Trophée Hassan II. Cañizares Collects Title.

dragon logo darkClassy Alejandro Cañizares collects the Trophée Hassan II title in Morocco.

Alejandro Canizares  (Getty Images)

Alejandro Cañizares / Getty Images

Alejandro carded a final round -2 under par 70, for a winning total of -19 under par, at  Golf du Palais Royal. Alejandro finished this wire to wire win with a five shot winning margin, to pick up only his second European Tour victory.

Alejandro would have won by an even greater margin if it had not been for a piece of bad luck on the 18th hole in regulation, where his approach rolled back off the green and came to rest up against a clump of turf from a divot that had not been properly replaced.

The referee told him he was not allowed to move the turf, and from that position could only advance the ball a few yards with his third shot before it again rolled back down the slope almost to his feet. He then duffed his next pitch shot but at least allowed himself a wry smile before eventually getting up and down for a double-bogey six;

“It was a pity it ended like that, but who cares? I won the tournament so I am very happy. It’s been a long time since the last win, it felt like it was never coming but this week I played great, some of the best golf of my career. I hit good shot after good shot and kept my focus.”

“I was very accurate and solid with my irons. I left myself lots of chances and although I did not make all of them, the first day was the key. I putted great the first day, shot ten under and just kept pushing on. Hopefully this is the first step for a little bit of improvement in my career. I have some stuff to work on and hopefully I improve little by little to the point where I can play golf as naturally as I did this week.”

In second place was England’s Andy Sullivan, his final round of -9 under par 63, rocketed him up the leaderboard to claim second place on his own at -14 under par.

Seve Benson birdied the 18th for a final round -1 under par 71 to claim a share of third place on -12 under par  with  Magnus A Carlsson, who had completed with a -4 under par 68, by holing out from off the green on the last for par after a left-handed escape shot from the trees.

Trophée Hassan II. Cañizares is Cruising.

dragon logo darkAlejandro Cañizares is cruising along in the Trophée Hassan II event in Morocco, maintaining his position at the top of the leaderboard at the half-way stage.

Alejandro Canizares  (Getty Images)

Alejandro Cañizares / Getty Images

Alejandro compiled a second round of -4 under par 68 to stay at the top of the leaderboard with a total of -14 under par, at the end of day 2 at Golf du Palais Royal. He achieved that result despite a cold putter on the day, and said he was excited to be leading going into the week-end;

“I felt really confident so I was not thinking too much, I needed to let the golf happen. In some cases my putter was a little cold today but I kept it going on the back nine. It was a pity I bogeyed the 17th because that is a birdie hole but overall I am very happy to be leading at the moment and very excited for the weekend.”

Seve Benson stays in second place, just one shot back after he equalled Alejandro on the day, carding a second round – 4 under par 68, for a -13 under par total.

 “I managed to keep the momentum going early doors through the tough holes and once I got through those I could press on a bit.There was no wind for the first eight or nine holes, which made it a totally different golf course compared to yesterday. It picked up a little on the back nine but nothing to what it was yesterday so it was a lot easier today.”

Rafael Cabrera-Bello occupies third place on -9 under par after a second round -5 under par 67, which should have been even better after  he charged through the  first nine holes in just 30 shots.

The best round of the day came from David Horsey, who won this event in 2011, he carded a flawless -8 under par 64  which left him T4, alongside Magnus A Carlsson and Connor Arendell.

The front two have opened up a gap at the top, and unless someone gets creative on moving day they will run away with it.

Trophée Hassan II. Alejandro Cañizares Leads on Day 1

dragon logo dark Alejandro Cañizares is cruising at the top of the leaderboard in the Trophée Hassan II event at Golf du Palais Royal, in Morroco.

Alejandro Canizares  (Getty Images)

Alejandro Cañizares / Getty Images

Alejandro carded a brilliant first round-10 under par 62 to claim the lead after the first round of the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco  in the windier afternoon conditions.

He recorded just one bogey, and said it was just one of those days;

“It was one of those days for me, my swing felt great, I started putting well and the putts went in, it was a lot of fun, when golf is like this it’s easy. After today the confidence is great but it wasn’t there for the last month. After Dubai I started losing a little bit of form but this game is up and down so you can’t expect the best all the time.”

“I was lucky that after a couple of sessions with my coach and a putting session with Phil Kenyon this week it’s started getting a lot easier so I am very happy to perform well this week. I think I played one of the best rounds I’ve played. I missed a couple of drives and from the fairway I missed one shot that cost me a bogey, but that was about it I think.”

Seve Benson is just one shot back after his bogey free opening round of -9 under par 63, and is looking to win his first Tour tournament. Today he finished with four birdies on the last four holes in the windy conditions

“It felt pretty good to be honest. It was so windy out there on the back nine pars were a good score, but I just managed to play the tough holes well and sink some putts. Capitalising on my chances is the big thing for me. I have been working really hard with my putting coach and it paid off today.”

