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

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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.

72° OPEN D’ITALIA. Three Way Tie at the Top

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There is a three-way tie at the top of the 72° Open D’Italia tournament  at Golf Club Milano in ItalyMartin Kaymer, Jens Fahrbring and Romain Wattel have a two shot lead over the chasing pack.

72° Open D'Italia

Martin Kaymer / Getty Images

Martin fired a third round -7 under par 65 to join Jens and Romain at the top of the 72º Open D’Italia leaderboard with a -17 under par 54 hole total.

Martin was one of the favorites coming into this tournament, he thought he could have done better today, with a couple of putts that should have gone in;

“I started off well, but those last three holes I think I left a couple out there especially on 16 and 17, they were good putts they just didn’t go in.”

“Sixteen was a very, very poor chip but that’s okay, seven under par is a very good round.”

 “I am looking forward to tomorrow, it will be a challenge to myself and a challenge to beat my opponents. I am up there with a chance to win on Sunday and that’s all you want at the end of the day.”

“It’s important that you don’t look too far ahead and start to think about what could happen.”

“You also don’t want to rush into an aggressive mode too soon. It might be the case that some of the guys who are out before me make a really fast start so it is a fine line to figure out what the best plan is.”

“You have to also enjoy the day and I think I have enough experience of being in this position to enjoy it.”

“It will be interesting to see what happens over the first nine holes and to see how I feel mentally.”

“Once you get on the back nine you have to be a bit more spontaneous and adjust to the situation around you.”

Three players are in a group at -15 under for the competition;  Bernd Wiesberger, -5 under bogey free 67 today, Lucas Bjerregaard, -2 under 70 and Fabrizio Zanotti, -4 under par 68.

This will be an exciting finish to the 72º Open D’Italia tournament, with 15 players within five shots of the lead, including Danny Willett who is currently second in the Race to Dubai, and -12 under here in Italy.

Alstom Open. Bernd Wiesberger Wins

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Bernd Wiesberger wins the Alstom Open in Paris, at Le Golf National.

Alstom Open

Bernd Wiesberger / Getty Images

Bernd got back to winning ways with a final round -6 under par 65, to collect the Alstom Open title posting a total of -13 under par.

Bernd really set the pace after the horns had halted play when lightning threatened;

“It’s been a great first half of the year for me so far.”

“I’ve had a lot of great success but just couldn’t pull it quite off. To stand here with the trophy right now, it’s pretty sweet.”

“This tournament has always been close to my heart.”

“I just hit a great shot down the fourth before the horns were blowing and they took us off the course. I liked my yardage, and had a good shot in there and had some momentum building, chipped in, holed a long putt.”

“I felt really comfortable out there. I had a great weekend, only one bogey, and 66, 65, that’s not a bad score.”

Second place went to James Morrison a last round -4 under par 67 giving him a tournament total of -10 under par, and three shots off the pace. He admitted that Bernd had played too well to be caught;

“My game is improving every day; I’m doing all the right things.”

“Bernd played too perfectly today. He won the golf tournament, it’s as simple as that. He played fantastic.”

Jaco Van Zyl finished third at -8 under par, a sad final round of +2 over par ending any hopes he had of winning. A consolation was he will be joining Bernd and James in The Open.

Martin Kaymer was in fourth place, -7 under par, and because Martin had already qualified for  The Open, the final place on offer for St Andrews this week went to Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who finished in fifth place at -5 under par.


Alstom Open. Jaco Van Zyl Takes Control.

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Jaco Van Zyl takes control of the Alstom Open in Paris, and will have a two shot advantage going into the final round tomorrow.

Alstom Open

Jaco Van Zyl / Getty Images

Jaco took control of the Alstom Open with a bogey free third round -7 under par 64 on the Le Golf National course, giving him a two shot lead at the start of play in the final round, with a -10 under par total.

He has yet to win on the European Tour, but has tasted success on the Sunshine Tour 13 times, so he knows what it is all about.

Jaco has recovered from a knee injury, which meant he missed most of last season, but recorded 18 greens in regulation today;

“I think it will play a big role, at the end of the day, it’s the same situation, although the stage is a lot bigger. I’ve been in this position a couple of times; hopefully tomorrow we can pull through.” 

“Today was really a phenomenal round.”

“I felt really comfortable tee to green and made a couple of nice putts.”

“I hit it really well; I think I missed one fairway, hit 18 out of 18 greens, and made a couple of putts when I needed to.”

“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Max Kieffer is in second place, a third round -6  under par 65 keeping him in touch of the leader with a -8 under par tournament total.

Max has made the cut in every competition this season, that’s 17 in a row, he is also seeking his first European Tour win;

“It feels amazing.”

“I don’t really expect it to be honest to shoot that low, but obviously the course played a little bit easier today.” 

