Volvo China Open. 4 Tied at the Top.

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There are 4 players tied at the top of the Volvo China Open at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club in China. Alex Levy, David Howell and two Chinese players  Li Hao-tong and Wu Ashun.

Volvo China Open

Alex Levy / Getty Images

Two late bogey’s from Alex in the third round of the Volvo China Open robbed him of a two shot lead and assured us of an exciting dash to the line in the final round tomorrow. In the end he had to settle for a third round -1 under par 71 and a share of the top spot at -8 under par for the tournament.

Alex got off to a flier carding four straight birdies, but then the birdies dried up and the bogey’s crept in;

“It was the perfect start for me, but after that I got a little bit nervous, because I haven’t played well for three months now so I haven’t been in this position for a while.”

“It’s nice to be back at the top of the leaderboard, but I have to get used to it again.”

“I’m just really happy to be playing some good golf again, that’s more important than me worrying about winning the trophy again.”

“I’ll need to have a good round again tomorrow, but it’s not easy on this course because you can’t be too aggressive.”

David carded a nice -4 under par 68 to get himself into the tie for the top place, he said he was able to take advantage of the conditions today, that suited him better;

“It was a very nice day for me.”

“I felt like there was a score to be had out there, and I adapted to the conditions much better than I did yesterday, when I struggled with the comparative softness of the course. I knew what to expect today, and took advantage.”

“I really got it going nicely around the turn. I had a few chances early on which I didn’t take, but I managed to stay patient and eventually the birdies came.”

Li Hao-tong and Wu Ashun face the pressure of trying to become the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil. They both recorded third rounds of -3 under par 69, and Li said he will just stick to his game plan;

“I will just stick with my plan and play the best I can do out there without thinking about the finish.”

Volvo China Open

Li Hao-tong / Getty Images

Magnus A Carlsson carded the low round of the day, -7 under par 65 , which moved him 37 places up the leaderboard to share fifth with Seve Benson, Richie Ramsay and Prom Meesawat on -6 under par.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat’s attempt to win back to back titles became derailed today as he shot +4 over par 76 and dropped down the leaderboard to T25.

Volvo China Open. Julien Quesne has 36 Hole Lead

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Julien Quesne has the 36 hole lead at the Volvo China Open at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club in China.

Volvo China Open

Julien Quesne / Getty Images

Julien shot a second round -5 under par 67 to sit on top of the Volvo China Open leaderboard with half way total of -8 under par, and a one shot lead over compatriot, and defending champion Alex Levy, and America’s Peter Uihlein

In the calm morning conditions Julien made the turn in 32 strokes, saying he had played much better today, and joked that he would not be talking tactics with his friend Alex over their evening meal;

“I played much better today, so that was the main reason for my good score. I felt very comfortable and hardly missed any shots, so it was a very good day all round.” 

“My performance last week definitely helps build the confidence, so I felt good at the start of the week and I’m still feeling good now, but there’s a long way to go.” 

“There are so many good golfers in France now, so it’s logical that you see lots of French players up near the top of the leaderboard. I hope we can keep it going over the weekend.”

 “We don’t really talk about golf when we go out for dinner at night. We try to talk about other subjects, because just speaking about golf gets very boring!”

Alex would have been leading but he took a trip into water on the par four 16th, for a double bogey, and followed that with a bogey on 17;

“It’s a shame to make a double because I played really good today.”

“Maybe next time I do a different thing, a more safe play out of the bunker on the right, but it’s OK.”

Peter had a -5 under par 67 today for his -7 under par total, and Alex -4 under for his -7 under total to share second place.

Last weeks winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat is in a bunch of players at -5  under par, and is comfortable with the tougher weather conditions that prevailed in the afternoon. He is full of confidence as he looks to become the first player to win back-to-back European Tour titles since Rory McIlroy did that last summer.

“I’m very happy, especially as it’s playing tough, there are lots of slopes on the greens and the course is very firm.” 

“I’m not driving the ball as well as I did last week, but the rest of my game is in pretty good shape, especially my short game.”

“I’m still feeling good; I’ve been getting lots of rest and eating well, so I’m feeling fine and ready to go. Mentally I’m still sharp and my confidence is high, so I just have to keep it up.” 

“My Mum is still here with me and she told me to keep going and win back to back, so hopefully I can do it for her. She’s my good luck charm.”

