Joburg Open. Hayden Porteous Maiden Tour Victory

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Hayden Porteous claimed his maiden European Tour victory, the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club in South Africa. It also gets him into The Open this year at Royal Troon. It was also a one two for South Africa in the placings.

Joburg Open

Hayden Porteous / Getty Images

Hayden carded a final bogey free round -3 under par 69 to win the Joburg Open at -18 under par, a two shot maiden victory. He started to worry the putts not dropping in, but made birdie on the last to seal the deal;

“Words can’t describe how I feel right now, it’s surreal to be honest.”

“I’ve been battling with my golf for the last few months and hats off to (fitness coach) Garth Milne for all the strategy and game-plan and gym.”

“There was a lot of sweat and tears and I can’t get over this feeling right now.”

“When I get home and things start to calm down I’m going to have a proper think about it.”

“All the doors that are open because of winning the Joburg Open, it’s a dream come true.” 

“I started to hit a few fairways and a lot more greens and gave myself some chances to make birdie, unfortunately the putts didn’t go in but I was keeping the pressure low and making sure I was going to be making par.”

“To make a birdie on the 18th was the best feeling in the world.”

“I was just thinking ‘no silly mistakes’. Go left side of the green and hope the wind drags it to the right and then I hit probably the best five iron I’ve hit all week and it landed just short of pin high and to about 15-20 feet.”

“A putt I could only dream of to win the Joburg Open.”

“To qualify to get into The Open on merit is a big step in my career.”

“To play The Open for any player in the world is a big deal and hopefully I can do South Africa proud and do well there.”

Zander Lombard was in second place at -16 under par, his last round -1 under 71 good enough to get him a place at The Open;

“It’s a great bonus for coming second and I’ll definitely open up my schedule to fit it in.”

Four players tied in third place, at -15 under par, Björn Åkesson, SwedenDaniel Im, USAJustin Walters South Africa and Anthony Wall from England.

Anthony Wall won the third place for a spot at The Open, for the  second consecutive year;

“I’ve been lucky, thank goodness. I get to play in the greatest event in the world again.”

“I finished second last year right on the nail and this year the same so, thank God.”

“It’s been a truly wonderful week. I’m bitterly disappointed but to get an Open spot definitely softens the blow. It’s the greatest honour a golfer can have.”

“I played last year and finished 11th again and it’s just the greatest place to play golf.”

Joburg Open. Three Players Tied at the Top.

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There are three players tied at the top of the Joburg Open leaderboard after three rounds at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club in South Africa. Anthony Wall, Zander Lombard and Hayden Porteous will take a two shot lead into the final round tomorrow.

Joburg Open

Anthony Wall / Getty Images

Anthony is searching for only his second win on the European Tour at the Joburg Open, sixteen years after his first victory. He carded -4 under par 68 on the East course, and joins Hayden and Zander at the top of the leaderboard on -15 under par for the competition, and a two shot lead over the field going into the final round tomorrow.

Everyone played the East course today, with Zander posting  one of the low rounds of the day -7 under par 65, and Hayden -4 under 68.

Anthony is determined to make his children proud of him;

“That’s why I play golf now, to try and make my children proud of me, to try and win as many times as possible.”

“At the end of the day I’m father now before I am a golfer, that switched a few years ago and I just want to keep playing for them and my wife so they can be proud of me.”

“I drove the ball well. That was my weakness the first two days, today I was great off the tee. I holed a couple of good long ones, but I also missed three or four I could have holed, so all-in-all it was a good day.”

“I’ve got a great chance tomorrow. But they’re all good players, someone’s going to be a little luckier tomorrow and win, so hopefully it’s me.”

Four players share fourth spot at -13 under par for the tournament, Ross McGowan, who slipped back today with a +1 over par round, Jacques Blaauw -5 under 67,  Daniel Im, who shared the low round score today -7 under, and Paul Dunne -4 under 68, in his eighth start on Tour.

This competition is very tight and anyone who comes up with low round tomorrow could jump up and take the title, it should be an exciting final round at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

Joburg Open. Ross McGowan Has Half-Way Lead.

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Ross McGowan from England has the half-way lead in the Joburg Open in Johannesburg at the  Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

Joburg Open

Ross McGowan / Getty Images

A couple of Eagles on the par fives helped Ross to his -9 under par 62 in the second round of the Joburg Open, on the West course. Posting a half-way score of -14 under par, and a healthy three shot lead going into the week-end. He said he had played very well, even thinking about a 59;

“I played well yesterday and started well today, I opened up with two birdies. I went a bit flat for a few holes and then on the back nine, the fireworks happened.”

