Hong Kong Open. Aaron Rai Gets His First European Tour Victory.

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Aaron Rai of England wins the Hong Kong Open, his maiden European Tour victory.Rai secures first win at season-opener in Hong KongAaron and his first Trophy / getty

Aaron carded a final round -1 under par 69 in the pouring rain to win the Hong Kong Open by one shot at -17 under;

“It’s incredible, it definitely hasn’t sunk in just yet. I’ll probably need a few days for that to happen.”

“It’s incredible to win on any Tour, let alone the European Tour and let alone the Hong Kong Open.”

“It’s an incredible course, incredible event, very well supported. The crowds have been amazing. I’m just very grateful.” 

“Matt played incredibly all day. It was tough but again, I really just tried to play the course as much as possible rather than Matt or anyone else who was playing well today.” 

“I luckily managed to do that for most of the way around. It was tough considering the situation but I’m very pleased.”

Matt Fitzpatrick was second with a final round -6 under 64 giving him a -16 under total, a great charged on the day became unhinged with a short missed putt on the 17th, handing him an unlikely bogey;

“Obviously it was disappointing on the 17th there, such a simple bogey.”

“But I gave it a good go. It was always going to be tough to beat him.” 

“The last two days he’s been very solid and not given anything away, which made my life more difficult.”

Sharing third place at -11 under par were Victor Perez, France, -3 under 67 today, and Jason Scrivener of Australia with his last round -2 under 68.

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Hong Kong Open. Aaron Rai Leads By Six.

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Aaron Rai of England leads the Hong Kong Open by six shots at the Hong Kong Golf Club and looks set for his maiden European Tour victory.Aaron Rai  (Getty Images)         Aaron / getty

Aaron carded a third round -2 under par 68 to post a Hong Kong Open total of -16 under, giving him a six stroke advantage going into the final round on his quest to collect his maiden Tour trophy;

“I’m very pleased overall. It wasn’t quite as low as the score yesterday but a very solid round.”

“Nothing is ever done until it’s done and eighteen holes is a lot of golf.” 

“So a six-shot lead, anything can happen, you have to be aware of that.” 

“Something which felt a little bit tricky today was still being able to play in the same way but just be smart at the same time, and it felt a little bit too much on the back foot.”

England hold the top three places with Tommy Fleetwood, -4 under 66 today, and Matt Fitzpatrick, -2 under 68, sharing second place at -10 under par.

Tommy admits Aaron is in a good position, he just is just playing one last round of golf for the season;

“Whatever Aaron does, you can’t do anything about it.” 

“For me, I’ll just keep doing the same things and try and put one last good round together and then go home and enjoy some rest.”

“I’m looking forward to it. One last Sunday of golf.”

Matt was disappointed with his round;

“I played really, really well tee-to-green. I’m just really disappointed to only shoot two under, really, when I had nine chances inside 15 feet and I think I holed two, maybe three.”

“You know, when you’re giving yourself chances like this and the greens are sort of as good as this, you have to take advantage of it.”

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Hong Kong Open. Aaron Rai Leads.

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Aaron Rai of England leads the Hong Kong Open after 36 holes at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

Aaron Rai  (Getty Images)           Aaron / getty

Aaron carded an amazing second round -9 under par 61, a new Hong Kong Golf Club course record, to post -14 under for the tournament;

“Again, we were lucky today with the conditions.”

“We didn’t have much wind and, starting out pretty early the first nine holes, it feels like you’re playing a round at home, which is nice.” 

“But I played very well, kept it in play, had a lot of chances and made a lot of putts, too. Everything was on song today.”

“I’ve just got to try and stay as close to the original game plan as much as possible.”

“I think if you get too conservative and if you try and defend the lead a little bit too much, you can start going backwards very easily but also you can’t get too aggressive around this course. “

“As hard as it is and as easy as it is to say, you just have to try and stick to what you’re doing and what has got you into this position.”

Hyowon Park, South Korea is in second place, four shots back at -10 under par following his also great second round of -8 under 62, with some good putting;

“I’m very happy now.”

“My long game is very nice, driver and second shot is good and putting is nice.”

“I will do the same thing on the weekend, so I can go more up the leaderboard.”

In third place is Matt Fitzpatrick of England carding a second round -8 under 62, to claim third position on his own.

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Hong Kong Open. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a three-way tie at the top of the Hong Kong Open leaderboard at the Hong Kong Golf Club. Aaron Rai, England, Jason Scrivener, Australia, and Myazato Yusaku of Japan share the honor.Aaron Rai (Getty Images)          Aaron Rai / getty

Aaron, Jason and Myazato all carded first rounds of -5 under par 65 to top the Hong Kong Open leaderboard.

Aaron was pleased with his bogey free start;

“It was good. I think we were lucky with the weather today.” 

“When we got here this morning it was kind of blowy so the guys this morning had it harder than we did but nonetheless it’s a tough course.” 

“I think anything under par was a good score and I was very pleased with a 65 to start off.”

Jason was also bogey free saying he played well today;

“The front nine is quite tricky and you’ve got to kind of be patient and wait for your opportunities, and I did that quite well today.”

