Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Jon Rahm Wins

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Jon Rahm, from Spain, wins the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club in Northern Ireland.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open


Jon cruised to  Dubai Duty Free Irish Open victory with a blistering last round -7 under par 65, to post a winning total of -24 under par, and a six stroke margin over his nearest rival.

Jon now joins Seve Ballesteros, José María Olazábal and Sergio Garcia on an illustrious list of Spanish winners of the Irish Open;

“It’s such a great honor now just to be part of the history of this event.”

“Such a great country, such a great history in the tournament and such a great golf course.”

“To me it’s such a great week, it really is special for me to share it with three of my heroes.”

“I’ve been saying, I haven’t played my best golf and today, for 15 holes, I played the best golf I can ever play on the golf course with the weather that we had. Obviously the bonus of holing out on four was great.

“Man, this is a nice feeling.”

Richie Ramsay, Scotland, -7 under par 65 today, and Matthew Southgate, England, -6 under 66, shared second place at -18 under for the tournament.

Tied in fourth spot at -17 under were, Justin Rose, England, Daniel Im, USA, David Drysdale, Scotland and Ryan Fox of New Zealand.

Trophee Hassan II. Richie Romps Home.

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Richie Ramsay romps home to win the Trophee Hassan II on the Golf du Palais Royal course in Morocco.

His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid / Getty Images

Richie & HRH
Prince Moulay Rachid / Getty Images

Richie managed to recover from four dropped shots in just two holes to claim a dramatic one shot victory at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco, with a final round -3 under par 69 and a tournament total -10 under par.

Richie, from the home of golf, Scotland, spoke about the dramatic turn of events in picking up his third European Tour title;

“I made six, as simple as that. I just didn’t execute the shot the way I wanted too,  hit a poor chip, it came back in the divot, wouldn’t come out, chipped on and two putts, easy six!

“I knew I was still in the mix and I made great putts on nine and ten just to keep the momentum going.”

“I stood over the putt on the 12th hole and I just thought my putter feels absolutely great, I could see all the lines.”

“I thought ‘just go for it, this is your time’. Pretty much took it by the scruff of the neck the next two holes and the seven iron on the last is probably one of the best shots I’ve ever hit in terms of visualisation and execution, it was just perfect.”

Romain Wattel finished in second place, just one shot back at -9 under par, his final round -2 under par 70 not quite enough to give him his maiden European Tour win.

There was a six way tie for third, all on -8 under par, Jaco Van Zyl, George Coetzee, Pablo Larrazábal, Mikael Lundberg, Kevin Phelan and Chris Wood.

Former Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal is going to The Masters, he is a two-time winner there, and a top ten finish here has set him up nicely for Augusta;

“I didn’t expect this earlier in the week.”

“The first day I put together a decent score and struggled Friday, then yesterday it all fitted in on the back nine. Today was a bit like yesterday and I was really happy with my score.”

“I saw the leaderboard on 18 and knew I had a putt to lead in the clubhouse. It’s nice to have a round like this and a tournament like this for confidence.”

“It is a different course at Augusta, it is really long there for me now. It’s much better to have a score like this than not, but I know how tough Augusta is these days.”

Seve Trophy. Continentals Win At Last.

The Continental Team at last won The Seve Trophy, after a 13 year wait for victory, in a thrilling match in Paris.

The European team celebrate their Seve Trophy by Golf+ victory  (Getty Images)

The Happy Continental Team, with Captain José María Olazábal holding the Trophy / Getty Images

This thrilling event was decided by the result of the final singles match at Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche, after the two teams had entered the last day locked together at 9 points a piece.

Reviving last years Medinah heroics, it was Francesco Molinari in the anchor role who completed victory, beating Chris Wood 3 and 2 to secure a 15-13 win.

Francesco was happy to be on the winning side and inspired by his Captain;

” He’s amazing. He’s one of the most inspiring figures in golf, not only European, but in the world of golf. Every time he speaks, everyone is listening carefully. He’s just as inspiring as anyone can be. It feels great, for us, for all the times that we have lost in the past. I played the last two before this, and it’s never a good feeling to finish on the losing side. We tried really hard, they played great yesterday afternoon to get back into it and it was all to play for today. It was funny yesterday when Olazábal was reading the list, I kind of knew I was going to be last, but I was waiting every name, hoping to hear mine, and I didn’t until the tenth spot.  But it’s great for us and for everyone.I tried to stay away from the leaderboards as much as possible, but then obviously you see everyone coming up to your match and watching you. I tried not to do the math, so I just realized here that I needed a half a point, so I wasn’t going to hit my putts too firmly. It’s good to finish in style with two birdies. You’ve got nine teammates here and the captain, and you don’t want to let anyone down. I’ve done it twice now going last in the singles, I don’t know if I want to do it again!”

International Team Captain José said it was an emotional moment;

“Very emotional, it’s been a tough day, Everything went to the last match. The boys really played well today and I’m very, very happy to have won the Seve Trophy this time. It was going to go down to the last three matches at least. We had a pretty good start, then Great Britain & Ireland took over and we started to see some reds on the board. But the boys kept their composure and played really well, especially these last few matches, they played really great golf. I think the first two matches were crucial, to get a point and a half out of those two, it was big.” 