“I holed a wedge at 12 today which was nice and then I hit two great shots into the par five, so I had 15-20 feet there for eagle and managed to hole that one as well.”

“In Madrid I shot a 60, so you never know. I’ll try to go low again tomorrow.”

“I think I would have needed to be a few shots better on the front nine to even consider it but I’ve been close before.”

Four players share second place, those three shots adrift with -11 under par totals, they are, Jean Hugo, Hayden Porteous, from South AfricaAnthony Wall, England and Felipe Aguilar from Chile.

Anthony shot a second round -5 under 67 on the tougher East course, while Jean and Felipe carded -6 under 65 on the West, with Hayden scoring -5 under par 66, also on the par 71 West course.

Johan Carlson, Sweden and Stuart Manley, Wales, are tied in sixth place at -10 under par for the competition.  Paul Dunne, from Ireland, is playing in just his eighth professional tournament, he carded eight birdies in a flawless -8 under 63 on the West to be in the group T8 at -9 under par, in this very International field.

There are three places at The Open  are up for grabs this week with the top three players in the top ten not already exempt securing a place at Royal Troon.

Joburg Open. Justin Walters Leads.

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Justin Walters leads after the first round of the Joburg Open, at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, using both the East and West courses.

Joburg Open

Justin Walters / Getty Images

Justin was very happy with his -7 under par 65 gleaned from the tougher East course, for his opening round on the 10th anniversary of this tournament;

“I’m able to take advantage of the par fives. I tend to do that regularly somehow and hopefully I can continue to do that.”

“I generally build it around the par fives, and if I can play those well and sprinkle a few in here and there around that, then I’m generally quite happy.”

“I have a lot of good memories here. And having qualified for the Open here two years ago, I really enjoy playing here, I enjoy playing in Joburg, and I just kind of feel at home somewhat.”

“Every time you come here, you build new memories and you have more to draw on when you’re kind of in the same position. Historically this golf course is always quite tight.”

“Both courses, if you play well offer a lot of birdies and generally, out of a 200-man field, you’re going to have 30 or 40 guys that are going to play a good round of golf.”

“It’s really hard to separate yourself on these two courses, so I expect more of the same over the week.”

Tied in second place are  Michael Jonzon, Johan Carlsson and Haydn Porteous, all signed of -6 under par 66, also on the par 72 East course.

Joining them on that score are David Howell, Anthony Wall and Mark Williams who all posted -6 under par 65 on the easier par 71 West course.

Jo’Burg Open. Andy Sullivan Wins Again in S.A.

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Andy Sullivan won the Jo’Burg Open and claimed a second European Tour title on South African soil in as many months.

Jo'Burg Open

Andy Sullivan / Getty Images

Andy carded a brilliant last round -6 under par 66 at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, on the East course, to post a winning total of -17 under par, a two shot victory.

Andy could not believe he would be in victory lane again so soon;

“It’s unbelievable, I never imagined it would happen again so quickly.”

“Coming down the stretch me and my caddie were loving life again and enjoying it. It seems to be a theme, enjoying my golf and getting the right results at the moment.”

“I want to say a big thank you to my coach Jamie Gough, who has really turned it around, and my psychologist Lee Crombleholme who has been exceptional this week, working hard on being patient out there.”

“I am just grateful it has all paid off and I get to hold another magnificent trophy in South Africa again.”

There was a five-way tie for second place at -15 under par, Kevin Phelan, Jaco Van Zyl, Tony Wall, David Howell and local favorite Wallie Coetsee.

David was happy to be back in form, if not too happy with his performance today, and this result will get him to St Andrews;

“I am absolutely delighted about that, that was one of the main reasons I came down here.”

“I have not played an Open at St Andrews and I’m not getting any younger so I knew my chances were running out. I am going to really enjoy it.”

“I played beautifully, probably made three really bad swings all week and they cost me shots each time, just hit one left on 14 that cost me a shot and then couldn’t find the putts coming in.”

“It’s not been the best start to the year and this is the first really good performance, which has been great. Frustrating not to finish it off because I gave myself a great chance, but it wasn’t to be.”

Tony was also happy to be in the St Andrews field, if not so good here;

“It’s very disappointing because I was really feeling good about today. A win is a win, but to play in The Open, especially at St Andrews, will be lovely.”

Kevin was not happy about missing out on St Andrews;

“I was just kind of plodding along the first three days, played some nice golf but didn’t really hole that many putts, but got the putts to drop on the front nine today and gave myself a chance.”

“It doesn’t look like I have done enough but I am delighted with the way I played.”

