Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Tommy Fleetwood Retains Title.

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Tommy Fleetwood, of England, retains his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Tommy Fleetwood

Tommy shot a great final round -7 under par 65, one of the low rounds on the day, to retain his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title with a -22 under par total, on a good day with the putter;

“It was pretty good on that back nine really, I think at the turn, it was just a few shots .”

“The up-and-down on ten, the up-and-down on 11, 13, got a bit lucky with the tee shot.”

“When putts were going in like 15 and 16, you just feel like, could this be my day again.”

“Then 18, I mean, forget the second shot, the up-and-down was one of the best up-and-downs I ever made. So happy days.”

“I holed the putts on the back nine, ten, 12, 13, 15, 16, the up-and-down on 18. I was just in the moment and seeing the shots.“

Ross Fisher finished in second place, making it a top one & two for England, he carded a last round -3 under 69 for a total of -20 under par;

“Obviously you’re going to face a very tough and tricky day,  the wind was blowing.”

“Greens were getting firmer and faster. And then you’ve only got to look at the quality of the leaderboard, playing with Thomas, you had Fleet just in front with Rory, Fitzy, and you never knew, someone from even earlier could have shot a really low one.”

“Hats off to Tommy. I don’t feel like I’ve lost a tournament. Tommy’s gone out there and shot 65 and he’s won it, so all credit to Tommy.”

Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland, -2 under 70 today, Matt Fitzpatrick, England, -3 under 69, finished in third place at -18 under par.

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Career Builder Challenge. Austin Cook 54 Hole Leader.

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Austin Cook is the 54 hole leader of the Career Builder Challenge in California.

Career Builder Challenge

Austin Cook 

Austin carded a third round Career Builder Challenge -8 under par 64 on the La Quinta course, to lead the tournament by one shot at -19 under par.

Yesterday’s leader Andrew Landry scored -2 under around the Stadium Course to share second place at -18 under par with Martin Piller who signed for a -5 under 67 at La Quinta.

Tied in fourth spot are Jon Rahm, Spain, -2 under 70 at the Stadium Course and Scott Piercy, -6 under 66 also at the Stadium Course, both at -17 under par , two shots off the pace.

Jon had problems with the par three’s;

 “Three of the bogeys were on par-threes, which none of them was in a water hazard, which shows maybe poor club, poor shot, poor approach shot, some was just bad luck.”

“But other than that I played good golf, a little bit of a survival day, you always get those in a tournament.”

“I still had a couple of good shots there, I’m just hoping, looking forward to tomorrow that I continue to play the same way I did the first two days, especially on this course as it’s a lot more demanding.”

“So it all depends on the weather conditions.”

“The course is firming up and I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par you’ll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.”

Notables missing the cut, which was made at -8 under,  include Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed, Vaughn Taylor, and  Chris Kirk.

Phil missed the cut here for the first time in 24 years, he struggled today for  a +2-over par 74,  in the heavy winds, playing the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots.

The last round will be played over the more difficult Pete Dye designed PGA West Stadium Course, and with the leaderboard being tight at the top,it will be an exciting final round tomorrow. 

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Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Thomas Pieters Leads Half-Way.

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Thomas Pieters of Belgium has the half-way lead in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Thomas Pieters / getty

Thomas chipped in for a birdie on his last hole to sign for a second round -7 under par 65, and lead the  Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by one shot at -12 under par;

“We have a decent game plan, I’ve done well here in the past and it suits me.”

“We hit driver wherever we can and the rest of it, it’s good ball-striking and going at a couple flags with wedges when you have them that you need to do that.”

“It was nice to hole one on the last after two terrible shots. But the rest of it was decent today. Ball-striking was good.”

“I hit most of the middle of the greens. If I had a wedge, I went at the flag and I think I got up-and-down or made birdie with a wedge in my hand three or four times.”

“It wasn’t really that fancy today but a very good round.”

