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Maybank Malaysian Open. Lightning Lee Westwood Wins

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A lightning storm delay could not de-rail Lee Westwood as he wins the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

Westwood romps to victory

Lee Westwood / Getty Images

This win ended a  near two-year absence from the winner’s circle for Lee Westwood, he had to wait a bit longer than he expected due to the threat of lightning, which forced play to be suspended for over four hours at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
Lee carded a final round -4 under par 68, to post a winning total of -18 under par, a massive seven shot margin over his nearest rival.

Knowing what works was the key for Lee, along with putting well;

“I started working with a new coach a few weeks ago, Mike Walker, and Billy Foster came back on the bag at the end of last year, so I was going back to what I had done before because it had worked. It’s started to work already the last couple of weeks, I’ve played well in Houston and at the Masters last week and this week I’ve obviously played very well. It’s a golf course that suits my game; it’s very tight in certain areas. I played well, I putted well, and the short game is good.”

” Now I feel like I’ve got a short game and starting to roll a few putts in. It makes a helluva difference if you can get up-and-down if you miss a few greens and keeps the momentum going.”

Lee will now be heading back up towards the top ten in the World Golf Rankings, he had slipped back to 36th on the ladder.

Three players tied in second place at -11  under par, a whopping seven shots off the pace. Nicolas Colsaerts, Louis Oosthuizen and Bernd Wiesberger were the closest competitors.

Andy Sullivan, who had featured at the top of the leaderboard for a couple of days managed to triple-bogey the second hole, after finding water with his tee shot. Things did not improve much for him as his final round collapsed to a +6 over par 78. He finished the tournament T11 at -7 under par, with four other players.

Maybank Malaysian Open. Showdown for Lee and Andy.

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There will be a showdown in the last round of the Maybank Malaysian Open between Lee Westwood and Andy Sullivan at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood / Getty Images

Lee Westwood had his Maybank Malaysian Open lead whittled down to a single stroke by compatriot Andy Sullivan in the third round, setting up a showdown for the final round. Lee is now at -14 under par for the tournament.

Lee started the day four shots ahead of the chasing pack and at one stage his lead was five strokes, but a closing bogey saw him sign for a third round -1 under par 71.

Lee admitted that today was a hot grind to the end, but is happy with his position;

“It was tricky out there, I didn’t play as well as I did the first two days, but there were some difficult flags and it was really hot. That’s as hot as I’ve been on a golf course for quite some time. It was a real grind, but I’m leading going into the last round so I’m quite happy with that.”

Andy showed his mettle, signing for a third round -6 under par 66 and a total of -13 under par. He said he had been  trying to limit his mistakes, and he made a pretty good job of that;

 “I played well again and tried to limit my mistakes. I only made one mistake but I got it back straight away. I’m delighted with the way I finished. I felt myself getting a bit tired coming up fifteen and sixteen. I made a couple of sloppy swings but I didn’t drop any shots. I holed a good putt on sixteen to keep the momentum going.”

Julien Quesne is in third place at -10 under par, with Nicolas Colsaerts a shot further back in fourth place at -9 under par.

Maybank Malaysian Open. Westwood Out In Front.

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Lee Westwood is out in front of the Maybank Malaysian Open at the half-way stage on the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club course.

 

Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood / Getty Images

Lee added a second round -6 under par 66 to his opening score of 65 to open up a gap of four shots at the top of the Maybank Malaysian Open leaderboard, posting a -13 under par total for the tournament.

The second round did not go without incident,  a bizarre occurrence took place involving Pablo Larrazábal, who had to dive into a lake after being attacked by hornets. Despite the unnerving attack Pablo still carded -4 under par 68, a remarkable effort under the circumstances.

Pablo explained;

“I hit my tee shot just right of the bunker and chipped it out quite well. So I’m walking along and suddenly I felt something on my nose. I swatted it away and suddenly, they were not bees, they were three times the size of bees. They were huge and like 30 or 40 of them started to attack me big time. I didn’t know what to do. My caddie told me to run, so I start running like a crazy guy, but the hornets were still there, so the other players told me to jump in the lake.”

