Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Rickie Fowler Wins

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Rickie Fowler wins the weather interrupted Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in United Arab Emirates.

 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Rickie Fowler / Getty Images

Rickie won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship with a final round -3 under par 69 for a tournament total of -16 under par.

Rickie was very satisfied to start his season with a win, confirming his winning ways of last season were just the beginning of an upward progression, and moves him up to fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking;

“This was a big one. Last year having a multiple-win season, to come back and work on getting back in the winner’s circle after a successful season and keep moving forward.”

“This is a great start.”

“It’s great field that HSBC has put together here. The course is in perfect shape.”

“It was a lot of fun today. It was a bit stressful at times.”

“Thomas is playing well. It’s fun to kind of go head-to-head with him being in the same group. We had a good time.”

“It’s nice to come out on top this week.”

“I’d like to jump in and be a part of that crew and see if we can continue to win some Majors if I can jump in there.”

“The goal right now with where my game’s at, the best it’s been this early in the season in my career, I’m working on getting ready for Augusta. And I’d like to have my shot at getting the Green Jacket there.”

“The ultimate goal this year is to go win a Major and this is a step in the right direction for sure.”

Second place went to Thomas Pieters, he carded a last round -5 under par 67 to post -15 under for the tournament.

Tied in third position were Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson, both two shots off the pace at -14 under par. Rory had a last round -4 under 68 while Henrik carded -5 under 67.

World number one Jordan Spieth finished in the group five shots back at -11 under par, while Ian Poulter could do nothing in the final round, going round at even par 72 for T14 at -9 under par.

 

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Five Tied at the Top.

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There are five players tied at the top of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship leaderboard after a dramatic day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, including another delay, of 2 hours 50 minutes. The delay meant that the third round could not be completed, and the players will have to return tomorrow to finish 54 holes, and then start the final round.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory McIlroyBranden Grace, Rickie Fowler, Joost Luiten and Ian Poulter were tied at the top of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, all at -10 under par, but they all have yet to complete 54 holes.

Rory carded -2 after 9 holes, Branden has completed 16 holes for -6 under, Rickie -4 on 11, Joost -3 on 10 and Poults -5 under after 13 holes. With a further five players on -9 under tomorrow will also be a very dramatic day, when only the fittest will survive.

Poults is relishing this finish, saying it is more like match-play, a format he enjoys, he was a winner at last weeks EurAsia Cup;

“It’s match play, whenever you go head-to-head you get the juices going, and that’s obviously nice as the first tournament of the year.”

 “I think it’s done me some good, and I think I’m looking forward to what the challenge is for the next 20, 26 holes.”

The -9 under group have yet to complete their third rounds, they are Andy Sullivan, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Henrik Stenson and Robert Rock.

Rory summed it all up nicely;

“This one is a bit more bunched. I think there will be a few more in contention.”

In all, 16 players are within three strokes of the lead, and that includes Jordan Spieth and  American amateur Bryson DeChambeau.

Jordan has finished his 54 holes, carding -4 under par 68 and is in a group at -7 under for the competition, while Bryson slipped up today returning a completed third round score of +1 over par, also at -7 under.

Jordan spoke about his troubles this week, including poor putting;

“I started out this tournament not driving the ball particularly well the first 12, 13 holes and since then my driver has been on.”

“I can make excuses all I want; I still haven’t made many putts and there’s no excuses for that. It can all come together tomorrow.”

“It’s happened many times in random rounds. Why not the fourth round here?”

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Bryson DeChambeau Leads,

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American amateur player  Bryson DeChambeau leads after the first round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, keeping cool in the hot conditions at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Bryson DeChambeau / Getty Images

Bryson shot  a first round -8 under par 64 to lead the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship by one shot, and he had fun playing carefree golf and dropping some putts. He is known as a golfing scientist, and has all his irons fitted with the same length shaft;

“It’s nice to kind of be an intern as an amateur playing professional events.”

“I’m getting used to it and getting more comfortable each event. It’s a lot of fun being out here.”

“I had no expectations coming into today and just free-wheeled it and pretty much hit every fairway and was able to make a couple of putts.”

