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Alstom Open De France. Hansen Leads

Anders Hansen leads the Alstom Open De France with a -5 under par 65 to lead by one shot at the Le Golf National course in Paris.

Anders Hansen   (Getty Images)

Anders Hansen / Getty Images

Anders defied a hand injury and testing conditions at Le Golf National to take a one shot lead after the opening round of the Alstom Open de France. He will undergo surgery in Zurich next week to try and overcome the long-standing hand problem. This course is good enough for the Ryder Cup, in his opinion;

“I’m telling you, it’s a great venue for The Ryder Cup. The course is set up perfect for it. The spectators get such a good view and it’s such a great finish to the round. I think it’s going to be a great venue. It is a tough course,  the greens are pretty firm and it’s tight out there. There’s hardly any wind, and you see the scores aren’t that great. I played actually really solid from tee to green,  I think I only missed two or three greens. I putted quite well, so just sort of all came together. At some stage it seemed a bit easy, but this course gets your attention and next thing you know, you’re making bogeys.”

Of his long-term battle with the hand injury, he is hoping that this surgery will be a quick fix;

I’ve had it for years and years and years,  they are going in three different places and they are going to remove a cyst I have here and clean this up and hopefully there’s a 50/50 chance it’s going to be okay. The other thing is to take the whole bone out and cut it a bit, but that’s a big operation and I would be out for six months, so we are hoping to do that and it’s going to be good enough. It’s just wear and tear from hitting too many golf balls.”

Frenchman Romain Wattel is in second place at -4 under par, he wants to play well in front of the home crowd;

“You are in front of the French crowds, so you want to be good, you want to play great golf and so there is pressure on me. I’m trying to play my best and just focus on the shot I have to play, that’s the only thing I can do.”

Martin Kaymer was part of a nine-strong group on three under par, while defending Champion Marcel Siem sadly signed for a first round of 78.

Maybank Malaysian Open, Champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat

The Maybank Malaysian Open Champion is Kiradech Aphibarnrat, a 23 year-old from Thailand.

Awesome Aphibarnrat claims maiden victory

Kiradech Aphibarnrat / Getty Images

Kiradech Aphibarnrat won the Malaysian Maybank Open, at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, by just one shot from Italian Edoardo Molinari. Kiradech finally finished his third round of the weather troubled tournament with a -2 under par round of 70, and a 54 hole total of -13 under par.

Edoardo had finished his round earlier, posting a club house lead of -12 under par. He then had to sit and watch Kiradech catch and the pass his total, although the result was not really finalized until the last hole, which Kiradech bogied.

Kiradech was very happy with his first European Tour win;

“This means a lot to me, I have to thank my family: my Mum and my Dad for all their support.”

Edoardo, who made his first cut since returning from a wrist injury, was pleased with his final round of -5 under par, 67;

“It’s mixed emotions because I’m very happy to have a good week for the first time in a long time, The swing changes are starting to pay off which is surprising because I thought it would take a lot longer. I’m disappointed because I had a lot of chances on the back nine. The 18th is only the second fairway I missed all day which is very disappointing. I felt if I birdied the last I might have won outright because it puts a lot of pressure on the guy coming up behind.” 

 Anders Hansen, of Denmark, finished third after one of the days best rounds of 66. South African Charl Schwartzel and France’s Victor Dubuisson finished a shot further back  at -10 under par in fourth spot.

A surging Padraig Harrington, he went through the turn in 31 strokes, then managed to  drop three shots on the back nine and slipped back into a tie for sixth place.

Maybank Malaysian Open. Mayhem Reigns

The mayhem reigns at the Maybank Malaysian Open, the tournament has been reduced to 54 holes after the leaders had completed just two holes of their third round before play was suspended once again due to rain.

 

Kiradech Aphibarnrat   (Getty Images)

Kiradech Aphibarnrat / Getty Images

Kiradech Aphibarnrat has a one shot lead, he completed his second round and had played just two holes of the third round when the Tournament Director, David Garland announced;

” We’ve had another very large storm this afternoon, so suspended play for the day and after further discussions with our major sponsor Maybank the tournament has been reduced to 54 holes. We want to wrap it all up with the crowd and everyone here tomorrow.”

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is at -11 under par, with playing partner Charl Swartzel at -10 under par. Kiradech was pleased with the halt in play, stating that he felt very tired;

” It’s good for me because I’m getting tired. I’ll try to play on my game and focus.I’ve got 16 holes to go, I want to concentrate on my own game and I’ve got a chance.”

The final round will be a real shootout, there are seven competitors on -9 under par, and they are all in with a chance to win this tournament. The chasing pack includes; Irish pair Padraig Harrington and Peter Lawrie, they are joined by former Ryder Cup player Italian Edoardo Molinari, Dane Anders Hansen, China’s Ashun Wu and the French duo of  Gregory Bourdy and Victor Dubuisson.