“There are a lot of stories around the golf courses around the world but looks like I always have the crazy ones. Maybe I start to write a book.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=W5uV-usCmEk

Back to the golf:

 Lee reported that his new coach, Mike Walker is making a good impact on his game;

“I started with Mike six or seven weeks ago and I felt an almost immediate improvement on the range, but it was difficult to take it onto the golf course. But the last three weeks I have managed it. I played well in Houston, last week at the Masters I started playing a lot better and this week I am gradually grinding it back in.”

“I played well, on the front nine I shot five under, for the second day running,  and I think the longest putt I holed was from four feet on the first. It was solid stuff. I got a little unlucky at eleven I thought, it was one of the best shots I hit all day and the wind just gusted on me and it came up short in the water. But I rallied after that and ended up shooting 66.”

“I have always played well in Asia, my strike rate is really good. It must be the heat or rice or something, I can’t put my finger on it.”

Nicolas Colsaerts and Antonio Lascuna share second place at -9 under par, four shots adrift of the leader. England’s Danny Willett is in fourth place on his own at -8 under par for the tournament, while compatriot Andy Sullivan shares fifth spot with Eduardo De La Riva and Julien Quesne, all at -7  under par.

Maybank Malaysian Open. 1st Round Play Suspended.

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1st round play has been suspended in the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, where Lee Westwood leads.

Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)

 Lee Westwood / Getty Images

Lee shot a completed first round of -7 under par 65 to take the clubhouse lead at the Maybank Malaysian Open. There was a delay of around 75 minutes during the afternoon, due to the threat of lightning, that meant the first round could not completed on schedule. 

Lee and second placed Nicolas Colsaerts had to make the long journey from the United States to Kuala Lumpur to compete here.
Lee shrugging off the jet lag, saying he was full of momentum;

“I played well in Houston the week before the Masters and used that momentum going into the Masters. I played well last week in finishing seventh and I was happy to carry that on today. I’m pleased to get off to a good start. It’s nice to have a good one and build some momentum for the week.”

“I didn’t make the best of starts but fortunately that didn’t set the tone for the day, I hit it really well and hit it close a lot. I had to be patient because I was hitting good putts and they weren’t going in. I holed one from about eight feet on my 16th, twenty-five feet on the second-last hole and a nice fifteen footer with a bit of curl on the last. So it was a good round of golf in tricky conditions.”

Nicolas posted an opening round of -6 under par 66, and said he had been waiting quite a while for a decent round, and it was nice to get some confidence back;

“I’ve waited for a round like this since January 1, I just kept my momentum going and made a few bounce-backs. I parred the two par fives on the front which is a bit disappointing, but I kept very patient and that in the end was what made a difference.”

“I’ve felt I’ve played pretty well since early in the season, but there has always been a stretch of holes where I’ve shot myself in the foot for some reason. I’ve missed good opportunities to have good weeks. So the plan is to come back here to get some momentum and confidence back.”

Michael Hoey and Ricardo Santos are tied in third place, both with completed rounds of -5 under par 67. Michael had a strange experience with the grips on his clubs, but happily the putts were dropping;

 “A lot of putts went in, that was the highlight. I holed a fifty footer on the 13th up the hill. It was good chipping and putting all the way, so I’m really happy. It’s weird because my grips hadn’t set properly and I didn’t have a lot of confidence before I went out. The grips were moving slightly so I had to hold down the grip. So it just shows you in golf if you have low expectations you can play well.”

The defending champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat carded a -1 under par first round of 71, and will have to put together a good second round if he wants to catch the big guns at the top. First round play is set to resume at 0740 local time on Friday.

The Masters. Bubba Backs Up. Jordan Jumps Into Share of the Lead.

dragon logo darkMasters Flag   Bubba Watson backs up in The Masters on Saturday as Jordan Spieth jumps into a    share of the lead at Augusta National.

 

 

 

 Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Bubba Watson could only move backwards on moving day at The Masters, shooting a third round +2 over par 72. Jordan Spieth carded a -2 under par 70 to join Bubba at the top of the leaderboard on -5 under par for the tournament.

While Bubba seemed to lose concentration, Jordan just stayed focused, as the 20 year-old, vying to become the youngest ever Masters champion explained;

“You can’t let your focus go astray for one moment. It was about being patient, knowing that bogeys were going to come, and take advantage of the par fives. I’m able to take a lot of confidence out of today, a lot of positives. I wanted to get into contention, not just as a goal to get into contention, but to see how I can perform on a Sunday.”