A very disappointed GB&I Team Captain Sam Torrance had to admit his side lost to a better team o the day;

” They were very strong, we gave it everything, but came out just short.”

Congratulations to the International Team they deserved their win. A sad day for Great Britain and Ireland when you consider all the top stars who declined the invitation to represent their country.


Seve Trophy. José María Olazábal Looking For A Win

 Continental Europe Captain José María Olazábal is looking for a win against Great Britain and Ireland, Captained by Sam Torrance. José is acutely aware that they have not won the Biennial Seve Trophy for six straight years.

Jose Maria Olazabal, and Sam Torrance  (Getty Images)

Who Will be holding the Seve Trophy in Victory ? / Getty Images

José is going send his most experienced pair out first, trusting that having  the home advantage at St-Nom-La-Bretèche, in Paris, coupled with his most seasoned campaigners will put the first point on the board for Continental Europe.

José admits that Continental Europe do not have a very good record in the Seve Trophy;

“Our record is not very good in this event, but we are here this week to change that. We are here to win, we have a strong team and that’s our goal this week. We have a little bit of experience in this team, players who have played Ryder Cup, and it is going to be a good match.”

Thomas Björn and Miguel Angel Jiménez will be carrying the burden of early success for José and the Continental Team. Miguel has competed in all seven of the Seve Trophy contests, while Thomas has missed only one. The pair have have a combined total of 59 Seve matches between them. Continental Europe have not won this event since the inaugural contest in 2000.

Facing them for GB&I will be a Scots pairing, the experienced Paul Lawrie and rookie Stephen Gallacher, a baptism of fire for Stephen.

Sam thinks GB&I have a great chance to continue their winning streak;

“It is fantastic to be here and an honor to be Captain. I’ve got a good, young team that are desperate to get out and get some points.  The pairings were pretty easy.  They were all pretty compatible.  I tried to put people I thought were good friends, played practice rounds together, to try to make them feel more comfortable out there and do the job that they do best. It is going to be a great match, exciting, and I think we have a great chance.”

The most experienced player of the GB&I team, is Paul Casey, with five events, he will also be partnered by a rookie, Simon Kahn. they will square up to  Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero. Francesco was in last year’s victorious European Ryder Cup team, and Matteo is the BMW PGA Champion. He was also the youngest ever contestant in this event, two years ago at age 18.

Opening Fourballs:


Scottish Open. Chris Doaks Cruises To the Top

Chris Doaks cruised to the top of the leaderboard st the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links, Inverness, Scotland.

Chris Doak  (Getty Images)

Chris Doaks / Getty Images

Chris fired a second straight round of -6 under par 66, to take the halfway lead on 12 under par at the Scottish Open, and gave credit to his coach Bob Torrance;

” It’s absolutely phenomenal to shoot 66-66 in the first two days, you start the week thinking you want to go low but to actually do it is fantastic. I just feel it has been coming all year but just maybe haven’t put it all together. These two days, I’ve definitely put it together. It helps Bob being here, as well. He’s not at many tournaments now, so it definitely helps, makes a difference. It’s fantastic, to hear all the highland accents up here cheering you on, it’s fantastic. I’m sure there will be a big following at the weekend, people are up for it so hopefully there’s a lot more people.”

There are four players tied in second spot, just one shot back at -11 under par, they are, J.B. Hansen, Ross Fisher, Peter Uihlein and Matthew Southgate.

Matthew, who was working was working in Pockets snooker club in Southend just three years ago, equalled the lowest round of the day with a flawless -8 under par 64, and said he was nervous, but liked it that way;

I like getting a bit nervous and a bit tingly, that’s what I live for, if I am shaking like a leaf on the first tee tomorrow I will be enjoying it. It’s been a tough season, coming out of the Tour School you are thinking about making cuts but that’s a bit negative. I have been looking over my shoulder the whole time rather than playing to get into contention. I’ve done a lot of work on my putting and Robert Rock has been helping me out, but it’s a shame I can’t lie down on the green and use a snooker cue to knock them in! Every player needs a big break so if this can be mine bring it on.”

Peter is concentrating on playing at a pace he is comfortable with;

” It’s all about trying to get into contention and slow everything down and work at my own pace. I feel like a couple of times I just keep getting too quick and my mind races a little too fast. I feel the more I can get myself into that position, the slower I can make things.”

The Worlds Number Eight, Phil Mickelson, is four off the lead on -8 under par after a second round of  -2 under par,70. Phil will be hoping to improve his position tomorrow, to put himself in position to make a run at it on Sunday.

Missing the cut was Open Champion Ernie Els, just a week before his title defense at Muirfield. Joining Ernie on the early bird flight out of Scotland is Padraig Harrington and Jose Maria Olazabal.

The leaderboard is still bunched, will be interesting to see who breaks away on moving day, tomorrow.

Euro Tour. The Irish Open. Luiten Likes It.

Joost Luiten likes the way he is playing at The Irish Open on the European Tour, giving himself a one shot lead to take into the final round.

