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Johnnie Walker Championship. Tommy Catches Ricardo to Share Lead.

Tommy Fleetwood catches up to Ricardo Gonzalez at the top of the leaderboard at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

Tommy Fleetwood  (Getty Images)

Tommy Fleetwood / Getty Images

Tommy looked set to lead on his own but suffered a disappointing double bogey six on the last hole on the Gleneagles Hotel course. His third round of -5 under par , 67 enabled him to catch up to Ricardo who could only post a third round of -2 under par, 70. Both players are at -16 under par for the tournament.

Tommy shrugged his shoulders about the double bogey 6 on the par 4 eighteenth, saying it was a difficult hole;

” The last hole does not really mean anything, it’s a tough hole and the way I hit my tee shot I did well to make six. I carved it into the trees and was lucky to have a chip out. If I hadn’t I would have had to go back 100 yards and could have taken anything up to a ten. The way I played the first 17 holes was fantastic. I have been up there a bit this year and faltered a bit, so it’s nice that I have kept my good golf going for three rounds. I came off the Challenge Tour feeling I was the best golfer in the world, it felt very easy and I could not do much wrong. Last year I was still working hard but maybe not working on the right things.The more you play poorly out here, the easier it is to get into a downward spiral. It was horrible, I didn’t know that many people, and it was very hard.At this tournament last year I’m not sure that I expected to be back on this Tour this season, but I played great the second half of the season and have carried it on.This is what you spend hours and hours practicing for, to be up there in golf tournaments. I always used to watch this tournament as a kid and I love Scotland. My parents, Sue and Pete, would move here in a heartbeat, and we’ve got a house behind the 12th hole this week so I’ll do some practice and walk home.”

Ricardo is still recovering from personal distress, but said he was happy with his third round;

“The last two years have been very difficult personally, if I win I would like to dedicate it to my mother and father, that’s my target this week. I think the first two days, I hit it very well from the fairway to the flag. I’m happy to make two under par on that course.”

Fredrik Andersson-Head is alone in third place after his third round of -6 under par 66 and a -15 under par total.

Stephen Gallacher is just three shots off the lead after charging through the field with a superb -8 under par, 64, for his -13 under par total. He and  Bernd Wiesberger share fourth place at that score.

Stephen has been suffering from a freak injury, washing his car, and said only the guys in the physio truck kept him in the competition;

“A 64 is very good considering I didn’t have a warm-up.I hit two shots and had to go back in for more physio. The boys in the physio truck have been brilliant all week. They put a heat pack on it and gave me some tablets and said as long as I wasn’t having pins and needles it was just a strain and I couldn’t do any more damage. If it had been any other place I would probably not have played but I love this place and the course is set up perfect. The greens are fantastic and it’s a course where I have had a few low scores.”

If Stephen’s back injury does not trouble him tomorrow, he could easily figure coming down the stretch in this competition.

 

Johnnie Walker Championship, A Double At Gleneagles

There is a double at the top of the Johnnie Walker Championship after the first round at Gleneagles. Bernd Wiesberger and Ricardo Gonzalez are the leaders.

Ricardo Gonzalez  (Getty Images)

Bernd Wiesberger / Getty Images

Both of the leaders at the Johnnie Walker Championship had opening rounds of -7 under par, 65 on The Gleneagles Hotel course. Ricardo recorded two bogey’s in his round while Bernd shot a clear round;

 ” I didn’t make a lot of mistakes, I had troubles the last couple weeks driving the ball, and coming off Major Championships where you have to be very precise off the tee, I felt I had a bit more margin of error here. My driving is better the last couple of days, which helped a lot, and I’ve got shorter clubs into the greens, and I could take advantage of those. I came here with the feeling that I like the golf course, I like the weather, playing in these colder conditions, I think it suits me. I’m very relaxed, had last week off, so quite fresh into this tournament and that helped me.”

Ricardo, who has not had a top ten finish this season, but has four European titles to his name said he had played well;

“I played very good from the tee, made some good putts, and that’s why it’s a good score. I like the course, I think the weather opened my eyes and made me take more concentration on my putter and my driver.”

In a very tightly compacted leaderboard there are no less than six players tied in third place at -6 under par. One of them, Oliver Fisher could have joined the top two but unfortunately made bogey at his final hole. The others sharing with Oliver at -6 under par are; Mark Foster, Ross Fisher, Brett Rumford, Thongchai Jaidee and Ignacio Garrido.

