The Rocco Forte Open. Alvaro Quiros has half way Lead.

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Alvaro Quiros has the half way lead in  The Rocco Forte Open at   Verdura Golf Club in Sicily.

Rocco Forte Open

Alvaro Quiros / getty

Alvaro shot a second round -7 under par 64 to lead The Rocco Forte Open after 36 holes with a -15 under par total, giving him a two-stroke advantage going into the week-end.

Alvaro said great putting on the back nine secured his position, and he is setting his sights on regaining his European Tour card;

“It’s a very nice situation, it’s a long time ago since I had the option.”

“My game today was a little bit worse than yesterday but my putting on the back nine was unbelievable so I’m very happy with it.”

“Sometimes I’ve been very greedy, trying to force myself into a better score when the game wasn’t good and today I have to be proud of myself.”

“Eight consecutive pars was the typical situation for me to blow my mind because I’m not shooting low. Today was a big step mentally speaking, trying to be patient.”

“I’m not going to fix my situation in one day or one tournament so hopefully I can keep working, still adding good rounds and hopefully at the end of the year come back to the Tour.”

Michael Hoey and Sebastian Soderberg are sharing second place at -13 under par, both returning second round scores of -3 under 68, after yesterdays low rounds of 61.

Michael was tired after yesterdays effort;

“It was hard towards the end, I used up a lot of adrenaline yesterday. I hadn’t been in that position for a long time, to feel nervous on the golf course.”

“I was a little bit tired on the last seven or eight holes.”

“I got it in kind of level par the last few holes which was decent and it was tricky in the wind. It’s all about the next two days, I’m in a good position.”

Sebastian said the wind was a factor today;

“It’s a little windier today so I think three under is a good score.”

“Driving hasn’t been a strength of my game recently but I’ve been working on so it’s becoming a good asset for me.”

“I just need to remind myself what position I’m in.”

“You can’t really focus too much on the leaderboard. I’ve just got to keep taking it one shot at a time which I’ve been doing pretty well for the last few days.”

“There’s still half the tournament left so I just need to play my golf.”

Rocco Forte Open. Two Tied at the Top.

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There are two players tied at the top of the Rocco Forte OpenSebastian Soderberg, Sweden,and Michael Hoey, Northern Ireland, both shot opening rounds of 61  at Verdura Golf Club, in Sicily.

Rocco Forte Open

Michael Hoey / getty

Both Sebastian and Michael shot -10 under par 61 to lead the Rocco Forte Open by one shot after the first round in Sicily.

Michael left a couple of putts short in his bogey free best ever round;

“I left it in the jaws, both putts, but I was nervous.”

“It was hard to hit them past the hole but it’s nice to be nervous because I haven’t been nervous on a golf course for quite a while and it’s exciting to be such a good score.”

“My best ever score by two shots, no bogeys, doesn’t get much better.”

Sebastian was thinking of a 59 he too had two putts that could have gone in;

“That 59 was all I thought about walking down the par five 12th.”

“For me it kind of helped me to help keep me going, I didn’t feel like it stopped me.”

“I definitely had a couple of putts the last seven holes that could have run in. Overall, great round.”

“So far this season it hasn’t been quite good. Thankfully most of the pieces fell together today. It was a really good day.”

Zander Lombard, South Africa, was just one shot off the lead at -9 under par following his opening effort of 62.

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.

Tshwane Open. Fisher Lands Tshwane Trophy

dragon logo darkRoss Fisher lands the Tshwane Open trophy at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate.

Ross Fisher  (Getty Images)

Ross Fisher / Getty Images

Ross had a final round of -2 under par 70, an Eagle on the par five 15th hole, from 25 feet killed off any hope the chasing pack had of catching him. Ross was pleased to win in the testing conditions, and admitted the eagle settled his nerves;

“I’m thrilled to get over the line, it was a testing day with the weather conditions, and playing with Mike he put up a great challenge for me. I set a target of trying to go out there and shoot in the 60s and almost managed to do it. I had a little mishap on the last but I’m just glad to be standing here talking to you as champion.”

“It’s been pretty good to me this week the 15th hole, There have been a couple of eagles, but that was a big putt there. I know I was only a couple ahead. To hit a nice shot there and have a good look at three and to see it drop, I think I went four shots clear with only three to play I knew I could coast in. There was a little wobble on a few of those holes and I managed to make a couple of good par saves on 16 and 17. It would have been nice to shoot 69 but unfortunately I missed one on the last. I’m not going to complain.”

Michael Hoey and  Danie Van Tonder finished the tournament in second place at -17 under par. Danie with a closing -6 under par 66, and Michael carded a -4 under par 68, which still left them three shots adrift of the leader.

Overall Michael was happy with his second placed finish;

“I just lost concentration with my second at the 12th and that cost me, apart from that there wasn’t much wrong, but golf is a fine line. Ross was a solid player this week and I’m happy to have some consistency. I’ve never been consistent, but I was quite consistent this week. It’s nice to be up there and not win; I know that sounds crazy, but normally I just win. For me to finish top three without winning is a good start.”

Carlos Del Moral ended the tournament in fourth place at -16 under par.

Tshwane Open. Fisher Catches Big Lead on Day 3.

dragon logo darkRoss Fisher catches a big lead at the Tshwane Open on Day 3 of the competition at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate.

Ross Fisher  (Getty Images)

Ross Fisher / Getty

Ross fired a third round -5 under par 67 to  take a five shot lead into the final round of the Tshwane Open at -18 under par as he tries to secure his first European Tour title for four years. This the best he has played for some time;

“I feel like I’m playing as good as I ever have, probably similar to when I was contending in Majors and getting myself into the Ryder Cup team. If I were to win here it would be a massive confidence boost and a step in the right direction. My primary goal is to get back in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking. I’ve been there before and I feel like I belong there.”

