BMW PGA Championship. It’s a Tie at the Top.

White Dragon Golf

It’s a tie at the top of the BMW PGA Championship leaderboard after 54 holes at the Wentworth Club.

Byeong-hun An birdied the 18th hole to catch Francesco Molinari at the top of the leaderboard at -14 under par.

BMW PGA Championship

Byeong-hun An & Francesco Molinari / Getty Images

Francesco is looking for a wire to wire win at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, but Byeong-hun is seeking his first European Tour victory, and is making a real fight of it, carding a -5 under par 67 third round to Francesco’s -4 under 68.

Francesco spoke about Tommy Fleetwood holing out with a seven iron from 198 yards on the par four 4th hole on Wentworth’s West Course for just the third albatross in the history of this tournament, and putting some pressure on the guys at the top;

“There were a few guys flying at the start with the albatross and other stuff you don’t want to see when you’re leading a tournament.”

“I stayed calm and overall it was a good day.”

“Every tournament is different but to win here would be pretty much at the same level I would say as the WGC events.”

“I think it’s one of these tournaments that it’s just a little step underneath the Majors but definitely one that you want to have on your resume in your career.”

South Korean rookie Byeong is playing very well in his first season, having already recorded three top-ten finishes in an impressive start to his professional career.

“I was really consistent all day, I hit it well and then missed a couple of shots, which is possible on this course, but overall I played great today.”

Thongchai Jaidee from Thailand is in third position at -12 under par, just two shots off the pace, he signed a card for a third round -4 under par 68.

Tommy Fleetwood, apart from his Albatross, scored an Eagle on the par five 12th, to get to -11 under par for the tournament, and 4th place with a third round -7 under par 65;

“That was about as good as you can play a hole of golf.”

“Perfect drive, 198 yards to the pin. I was thinking one club less but went with a normal seven iron and it pitched seven or eight feet right of the pin and span in.”

“Wobbly [his caddie Phil Morbey] was pretty excited because it was his choice of club, not mine.”

“You have to try and calm down after that, and I fired a five iron miles over the green on the fifth with a little bit of adrenalin.”

“The last seven or eight months I’ve had a lot of top fives and a lot of top threes. I’ve come close and people have just played better than me.”

There’s not much I could have done about it. It’s just such a fine line between winning and finishing second and third. You want to be remembered for winning and it would be great to win this week.”

Miguel Angel Jiménez sits in fifth spot, thanks to another hole in one, last week it was at the Spanish Open, which won him 288 bottles of beer, this one set a new European Tour record;

“It’s very prolific this year, the last few months.”

“You get the right distance, the right club, hit a good shot and that’s the ingredients you need to make a hole-in-one. It’s nice to have the record.”





BMW PGA Championship. Francesco Stands Firm.

White Dragon Golf

Francesco Molinari stands firm at the top of the BMW PGA Championship leaderboard at Wentworth Club.

BMW PGA Championship

Francesco Molinari / Getty Images

Francesco had to recover from a poor start, with two bogey’s in the first three holes, and was delighted to finally card a second round -3 under par 69, to remain at the top of the BMW PGA Championship with a -10 under par total;

“The start is really tricky the first three holes. I think I played them okay.”

“My chipping wasn’t good enough on the first and on the third to save par. I managed to steady the ship and made a few birdies coming in at the end, so a good day.”

“Obviously I’m delighted to have gone a little bit further under par from yesterday and just need to keep doing the same.”

“I know how hard I’ve been working the last few months, so it’s nice to see that it’s paying off on the course.”

In second place on his own is South Korean Byeong Hun An who returned a marvelous card of -8 under par 64 in the second round, to reach a -9 under par total.

Tied in third position at -8 under par are Emiliano Grillo and Jaidee Thongchai, the Argentine and Thai players making it a very international top of the leaderboard.

Emiliano Eagled the two par fives on the back nine, the 486 yard 12th and 539 yard 18th, and was enjoying his day;

BMW PGA Championship.

Emiliano Grillo / Getty Images

“I am enjoying the moment and playing well and being in contention is what I need.”

“If I keep knocking someone is going to open the door.”

