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Africa Open. Grillo Gets In Front On Day 3.

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Emiliano Grillo gets in front on day  3 of the Africa Open at the East London Golf Club.

Emiliano Grillo sinks another putt during his third round 62

Emiliano Grillo  / Getty Images

Emiliano shot a bogey free third round of -9 under par 62 to take the lead at the Africa Open on -20 under par, a two-stroke lead going into the final round tomorrow. It was a positive putting performance that gave him the lead, including a 60 footer on the last hole to save par. Emiliano came close in Dubai, and wants to win this time;

“It was a good round of golf. I played well, but it was the putting that helped the most. I made some good ones on the back nine that kept my round going. I didn’t hit it as close as I would have liked for nine under, but I made them from all over. I played good for the whole round and I am quite happy with my game, so hopefully I can repeat it tomorrow.”

“When you start making a couple of pars in a row you get impatient, so the key around here is waiting for the birdies. It’s definitely more difficult than the past two days. The wind picked up and it was a little different direction to what we have seen, but I played good enough to not care about the wind today. Hopefully we will have similar conditions tomorrow. A great putt on the last hole gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year. I thought I had it for a moment in Dubai but Stephen played great on the last few holes so he got the trophy and I got second place, but it felt like a win for me.”

Oliver Fisher is in second place, at -18 under par, he signed for third round -5 under par 66, which included three bogeys, six birdies and an Eagle. He admitted he played some poor shots today;

” I hit a few poor shots, but I’m delighted with the way I finished and pleased with my score for today. I’m two behind and it’s the sort of course where guys can come from a long way back.” 

There are three players tied in third place, Richard Bland, Thomas Aiken and John Hahn, all at -16 under par.

Yesterdays leader John Hahn suffered  two duffed shots on the 12th, which ultimately gave  the 24-year-old Qualifying School graduate his first bogey since the opening day on Thursday. He carded an even par 71, a far cry from yesterday’s 61.We keep saying the time to shoot 61 or 62 is the last round, how often have we seen the low rounds followed by horrible high rounds ?

Someone is going to shoot a -9 or -10 round tomorrow, and win this tournament, so there are lots of possibilities in the field who could still win.

Africa Open. Santos Shoots 62 on Day 1.

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Ricardo Santos shoots 62 in round one of the Africa Open at the East London Golf Club. Ricardo Santos   (Getty Images)

Ricardo Santos / Getty Images

Portugal’s Ricardo  carded a flawless -9 under par 62 to set take the clubhouse lead at East London G.G. in the Africa Open. He won  his first title on home soil in the Madeira Islands, and nine birdies and no bogeys here has put him on course to win again. Of course as I said last week it is much better to shoot 62 in the last round than the first, so we will see if Ricardo can continue with his good form. Not missing a fairway today was the key to his fabulous round, and helped by beautiful weather on the short course that measures just 6,632 yards;

“I played really solidly today and gave myself a lot of chances for birdie, and I took a lot of those chances, I’m very pleased to make a run like I did today. I hit the ball solidly from the tee and my putting was all good. To shoot minus nine you have to play awesome golf, so I’m really pleased with every piece of my game. If the wind blows this is a very tough course, but today if you put the ball in the fairway you had the chance to shoot a low round.”

” I made nine under in Madeira to win the event, but I shot 63 there, because the par was 72. Today was definitely one of my best rounds of golf so far. I put the ball very close, didn’t miss a fairway, and that’s the key on this course.”

 Garth Mulroy, Rhys Davies, Lucas Bjerregaard and Richard Bland are tied in second place at -7 under par after their opening rounds of 64.

Garth carded six birdies, an eagle and one bogey, Rhys had eight birdies in his last 16 holes. Richard produced a flawless round of golf, which contained an eagle and five birdies in a back nine of 30.

Garth enjoyed the good weather conditions, with no wind off the Indian Ocean;

” It’s always nice to start the week this way, usually we don’t get weather like this here, but I’m not complaining. The scores are definitely out there, you’ve just got to make some putts. I am pleased to be up there. I played okay on my first nine, but only turned one under. On the second nine I made a few putts and got it going. I think that on the front side of the course there are a few short par fours and with good shots you can make some easy birdies.”

Rhys was happy to record a nice opening round;

 “I haven’t had the greatest form over the last couple of years, so it’s really nice to have a good round under my belt. It was a lovely start this morning, I enjoyed it, and I’ll try to do the same again tomorrow.”