One big name that is missing from the line-up is  World number three Luke Donald, who missed the first halfway cut of his professional career in a regular European Tour event after adding a 73 to his opening 74.

Luke said in interview that he had really struggled with the greens, but the time off he has will help him to prepare for The Masters;

” I’ve got a couple of weeks off to get ready for Augusta and I’ll obviously be very diligent in my preparation. I would have loved to go back home in form, but in golf you just never know. We’ve seen it many times before when people go into tournaments with very little form and win, including Majors. So you just have to keep plugging and hope it’s your turn. The greens here are very different from what I play on, they are a little slower than what I’m used to and I just didn’t adjust or adapt to them. I just couldn’t read them for the life of me. I’d think it was right to left and it went the other way. I got John (his caddie) to read a few too and we were seeing the same things.”

Maybank Malaysian Open. Kiradech Aphibarnrat 1st Round Leader

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is the first round leader at the Maybank Malaysian Open, being played at  the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat   (Getty Images)

Kiradech Aphibarnrat / Getty Images

Kiradech opened the tournament with a -7 under par round of 65, he managed to get in the clubhouse before the thunderstorms brought proceedings to a halt.

There are four players hot on his heels,  just one shot back on -6 under par are Anders Hansen, Edoardo Molinari, Scott Jamieson and Grégory Bourdy.

Grégory birdied five of his first seven holes and said -6 is a good score on this course;

” It’s great to start the tournament like this, six under is a good score on this course. I finished second here two years ago, so I like the course a lot. It’s maybe one of the best we play all season and it’s in great shape again this year. The area is great also, and the weather is very good. I’m enjoying this event again and I hope my game stays like this until Sunday.”

Anders has been struggling a bit this season and was very pleased with his opening round;

” I’m very, very pleased. I’ve been struggling a bit all year, but this week I’ve worked very hard on the range even though it has been so hot.  I hit a lot of good shots today, although I had a couple of loose ones at the start. I hit it in the water on the first which wasn’t good, but I made a good recovery. I hit some very solid golf shots yesterday in the pro-am and that gave me some confidence for today. It’s too hot to get frustrated so you just have to stick in there. It’s extreme and very difficult for everyone.”

World Number Three Luke Donald made his now customary slow start to a tournament and could only manage a +2 over par round of 74, despite chipping in for birdie at the first. Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington has made a good start in Kuala Lumpur with a three under par 69 for a share of tenth place.

Not everybody has completed their first rounds yet, so there could be some changes to the leaderboard before the start of the second round. Scott Jamieson is at -6 under par through ten holes, and could yet top the leaderboard himself.

Alstom Open de France, 3rd round, Howell & Hansen Lead

Howell and Hansen hold slender advantage

David Howell (Getty Images

David Howell and Anders Hansen share the third round lead at the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National, Paris, with a tournament total of -6 under par. There was a brief interruption, around 35 minutes, for a thunder-storm and Anders Hansen and George Coetzee who were then leading, at 8 under, dropped shots at the last couple of holes. That gave David Howell the opportunity to make up ground with his third round of -4 under par, 67, to tie Anders and pass George, who is now one shot back at -5 under par.

David is very satisfied with the way he is playing;

“I played beautifully. It’s been three good rounds so far. Today was probably the way you want to play the golf course. The way I played, I kept the ball on the whole in the fairway and took my chances when they came along. You’ve got to play steady golf around here. You can’t smash it all over the place and expect to score. You’ve got to be patient and play strategically, not make too many stupid errors and when the birdie chances come, the greens are perfect, so you can hope to hole some putts from 20 or 30 feet as well.
The confidence is building by the day and today’s round was important for me, and tomorrow’s will be of course. In decent position after 36, you never want to go backwards, and to play such a nice round, I was very pleased for my confidence. “

Anders was disappointed to drop shots late on in his round;

“I’m very pleased. Obviously disappointed to drop shots on six and 16, and on 17 I hit a bad drive, but two bogeys on a tough, tough day like today, it’s very decent. I’ve heard it’s going to be very, very windy tomorrow. We’ll see what’s going to happen. This is where I want to be and this is what I’ve worked towards. I’m happy to see the changes are working well and I’m hitting a lot of good shots out there. The more comfortable I get with the things I’m doing, you think the chances are that I’m going to play better, so all in all I’m very pleased.”

Frenchman  Raphaël Jacquelin went round in 70 to lie two behind Howell and Hansen. He was joined on four under by overnight leader Marcel Siem, who struggled to 73 after carding back to back 68s earlier in the week. Raphaël was happy with the home support he has been receiving;

” It was great to see the public coming, even if the weather was not very good. I hope they are going to be there a lot tomorrow and support me.  I will try to do my best, and we’ll see. It’s like a fifth major for us, and so it would mean a lot but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. The course is putting a lot of pressure on myself already. So I will try to do my best again.”

Lee Westwood dropped off the planet, with a third round 76, but Ian Poulter is still in with a chance at -3 under par and three shots of the pace.

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