WGC Cadillac Championship. Two Tied at the Top.

White Dragon GolfWGC-Cadillac Championship

There are two players tied at the top of the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral after the first round. Scott Piercy and Marcus Fraser share top billing.

WGC Cadillac Championship

Scott Piercy / Getty Images

Scott and Marcus carded first rounds of -6 under par 66 at Doral in the WGC Cadillac Championship, to lead by one shot.

Scott spent eight hours on the range practicing yesterday, and explained it well;

“There was a lot, I just wasn’t getting behind the ball very well.”

“I wasn’t getting into my backswing at all. I was kind of faking it. I couldn’t go through the way I wanted to.”

“We all know we’re trying to beat those guys week-in, week-out.”

 “They have proved it. I haven’t proven it week-in, week-out, but when my game’s there I’m pretty decent. We all know they are there.”

“They are looking at my name today. So maybe they will do it tomorrow.”

Marcus was happy to get off to a good start here at Doral;

“It’s obviously a great way to start, especially in a golf tournament like this and at a golf course as strong as this.”

“I’ve obviously got a lot of confidence from today.”

“My previous results at Doral haven’t been that great, but it is nice to get a good one early and hopefully build on that over the next few days.”

Phil Mickelson is in third place , that one shot behind at -5 under par after his opening round 67.

Phil is still learning the new layout, but is happy with the results;

“There is a bit of a learning curve on some of the contours and where you have to go and where you want to go and the best place to be.”

“It’s not like I came in here weeks before and mapped it out like a major. You’re here only the week of.”

“But this is our third year here now and it continues to get better each year.”

“It was a good day, I hit a lot of good shots, made some good putts and just drove it well, enjoyed the day. It was a good day.”

Tied in fourth spot at -4 under par are Adam Scott, Jason Dufner, Charley Hoffman and Danny Willett, shooting rounds of 68.

Danny played and putted well;

“It’s only my fifth tournament of the year so it is still early days, but it is nice to get a few good numbers on the board.”

“It was a good, solid day, I hit 16 greens and had 30 putts. You can’t really ask for much more around this golf course.”

Rory McIlroy could only manage an opening round -1 under par 71, I have tried to tell him that crossed handed putting is not the way to go.

Maybank Championship Malaysia. Marcus Fraser Wins

White Dragon Golf

Marcus Fraser wins the Maybank Championship Malaysia at the Royal Selangor Golf Club in Malaysia.

Maybank Championship Malaysia

 

Marcus shot a final round -3 under par 68 to win the inaugural  Maybank Championship Malaysia, with a -15 under par total.

A two-stroke winning margin makes it sound an  easy victory, but there was drama a plenty as Soomin Lee was in control of the tournament, until he made double bogey on 16 and 18, handing Marcus the title. This is his third European Tour International Schedule victory, and he also becomes the first Australian to win a European Tour event in Malaysia.

Tied in second place at -13 under par were Soomin Lee and Miguel Tabuena. 

Soomin sadly carded a last round +2 over par 73, and Miguel had -3 under 68.

Sharing fourth spot were Jorge Campillo and Julien Quesne, both at -12 under par for the tournament.

 

 

DP World Tour Championship. First Round Four-Way Tie at the Top.

White Dragon Golf

There is a four-way tie at the top of the DP World Tour Championship leaderboard after the first round at Jumeirah Golf Estates in DubaiMarcus Fraser, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter and Andy Sullivan are vying to win the tournament, although none of them can win the European Tour season ending Race to Dubai.

DP World Tour Championship

Ian Poulter / Getty Images

Poults and his companions all shot a first round -6 under par 66 to sit on top of the  DP World Tour Championship leaderboard in Dubai. Poults  has now dropped out of the World’s top 50, and a win here would give him some satisfaction after a poor season;

“Dropping outside the top 50 isn’t very nice. Being down the list on the Order of Merit is not very nice.”

“There’s a lot at stake. I think more of it is probably pride than anything else.”

“And wanting to put some points on the board for Ryder Cup would definitely be very helpful.”

“So it’s been a long five weeks, and it would be nice to finish strong.”

Andy is only player of the top four who has won a tournament this year, and he enjoyed playing alongside Martin today;

“I think the way I played all year, I think it’s time for me to kick on and really get myself up there in these big events now and really try and press on.” 

“It was just great fun out there today.”

“Me and Martin both played really well, so it was good to have both of us pulling each other along, one get in front of the other, and both finishing six under.”

“But I’m swinging it really well on the range and I just said to myself, I’m the only person that can mess this up.”

“I just thought go out there and enjoy it like I normally do and be mentally good.”

“On the whole, I’m really happy with where we stand.”

Martin always plays well here, and he likes the place;

“We all know this is one of my favourite places where The European Tour goes.”

“It seems like I do well here usually and I’ve had great success in the past, whether it’s in Abu Dhabi winning a tournament or winning The European Tour rankings here in 2010.”

“So for me coming to this part of the world is always a great pleasure.”

Marcus liked the good greens, that helped him sink some putts;

“It was good, I felt like I played great, felt like I was in control of my game most of the day.”

