Irish Open. Marc and Danny Share Top Spot.

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Marc Warren and Danny Willett share top spot on the leaderboard at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in the second round at The K Club.

Irish Open

Marc Warren / getty images

Marc shot a second round -6 under par 66 in the Irish Open tournament hosted by the Rory Foundation, to share top spot on the leaderboard with Danny at -8 under par for the tournament.

Marc said he was starting to come good, and his all round game is good;

“I feel as if I’m starting to get into a little bit more of a run now, so hopefully that’s the reason for the good form and hopefully it continues.”

“I felt, especially the last three events, I felt as if I was close to some decent form.”

“The first few months of the season were a little bit of stop-start scheduling-wise.”

“I think everything was pretty solid overall, I kept the ball in play off the tee, which is obviously important in these conditions, and the short game is good.”

Danny carded -1 under par 71 today to post his tournament total of -8 under, in the trickier conditions out on the course;

“A little bit scrappy but grinding out quite nicely, Marc’s score today is a fantastic round of golf.”

“A little bit trickier but as Marc showed, if you hit some good golf shots, there’s a score out there.”

Tournament host Rory McIlroy holds third place, a -2 under par 70 giving him a -7 under par total, and he knows his form is good, sinking enough putts, enough to win;

“I know that I’m making enough birdies to definitely win this tournament.”

“I’m making enough birdies, I think I made six birdies yesterday. I made six birdies today. So the birdies are there. I just need to limit the mistakes.”

“Four bogeys today, a couple of really soft bogeys as well.”

“I know that I’m hitting enough good shots and I’m holing enough putts. If I can live with the mistakes, I feel like I’ll be right there.”

“Obviously I haven’t made the cut here for a while, and to be in for the weekend and play a solid two rounds of golf, I’m right there in the mix. I’m excited for the weekend.”

“To hole that birdie putt on the last, it was nice. It gives me a little bit of momentum going into the weekend, and I’ll need it.”

Irish Open

Rory McIlroy / getty images

Irish Open. Danny Willett Leads.

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Danny Willett leads Rory McIlroy by two shots after the first round of the Irish Open at The K Club.

Irish Open

Danny Willett / getty images

Danny carded a first round -7 under par 65 at The K Club, to lead by two shots at  Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation.

Danny missed the cut at last week’s Players Championship, and was happy to be back in Europe, and getting hot with the putter;

“First is never bad after one day. There’s still three days left and a lot can happen.”

“Things have been a bit mental but it’s just great to be back in Europe playing golf, being around the lads that I’ve obviously played golf with for the last eight years.”

 “I’m very happy to be back here.”

“We started off a little scrappy and then we just kept plodding along. Tried not to make too many mistakes.”

“We had seen that there are a few scores in and around two or three under par, which we were looking at being a really good score.”

“I just seemed to get hot with the putter on the back nine and rolled a few in, and not too many mistakes.”

Rory scored -5 under 67 in his opening effort, to be alone in second place. His putting is improving, only one three putt today;

“I gave myself plenty of chances,  we got the better of the conditions, but it was still tricky out there and you still had to go out there and play the shots.”

I did that, I holed a few putts and that was nice to see. I had a little bit of a blip on 14, but aside from that I was happy with how I played.”

“I felt like I controlled my ball nicely today, and I managed myself around the course quite well.”

“I think 5 under is a fair reflection of how I played. It’s my third week in a row but I still feel quite fresh, especially after coming off a three-week break after Augusta.”

Callum Shinkwin and Jaco Van Zyl are tied in third place, at -4 under par after their first rounds of 68.

At -3 under par are the defending champion Søren Kjeldsen, two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher.

The Masters. Wonderful Willett Wins

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A wonderful final round from Danny Willett from England, won him The Masters tournament at Augusta, his first Major win.

Fate shines on the new father

Danny Willett / Getty Images

Danny fired a final round -5 under par 67, at Augusta,  to lift the first Major title of the year, The Masters, with a -5 under par total. His wife Nicole has just given birth to their first son Zachariah. Danny managed to sink vital putts at the right time;

“The little man was due today, obviously he listened to his dad.”

“This golf course is tough enough if you’re trying to hit shots in-between to firm greens.”

“But luckily we dropped in some good numbers down the stretch, which allowed us to be really aggressive.”

“It’s been crazy, you can’t really describe the emotions.”