“I got to seventeen in the world because of my Major performances, but like a few other guys I had a big comedown after the Ryder Cup having achieved the second pinnacle of golf outside of winning a Major and so early in my career. Maybe I suffered a bit from Ryder Cupitus, as I called it. You see guys like Henrik Stenson who got to the top of the game, disappeared, came back, disappeared, and now he’s back where he belongs.” 

“You see guys like that come through adversity, drift off and come back. Lee Westwood is another one, I wouldn’t say my slump was anywhere near as drastic as theirs, but I’ve missed being in the top 50 and playing in the Majors and that’s where I want to be. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for me.”

“I want to win this by a couple of shots, it would be nice to win in a good fashion because I feel like the game is good enough to win by a good number of strokes. I want to go out there and shoot a low number and somebody’s going to have to come out and shoot a ridiculous score to catch me.”

Michael Hoey carded a third round of -3 under par 69, but at -13 under par for the tournament he is a massive five shots adrift of the lead, but occupies second place.

Simon Dyson was looking to join Michael on -13 under par, but bogeyed the last after a poor approach and had to settle for a -1 under par 71 and -12 under par total. That score was matched by his playing partner Carlos Del Moral, winner of the Qualifying School last November.

Euro Tour. M2M Russian Open. Michael Hoey Victorious.

Michael Hoey was victorious at the M2M Russian Open at the Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club in Russia.Michael Hoey   (Getty Images)

Victorious Michael Hoey / Getty Images

Michael romped home to victory in the M2M Russian Open, his total of -16 under par was a comfortable four shots clear of the chasing field.  A steady -2 under par final round of 70 was enough to keep the challengers at arms length, and naturally he said he loved the course this week, with putting being the main ingredient;

“I have absolutely loved the golf course this week, it is a great Nicklaus design and one of the best we will play on Tour for the whole year. The greens are just so pure and when you have surfaces like that to putt on then you can make a lot of putts. The putting was the key for me this week. I have been working hard on that a lot recently and the improvement is really showing because I making a lot of birdies. 
That is the main difference at this level, you have to be able to make a lot of putts because the standard is so high these days that it usually comes down to who makes the most putts. It’s pretty amazing to think that I have won five European Tour titles. It is a great feeling to win and every time you do it you just want more and more. Hopefully I can get at least another one before the end of the season. It has given me a great boost. I am not the most consistent player in the world but when I get into these positions I usually do ok. But the next aim for me has to be to become a bit more consistent because that is the only way I will be able to get back among the best players in the world and stay there. It was tough for me today because when you have a five shot lead your natural instinct is to defend the lead,” added Hoey. “I was trying to be more aggressive because that is usually the best form of defense but it is tough in the final round when you know you are so far ahead. Then there are always a couple of guys who are going to come out of the pack. It was Rikard Karlberg who I was playing with, on the front nine and then Alex really got close to me on the back nine.I did feel the pressure a bit today because I wasn’t swinging it as freely as I had done yesterday but I got the job done in the end. Making my first birdie of the day on the seventh was a bit of a turning point because I had burned a few edges before that and you start to wonder if it is going to be your day.”

Tied in second place, at -12 under par, were Alexandre Kaleka and Matthew Nixon.  J.B. Hansen finished alone in fourth spot, after he dropped two shots on the 18th for a -11 under par. Liang Wen-chong, Gregory Havret, James Morrison and Mark Foster were another shot further back on -10 under par.

Euro Tour. M2M Russian Open. Michael Hoey Has It In His Hands.

Michael Hoey has the Euro Tour M2M Russian Open in his hands at the conclusion of the third round, ending the day five shots clear of his nearest rival.

Michael Hoey  (Getty Images)

Michael Hoey / Getty Images

Michael shot an amazing third round of -7 under par 65, giving him a tournament total of -14 under par. I know funny things can, and do happen in golf, especially in the last round, but it would be difficult to lose the title from this position, wouldn’t it ?

So far this season the Northern Irishman, a four-time winner on the Euro circuit, has not finished better than 25th place,  his last win was at last years Trophée Hassan II, Lets hope that Michael can hold it altogether tomorrow at the Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club. He said that it was just one of those days when everything went right, especially the putting;

” It was one of those days where everything went my way for the most part. I played really well and was swinging the club well, but I got a few breaks here and there that really helped the score, I holed a 70 foot putt on the ninth for example, that was probably the biggest break I had out there. You just don’t really expect to hole those ones so that was a bit of a bonus. I started with a great birdie on the first to really set the tone. I hit a great eight iron in there to about five feet and then I had that great run around the turn. I holed out from off the green on the seventh and then the eagle on eight was nice. I hit driver then three iron to eight feet there. It was just going my way as I said. I made the monster putt on nine and then stiffed it on ten for another birdie. The only blip of the day was on 11 but I did have a lot go my way too. I am making a lot of putts this week and that is always the difference at this level. It’s all about putting. Obviously I have a good lead but you just can’t take it for granted. Things went my way today but it might be someone else’s day tomorrow. I am just going to go out there and try to enjoy it. I have been in positions to win before and finished it off and that will help a bit, but you still need to hit the shots and hole the putts.”

Tied in second place are Rikard Karlberg and Mathew Nixon, both have a tournament total of -9 under par, and probably a forlorn hope that Michael will have a bad day and one of then will have an exceptional day, otherwise it is all over bar the shouting.