“I managed to make a couple of putts , the greens are that good; if you pick the right line and you hit it on line, it’s going to go in.”

“It’s always nice to get off to a fast start and I kept it going.”

One shot behind the leaders is Francesco Molinari, at -5 under par, he is followed by a posse of players at -4 under, which included Race to Dubai leader Rory McIlroy and his nearest challenger Danny Willett.  They are joined on that score by Alejandro Cañizares, Matthew FitzpatrickMiguel Angel Jiménez, Chris Wood, Fabrizio Zanotti and Branden Grace.

Euro Tour. Julien Quesne Wins Italian Open.

Frenchman Julien Quesne won the European Tour Italian Open at Golf Club Torino in Turin, Italy.

Julien Quesne  (Getty Images)

Julien Quesne / Getty Images

Julien carded a final round -5 under par 67, to win the 70° Open d’Italia Lindt, with a total score of -12 under par. This is Julien’s second European Tour victory, his previous win came in the Open de Andalucía last year. At the start of the final round Julien was four shots off the lead, but a brilliant back nine of 31 saw him post a clubhouse lead at -12 under par. No one else could match him;

 “I am very proud of this back nine. My attitude was very good this week and I think this is the key. To enjoy a second win on The European Tour is like a dream for me. After my double bogey I just kept calm. I was thinking the winner would be 15 under and I was only five under. I thought ‘just keep working and we will see what happens’. Then, when I got to the 16th green I looked up at the leaderboard and realised that I was just two shots off the lead and I knew that I still had a chance. I made a great putt there from five metres to save par and to make two birdies to finish was very special. When I made the birdie on 17 I thought that if I could get to 12 under then I would have the chance at least to get into a play-off. You never know in golf, so I am proud that I kept the attitude the way I did because I always knew that I was never out of the tournament. I am surprised to be here. The flags were very difficult all week so it was very difficult to make birdies and easy to make some bogeys. It was also really special to have my family with me, they make me stronger when they are with me and it is an amazing feeling to be able to celebrate here with them. I have had a great season this year, it has been a very consistent season with six top tens before this week and now it has become an amazing season. I can now play so many of the biggest events at the end of the year and try to finish as high as I can on The Race to Dubai.”

Second place was shared by David Higgins and Steve Webster, both players finishing at -11 under par for the tournament, just one shot off the lead. David needs to end the season inside the top 110 on The Race to Dubai, to avoid his 14th visit to Qualifying School, he is now sitting 111;

“I was very lucky on the last, I hit an awful tee shot but got a good lie in the fairway bunker, you still have to play the shot and I did and got the putt so I was delighted. I thought ‘How many chances am I going to get of maybe tying for the lead?’ so I said ‘come on, you’ve got to at least give it a good run and be positive with it’, and it went right in the middle. I had good practice rounds at the start of the week and I am proud of myself for taking that into the competition itself. I haven’t had a finish like this in 17 years so I am delighted. I can do it and I just have to do it more often I guess.”

Steve was happy with his result, he has been struggling all season with injury, and hopes this is a turning point in his season;

” It’s the first time I have played for four months without pulling out of a shot or feeling 70 per cent so hopefully this is a big turning point for me now.”

Home town favorite and Golf Club Torino member Francesco Molinari briefly threatened an Italian fairytale victory when he recovered from two early bogeys by holing a bunker shot on the eighth and then making a birdie on the ninth, but the Ryder Cup star stumbled home in 39 to finish -7 under par, tied 16th. Marcus Fraser had a poor final round, +2 over par 74, finishing tied in 8th place.

 

Euro Tour, Italian Open. Flawless Fraser Flying High.

Marcus Fraser is flying  high in the Italian Open, a flawless third round saw him flying high at the top of the leaderboard at Golf Club Torino, in Italy.

Marcus Fraser   (Getty Images)

Aussie Marcus Fraser / Getty Images

Marcus had a bogey free -4 under par, 68 in the third round of 70° Open d’Italia Lindt, which put him at the top of the leaderboard by one shot at -11 under par. Marcus likes this course, saying it was similar to the one which he grew up on;

“It’s similar to what I grew up on before I moved to Melbourne, I grew up on a very tight, tree-lined golf course with tiny little greens and the emphasis was on getting it in play and hitting little shots around the greens and that’s exactly what this demands. I think it’s a brilliant golf course and wish we could play it every week of the year.”

The slim one shot lead going into the final round will not seem too much like a daunting task to the quality of players who are trying to catch Marcus. Local favorite Francesco Molinari, who was a member here at Golf Club Torino when he was just eight years old, is one of those players on -10 under par. He is joined on that score by Joakim Lagergren and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Francesco said he was a little bit unlucky today, but just loves the support the fans are giving him;

” It was a different round compared to the first two, I didn’t put the ball as close as the first two days but it could probably have easily been my first bogey-free round. I was just a bit unlucky on nine to find a piece of mud behind the ball. I could have been a bit more aggressive but there is still tomorrow to do that. I am still up there and will try to do well tomorrow. It’s fantastic and they are all rooting for me, maybe today they weren’t as happy as the first two days but I will try to give them some more joy tomorrow. It’s crazy. I haven’t seen that many people here in Italy ever.”