Myazato threw in a bogey in his round, but had a good day with his putter;

“Today I was putting well and my iron shots were good.”

“It was getting dark and I couldn’t really see that well, so I just played with my gut feeling and was able to birdie the last hole which was nice.”

Three other players are all sharing fourth place, one shot back at -4 under par, Arjun Atwal, IndiaJack Singh Brar, England and Micah Lauren Shin of the USA.

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BMW International Open. Six Way Sunday Shootout Tomorrow.

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There will be a six way Sunday shootout for the BMW International Open tomorrow as Martin Kaymer and Maximilian Kieffer from Germany are joined at the top of the leaderboard by Lucas Bjerregaard, Denmark, Scott Hend, Australia, with  Chris Paisley and Aaron Rai of England.

BMW International Open

Martin Kaymer / getty

What a dramatic day at Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof as Martin and Max carded -1 under 71, Aaron, -1, under 71, Chris -4 under 68, Scott, +1 over 73, and Lucas with his -5 under 67 were all tied at the top of the BMW International Open after 54 holes. with -5 under par totals.

Martin a two-time Major champion was happy to be leading at home;

“It’s always nice to be in contention, especially for me because it’s been a while but the last few weeks I’ve played very well.”

“In Italy I had a good chance but I didn’t really perform on the moving day.”

“Today I didn’t need to perform as good as I thought. On top of that, winning in your own country speaks for itself.”

Max likes being at home as well;

“It’s always nice to be in contention and it’s even more special to do it here so close to home, a home tournament, BMW tournament.”

Aaron is looking for his first European Tour win;

“It was a good steady round overall, conditions were a little easier today, there wasn’t as much wind so you could make a score a little more compared to the last couple of days but overall I was satisfied with how today went.”

Chris is comfortable with winning now;

“Now that I’ve won before I know I can do it, even before the win I believed I could do it but you don’t actually know until you’ve done it.”

Lucas is very happy;

“I’m very happy, I played really well, to be honest, it’s one of the best ball-striking rounds I’ve had in a very long time.”

Scott was happy to be where he is after a poor round, but thinks tomorrow will be a putting competition.”

“I’m very fortunate to be where I am.”

“You’ve still got to stay within your game plan and hopefully roll a few putts in.”

“We’ll see who rolls the most putts in tomorrow.”

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BMW International Open. Scott Hend Leads.

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Scott Hend of Australia leads the BMW International Open after 36 holes at a still very windy Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof in Germany.

BMW International Open

Scott Hend / getty

Scott carded a second round -5 under par 67 to lead the BMW International Open at the half-way stage with a -6 under par total;

“I just played conservatively, just trying to play on to the fairways and keep out of the long brown stuff.”

“It’s just patience. When it’s this windy, if you’re not patient you’re going to get smashed, it’s as simple as that.”

“If you try to push for a birdie or whatever, if you hit it in the rough and make a bogey, it’s great, if you get less than a bogey then it’s a bonus.”

“It’s just one of those golf courses that is quite punishing.”

Tied in second place at -5 under are Nico Geyger, Chile, -3 under 69 today and Henric Sturehed, Sweden with his -2 under 70, both of these players are Qualifying School graduates.

Five  players are then tied in fourth place at -4 under including Aaron Rai, England, -1 under 71 today, but he did win a BMW i8 Roadster as he made a hole-in-one at the par thee 16th. Home favorites Martin Kaymer, -4  and Maximilian Kieffer, -3 with Sébastien Gros, France even par and  Nick CullenAustralia, with his -4 under 68.

Aaron spoke about his Ace;

“It was a tricky pin position and it was kind of downwind as well.”.

“I actually wasn’t playing to get in pin-high, I was playing a little long then it pitched short, bounced perfectly and rolled up and went in.”

 

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BMW International Open. Sébastien Gros 1st Round Leader.

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Sébastien Gros of France is the  1st round leader at the BMW International Open at a very windy Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof in Germany.

 

BMW International Open

Sébastien Gros / getty

Sébastien shot a first round -4 under par 68 in brutal conditions to lead the BMW International Open by one shot.

Sébastien said despite the conditions his putter had been working well;

“Today was very special because the conditions were quite brutal.”

 “There was a lot of wind, sometimes a three-club wind, so it’s a good start.”

“It’s just Thursday so no need to start thinking about anything, it’s just a good round, and we’ll try to take enough confidence out of this round to keep going for the rest of the week.”

“If we got 72 holes with this wind, it could be our US Open just after the US Open.”

“You have to keep the ball in play and you have to be good on the greens, especially with the wind.”

“The putter has been working today, I just hope it will keep me smiling all week.”

Sharing second place with rounds of -3 under par 69 are Jorge Campillo, Spain, Scott Jamieson, Scotland, Aaron Rai, England and  Henric Sturehed of Sweden.

The defending champion, and local favorite Martin Kaymer was in the group at even par, one shot clear of Sergio Garcia and two ahead of World number ten Tommy Fleetwood, all three suffered in the wind at the U.S. Open last week, their hearts must have sunk at the sight of all that wind again.

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