Travelers Championship. Four Way Tie After Second Round.

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There is a four-way tie at the top of the Travelers Championship leaderboard after the second round at TPC River Highlands.

Berger chasing Ryder Cup spot

Daniel Berger / getty

Daniel Berger, -3 under par 67 today, Russell Henley -5 under 65,  Marc Leishman  -2 under 68 and Tyrone Van Aswegen -4 under 66 all share the lead at -7 under par.

Daniel wants to make the Ryder Cup team, and is seeking his second win of the season and rolling in a few putts certainly helped;

“In terms of the Ryder Cup, I’m just doing everything I can to earn a spot on my own, but obviously I would never turn down a pick.”

“I don’t know who would. But yeah, I’m just playing the best I can, and whatever happens; happens.”

“I just hit some good shots, I haven’t missed many greens this week and rolled in a few putts, but obviously going to have to play a little better on the weekend to have a good chance.”

“I was not expecting the wind to blow like it did.”

“I came out here early in the morning and hit some putts and it was dead calm and it kind of picked up from nowhere, but I feel like I handled it pretty well.”

Marc was happy with his round today, especially driving off the tee, but would like to roll in more putts;

“I’m Happy with the day. I didn’t play quite as well, but conditions were a little tougher late in the day with the greens and a little bit of breeze up. It was challenging, but I’m happy with the day.”

“I Drove the ball pretty well again. Irons weren’t quite as good as what they were yesterday, and got a couple of lucky breaks that I capitalised on.

“Hopefully keep driving the ball as I am. It would be nice to get a few iron shots a little bit closer and roll those putts in.”

“That’s obviously the most important thing. I wasn’t able to roll too many in today, but I still shot 2-under.”

Saturday’s forecast of afternoon thunderstorms led to tournament officials scheduling third-round tee times from 7 to 9 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10, with golfers remaining in threesomes.

EURASIA CUP. Team Europe Win.

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Darren Clarke’s Team Europe sealed the EurAsia Cup win with eight of Sunday’s singles matches still out on course. Danny Willett clinching the victory with his singles win over Byeong Hun An at the Glenmarie Golf & Country Club in Malaysia.

EurAsia Cup

Winning Team Europe / Getty Images

Darren who will also captain Europe’s Ryder Cup team later this year, says the experience gained here should stand him in good stead for the upcoming Ryder tussle;

“There have been a lot of positives this week. I’ve learnt a few things, and hopefully I’ll do a better job come September.” 

“But if the players don’t play and don’t perform, you can be the best captain in the world and you’re not going to win.”

“This belongs to the players; the quality of the golf this week has been brilliant.”

The final score was 18½-5½, which was a bit of a surprise as the first tournament two years ago ended in a draw.

Lee Westwood spoke of the importance of this win to the younger players in the Team;

“I think everybody has played well this week and obviously contributed. That’s why the scoreline has ended up as it is.”

“I hit the ball pretty well this week and obviously won three points, so it’s nice to contribute.”

“There’s young lads on this team and ones that are going to be playing in The Ryder Cup obviously later on in the year.”

“This is going to be a great experience for them, just feeding them into team golf gradually. And I’m sure they will benefit from this week. Nothing but positives to come out.”

Ian POULTER 4&3 Danny CHIA         Danny WILLETT 3&1 Byeong Hun AN

Andy SULLIVAN 4&3 Thongchai JAIDEE      Matthew FITZPATRICK 2 Up Kiradech APHIBARNRAT
Anirban LAHIRI 2&1 Shane LOWRY        K.T. KIM 3&2  Bernd WIESBERGER
Lee WESTWOOD 7&6 Nicholas FUNG   Ross FISHER Match Halved Jeunghun WANG

Chris WOOD 1 Hole S.S.P CHAWRASIA   Kristoffer BROBERG 5&4 Shingo KATAYAMA

Victor DUBUISSON 1 Up Ashun WU    Søren KJELDSEN 3&2 Prayad MARKSAENG

I guess you can only feel sorry for the Team Asia captain Jeev Milka Singh, he must be wondering what hit him.

 

 

Trophee Hassan II. Richie Romps Home.

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Richie Ramsay romps home to win the Trophee Hassan II on the Golf du Palais Royal course in Morocco.

His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid / Getty Images

Richie & HRH
Prince Moulay Rachid / Getty Images

Richie managed to recover from four dropped shots in just two holes to claim a dramatic one shot victory at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco, with a final round -3 under par 69 and a tournament total -10 under par.

Richie, from the home of golf, Scotland, spoke about the dramatic turn of events in picking up his third European Tour title;

“I made six, as simple as that. I just didn’t execute the shot the way I wanted too,  hit a poor chip, it came back in the divot, wouldn’t come out, chipped on and two putts, easy six!

“I knew I was still in the mix and I made great putts on nine and ten just to keep the momentum going.”

“I stood over the putt on the 12th hole and I just thought my putter feels absolutely great, I could see all the lines.”

“I thought ‘just go for it, this is your time’. Pretty much took it by the scruff of the neck the next two holes and the seven iron on the last is probably one of the best shots I’ve ever hit in terms of visualisation and execution, it was just perfect.”