Oliver explained how he had benefited from playing  with Jason Dufner, golf’s latest Major Champion, while at The Open Championship;

“I played with Jason the last round, I think he shoot four under and I shoot three, and there’s not a lot between. He’s just gone on to finish second at Bridgestone and won the PGA, and I sat at home watching it on telly. It doesn’t take a lot, the difference in the game to completely change your year or change your career, if you like. I’ll just keep believing and being patient. I know the golf I can play and it’s just a matter of getting out there and taking a bit of responsibility I guess.”

Defending champion Paul Lawrie birdied two of the last three holes for a -2 under par, 70, and is five shots off the lead.

Euro Tour. BMW International Open. Els Excels

Ernie Els excelled in the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried, winning by one shot from Thomas Björn.

Ernie Els  (Getty Images)

Ernie Els / Getty Images

Ernie had posted his intentions at the BMW International Open when carded an opening round 63. He finished off the job with three rounds of -3 under par 69, for a winning total of -18 under par.

Ernie said he had enjoyed a wonderful tournament;

” It’s been wonderful, I’ve had a great week in Germany. We’ve got to thank BMW obviously for their 25 years of support, I’ve tried a long time to try and win this golf tournament. Wonderful to have sponsors like that around the world, and especially on The European Tour. There’s a lot of people that are working behind the scenes; the volunteers, the Golf Club of Eichenried.  There’s quite a lot of people getting involved in the golf course. We’ve got to thank all of them, and obviously my play this week has been great. I just felt good this week. I just felt my game was there and lucky enough it was one shot good enough. I really had it going and then I made it tough for myself again. Thomas was playing great, he stumbled on 14, I was watching the kid, I played with him yesterday and he looked like he had a great game, but he stumbled as well on the back nine. It’s great to get my name on this wonderful trophy. Obviously it gives you a lot of confidence. Wire-to-wire you’ve got the pressure, every night you’ve got to sleep on it, guys are chasing you. So this is quite a week for me.”

Thomas Björn was in second place at -17 under par, he also finished second in his last tournament, and is in good form at the moment;

“I played well, got off to the start I needed today and got right there in front. The thing that’s been great this week is the driver, and let me down on the back nine. I fought all the way to the end, and he hit two very classy shots on the last. When you go up against Ernie, you’ve got to take it 18 holes to the end and I didn’t quite do it today. I’m on a good run of form. I wanted to try and get myself in the top 20 in The Race to Dubai and top five for The Open, and I’m keeping closer to that and that’s my goal over the next couple of weeks. The qualifier takes a lot out of you, and I’m going to Ireland on a golf course I won on and I’ll keep carrying on and fighting hard until I win a golf tournament.”

The kid Ernie referred to was Alexander Levy, who finished in third place alone at -16 under par. The Qualifying School graduate from France played exceptionally well.

The home favourite Martin Kaymer, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and Swede Alex Noren all finished tied for fourth spot at -15 under par.

Euro Tour. Lyoness Open. Tom Lewis Leads.

Tom Lewis, from England, leads after the first round of the Lyoness Open, powered by Greenfinity, at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, Austria.

Flawless Lewis leads at Diamond Country Club

Tom Lewis / Getty Images

Tom Lewis stamped his authority on the Lyoness Open with an opening bogey free round of -9 under par 63, which gave him a two shot lead over the field.

Tom said it was really only his putting today that made the difference between today and the rest of his year;

“It’s a great start, “I had some good fortune around the 17th and 18th, which was my front nine, and that made the back nine more relaxed. I holed a lot of putts, which was really the only difference between today and the rest of the year. This year’s been tough but I’ve been very close and shown a lot of good stuff. Today it all came together and if I can have three more rounds like that I’ll be alright. I always seem to throw in a double bogey in a round or a tournament and it pushes me out of contention. I’ve got to try to limit the mistakes and not get too down on myself, and I’ve been working hard on that with a lot of people. I’ve got a lot of support from friends and family, and good coaches, so with a bit of talent I’ve got no excuses.We travel so much and there’s so many different places, grasses, time differences – it can get to a lot of players. Some weeks you’re feeling great and some weeks you’re not. I need to turn the great weeks into really great weeks, and the not so great weeks I need to grind it out. I’ve got high expectations and not very much patience. Because I’ve struggled the last year or so I’ve lowered my expectations, which has been a good thing and has got my confidence back up. Hopefully I can get off to a good start tomorrow and make a few birdies early on. If I make a few mistakes, which I will this week, I just need to not get down on myself and I’ll be fine.”