“I’m a golfing scientist, in a sense, and I’m trying to analyse and understand each and every aspect of the golf course and the way I played.”

“I’ll analyse today and see what I can do better at tomorrow and we’ll go from there.”

Henrik Stenson is in second place, with a -7 under par opening round, he too was very happy, and knows this course really well;

“Very happy with the opening round. I haven’t played well here in Abu Dhabi the previous two years, so it’s nice to get off to solid starts.”

“I made Dubai my home for almost ten years and feel very comfortable in this part of the world and played some great golf, so it would mean a lot.”

“I came very close, especially the first edition of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in 2006. I think I lost out by a shot to Chris DiMarco. It would be nice to get this one and get the full circle.”

“I could have been one or two shots lower even, or possibly one worse off on the last, as well. You have to be lucky, I didn’t hit the best tee ball there.”

“I’ve been going about my business and working away on a few things and that seemed to be working okay on the course today.

“As we know, it was going to be a challenge with the leg, and it is. It’s not so much the knee; it’s the foot that makes a bit more of a compensation when I’m walking but we are getting there in the end. I made the full 18.”

Lurking in third place , at -6 under par is the awesome presence of Rory McIlroy, he shares the position with Branden Grace.

 

Nedbank Golf Challenge. Leishman Leads.

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Marc Leishman leads the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City after 54 holes of the tournament at the Gary Player Country Club.

 Nedbank Golf Challenge

Marc Leishman / Getty Images

Australian Marc fired the low round of the day, -6 under par 66, to take control of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa. He now has a tournament total of -14 under par, and will have a one shot advantage over Henrik Stenson going into the final round tomorrow.

Marc has been in this position before, and knows about the pressure he will get from Henrik, and hopes he does not come up short this time. Good putting was the key today, and he wants that trend to continue tomorrow;

“I saw Henrik was getting away a little bit so I had to try to do something to make it interesting for tomorrow.”

“Hopefully I can have another good round like today and give him a run for his money.”

“I’ll be very relaxed, there’s not too much to stress about. Obviously I really want to win, but it’s golf. I generally sleep well so hopefully I’ll do that tonight, and I’ll try to make some birdies tomorrow.”

“There’s a lot of golf to go and anything can happen.”

“I’ve been in this position a few times in big events so it’s great to draw on that experience.”

“I’ve come up short a couple of times but I’ve won tournaments before and I’m looking forward to having a chance tomorrow.”

 “It was a good day. I got the speed of the greens a lot better today. I’d been missing a lot of putts low all week from hitting them a bit soft, so I fixed that today and managed to hole some putts, which was the main difference.”

Henrik, from Sweden, had another hot day with the putter, sinking some vital ones just to stay in touch. A third round of -2 under 70, for a -13 under par total  keeping Marc in sight.

South African Jaco Van Zyl is keeping the home crowd happy, he is alone in third place at -10 under par, a third round of even par today kind of stalled his momentum.

From the USA, Robert Streb also had a disappointing even par third round, he is stayed at -9 under for the competition.

Nedbank Golf Challenge. Henrik Has Half-way Lead.

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Henrik Stenson has the half-way lead in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at  the Gary Player Country Club in South Africa. A weather delay of two hours and 11 minutes in the middle of the day, as lightning surrounded Sun City and heavy rain battered the course did not seem to bother the Ice Man.

Nedbank Golf Challenge

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik carded a brilliant inward nine holes of 31 strokes, to post a second round of -5 under 67, and take the Nedbank Golf Challenge half-way point lead at -11 under par.

I think it is safe to say that he has now recovered from the flu, and got his putter working;

“I’m surprised given that on Wednesday afternoon I didn’t think I would be able to tee it up.”

“I thought I was done and dusted, so to be leading after two days, it’s a turnaround to say the least.”

“But the saying is ‘beware of the injured or sick golfer’ and I guess that’s true.”

“I was not on a good run before the break. I didn’t do too much wrong but managed to string three bogeys in a row, so at that time it was probably good to have a break, and it really cooled down afterwards for the back nine.”

“I got the putter going, that was hot at least, and made a couple of nice birdie putts.”

“All in all a very good back nine turned an average round into a good one.”