“Today was a day to stay patient and try and get myself a later tee time even than today, and that goal was accomplished. And tomorrow is about seeing how I can control my game and emotions out on the golf course against guys that have even won here recently. So they have been in the position I haven’t. Doesn’t necessarily mean, I don’t think, that they have an advantage in any way. I think that I’m very confident in the way things are going, and really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Matt Kuchar and Jonas Blixt are tied in third place, just one shot back at -4  under par. Matt put together a -4 under par 68 third round. Jonas with a more conservative -1 under par 71.

 

 Miguel Angel Jimenez, the 50 year-old, who is known as “The Mechanic” aims to put a spanner in the works and try to win the tournament, just before he plays his first Champions League event;

“If you are fifty doesn’t mean that you cannot play well, I’m still moving, I’m still flexible. I love the place, it’s a beautiful place, a beautiful golf course, always manicured and I feel great here.The main thing is enjoy yourself, enjoy what you are doing and smile. Not enough people smile on the golf course. I love what I’m doing, and I hope I’m still in the same conditions for another 25 years. I’m not going to get bored of myself.”

 “Doesn’t matter how you play, you feel good, because everything is prepared for us the way it is. If you don’t hit good, you don’t want to be there. You need to hit good and you need to be patient, and you need to be into your own zone. I like it and that’s my style of game and what I love, what I love to do.”

 Miguel is tied in fifth place with Rickie Fowler at -3 under par.

 Lee Westwood is a shot further back at -2 under par, and  he has not finished lower than 11th in his last three appearances at Augusta National;

“Augusta is one of those places where I feel like I can get around, and I felt like I know how to get around here, even if I’m maybe not on my game. But I’ve hit the ball well this week and that’s why I’m in contention.” 

” The par fives are no gimmes around here, but if you’re going to shoot a low score then you’ve got to play them a couple under. There’s little birdie chances out there and I used all of them the first two days. And today played solidly and had a lot of chances out there. I was a bit unlucky at times on the greens. I had a lot of good putts that didn’t go in.”  

I guess that anyone in red figures now, has a chance to don the Green Jacket tomorrow, and that’s basically what Lee Westwood is thinking;

 “Anywhere within five, even six shots of the lead going into the final round of the Masters is given a good chance, especially with the way the golf course is playing out here. Even a good shot can drop you shots out there. Kind of on the knife edges of the greens.”

 

 

Accenture Match-Play. Who Lost on Day 1

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The Accenture Match-Play tournament was most noted for who lost on day 1 of the competition, at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain.

Day 1 recaps: Accenture

Ricky Fowler / Getty

It was a great victory for Ricky Fowler, defeating legendary matchplay exponent Ian Poulter 2-1. Even Ricky thought Poults was on a winner;

“I was definitely an underdog coming in. Heck, if I was filling out a bracket, I would have picked Poulter, too.  It feels like a big win after those missed cuts, it was nice to be the underdog. I had nothing to lose.”

Another Englishman on the wrong side of the leaderboard was Lee Westwood, he was defeated by Harris English 5-3.

George Coetzee, fresh from his win in South Africa, defeated Steve Stricker, an unlikely result at the start of play.

Zach Johnson, coming back from a layoff, lost to Richard Sterne 5-4. Everyone must now wonder if the unenforced rest period was a disaster, as Zach was playing really well beforehand. Another loser on day 1 was Keegan Bradley, falling to Jonas Blixt 2-1. Luke Donald also packed his bags, losing 5-4 to Matteo Manassero.

G-Mac only just made it,  he was four down through seven holes, and still three holes behind with three to play, when he staged an improbable rally against Florida neighbor Gary Woodland

Daily Wrap-up

Graeme McDowell / Getty

Graeme said he was surprised to get through;

“I’m sure he’s extremely disappointed right now, and I’m extremely elated. I’m surprised to be sitting here, having won. Yeah, I hit a couple of quality shots down the last couple of holes, but he had mistakes, as well. It’s a brutal format. I thought it was over, you’re not coming back from 3 down against a guy that’s playing as well as him. Yeah, I’m still going to try to hit my shots. But it required a mistake from him to give me half a sniff, even. It feels like a Sunday afternoon on Wednesday.”

