EURASIA CUP. Team Europe Win.

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Darren Clarke’s Team Europe sealed the EurAsia Cup win with eight of Sunday’s singles matches still out on course. Danny Willett clinching the victory with his singles win over Byeong Hun An at the Glenmarie Golf & Country Club in Malaysia.

EurAsia Cup

Winning Team Europe / Getty Images

Darren who will also captain Europe’s Ryder Cup team later this year, says the experience gained here should stand him in good stead for the upcoming Ryder tussle;

“There have been a lot of positives this week. I’ve learnt a few things, and hopefully I’ll do a better job come September.” 

“But if the players don’t play and don’t perform, you can be the best captain in the world and you’re not going to win.”

“This belongs to the players; the quality of the golf this week has been brilliant.”

The final score was 18½-5½, which was a bit of a surprise as the first tournament two years ago ended in a draw.

Lee Westwood spoke of the importance of this win to the younger players in the Team;

“I think everybody has played well this week and obviously contributed. That’s why the scoreline has ended up as it is.”

“I hit the ball pretty well this week and obviously won three points, so it’s nice to contribute.”

“There’s young lads on this team and ones that are going to be playing in The Ryder Cup obviously later on in the year.”

“This is going to be a great experience for them, just feeding them into team golf gradually. And I’m sure they will benefit from this week. Nothing but positives to come out.”

Ian POULTER 4&3 Danny CHIA         Danny WILLETT 3&1 Byeong Hun AN

Andy SULLIVAN 4&3 Thongchai JAIDEE      Matthew FITZPATRICK 2 Up Kiradech APHIBARNRAT
Anirban LAHIRI 2&1 Shane LOWRY        K.T. KIM 3&2  Bernd WIESBERGER
Lee WESTWOOD 7&6 Nicholas FUNG   Ross FISHER Match Halved Jeunghun WANG

Chris WOOD 1 Hole S.S.P CHAWRASIA   Kristoffer BROBERG 5&4 Shingo KATAYAMA

Victor DUBUISSON 1 Up Ashun WU    Søren KJELDSEN 3&2 Prayad MARKSAENG

I guess you can only feel sorry for the Team Asia captain Jeev Milka Singh, he must be wondering what hit him.

 

 

EurAsia Cup. Europe in Command on Day 2.

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Team Europe are firmly in command of the EurAsia Cup tournament on day 2 of competition, leading 9-3 at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club in Malaysia.

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Darren Clarke & Ian Poulter / Getty Images

Ian Poulter and Danny Willett took on the best Asian pairing today and won their match, beating Byeong  Hun An and Thongchai Jaidee;

Poults spoke afterwards about the contest;

“It’s probably their strongest pairing. They played nicely yesterday.”

“We hit good golf shots. We played the right side of pins. We made no mistakes, no bogeys, and we backed each other up at the right time.”

Danny agreed with that assessment;

“I think me and Poults between us only missed a couple of shots.”

“Like you say, when we were out there, when one of us hit a bad one, the other one backed him up and hit it close on a chip.”

“We didn’t really make any mistakes and made a good few birdies for foursomes.”
Ian POULTER & Danny WILLETT 3&2 Byeong Hun An & Thongchai JAIDEE

Bernd WIESBERGER & Ross FISHER 2 Up K.T. KIM & Jeunghun WANG

Kristoffer BROBERG & Chris WOOD 2 Up S.S.P CHAWRASIA & Kiradech PHIBARNRAT

Shane LOWRY & Andy SULLIVAN 3&2 Prayad MARKSAENG & Shingo KATAYAMA

Søren KJELDSEN & Victor DUBUISSON Match Halved Danny CHIA & Nicholas FUNG
Lee WESTWOODMatthew FITZPATRICK 5&4 Anirban LAHIRI & Ashun WU

EurAsia Cup. Europe Lead 1st Round

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Europe take on Asia in the EurAsia Cup, a matchplay event being played at Glenmarie Gold & Country Club in Malaysia. 1st round scores have put Europe firmly in front, winning all but one match, and that was halved.
Team Europe captain Darren Clarke was very proud of the team performance today;
EurAsia Cup

Darren Clarke / Getty Images

“Proud of our team today, they all gave their best! Good start 4.5-1.5 but a long way to go yet.” @EurAsiaCupGolf @EuropeanTour

“I know them well and I like to think I know what makes them tick. I asked all my guys to give me three players they wanted to play with.”

“But as always with Europe a player will play with who the Captain thinks they should be playing with.”

“If I have an idea of who each guy will play with, and that’s backed up by the stats then that’s quite good I reckon.”