Jaco Van Zyl is still in touch, just one shot behind at -10 under par, a second round of -4 under 68 making sure he is in sight of the leader going into the week-end. He said he enjoyed the duel between him and Henrik today;

“It felt a little like a duel between me and Henrik.”

“I looked at the leaderboard and I think we were two or three clear of the rest of the field. It’s always good fun, especially if you’re in the same group. You can kind of keep an eye on each other.”

“There’s good reason why he’s Number Seven in the world, looking at the putts he made coming in.”

“I’ve just figured this tournament is one my dream events to play, and if I do really well here, it’s a means and a way to get into my other dream event, which is the Masters.”

“So I’m very well aware of what’s going on around me here.”

I don’t feel that there’s too much expectation, so I’ll go out over the weekend and try and get a couple of low ones in there.”

Robert Streb, from the USA holds third place, at -9 under par, a -6 under 66 today moving him up the leaderboard nicely.

Defending champion Danny Willett has a back injury and has slipped down the leaderboard to T7, with a +3 over 75 today, leaving him nine shots off the lead at -2 under.

Ned Bank Challenge. Henrik Stenson & Jaco Van Zyl Lead

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Henrik Stenson and Jaco Van Zyl are the first round leaders in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

Nedbank Challenge

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik and Jaco both fired -6 under par 66 to lead the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.

You would not have guessed Henrik was recovering from a bout of flu;

“I’ve been in bed with the flu for three days, and after I had to pull out of the pro-am on Tuesday I probably had a five per cent chance of playing.”

“I felt quite a bit better this morning and the doctor didn’t see any reason why I couldn’t play.”

“I’m delighted with the score but the last few holes I completely ran out of energy. From the 14th onwards my legs were like jelly and it was a real struggle.”

“I missed a couple of chances coming in but I would have taken one under standing on the first tee, so I’m very happy.”

Jaco was nervous at the start, but settled down to record a miserly 27 putts;

“It’s a great honor and privilege to be here.”

“I watch two events on TV each year, the Masters and this, so waking up this morning, instead of making sure the beers and the biltong were ready, I had to make sure my shoes were polished and my clubs were clean and go to work.”

“On the first tee I could feel my heart beating in my throat. It didn’t slow down for the first three holes but I managed to pick up a couple of quick birdies early on which settled the nerves a bit.”

“I hit ten out of fourteen fairways, and a couple I missed weren’t in trouble, just in the first cut.”

“There were a couple of short irons into par fours that I would’ve liked to get a bit closer, but the main thing is the 27 putts.

“Tomorrow I’m going to come out and enjoy every single moment.”

“It really is a thrill to be here. As a South African, it’s phenomenal to be part of this.”

Danny Willett, who was second to Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai recently, claimed third place. His opening first round score -5 under par 67 proving he still has the desire to go out and try to win.

TOUR Championship. Jordan Takes Over At The Top.

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Jordan Spieth has taken over the lead at the top of the TOUR Championship at a very soggy East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. He now has a great chance of lifting the FedExCup.

TOUR Championship

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan carded a third round -2 under par 68 and sits on top of the TOUR Championship leaderboard at -8 under par. He made some amazing par saves today;

“I could have easily been 3 over through eight.”

“I’m very pleased with where we stand going into tomorrow, and Henrik’s going to come back very strong.”

 “This was his off day, and so I’m going to have to play even better.”

“Holy, right!”  Jordan shouted on his way to saving par at 16, Henrik called it “A miracle save on 16.”

Henrik was reasonably happy with his +2 over par 72 and -7 under par total;

“Kept it together fairly nicely and we’re still at the races.”

“I would have liked to have gone a few better, but we’re still up there and yeah, it’s all going to be decided tomorrow.”

Rickie Fowler -3 under par 67 today, and Paul Casey +1 over par, share third place, both at -4 under par for the championship.

Rory McIlroy and Zach Johnson are tied in fifth, both at -3 under par Rory struggled in the wet conditions and could only score an even par 70 round, while Zach carded a +1 over 71.

It will be a fascinating day tomorrow to see Jordan and Henrik battle it out, but there is still the possibility of someone going really low tomorrow and setting a challenging clubhouse target, even Rory McIlroy.