Jo’Burg Open. Wallie Coetsee Cruising

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Wallie Coetsee is cruising along at the top of the Jo’Burg Open leaderboard as he chases his maiden European Tour title at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

Jo.Burg Open

Wallie & Caddie/ Getty Images

Wallie carded a third round -2 under par 70 on the West course to post a tournament total of -14 under par at the Jo’Burg Open, and will take a two shot lead into the final round on Sunday. He admitted he had a few putting problems;

“The first tee shot there were no nerves, the six iron into the middle of the green there were no nerves, but once I grabbed that putter there was no feel.”

 “I three-putted but after that there were no nerves.”

“You need to keep a positive mind, me and my caddie are enjoying it out there and hopefully we can tomorrow.

“There is a lot at stake, more than you can think of, but it’s just a game at the end of the day.”

“Last night I only slept for about four hours but tonight I think I’m going to have a lot of sleep.”

There are four players those two shots behind at -12 under par, and will be trying to chase him down,  Jacques Blaauw, Tjaart van der Walt, David Howell and Steve Webster will keep the pressure on the leader.

Steve shot the low round of the day, a bogey free -7 under par 65 and said he had given himself a lot of opportunities today;

“I made a good birdie at the first and a good save at the second and just got on a bit of a roll,” Webster said. “I missed three or four 12-footers which was frustrating but there was a lot of really good golf today.

“I gave myself a lot of chances and that’s what my game is all about.”

David has made only one cut so far this season and is delighted that all his hard work with a new coach is now paying off;

“The season’s got off to a slow start so I came down here for three weeks and so far so good.”

“I’ve had a couple of bad swings each day but apart from that it’s been pretty good. You have to keep your foot down and keep making the birdies and obviously stay away from the mistakes.”

“I’ve had one big score with a seven yesterday but played some good golf between that.”

“I started with a new coach, Justin Parsons, a few weeks ago, just working on my rhythm. I am trying to swing the club as slowly as I have in my whole life and that’s a real challenge to bring that to the course.”

“I am delighted with how I’ve done that so far this week, it’s getting better by the day and hopefully that bodes well for tomorrow and future weeks coming up.”

Jo’Burg Open. Wallie Coetsee with Half-Way Lead.

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Wallie Coetsee has the half-way lead at the Jo’Burg Open on Royal Johannesburg & Kensington’s West Course.

Jo'Burg Open

Wallie Coetsee / Getty Images

Wallie added a -6 under par 65 on the West course to his same score on the East yesterday to lead the Jo’Burg Open at -12 under par.

He said he was happy that there were no camera’s following him, I assume that to mean TV camera’s because we do have a picture above;

 “There were no cameras on me the whole day, so it was quite easy out there.”

“I made one stupid bogey out there on the seventh, but I enjoyed the round a lot.”

“There were a few sucker pins out there, so I went for middle green. I didn’t attack too much and just stayed calm, which paid off.”

“This is a marathon, not a race. You have to pull the horse back a bit, you can’t run too fast. We’ll let the horse loose on Sunday on the back nine.”

“For now it’s about making solid pars and keeping the battery at 100 per cent, keep it going and you’ll be ready when you need to be.”

“Leading means a lot, but tomorrow we start from level par again. I’ll just give it my best. I’m looking forward to this weekend and seeing what happens.”

South Africans have won six of the last eight Jo’Burg Open’s and Wallie has compatriots Garth Mulroy and Tjaart van der Walt just one behind at -11 under par, as well as England’s Simon Dyson.

Six-time European Tour winner Simon birdied four of his first nine holes today, before dropping his only shot of the round at the 12th. He finished with a -5 under par 67 on the East course, saying he had not played as well as he could have, but going back to his old irons has made a big difference;

“I didn’t play as well as yesterday, but I scored pretty well.”

 “I made four birdies on the front nine and I birdied the par fives,  if you get your drives away then they’re all pretty good chances.” 

“There was some luck. I got fortunate on ten. I pushed my drive down there and managed to get a shot, hit to about three feet and knocked that in, which was a bonus. “

“It was a good day and I was very happy with the score.”

“It’s been a while since I’ve been up there. I’ve been playing alright, but at the beginning of the season I changed my irons and they were costing me dearly. I didn’t have a clue how far they were going.”

“This is the first week I’ve put my old set back in the bag and all of a sudden I’m hitting it pin high again. That makes a heck of a difference.”

The leaderboard is quite compacted, there are nine players within three shots of the leader, so it will be a very interesting third round. Just to see if anyone can break away from the pack, on moving day, Saturday.