Joining the -5 under club were last week’s runner-up Li Hao-tong, his fellow Chinese home favourite Wu Ashun, with two more Frenchmen Jérôme Lando Casanova and Romain Wattel, with the improving Italian  Matteo Manassero.

 

 

 

Volvo China Open. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

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There was a three-way tie at the top of the Volvo China Open leaderboard at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club in Shanghai, China. Kiwi Michael Hendry, England’s David Howell and Bradley Dredge from Wales share the top spot after round one.

Volvo China Open

David Howell / Getty Images

David, Michael and Bradley all fired opening rounds of -4 under par 68 to occupy first place in the Volvo China Open.

David, who won the last of his five European Tour titles at St Andrews in October 2013 said he was delighted with his progress with his golf game;

“I’m delighted, it’s a really different test this week.”

“We knew it was firm in practice, but it was hard to work out how difficult it was going to be. The scoring showed people are finding it tricky.”

“I drove the ball beautifully today, really found my rhythm on the range and took it out onto the course so I kept the ball in play well and did a lot of things right.”

“There was a decent breeze out there, but really it’s the firmness of the greens that is making it difficult for everyone. The greens are in great condition and you’ve really got to think your way round.”

“The greens were really firm so the big thing was if you were hitting fairways you had chances.”

“It was never easy getting the ball close to the hole with slopes on the greens and the firmness; it was quite tricky round there.

“This afternoon the wind is going to get up and it will be firmer still, so I’d be surprised if four under was beaten.”

Kiwi Michael won on the Japan Golf Tour last week, and he admitted that the win had provided a welcome confidence boost.

“It makes the game a little easier I think, it’s always nice to play tournaments when you’re in good form.”

The defending champion Alex Levy was one behind the leaders after a -3 under par opening effort, sharing fourth spot with Julien Quesne and Marcus Fraser.

Last weeks winner in China, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, opened here with a -1 under par 71, in his quest for back to back wins on the European Tour.

 

Shenzhen International. Kiradech Wins In A Play-Off

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Kiradech Aphibarnrat wins the inaugural Shenzhen International at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

Kiradech Aphibarnrat / Getty Images

Kiradech and Chinese teenage sensation Li Hao-Tong were tied at the top of the Shenzhen International leaderboard at -12 under par at the end of the final round.

Li Hao-Tong had set the clubhouse lead after his last round -5 under par 67, and then at back to see if anyone would catch him. Kiradech did, but his final round of even par only matched the top score, the players then went into a sudden death play-off, starting at the par four 18th. A birdie for Kiradech gave him the inaugural Shenzhen International title, with the best putt of his life;

“Special thanks to my caddie, he was always pushing me.”

“When we were two behind on the last two holes he said you have not lost, we have not signed the scorecard yet and he was completely right and I just got the job done.”

“I had a chance to win in 72 holes but the putt in the play-off is the best putt I have ever made in my life.”

“I’ve been struggling for a year. I lost my coach, changed my equipment. It’s a big changing time after I won.

“It’s been like that for a while. I haven’t been at the top of the leaderboard but finally I had the chance to do it. It was tough to stay there.”

It would have been fantastic for teenager Li Hao-Tong to have won on home soil, he made six birdies in windy conditions, and in the end congratulated the winner;

“I made a lot of birdies again. But the Thai guy played so well. Congratulations for him.”

Tommy Fleetwood was third, one shot behind at -11 under par for the tournament, a last round -3 under par 69 lifting him above the posse of players at -10 under, which included Peter Uihlein.

Peter was happy with the result, saying he had made some changes to his wing;

“It was my first tournament trying to do some new stuff with my swing. I’ll take it. It’s one of those things that might take a little while under pressure to get used to.” 

Low round of the day came from Alvaro Quiros, -9 under par 63, he had a chance to post the European Tour’s first round of 59, but bogeys on the 12th and last holes were the only blemishes of an effort that featured a sensational 11 birdies;

“A 63 in any golf course in the world is a good score.”

Bubba Watson also finished well, carding a final round -7 under par 65, and wished his putting had been better the first three days;

“I wish I would have putted better in the first three rounds.”

“I putted well in the last round. All in all it was a good test. It shows me what I need to work on. It shows me that I can play outside the US, especially today.”

 

 

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.