AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open,Andrew Dodt Has 1st Round Lead.

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Andrew Dodt has the 1st round lead at a windy AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on the  Four Seasons Golf Club.

AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

Andrew Dodt / Getty Images

AUS Andrew, from Australia,  fired an opening round -6 under par 66, in very windy conditions at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, giving him a two shot cushion at the top of the leaderboard, where only 21 players managed to get under par on day one of the tri-sanctioned event involving the European, Asian and Sunshine Tours, on the Ernie Els designed course.

The wind did not bother Andrew;

“When you play well, the conditions don’t really matter. Fortunately that happened to me today.”

“I played really solid, I didn’t make too many mistakes and the momentum in the round just kept flowing.

“I probably won’t shoot 66 tomorrow but I’ve just got to try to minimize the mistakes.”

“If someone said six under at the start of the day, I would have put my hand up yesterday and taken it.”

“It’s not easy out there. if you’re off by just a little bit, everything gets magnified by the wind.”

“Having said that, this course can just get up and bite you at any stage. There’s a long way to go.”

Sharing second place at -4 under after their first rounds of 68, are India’s IND Rashid Khan and Bangladesh’s BAN Siddikur Rahman.

Fresh from his maiden victory at last week’s Trophée Hassan IIKOR Jeunghun Wang was tied in fourth place with ARG Estanislao Goya at -3 under par.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Rafa Has The 36 Hole Lead.

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Rafa Cabrera-Bello has the 36 hole lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Rafa Cabrera-Bello / Getty Images

Rafa had another -5 under par 67 today to take the lead in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at -10 under par, and has a one shot lead going into the weekend.

The 2012 Champion tied for second place at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters last week, and said he is in good form, especially in the putting department;

“My game really is very good at the moment, I’m confident I’m doing all parts of the game well.”

“Today it was just a couple sloppy swings that maybe affected my confidence a little bit, but I know the game is really sharp.”

“I’m just enjoying golf at the moment. I worked hard over the break and I’m happy to be here competing again and ready.”

“Having won here before is a bonus. If it gets to the point of the last few holes on Sunday that I have a chance to win, I know I’ve done it before, so I can do it again, especially here.”

“I’ve always loved these greens. I’ve putted really well here before, especially 2012.”

“So I’m putting well, I putted really well today. I putted really well yesterday, even though I hardly holed anything yesterday, but still putted well. And today, they wanted to drop.”

Sharing second place at -9 under par is three-time champion Ernie Els with Danny Willett and Trevor Fisher Jnr.

Danny recorded brilliant bogey free second round -7 under par 65, which really rocketed him up the leaderboard.

At -8 under are Joost LuitenThorbjørn Olesen, Andy Sullivan and Chris Wood who are all proven winners.

Rory McIlroy had a very quiet day, but avoided total disaster posting a second round of even par 72, and had to make three birdies on the last three holes to achieve that score.

At -4 under for the tournament he is now six shots off the pace at the half-way sage, with a lot of work to do if he is going to make a challenge for the title.

 Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Alex Noren Leads.

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Alex Noren leads the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after the fist round at  the Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Alex Noren / Getty Images

Alex shot a first round -6 under par 66 to take an unexpected lead in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic;

“I hit a lot of good shots but a few bad shots and got away with it, and then you end up with 66.”

“I’m very happy, I didn’t really expect it and then it feels even better.”

“I was very happy when it was all over because it didn’t feel that good warming up. I hit my irons really good all day, pretty average driving.”

“It was tough on a few holes, a lot of draws here and I don’t like to draw it. So I’m really happy.”

“I hit a lot of fades off the tee, and here you know it’s a drawer’s course. So you feel a bit down as a fader.”

“But you just have to accept it and maybe play less aggressive on some holes.”

Four players are sharing second place, just one stroke back at -5 under par,  Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Brett Rumford, Trevor Fisher Jnr and Peter Hanson all carded opening rounds of 67.

There is then a large group of eight players at -4 under par, including Rory McIlroy, a two-time winner here and also the defending champion. Three-time champion Ernie Els and 2011 winner Alvaro Quiros are also in this group with their opening rounds of 68.

Rory was pretty happy with today’s result, it was a bad bogey start on #10;

“I thought I did well, considering the start, and some of the shots I hit today.”

“A 68 was probably a fair reflection of how I played.”

“I don’t think I really could have gone any lower than that.”

“But at the same time I gave myself enough chances to make birdies.”

 

Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Jordan Only Wins By 8 Shots.

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Jordan Spieth only won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions title by 8 shots, when many (including me) thought the winning margin would be more. He joins Ernie Els as the only players in PGA Tour history to finish a 72-hole event at -30 under or lower.

 

Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan carded a final Hyundai Tournament of Champions round of -6 under par 67 for his winning total of -30 under par. It was just business as usual;

“I felt like it was short three-week break and continue what we were doing last year.”

“That’s the way I’ll keep on thinking about it. It worked this week. All parts were firing.”

Defending Champion Patrick Reed finished in second place, at -22 under par, those eight shots off the pace set by the leader. His final round -4 under par 69 never threatening the dominant Jordan Spieth. He knew it going to be a tough ask;

” I knew I had to go out early and make birdies early, and try to put some pressure on him.”

“All of a sudden I made two birdies early, and I got to within three.”

“Next time I looked at the leaderboard it was back to five.”

“He’s going to go out and make birdies, he’s not going to go out and shoot over par, especially the way he’s playing right now.”

Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka shared third position at -21 under for the tournament. Brandt carded a last round -6 under par 67, while Brooks could not match yesterdays ten under effort, scoring just -2 under par 71.

Rickie Fowler was alone in fourth place, with a -20 under par total, a -6 under 67 for his last round effort, was not too bad, but not good enough.

Of note was the wonderful tournament of Padraig Harrington, he also fired -6 under 67 final round. The oldest man of the final two rounds finishing T6 at -17 under par, with Peter Malnati and Fabian Gomez.

BMW South African Open. Branden Stone Wins.

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Branden Stone wins the BMW South African Open, the second oldest national Open Championship in the world.

BMW South African Open

Branden Stone / Getty Images

Branden carded a finale round -1 under par 71 to win the BMW South African Open, with a -14 under par tournament total. First thing today was to complete his third round, which he accomplished well, giving himself a two shot lead going into the final round. At one point during that last round he had a five shot lead, but got pegged back, eventually getting over the line with two shots to spare.

Naturally he was very emotional, and very happy to join the list of great names from South Africa who have won their National title;

“To join the likes of Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman and a whole bunch more, it’s really special.”

“It’s such a prestigious event, especially for a South African golfer.”

“It’s too good to be true. I’m overcome with emotions at the moment. There was a lot of ups and downs in that final round but to come out on top at the end is incredible.”

“I was just trying to focus on what I needed to do, there was obviously a few birdie holes after that.”

“After 12, when I birdied that, I was: Let’s get going, let’s get started. This is a great birdie here, let’s get going.”

“The way that I’ve been playing towards the end of last year, I’ve really been practising hard during the Christmas and festive period which has really helped.”

“On Thursday I felt that my game was in the right spot to compete for this week.”

Christiaan Bezuidenhout finished in second place following his charge up the leaderboard, firing a last round -5 under par 67 for a -12 under par total.

Daniel Brooks from England claimed third spot, with a -11 under par total. He was leading at the turn on the last day, but could not capitalize on the back nine, ending up with a final round of even par.

Behind him at -9 under par were the South African quartet of Retief Goosen, Branden Grace, Keith Horne and Justin Walters.

Best round of the day went to  American Daniel Im, -7 under par 65, it left him T8 at -8 under.

BMW South African Open. Stormy Weather Still Rules.

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Stormy weather still rules the BMW South African Open, with an incomplete third round at Glendower Golf Club. Two players, Branden Stone and Daniel Brooks hold the top spot, but have a long way to go to finish the round. How bad is it ? only three of the 68 players have managed to complete their third rounds.

BMW South African Open

Branden Stone / Getty Images

Branden and Daniel sit on top of the uncompleted third round BMW South African Open with -10 under par totals. Branden has carded four birdies from eleven holes and Daniel has one from nine holes completed, the Englishman is the only foreigner in the top five.

BMW South African Open

Daniel Brooks / Getty Images

In third place on his own at -9 under par is Keith Horne, who was on top of the leaderboard at the suspension of play yesterday, he has finished nine holes, for an even par return today.

Branden Grace, who had a share of the lead when the storms suspended play yesterday, suddenly fell off the top with a bogey-bogey finish to his second round. He  is currently sitting at -4 under par for the tournament at T18, following  a +3 over par start to his third round.

Tournament host Ernie Els, and Defending champion Andy Sullivan, both missed the cut after failing to make up ground early on Saturday morning. Both of them finishing the week on the cut number, +3 over par.

To be honest just about anyone could win this tournament from here, and I am not sure it will finish tomorrow, it might be extended to a Monday finish.

 

Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. Oliver Fisher 1st Round Leader

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Oliver Fisher is the 1st round leader of the  Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at  Doha Golf Club.

 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

Oliver Fisher / Getty Images

Oliver fired in a first round -7 under par 65 to lead at the end of the first day in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters tournament.

Oliver said he had played well in the wind, giving himself a lot of chances;

“I played nicely today. It was a little bit breezy and I felt like I controlled my golf ball.”

“I played well and gave myself a lot of chances so it was a good round.”

“It’s a great field like last week. I’m out there giving it my all every time until the last shot, and hopefully when I add them up at the end of the day and it’s a good run.”
Four players are tied on second place at -6 under par, Bernd Weisberger, James Morrison, George Coetzee and Rafa Cabrera-Bello.

Rafa produced six birdies in his flawless round, and he was obviously very happy with the way he played today;

“I’m very pleased and happy with the way I played, and looking forward to tomorrow and the weekend.”

“I had a good stretch from the 16th all the way through to the second, which for me are the birdie holes where you can go low. I managed to do that with three birdies there, and just kept playing solid till I got home.”

In a very tightly compacted leaderboard there are no less than 11 players tied in the sixth position at -5 under par. Darren Fichardt, Branden Grace, Alejandro Cañizares, Moritz Lampert, Byeong-hun An, Kristoffer Broberg, Alex Noren, Mark Foster, Emiliano Grillo and Ernie Els are all in close contention.

Ernie explained it was poor putting that made him  grumpy guy, but now he is used to the conventional length putter he is much happier;

“For such a long time, I’ve been quite a grumpy guy, I’m actually not a grumpy guy. I’m quite a happy guy, but when you’re not making putts, you can’t help yourself. You can’t play the game if you’re not making any putts.”

“So today I didn’t hit it that well with the irons but got the ball up-and-down. I’m not feeling so tense and afraid of those short putts. We can play golf again.”