The Rocco Forte Open. Alvaro Quiros Has Play-Off Win

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Alvaro Quiros, Spain,  has play-off win at The Rocco Forte Open, against Zander Lombard, South Africa, in Sicily.

The Rocco Forte Open

Alvaro and Trophy / getty

Alvaro struggled in the final round of The Rocco Forte Open, carding +2 over par 73, while Zander came up the leaderboard with a -3 under par 68, to level the scores after 72 holes at -14 under par.

Alvaro won at the second extra hole, with a par at the par five 18th, when Zander made bogey;

“I’m very happy, obviously it shouldn’t be like that but at the end it’s a victory and that’s the most important thing.”

“It’s been a little bit of a mess.The game wasn’t that bad.”

“Just the last few holes I started to struggle with the wind left to right and he was playing nice.”

“I didn’t have an idea how many shots I was leading by, what I knew on 18 is I have to make a putt to halve with Zander.”

“It’s a victory, it means a lot of things. Unfortunately I didn’t really like how I ended the round. It should never have been that far.”

Zander consoled himself with qualifying for a start at Wentworth;

“I’m very happy with how I kept myself in contention and all the best for Alvaro. He’s a great champion, he’s won in the past and it’s nice to see him win again.”

 “It’s a good consolation prize to get into Wentworth. I suppose winning isn’t everything but I can’t complain.”

Li Haotong, from China, was in third position, an Albatross at the par five 569 yard 12th hole easing him into third position on his own.

Li spoke about his amazing Albatross;

” It was the second shot, five iron, I just wanted to get it on the green and two-putt and make an easy birdie.”

“After I hit it I saw some clapping on the green and thought it was probably pretty close or something and when I walked to there I couldn’t believe it was in.”

The Rocco Forte Open. Alvaro Way Ahead.

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Alvaro Quiros, Spain, is way ahead after 54 holes of The Rocco Forte Open, and will take a five shot lead into the final round tomorrow in Sicily.

The Rocco Forte Open

Alvaro Quiros / getty

Alvaro carded -1 under par 70 in the high winds of the third round of The Rocco Forte Open, but no one could catch him, as he posted a -16 under par total.

He said he was lucky that the wind did not affect his good putting;

“Today was the worst golfing day for me, from the tee I was more irregular than normal but I played with the same intentions, trying to fight until the final hole and I’ve been putting well too.”

“Today it was really difficult to putt, the wind was blowing crazy strong and on the greens the perception was always changing with the intensity of this wind. I’m happy with where I am right now.”

“Golf is a very difficult game, you never know what’s around the corner.”

“I’ve been very lucky this week. If I’m not mistaken, I haven’t had a single unplayable ball and that’s a very lucky thing in these windy conditions.”

“If my game stays more or less where it is and I keep putting like I am, I’m going to have chances up until the end.”

Five shots back in second place is Zander Lombard, from South Africa, who battled to score +1 over par 72 today, for a tournament total of -11 under par.

In third place are local favorite Renato Paratore, Italy -1 under 70 today  and Pep AnglesSpain, with a great -3 under 68 in the difficult conditions.

The Rocco Forte Open. Alvaro Quiros has half way Lead.

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Alvaro Quiros has the half way lead in  The Rocco Forte Open at   Verdura Golf Club in Sicily.

Rocco Forte Open

Alvaro Quiros / getty

Alvaro shot a second round -7 under par 64 to lead The Rocco Forte Open after 36 holes with a -15 under par total, giving him a two-stroke advantage going into the week-end.

Alvaro said great putting on the back nine secured his position, and he is setting his sights on regaining his European Tour card;

“It’s a very nice situation, it’s a long time ago since I had the option.”

“My game today was a little bit worse than yesterday but my putting on the back nine was unbelievable so I’m very happy with it.”

“Sometimes I’ve been very greedy, trying to force myself into a better score when the game wasn’t good and today I have to be proud of myself.”

“Eight consecutive pars was the typical situation for me to blow my mind because I’m not shooting low. Today was a big step mentally speaking, trying to be patient.”

“I’m not going to fix my situation in one day or one tournament so hopefully I can keep working, still adding good rounds and hopefully at the end of the year come back to the Tour.”

Michael Hoey and Sebastian Soderberg are sharing second place at -13 under par, both returning second round scores of -3 under 68, after yesterdays low rounds of 61.

Michael was tired after yesterdays effort;

“It was hard towards the end, I used up a lot of adrenaline yesterday. I hadn’t been in that position for a long time, to feel nervous on the golf course.”

“I was a little bit tired on the last seven or eight holes.”

“I got it in kind of level par the last few holes which was decent and it was tricky in the wind. It’s all about the next two days, I’m in a good position.”

Sebastian said the wind was a factor today;

“It’s a little windier today so I think three under is a good score.”

“Driving hasn’t been a strength of my game recently but I’ve been working on so it’s becoming a good asset for me.”

