Omega European Masters. Danny Does It Again.

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Danny Willett does it again, he wins his third European Tour title, the Omega European Masters, at  Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland.

Omega European Masters

Danny Willett & Trophy / Getty Images

A final round -5 under par 65, was good enough to give Danny victory at the Omega European Masters, posting a total of -17 under par, squeezing a one shot winning margin.

This win moves Danny up to second place in The Race to Dubai, behind leader Rory McIlroy, and may well see him climb into the top 25 of the Official Golf World Ranking. He spoke about the pressure he felt from Matt Fitzpatrick;

“It was a great day, yesterday was a bit disappointing, but today I played some really good golf.”

“Matt was snapping at my heels all day, so I’m delighted to get the job done.”

“I kept really calm all day, and just waited for the chances to come.”

“Winning is always tough, and the heart rate on 18 was pretty high.”

“Having a lag putt is almost trickier than trying to hole one sometimes, so I was pretty relieved to see it stop a foot or two from the hole.”

“He played some great golf and really kept the pressure on me.”

“But it probably made it a bit easier to be honest, because it meant I could not lose concentration even for a minute.”

“With a bigger lead you can take your foot off the gas a little bit, but today I knew I had to keep attacking and committing fully to shots, and luckily enough it turned out well in the end.”

“Two wins and good performances in Majors and Golf Championships is more than I could have hoped for really, but I have worked really hard so it is nice to get the rewards for it.”

Matt Fitzpatrick finished in second place at -16 under par, a last round -4 under par 66 kept the pressure on the leader all the way to the last hole;

“I played to win but Danny just went one better, so you have to take your hat off to him.”

“I don’t have any regrets whatsoever, and that is all you can ask of yourself. I gave it everything, but Danny was very impressive.”

“There were a couple of turning points which decided it, but I matched him birdie for birdie for the most part. I know Danny very well, he is also from Sheffield so I am very pleased for him.”

“I am really pleased with the week. It has been building for a few weeks now, so hopefully I can get over the line at some stage.”

“It is still only my first season on Tour and I am only 20, so I am still learning every week. Experiences like today’s will be invaluable in the future.” 

Tyrrell Hatton claimed third place, a magnificent 4th round score of -8 under par 62 elevating up the leaderboard to finish on -15 under par, making it an English 1,2,3. He was obviously very happy with his performance;

 “I am really happy. It is my lowest score on The European Tour, so even though I have come up just short I cannot be disappointed.”

“To do it on a Sunday at a place like Crans is very special, so I’ll enjoy this one for a while.”

 

Omega European Masters. Two Tied at the Top

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There are two players tied at the top of the Omega European Masters leaderboard. Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick have a two shot advantage after 54 holes at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland.

Omega European Masters

Matt Fitzpatrick / Getty Images

Matt and Danny sit on top of the Omega European Masters tournament with -12 under par totals. Matt carded a third round -6 under par 66, which included two bogey’s. Danny went backwards with a +1 over par round of 71, after starting the day with a one shot advantage.

Matt, the former US Amateur Champion, thanked the dentist who sorted out his troublesome toothache yesterday;

“I didn’t get off to the best of starts, with a bogey at the first, at that point 74 was looking much more likely than 64”

“I feel like I’ve been playing well for a while now, so it’s been coming but 65-64 yesterday and today is still good going.” 

“I also have to thank the dentists I visited yesterday, because I was in a lot of pain at the start of the week, but they did a pretty good job on me.” 

“I’ve just got to keep it going really. It sounds really boring, but I’ll be taking it one hole at a time and trying to stay in the moment, and stay patient. Although that’s easier said than done!” 

Danny on the other hand was not feeling too well out on the course, and it was a tough day weatherwise;

“Golf’s not the greatest game when you’re feeling a little bit under the weather, but I won’t be using it as an excuse.” 

“It wasn’t the best of days, and the round could’ve got away from me early doors. So it was good to hang tough and finish off the round quite nicely.” 

“Hopefully that’s my one bad round out the way.” 

“If we get another day like today, not too many people are going to go low out there, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

“Hopefully I can commit to a few more shots than I did today.”

Raphaël Jacquelin is in third place at -10 under par, a -2 under par 68 keeping him in touch with the leaders, he carded a triple bogey seven, on the par four 4th, but recovered with eight birdies.

