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 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

Turkish Airlines Open. Jaco Jumps Ahead

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Jaco Van Zyl shot an amazing first round at the Turkish Airlines Open of -11 under par 61.

Turkish Airlines Open

Jaco Van Zyl / Getty Images

Jaco now leads the Turkish Airlines Open tournament by three shots at the The Montgomerie Maxx Royal course. He is still looking for his first European Tour win, but said he had some good fun out on the course today, finally finding his putting form;

“I played really nicely and honestly I thought four under par around here was a good score.”

“I got it going early in the round and just kept it going. It was really good fun.”

“I’ve had lower scores but obviously not on a calibre golf course like this. I would say this is definitely up there.”

“Obviously starting out on The European Tour a couple of years ago, you always wonder if you belong.” 

“Working your way up and being a part of one of these events, it’s really good.”

 “I’ve been hitting it really nicely for months now. Been really struggling on the short game, putting in particular.”

“I put a little bit more effort and time into it this week, and I think I’ve found the one.”

A resurgent Lee Westwood is in second place following his opening effort of -8 under par, and the 42 year-old thinks he may have found something, and also said he is no spring chicken;

“I’ve had an idea of what’s been wrong for a while and I’ve been working hard with Mike Walker (his coach) and also with Kevin Duffy in the gym and I think something has finally clicked.”

” It’s stuff I’ve worked on before, but just a slightly different idea to give myself the same feeling as I got when I was playing well.”

” I’m no spring chicken any more. I’ve been training my hips to work in a certain way the last couple of years, but not playing very well and with not a great hip and leg action.”
“I’m trying to train my way out of it now and get it back to where it was.”

“I have six big tournaments before the end of the year. I’ve dropped down the world rankings, so I want to earn as many points as I can to solidify my spot in the top 50 in the world.”

“It’s not been a completely disastrous year by any means but I want next year to obviously be better.”

Chris Wood is in third place with his opening round -6 under par 66.

Rory McIlroy is in the following group of payers at -5 under par, and is trying to become Europe’s number one for the third time. Danny Willett, who is Rory’s  nearest challenger in the Race to Dubai, signed for a -3 under par  69 and is in a large group  which contains eleven players.

Rory is in good shape, just missed a few putts;

“I feel like my game came together a lot more on the back nine.”

 “I was trying to find my rhythm for the first few holes and made a good par save on 18 which gave me some momentum going into the back nine, so overall I’m pretty pleased.”

“I had a few putts that just missed due to maybe lacking a little bit of pace, but for the most part I felt like my putting was a lot better than it has been.”

“It would be nice to go to Dubai with another win under my belt, whether it’s this week or in China next week. I feel like I’ve set myself up for a good three days to have a run at it this week.”

Alstom Open. Three-Way Tie in Paris.

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There is a three-way tie at the top of the Alstom Open leaderboard in Paris at Le Golf National. Home favorite Victor Dubuisson is joined by Martin Kaymer and Rafa Cabrera-Bello.

Alstom Open

Victor Dubuisson / Getty Images

Victor carded a second round -1 under par 70, in windy conditions, to join Rafa and Martin at the top of the Alstom Open leaderboard at -4 under par for the tournament.

Victor,  whose only previous European Tour victory came in the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open, said you can not make a mistake on this course, and he hopes his good putting will help him to win;

“I played very well.”

“On this course, when you start to make one bogey, two bogeys, then you think that it can turn really bad, but I had a great round and I’m very happy about the way I played today.”

“It was really tough out there with the wind this afternoon. You can’t afford any mistakes.” 

“It’s great support but I’m so focused on my game I don’t really look around; I can feel the support.

“I will have to play again very well tomorrow, and if the putting is good it can be a good result.”

Martin, who is an ex Champion here, in 2009, said it has been a while since he was in contention for a win;

“Obviously I enjoy this golf course and have had success here.”

“It’s been a few months since I’ve been in one of the last groups of a tournament.”

“The crowds are behind me and playing with Victor the last couple of days was good fun, too. A lot of people were following our group, so I think it’s going to be an exciting weekend.”

Alstom Open

Martin and Victor / Getty Images

Rafa reported that anything under par on this tough course was good;

“Obviously the scoring has been good, two consecutive rounds under par on this course is very good.”

“It’s a very tough course. There is less rough this year, but it is still hard.” 

“The best thing about it is I haven’t had really much, much trouble. I’ve made some bogeys of course, but never put myself in position of shooting a high number.”

“Obviously some things have been going wrong because my scoring during the first two days, or even Saturday, as well, compared to Sunday is not quite the same. But I’m working on that.

“I’m going to keep knocking on the door and one day it will open.”

Francesco Molinari, Jaco Van Zyl and the English trio of Daniel Brooks, Tyrrell Hatton and James Morrison are all just one shot off the pace on -3  under par for the competition, and in all there are only 17 players under par for their two rounds.

Sadly defending champion Graeme McDowell’s bid for a hat-trick of titles here has ended, with a second round +7 over par 78 which had him miss the cut. He was joined on the way home by the fading star of Lee Westwood.

The Players. Day 2. Two Tied at the Top

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There are two players tied at the top of The Players, Jerry Kelly and Kevin Na both had good rounds today, while some big names failed to make the cut.