“Going out there in the morning you’d fancy your chances for the best round of the day, it’s never easy playing in a 15mph wind so I am really proud of myself. When it all comes together it’s great, it’s not how good your good shots are, it’s how good your bad shots are and today that was key. It’s what gets you up into contention.”

American Connor Arendell, who finished eighth at Qualifying School in November, is tied in third place with  Magnus A Carlsson with both of them scoring -7 under par 65 to open their accounts.

Connor followed in the footsteps of Peter Uihlein  in swapping America for Europe;

“I spoke to Peter a little online asking what to expect when I came over. They have done great so far and I think you will see more Americans on The European Tour. It’s a great start, I gave both tours a try, Q-School wise, but I just think this is the best thing for me now that the PGA has done away with getting your card through qualifying.” 

“I think it’s huge, coming over here getting that experience, the travelling. Week to week the courses vary quite a bit compared to the US so you are working a lot on getting used to the greens and the courses. It’s tough, but I think over time it will make it that much easier when I’m in the US.”

Avantha Masters, Phadungsil -11 under par, Round 1



The Avantha Masters in India got off to an amazing start with Chinnarat Phadungsil scorching the  Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort course with an amazing -11 under par round of 61.


Flying Phadungsil leads after birdie blitz

Chinnarat Phadungsil /Getty Images

Chinnarat, a twenty-four year old from Thailand already has three Asian Tour titles to his name, the first coming aged just seventeen. He dominated the opening day at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort, and now leads the competition by five shots, after just one round.

Included in his amazing effort was seven birdies in a row on the back nine, just one short of the European Tour record, after completing the front nine in 33 strokes. Chinnarat started his back nine with four regulation birdies, holed a 50 foot putt at the 14th, very nearly pitched in for Eagle at the par five 15th, and followed that with an approach to two feet at the 16th for an incredible seven straight birdies. Another birdie on the 18th gave him eight birdies on the homeward nine, and his total of -11 under par, the lowest 18 hole total on the 2013 Race to Dubai to date.

Chinnarat had to admit that it was his best return ever;

” That’s my best ever round, today I had a lot of great putts. Back nine I hit the driver better than the front nine, but I holed my putts, that’s why I made my score. Today my game was very good so I will keep going.”

Tied in second place on -6 under par are Thailand’s  Chawalit Plaphol and Chapchai Nirat, China’s Liang Wen-Chong, Swede Magnus A Carlsson and the Indian home favourite Abhijit Singh Chadha, all with first rounds of 66.

Abhijit Singh Chadha was playing in his first event where the Professional Golf Tour of India has been co-sanctioned with the European Tour, and said it was a good experience;

” It’s a good field and it’s the first time I’m playing in an event sanctioned with The European Tour. I’ve got no experience at all, I’ve played a couple of events on the Asian Tour, and playing with the big boys really gives you lots of confidence and it’s a really good feeling for me. I don’t feel the pressure of playing the Avantha Masters for the first time, the experience of playing many big international events during my amateur days has really helped me. As an amateur I played a lot of events overseas as part of the Indian team. The atmosphere at these tournaments was similar to that at the Avantha Masters in terms of international participation and the crowds.”

It will be interesting to see how Chinnarat Phadungsil handles the second round, it is always hard to come back and play well after a really low round.


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European Tour, Nordea Masters, Sweden.




Magnus A Carlsson  (Getty Images)

Magnus A Carlsson (Getty Images)

The European Tour at the Nordea Masters got off to a flying start as Magnus A Carlsson completed a magical first round of  -7 under par, 65, for a two shot lead at the end of the day. Magnus was having fun out there;

” Now I’m focusing on having fun out there on the course. To be on top of the leaderboard at a European Tour event, I can’t be anything else other than very satisfied, especially on a tough course like this one here at Bro Hof. Now I just want to go home and get some rest to be prepared for tomorrow and the rest of the tournament.”

 Englishman Richard Bland,  seeking his maiden European Tour title, set the morning pace with his five under par, for a round of 67. Richard only retained his European Tour playing privileges for this season via a trip to Qualifying School, he said of his day;

“To shoot five under round this course at anytime is good. I had a bit of an up and down start but I kicked it into gear around the turn, which made the day really. I played the front nine, which was my back nine, pretty solid, so the game’s in pretty good shape.”

Lee Westwood, the World number Three, completed a four under 68 despite three-putting twice, Lee said;

” I played quite nicely.You have to hit the fairways, but if you do then you’ve got a good chance. The rough is fairly penal. It’s long, so you have to hit driver a lot of the time, it’s just a good test.”