Dutchman Joost Luiten is in second place, with his opening round of -7 under par, 65, he also said his putter was his best friend today;

It always feels good to have a great score in the first round, I was four under after four and that keeps the round going. I hit a lot of fairways and greens and the putter was my best friend today. The course is starting to dry out but you don’t get any roll on the ball. The greens are very good so you can really make some putts. The weather was perfect today and there was no wind, which was good because when it’s windy it’s a very tough golf course. I played well two years ago which was my first and only time here. I finished third, so I know I can play well on this course and I showed it again today. It doesn’t matter who’s the favourite, you just have to go out and shoot as low a score as possible.”

There are four players tied in third place, all at -6 under par, they are; Graeme Storm, Alexander Levy, Richard McEvoy and Simon Dyson.

Graeme thought he should have been at -8 under, the way he played, but missed some chances;

“I stayed very composed and tee to green I played as well as I could have, I think I only missed three greens and I holed a few nice putts. I felt as though I could have shot eight under today, but I missed a couple of chances. It’s slightly disappointing bogeying the last as I had the perfect yardage for a six iron. I just pulled it a bit, which I did with a couple of irons in the last few holes, so I’ll be going to the range after lunch to fix that. Other than that I played great all day. I had a nice little run on seven, eight and nine, and should have birdied the tenth as well.”

Defending champion and home favorite Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, had consecutive birdies at the sixth and seventh as he opened his account here with a -4 under par. 68.

“I’m not ecstatic, but it’s a good start, I kept it together well and had to scramble a lot, especially on my front nine. On the back nine I had a few chances and managed to take a few of them. I started with a 71 last year so this is three better. Hopefully that means I can get to 20 under this time.”

European Tour, Wiesberger Wins Lyoness Open

Wiesberger seals fairytale triumph

Bernd Wiesberger (Getty Images)

Bernd Wiesberger won the Lyoness Open  after a brilliant seven under par 65 gave him victory with a tournament total of -91 under par, on home soil at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg Austria, on Sunday.

Bernd called it the best day of his life after chasing down overnight leader Thorbjørn Olesen and Frenchman Thomas Levet with four birdies in five holes around the turn, then remembered José Manuel Lara having a similar putt to win;

” It’s the best day of my life so far. It seems like it went my way, especially the last two holes. I had such a great country and such great fans backing me. I’m very proud to be following in such big footsteps, as Brier. I’m sure I’m not going to be the last home winner.
When José Manuel Lara holed a similar putt to win the tournament two years ago, I always imagined I’d have a putt like that to win here. I actually said that to my caddie walking up the 18th hole, and when it went in, I just couldn’t believe it.”

Shane Lowery and Thomas Levet shared second spot at -16 under par, Thomas making a mistake with a bogey on the 17th hole, which allowed Shane to equal his score. Shane was disappointed to start the last round poorly, but satisfied with the way he fought back and climb up the leaderboard;

After an awful start I’m delighted with how I fought back. I was two over after five holes, but then managed to go eagle-birdie-birdie, which really got my round back on track. I’ve played lovely all week, and today was no different, I just wish I was playing again next week. Still, a holiday in Portugal’s not a bad consolation.”

Congratulations to Thomas Levet for his effort in this tournament, Thomas used to play at my club back in England, Blue Mountain Golf Club, and I have spoken to him many times. It is nice to see someone you know performing well.

Ballantine’s Championship @ Blackstone GC Seoul South Korea, Wiesberger Wins

Bernd Wiesberger  (Getty Images)

Bernd Wiesberger (Getty Images

Bernd Wiesberger won the Ballantine’s Classic at the  Blackstone GC in Icheon,  Seoul, South Korea on Sunday to record his first European Tour victory.  Bernd cruised through a bogey free last round of -4  under par 68 and a winning tournament total of -18 under par, to give him a deserved five shot victory. It was a majestic tournament from Bernd with rounds of  72, 65, 65, 68.

Richie Ramsay finished alone in second spot after a final round -7 under par 65, and a tournament total of -13. Tied in third place was Victor Dubuisson, and Marcus Fraser. Victor had a last round of -6 under par 66 to give him a total of -11 under par for the tournament. Marcus finished on the same score after a disappointing final round of -2 under par 70. He had been hoping to put some pressure on Bernd at the start of play but the Austrian cruised along while he struggled.