Jorge Campillo, Spain, shot -8 under par 64 to move into second place at -11 under par;

“It was perfect , no wind, the greens are perfect, and every time I look up, everyone is making a putt.”

“The rough is a little lower than normally. I mean, it’s perfect to shoot low. You still have to do it but it’s a great day to play golf.”

Three players are tied in third place at -10 under par, 1st round leader and defending Champion Tommy Fleetwood, -4 under 68 today, Ross Fisher, -5 under 67, both from England, and Alex Levy, France, with -7 under 65.

Rory McIlroy , Northern Ireland, -6 under 66 today is in of a four-way tie at -9  under, while World Number One Dustin Johnson, USA, a shot further back at -8 under after shooting that score in his second round 64.

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Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Tommy & Hideto Tied at the Top.

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Defending Champion Tommy Fleetwood, England, is tied at the top of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship leaderboard with Hideto Tanihara of Japan.

 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Tommy Fleetwood / getty

In defence of his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title Tommy hit all 18 greens in regulation to card a bogey free first round -6 under par 66 to share the lead with Hideto, who was also bogey free at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates.

Tommy said he played well, especially off the tee and capitalized with good putting;

“It’s a good golf course to hit 18 greens around, just a good ball-striking round and nice to start the year off like that.”

“Had control of my ball really from the get-go. Just sort of did what you need to do well around here to get a good score.”

“I drove it well, got away with a couple of tee shots.” 

“Eighteen greens doesn’t happen very often so nice to do it around here.”

“My pace putting was really good. I didn’t put myself under any stress at all. So all in all, a very good morning.”

Hideto played smart golf and also had a good day with the putter;

“It’s a tough course here, I’m thinking more about playing smart golf and making good putts.”

“Aoki, he won on the European Tour, and I’m just trying to focus on winning on the European Tour.”

Five players share third place at -5 under par after their rounds of 67; Fabrizio Zanotti, ParaguaySam Brazel, AustraliaRoss Fisher, EnglandThomas PietersBelgium and Bernd Wiesberger of Austria.

Rory McIlroy played alongside Tommy and world number one Dustin Johnson, for his first outing of the season and carded a respectable -3 under 69. 

Rory was happy with his performance;

“It was nice, I sort of knew what I was expecting out there but at the same time, you never really know.”

“First competitive round in over a hundred days, so it’s a little bit different. But I did well.”

“I played very solid. I think only missed one or two greens, so gave myself plenty of chances. Drove the ball well. Iron play was pretty good.”

“So just need to keep doing that over the next three days and I should have a chance. I was excited to get going.”

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British Masters. Paul Dunne Wins His Maiden Tour Title.

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Paul Dunne of Ireland wins his maiden Tour title, the British Masters at Close House Golf Club, in Newcastle, England.

British Masters

Paul Dunne / getty

With a final round -9 under par 61 Paul captured the British Masters title returning a winning total of -20 under par for the tournament, for his Maiden Tour win;

 “Absolutely thrilled.”

“It’s kind of a sense of relief to prove it to myself that I can get it done.”

“I think I’ve improved a lot mentally over the last year in these kind of situations.”

“I feel like I’ve got a bit tougher mentally and I get excited to go out and look at the leaderboard, rather than trying to look at position.”

“I went out and really tried to win the tournament rather than have someone hand it to me. That was the focus.”

“Once I was in front, just keep pushing, make no bogeys and see how many birdies I can make.”

“Obviously the money is great. It means I don’t have to worry about getting a job where I have to sit behind a desk. But after all this, you know, I really love playing golf, and I’ve been grateful.”

Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland,  was in second place, three shots back at -17 under par, carding a last round -7 under 63, which on any other day would probably have won him the tournament;

“It was good, it was just nice to have a chance to win a golf tournament.”

“I think that was the big thing. The more chances I have like that, I seem to play better.”