East London course photo’s

    photoEast London

BMW Italian Open 3rd Round in Turin

Garth Mulroy  (Getty Images)

                                                             Garth Mulroy/Getty Images

Garth Mulroy of South Africa  will take a one shot lead into the final round of the BMW Italian Open at  Royal Park I Roveri golf course in Turin, after his -6 under par third round of 66. Garth had seven birdies and only his second bogey of the week in moving to -17 under par and top spot on the leaderboard. Earlier in the week Garth had spoken about the South African feel to the  Royal Park I Roveri golf course, and yesterday said how comfortable he was playing it;

” I said on the first day the course reminds me a lot of a South African course, the trees, the shape, and the ball goes a little further too.
I haven’t played so well this year. It would be a big thing to win on mainland Europe, especially with the purse here and the two-year exemption. I don’t win very often so I’d take any win.  I’ve played quite a bit with Gonzalo. We’ve been drawn together a few times and have played together a few more at the weekend. I enjoy it and I like his caddie too, he’s a funny guy. I feel very comfortable out there.”

In second place, just one shot adrift is Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, he managed to birdie the last two holes for a round of 67, and to be 16 under, the highlight  of his round was undoubtedly a 70 foot eagle at the long eighth hole. Gonzalo was not happy with his unforced errors, two of which were due to putting his ball in the water;

” I played well but I had a few unforced errors which cost me a few shots, but two birdies to finish on the last two holes has put me back in contention and I’m in a great position for tomorrow. It’s not going to be an easy task. There are a lot of players within four shots, and this is one of those courses where you can go really low if you have a good day. So I will need to play well again tomorrow and go low, especially to put some pressure on Garth, who is playing great. He’s hitting the ball beautifully and his putting is fabulous. It’s going to be hard to beat him tomorrow.”

European Ryder Cup stars Nicolas Colsaerts and Martin Kaymer remain firmly in contention on -13 under par. They are joined by the home town favourite Matteo Manassero, overnight leader Richard Bland, Welshman Phillip Price and France’s Grégory Bourdy.

BMW Italian Open, 2nd Round

BMW

Richard Bland  (Getty Images)

Richard Bland /Getty Images

Richard Bland birdied the last three holes of his second round to put himself into the halfway lead at the BMW Italian Open at Royal Park I Roveri  in Turin. Richard is unfortunately yet to win on The European Tour despite ten years of trying,  he now has a fantastic chance to break his duck here at the BMW Italian Open  after a -6 under par second round of 66 took him to -12 under par in the tournament. Apart from  trying to secure a first title, Richard is also in need of a good week to retain his place on The European Tour for 2013. He currently lies 126th on The Race to Dubai, and only the top 115 keep their cards. Richard commented;

” I’ve had a tough couple of years, but that’s behind me now and I’m just trying to move forward and improve every day. When it wasn’t going my way on the front nine, I didn’t panic. I knew there were chances out there and it was just a question of waiting. I don’t go for the panic button which I might’ve done five or six years ago. There’s still 36 holes to go, all it is right now is a great position. There are great players behind me, its low scoring, so two 70s isn’t going to get it done. I’ll probably have to shoot ten under from here, but that’s a good thing. You’ve got to keep making birdies, you have to keep your foot on the accelerator. It was a strange day because I birdied the first then struggled to get anything going, I missed a couple of chances and struggled to get the pace of the greens.

” But I holed a nice putt at the 14th for birdie, then hit a couple of shots really close at the 16th and 17th, then hit two great shots at the 18th. It all happened at once really. You’d expect in a 66 that you’d hit a lot of really good shots, but I’m hitting a lot of okay shots. I’m not putting myself in any problems, which is great, but on this course you have a lot of short irons and you feel like you should be hitting it close all the time. I’m leading and I’m not going to complain, but I feel there’s a lot of room of improvement. When you don’t feel like you’ve got your A-game and you’re 12 under and leading, it’s fantastic. If I can get my swing clicked into place, it should be a good weekend.”

There are four players in second place at -11 under par, and just one shot behind the leader, they are;  Grégory Bourdy,  Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Garth Mulroy and Marc Warren.

Fernandez-Castaño admitted the advice of Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal had helped his putting in a round of 65.

” Olly  helped me with my putting two years ago, when he recommended that I putt with my feet together. Last year I had another tip from a fellow Spaniard, telling me to use the claw grip, and it has made a massive difference. I’ve been working with psychologists too, but it’s not until you see the ball rolling into the hole on a regular basis that your confident levels go up and you believe you can putt.”

Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal made the cut on the mark at four under, as did defending champion Robert Rock.

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.”

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