“I feel like I’m good enough to win. I think I learned enough in the last two tournaments where I was in the final round with a chance to win, but we will see.” 

“I don’t know if it’s the time. I just have to hit good golf shots tomorrow and then we will see.”

Bernd Wiesberger holds third place, a -5 under par 66 giving him a -7 under par total, and with two European Tour wins under his belt certainly has the experience needed to get the job done.

The home favourite Victor Dubuisson, two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer and Spanish Open champion James Morrison are all a shot further back at -6 under par.

Victor is still thinking of winning here;

“I think tomorrow I will need a very good start if I want to have a chance.”

“I think you need to be two or three under par after six or seven holes because when you start the back nine, from 12 to 18 it’s really difficult to make birdies.”

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.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Martin Hangs on to Top Spot

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Martin Kaymer hangs onto the top spot at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the half way stage of the competition.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Martin Kaymer

Martin carded a second round -5 under par 67, for a -13 under total, to keep the lead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, but by just one shot from Thomas Pieters.

Martin played well but thinks the course played harder in the morning than it did in the afternoon;

“I didn’t miss many fairways, which gives you the opportunity to go for a lot of flags.”

“And to be honest I really believe the golf course plays two or three shots tougher in the morning than in the afternoon because once you miss the fairway, you’re in that thick, wet grass and then it’s almost impossible to get home in two on the par fours. So I was very happy to shoot five under today.

“I will give it my best to get to the 20s. I’ll say it that way. Right now, I’m 13 under par, which is a great score after two rounds.”

Thomas also scored a -5 under par second round 67, rolling the ball well with his putter, keeping the pressure on the leader with his solid performance;

“It was a solid day. I started off well but just struggled coming in a little bit. I rolled it well with my putter, so that was nice.”

It was a special day for Rory McIlroy, carding his maiden European Tour hole in one, on his way to posting a second round -6 under par 66 and claiming third place  at -11 under par;

“It definitely made up for the two previous holes. It was a perfect number. It was straight downwind, 177 yards, and I had a nine iron. The 12th hole was playing sort of similar and I hit nine iron there and pitched 194 so I knew it was a pretty good number.”

“As soon as it left, it looked like it had a chance. It took a nice little hop to the right. It’s my first one ever in competition as a pro, so obviously the beers are on me tonight.”

“It was unexpected. I had been playing well but I had not been putting so well. So that took the putter out of it thankfully and I didn’t need to get the putter out on that hole.”


French Open. Stadler Stretches His Lead

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Kevin Stadler stretches his lead in the Alstom Open de France (French Open) to four shots.

Kevin Stadler   (Getty Images)

Kevin Stadler / Getty Images

Kevin could only put together a +1 over par 72 today, but his total of -9 under par was still way ahead of the field. Only three players in the entire field managed to break 70 today. Kevin had problems with a re-occurring back problem;

“It’s a little tight, it’s been a little out of whack all week. Luckily didn’t give me a whole lot of trouble the first couple of days, but it today it turned up a bit. I’m still able to swing so should be fine.”

“I got about what I deserved out of my game today. I didn’t play that great, made a whole lot of pars and did not have nearly as many looks as I had the last couple days, but you can’t expect to play that well for four days in a row.”

“I knew I really didn’t have to do anything crazy today. A couple less would have been nice, but overall I’m happy the way it went.”

Tied in second place at -5 under par are Thongchai Jaidee and Frenchman Victor Riu, Victor returned a third round score of +2 over par, while Thongchai made up some ground with -2 under par 68.

US Open Champion Martin Kaymer is six shots off the lead after an even par third round of 70. He still hopes to go low tomorrow and try to put some pressure on the leader;

“I think since the first day he’s running away a little bit, so I guess he likes the golf course as much as I do. So I think it will be difficult to catch him.”

“If the weather stays like this, I just need to shoot a very, very low score tomorrow. If you get within two or three shots of him, he might get some nerves the last three or four holes because it’s a tough finish.”

“But the way he plays golf and the way I know him, he’s a very laid-back guy so it will be difficult to catch him. I can only try to shoot as low as I can to be happy with myself.”

Defending Champion Graeme McDowell struggled, carding a +3 over par 73, and is now eight shots off the pace. He too is looking to go low tomorrow;

“It was tough to find a rhythm, it was playing pretty difficult. It was nice to string a few birdies together and get myself back into it and as I made the turn I was feeling good about myself, my swing and my position in the tournament.”

“My swing off the 10th and 13th tee has been haunting me a bit, I’m just not committing to those shots and missing them all left. I’m disappointed with that back nine  because I really felt like I swung the club decently today.

“All I can do is try to shoot a 66 or 67 and there’s a 75 or 76 waiting for anyone on this golf course.”