Nicolas could also have been sharing the lead, except for a three putt bogey on the last hole;

” I played okay, missed a few chances and missed the one on the last so 70 is probably what I deserved. I am not as close to the flags as I want to be because I am not in as much control as I want to be. Sometimes I have short irons in and am not getting it as close as I want to but I am putting okay and it showed on the first day, you can go low.”

Joakim shot  one of the lowest rounds of the day, -5 under par 67 for his -10 under par total. Overnight leaders Simon Thornton and Felipe Aguilar lie two off the lead at -9 under par, after both players carded par rounds of 72.

It is a very tightly packed leaderboard, and there will be some excitement and good golf for the fans to enjoy, as they follow their local hero Francesco Molinari, and hope to cheer him on to victory.

Euro Tour. 70° Open d’Italia Lindt. Three-Way Tie At The Top

There is a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the European Tour, 70° Open d’Italia Lindt at the Golf Club Torino in Italy.

Nicolas Colsaerts  (Getty Images)

One if the three Nicolas Colsaerts / Getty Images

Nicolas said he had some rest at home, on his mum’s couch, before coming to Italy, and it had really helped him to re-energize his batteries. A -7 under par 65 opening round at the Italian Open to get in a tie at the top;

“Nothing beats being back home with your mum looking after you, I was sitting at home on the couch watching the golf from Holland and was quite happy to be looked after by my mum on the couch. It was the best place to be for me. Apart from the bogey at the tenth, my first hole of the day, I got off to an amazing start and was kind of flying on my front nine. Then I didn’t make birdie on the first which is an easy par five and then there were a few occasions where I had wedge in hand and didn’t give myself the chances for birdies that I probably should have. It was nice to finish with a birdie though and get a good round in. It should have really have been eight or nine under after the start I made but I kind of got a bit sloppy on the inward nine. I was just a bit too far away from those flags to make the birdies and get to a really low number.”

Sharing top place after the first round with Nicolas are Ricardo Gonzales and Maximillian Kieffer, both with -7 under 65’s first rounds themselves. Ricardo said he hit it well and is looking forward to the next three days;

“I hit it perfect, I only missed two shots from the tee, then I hit fairways, hit greens, made some good putts and that’s why I shot 65. I tried to relax the last two or three weeks but I played with little tension. On Tuesday’s practice I said ‘come on, relax’ and it worked. I’m feeling very good and we’ll see what happens over the next three days.”

Maximillian had been suffering from a cold in the build up to this tournament;

” I’m very happy, 65 is a very good score. I didn’t feel so good coming here because I wasn’t hitting it that well the last few weeks and I’ve had a cold. I wasn’t really expecting a lot and I just took it shot for shot. Mentally it’s nice to shoot a good score, you always feel better when you’re playing well and have a good score so hopefully I’ll have another three good rounds.”

Marcus Fraser is alone in fourth place at -6 under par, just one shot adrift of the leaders. Local favorites Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero both made good starts, Francesco with a -4 under par 68, while Matteo opened with a -2  under par 70.

Ballantine’s Championship. Broomstick Brett Wins Ballantine’s Play-Off

Broomstick wielding Brett Rumford won The Ballantine’s Championship at Blackstone Golf Club, in a three-way play-off for the title.

Brett Rumford   (Getty Images)

Brett Rumford / Getty Images

Brett Rumford finished the South Korean tournament in regulation tied with Marcus Fraser and Peter Whiteford at -11 under par.

On the first play-off hole,  Brett fired his second shot into the par green, just four feet from the pin, and sank the Eagle putt to win the trophy;  He gave credit to his coach Pete Cowan for his advice to go and practice some tee shots with his driver before the play-off commenced;

” A lot of thanks go to Pete, I battled with my driver constantly and I guess that’s what keeps me out of most golf tournaments. I left a few drives right,  it wasn’t just the last two drives, it was the whole back nine I was feeling stuck and a little bit trapped. Had a quick word with Pete and hit  five or six  balls off the first tee and it obviously did the trick. It was an absolute roller coaster ride of emotions out there this afternoon, obviously my last five holes yesterday and front nine today got me in a great position to take this tournament. Ballantine’s is always a tremendous sponsor and it’s just a great event. It was mixed emotions coming home and I’m really lost for words at the moment but there are a lot of people I need to thank, starting with my wife Sally. It’s been pretty hard golf-wise and raising twins is not easy; she’s an amazing lady and she’s a great support to me and that’s why I’m standing here today. I’m really pleased with the result and I owe a lot to Ronnie my caddy and I’ve got a great team around me.”

Romain Wattel, from France,  finished fourth on -9 under par, with World Number Seven Louis Oosthuizen a shot further back. Overnight leader Alex Noren suffered a penalty shot at the second when his ball moved a fraction as he addressed his par putt, eventually carding a 74 to finish in a tie for sixth place.