Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Olesen is in Charge.

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Thorbjørn Olesen is in charge of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, carding a -7 under par third round on the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.

 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Thorbjørn Olesen / Getty Images

Thorbjørn will take a  three shot lead into the final round of the  Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after shooting -7 under par 65 at St Andrews to post a total -17 under par.

He gave credit to a hot putter, and a great deal of practice;

“My putter started to get very hot out there and I holed a lot of great putts. So yeah, it was good fun.”

“To be honest it’s been very tough this season with an injury, also, and playing some bad golf. But I’ve been finding my way and just practicing hard and just hoping for it to come along at some point.”

“There have been some good rounds, but I just haven’t been able to really do it for all four rounds. But yeah, hopefully I can do it this week. It’s definitely nice to be up there on the leaderboard.”

“We will see how the weather is tomorrow but if it’s the same, there’s definitely going to be a lot of birdies. I’ll just have to try to keep up and go out there and hopefully find a few birdies.”

“It’s always difficult to go into the last day with a lead. It’s definitely a nice position to be in, and you know you can shoot a good score around this golf course if the weather is nice.”

“It’s definitely not going to be easy but I’m going to go out there tomorrow and try my best.”

Florian Fritsch is in second place, at -14 under par, three shots back. Florian shot -8 under par 64 at Kingsbarns, and reported that he was worried about making the cut at the start;

 “At the beginning I was probably a bit more worried about maybe making the cut because this is a very big tournament, especially for me with the money that can be won and the position that I’m in, so this is definitely something that was kind of important to me.”

“A couple of choices were made due to that situation over what I would probably usually do but that’s what tournament golf does to you at times. I got more and more comfortable towards the end.”

“On the back nine I felt like I had a little bit more control. The golf course is very open. You can’t really lose a ball and that is definitely something that I enjoy and I guess most golfers like.”

“It loosens you up despite the situation. I hit a couple of good putts and ended up rolling in a few birdies and an eagle. That was a little extra.”

In third place is Benjamin Hebert, who finished day three on -13 under par after mixing six birdies with a single bogey at Carnoustie​ and scoring -5 under par 67.

Jimmy Mullen, who held a share of the halfway lead, could only manage a two over par 74 to fall to -9 under, while Anthony Wall stumble to a +1 over par 73 , both players were at Carnoustie.

Tomorrow everyone will play their final round at St Andrews, and Thorbjørn must be looking forward to it, and hopefully another 65 will give him the trophy.

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Two Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a two-way tie at the top of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after 36 holes in Scotland. Jimmy Mullen and Anthony Wall have a one shot lead at the half way stage.

 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Jimmy Mullen / Getty Images

Jimmy and Anthony both played the Old Course at St Andrews in the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Jimmy carding -3 under par 69, and Anthony one shot better at -4 under 68, to top the leaderboard at -11 under par for the tournament.

Jimmy is really enjoying an incredible week in Scotland, on his professional tour debut. He is just following on from his performance in the Walker Cup, where he won all four of his matches against the United States last month;

“I know I’ve played the easier of the courses.

“I’m playing Carnoustie tomorrow so I knew I had to do two good rounds in the first two days to take a bit of the pressure off myself.”

“I’ve played very well at Carnoustie this year so I mean to stick to my game plan which me and my coach and caddie Alex Howie discussed.”

“I was just out there trying to enjoy it and learn and to be at the top of the leaderboard is, I can’t really explain.”

“It’s a different experience but I’ll just have to learn that as I go along.”

“The hardest bit for me is you watch all the players growing up from when I was a junior and just realising that you’re playing against them now and seeing them on the range.

“I’m still a bit like: ‘Oh look, there’s Kaymer’ and all the people like that so I’m just trying to let them do what they do and just concentrate on what I do.”

“I think I’ve managed to stick to that quite well over the last two rounds.”

“I got a bit twitchy lagging a few putts up on the back nine but I’m happy with my day’s work.”

40-year-old Anthony had a run of four birdies from the fourth to get to the top of the leaderboard;

“It was a good day, I didn’t really do much going on that back nine to start but I managed to have a good run on the front, so I had my back nine, great total.”

“Any time you get double figures in two rounds is good golf.”

Another of yesterday’s leaders, Paul Dunne, who is also playing in his first professional event, is in the group of four players tied in third place just one shot back at -10 under par, following his second round -2 under par 70 at St Andrews. Jamie Donaldson, Chris Stroud and Thorbjørn Olesen are the other players in third.