“It’s my wife’s birthday back home today, my son was due today and he came 12 or 13 days early to let me come and play.”

“You talk about fate, you talk about everything else that goes with it. It’s just been a crazy, crazy week.”

“It was tough, every time we seemed to make ground, Jordan kept pulling ahead and were just trying to dig in and dig in and try and make birdies after birdies.”

“I thought we had to get to six or seven under and I look at the leaderboard and he’s already at seven.”

“It was just a very surreal day when you look back at the ebbs and flows. We’re just fortunate that the shots we hit were correct at that time and we holed a few putts when we needed to.”

Lee Westwood -3 under 69 today and Jordan Spieth, a very sad +1 over par 73, finished in a tie for second at -2  under par.

Lee commented;

“You come out and contend in the first major of the year, obviously I must be doing something right.”

Jordan collapsed with a quadruple seven at the 155 yard par three 12th hole;

Jordan SpiethJordan Spieth / Getty Images

“Obviously, happy for Danny.”

“More important than golf, he’s had a lot of really cool things happen in his life.”

“Like he said, maybe fate had it this time for him.”

These guys were  a shot clear of Paul Casey -5 under 67 today, J B Holmes -4 under 68 and Dustin Johnson, -1 under 71, all with -1 under par totals for the tournament.

Maybank Championship Malaysia, Aussie Nathan Still Top.

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Aussie Nathan Holman stays on top of the Maybank Championship Malaysia leaderboard after 36 holes at Royal Selangor Golf Club, in Malaysia.

Nathan Holman / Getty Images

Nathan Holman / Getty Images

Nathan carded -6 under par 65 in the Maybank Championship Malaysia, and stays on top of the leaderboard at -13 under par, in his quest to get into the world top 100.

Nathan spoke of his aims, and also said his putting was very good;

“After winning at home my next aim was to win a tournament overseas, so it’s great to have the chance to tick that one off the list so soon.”

“Then looking further ahead, getting into the top 100 in the World Ranking is a realistic aim.”

“It’s why we play the game, to get ourselves in front and in with a chance of winning big tournaments.”

“When I saw I was three or four shots clear after the turn there were a few nerves, but I handled myself really well and managed to pick up a couple of birdies coming in.”

Richard Bland is two shots back at -11 under par, he carded a bogey free -6 under 65 today, and was very pleased with his play over the two days;

“Very pleased, obviously. To go round here without dropping a shot in two days takes some doing. Hopefully I can continue the run going over the weekend.”

“I’ve struck my irons as well as I have for some time.”

“I also picked up a new TaylorMade driver in Dubai, and it’s added 15 yards to my drives.”

“When you’ve got a shorter club in your hand, you can try to be a bit more aggressive.”

“Nathan’s obviously playing well, I played with him at the Dunhill and he’s a very impressive player.”

“And Danny’s also flying at the weekend, so I’m going to have to keep making birdies just to keep up.”

Danny Willett, Jorge Campillo, Soomin Lee and Miguel Tabuena share third place at -8 under par, five shots behind the leader.

Danny is suffering from fatigue, and struggled round today carding -2 under 69;

“I’m struggling a bit with my body.”

“My energy levels collapsed on the back nine, and I started making a few silly mistakes.”

“But the flags were also quite tricky today and the wind’s picking up a bit, so I can’t see the scoring being too ridiculous.”

“And I would’ve taken eight under after two rounds.”

Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Danny Willett Wins.

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Danny Willett wins the Omega Dubai Desert Classic  at Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Danny Willett / Getty Images

Danny won the  Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a last round -3 under par 69, and a tournament total of -19 under par.

Danny was over the moon with this hard fought one shot win, and a much needed birdie at the last. This result could put him in the top 15 of the World Rankings;

“I’m ecstatic, you can’t buy that feeling, coming down the back nine, the last three holes, in contention in a golf tournament.”

It’s something that you can’t pay for in life. You’ve got to earn it.”

“Coming down the last with all the situations that were going on. It’s just nice to know that I can dig deep there and produce.”

“You’d love to win by five or six every time you win, but when you win in that fashion, it does feel that little bit extra special.”

“It’s a relatively daunting last hole. I needed to make a four to win. So I’m just delighted with how I dug deep and found it.”

Sharing second place were Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Andy Sullivan, with -18 under par totals . Andy with a final round -4 under 68 and Rafa -3 under 69. This the second time in succession that Rafa has placed second, he will surely win soon.

