Italian Open. Two Tied at the Top.

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There are now just two players tied at the top of the Italian Open leaderboard after day 2 at Golf Club Milano in Monza, Italy. Marcus Fraser, Australia, shares the honor with Matt Wallace from England.

Italian Open

Marcus Fraser / getty

Marcus shot his lowest ever European Tour score, -9 under par 62, to join Matt, -6 under 65 today, at the top of the Italian Open leaderboard after the second round.

Marcus took his putting performance to a new level;

“To come and do that today, I’m pretty proud of myself and it’s quite reassuring that I still can play golf.”

“I felt like I’ve putted well and scrambled well this week.”

“Today I took it to a new level with the putter. I felt like I putted well yesterday and I probably out-did it today.”

Italian Open

Matt Wallace / getty

Matt enjoyed the good weather today;

“When I won in Portugal, I backed up a ten under with a seven under. It’s not that rare, I have done it before.

“Yeah, I just played good golf out there today and it’s perfect weather for us to shoot low.”

Tied in third place, two shots back at -11 under par, are two of yesterdays six leaders, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thailand, and Jamie Donaldson, Wales, both carded -4 under 67.

Kiradech did not have a good day with his putter;

“I was still hitting a lot of great quality shots today. The putter didn’t work as well as yesterday.”

Jamie also suffered from a cooler putter;

“I played well again. The putter wasn’t quite as warm today as it was yesterday.” 

Local favorite, defending champion, and another of the first round leaders, Francesco Molinari is alone in fifth place, a -3 under today giving him a -10 under total;

“It wasn’t easy but everyone was obviously willing me to do well and I tried to stay calm and stay in my own bubble. I did that pretty well.”

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Italian Open. Six Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a six way tie at the top of the Italian Open leaderboard at the  Golf Club Milano. Defending Champion Francesco Molinari, from Italy, to the delight of the home fans is joined by Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thailand, Alexander Björk, Sweden, Jamie Donaldson, Wales, Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace from England.

Italian Open

Francesco Molinari / getty

The top players all carded first rounds of -7 under par 64 to lead the Italian Open by just one shot.

Francesco was happy to come back and play well at home;

“Obviously it was another good day. I started pretty much where I left off last year, so it was great.”

“It’s great to see the crowds. I think there’s a nice buzz around the place and I’m happy and proud to be part of it.”

Kiradech was another happy player, with his putter working well;

“I’m really happy with the way I played in the first round, seven under.” 

“This course really suits my game, small greens, quite a narrow golf course and my driver and putter are working so well, so that’s why I made a good start.”

Alexander had a solid round;

“I played really solid today, I’m really pleased with that round.”

Jamie also had a good day with the putter;

“I played really well. I didn’t do much wrong really today, that was the secret.” 

“When I had a chance of holing a putt, I made it.”

“I generally putted a lot better, and tee-to-green was pretty good.”

These six are closely followed, at -6 under by George Coetzee, South Africa, and Ben An, from South Korea.

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Paul Lawrie Match Play. Marcel Siem Delights Home Crowd.

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Marcel Siem of Germany delights the home crowd with a 2 up win over yesterdays record breaking Mikko Ilonen from Finland.

Paul Lawrie Match Play.

Marcel Siem / getty

Marcel and Mikko were all square with two to play, but Marcel birdied them both to delight the home fans at the  Beckenbauer Course at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach in Germany;

“I said to myself at the beginning of the week, I won four tournaments and a World Cup with my emotions.”

“I know some weeks they got in the way for me but I think to get back on track I need my emotions; that’s me.”

“I think I have another ten years in front of me and I want to keep my emotions out there.”

“I tried to be a lot calmer, that doesn’t work for me and it was really enjoyable today.”

“A few fist pumps, I hope the people liked that, it’s just automatic for me it’s not being a show-off, that’s me.”

The tournament host Paul Lawrie, Scotland, went down 2 & 1 to Alejandro Cañizares from Spain.

Johan Carlsson, Sweden defeated the tournament top seed Matthew Southgate , England 4 & 2.

More home fan good news came when Alexander Knappe had a  5 & 4 win over Victor Dubuisson of France.

Alexander said he had played well;

“It was good, I played very solid, it was a good game.”

“Always just stick to your game and play as good as you can and hopefully you win.

Thomas Detry. Belgium, beat Nacho Elvira, Spain, 3 & 1, while Tom Lewis, England won 4 & 2 over Zander Lombard from South Africa.

Jamie Donaldson, Wales  beat Jorge Campillo, Spain 4 and 3, and defending champion Anthony Wall, of England defeated  Haydn Porteous, South Africa 1 up.

Chris Paisley beat Nathan Kimsey 4 and 2. Paul Dunne beat Jens Fahrbring 4 and 3.

Tomorrow it is the last 16 battling it out, looking forward to it.White Dragon GolfWhite Dragon Golf

Nordea Masters. Jamie Donaldson Has Lead.

 

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Jamie Donaldson, from Wales, leads the Nordea Masters  going into the weekend at  Barsebäck Golf & Country Club in Sweden.

Nordea Masters

Jamie Donaldson / getty

Jamie carded a second consecutive round of -4 under par 69 to take the half-way lead in the Nordea Masters, at -8 under par, and will also take a two shot lead into the week-end.

He said that better chipping and putting had set up the good rounds;

“I played nicely, there were times when the ball wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but I made some great escapes.”

“The chipping and putting has been better over the last couple of days.”

“I have been playing quite nicely recently but just not quite putting it all together but the first couple of days here, I’ve been able to do that.”