Jamie carded eight birdies in a brilliant -7 under par 65, and American Chris Stroud -6 under 66 and  Thorbjørn6 under 66, all playing at Kingsbarns.



The Open. Zach Johnson Wins Play-Off

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Zach Johnson wins the The Open Championship, and the title of Champion Golfer of the Year, in a three-way play-off on the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.

The Open

Zach Johnson, The Champion Golfer of the Year / Getty Images

Zach was tied with Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen at the end of play in regulation at -15 under par for the Claret Jug tournament. That led to a four hole play-off, in which Zach birdied the 1st and 2nd holes, they all made bogey on the road hole the 17th, Zach and Louis both made par on the 18th, giving Zach the tile. Marc did not pay so well in the extra holes, after he had equaled Zach’s final round of -6 under par 66. Louis had a more modest last round of -3 under par 69, holing a birdie putt on the last to get into the play-off.

Zach spoke to reporters saying he was very pleased to be part of golfing history, having his name on the Claret Jug;

“I feel blessed to be the champion, I feel honored to part of the history of this game and to don my name on that trophy, especially with the names before me.”

“Humbling and surreal are two words that come to mind.”

“I can’t play any better than what I did. I had a lull on Friday and Saturday, but nothing significant, but stayed in it and waited for the opportunities and made a few.”

“I am fairly speechless right now. Dreams have been realised and goals accomplished.”

“I’m humbled, I’m honored to be your Open Champion and your champion golfer of the year.”

Jordan Spieth came up one shot short of the play-off, and his attempt at the grand slam. The famous Road Hole, the 17th was his undoing, carding a bogey while in a tie for the lead.

Jordan and Jason Day finished the tournament at -14 under par, and tied in fourth position.

Winner of the Silver Medal for the best amateur player went to American Jordan Niebrugge who finished on a wonderful score of -11 under par for the competition.

Irish amateur Paul Dunne, who led the tournament at the start of play today had a nightmare final round +6 over par 78, and dropped down the leaderboard to finish at -6 under par.

The Open. The Weather Wins at St. Andrews.

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The weather wins at St Andrews as torrential rain meant waterlogged greens and fairways on the Old Course, and play was suspended for 3 hours and 14 minutes. At  the close of play Dustin Johnson still held the lead at -10 under par, but has yet to complete his second round, with Danny Willett in second place.

Danny had completed his -3 under par second round 69, and at the time was clubhouse leader at -9 under par, he thought that was pretty cool;

“It was a tricky back nine, at 15 I got a bit of a flier and went long and at 17 just got on it a little bit instead of holding it up the right. From 50-70 feet they are not gimme two putts.” 

“It was nice to birdie the last, we hit some good golf shots today and it’s a good score.”

“You throw wind and rain in there and it becomes a bit of a lottery. If it’s just wind it’s playable. That strength wind out there it’s playable, you’ve got to hit good shots and you can make birdies.” 

“Hopefully it’s the same strength tomorrow and I think we’re in for a great weekend.” 

“You can’t put it out your mind, leading The Open, it’s pretty cool isn’t it?”

Currently tied in third place at -8 under par are Paul Lawrie and Jason Day, both will be returning early tomorrow morning to complete their rounds.

Tom Watson was playing in his last Open Championship, and sadly missed the cut, but did receive a warm send off from the gallery around the 18th hole, having previously had his picture taken on the Swilcan Bridge.

The Open

Tom Watson / Getty Images

40 mph winds are predicted for tomorrow, so play could be interrupted again, with many players yet to finish the second round, and trying to make the cut. Tiger Woods is one of those having to return to finish. he has seven holes left to get to the cut line, projected at even par, but he is at +5 over for the competition, so it looks like he will miss the cut here at St. Andrews.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson spoke about the bad weather that will affect play over the week-end;

“The forecast is for very strong winds so it is a very tough course today and tomorrow, but because we have had so much rain it’s nowhere near as fiery as it can be so I’m very hopeful that wind won’t affect play.

“Our target is to finish on Sunday. We do have the ability to go into Monday, but we certainly hope not to.”

The Open. Dustin Johnson Leads.

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Dustin Johnson leads the 144th The Open Championship on day one at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.

The Open

Dustin Johnson / Getty Images

Dustin took advantage of the easier early conditions to post a bogey free first round -7 under par 65 on the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Dustin said on Monday he had no hang-ups about his Chambers Bay near-miss, and this round proves it;

“Nothing bad happened at Chambers Bay, so I wasn’t disappointed, really.”