The big names that made it safely through include, Henrik Stenson, the number one seed here, Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, albeit after 22 holes, Jimmy Walker, Justin Rose, Ernie Els, Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson.

     

Waste Management Phoenix Open.

 

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Bubba Watson and Matt Jones share the lead at the Waste Management Phoenix Open going into the week-end at TPC Scottsdale.

On a roll

Bubba Watson / Getty Images

Bubba  dressed in  lime green shoes and an otherwise all-black outfit, played in the morning, getting the best side of the draw, he birdied his first hole. Playing early in the cooler temperature does not suit him, back is a little stiff, but he said he is exactly where he wanted to be. Happily at the top of the leaderboard after his second round of -5 under par 66, for his -12 under par total;

“Back is not as loose as you want it to be, weather is not as warm as you want it to be. But I hit a good tee shot, and then I hit my wedge in there close and I made the putt, that got me going. It’s right where I want to be going into the weekend. I had two sloppy bogeys coming down the stretch, but I will take it.” 

Matt also played a morning round, and was thankful for the opportunity to be able to shoot his second consecutive -6 under par 65 for his -12 under par;

 ” We definitely got the good side of the draw. The golf course is so different tournament week than it is when you play out here regularly. It’s a lot harder, a lot faster. The greens are a lot quicker. The pins are a lot more tucked out here. So, it’s like a new golf course when you come here for a tournament.”

Two players are tied in third place, Greg Chalmers and Harris English are at -10 under par.

Brandt Snedeker shot the low round of the day, he also started in the morning, before the wind got up. His second round score of -7 under par 64 moving up the leaderboard to be at -8 under par. Brandt put his special round down to good putting, something I love to hear;

” My putting, plain and simple. I hit the ball extra good yesterday and had some of the worst putting I had all year. Today, I kind of did the opposite.”

Phil Mickelson, the Defending Champion, recovered with a bogey free  -4 under par 67, but he is still a long way from the leaders. Phil declared he is still in the race for this title;

” I’m not totally out of it, obviously heading into the weekend, I’d like to be closer, but as we have seen in the past, there is that minus eight, nine ten, and in some cases eleven-under par round out there. My back feels great, like I said, it was a simple fix. I just don’t want to overdo it.”

Among those missing the cut here are, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood, Rickie Fowler, Retief Goosen, Ian Poulter and Keegan Bradley.

DP World Tour Championship. Sweet Success For Stenson.

DP World Tour Championship proved to be a sweet success for Henrik Stenson, becoming the first man to win The Race to Dubai on the European Tour and FedExCup on the US PGA Tour

Sweet success for Stenson

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik with new Rolex watch / Getty Images

Henrik won the DP World Tour Championship by six shots, carding a flawless final round -8 under par 64, and in doing so also won The Race to Dubai at the Jumeirah Golf Estates Earth Course. His winning total score was -25 under par;

“It has been an incredible summer for me, the autumn in America was great and now this. I played so well this week. I knew the guys would try to catch me, especially Ian who never gives up. I wanted to stay ahead of him and I managed to do that. I don’t know how I am going to be able to top this next year but I am going to give my best in the Majors and that becoming the first male Swedish player to win one would be the icing on the cake.”

In second place, and losing his bet, was Ian Poulter, a good final round of -6 under par 66 was not good enough to catch Henrik, but was a commendable effort. Ian finished with a -19 under par tournament total. He said of Henrik’s score;

 “I have to take my hat off to him, unbelievable. I tried to run him down as hard as I could but even with a sore wrist he has pressed on and I just could not get close enough. Henrik has not made a mistake all week and I just had to make sure of second place and some valuable Ryder Cup points. I have thrown a lot at him and given him so much stick, but he is the best player on the planet right now.”

Victor Dubuisson picked up third place, playing alongside Henrik today he could only manage a -1 under par round of 71. He looked shell-shocked out on the course as Henrik constantly bombed drives off the tee with a three wood, still out distancing his efforts with a driver. Victor was alone in third spot at -17 under par.

 Joost Luiten was in fourth place at -16 under par, and a trio of former World Number Ones,  Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood, shared fifth spot on -15 under par. It was a welcome return to form for these three as they have not had good results this year.

 

BMW Masters. Guthrie Gathers Speed.

