Rio Olympics. Marcus Moves Ahead.

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Marcus Fraser moves ahead at the Rio Olympics, leading at the half way stage in Brasil.

Rio Olympics

Marcus Fraser /getty

Marcus shot a second round-2 under par 69 to maintain his position at the top of the Rio Olympics leaderboard at -10 under, and will take a one stroke lead into the third round, and said he is doing something right;

“Any time you get to play with Stenson on the weekend, you know you’re doing something right.”

“Those guys have completely different games and bigger games to what I have but, at the end of the day, we play 72 holes and we hit a certain amount of shots on each hole.”

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

“We play a game, I think the best game in the world, and it will be good fun out there with those guys.”

Thomas Pieters holds second place, one shot back at -9 under par, he carded a second round -5 under par 66 to move up the leaderboard and towards his dream;

“If you don’t dream about it, you’re never going to achieve it.”

“I am thinking about it but you kind of put that beside you when you’re playing and try to shoot the lowest you can.”

“What’s not to be happy about,  played well. I started out really well, I think that was the key to my round in the worst of the conditions.”

“I knew coming to the finish there’s some birdie opportunities and to take all three was a good finish.”

Henrik Stenson is a further shot back at -8 under par, -3 under 68 today keeping him in touch with the leaders, with two rounds to go.

Henrik was playing smooth easy golf, he sunk a par putt from 108 feet, the longest successful putt of his career;

“You’re just standing there, praying for a two-putt bogey, before I know it, it found the bottom of the cup.”

 “That’s the longest putt I’ve made in my career. First of all, it’s hard to get a putt that long on any green in the world.”

Justin Rose and  Grégory Bourdy both had -2 under rounds of 69 today and share fourth spot on -6 under par for the tournament.

Lyoness Open. Zander Lombard Leads.

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Zander Lombard leads the Lyoness Open and will take a one shot lead into the final round at Diamond Country Club in Austria.

Lyoness Open

Zander Lombard / getty images

Zander, from South Africa, carded -4 under par 68 in the third round of the Lyoness Open to post a 54 hole total of -11 under par, and sit on top of the leaderboard.

Being in contention is great boost for Zander, and he played well except for a triple bogey even on the 9th;

“It’s always a great position to be in to really compete and I’m looking forward to it a lot, so I’m going to give it my best and try to stick to what I’m doing, it seems to be working so far.”

“It was a bit of a brain burp at the ninth to be honest, because it was never a driver for me all week, my game play there was a two-iron, but my confidence got to me and I just wanted to hit a little cut off the left bunker and I came out of it a little.”

“I had some big birdies out there which I needed but obviously you’re always going to hit bad shots in this game and unlucky that it was a tough hole.”

“It wasn’t that bad of a shot but there’s no margin for error on that tee shot so I paid the price but at least I kept my cool around the turn and steadied the ship with a good par.”

“The birdie at 11 was another good switch to get my momentum going in the right direction.”

Best round of the day, and the tournament came from second placed  Ashun Wu, from China, he signed for a third round -7 under par 65, to elevate him up the leaderboard and claim the position on his own at -10 under par;

“I played really good today and I’m feeling good right now.”

“The weather was nice to us too, the conditions on this course are great.”

“I made a lot of birdies today and no bogeys so I’m getting a really good feeling at the moment.

“I just need to keep going now, don’t slow down and keep making birdies.”

Grégory Bourdy, from France, -2 under 70 today shares third place with Adrian Otaegui, the first round leader, from Spain, -5 under par 67 today. They are another stroke back at -9 under par.

Grégory was upset about carding a couple of double bogey’s;

“It was actually not as solid as the first two days but I had two difficult double bogeys from two mistakes.”

 “The rest was good and solid though, I stayed calm and focused and that’s why I finished with two birdies.”

“I’m challenging for the title, in a good position and I really like this course so let’s see how it goes.”