Ian POULTER & Bernd WIESBERGER 4&3 Anirban LAHIRI & Jeunghun WANG

Danny WILLETT & Matthew FITZPATRICK 3&1 Byeong Hun AN & Thongchai JAIDEE
Victor DUBUISSON & Søren KJELDSEN Match Halved Danny CHIA & Nicholas FUNG

Ross FISHERKristoffer BROBERG 6&4 Prayad MARKSAENG & K.T. KIM

Shane LOWRY & Andy SULLIVAN 2&1 Shingo KATAYAMA & Ashun WU

Lee WESTWOOD & Chris WOOD 2&1 S.S.P CHAWRASIA & Kiradech PHIBARNRAT

Australian Open. Matt Marches On.

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Matt Jones marches on in the Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

Australian Open

Matt carded a marvelous third round -3 under par 68, in difficult conditions to post -10 under par at the top of the Australian Open leaderboard, and maintain his three shot advantage gong into the final round tomorrow;

“One more day to go, I get to play with him; be no better person to beat on the final day and have him in the group with me.”

” So yeah, to go up against the number 1 in the world will be a lot of fun.”

“I’m just happy to be in the final group leading the golf tournament with a chance to win.”

“Of course we play golf for a living and to have the chance to win is what you want, and to go up against the number 1 in the world is even better.” 

Defending Champion, and World number one Jordan Spieth is fighting to retain his title, a -4 under par 67 keeping him in touch with the leader at -7 under par, and holding second place on his own, but three shots on this course in windy conditions is a huge advantage. Jordan set the crowd alight with an Eagle two at the 17th.

Australian Open

Jordan thought he would be closer to Matt at the end of the day;

“When I finished the round I thought I’d either be tied or one back and it looks like I may be two or three, either way, it’s a lot better than I was to four holes today.”

” Great fight back, one of the best fought rounds I’ve had that I can remember.”

“He’s a guy who can, with confidence, really roll his putter well.”

” He’s a guy who isn’t fazed by the wind.  He hits a nice little punch ball draw flight and he’s not letting up.”  

On his own in third is Rhein Gibson, with a tournament total of -5 under par, after his third round -3 under par 68, and he was happy with that score;

“I knew it was going to be a little tough today with the wind and the bigger crowds but I had a good front-9 which kind of settled me down a bit and happy to shoot 3-under.”

“This is one of my top three courses in Australia.  I love coming here.”

” The greens are absolutely perfect.  You get some balls tracking on line, they’re going to go in.” 

Aron Price and Lincoln Tighe are tied in fourth position at -4 under par, with Geoff Ogilvy on his own in sixth at -3 under.

The title is really down to one of top three, with Adam Scott way back at -1 under par for the tournament, – 3 under 68 was a better effort today. He carded an Eagle three at the par five last hole to get there, with a good putt;

“A lot better today than yesterday coming off the course.”

“It was a hard grind out there today. Windy all day, pins were tucked. I was scrambling, I was hitting some good shots, making some putts.”

“It was a bit of everything out there that added up. Good in the end.”

Good to see European Ryder Cup Captain, Darren Clarke playing well, he is also at -1 under for the competition, along with Adam, Brett Rumford and Todd Sinnott.

In all there are only ten players in red figures, and that number could go down if the windy conditions continue for the final round tomorrow.

 

Tshwane Open. Adrian Otaegui from Spain Leads.

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Adrian Otaegui from Spain leads the Tshwane Open at the half-way stage at the Pretoria Country Club in South Africa.

Tshwane Open

Adrian Otaegui / Getty Images

Adrian, who is mentored by José María Olazábal, came close to recording a 59, but in the end settled for -8 under par 62, and a mid-way total of -11 under par, and a two shot lead going into the week-end. It could have been better, he needed to par the last two holes to make 59, but made par on the 17th, and sadly bogey on 18, which is normally a par five, but was reduced to a par four in this tournament.

Adrian spoke about that last hole, and the early morning start;

“It’s a tough par four and it’s normally a par five.”

“I was focused and didn’t know that I had made five birdies in a row.” 

“I was playing well and made a few putts, that’s all I was thinking about. The best golf is when you think as little as possible, and this was one of those days.”

“Yesterday in the afternoon the fairways were a bit harder, so the ball was rolling a bit more. This morning the ball was flying less, because it was cool at 6.40 in the morning.” 

“The course is in good shape and it’s getting warm now, but I think it will hold up at the weekend.”

“I just have to be patient tomorrow. Let’s see if I’ve learnt something from these last two rounds.”