“I did everything I was supposed to. I couldn’t control what the ball was doing on the greens there.

“There’s really no bad feelings from that, only good. I played really well and then it carried over to today.

“Any time you shoot 65 it is very pleasing. I thought I played well today I made two key par putts on 16 and 17.”

There are six players tied in second place at -6 under par, after their opening rounds of 66; Robert Streb, Retief Goosen, Paul Lawrie, Jason Day, Zach Johnson and Danny Willett.

Louis Oosthuizen is in the group at -5 under par,  the 2010 Champion has shot over 70 just once in his last 11 rounds on the Old Course at St Andrews, he is really comfortable out on this course, and with bad weather predicted, he could figure at the end.

Hottest player on the planet right now, Jordan Spieth, also carded a first round -5 under par 67, and is in the five way tie for eighth place.

He played alongside his good friend Dustin, and reported that the way Dustin is driving the ball, beating him will be a tough task;

The Open

Jordan and Dustin / Getty Images

“I am very pleased with the start. It was certainly nice to finish that way.”

“I saw a 65 in our group and if DJ keeps driving it the way he is, then I’m going to have to play my best golf to have a chance.”

“It’s hard to argue with somebody who’s splitting bunkers at about 380 yards and just two-putting for birdie on five or six of the holes.”

“I don’t have that in the bag, but I’ve played enough golf with him to where I believe in my skill set that I can still trump that crazy ability that he has.”

“I expect when he stands on the tee it’s going to be up there miles and down the fairway. I also expect that I can birdie each hole when I stand on the tee. It just happens to be a little different route.”

“If Dustin keeps driving the way he is I’m going to have to be at my best to have a chance.”

“He doesn’t really play badly, ever.”

Tiger Woods has proved once again that he is just not ready to really contend at a Major, he started poorly on the first with an unconvincing tee shot, with an iron. It left him with 135 yards to the pin, but he found the burn at the front of the green, took a drop and carded a bogey.

The Open

Tiger and Burn / Getty Images

Tiger finished the day at +4 over par 76, the same score as another old favorite, Tom Watson.

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Peter Perfect Pulls Clear.

Perfect Peter Uihlein pulls clear at the top of the leaderboard in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, on the Old Course at St Andrews.

Peter Uihlein  (Getty Images)

Peter Uihlein / Getty Images

Following on from his -12 under par 60 at Kingsbarns, Peter fired a third round -7 under par 65 on the Old Course at St Andrews, to top the leaderboard at -20 under par, two shots clear of the field. A chip in from 47 yards on the par four 18th hole giving him an Eagle 2, to finish his first ever round on the Old Course at St. Andrews in style.

Peter had this to say about his round, and the amazing chip in at the last;

“It was not quite what I was trying to do but it worked out. I carried it a bit too far but got a bit lucky and it’s pretty sweet, a cool finish and a great way to sign off. I felt I missed quite a few putts coming down the stretch so it makes up for it a little.I don’t know if it gets easier but the more you do it the more comfortable you get. St Andrews is the Home of Golf and the greatest course in the world. Any time you can win at St Andrews would be special. It’s every golfer’s dream to win out here.”

Sharing second place are Joost Luiten, David Howell, Ernie Els, Richard McEvoy, Martin Kaymer and Shane Lowery, all on -18 under par for the tournament.

Joost, -4 under par 68 on the Old Course, has the Ryder Cup on his mind, his playing partner Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley gave him some advice during their round;

“The Ryder Cup is on my mind and Paul said it might be better to focus on The European Tour to try to win a couple more times to qualify for The Ryder Cup.”

David Howell carded a 63 at St Andrews and would love to lift the trophy on Sunday, after seven years without a victory;

“I’m in the mix again and that’s all you can keep doing. Tomorrow might be my day, it might not. But if I keep putting myself in with a chance to win I’m sure some silverware will come my way, and it will be a real thrill when it does.”

Ernie Els, who will compete for the International Team in next week’s Presidents Cup, wants to win the individual title, and is also pleased that he and his father Neels have made the cut in the Pro-Am event.