“I’ll do my best to make it a great round tomorrow.”

Lyoness Open. Two Tied at the Top. Zander Lombard and Grégory Bourdy.

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There are two players tied at the top of the Lyoness Open after 36 holes at the Diamond Country Club in Austria. Zander Lombard,  shares the honor with Grégory Bourdy.

Lyoness Open

Zander Lombard / getty images

Zander shot a second round -2 under par 70 in very windy conditions to share the half-way lead of the Lyoness Open with Grégory, who went one better carding -3 under 69, which equaled the low round score of the day. Both players have -7 under par tournament totals and lead the field by just one shot.

Zander, from South Africaspoke about the tough winds, and mentioned that his score could have been better except for a three putt;

“It was so brutal with the wind out there today. Club selection was absolutely crucial and with the pins positions today, they were tough with the wind direction.” 

“I was really hitting great shots on the front nine with just a few misjudgments with the winds on the back nine which cost me a few shots.”

“A little three putt and a bad pitch and that’s all it was. The rest was solid and I’m very happy to be in this position for the weekend.”

I holed a six footer at the first, missed a ten footer on two and made a great par on three.”

“My momentum got me going then and I made three birdies in a row, so it was just a matter of hitting great shots and a few putts went in.”

Grégory also told reporters how difficult it was today, and how pleased he was with his effort;

“It was a great day again today.”

“”It was quite difficult this morning with the wind again, it was blowing harder than yesterday so I would say it was more difficult than yesterday, so I’m very happy to shoot a 69 and finish with a nice birdie on the ninth.”

Gary Stal sits in third place, a second round  -1 under par 71 giving that spot on his own at -6 under par, blaming the wind for not doing better, but was happy overall;

“Today was a very tough day but my game was there.”

“I played very well, just missed one shot and made double bogey but I’m happy with how I played.”

Borja Virto, from Spain, matched the low round of the day, -3 under 69,  is a further shot back on -5 under, while his countryman and first round leader Adrian Otaegui is in the group on -4 under after carding a double bogey and two bogeys on his way to recording a second round +4 over par 76.

Defending Champion Chris Wood scored a second consecutive round -1 under 71 to be -2 under for the tournament.

Lyoness Open. Grégory Bourdy Still in Charge

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Grégory Bourdy is still in charge of the Lyoness Open at  Diamond Country Club, in Austria.

Lyoness Open

Grégory Bourdy / Getty Images

Grégory, in pursuit of a wire to wire win, will take a two shot lead into the final round of the Lyoness Open, following his third round of -3 under par that gave him a total of -15 under par for the tournament.

He was on fire early in the round, but then came  a 95-minute delay due to the threat of lightning, which slowed things down, carding a bogey at the par four 15th;

“It was another good round because it was difficult today, especially with the suspension of play so three under was a good score.”

“After the delay the wind was a bit stronger which made it a bit more difficult but I think I did quite well at the end.”

“I am in a good position, it’s always nice to be two ahead going into the final round, but it will be a tough day and I am sure it will be an exciting day playing with Rafa who is a great guy.”

“I’ll relax tonight and have a nice dinner and get ready for tomorrow.”

Rafa Cabrera-Bello, is the only serious contender, in second place at -13 under par, he carded a third round -6 under par 66, to close the gap, and make the final round a very interesting affair, as the two of them will face off, with winner take all.

Rafa has won this tournament before, six years ago, and his Eagle on the third hole of the day livened things up;

“It was a really good day for me , I got off to an amazing start with a birdie at the first and then holing out for eagle at the third.”

“Also making two birdies on the par fives, the 15th and 16th on the back nine, was really important for my confidence and to close the gap on Greg going into tomorrow.”

“I was saying how I never hole out from the middle of the fairway and then today I finally make one. There you go.”  