Miguel Angel Jimenez,  and Anthony Wall finished the tournament with a total of -10 under par and tied for fourth  spot.

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Ballantine’s Championship, Bernd Wiesberger in control @ Blackstone GC, Seoul

Wonderful Wiesberger races clear

Bernd Wiesberger (Getty Images)

The Ballantine’s Championship is just about done and dusted, Bernd Wiesberger is in full control after the third round after shooting another -7 under par round of  65 to lead the tournament at the Blackstone GC,  in Seoul, South Korea. Bernd’s magnificent lead is five shots, and total score of -14 under par.

Bernd, who won twice on The Challenge Tour in 2010 and was a runner-up twice on The European Tour last year, said of his round;

“I think that’s what we call a great day at the office. It was fun out there. It was nice conditions again like yesterday, and really nice set up for the course. I enjoyed myself out there, made a lot of putts and that was the key to another perfect day. Out there on the greens I really felt like I saw the lines perfectly today and I putted the ball nicely.,

“It feels like I’m getting into position more often, and played well when I was in those positions in the last half of the year last year. It was a good preparation the last two years, and I hope it pays off tomorrow.”

In second place is Marcus Fraser, the 2010 champion, with a third round score of -3 under par 69 for a tournament total of  -9 under par. Bernd would need to fall over badly tomorrow to not win this trophy. Marcus was realistic in assessing his chances tomorrow;

“I felt really comfortable out there, hit a lot of good shots inside 20 feet, and just couldn’t get anything going. I hit putts where I was wanting to hit them, but they just weren’t taking the break. I felt like I was playing chase out there most of the day and trying to keep up. Bernd is playing great , so much game and definitely a star of The European Tour to come. He’s obviously a great player now but he’s got big things in front of him, that’s for sure. It reflects the way he’s playing. He played great here and gives himself a chance on every hole and he’s a great putter, as well. If I was a betting man, I would put the house on him. He’s just played so well and looks very comfortable.”

Everyone else is really fighting for second place, Marcus Fraser is the player closest to the man in form, but five shots over one round is a huge mountain to climb, not impossible in golf, but very unlikely.

Oliver Fisher and Felipe Aguilar are another shot back with a tournament score of -8 under par, but have no realistic chance of catching Bernd.

Ballantine’s Championship, Blackstone GC Seoul South Korea

Bernd Wiesberger  (Getty Images)

Bernd Wiesberger (Getty Images)

The Ballantine’s Championship from Blackstone GC, in Seoul South Korea was all change at the top in the second round.

Clubhouse leader is Bernd Wiesberger who carded a brilliant bogey free -7  under par 65 in the second round for a tournament total    of  -7 under par. He said in interview;

“Today I couldn’t really do anything wrong really. It felt like everything was going in the right direction. I’m just trying to hit a lot of greens and try and hit on the right spots, which is important here. It’s a tricky golf course when you hit into the wrong places.”

In second spot is Australian Marcus Fraser, who won this title on Jeju Island in 2010, he shot  a five under par 67 to move to six under at the halfway stage of the tournament. The two-time European Tour winner commented on the better golfing conditions today;

“Obviously yesterday was very windy, pretty tricky for everybody. And then today was completely different. We basically had no wind for most of the day and then it kicked up a little bit over the last maybe five, six holes. But overall, I’m very happy and very pleased with the way it’s going at the moment.”

He then joked about why he always plays well at the Ballantine’s Championship;

 “It’s obviously just the alcohol, I can’t really survive without it. It’s obviously one of our premiere events now on The European Tour, and Ballantine’s have been such a great sponsor and product. We have a great venue this year, same course as last year, and I think the brand, Ballantine’s, suits very well with the exclusive club, and it’s just a great week and somewhere I love coming back.”

Ryder Cup star Miguel Angel Jiménez, England’s Anthony Wall and Chile’s Felipe Aguilar were all in the clubhouse on four under.

Yesterdays first round leaders all fell away today, including Paul Casey who could only manage a par round of 72 in the second round and is now five shots off the pace. Ian Poulter enjoyed a good round of -5 under par, and is also -2 for the tournament. Adam Scott the highest ranked player in the field struggled to make the cut, shooting a +3 over par 75, to actually make the cut with a total of +2 for the tournament.

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