Ernie shot a 64 at St. Andrews;

“I needed a change, I’ve been in a bit of a rut playing in the FedEx Cup in the States, playing week to week and kind of going brain dead. You don’t know exactly what you’re playing for. To come here and play with my dad, who turned 70 this year, at these beautiful links courses makes a change and that’s what I needed. It would mean a great deal to win this event especially with our close connection with (tournament promoter) Johann Rupert and his family. I’ve come close quite a few times and I feel I need to get my name on that trophy. I’m in a great position but there’s a lot of guys in there. It will be a great shootout tomorrow, depending on the weather. If it’s like this, it will be amazing.”

Richard McEvoy needs a win to climb back into the top 110 in The Race to Dubai, he had a -5 under par 67 at Kingsbarns;

” To be honest I’m thinking about winning at the moment. I’m in a position to go out and try and give it a go and try and win, that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow. That’s all I’ve been thinking about all week really is trying to get out there and finish as high up as possible, but obviously after day one, it was a key to try and keep making birdies and try and be aggressive like I was the first day. It’s paid off so far, so that’s what I’ll be doing again tomorrow.”

Martin Kaymer loves St Andrews, and also playing with his brother Philip in the Pro-AM, the family affair is completed with his father carrying the bag;

“You tell me if there’s any better or different golf course you want to play under those conditions. Perfect weather, and I played with my brother and we made the cut for tomorrow, my dad is caddying; I don’t know if it gets any better. You have a good day of playing and it’s almost impossible not to enjoy it. It’s a really nice day. A performance like yesterday and today is very nice and helps a lot in the confidence.”

Shane Lowery also had an Eagle 2 today, and equalled the Carnoustie course record of -8 under par 64;

“I didn’t know what the record was but Richard told me in the scorers’ hut afterwards, but any score under par at Carnoustie is usually good so I am delighted with eight under. I knew I needed a good score to have any chance and didn’t think I was going to shoot 64. I didn’t see the eagle go in but my dad was watching and he let me know pretty quickly!”

 Paul Casey also equalled the course record at St Andrews with a 62, but he is still seven shots off the lead on 13 under par.

It is going to be a fantastic shoot-out tomorrow to determine the winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.


Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Lewis Leads

Tom Lewis leads the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the conclusion of the second round in Scotland.

Tom Lewis  (Getty Images)

Tom Lewis / Getty Images

Tom Lewis, who currently stands at 155 in the Race To Dubai, and only has three weeks left to climb back into the top 110, has helped his cause by leading the Alfred Dunhill Links championship at the half way stage. Tom recorded a -7 under par 65 in the second round, played on the Old Course at St Andrews, to top the leaderboard at -15 under par.

Tom said the lack of wind today made it easier;

” Seven under is a good score at St Andrews but there was no wind today so I think you would be disappointed if you did not shoot better than five under. I feel like I am home again. Links golf suits me, I won the St Andrews Links Trophy here in 2011 and it’s great to come back. I knew I had good form coming in but Friday has been my enemy this year so it’s good to get it out of the way.”

Joost Luiten is alone in second place at -14 under par, he carded a second round -9 under par on the Kingsbarns course, starting on the tenth tee.

There are six players all tied in third place at -13 under par, Tommy Fleetwood, Mark Foster, Oliver Wilson, Richard McEvoy, Hennie Otto and Peter Uihlein.

Peter, playing Kingsbarns backwards, starting on the tenth tee, came close to making history. His Eagle attempt on the ninth just rolled past the edge of the hole, which would have given him a round of 59. It would have been the first 59 ever recorded on the European Tour. Even so a -12 under par 60, is a superb effort around the Kingsbarns course;

“I knew I needed to make an eagle and I thought I hit a good putt. I thought it would come back to the right but it kept going left. I had a lot of good moments today and I drove the ball well and hit a lot of wedges. Today started off with me hitting it close and not making anything and then I started holing it from everywhere. It was just one of those days that went for me. When I made that birdie on the 17th to go 11 under that was the first time 59 crossed my mind. I was in the zone out there and it was cool. I am definitely not as calm underneath as it looked, but I just tried to stay with my routines and keep the same swing thought. I put a lot of work in during the off-season and even on my off weeks I’m still practicing and grinding so it’s nice to see the results so quickly.”

Richard is battling to avoid a second successive visit to Qualifying School, he sits at 171 on the list, a long way from the top 110;

“In a way that kind of helps, because I need to keep pushing, I can’t sit back and think that I can maybe finish top 20 and that will can keep my card, because it won’t. I need to keep pushing and I need to keep making birdies. I need to keep playing the aggressive golf I’ve done the first two days and I think that helps.”