“Mentally I’m just a little more engaged and switched on. I started okay today. I started a little more slowly than yesterday but I was three under through nine. “

“Saw that Paul got off to a great start and I set myself a target on the back nine. I said, if I could shoot four under on the back nine, finish 17 under, I’ll have a chance.”

“I did everything that I wanted to do, it just wasn’t good enough in the end today.”

“Incredible, to shoot 61 to win his first Tour event, it’s incredibly impressive.”

“I’m happy for him as well. He works hard on his game. Every time I’m out practicing or on the putting green, the chipping green, he’s always there and he’s always working hard. “

“So it’s very well deserved.”

Robert Karlsson, Sweden finished in third position on -16 under par, with a final round-4 under 66.

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British Masters. Robert Karlsson Leads.

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Robert Karlsson of Sweden leads the British Masters after 54 holes at  Close House Golf Club.

British Masters

Robert Karlsson / getty

Robert carded a third round -3 under par 67 to top the British Masters leaderboard with a -12 under par total, and will start the final round with a one shot advantage;

“Every time you play well, every time you’re up in contention at tournaments, it’s what we all practice for and what we all play for.”

“It’s fantastic to play here. It’s a great crowd and I’m very, very happy to be in the last group. It’s a long time since I was there.”

“I didn’t hit the ball very good so I put myself in a lot of trouble. But I managed to keep it together very nicely and I’m very proud of the way I scored in the end. So it was good.”

Five players are tied in second place at -11 under par, Ian Poulter, England, -2 under 68 today, Paul Dunne, Ireland, -5 under 65, Richie Ramsay, Scotland, a bogey free -5 under 65, and Tyrrell Hatton, +1 over 71 and Graeme Storm, -3 under 67, both players from England.

Ian stated his intentions;

“I’ve come here this week to do a number of things. One is to get back in the top fifty, and two is to win this golf tournament.”

“I’m now in position going into Sunday I realistically have to feel I’m in with a shout.”

Tyrrell was frustrated;

“I would say it was a very frustrating day. I didn’t actually play too badly. I had so many awkward numbers when you’re right in between clubs.”

Graeme suffered from poor putting;

” A little bit disappointing from, I think it was twelve, where I missed quite a short one and went on to miss another short one and another one.”

Rory McIlroy shot -6 under par 64 today to put himself into contention at -10 under par, holing some putts;

“I felt today I did get the most out of it. I scrambled well when I needed to. Some of these sort of three and four-footers that you leave yourself on these greens are pretty tricky.”

 At least I put myself in the position today where if I do hole those putts tomorrow, it might mean something, so that’s nice. sixty four was good.”

 

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British Masters. Two Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a two-way tie at the top pf the British Masters after round one at Close House Golf Club in England. Tyrrell Hatton, of England shares the honor with George Coetzee of South Africa.

British Masters

Tyrrell Hatton / getty

Tyrrell and George both carded first round scores of -7  under par 63 to top the British Masters leaderboard.

Tyrrell admitted he had endured a bad time on the course this year;

“It was a really good day, I played lovely out there and gave myself plenty of chances, managed to convert a few at the end.”

“Hopefully I can keep the form going with my swing and post another good number.”

“I hit a lot of good iron shots today and it’s nice to feel comfortable in my swing again.”

“Obviously I had a really bad summer, which is frustrating, but you’re going to go through these phases.”

“Golf’s hard and I’m happy with where I’m at now.”

George was happy with his round today;

“I’m happy with the score, a couple of niggles actually while I was playing that weren’t that good but I had the opportunities when they came and we were able to post a pretty good number.”

Five players are then tied in third place, one shot back at -6 under par after opening rounds of 64; Chris Hanson, England, Mikko Ilonen and Mikko Korhonen from FinlandAlvaro Quiros, Spain and  Rikard Karlberg of Sweden.

Rory McIlroy was then in the group at -3 under par. he is playing here mainly due to wanting to stay eligible for next year’s Ryder Cup.

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