major patience played a big part in his effort today, along with a behaving putter;

“Patience is a big, big key on a course like this.”

“I have the experience, but it’s been quite a long time ago now, 14 and 11 years ago since I won a U.S. Open.”    

“It wasn’t easy out there for me. Mentally-wise, I had to work hard to try and stay positive and focused. But I’m still in the lead, so that’s a good place to be.”

“Just try and play solid tomorrow and keep the putter warm and see what happens.”  

Graham DeLaet is still in second place, his third round -1 under par slipping him  back a bit, to finish at -6 under par on his own.  He feels the pressure of becoming only the second Canadian to win this title;

“I just feel support from 35 million people north of the border, and I’m going to do everything I can for them tomorrow.”

“I’ve slept on either leads or final group pairings before and I know like laying in bed, you’re thinking about what a win can do and this and that.”

“I’m past that now in my career. I know I have to take it one shot at a time. I know the most important shot for me is the one coming up next, that tee shot on one tomorrow.”

Northern Trust Open

Graham DeLaet / Getty Images

“But more than anything, it’s just staying in the moment and knowing that I’m obviously playing good golf right now.”

“I know that this is a tough golf course and it’s a pretty tight leaderboard, and there’s one guy in there that’s going to shoot a good round tomorrow, and I just hope that it’s me.”

There are four players tied in third position at -5 under par, Sang-Moon Bae, Carlos Ortiz, Sergio Garcia and J.B. Holmes.

Sang-Moon is looking forward to the challenge tomorrow;

“I find out where I can hit and where I can’t. So I really look forward to playing tomorrow.”

Sergio rescued a par on thirteen, from the bunker on the 10th green;

“I probably had a couple yards, I would say between the TV tower and the trunk of the tree.”

“The difficult part about it was that I was in a little bit of a downslope in the bunker, ball a little bit above my feet, having to hit like a low, low cut that went underneath the branches. So it just clipped one little branch.”

“But I was thrilled to, I mean, I would have been happy with five, so four was a bonus.”

“It’s kind of been like that, all week I guess. I’ve hit some beauties and I’ve hit some shockers. It was a little bit Seve like, I would guess, the way I saved some of those pars, where you know, it looked like I was going to make bogey or double, something like that.”

“So to be able to kind of get away with it, and manage to shoot the round I shot, under the conditions, which the course was playing really tough, too, so I’m happy with that.”

Hero Indian Open. S.S.P. Has Stranglehold.

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S.S.P. Chawrasia has a stranglehold on the Hero Indian Open competition at the Delhi Golf Club.

Hero Indian Open

S.S.P. Chawrasia / Getty Images

S.S.P. the Delhi Golf Club course specialist carded a third round -2 under par 69, to post -12 under par total and still sits on top of the Hero Indian Open leaderboard.

S.S.P. had his first bogey today, but remains happy with his performance;

“I feel great, I missed a few putts but I’m still happy.” 

“I missed my eight iron on the 17th hole, or else I would have still been bogey free.” 

“I want to think and play positive on the final day. The final round is always special so I will play aggressively.” 

“I played my own game and I am not thinking that I’m playing match play. If anyone is coming closer, let them, I just want to focus on my own game.” 

In what appears to be a two-horse race, Siddikur Rahman looks to be the only player who has a chance of mounting a challenge, his -10 under par total could have been better. He shot a -1 under par 70 today, which sadly included a double bogey;

“It was a good day, I had a nice rhythm and picked up a couple of shots until the double bogey.” 

“I managed to recover well and made a great par save on 17, and then managed to birdie the last so overall I am happy with one under today.” 

“The birdie at the last was very important. Anything can happen in this game, I am looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully I can play the way I did on Thursday.”

“I tried not to look too much at what S S P was doing today, I tried to focus on my own game and keep hitting the greens in regulation and try to make some birdie putts.”

Marcus Fraser is alone in third position at -7 under par, a third round -4 under par 67 moving him up the leaderboard.

Lowest round of the day came from Daniel Chopra, a -6 under par 65, but that total still leaves him six shots off the pace.

 

ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Lydia and Ariya Lead.

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Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn share the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open lead at Royal Melbourne in Australia.

ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

Ariya Jutanugarn / Getty Images

Ariya and World number one Lydia will start the final round of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open with a one shot advantage over their rivals. Both ladies sit atop the leaderboard at -7 under par for the tournament, but in the withering heat today both of them could only card  third rounds of -1 under par 71.

Lydia was asked if she would take that score for tomorrow, on those firm and glassy greens, and said she would jump at the offer;

“Yeah, I would in that heat.”

“They’re really hard. I’m scratching my head over a three-footer or a thirty-footer.”

“It’s really tough, and because the hole is so tight, the lip-outs, they hurt. They’re not nice here.”

“The greens are one of the hardest parts and because they are so firm, it affects the shots that are coming into the green also.”

“On a course like this, unless you really get going on a putting streak, you’re not going to make seven, eight birdies and shoot the most incredible eight under.”

“I think this course you really have to play smart and when you have those chances, try to grab it because birdies are hard to see.”

Power hitter Ariya has had chances before to win this year, and will do her best again here;

“I’ve had the chance to be the leader before, but my plan is to do my best. Whatever happens, I’ll just take it.”

Amy Yang is alone in third place, at -6 under par, following her third round -3 under par 70.

Aussie Katherine Kirk and Julieta Granada from Paraguay share fourth spot on the leaderboard at -4 under par, both with -3 under par rounds of 70.

Katherine reported that birdie making did not come easily, but she wants to hold the  Patricia Bridges Bowl tomorrow;

“It’s not easy to make birdies out there and I made six today and I’m still kind of a little puzzled as to how.”

“I know I made two long putts, so they’re just bonuses. I think that was probably as good as it was going to get today.”

“I’d be very honored. I actually had the pleasure of travelling on an Australian team in 2002 to Malaysia to play the World Amateur Teams Championship, and Patricia made the trip and she’s just an incredible lady,”

“I’d be delighted to hoist the trophy and certainly proud to fly the flag for Australia tomorrow.”