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.

BMW Masters. Lucas Bjerregaard Leads.

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Lucas Bjerregaard has the 36 hole lead at the BMW Masters tournament in China.

BMW Masters

Lucas Bjerregaard / Getty Images

Lucas shot  a second consecutive round of -6 under par 66 to sit on top of the BMW Masters leaderboard at -12 under par in Shanghai. He came close to winning his maiden European Tour title last time out, in Hong Kong, and hopes to go one better this week;

“It was nice in Hong Kong to prove to myself and to everyone else that I can still compete up there.”

“So hopefully I can do that again this week and just come up one place better than last time”

“It was a great round and I finished off with some good birdies coming in. A great birdie there on six, a tough par three today.”

“Nothing much really happened on the first nine, I just played really solid. But I thought it was a good bit tougher than yesterday with the wind up.”

“Some of the holes were playing really long.”

“But I made some good putts, made some good par saves as well to keep the round going, so that was nice.”

Sergio Garcia and Thongchai Jaidee share second place, three shots back at -9 under par.

Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and An Bye-ong Hun are tied in third spot at -8 under par for the tournament.

It was some very windy conditions today, but that did not worry Peter Uihlein who had seven consecutive birdies today, to finish at -7 under par. He was playing alongside the leader, and the pair of them had some fun out there, according to Lucas;

“We had good fun. He’s a nice guy. We played three rounds together in Turkey, as well, so it was nice that we both played well.”

Race to Dubai leader Rory McIlroy is not competing this week, so that gives an opportunity for closest challenger Danny Willett to narrow the gap. Danny is currently at -3 under par for the tournament. Poults, Justin Rose and others will be looking to do the same thing.

UBS Hong Kong Open. Justin Rose Tops The Table.

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Justin Rose tops the leaderboard table at the end of day 2 at the  UBS Hong Kong Open.

UBS Hong Kong Open

Justin Rose / Getty Images

Justin fired a second round -4 under par 66 to top the UBS Hong Kong Open leaderboard at -9 under par, and a one shot lead over the field.

Looking back over his shoulder Justin can see an old foe lurking two shots back, in the form of Ian Poulter;

“Poulter is a past champion and he’s on the leaderboard.”

“He’s always good when he’s got something to prove, and he’s probably a dangerous guy now that he’s outside the Top 50 in the world, and I know that he’ll be desperate to get back in it.”

“He always plays well when he has motivation, so he’s obviously going to be tough to beat too.”

“Very happy with that, I felt like I struggled with the recovery overnight. I just felt like body was sore this morning, and today was definitely more of a struggle than yesterday.”

“Yesterday I played such a clean round, I guess it was always going to be more of a struggle. I made a few more mistakes today but salvaged par very well quite a few times.”

“Finally the bogey that threatened a few times reared its head on number nine but I guess I played 34 holes without making a mistake. It’s almost; you know it’s inevitable you’re going to make one mistake.”

“It’s out of the way. Don’t have to think about it now. So continue to try and play good golf over the weekend, make some birdies, and keep moving forward.”

“I again hit a lot of good putts today, and my putts that aren’t going in are pretty much threatening the cup, I feel that’s good.”

“I feel good about my game and I feel like my chances are good, and if I stay in my process, things should work out well, but you can’t afford to get ahead.”

Dane Lucas Bjerregaard is in second place, that one shot back at -7 under par, after his second round -4 under par 66.

Ian Poulter also carded a -4 under par 66, and is tied in third pace with  Lu Wei-chih, -1 under 69 today, both with -7 under par totals

World Number Eight Dustin Johnson missed the cut which was made at +1 over, after he signed for a +2 over par72 today.

UBS Hong Kong Open. Andrea Pavan and Lu Wei-chih Lead

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 Andrea Pavan and Lu Wei-chih lead the UBS Hong Kong Open after the first round at Hong Kong Golf Club.

UBS Hong Kong Open UBS Hong Kong Open

Andrea Pavan and Lu Wei-chih / Getty Images

Andrea and Lu both carded -6 under par 64 in the opening round of the UBS Hong Kong Open, to lead by just one shot.

