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.

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.