Luke Guthrie gathers speed as he extended his lead at the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren in Shanghai, China.

Luke Guthrie in action on day two of the BMW Masters in Shanghai

Luke Guthrie / Getty Images

After a second round of -1 under par 71 Luke was able to push his lead over the field out to four shots, with a tournament total of -8 under par.

Luke said it had been another tough day on the course, an under par score was a good effort;

“It was another difficult day out there, anything in the red was another good number and I was able to manage one under. I made a few more mistakes out there, made a few bogeys, which was a little disappointing. It’s never fun to bogey the last hole, but it’s playing tough. I hit a lot of good shots, a lot of things to build on. I made two great swings on 17 and 18 with irons to finish, and build on that going into tomorrow. I was in good form coming here; got a tie for fifth over in Las Vegas on the PGA Tour, and been hitting it really well.” 

His nearest rivals are at -4 under par, all six of them: Simon Dyson following his first two rounds of -2 under par 70, Thongchai Jaidee, Paul Casey, Craig Lee, Scott Jamieson and Ricardo Gonzales.

Craig Lee holed out from 188 yards on the 16th for an Eagle in his round of -2 under par 70, he did not know the ball was in the hole, he had already pulled his putter from the bag;

“Just when I was starting to get a bit frustrated about not moving forward, then bang! I hole a four iron straight into the wind from 188 yards.  Always helps the scorecard, especially from a birdie on the hole before, so it was great.” 

Former World Number Ones Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy are seven shots off the lead on -1 under par, with Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson +2 over par after a 74.

BMW Championship. Zach Attack Wins It.

Zach Johnson attacked the Conway Farms Golf Course to win the BMW Championship by two shots.

In complete control

Zach & Trophy / Getty Images

Zach Johnson shot a bogey free final round -6 under par 65 to finish the tournament with a -16 under par total. He now has a chance to win the FedExCup next week at East lake in the Tour Championship, he is now in fourth place in the standings. This is Zach’s tenth win in his ten years on Tour, he tried to explain what it all meant;

It’s extremely difficult, I’m not sure I fully grasp it. The parity on the TOUR and in the world is second to none. I’m just thankful it has been 10 years, and hopefully many more.”

Nick Watney finished in second place at -14 under par, his last round of -7 under par 64 being the best round of the day.

Poor old Jim Furyk ended up in third place, a final round of even par 71 condemning him to add another 54 hole lead into a defeat, the count is now six times in his career. He finished with a total of -13 under par.

Nick Watney’s  64 and Luke Donald’s 66 helped both men to play their way into the Tour Championship, thus eliminating Lee Westwood and Harris English.

The Top 30 for The Tour Championship:

1 2 Tiger Woods 315 4352 4037
2 1 Henrik Stenson 178 4229 4051
3 3 Adam Scott 205 4122 3917
4 23  27 Zach Johnson 2500 3843 1343
5 4 Matt Kuchar 228 3330 3103
6 8 Steve Stricker 563 3180 2617
7 5 Graham DeLaet 205 3011 2806
8 6 Phil Mickelson 178 2939 2762
9 7 Justin Rose 178 2842 2664
10 9 Brandt Snedeker 400 2726 2326
11 15 Jim Furyk 1000 2718 1718
12 22  34 Nick Watney 1500 2693 1193
13 10 Jordan Spieth 273 2519 2246
14 12 Jason Day 563 2347 1785
15 18 Hunter Mahan 563 2164 1601
16 11 Keegan Bradley 273 2138 1866
17 14 Gary Woodland 255 2026 1771
18 17 Bill Haas 205 1923 1718
19 16 Kevin Streelman 178 1895 1718
20 13 Jason Dufner 80 1861 1781
21 20 Webb Simpson 228 1758 1531
22 22 Billy Horschel 255 1746 1491
23 29 Charl Schwartzel 400 1719 1319
24 25 Roberto Castro 280 1678 1398
25 24 Sergio Garcia 255 1664 1409
26 19 Boo Weekley 80 1640 1560
27 26 Brendon de Jonge 255 1634 1379
28 21 D.A. Points 68 1564 1496
29 25  54 Luke Donald 563 1555 992
30 23 Dustin Johnson 40 1468 1428

There is no Bubba Watson, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, or Ian Poulter.

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