Andrea has to finish in second place, or better, to avoid heading to the Qualifying School to try and get his card. He told reporters of his troubles this year;

“This year has been a struggle to say the least, I’m just trying to big deep and really look forward to every week.”

“Obviously this is the last of the year, and then I’m looking to go to Q-School. So it’s all about just giving myself chances.”

“I’m just really trying to get my game in better shape. It’s good on the range. I still feel like I’m lacking a bit of confidence.”

“Today I’ve managed to play very well for about 15 holes and then I had the occasional bad shot. So today I got away with it a couple times.”

It’s all about just waiting. I know I have what it takes.”

“It’s been tough last year and this year, but it’s all a learning curve and I really hope I can make the next step soon.

Lu has had some problems of his own, coming close to retirement three years ago after undergoing brain surgery, he said today was a very good day;

“Today, the first three holes, I was not feeling very focused on the golf course.”

 “And then after the third hole bogey, I just told myself that I can’t do this because if I don’t try to get back to my form, it might not be a good round.”

“Fortunately, starting on number four, I birdied four, five and six, and I started feeling much better and getting into the flow. Then the back nine, I felt very comfortable.

“Today is a really good round for me.”

There are some big names in this field, Justin Rose is the best ranked player and is currently tied third with  CT Pan and Jeev Milka Singh, all just one shot back after their first rounds of -5 under par 65.

Justin said he was happy with the way he played the course today;

“Really happy with the start, more happy with how I played today.”

“Happy with how I swung the club, struck the ball, how patient I played.”

“Got to grips with the golf course, for the first time.”

Also in the field are Ian Poulter, -3 under 67, Graeme McDowell -4 under 66, Patrick Reed -2 under 68 and Dustin Johnson -1 under 69.


British Masters. Matt Makes It His Title.

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Matt Fitzpatrick makes the British Masters title his at Woburn Golf Club in England.

British Masters

Matt had a final round -3 under par 68 to win the British Masters with a -15 under par total, and a two shot winning margin from the chasing pack. This is his maiden European Tour win, a great day that he will remember forever;

“It’s not going to sink in for a long time, I know that.”

“It was a long day and I didn’t really know what I had to do to win but I just sort of ground it out and managed to win. A great day”

“The fans have just been incredible to me and unbelievably supportive and I can’t tell everyone how appreciative I am of that.”

“Walking down every hole it’s, ‘Come on Matt’ and it’s amazing to have that support.”

Tied in second place at -13 under par were Søren Kjeldsen, and Fabrizio Zanotti, both -2 under today, and Shane Lowry who climbed up the leaderboard with-4 under 67.

Søren had his chances dashed when he three-putted on the par five 15th, and followed that with a bogey on the 16th.

Shane dropped a shot on the 219 yard par three 14th, while Fabrizio carded back-to-back bogeys on 13 and 14.

Luke Donald finished in a four-way tie for fifth at -11 under par, along with Kiradech AphibarnratMike Lorenzo-Vera and Marcus Fraser.

Oliver Fisher and Tommy Fleetwood both carded last rounds of -6 under par 65, sharing ninth position with a whole bunch of players.

Graeme McDowell had a remarkable last round, shooting +1 over par 72 , which included an Eagle, four birdies, four bogeys and a triple bogey.

Tournament host Ian Poulter also had a final round +1 over 72 and finished way down the pack. I wonder if the responsibility of hosting left him unable to concentrate on his golf.

British Masters. Søren Kjeldsen Joins Matt Fitzpatrick at the Top.

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Søren Kjeldsen joins Matt Fitzpatrick at the top of the British Masters leaderboard at Woburn Golf Club in England.

British Masters

Søren Kjeldsen / Getty Images

Søren fired a second round -3 under par 68 to join overnight leader Matt at the top of the British Masters leaderboard at -9 under par, after 36 holes of the competition. Matt carded -2 under 69.