Joost Luiten   (Getty Images)

Joost Luiten / Getty Images

Joost fired a flawless bogey free round of -6 under par, 66, to take him into a clear lead going into the final round. Good approach play, all birdies were from ten feet or less, coupled with good putting put him into this precious position. He also likes this course;

” It was good to-day, a round in this wind with no bogeys is always good. It looks like I’m playing good, playing consistently. I don’t make a lot of silly mistakes, the game feels good. I like the course , obviously after three rounds if you’re leading you like it. The key is to stay out of the fairway bunkers. It’s always great to go into the last round of the tournament as the leader, but this is The Irish Open and perhaps bigger than some other events. I don’t really care who is behind me, as long as they stay behind me. You still have to go out and make some birdies, be patient and take it one shot at a time. It’s always good to have a win under your belt, you can go a little bit more for the win. You have nothing to lose so that’s how I am going to go out tomorrow. I’ve been working on my swing for a long time and am finally fully fit after a shoulder problem which meant I couldn’t practice as much on the range. It has been good for a couple of months and feels really good now.”

Pablo Larrazábal is alone in second place at -14 under par, he also had a third round of -6 under par 66, and at just one shot back is certain to mount a charge for the title. He is hoping he will strike the ball as well tomorrow as he has done the other three rounds, and continue making the putts.

” I’ve been playing good. The last month I didn’t play as good as the three months before, so I feel that I’m hitting the ball good, and I have to fight for the tournament. I hope tomorrow I can hit the ball as good as these days and hole as many putts.”

Robert Rock occupies third place, just three shots off the lead after his disappointing -1 under par round, leaving him on -10 under par for the tournament. He is still very much in this competition, and maybe Paul Casey can make an impression tomorrow. Paul is showing some form here and at -9 under par in total can not be ruled out of contention. Sharing that position with Paul is Scot Henry.

Another shot further back at -8 under par is former Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal, sadly halfway joint-leader Peter Uihlein slipped back to -7  under after a poor round of +2 over par 74.

UBS Hong Kong Open, Javi Colomo Leads, Rory McIlroy Languishes.

UBSydragon logo

Javier Colomo  (Getty Images)

Javier Colomo (Getty Images)

Javier Colomo from Spain, qualified for this event via his Asian Tour ranking, and produced an amazing -6 under par 64 to lead by one shot at the UBS Hong Kong Open on the Fanling Golf Course in Hong Kong. On the other hand the tournament favorite, World number one, and money winner on the European Tour and the U.S. PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy, also the defending champion here could do no better than a +3 over par 73.

Javier, who had his wife on the bag, was delighted with his play;

‘”I’m only here with my wife, the first six months it was very hard for me, and my wife, but now we are more comfortable and more happy, perfect. I played really, really good today from the tee, on the greens, everything,  I was very relaxed after the first nine holes, and I had opportunities for birdies and I had luck on the greens.Last year I lost my card on The Challenge Tour and my category in The European Tour, so there’s only one way to go to The European Tour. I had luck to get the card at the Q School on the Asian Tour and now I am 33 in the rankings. That’s perfect, because next year I will play the co-sanctioned tournaments with The European Tour. It’s a very good chance to improve, and why not to win a tournament and go to The European Tour?”


Rory said he felt lethargic;

“I just lacked a bit of energy out there, I felt a bit lethargic and mentally more than physically, if I am being honest. I bogeyed the first, but then just got more frustrated as the round went on. I just felt like I was hitting some decent shots and just not really converting any chances for birdies and I just let it go a little bit. I suppose after last week, and winning the Race to Dubai title, it was always going to be a bit of a letdown, I feel as though I am playing well enough, but I just need to get my head and the golf to match up and I’ll be OK.”

Struggles: Rory McIlroy found himself off the beaten track in the first round of the Hong Kong Open

Rory, playing left-handed from the  tree’s.

Rory has a lot of work to do tomorrow if he is to make the cut, unbelievable really, thinking that he could miss the cut, after the year he has had. It would be a sad end to the beautiful year.

Miguel Angel Jiménez, another Spaniard, is sitting in second place at -5 under par, he is tied there with Australia’s Andrew Dodt. Miguel, with a wry smile on his face,  joked about his age;

I am like a good bottle of Rioja, because I just get better and better with age. I’m putting very well and it’s a pity I missed a fairway on the ninth and then on the last got a big flyer. It’s an old-fashioned course, not very long, but you need to be very precise.”

Miguel was playing with another of those good golfers from Spain, Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal who is in the group at -4 under par after his round of 66,  José said he hit three poor shots on the day;

I hit three poor shots, but apart from those the rest of the game was pretty solid. Obviously I have to consolidate this the next few days, but it’s nice to have some signs like this one.”

Aussie Andrew Dodt reported he had just fired his round of the year;

“Possibly one of best rounds of the year, solid tee to green and rolled the ball nicely, it was very gusty in places, the wind. You really had to know where you were hitting it. It’s kind of similar to back home in Australia, it’s just a fun course to play.”

Leading Asian player is Lian-wei Zhang from China, who is very handily placed at -4 under par with the popular score of 66. Good Luck to Rory, I hope he plays well tomorrow and makes the cut.