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, Andy Sullivan Sits On Top Of Unfinished 2nd round.

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Andy Sullivan sits on top of the leaderboard at the close of an unfinished 2nd round play, due to fog, in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, in the United Arab Emirates.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Andy Sullivan / Getty Images

Andy shot a second consecutive round -5  under par 67 to post a  Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship 36 hole total of -10 under par, but will have to wait until the round is completed tomorrow to see if he stays at the top of the leaderboard. The delay lasted for two hours and forty five minutes.

Andy said today’s 67 was easier that yesterday’s;

“I think today was even more impressive than yesterday, I had it under a lot of control and it felt quite easy.”

“Today, started off great, lost my way through the middle part of the round and dug deep and finished really strong with three birdies.”

“I think on the whole, much much happier with today and obviously it puts me in good stead finishing that way for the rest of the tournament.”

 “I feel totally different coming in. This time last year, I had already won but still felt this tournament of this magnitude with the players, I knew that I would have to go some to do it.”

“Coming in this year, I know if I bring any A Game, I’m going to have a good chance at being up there now.”

“It’s nice to do that, and obviously to go out there and actually put your A Game to the test is great.”

American amateur Bryson DeChambeau is in second place at -9 under par, having completed only nine second round holes, for a -1 under par return so far. Bryson is trying to become just the fourth amateur in history to win on The European Tour, he  shows no signs of nerves, in a field which includes four of the top ten players in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Joost Luiten -4 under 68, and  Rafa Cabrera-Bello, -5 under 67, have completed their second rounds for a -7 under pat total and share third place on that score with Thomas Bjørn and Richard Bland, who have only finished 11 holes.

The four from the worlds top ten, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Ian Poulter are all in a huge group on -5 under, with unfinished rounds, while Jordan Spieth is on -4 under, also with more holes to play tomorrow.

 

 

 

EURASIA CUP. Team Europe Win.

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Darren Clarke’s Team Europe sealed the EurAsia Cup win with eight of Sunday’s singles matches still out on course. Danny Willett clinching the victory with his singles win over Byeong Hun An at the Glenmarie Golf & Country Club in Malaysia.

EurAsia Cup

Winning Team Europe / Getty Images

Darren who will also captain Europe’s Ryder Cup team later this year, says the experience gained here should stand him in good stead for the upcoming Ryder tussle;

“There have been a lot of positives this week. I’ve learnt a few things, and hopefully I’ll do a better job come September.” 

“But if the players don’t play and don’t perform, you can be the best captain in the world and you’re not going to win.”

“This belongs to the players; the quality of the golf this week has been brilliant.”

The final score was 18½-5½, which was a bit of a surprise as the first tournament two years ago ended in a draw.

Lee Westwood spoke of the importance of this win to the younger players in the Team;

“I think everybody has played well this week and obviously contributed. That’s why the scoreline has ended up as it is.”

“I hit the ball pretty well this week and obviously won three points, so it’s nice to contribute.”

“There’s young lads on this team and ones that are going to be playing in The Ryder Cup obviously later on in the year.”

“This is going to be a great experience for them, just feeding them into team golf gradually. And I’m sure they will benefit from this week. Nothing but positives to come out.”

Ian POULTER 4&3 Danny CHIA         Danny WILLETT 3&1 Byeong Hun AN

Andy SULLIVAN 4&3 Thongchai JAIDEE      Matthew FITZPATRICK 2 Up Kiradech APHIBARNRAT
Anirban LAHIRI 2&1 Shane LOWRY        K.T. KIM 3&2  Bernd WIESBERGER
Lee WESTWOOD 7&6 Nicholas FUNG   Ross FISHER Match Halved Jeunghun WANG

Chris WOOD 1 Hole S.S.P CHAWRASIA   Kristoffer BROBERG 5&4 Shingo KATAYAMA

Victor DUBUISSON 1 Up Ashun WU    Søren KJELDSEN 3&2 Prayad MARKSAENG

I guess you can only feel sorry for the Team Asia captain Jeev Milka Singh, he must be wondering what hit him.

 

 

EurAsia Cup. Europe in Command on Day 2.

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Team Europe are firmly in command of the EurAsia Cup tournament on day 2 of competition, leading 9-3 at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club in Malaysia.

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Darren Clarke & Ian Poulter / Getty Images

Ian Poulter and Danny Willett took on the best Asian pairing today and won their match, beating Byeong  Hun An and Thongchai Jaidee;

Poults spoke afterwards about the contest;

“It’s probably their strongest pairing. They played nicely yesterday.”

“We hit good golf shots. We played the right side of pins. We made no mistakes, no bogeys, and we backed each other up at the right time.”

Danny agreed with that assessment;

“I think me and Poults between us only missed a couple of shots.”