The defending champion David Lipsky lies in  fourth place at -9 under, with the Korean pair of Seuk-hyun Baek and Y E Yang a shot further back at -8 under par for the tournament.

David reported just how bad the weather was out on the Crans-sur-Sierre course;

“It was brutal out there with the winds picking up. I made up ground with the leaders which was my goal today.”

“I thought I would lose ground shooting one-under but with this wind today, you just got to hold on and hope for the best.”

“Obviously I want to win the title and there’s lots of pressure involved with that. But whoever I’m playing with tomorrow, I’m just going to go out there and have some fun.”

“I’ll definitely be looking at the leaderboard as it helps to know what I need to do to progress through the round.”

Seuk-hyun was amazed to find he was only four shots off the lead at the end of the day;

“When I reached the last hole, I found out I was only four back. So I still have a chance.”

Omega European Masters. 2nd Round Suspended.

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Play was suspended for the day due to the threat of electrical storms, but that was not before Danny Willett had produced some sparkling form of his own, to lead the Omega European Masters tournament.

Omega European Masters

Danny Willett / Getty Images

Danny fired a sparkling -8 under par 62 at the  Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland, to top the Omega European Masters leaderboard at -13 under par.

Danny included a bogey in the round, but was not thinking of a 59;

“It was very, very good, right from the get-go.”

“I hit it well on the range this morning, got into a nice rhythm early doors and carried it through the whole round. Every part of my game felt pretty good today; I controlled my ball really well all day and my putter stayed hot for the whole day.

“I’m better mentally now than I was. Over these last two weeks especially, I haven’t been getting too far ahead of myself, and every time I’ve got in trouble I’ve just taken my medicine and moved onto the next.

“I didn’t actually hit the ball that well for the last two holes, but still managed to make par, whereas before, I might’ve got annoyed with myself and dropped a shot or two.”

“I forgot it’s a par 70 here, so a 59 is probably more likely than at most other places, but it’s just nice to get in with a low score, especially as it looks like the weather’s starting to come in.” 

Sharing second place, just one shot behind at -12 under par are two South Korean’s, Y.E. Yang and Seukhyun Baek. who both shot second rounds of -7 under par 63.

Y.E. was the 2009 US PGA Champion, but is looking for his first win since 2010;

“The conditions were ideal and my putting was good as well, so I’m very happy.”

“I managed to judge the ball distance better as the ball flies ten per cent further due to the altitude, it’s beautiful, with the mountains and scenery.” 

Alone in fourth place is Norwegian amateur Marcus Kinhult, a second round -4 under par 66,  on his 19th birthday, giving him a tournament total of -9 under par.

Another Norwegian Rikard Karlberg, defending champion American David Lipsky, Australian Richard Green and the French pair of Grégory Havret and Raphaël Jacquelin are all a shot further back at -8 under par.

All of the leading players have completed 36 holes, but there are 36 players having to return at 7.30am on Saturday to complete their rounds. English pair Richard Bland and Seve Benson are best-placed of those yet to finish, they are on -6 under par, but are unlikely to catch the leaders with a few holes left.

The Open. Blown Away, But D.J. Has Half-Way Lead.

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High powered winds at St. Andrews have blown away the third round of The Open Championship, but D.J. still has the half-way lead. A ten and half hour weather delay meant that they could only complete the second round on Saturday, the third round will now be on Sunday and the final round on Monday.

The Open

Dustin Johnson / Getty Images

Dustin finally completed his second round, at -3 under 69 despite dropping three shots on returning to finish the round, posting The Open Championship leading score of -10 under par;

“This morning when we started it was almost impossible, but I managed to hang in there and then when we just went out and restarted it was very tough, but managed to make some good pars and then birdie the last hole.”

 “So it was a good way to finish the day.”

Dustin had a ball blown off the green;

 “Fortunately it happened in kind of the end part of the second round, so we’ve still got a lot of golf to play, so it is what it is. Can’t do anything to change it.”

“When I went up to mark it I got probably an inch from the ground. My coin was about to hit the ground when it took off.”

“Then I went to mark it again and I think it took off again. And then Jordan was running to his ball. It was pretty funny.”

The restart early on Saturday went badly very quickly, the ferocity of the winds starting to blow balls round on the green. Louis Oosthuizen was looking at a putt of three feet, when the wind suddenly moved his ball nearer the cup. Instead of marking the ball, or even tapping it in, he proceeded to ask his playing partners and then asked an official for a ruling. By the time he was told he must play the ball where it lies, the wind had blown it some ten feet past the hole. Louis ended up carding a double bogey 6, just because he did not know the rules. It was at this point the officials called it a day, and the ten and half hour delay began.