Romain Wattel finished in second place, just one shot back at -9 under par, his final round -2 under par 70 not quite enough to give him his maiden European Tour win.

There was a six way tie for third, all on -8 under par, Jaco Van Zyl, George Coetzee, Pablo Larrazábal, Mikael Lundberg, Kevin Phelan and Chris Wood.

Former Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal is going to The Masters, he is a two-time winner there, and a top ten finish here has set him up nicely for Augusta;

“I didn’t expect this earlier in the week.”

“The first day I put together a decent score and struggled Friday, then yesterday it all fitted in on the back nine. Today was a bit like yesterday and I was really happy with my score.”

“I saw the leaderboard on 18 and knew I had a putt to lead in the clubhouse. It’s nice to have a round like this and a tournament like this for confidence.”

“It is a different course at Augusta, it is really long there for me now. It’s much better to have a score like this than not, but I know how tough Augusta is these days.”

Tshwane Open. Adrian Otaegui from Spain Leads.

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Adrian Otaegui from Spain leads the Tshwane Open at the half-way stage at the Pretoria Country Club in South Africa.

Tshwane Open

Adrian Otaegui / Getty Images

Adrian, who is mentored by José María Olazábal, came close to recording a 59, but in the end settled for -8 under par 62, and a mid-way total of -11 under par, and a two shot lead going into the week-end. It could have been better, he needed to par the last two holes to make 59, but made par on the 17th, and sadly bogey on 18, which is normally a par five, but was reduced to a par four in this tournament.

Adrian spoke about that last hole, and the early morning start;

“It’s a tough par four and it’s normally a par five.”

“I was focused and didn’t know that I had made five birdies in a row.” 

“I was playing well and made a few putts, that’s all I was thinking about. The best golf is when you think as little as possible, and this was one of those days.”

“Yesterday in the afternoon the fairways were a bit harder, so the ball was rolling a bit more. This morning the ball was flying less, because it was cool at 6.40 in the morning.” 

“The course is in good shape and it’s getting warm now, but I think it will hold up at the weekend.”

“I just have to be patient tomorrow. Let’s see if I’ve learnt something from these last two rounds.”

In the afternoon there was a delay due to the threat of lightning, but South Africa’s Merrick Bremner shot -4 under par 66, to move into second place on his own with a -9 under par total.

Yesterday’s co-leaders fell back with David Horsey scoring -1 under par 69, and tied in third place at -8 under par, with Edoardo Molinari, Keith Horne and Trevor Fisher Jnr, while Morten Ørum Madsen settled for a second round +2 over par 72 and is now tied in 13th position.

Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke made the cut, with a second round -3 under par 67, which left him T34.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Kaymer 1st Round Leader.

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Martin Kaymer is the 1st round leader of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, proving that he always plays well here.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Martin Kaymer / Getty Images

Martin carded an opening round of -8 under par 64, to hold the first round lead by one shot at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club. He won here in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and was also the runner-up in 2009. Martin said he had putted very well, and was very pleased with his great start to the tournament;

“I putted well. I made ten birdies. I’m not sure if I have ever done it on a golf course, hit ten birdies. I hit a lot of fairways, my irons were quite sharp and I putted well.”

“It’s very difficult to shoot a bad score when you play like this.”

“Now the goal is not to compare myself tomorrow to the round what happened today. Tomorrow will be a new start but it’s a brilliant start to a great tournament.”

Thomas Pieters is in second place, just one shot adrift of the leader, a -7 under par 65 opening round giving him that place on his own. Thomas said he liked everything about the golf course;

“It was nice to start out the season with a seven under, so, I’m happy.”

“I like the greens here. They changed a couple of the greens around, like four, it’s going to be a really good pin and they put it front right and I think two is really good, too.”

Five players are tied in third place, all at -6 under par following their first round scores of 66; Branden Grace, Grégory Bourdy, Tyrrell Hatton, Alexander Levy and Mikko Ilonen.

Rory McIlroy, who is making his first appearance of the year, and Ryder Cup rival Rickie Fowler are among half a dozen players on -5 under par, making it a very compacted top of the leaderboard.

Rory executed a brilliant shot from the edge of the rough and bunker on the third hole to secure an unlikely birdie, one of five gains he made in six holes to complete his 67, and said it was not the sort of shot you practice;

“It’s definitely a boost. It’s not a shot I would practise too much, that’s for sure.”

“But from looking like you’re going to make a bogey to making a birdie that gives you a little bit of momentum and you can go on from there and luckily I was able to make a few birdies after that.”

Shots of the day came from Tom Lewis and Miguel Angel Jiménez they both recorded holes in one. Tom’s shot on the par three seventh winning him a Cadillac Escalade, while his father watched on.

Miguel’s came on 177-yard par three 15th, which pleased him;

“It’s very nice when you make a hole-in-one. I’m happy I finished level par today.”

Wales Open. Lowery Leads at Half-Way Point.

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Shane Lowery leads the Wales Open at the half-way point at The Celtic Manor Resort.