“I’ve been looking for a win since I turned pro and it’s going to come soon. There’s a lot going on when you are in contention and you have to be prepared.”

“Playing well definitely pushes the confidence up and it’s nice to be on the leaderboard every week. This is a big week, the Flagship Event of The European Tour and it would be great to win.”

Best placed Englishman is James Morrison, who last week won the Spanish Open. James returned a second round score of -6 under par 66, which gave him a tournament total of -7 under par, and fifth place. James lives just 20 minutes from Wentworth Club, but discovered on Thursday evening that staying at home is not always an advantage, due to a power cut;

“I thought we had been burgled at first, I couldn’t even charge my phone and a cold shower this morning at 5:30 was no fun.”

World number one, and defending champion, Rory McIlroy carded a second round +6 over par 78, and missed the cut here at Wentworth, with a +5 over par 36 hole total.

He was in a hurry to leave the course, to get to Heathrow Airport;

“Flight to catch.”

“I’m not angry, a little disappointed I’m not going to be here for the weekend. I’m not going to read too much into it. It was inevitable at some point that the run was going to come to a bit of an end.”

“I’m sort of back to my usual at Wentworth. It wasn’t great before I won last year and it hasn’t been great after.”

“If anything good comes out of this, it’s just that I get a little bit of a rest over the next couple of days, and feel a bit fresher for what’s going to be a really big week for me next week.”

BMW PGA Championship

Disappointed Rory McIlroy / Getty Images


BMW PGA Championship. Francesco Leads.

White Dragon Golf

Francesco Molinari leads the first round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club.

BMW PGA Championship.

Francesco Molinari / Getty Images

Francesco opened the BMW PGA Championship with a blistering -7 under par 65, hitting 17 out of the 18 greens in regulation, to lead by two shots on the first day at Wentworth.

“I think I missed one green on the third and chipped up to two feet, so it was as stress-free as it could be round here.”

“I love this place and it’s good to be back. It rewards accuracy, which suits my game.”

“I missed the Masters this year after 22 Majors in a row and it was not a nice feeling, so I hope I will be back soon.”

In second place is Robert Karlsson, with his first round -5 under par 67. Robert has some happy memories of Wentworth, shooting a course-record 62 in the third round in 2010, after having to hire a private jet to get back to London on Saturday morning, because he had flown home to Monaco the day before thinking he had missed the cut.

Third position is shared between five players; Jorge Campillo, Chris Wood, Y.E. Yang, Marc Warren and the oldest man in the field Miguel Angel Jiménez.

Chris has played just six events this season after spending five months on the sidelines with a broken bone in his wrist following a fall;

“It’s a long way for me to fall and it hurt.”

“It was misdiagnosed as bone bruising for a month and then I was in a cast for two months at home.”

“It was a nightmare because I fell out of the top 60 on The Race to Dubai and plummeted down the world rankings.”

It’s been a struggle and feels like I have been working hard to finish 30th every week. I did finish third in Morocco but I think it was always going to be a bit of a battle after five months.”

Big highlight of the day was Andrew Johnson carding an Ace at the 184 yard par three 8th hole, which won him the sponsors prize of a brand new BMW M4;

BMW PGA Championship

Andrew and his new BMW M4Getty Images

“It took one bounce and hit the flag and went straight in. It just happened so quick, so I didn’t really know what to do.”

 “I just saw him. He looked and I was like, ‘All right, now is the time to go’.”

World Number One Rory McIlroy, last weeks winner at Quail Hollow had a quiet first round -1 under par 71, but was mentally a little angry;

“Physically I am all right, I got back to my hotel at 4:30pm (on Wednesday) and did not leave it until 6:30 this morning, but mentally I could feel myself getting a little angry out there.”

“Acceptance of bad shots is the thing I have been doing so well and I feel like my patience was wearing a bit thin today.”

“I just need to stay in control of my emotions because I feel like that’s one of the things, if I’m a little tired or a little fatigued mentally, I’ll start to be hard on myself and start to get down on myself.”

“I played okay. There weren’t really any aspects of my game I thought were really good, but at the same time I don’t feel any aspect of my game was really off.”

One thing for Rory to think about is that no one has won here from being more than four shots off the lead after the opening round, he is six shots back.