Chris Wood also suffered from the long break in play, finishing up with a -2 under par 70, and a distant third spot total of -10 under par, five shots off the pace. Putting was the main problem;

“The putt at the last was important and massively deserved because I just couldn’t seem to get the ball to drop having hit so many good putts.”

“It was quite a frustrating day because of that, I hit a lot of good putts but they just kept lipping out.”

At -9 under par, sharing fourth place are Mathew Fitzpatrick and Scott Jamieson.

Scott had the round of the day at -7 under par, 65, which rocketed him up the leaderboard.

 

 

Lyoness Open. Grégory Bourdy Doubles Lead

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Grégory Bourdy doubles lead at the Lyoness Open at Diamond Country Club in Austria.

Lyoness Open

Grégory Bourdy / Getty Images

Grégory doubled his advantage over the field to four shots at the half-way stage in the Lyoness Open, carding a second round -5 under par 67, to post a 36 hole total of -12 under par. He is naturally very happy, and hopes to still be there on Sunday;

“I have been playing well so the confidence has been growing, probably since the Spanish Open but I have been playing well all year, it was just a case of putting it all together.”

“It’s always nice to be leading a tournament and that is why we practice so hard: to compete and to win events.”

“Hopefully I can get a win this week but I have to stay focussed and play shot by shot and see where it takes me on Sunday.”

“It was a great day today, especially the way I started with five birdies on my front nine.”

“Unfortunately I bogeyed my tenth hole but five under around here is very good.”

Two players are tied in second place at -8 under par, Gary Stal and Chris Wood are the closest contenders. Gary shot -4 under today and Chris -3 under, and they will have to do better if they want to put any pressure on the leader.

Compatriot Gary is hoping he can catch the leader, and was pleased with his progress today;

“I am very pleased, especially with the finish today because it was a day that you had to be patient out there and then to finish with three birdies in the last four holes was very satisfying.” 

“I am playing well and driving the ball very well so I have a good chance at the weekend.”

“I am happy to be in contention and it is great to have two French guys at the top of the leaderboard. Greg has played great but hopefully I can catch him at the weekend.”

Chris, who famously won a BMW i8 at Wentworth Golf Club last month, for a hole-in-one, said the great sunny  weather here is  firming up the course;

“It was getting very firm and bouncy which makes it a deceivingly tricky course at times.”

“I am happy with 69 today though because this is more barbecue weather than golf weather! It was a long day and one of those days to stay hydrated because it was very hot out there at points.”

“I have to admit when I arrived at the course today and saw I was seven shots behind Greg I was a bit surprised but I can’t worry about what he is doing, I need to play my game and see if I can close the gap over the weekend. 

“I knew before I came here that I was playing well and was expecting to be in contention so I am pleased to have done that.”

Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Carlos Pigem share fourth on seven under, while home favourite Bernd Wiesberger sadly missed the cut on +2 over par, despite a gallant fight back from yesterday’s disastrous round of 79 with a healthy -5 under par 67 today.

 

Lyoness Open. Grégory Bourdy 1st Round Leader

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Grégory Bourdy is the first round leader of the Lyoness Open at Diamond Country Club in Austria.

Lyoness Open

Grégory Bourdy / Getty Images

Grégory produced a diamond performance in the first round of the Lyoness Open, a flawless -7 under par 65, to sit on top of the leaderboard, in the near perfect golfing conditions in Austria.

Grégory really enjoyed his day, starting with two birdies, and said that overall he was very satisfied with his round;

“It was a lovely day today, I played very solid and started well with two birdies in the first two holes and that always helps when you make such a confident start and something you need when you are going to have a day like I had today.”

“I knew that I could do well at this golf course because I have played very well here in the past and it always helps when you have good memories of a certain golf course.” 

“I have been playing well this year with some decent results.”

“I wasn’t happy with the results I had in Wentworth and Ireland because I was full of confidence, but didn’t finish well, so coming here and making a good start is even more satisfying.”

Sharing second place at -5 under par are, Max Kieffer, Carlos Del Moral, Robert Dinwiddie and Chris Wood.