“Like you say, when we were out there, when one of us hit a bad one, the other one backed him up and hit it close on a chip.”

“We didn’t really make any mistakes and made a good few birdies for foursomes.”
Ian POULTER & Danny WILLETT 3&2 Byeong Hun An & Thongchai JAIDEE

Bernd WIESBERGER & Ross FISHER 2 Up K.T. KIM & Jeunghun WANG

Kristoffer BROBERG & Chris WOOD 2 Up S.S.P CHAWRASIA & Kiradech PHIBARNRAT

Shane LOWRY & Andy SULLIVAN 3&2 Prayad MARKSAENG & Shingo KATAYAMA

Søren KJELDSEN & Victor DUBUISSON Match Halved Danny CHIA & Nicholas FUNG
Lee WESTWOODMatthew FITZPATRICK 5&4 Anirban LAHIRI & Ashun WU

EurAsia Cup. Europe Lead 1st Round

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Europe take on Asia in the EurAsia Cup, a matchplay event being played at Glenmarie Gold & Country Club in Malaysia. 1st round scores have put Europe firmly in front, winning all but one match, and that was halved.
Team Europe captain Darren Clarke was very proud of the team performance today;
EurAsia Cup

Darren Clarke / Getty Images

“Proud of our team today, they all gave their best! Good start 4.5-1.5 but a long way to go yet.” @EurAsiaCupGolf @EuropeanTour

“I know them well and I like to think I know what makes them tick. I asked all my guys to give me three players they wanted to play with.”

“But as always with Europe a player will play with who the Captain thinks they should be playing with.”

“If I have an idea of who each guy will play with, and that’s backed up by the stats then that’s quite good I reckon.”

Ian POULTER & Bernd WIESBERGER 4&3 Anirban LAHIRI & Jeunghun WANG

Danny WILLETT & Matthew FITZPATRICK 3&1 Byeong Hun AN & Thongchai JAIDEE
Victor DUBUISSON & Søren KJELDSEN Match Halved Danny CHIA & Nicholas FUNG

Ross FISHERKristoffer BROBERG 6&4 Prayad MARKSAENG & K.T. KIM

Shane LOWRY & Andy SULLIVAN 2&1 Shingo KATAYAMA & Ashun WU

Lee WESTWOOD & Chris WOOD 2&1 S.S.P CHAWRASIA & Kiradech PHIBARNRAT

DP World Tour Championship. First Round Four-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a four-way tie at the top of the DP World Tour Championship leaderboard after the first round at Jumeirah Golf Estates in DubaiMarcus Fraser, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter and Andy Sullivan are vying to win the tournament, although none of them can win the European Tour season ending Race to Dubai.

DP World Tour Championship

Ian Poulter / Getty Images

Poults and his companions all shot a first round -6 under par 66 to sit on top of the  DP World Tour Championship leaderboard in Dubai. Poults  has now dropped out of the World’s top 50, and a win here would give him some satisfaction after a poor season;

“Dropping outside the top 50 isn’t very nice. Being down the list on the Order of Merit is not very nice.”

“There’s a lot at stake. I think more of it is probably pride than anything else.”

“And wanting to put some points on the board for Ryder Cup would definitely be very helpful.”

“So it’s been a long five weeks, and it would be nice to finish strong.”

Andy is only player of the top four who has won a tournament this year, and he enjoyed playing alongside Martin today;

“I think the way I played all year, I think it’s time for me to kick on and really get myself up there in these big events now and really try and press on.” 

“It was just great fun out there today.”

“Me and Martin both played really well, so it was good to have both of us pulling each other along, one get in front of the other, and both finishing six under.”

“But I’m swinging it really well on the range and I just said to myself, I’m the only person that can mess this up.”

“I just thought go out there and enjoy it like I normally do and be mentally good.”

“On the whole, I’m really happy with where we stand.”

Martin always plays well here, and he likes the place;

“We all know this is one of my favourite places where The European Tour goes.”

“It seems like I do well here usually and I’ve had great success in the past, whether it’s in Abu Dhabi winning a tournament or winning The European Tour rankings here in 2010.”

“So for me coming to this part of the world is always a great pleasure.”

Marcus liked the good greens, that helped him sink some putts;

“It was good, I felt like I played great, felt like I was in control of my game most of the day.”

“I managed to make a couple of putts , the greens are that good; if you pick the right line and you hit it on line, it’s going to go in.”

“It’s always nice to get off to a fast start and I kept it going.”

One shot behind the leaders is Francesco Molinari, at -5 under par, he is followed by a posse of players at -4 under, which included Race to Dubai leader Rory McIlroy and his nearest challenger Danny Willett.  They are joined on that score by Alejandro Cañizares, Matthew FitzpatrickMiguel Angel Jiménez, Chris Wood, Fabrizio Zanotti and Branden Grace.