Andy acknowledged Danny making that last putt to win, after he had just made his birdie putt to catch him;

“Fair play to Dan, holing that putt, that was a tough putt.”

“When you hole that putt on the last, you feel you’ve given yourself a sneaky chance. But Dan is a quality player and you expect him to step up, and he did.”

Rafa was satisfied with being second again, but the win would have been nice;

“Finishing second again, it’s a great position. It’s been a fantastic tournament.” 

“I played really well and I’m proud of myself.”

“I’m obviously disappointed I didn’t get to win, but I know that playing like this, it’s around the corner.”

Byeong-hun An and 2011 champion Alvaro Quiros both finished with rounds of -7 under par 65, for -16 under totals, to be three behind the winner, and T4.

Rory McIlroy joined them at -16 under also carding one of the low rounds of the day at -7 under par 65, he finally came to life eventually finishing T6 with Henrik Stenson.

Rory admitted he made too many mistakes;

“It’s sort of a week of what could have been, there was a lot of really good golf in there.

“I played a lot of great shots and made a lot of birdies, but just made a few too many mistakes.”

Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Danny Willett On Top.

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Danny Willett is on top of the  Omega Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard after 54 holes at Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Danny Willett / Getty Images

Danny moved to the top of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard with a brilliant bogey free-7 under par third round 65, to give him a one shot lead with a -16 under par total.

Danny spoke about his great round, being under control, and his mental approach;

“It was good, I played great golf today.”

“I played really well yesterday and kept the foot down and could have been a couple better today. I’m delighted. I kept the ball under fantastic control with some crosswinds and did everything right really.”

“I had couple of hiccups in there today where it could have been a little different but I kept the head on and kept moving forward.”

“I think mentally, I feel like I’m very much in control of myself, which obviously helps. And swing-wise, I’ve got a few things that I’m trying to do.”

“I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible and let the mind be a little bit calmer, and it seems to be working so far.”

“It’s a great golf event. I think the atmosphere around this golf course is fantastic, second to none. There are little gathering areas around tee boxes and greens, and we get a lot of support.”

Rafa Cabrera-Bello is the man in second place, at -15 under par, just one shot adrift. A third consecutive round of -5 under par 67 keeping him firmly in touch of the leader.

Third place belongs to Andy Sullivan, and at -14 under par for the tournament is definitely in contention. He stayed within sight of the top with a bogey free -6 under 66 today, in fact he has not recorded a bogey since his first hole on day one, which was a double at the tenth.

Rory McIlroy had a -4 under par 68 today, which doubled his total to -8 under par, and he now has little hope of winning this tournament.

 

Ned Bank Challenge. Henrik Stenson & Jaco Van Zyl Lead

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Henrik Stenson and Jaco Van Zyl are the first round leaders in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

Nedbank Challenge

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik and Jaco both fired -6 under par 66 to lead the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.

You would not have guessed Henrik was recovering from a bout of flu;

“I’ve been in bed with the flu for three days, and after I had to pull out of the pro-am on Tuesday I probably had a five per cent chance of playing.”

“I felt quite a bit better this morning and the doctor didn’t see any reason why I couldn’t play.”

“I’m delighted with the score but the last few holes I completely ran out of energy. From the 14th onwards my legs were like jelly and it was a real struggle.”

“I missed a couple of chances coming in but I would have taken one under standing on the first tee, so I’m very happy.”

Jaco was nervous at the start, but settled down to record a miserly 27 putts;

“It’s a great honor and privilege to be here.”

“I watch two events on TV each year, the Masters and this, so waking up this morning, instead of making sure the beers and the biltong were ready, I had to make sure my shoes were polished and my clubs were clean and go to work.”

“On the first tee I could feel my heart beating in my throat. It didn’t slow down for the first three holes but I managed to pick up a couple of quick birdies early on which settled the nerves a bit.”

“I hit ten out of fourteen fairways, and a couple I missed weren’t in trouble, just in the first cut.”

“There were a couple of short irons into par fours that I would’ve liked to get a bit closer, but the main thing is the 27 putts.

“Tomorrow I’m going to come out and enjoy every single moment.”

“It really is a thrill to be here. As a South African, it’s phenomenal to be part of this.”

Danny Willett, who was second to Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai recently, claimed third place. His opening first round score -5 under par 67 proving he still has the desire to go out and try to win.