In the afternoon there was a delay due to the threat of lightning, but South Africa’s Merrick Bremner shot -4 under par 66, to move into second place on his own with a -9 under par total.

Yesterday’s co-leaders fell back with David Horsey scoring -1 under par 69, and tied in third place at -8 under par, with Edoardo Molinari, Keith Horne and Trevor Fisher Jnr, while Morten Ørum Madsen settled for a second round +2 over par 72 and is now tied in 13th position.

Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke made the cut, with a second round -3 under par 67, which left him T34.

Jo’Burg Open. Nic Henning Leads after Record Breaking Round.

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South African Nic Henning leads the Jo’Burg Open following his record breaking first round.

Jo'Burg Open

Nic Henning / Getty Images

Nic Henning carded a record breaking first round of -10 under par 62 to lead the Jo’Burg Open on the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington’s West Course.

Nic has won four times on the co-sanctioning Sunshine Tour between 1999 and 2005, and looks set to challenge again, with five birdies and an eagle two in a remarkable outward nine of 29. He was obviously elated;

“It was fantastic,  I haven’t shot 29 for a couple of years, and I was a bit nervous coming down the last hole.”

“On the last hole of the front stretch I told myself that I had to make birdie and eventually I did that.”

“I’ve been playing well for the last few months, but my scores haven’t showed it. Over the last few years my scores have been really terrible and it’s nice to have a good round under the belt to prove to myself that I can still play well.

“It’s been a long time since I shot 62. I’ll try to do the same thing as I did today, just try to stay calm. I was calm today.”

“I’ll try to hit fairways and put myself in a good position. It’s about staying in the moment and taking every shot as it is.”

Tied in second place are Thomas Pieters, Titch Moore and Tjaart van der Walt, one shot back at -9 under par, in a low scoring day in South Africa.

Thomas was happy to make a good start to the competition;

“It was a good day and a good start.”

“You need to make a good score on this course, so I’m happy and hopefully we’ll have more of the same tomorrow.”

“It’s very possible to go low on East. The par fives are very reachable for me, so I’m going to take advantage of those.” 

“This season I gave myself a great chance in Abu Dhabi. I also had a top-ten at Leopard Creek, but I wasn’t really in contention.”

“In the Middle East I played good, but had one bad round in there. If I can play four solid rounds then hopefully a win will come soon.”

The newly appointed European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke birdied his last two holes on the East Course for a level par 72.

 

European Tour. Volvo Golf Champions. Jacquelin Jumps Ahead.

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Raphael Jacquelin jumps ahead after the first round of the European Tour event at the Durban Country Club.

 

 

Raphael Jacquelin  (Getty Images)

Raphael Jacquelin / Getty Images

The conditions were blustery but that did not stop Raphael from carding a first round of -5 under par 67, to lead the Volvo Golf Champions by one shot.

Raphael said he was happy with his bogey free effort;

“I managed to get everything right, a bogey-free round; that’s the key, to go bogey-free every round on this course. It’s a new year and pretty good way for me to start, so that’s great.”

Defending Champion Louis  Oosthuizen is just one shot behind, after he recovered from a poor start, a bogey on the first hole, to score -4 under par 68.

Another shot further back, on -3 under par, sharing third place are Darren Clarke and Victor Dubuisson. A now slimline Darren, who has lost three stone in weight over recent months, delivered birdies on the second, eighth, tenth, 14th and 18th. He mentioned his new look;

“It’s something, I took a look at myself in October and thought it’s time to make a change. I am feeling strong. I reached 10 today, whatever it was, hit it 300 off the tee into the wind and hit driver from 285 to 12 feet and I couldn’t have reached there maybe five, six months ago.  So hopefully it will pay off.”

Colin Montgomerie is playing well and finished his first round at -2 under par with his opening round of 70. Colin said he struggles on the longer courses, so chooses his events carefully;

“I was playing well at the end of last year and I started to play a lot more golf. I had not been having much fun on 7,500-yard courses on the main tour but I am a member of three tours now (European Tour and two seniors tours) and it’s given me more freedom to choose courses I can get round. It’s very difficult and tricky out there, the wind was coming off the sea and made every hole a crosswind. You have to be very careful, you can make a mess out there in a hurry.”

Asides

I would love to see Volvo join the campaign to stop South Africa killing endangered species like Lion, Elephant and Rhino in penned in areas, just for the fun of rich tourists. It’s called canned hunting, the operators breed these animals and put them in penned in areas for tourists to shoot them, and it is legal. It is time to stop the killing of these creatures.