“I just need to remind myself what position I’m in.”

“You can’t really focus too much on the leaderboard. I’ve just got to keep taking it one shot at a time which I’ve been doing pretty well for the last few days.”

“There’s still half the tournament left so I just need to play my golf.”

Volvo China Open. Levy Lifts the Trophy

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Alexander Levy lifts his first European Tour trophy, winning the Volvo China Open at the Genzon Golf Club.

Alexander Levy  (Getty Images)

Alexander and Trophy / Getty Images

Apart from a wobble during the final round, carding a double bogey six on the fifteenth hole Alexander cruised to victory. A last round -3 under par 69 was enough to see off the challenge of Tommy Fleetwood, at one point the lead was only one shot. Alexander replied to his double on 15 with birdies at 17 and 18, to post the winning score of-19 under par;

“I didn’t feel pressure, it was a difficult putt, difficult pin position, my ball was in the divot. It was a difficult shot, I made double bogey but I knew I was playing well and I was only thinking about my game.”

“I hit one of my best shots on 17. I didn’t feel pressure on the golf course because I’m confident. I just played my golf and focussed on the target. I saw Tommy made a birdie on the 17th but I like the pressure.”

Of the smile that he has been wearing all week, Alexander had this to say;

“You need to take the pleasure on the golf course and keep the smile because if you are upset about a missed shot or not lucky because you make a lip out or something like that, it’s not good to have this feeling on the golf course. You need to enjoy and have the smile.”

Tommy Fleetwood fired a last round -4 under par 68, but in the end it was not good enough to catch the runaway leader. He congratulated Alexander on great play;

“We aim for wins, but today I didn’t really have a chance. I had to play outstanding golf, but Alex has led from Friday, and that’s one of the hardest things you can do. What a performance from him.”

Alvaro Quiros finished third, his expected charge in the last round did not materialize, he carded a par round of 72, and final score of  -13 under par. Six shots behind his playing partner, and the man he was trying to catch, Alexander.

Henrik Stenson, who needed to win here to overtake  Tiger Woods at the top of the World Golf Rankings carded a final bogey free round -7 under par 65, to finish T5. He really wants that number one spot;

“It’s really tight and I just need to play better if I want to get to that spot. And I should have to play better than I have done earlier on this year if I want to get to world No. 1, that’s for sure,”

Low round of the day went to Anders Hansen, a -9 under par 63. He finished alongside Henrik and Ian Poulter.

Volvo China Open. Levy Hangs Tough, Still Top.

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Alexander Levy hangs tough in the Volvo China Open third round and stays in the top position.

Alexander Levy  (Getty Images)

Alexander Levy / Getty Images

Alexander had to scrap for a score today in the rain, carding a third round -2 under par 70, a long way from yesterdays 62. He carded three bogey’s to end the day with a tournament total of  -16 under par, and will have the luxury of a three shot lead going into the final round.  He said it was tough conditions and he found it difficult to focus;

“My target was to do a good job, like the first two rounds, but it was difficult with the rain coming. It was tough to stay focused, but I kept my mind in good condition and played some good shots. I’m happy with my round today.”

“I’m going to play good golf and take some pleasure from the golf course, because it’s a very nice course to play. I want to continue to play like I have for the first three rounds and to enjoy the moment. I will be nervous, but because you’re nervous doesn’t mean you can’t play well.”

Someone will have to go low to beat Alexander, maybe second placed Alvaro Quiros could step up. Alvaro shot a third round -4 under par 68, for a -13 under par total. He would have been a lot closer except for a couple of sloppy bogey’s right at the end of the round, on 16 and 18. Those two dropped shots would have put the pressure on tomorrow, and he had plenty to say about his performance, and his chances for the title. His putting has also improved;

“It has been a tough day, especially with that finish. I have played well with a lot of heart and passion but unfortunately I made three putts on the 15th, I didn’t birdie 17 and then bogeyed the 18th from the middle of the fairway. I am three shots back going into the final round but that is nothing in this game. The only thing that I can say is that I am trying with all that I have. Tomorrow I have a chance and that is good to know.” 

“It depends on a few things and not just me. If Alex plays really well then we might not be able to catch him but it is good to know that I have a chance to be in the top positions because it is a long time since I have won a tournament and you have to consider that too. It has been two and a half years since I won so I have not had those feeling for a long time. We will see if I can get them back tomorrow.” 

“I have been playing well all week and as I said before I have started to putt better and that is the key for me. I have been starting the ball on line which is the positive for me but there is a dark side to my game this week too because I have been missing quite a few easy shots. You saw on the 18th that I am in the middle of the fairway and I manage to miss the green and make bogey which should never have happened, so I have to be careful of that.” 

Mikko Ilonen is in third place at -12 under par for the tournament, with Tommy Fleetwood and Adrian Otaegui  a shot further back on -11 under par.