Wales Open

Shane Lowery / Getty Images

Shane shot a second round -6 under par 65 to lead the Wales Open at -9 under par after 36 holes. He admitted his lofty position was a bit of a surprise, as he had never played that well before at Celtic Manor;

“I’m pretty happy. I’ve never, ever done well here before, so to be leading after two rounds is nice.There is still a long way to go in the tournament but I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”

“I didn’t drive it that good yesterday but still shot a decent score. I drove it a lot better today, drove it a lot straighter and gave myself a lot of chances and rolled in a few putts, so it was nice.”

“I felt like coming over that I could give it a go this week. I was around tenth going into the back nine on Sunday last week, and similar the week before in Switzerland. If I can get myself in a good position come the back nine this weekend, again, hopefully I can give it a go.”

First round leader Joost Luiten is tied second place, carding -2 under par in the second round for a -8 under par tournament total. Joost said the course played much tougher today, overnight rain being the main factor;

“I’m happy. It was tough today because the greens were very soft compared to yesterday with all the rain they had last night, and with the back pins, even seven irons spun back four or five yards, and it was tough to fly them all the way to the back.”

Big hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts is also tied in second at -8 under par, and would love to win again, his last victory was in 2012;

“It would mean a lot to win again after two years and struggling the first few months of the season.”

“Today I started very nicely but made two silly mistakes in the middle of the round and I almost lost it but it was nice to hole that putt on the last. It was about 35 feet with eight feet of break.”

The two Gleneagles Ryder Cup wild cards, Stephen Gallacher and Lee Westwood experienced differing results but similar emotions.
Steve shot -1 under par 70, and went home, missing the cut; Lee scored -2 under par 69 and made the cut. He was happy to have two more rounds of golf before heading to Gleneagles;

“I needed a couple more rounds, I was not particularly competitive yesterday, it was pretty scratchy, but today was more solid. A few iffy shots but it was nice to finish with two birdies in the last four holes to ensure being here for the weekend and two more competitive rounds.”

“I have been working on my game and been in the gym quite a lot, but I’m not quite match fit. I had three weeks off and you lose your sharpness.”

Steve was in a relaxed and philosophical mood as he left Celtic Manor;

“Yesterday was quite tough, it was tough to get going and get my head around it but today was a lot better. I was maybe trying a wee bit too hard yesterday and still thinking about next week.”

“I feel good, I’m physically and mentally good so I am really looking forward to next week. I’ll get up the road this afternoon and relax this weekend and maybe play nine holes with Thomas (Björn) on Monday morning.”

“I’ve done my preparation for it and I just want to get up there and get going.”

Wales Open. Joost Luiten Leads on Day 1.

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Joost Luiten leads  at the end of day 1 of the Wales Open at Celtic Manor Resort.

Wales Open

Joost Luiten / Getty Images

Joost shot an opening round at the Wales Open of -6 under par 65 to sit on top of the Celtic Manor Resort course leaderboard.

Nicolas Colsaerts and Andrew McArthur are tied in second place at -5 under par following their first round scores of 66. Nicolas hit the longest drive in European Tour history , mighty a 447-yard bombshell that left him with just a gap wedge into the 613-yard par five 18th hole at Celtic Manor, to set up the Eagle. Even that record could not console him as he rued not having the chance to play once again in the Ryder Cup, in his previous outing he carded eight birdies and an eagle in a four-ball win alongside Lee Westwood at Medinah two years ago.;

“I saw them having dinner and thought ‘I wish I was in that room. It’s their adventure and I am not part of it, but once you play in one Ryder Cup, you don’t want to miss another one.”

Of the longest drive, “The muscles from Brussels” only mentioned the wind assistance and some heavenly help;

” I thought it was too far right but it’s all downhill and downwind and it must have luged down the fairway. If all the stars align you can hit it a long way.”

Tied in fourth place are Justin Walters, Robert Rock and Sam Walker, these three carded rounds of -4 under par 67.

Robert admitted he had not played well this year;

“Probably for the last month I’ve been playing good, the rest of the year has been pretty horrific. I’ve been driving the ball well for months, and wasting every opportunity that brings.”

” My iron play has been good for two weeks, the putting has been hit and miss, but the past two weeks have been good, so I hope I can drag that on for a little bit longer.”

Of the four Team Europe players competing at The Celtic Manor Resort, Jamie Donaldson’s -1 under par 70 was the best score, with Thomas Björn returning with level par, Lee Westwood +2 over par and a rusty Stephen Gallacher signing for a +7 over par 78, Steve had this to say afterwards;

“I did half expect it, generally if I’ve got something to play for I’ll play pretty well. When I go through the motions I’m useless.’

“All eyes are on next week and it’s hard to put it out of my mind when I’m already in. Once you’re in it, I just want it happen. Next week it’ll be different, you’re in a heightened mood and I’ll be better.”

“One swallow doesn’t make a summer, so I’m not really bothered to be honest. I’ll just go out tomorrow and try and make a few birdies, see what happens. I’ll give it my best shot, I shot 63 around here once (in 2010).”

The longest drive this season on the PGA Tour was hit by Bubba Watson, who sent one 424 yards on the 16th hole at Firestone Country Club. He was the only player to eclipse 400 yards this season.