The Players

Kevin Na / Getty Images

Kevin and Jerry hold a two shot lead at -8 under par for 36 holes at The Players at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.

Jerry with a magnificent -7 under par 65 against Kevin’s more modest -3 under par 69 to both get to -8 under par for the tournament.

Kevin has overcome a terrible bout of “The Yips” which at times prevented him from taking the club back;

“I had the yips, that’s what it was.”

“A lot of the guys when you have that, they fall off the planet.”

“They play poorly and nobody really sees and hears about it. But the weird case was, I was playing some of my best golf and I couldn’t take the club back.”

“How does a guy not take the club back every time he hits it, and it goes down the middle?”

“I don’t know. Do you want to open up my brain and check it out? I don’t know. I try to not think about it. I got over it.”

“Having the yips, I think because I went through that, I’m a better player now.”

“I hope people get over that and see me as just a guy that’s playing well on TOUR versus a guy that couldn’t take the club back.”

Bernhard Langer is a player who could not control the putting yips, which is why he uses the Long Putter. Not sure if Bernhard will retire from golf at the end of this year, when long putters will be banned. On the other side of the coin, Bernhard holds the record for the most birdies made at the treacherous 17th in The Players, some 25 of them in his career. Ironically he also holds the record for the longest putt holed at the 17th, 59 feet 9 inches. Sadly He missed the cut here this year.

The Players

Jerry Kelly / Getty Images

Jerry carded a -7 under par 65 second round, and reported that he lives on adrenaline;

“I enjoy adrenaline, I am 48. I know it almost ravages the body as much as it helps it as you start getting older, but I would like to hang out for another couple of days and have some fun with it.”

“I figured I would have another chance at this golf course, I didn’t think it would be that long, but it’s just strange. This whole career has gone by in the blink of an eye.”

There are four players tied in third place, two shots back at -6 under par for the tournament, Branden Grace, David Hearn, Chris Kirk and the ever-present Rickie Fowler.

Rickie could have had second place on his own, but a loose shot on the par 5 16th found water, leading to a bogey.

Rickie and Ian Poulter were tied in a magazine survey with 24 percent of the vote, for the most overrated player on tour. Rickie was not worried about the comments of his peers;

“If there’s a time where I need something to kind of give me a kick in the butt, then I can think of that and it will put me in the right frame of mind to go out there and take care of business.”

 World number one Rory McIlroy stumbled a bit today, he too could have been better except for a trip to the water. He finished with a -1 under par 71 and a -4 under par total;

“A lot can happen, and I feel like I’m in a decent position.”

Tiger made the cut on the number, but Phil Mickleson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald all had to go home early.

Phil was left wondering how he ever won here;

“I was thinking to myself as I was walking around, `I can’t believe I’ve actually won here,’ you know?”

 

 

WGC Cadillac Match Play. Quarter Final Matches

White Dragon GolfWGC-Cadillac Match Play

Rory McIlroy is in the quarter finals, along with five others from my predictions from yesterday. Have to admit I did not see Danny Willett defeating Lee Westwood.

The quarters take place later today, and Rory verses Paul should be a great match-up.

 

Quarterfinal
  • Rory McIlroy (1)    Paul Casey (37)
Quarterfinal
  • John Senden (65)     Gary Woodland (52)
Quarterfinal
  • Louis Oosthuizen (30)  Jim Furyk (5)
 Some good matches to come, so will update the day in the next post.

Malaysian Open. Anirban Lahiri Has Maiden Win.

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Anirban Lahiri has his maiden European Tour victory at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian Open

Anirban Lahiri / Getty Images

Anirban carded a final round -4 under par at the Malaysian Open to win the tournament by one stroke with a -16 under par total on the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club course. He spoke about the sensational -10 under par 62 on Saturday, which gave him the opportunity, and he took it, he now has a target of getting into the Masters;

“In hindsight that was one of the most crucial rounds of my career and it’s fantastic when you play well at the right times.”

“I don’t think it’s sunk in just yet, but I’m pretty sure when it hits home it’s going to be a really happy moment for me.”

“I think I’ve got a bad habit of making it hard for myself, but I’m happy I got over the line, as ugly as it was towards the end.”

“The Masters is definitely one of my targets. I don’t know how far I’ll move up, but I’m pretty confident now with this win I should have a pretty good chance.”

Bernd Wiesberger finished in second place at -15 under par. A poor last round of +2 over par 74 was his undoing, and he gracious enough to congratulate Anirban;

“It hasn’t quite finished the way I intended to.”

“After the hiccup on five, I didn’t hit it anywhere near as well as the last 15 rounds. It’s tough to say, but it is what it is and unfortunately I beat myself out of it today.”

“I hit a bad lay-up, flew a lot on the downhill lie and my mind wasn’t there. I hit a bad shot and needed to miss it long and take par and get on with it. It’s disappointing.” 

“I just didn’t trust my swing enough which was good the last couple of weeks. It’s still a good week, and congratulations to Anirban who played a lovely round today. I will try again.”

Paul Waring and Alejandro Cañizares also returned over par rounds for the day, but finished tied for third on -13 under par.

The expected challenge from defending Champion Lee Westwood did not materialize, he double bogeyed the second hole on his way to score a sad final round +3 over par 75 and a share of fifth place on -11 under par for the tournament.