 

 

 

Volvo China Open. Alexander the Great.

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Alexander Levy fired a great round of 62 to lead the Volvo China Open at the Half-way stage.

Alexander Levy  (Getty Images)

A casual Alexander Levy / Getty Images

Alexander recorded a -10 under par 62, a course record which put him in command of the Volvo China Open at Genzon Golf Club, with a four shot lead. He has a desire to follow the lead of the other French players into the winners circle, especially his friend Victor Dubuisson;

“It is a great round for me, I played unbelievably today and it’s the first time I have played like that. I really like the course and it is in great shape. I played really well and made a lot of putts to make the lowest score of my career. I shot 63 at Kingsbarns during the Dunhill Links in Scotland last year but this course is a lot tougher and I am only starting to realise how good that score is. “

“I played the right strategy today and I just have to try to do that over the next couple of days. I hope that I can play with Ralph tomorrow because he is a great friend and it would be funny if we could play in the last group together tomorrow.”

“I just tried to play one shot at a time. I didn’t realise how good the score was to be honest because I was focussed on playing shot by shot. I am very happy to be here, this is my first time in China and I feel great to be playing so well in what is a really big event for me.” 

“I think the French players are all very close and Victor’s performances over the last few months is helping all the French players and inspiring them to try to do the same. I am friends with Victor. It is mainly through golf that we have a relationship but we are friends. What he has done over the past few months has been amazing and it has really had an effect on all the French players so hopefully I can try to emulate that.” 

Adrian Otaegui, from Spain, is in second place, a -6 under par 66 for a -10 under par total kept him in touch with the leader. Fellow countryman Alvaro Quiros is a further shot back at -9 under par following his more modest second round of -4 under par 68.

Fourth place belongs to Raphaël Jacquelin, his second round of -5 under par 67 gives him a tournament total of -8 under par, and maybe a slim chance of catching Alexander. He was pretty happy to be where he is, saying he is not playing too well;

“I played a bit better today compared to how I was hitting the ball yesterday, so I feel pretty good. Still a few bad shots, but overall, five under, I’ll take it, definitely.”

Ian Poulter just managed to make the cut, a -1 under par total was due to some poor play and a rules infraction, on the 13th hole. he had driven the ball into trees off the tee, and took the penalty two clubs length relief. The drop left him on a cart path, so he was entitled to relief from that position. A free drop is only one club length, but Ian took two, which incurred a one shot penalty. He finished the hole with an eight on his card.

Volvo China Open. It’s tight at the Top, Play Suspended for the Day.

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It’s very tight at the top of the Volvo China Open at the Genzon Golf Club in ShenzenAlvaro Quiros and Simon Dyson share the clubhouse lead at the end of day one. Play was suspended due to bad light, with some players still to complete their first rounds.

Alvaro Quiros  (Getty Images)

Alvaro Quiros / Getty Images

Alvaro and Simon both shot opening rounds of -5 under par 67, to top the leaderboard on the Volvo China Open. Alvaro is coming back from injury and said things are slowly getting better;

“It was a good round of golf. It was a bit of a shame on the last par five because I was half a metre away from having a great chance to make another eagle but I ended up on the lip of the bunker and had to settle for a chip and two putts. You can’t see it yet on the rankings but I have been playing better. The Middle East swing was a good three weeks for me then I had a good result in Joburg and the last couple of weeks have been better.” 

Simon started on the tenth tee, and played well. He has won here before and that gives him a good feeling;

“I started on the tenth today and the first nine holes I played was the best I have played for quite some time. I really didn’t miss a shot. I missed two fairways just, and didn’t miss a green so gave myself a lot chances which is always nice and then I managed to make a couple of birdies on the other side for a tidy five under. It was a good start and very pleasing.”

“I have to say that because I was absolutely horrendous in the pro-am yesterday. I just went on the range for a couple of hours and managed to find something which I took out on to the course and it seemed to work for me. I’ll tell you what, it is an unbelievable finishing hole. If you need to make par on that hole to win on Sunday and you manage to get it done then you will deserve everything you get because it is a very tough finish.”

“I have had a bit of success here and really enjoy playing in China. Obviously I have won this tournament before so that always gives you a good feeling and like I said, I just played nicely today so hopefully I can continue to do that over the next three days.”

In third place, just one shot off the lead are English rookie Tyrell Hatton and Spanish Challenge Tour graduate Adrian Otaegui, David Horsey and Brett Rumford, who have all compiled completed first rounds of -4 under par 68. Alexander Levy and Il-hwan Park were still on the course when play was suspended, having played seventeen holes, and are also at -4 under par.

There is a posse of players at -3 under par, including Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, they all signed a card for 69. Defending Champion and World Number Three Henrik Stenson was way down the pack at T38 with a completed opening round of -1 under par. There are currently 55 players within four shots of the leaders. A very compacted leaderboard.