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Scott Sailing to Victory.

dragon logo darkArnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard Logo Adam Scott is sailing to victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando.

Scores: Scott still cruising

Adam Scott / Getty Images

Adam put together a second round of -4 under par 68, to increase his lead at the top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational to seven shots. Arnold might just as well start engraving the trophy right now, Adam disagrees;

“We’re only halfway, seven shots over two days is not enough. I don’t think you can ever be leading by enough. The challenge might be just to start again and try and play a great 36 holes, start fresh, and try to be the leader after the next 36.”

“It feels very much like I was playing toward the end of last year in Australia, where I kind of picked golf courses apart by just hitting fairways and hitting greens, and just waiting for that right number to hit one close. I’d like to kind of keep that going for the next couple of days and I feel like I’ll be in good shape.”

There are three players who are seven shots adrift, and realistically have no chance of catching Adam. They are; J.B. Holmes, Francesco Molinari and Chesson Hadley.

Chesson Hadley  posted a bogey-free -4 under par 68, and is eying a spot in the field at the Masters.

“That just was so classy, and it really meant a lot to me, I came into this week just so appreciative to be here. It gives me something to work for, I know a win gets me in both ways,  Augusta is a thought, but it’s about winning more than getting to Augusta. It’s still hard to believe. We’re just playing with house money.”

J.B. is just happy to be healthy;

 “This is the first time in three years I’ve really been healthy. It’s a different feeling, that’s for sure. I’ve been really close, I feel like. I just haven’t really put it all together. I’ve just been waiting for it to click in. Hopefully this will be the week.”

 After a 7-under 65 on Thursday, Ryo Ishikawa began the second round in a tie for second, before he unraveled on his second nine. He had bogeys on Nos. 2 and 9 compounded by a double bogey at the third, en route to a +2 over par 74. He dropped eight spots on the leaderboard and into a tie for 10th, nine shots back of 36-hole leader Adam.

 Keegan Bradley carded the low round of the day -5 under par, 67  that included six birdies, nine one-putts and a total of just 25  putts on the round, to be T5.

“I played the exact same just no putts. The putter was the difference, went to talk to Dr. Bob last night and my buddy, John, and just talked about getting less into making putts and more into just having fun and looking forward to making them. Played so good all year, not much to show for it. I feel like I’ve got some good mojo going into the weekend.”

Amateur Nathan Smith was disqualified for playing a shot from an out of bounds area, what was his caddie thinking. Nathan took his disqualification like a true sportsman, accepting the decision with grace.

World Golf Championship. Chaos at Cadillac Championship.

dragon logo dark WGC-Cadillac Championship

The weather was the winner bringing chaos to The Blue Monster at Doral in the Cadillac Championship. 

Johnson shares lead

Dustin Johnson / Getty Images

Only three players were able to break par on a very windy and difficult day at Doral, The Blue Monster, assisted by the wind just chewed everyone else up, the average score was a tad under 76.

Patrick ReedMatt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson and Hunter Mahan are all tied at the top of the leaderboard on -1 under par.

Patrick eexplained that the course was hard enough without the wind;

“It’s a tough golf course as it is, and with how hard the wind is blowing, it made it even tougher. Almost felt like we were playing at a major today.”

Graeme McDowell was one of the players to break par today, a second round -1 under par has taken him into a share of second place at even par, along with; Rory McIlroyFrancesco Molinari, and Jamie Donaldson.

Jamie had the low round of the day, a -2 under par 70, it’s not very often -2 claims low round of the day.

G-Mac left us in no doubt about how hard it was today;

“I don’t think I’ve played in conditions this difficult in the U.S. It’s an Open Championship day. It’s a real Friday afternoon at St. Andrews in 2010 before they called it. It was hard out there ,really, really hard.”

Tiger Woods did do better than yesterday, he carded a second round +1 over, and is now +5 over par for the tournament.

Tiger was laughing as he said;

“We’ve all got a shot at it now, no one is going anywhere.”

Darness Descends at Doral, WGC Championship.

dragon logo darkWGC-Cadillac Championship

Darkness descends on The WGA Championship at the Blue Monster course at Doral, suspending the first round.