Søren loves to play golf, especially when the game is good, but he did struggle with the putter early on;

 “When you play nicely you just want to keep going. I’ve always enjoyed playing a lot.”

“I know a lot of guys take a lot of time off but I love the competition, I love to be out there, I feel that’s why I improve so I’ve always had the strategy of playing a lot.”

“I got off to a little bit of a slow start, I played pretty well but I didn’t make the putts.”

“Then I three-putted 16, got it back nicely on 17 and then again – nice birdie on one, bad bogey on two, and then I hit a bad second shot on three into the bunker.”

“I focus a lot on the sound when the club hits the sand and straight away I felt like it had a lovely sound to the shot and I just managed to get up on the hill and see it disappear. Nice feeling.”

Matt said his game was not so good today, and he was pleased to still be at the top of the leaderboard. He chipped in at the third;

“I thought about putting it at first but the rough was a little bit too thick to start with so I just needed to get it out of that and literally just trickle it over the hill and hopefully it was going to go close, luckily it went in.”

“It was pretty tough out there today for me.”

“I didn’t feel like I hit it my best so it was nice to score well coming in and shoot 69 to stay at the top of the leaderboard which is always nice.”

Richard Bland and Kiradech Aphibarnrat share third place, just one shot back at -8 under par, both players repeated yesterdays score of -4 under par 67.

Shane Lowry, Robert Karlsson and Bradley Dredge are all tied in fifth place with -7 under par.

Shane reported he could have done better, he could only manage -2 under 69 today, which included a bogey, and a three putt;

“I’m pretty happy, the two par fives on the back nine, I had two little pitches and didn’t make birdie which was a bit annoying and I had a bad three-putt on the par three where I made bogey.”

“I could have been a few shots better but I’m in a good position going into the weekend and looking forward to it.”

Best round of the day went to Robert Rock,  -6 under 65, and T13, while tournament host Ian Poulter must be finding hosting hard work, he carded -1 under 71, to be back at -4 under par for the tournament.


British Masters. Matt Fitzpatrick Leads

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Matt Fitzpatrick leads the British Masters tournament after the first round round at Woburn Golf Club in England.

British Masters

Matt Fitzpatrick / Getty Images

Matt carded a first round -7 under par 64 to lead the British Masters, a tournament supported by Sky Sports. He was obviously very happy with the outcome;

“It doesn’t get better than that. This is the first day and the crowds have been absolutely fantastic.”

“Tee to green, it is pretty tough you if you don’t hit in the fairway.” 

“The rough isn’t deep but it’s quite wet so it clings to the face and it’s difficult to get it the normal distance of your irons. It’s a test all round but tee to green it’s been tough.”

“It was a tough start. I missed quite a few cuts in a row at the start of the year, even though I felt I was playing all right.”

“Now I’ve been playing decent and getting the right results that I’ve been looking for.

“I’ve been getting so much experience just week-to-week learning more about myself, tournaments everything and that’s been the biggest thing.”

There are four players tied in second place at -6 under par after their opening rounds of 65, Robert KarlssonMarc Warren, Søren Kjeldsen and Lee Slattery.

Ian Poulter is hosting this week’s tournament,  at the club he’s represented since 2002, he was worried that something would go wrong;

British Masters

Ian Poulter / Getty Images

“I didn’t know what to expect coming into the week, this is a first.”

“I’ve got big responsibilities, lots of things to do, lots of commitments. You have to manage those, but you can have a buzz on that first tee because you’ve spent a bit of time. You care about it.”

“I haven’t had that feeling in a long time, it was literally two minutes before teeing off.”

“It’s just like, all right, okay, just an easy 3-wood up the middle. I’ve really got to concentrate now because I need to. The fairway just shrinks a lot and that’s good. It makes you focus. It’s nice to have that feeling, especially on a Thursday.”

“All in all, 3 under par is a decent start, especially with a couple of putts that felt like they were dropping and edged out.”

 “A little lapse of concentration just as I was settling into the round of golf was a shame. Apart from that, a couple of shots and all of a sudden it’s a different round of golf.”