Shenzhen International. Kiradech Lets Slip A Tidy Lead.

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Kiradech Aphibarnrat let slip a tidy lead in the Shenzhen International, although he will still have a two shot lead going into the final round at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

Kiradech and Peter shake hands / Getty Images

Kiradech had built up a five shot lead during the third round of the Shenzhen International, until he came to the last two holes. He he double-bogeyed the par five 17th and dropped another shot at the last, a par four, to card -4 under par 68, and still be at the top of the leaderboard at -12 under par.

Really poor putting was the main culprit;

“I’ve been striking the ball so well in the first three rounds. It’s a good way to start.”  

“First, I made three straight birdies to jump up at the top. I was still hitting the ball great on the back. Then I made a big mistake on last two holes, not the way to finish.”

“I lost the focus on the short putt on 17, that is the big turn, the big key for me after Peter made birdie, and we swung three shots on that. That’s a big move. But I made a mistake and I lost some concentration.”

Peter Uihlein was the beneficiary of Kiradech’s loss of concentration, he scored a -1 under par 71, which gave him a -10 under par total, to be just two shots adrift. He admitted he played poorly today;

“I just made too many sloppy bogeys. Four bogeys, a bit rough, five birdies and missed a couple pretty easy ones.”

Pablo Larrazábal is in third place, shooting -7 under par 65, to move him up the leaderboard with a -9 under par tournament total;

 “My game was brilliant today. I missed two shots, the second shot on 17 and the second shot on 18, but I played very solid.”  

“I made only one long putt. I made a two putt on 11, and then I made I think five birdies from four feet.”

19 year-old Hao-tong Li, from China, is in a group of five players on -7 under par for the tournament, along with Emiliano Grillo, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Ford and Scott Hend.

Hao-tong played alongside Bubba Watson, and enjoyed the experience;

“He’s pretty nice guy, so I very much enjoyed playing with him.”

“I hit a lot of greens and made a lot of birdies. I was pretty lucky also.”

Bubba did not play as well as his young playing partner, carding +2 over par for the round, but he did give some praise to the young Chinese player;

“He’s hitting the ball really well. He’s making a lot of putts. The key around a golf course is a lot of putts and he made a lot of putts today.”

Shenzhen International. Peter Uihlein Leads

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Peter Uihlein of America leads the Shenzhen International at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

Peter Uihlein / Getty Images

Peter shot a second round -4 under par 68 to lead the Shenzhen International by one stroke with his -9 under par total.

A bogey free back nine set the scene for a stress free day, apart from the wind;

“It was tricky today. The wind was swirling quite a bit.” 

“I got the back nine out of the way pretty quickly. I played very solid. I felt like getting anything under par on the back nine was nice, and I played a pretty stress free front nine which is always good.”

“I don’t have much going on upstairs, just spacing out, doing my own thing and sticking to my own game plan.”

“I don’t really change it very often. It worked the first couple days so I’ll see how it goes from there.”

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is in second place, a -3 under par 69 today giving him a -8 under par total. Kiradech likes  to play around the world, to gain experience;

“When I go out worldwide, I learn a lot of experience and I saw many top players play. Even this week, we have Bubba Watson around.”

“So it’s been helping Asian players to keep improving when we see all the star players, how they are playing, how they are playing the shots, and just adapt it to my golf game and it’s improving.”

Four players are tied in third place at -6 under par, they are; Emiliano Grillo, Gregory Havret, Matt Ford and Darren Fichardt.

Bubba Watson made the cut on even par, a +2 over par 74 today left him down T42, on what he called a tough course;

“It’s tough. I haven’t played very well. I haven’t putted very well.  But it’s a beautiful golf course.”  

Overnight leader  Wey-yi Huang unfortunately made triple-bogey on the 15th, a par four, to drop back to -4 under par, carding +2 over par 74 today.

Shenzhen International. Wen-yi Huang Leads

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 Wen-yi Huang from China leads the Shenzhen International at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

Wen-yi Huang / European Tour

Wen-yi Huang did not start playing golf until he was 22, but on Thursday the 34 year old shot a first round -6 under par 66, to lead the Shenzhen International.

He said he had improved in his golf quite a lot this year;

“Last year I played very badly.”

“This year I have changed my swing and yesterday I changed the driver and I like the new one. I like the course; the green speed is very good.”

Tied in second place at, just one shot behind at -5 under par are; Felipe Aguilar, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Byeong Hun An and Peter Uihlein.

Byeong Hun An, a Challenge Tour Graduate had a hole in one at the 226 yard par 3 eighth hole.

Felipe carded a bogey free round and the two-time winner on the European Tour said he was very pleased with the outcome;

“I hit the ball quite well today, I didn’t drop any shots, which is always good on this course.” 

“You are going to miss a couple of shots out here, I did, but I had a pretty good recovery after that so I’m pleased.”

Peter was only at level par at the turn, but then came to life carding birdies on the 10th and 14th, before finishing off with three birdies on the last three holes;

“Nice three in a row and four of the last five, I’m definitely pleased.”

“I played Thailand and had to withdraw with food poisoning, then played one in Puerto Rico, and then I had a wrist injury and had to take some time off.” 

“Then I switched coaches, so I’ve had a strange six weeks or so.”

“I feel like I did a lot of things really, really well and I felt like I did some of my old habits and hit a couple squirrelers, but I’m pleased with five under, for sure.”

The two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson is in the field and was part of a large group on -2  under par, he carded a hat-trick of gains from the fifth, and is currently T17.