Harris English had the lowest round of the few who completed Round 1 on Thursday. (Greenwood/Getty Images)

Harris English / Getty Images

Harris English was one of just six players to finish the opening round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship after inclement weather delayed play at Trump National Doral. When the horn blew there were five players tied at the top the leaderboard on -3 under par. The only completed round was Harris English, the other four still to finish the opening round are; Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan, Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed

Harris explained how important it was to finish today, and not to come back in the morning to finish the round, and then continue with the second;

“It was getting really dark, very quickly, but I wanted to finish the hole, it really changes the way you approach the day, waking up and playing one hole at 8 in the morning and then waiting around for three or four hours for your tee time is tough to do. That way in the morning, we can have a normal day.”

Tiger Woods was +2 over par through ten holes, but said he was feeling a lot better, but he will have to play 26 holes tomorrow;

“Felt a lot better today, should be a long day for all of us. Hopefully I can get back out there in the morning, play well and work back to even par by the end of the first round, then shoot a low one in the afternoon.” 

Rory McIlroy was at -1 under par through fourteen holes, but there is a long way to go in this tournament and as usual anything could happen.

Euro Tour. Julien Quesne Wins Italian Open.

Frenchman Julien Quesne won the European Tour Italian Open at Golf Club Torino in Turin, Italy.

Julien Quesne  (Getty Images)

Julien Quesne / Getty Images

Julien carded a final round -5 under par 67, to win the 70° Open d’Italia Lindt, with a total score of -12 under par. This is Julien’s second European Tour victory, his previous win came in the Open de Andalucía last year. At the start of the final round Julien was four shots off the lead, but a brilliant back nine of 31 saw him post a clubhouse lead at -12 under par. No one else could match him;

 “I am very proud of this back nine. My attitude was very good this week and I think this is the key. To enjoy a second win on The European Tour is like a dream for me. After my double bogey I just kept calm. I was thinking the winner would be 15 under and I was only five under. I thought ‘just keep working and we will see what happens’. Then, when I got to the 16th green I looked up at the leaderboard and realised that I was just two shots off the lead and I knew that I still had a chance. I made a great putt there from five metres to save par and to make two birdies to finish was very special. When I made the birdie on 17 I thought that if I could get to 12 under then I would have the chance at least to get into a play-off. You never know in golf, so I am proud that I kept the attitude the way I did because I always knew that I was never out of the tournament. I am surprised to be here. The flags were very difficult all week so it was very difficult to make birdies and easy to make some bogeys. It was also really special to have my family with me, they make me stronger when they are with me and it is an amazing feeling to be able to celebrate here with them. I have had a great season this year, it has been a very consistent season with six top tens before this week and now it has become an amazing season. I can now play so many of the biggest events at the end of the year and try to finish as high as I can on The Race to Dubai.”

Second place was shared by David Higgins and Steve Webster, both players finishing at -11 under par for the tournament, just one shot off the lead. David needs to end the season inside the top 110 on The Race to Dubai, to avoid his 14th visit to Qualifying School, he is now sitting 111;

“I was very lucky on the last, I hit an awful tee shot but got a good lie in the fairway bunker, you still have to play the shot and I did and got the putt so I was delighted. I thought ‘How many chances am I going to get of maybe tying for the lead?’ so I said ‘come on, you’ve got to at least give it a good run and be positive with it’, and it went right in the middle. I had good practice rounds at the start of the week and I am proud of myself for taking that into the competition itself. I haven’t had a finish like this in 17 years so I am delighted. I can do it and I just have to do it more often I guess.”

Steve was happy with his result, he has been struggling all season with injury, and hopes this is a turning point in his season;

” It’s the first time I have played for four months without pulling out of a shot or feeling 70 per cent so hopefully this is a big turning point for me now.”

Home town favorite and Golf Club Torino member Francesco Molinari briefly threatened an Italian fairytale victory when he recovered from two early bogeys by holing a bunker shot on the eighth and then making a birdie on the ninth, but the Ryder Cup star stumbled home in 39 to finish -7 under par, tied 16th. Marcus Fraser had a poor final round, +2 over par 74, finishing tied in 8th place.