Volvo China Open. Hennie Otto Leads

White Dragon Golf

Hennie Otto from South Africa, leads the Volvo China Open at Topwin Golf and Country Club.

Volvo China Open

Hennie Otto / getty images

Hennie carded a first round -9 under par 63,  containing an eagle and seven birdies, to lead the Volvo China Open by two shots, saying it was good putting that made the difference today;

“I’ve always got a good frame of mind every week but it’s just my putting let me down and today it came through.”

“I played really well today, the first hole I saved a good par and I think that gave me momentum. After that I hit it really close. I broke 30 putts this week.”

“You have to hit it in the right places and that’s the thing I did today. I hit them close, that makes a big difference. I’ve worked hard on my putting.”

“It’s a nice golf course. The greens are not what we’re used to but we’ve got a few courses in South Africa with the same type of grass and the slopes so we adapt quickly.”

“I’ve been playing well, I haven’t been putting well. I’ve been working hard on it and today it showed.”

Bernd Wiesberger is in second place following his opening round -7 under par 65.

Grégory Bourdy, Peter Hanson, Roope Kakko and Fabrizio Zanotti, all carded -6 under par 66, to be tied in third place.

Rikard Karlberg had the shot of the day, a hole in one at the 212 yard par three 16th, using a 7 iron, winning him the prize of a 2016 Volvo XC 90 SUV, the car which has been voted as the best SUV of the year,

Volvo China Open

Rikard Karlberg / getty images

South African Open. Morten Ørum Madsen, Maiden Victory.

Morten Ørum Madsen, from Denmark won his maiden European Tour victory at the South African Open at Glendower Golf Course.

South African Open Champion Morten Orum Madsen   (Getty Images)

Morten Ørum Madsen / Getty Images

Morten shot a final -5 under par 67, for his maiden Tour victory, with a total tournament score of -19 under par, winning by two shots. He was playing alongside overnight leader and pre-tournament favourite Charl Schwartzel, who let slip a three shot lead to finish tied in fourth place, with Italy’s Marco Crespi on -16 under par.

Morten really enjoyed his amazing day;

 “It’s been an amazing day. I don’t really know right now how I feel. It’s kind of clichéd to say it hasn’t really sunk in, but it really hasn’t. I’m just over the moon. I’m so happy. I mean coming down here, I expected to play well but I didn’t expect to stand here, right now, that’s for sure. I love the golf course. It’s pretty similar to my home course. It’s tree lined and has really good greens. I definitely really enjoyed it. To have the SA Open as my first victory on the European Tour is extremely special if you look down the list of names that have won this tournament in the past, there are major champions and really great champions all around, so it’s an honour.”

He spoke about playing alongside Charl;

“I definitely felt like I could still win, but he looked like he was going to go off and I was just trying to hang on and maybe stay in two or three shots and give myself a chance. I had a great back nine but unfortunately for him he struggled. On a couple of holes he had some bad breaks. Luckily for me I was there to capitalise and I did with some nice birdies down the stretch.”

South Africans Jbe Kruger and Hennie Otto tied for second place at -17 under par. Hennie actually led by four shots with four holes to play following three straight birdies on 12,13 and 14. He was chasing his second victory in three years in this tournament, but strangely then collapsed with bogey on  the 15th and double bogey on the 16th to slip right out of contention.

Charl  deposited his tee shot on the 199-yard par-three sixth hole into the water, and then his second spun back so sharply, it too nearly ended up in the water, he followed that sequence with a three-putt, just to compound his problems. He took another six on the 10th hole and there was no way back from there.

Portugal Masters. Three Tied At The Top.

There are now three players tied at the top of the leaderboard in the Portugal Masters at the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course,

David Lynn   (Getty Images)

David Lynn / Getty Images

David Lynn is one of the three players at the top of the leaderboard on -12 under par at the conclusion of the second round of the Portugal Masters. David repeated his first round score of -6 under par, 65, only this time he was bogey free and included an Eagle at  the par 5 twelfth hole. He is also the only player from the top seven from the first round who shared the lead, to stay at the top.

David said it felt good to repeat the back to back 65’s;

“It was really good to follow up a round of 65, I caught fire early on the back nine, sharing the lead on twelve under, so all in all really good. I’m trying to get back into the top 50. to try and get a Masters invite again next year.”

Sharing the top spot with David on -12 under par are Paul Waring and Hennie Otto. Playing in the same group Paul and Hennie recorded 14 birdies and one Eagle between them. Paul carded a flawless -8 under par 63 and Hennie collected one bogey in his -7 under par 64.

Paul enjoyed the beautiful weather;

“I think the lovely weather’s had a bit of a hand in it. I played nice, kept control of my golf ball well, hit it close a few times and holed a few putts. I’ve been playing better for the last few months. I lost by one in Valencia, two in Gleneagles, been knocking on the door a few times so it’s nice to keep myself in contention week on week. If I can get into one of these big four events (the inaugural Final Series) at the end of the season that would be great. I am not going to put too much pressure on myself, I’ve had a medical exemption all year so it’s nice to get back into a proper category for next year.”

Hennie said it had been a tough time getting inside the top 110 qualifying mark for The Race To Dubai, he is now in 97th place;

” It’s been a tough last four months for me and my family so I’ve worked hard on my game and it’s about time it kicked through.”

Bernd Wiesberger and Chris Doak are tied in fourth place, just one shot back at -11 under par, and both players are still bogey free.

Chris was happy to be bogey free;

“I’m very pleased, especially bogey-free for two rounds, anybody will take that. It’s a job well done. The mind tends to race so I am just trying to relax and when you are you relaxed you can execute the shots properly and that’s what I have done the last two days.”

Justin Walters and Alvaro Quiros are a further shot back at -10 under par.

It is still a very tightly compacted leaderboard, tomorrow is moving day, we will see if anyone can break free of the pack.

Maybank Malaysian Open, completion of 2nd round

The lightening storm suspended  Maybank Malaysian Open second round has been completed, with the top three on the leaderboard all South Africans. Louis Oosthuizen leads the way at -10 under par after a -4 second round, with Jbe Kruger and Hennie Otto just one shot back at -9 under par. Joining them at that score was Scotlands Stephen Gallagher who had a -4 under par round of 68. Biggest surprise was the +3 over par round of 75 from Charl Schwartzel, one of the leaders from the first round.

Louis Oosthuizen  (Getty Images)

Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)

Maybank Maylasian Open, 2nd round play suspended

Play was suspended at the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country club, due to a lightening storm. Before the storm some players had finished their rounds including Hennie Otto and Jbe Kruger who currently sit atop the leaderboard on -9 under par. Hennie with an -8 under par 64 and Jbe had a -7 under round of 65.

Kruger and Otto shine before the stormJbe Kruger (Getty Images)

Jbe Kruger spoke about the strong South African presence at the Maybank Malaysian Open;

“I think all of us South Africans are coming into this tournament with a little bit of form coming back. I spoke to Charl and  he said he was struggling in the last couple of weeks. I was struggling as well so I guess we are just coming back into form. I have been playing well recently and we are taking small steps and gradually getting there. Most of the work that I have been doing is really on the mental side as opposed to the technical side of things and I am sticking with and trying to build on that momentum.”

We will see how things unfold when play restarts tomorrow, the guys who had finished their rounds will have plenty of time to relax and recuperate before they tee it up again. The others will have to finish round two and then go straight into round three.