World Ladies Championship. Inbee Stands Firm.

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Inbee Park stands firm at the top of the leaderboard of the World Ladies Championship on the  Blackstone Course at Mission Hills in China.

Inbee carded a second straight round of -4 under par 69, to post a 36 hole total of -8 under par for the tournament. She is closely followed by China’s Xiyu Lin, who had a second round -5 under par 68, and England’s Holly Clyburn, who carded the low round of the day at -8 under par 65. Both ladies are now just one shot behind the leader at -7 under par, sharing second place.

Holly partnered Inbee in this round, who had this to say about her;

“Holly played great today and she made a lot of putts. She hit a lot of shots close and it’s my first time playing with her.”

Inbee was not so impressed with her own round, but is looking forward to the next two rounds;

“The last two days have been good and very consistent with my ball striking. I had a couple of bogeys every day and those are the mistakes that I can avoid the next two days.”

“The speed of the greens wasn’t as good as last year and I hit a lot past the hole today so I’m going to try to have the speed right so I can make more putts tomorrow and the day after.”

“Yesterday was the toughest day we’ve played here with the wind and heavy conditions. Today there were much better conditions so I thought I could post a better round.”

“It was the same as yesterday, so I feel like I left a few out there but I still have two more days to play so it’s very exciting.”

World Ladies Championship

Holly Clyburn / Getty Images

Holly also carded nine under par 64 in the third round of the 2014 World Ladies Championship, on the same golf course;

“I love coming back to Mission Hills. Last year was my first year and I really enjoyed it, I’m enjoying it even more this year.”

“Everything about it is laid back, you can do whatever you want. The golf course facilities are fantastic and you’ve got the spa, the gym and the hotel, which are second to none.”

Yesterday’s co-leader Becky Morgan had a +1 over par 74 second round and slipped back into the three-way tie for fourth place, with Frenchwoman Alexandra Vilatte and Ladies European Tour rookie Jienalin Zhang of China. With all of them at -3 under par, they are a long way back and seemingly out of contention.

Only one of the five amateurs made the cut, she is China’s Lei Ye, only 13 years old, who shares 47th place on +4 over par, just inside the cut line.

China Masters. Young Li Hao-tong Wins

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Li Hao-tong has become the youngest ever winner on the OneAsia Tour, lifting the Nanshan China Open trophy.

Nanshan China Open

Li Hao-tong / Getty Images

Li carded a final round -1 under par 70 to win the China Open by four shots with a -9 under par total.  The 19-year-old claimed the US$180,000  prize money and the youngest winner record. The previous youngest winner had been Korean Kim Bi-o when claimed this very same event.

Li stated that the wind was so strong, he had never experienced anything like it before;

I think I am too young to win a Masters event, I could not stand sometimes when I was putting as the wind was so strong. I never played in wind like this.”
“It was really really windy. Before I went out I was worried about it as this is not an easy course.” 
“I had to keep the ball in the right spot and make pars and hang in there. I could not have played any better, I am really happy.”
Lee Jun-seok was in second place with a -5 under par tournament score, with Todd Baek in third at -3 under par. The winner Li was on the only player in the field who posted an under par score in the final round.
The next event on the OneAsia Tour is the Kolon Korea Open at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club from October 23 to 26.

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.

World Ladies Championship, Inbee Park Prevails

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Inbee Park prevails at the World Ladies Championship, at Mission Hills in China.

Champion Inbee Park / Getty

Inbee sailed round the Blackstone Course in -6 under par 67, for a winning tournament total of -24 under par. On on a damp and drizzly day that made scoring a lot more difficult,  after those first three days of sunshine, Inbee won by five shots  in the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills.

Inbee mentioned the weather in her post match interview;

“Today was obviously the toughest day out there because of the weather. Everything seems to be working quite well for me, from ball striking to putting. Everything was great today so I’m just happy to be here and win my first tournament of 2014.”

“Last year I was leading going into the final round and I lost to Suzann. I knew that I left something out there last year so coming back this year I definitely wanted to win and that’s what I just did. I had good memories from last year and better memories from this year, so I’m happy to be here. It has been a fantastic tournament.”

 “Being in a team with So Yeon this year gave me a lot of confidence. Winning the individual and the team event is a huge honour, a double honour, so I’m very happy.”

Team event winners, So Yeon and Inbee / Getty

Second placed Suzann could only put together a final round of -1 under par 72, to finish the competition at -19 under par. She was disappointed, but will be back to play Mission Hills again;

“There’s room for improvement but it’s been a good week overall. My game has become a lot better over the week and I’ll be happy to come back and play this course again. Inbee played fantastic today under a little tougher conditions. There were a few extra elements of weather that we hadn’t seen earlier but I feel like I played average, nothing better. I didn’t go out and shoot six under like she did.

So Yeon Ryu took third place at a distant – 16 under par, after her last round -4 under par 69, but with Inbee were the runaway winners of the concurrent team competition, with their aggregate score of -40 under par;

“It’s always a great honor to represent your country but also gave me some pressure because I didn’t want to play badly in the team event. That gave me a lot of motivation.”

Winner of the Amateur competition was Minjee Lee, the 17-year-old from Australia birdied three of the last four holes for a -4 under par 69 and a share of fourth place on -15 under par with Ariya Jutanugarn .

This has been a fascinating competition, just wished they had used a standard par 72 course, the par fives on the Blackstone Course are too short for the quality players on the Ladies European Tour.