“More of the same for the weekend, really. I’ve got my map of the golf course and how to play it. I don’t know what the weather is going to do tomorrow, it might be windy, it might not, so we’ll wake up and take it from there.”

Renato Paratore, from Italy, is in second place at -6 under par, a second round -1 under 72 keeping him in touch of the leader, but he did start the day as joint overnight leader.

Three players are tied in third place at -5 under par, Graeme Storm, -5 under 68 today, and Max Orrin, even par 73 today, both from England. They are joined on that total by Benjamin Herbert, France, who scored -2 under 71 in his second round.

 

British Masters. Brilliant Richard Bland Leads.

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A brilliant second round from Richard Bland sees him leading the British Masters at the half-way stage at The Grove in England.

British Masters

Richard Bland / getty

Richard carded a second round -7 under par 64, and he is still bogey free after two rounds, at the British Masters, and leads by one shot with a -11 under par total.

Richard likes to play in England, and of course it helps when you are holing putts;

“Whenever you play at home, either here or at Wentworth, you’ve got your family there supporting.”

“Other people come up, your friends, so it’s nice just to hear those extra cheers for you.”

“I’ve holed out fantastically well, not only these last two days but probably over the last three or four months.

“If I can keep that going, hopefully I’ll be there on Sunday.

Sharing second place at -10 under for the tournament are Alex Noren, -6 under 65 today, and Andrew Beef Johnston, also -6 under 65 today.

Beef was happy with his round today, despite the two bogey’s;

“I’m very happy. I thought I played well yesterday in the wind and managed to make a few more birdies today.”

Alex unfortunately dropped two shots on his last hole today;

“Sometimes it goes like that. I’m happy about today. I played a lot better than yesterday.”

Somehow Jamie Donaldson got himself disqualified after eight second round holes, I can not find any explanation of this occurrence.

W.G.C. Cadillac Championship. Reed Resplendent.

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Patrick Reed was resplendent in winning the WGC. Cadillac Championship at Doral, on the Blue Monster.

Wrap-up: Reed earns third TOUR title

Patrick Reed / GettyImages

Patrick has proved what he has always believed, that he belongs among the best in the world. He has won the WGC Cadillac Championship trophy, his third Tour win in seven months, shooting a final round of even par 72, to post -4 under par.

When asked on live TV what he thought about his achievement Patrick proudly answered;

“I just don’t see a lot of guys that have done that, besides Tiger Woods, of course, and all of the other legends of the game. I believe in myself. Especially after how hard I’ve worked, that I’m one of the top five players in the world. To come out of a field like this and to hold on wire to wire like that, I feel like I’ve proven myself.”

Tied in second place at -3 under par were Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson. Bubba had a fine last round of -4 under par, and then admitted that this course scares him;

“I’m where I want to be, my ball striking I wish was a little bit better. But certain golf courses just scare me half to death and around here scared me a lot but I played it really well this week.”

Jamie said he has always been a late developer, but he is happy with where he is right now;

“I’ve always been pretty much a late developer in most things, really. I left school before I could develop any there!  So I had to play golf, really. My career has been up and down for me.  Early on, I started off pretty good and then I had a big loss for four years after injury, and then I just had to regroup and do things that worked and work hard and keep believing. I just forced the wheel the other direction, and that’s what it’s done.  I’ve found something that was working and just kept doing it and kept getting better at doing it, and then here we are getting better, again, so I’m happy.”

Tiger Woods, who started the day in contention said the pain in his back intensified after his bunker shot on the sixth. A nasty lie leaving him with his left foot in the bunker, and the right pressing  against the lip of the bunker;

” That’s what set it off and then it was done after that. Just see if I could actually manage, keep the spasms at bay.”

He carded a final round of +6 over par 78, with a total of +5 over par, dropping him twenty-one places to T25. Tiger also failed to make a birdie in a final round for the first time in his career, and the lead up to the first Major is not going well;

“If I feel good, I can actually make a pretty decent swing, you saw it Saturday. But if I’m feeling like this, it’s a little tough.”

Nedbank Golf Challenge. Brilliant Björn Valiant.

Valiant Thomas Björn triumphed in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa.

Thomas Bjorn  (Getty Images)

Thomas Björn / Getty Images

Thomas carded a super -7 under par 65 to overcome a similar super score from Sergio Garcia in the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City. The difference was two shots as Thomas finished on -20 under par and Sergio tied on -18 under par in second place with Jamie Donaldson. Jamie could only manage a -2 under par final round.

Thomas spoke about his special day, and the two Eagles on the back nine;

“This is right up there with the best days of my career. You never forget your first victory, and then my win against Tiger in Dubai when I went toe-to-toe with him for four days and came out top was special, but winning here in the way that I did against a field of this quality is up there. I knew I had to shoot something low and then see what Jamie was doing. It turned out that it was Sergio and every time I saw a leaderboard he was making birdies. I am very proud of the way I played today,  it’s a very special day in my career.Obviously having two eagles on the back nine on a Sunday doesn’t happen very often. The shot into 14 was a bit fortunate but that’s what happens when you win golf tournaments, I guess.”

Sergio finally succumbed to a bogey on the 16th hole;

“I tried to be aggressive all day and drove the ball well, I had just one bad swing on 16. But Thomas played unbelievably and I needed to keep birdieing if I was to have a chance.”

Poor old Jamie Donaldson must have wondered what hit him, he started the day with a three shot lead, and then lost by two.

Henrik Stenson was in fourth place at -16 under par, shooting a -5 under par 67, on a day that was full of low scores.