As the players left the course Jordan Spieth commented;

“They shouldn’t have sent us out in the first place.”

In second place is Danny Willett, who had completed his second round on Friday, he has a tournament total of -9 under par, just one shot adrift of the leader.

Paul Lawrie holds third place on his own at -8 under par, carding a second round -2 under par second round.

Jordan Spieth, who is attempting the Grand Slam of golf, was annoyed with himself for carding five three putts in the long round, but he his still in with a chance at -5 under par;

“It was an interesting round that took a lot of time, but it’s nice to look back on Saturday evening and instead of being five shots back with one to go, I’ve still got two full rounds, so anything can happen here.”

“I believe I’m still in contention. I still believe I can win this tournament. I need a really solid round tomorrow, though, because Dustin is not letting up.”

“Dustin is going to shoot a good round tomorrow with less wind and I’m going to need to shoot a great round to really give myself a chance.”

“To fall from two back to five back isn’t exactly what I wanted, but it could have been worse, could have been better. If I can shoot something like ten under in the last two rounds, I think I’ll have a chance to win.”

With the way the wind has been blowing anyone within five shots or less could win, and that includes a whole host of star players.

 

 

 

The Open. The Weather Wins at St. Andrews.

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The weather wins at St Andrews as torrential rain meant waterlogged greens and fairways on the Old Course, and play was suspended for 3 hours and 14 minutes. At  the close of play Dustin Johnson still held the lead at -10 under par, but has yet to complete his second round, with Danny Willett in second place.

Danny had completed his -3 under par second round 69, and at the time was clubhouse leader at -9 under par, he thought that was pretty cool;

“It was a tricky back nine, at 15 I got a bit of a flier and went long and at 17 just got on it a little bit instead of holding it up the right. From 50-70 feet they are not gimme two putts.” 

“It was nice to birdie the last, we hit some good golf shots today and it’s a good score.”

“You throw wind and rain in there and it becomes a bit of a lottery. If it’s just wind it’s playable. That strength wind out there it’s playable, you’ve got to hit good shots and you can make birdies.” 

“Hopefully it’s the same strength tomorrow and I think we’re in for a great weekend.” 

“You can’t put it out your mind, leading The Open, it’s pretty cool isn’t it?”

Currently tied in third place at -8 under par are Paul Lawrie and Jason Day, both will be returning early tomorrow morning to complete their rounds.

Tom Watson was playing in his last Open Championship, and sadly missed the cut, but did receive a warm send off from the gallery around the 18th hole, having previously had his picture taken on the Swilcan Bridge.

The Open

Tom Watson / Getty Images

40 mph winds are predicted for tomorrow, so play could be interrupted again, with many players yet to finish the second round, and trying to make the cut. Tiger Woods is one of those having to return to finish. he has seven holes left to get to the cut line, projected at even par, but he is at +5 over for the competition, so it looks like he will miss the cut here at St. Andrews.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson spoke about the bad weather that will affect play over the week-end;

“The forecast is for very strong winds so it is a very tough course today and tomorrow, but because we have had so much rain it’s nowhere near as fiery as it can be so I’m very hopeful that wind won’t affect play.

“Our target is to finish on Sunday. We do have the ability to go into Monday, but we certainly hope not to.”

Maybank Malaysian Open. Westwood Out In Front.

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Lee Westwood is out in front of the Maybank Malaysian Open at the half-way stage on the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club course.

 

Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood / Getty Images

Lee added a second round -6 under par 66 to his opening score of 65 to open up a gap of four shots at the top of the Maybank Malaysian Open leaderboard, posting a -13 under par total for the tournament.

The second round did not go without incident,  a bizarre occurrence took place involving Pablo Larrazábal, who had to dive into a lake after being attacked by hornets. Despite the unnerving attack Pablo still carded -4 under par 68, a remarkable effort under the circumstances.

Pablo explained;

“I hit my tee shot just right of the bunker and chipped it out quite well. So I’m walking along and suddenly I felt something on my nose. I swatted it away and suddenly, they were not bees, they were three times the size of bees. They were huge and like 30 or 40 of them started to attack me big time. I didn’t know what to do. My caddie told me to run, so I start running like a crazy guy, but the hornets were still there, so the other players told me to jump in the lake.”