Max has made the weekend in all of his 14 starts this term, and finished third last week at the Nordea Masters;

“I have been playing well recently so was quite confident coming into this week.”

“I love playing in Austria and especially here at this golf course because it reminds me of a lot of the courses in Germany and where I grew up. The course is in great shape too and that helps a lot.”

Carlos reported that he had a better understanding of the course this time around, and he was very happy with his first round score;

“I understood the course a little bit better this time around and 67 is a great score.”

“I played very well today and putted well too so it was great start to the week for me.”

Robert has been injured, missing most of the 2014 season, he is playing this season on a medical exemption, and was pleased to post his best European Tour score for two years

“That was very satisfying, I got off to a good start and managed to stay positive and make a few more birdies coming in so it was a great day.”

“I am slowly making my way back from the injury but it has been a long time.” 

“I ruptured a disk in my lower back in April last year which then affected the nerve all the way down my leg.”

” The doctors recommended I take some time out, and thankfully I didn’t need an operation, but it wasn’t until November that I was able to hit balls again, so it was a long break but looking back on it I probably needed a break from the game.” 

“It feels much better now than it has for about five years so it’s all positive apart from all the boring stretching I have to do.” 

Chris was also pleased with the day, and the perfect conditions;

“It was a solid score.”

“The conditions were perfect this morning, but I have to say that after the conditions we have been playing in for the last three weeks, it is great to come somewhere hot and where you can shoot a few under if you play well.” 

“I gave myself lots of chances today so it was an enjoyable day out there, I am looking forward to the rest of the week now.”

Joburg Open. Local Lads Lead.

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Local Lads Lead the Joburg Open, with Thomas Aiken and Justin Walters setting the pace at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

Local lads Aiken and Walters lead in South Africa

Thomas Aiken / Getty Images

Thomas carded a -9 under par 63 over the East Course, which included one bogey, for a total of -17 under par at the end of play on day 3. He said he has been in final groups before and knows how to deal with the pressure;

“I’ve been in a lot of final groups, won twice in Europe and seven times on the Sunshine Tour, so I know what pressures there are going to be. If you just go and do what you do best, stick to your gameplan and take it shot by shot then the best golfer will win at the end of the day.”

I am not sure I believe the best golfer wins, sometimes Lady Luck has a hand, a good bounce or a bad one can make all the difference between winning and losing. As we have seen recently, the best time to put in a 63 is the last round.

Justin shot a -8 under par 64, with one bogey for his -17 under par total, and is aware that the last time he was in this position going into the final round he did not play too well. On the upside he was very happy with his Eagle at the last;

” I hit the ball so well today. Going into the day I just wanted to move forward a little bit, because my last attempt from this position I went quite backwards. I was aware of that and I made a strong effort to be aggressive today. I’ve got one more round tomorrow and I’m so happy that I’ve put myself into a strong position. I’m super excited for tomorrow, because it’s what we play for.”

” To hit a close one in there on the last and to hear the grandstand roar from way back down the fairway gives you the goosebumps, and that’s why we play. It’s nice to give people something to cheer about. Considering the situation I am in it was pretty vital, because giving him  a nice lead on this course will make him hard to catch. Tomorrow is certainly a good opportunity, and I will be nervous, but hopefully I can improve on my record in South Africa.”

Jin Jeong is in third place at -15 under par for the tournament, a winner in Perth at the end of last year. Jin had five birdies, an Eagle and just one dropped shot in his round of  -6 under par 66.

Overnight leaders Edoardo Molinari and Craig Lee could only manage rounds of 72 and 74 respectively and lost ground on the leaders. Edoardo now at -11 under par and Craig -9 under.

There are three Open Championship places on offer tomorrow for those not already exempt so the contest also looks set to go down to the wire.The only player in the top ten already qualified for Royal Liverpool France’s Grégory Bourdy.