“There are a lot of stories around the golf courses around the world but looks like I always have the crazy ones. Maybe I start to write a book.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=W5uV-usCmEk

Back to the golf:

 Lee reported that his new coach, Mike Walker is making a good impact on his game;

“I started with Mike six or seven weeks ago and I felt an almost immediate improvement on the range, but it was difficult to take it onto the golf course. But the last three weeks I have managed it. I played well in Houston, last week at the Masters I started playing a lot better and this week I am gradually grinding it back in.”

“I played well, on the front nine I shot five under, for the second day running,  and I think the longest putt I holed was from four feet on the first. It was solid stuff. I got a little unlucky at eleven I thought, it was one of the best shots I hit all day and the wind just gusted on me and it came up short in the water. But I rallied after that and ended up shooting 66.”

“I have always played well in Asia, my strike rate is really good. It must be the heat or rice or something, I can’t put my finger on it.”

Nicolas Colsaerts and Antonio Lascuna share second place at -9 under par, four shots adrift of the leader. England’s Danny Willett is in fourth place on his own at -8 under par for the tournament, while compatriot Andy Sullivan shares fifth spot with Eduardo De La Riva and Julien Quesne, all at -7  under par.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Rory Has Half-Way Lead.

dragon logo dark Rory McIlroy has the half-way lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club.

Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)

Rory in the desert / Getty Images

Rory followed his first round 63 with a more pedestrian second round of -2 under par 70, but he still maintained top position on the leaderboard at -11 under par. His round today contained three bogey’s, which prevented him from building a commanding lead in the competition. He gave a blow by blow account of his wobbly back nine, but still expects to win this tournament;

“Making a few birdies on the front nine and turning two under par was a good effort, especially as the wind started to get up. I birdied ten, played eleven and twelve okay but then missed that little one (a par putt from inside two feet) on thirteen. Had a chance on fifteen and didn’t convert and made bogey on sixteen, but it was nice to birdie the last and at least give myself a one shot lead going into tomorrow.I will just go back tonight and regroup and realise that I am still leading the tournament. I hit a couple of loose drives which I haven’t done the last couple of weeks but I still feel like I’m playing well enough to go and win the tournament.”

“I have led from the front quite well in tournaments that I have won. I feel like I am still playing well, I know the course as well as anyone else and I expect to go out there and shoot two good scores over the weekend and hopefully lift the trophy.”

Second place belongs to American Brooks Koepka, whose flawless -7 under par 65 equalled the lowest score of the day and elevated him up the leaderboard to -10 under par overall.

Brooks is looking forward to going round with Rory tomorrow;

“I’ve never played with Rory, so it’s going to be fun. I know him a little bit from seeing him around, so hopefully I’ll be able to play as well as I did today. I putted really well today. Yesterday I didn’t putt very well, but today my putter came through for me. I’m striking the ball really well, and I also chipped well today. So everything’s going well, I can’t complain.”

Three players are tied in third place, Danny Willett who also shot -7 under par 65, Damien McGrane and Julien Quesne are at -8 under par for the competition.

European Number One Henrik Stenson and defending champion Stephen Gallacher among seven players another shot back at -7 under par in total.

Henrik was happy with his putting, and is hoping to put in a good challenge here;

“I think there is still a little way to go but today was the best I have putted for a long, long time. I was threatening on every putt and kept the score together with no bogeys, which is always a good sign.”

Danny started the week by jumping out of a plane, he thinks it could have been a good idea, made the first tee shot less terrifying;

“It was a different way to start the week, but if you are standing on the first tee trying to hit a drive onto the fairway it seems a little less nerve-racking than jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet, so it might have prepared me quite well. As soon as you jump out you think ‘What are we doing?’, but after that you level out and start to feel like you are just floating down and it’s unbelievable.”

He also mentioned his 0700 local time start;

 “A half-four alarm is never great but it’s a great time to play golf in the desert. The back nine is the scoreable nine and I was really, really clinical, didn’t miss a green, hit a couple of par fives in two and it was a real easy six under. The front nine gets a little trickier with the breeze and the doglegs but all in all it’s two good days’ work.”

World Number One Tiger Woods, playing alongside Rory, could only manage a second round of +1 over par 73 to make the cut with just one shot to spare on -3 under par.