Spanish Open. Andrew Beef Johnston Wins Maiden Title.

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Andrew Beef Johnston, from England, seals his maiden European Tour victory, the Spanish Open at Valderrama.

Spanish Open

Andrew Johnson / getty iamges

Andrew carded a final round -1 under par 70 at Valderrama to post a Spanish Open winning total of +1 over par, a one shot maiden victory. It was everything he had dreamed of;

“It is what you dream of to have your name on a trophy alongside so many special names like Seve, Faldo, Langer.”

“I drove the ball well all week, chipped and putted well all week, I struggled a bit with my irons the first three days but I just kept going and kept digging in and then on the fourth I found something.”

“I came off the course and I just started crying with the emotion of it. It’s just very surreal and I don’t think it will hit me for a few days.”

“You see them winning these tournaments, and the history of it and all these names, so to put mine on there feels pretty ridiculous, really. It really does.”

“Hopefully I can be one of those guys who has an incredible career like that and people are sitting here in the future going, ‘oh, Beef’s on there’. It’s pretty incredible.”

Joost Luiten from Holland was in second place, a last round of even par giving him a +2 over par total.

Tournament Host, Sergio Garcia claimed third place with a magnificent final round -4 under par 67 for a +3 over par total;

Spanish Open

Sergio & Beef / getty images

“It was exciting today, I played very nicely even though my wrist was giving me a little bit of trouble. But I managed to hit a lot of great shots, I made some great recoveries and holed some nice putts.”

“It’s just a shame on the last, I got a massive flyer with the eight iron. I hit it 195yrds when I’m supposed to hit 165.”

“But that happens so I’m proud the way the tournament has gone, and the way I have played having played four weeks in a row, which is tiring, but we’ve raised a lot of money for our foundation.”

Defending champion James Morrison, +1 over 72 today, and Søren Kjeldsen, -3 under 68,  tied for fourth position at +4 over par.

It has been 20 years since a regular event had been won at an over par score, Ian Woosnam shooting the same score to win the Scottish Open at Carnoustie in 1996.

I don’t know if the galleries really want to see a tournament set up like this, so tough that some of the top professionals from the European Tour could not break par. This tournament is just a regular tour event, not a Major. I wonder how the members of  Real Club Valderrama find the course.

Scottish Open. Rickie Romps Home.

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Rickie Fowler romps home in the Scottish Open, wining the title at Gullane Golf Club in Scotland.

 

Scottish Open

Rickie Fowler / Getty Images

Rickie carded a -2 under pa 68 to win the Scottish Open with a -12 under par total, and has improved the betting odds for his appearance next week at The Open. He birdied the final hole in a dramatic finish to seize the trophy and hopes to double up next week;

“Phil Mickelson mentioned to me win this and there’s a good chance you win next week so I had to take care of business.”

“I don’t know what’s so special about links golf but it’s my favourite. The golf course can play so different day after day and it presents a new challenge. It was a good test this week at Gullane.”

“It’s pretty special, I played great coming in and it’s been a great week. I will have a bit of time tonight to let it sink in and get right back at it next week.”

“This is a big win. I had a couple of missed cuts after winning the Players, which was disappointing, so it feels good to get back on form.”

“I had to dig deep. I was a little bummed to drop a shot on 14 but knew I had some birdie holes coming in. I had played the last four holes well this week and luckily 14 didn’t cost me.”

“There are a few things we can tighten up for next week but I am looking forward to getting back to St Andrews, the Home of Golf, and getting into contention.”

Another American Matt Kuchar was tied in second place, with Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelinboth finished one shot behind at -11 under par for the tournament. Matt also scored a final round -2 under par, while Raphaël could not improve his total, carding a final round of even par 70.

The best placed English player was Eddie Pepperell, -1 under 69, who tied third with Scotsman Marc Warren, who had the best round of the day, -6 under 64 and Joost Luiten, who hails from The Netherlands, he had to settled for a final round of even par 70. They were all at -10 under par for the competition.

Luke Donald showed some better form here than of late, coming in tied fourth at -9 under par, and must have improved his chances for next week at St. Andrews.

Tournament leader at the start of the day, Daniel Brooks, could not hold on to the top spot any longer, finishing poorly with a +3 over par 73 and T7 at -9 under par, with Luke, and Ross Fisher.

Daniel had some compensation for his good effort this week, he qualified for The Open at St. Andrews, along with Raphaël Jacquelin, and Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg.

 

Scottish Open. Daniel Brooks Holds On.

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Daniel Brooks holds onto the lead in the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club in Scotland.

Scottish Open

Daniel Brooks / Getty Images

Daniel started the third round badly, with a double-bogey at the first hole, but battled back to card a -1 under par 69 third round and stay at the top of the Scottish Open leaderboard.

Daniel was more than happy to have recovered from that double-bogey start, in the cold and wind;

“It’s good to get off to a bad start and hold it together.”

“It was playing tough and cold in the wind so it was nice to carry on the way I have been playing. I hit a lot of poor shots today but scrambled and putted well.”

“It would be amazing to win, that’s what we play for.”

“It’s the biggest day of my career but I am trying not to think about it.”

“The main priority is to keep my card because I have been struggling all year.”

Raphaël Jacquelin, in second place at -11 under par, has been around for a long time, and the 40 year-old has suffered a lean spell of success, but a -6 under par 64 has put him back where he wants to be;

“It’s been hard, the last three months is really difficult, especially for me. Normally I make quite a lot of cuts and play pretty solid off the tee and I hit a lot of greens.”

“So it’s been tough but it’s my 20th season on Tour, so I’ve been lucky, never lost my card. So I can’t really complain, even if the last three months were difficult. It’s part of the game.”

“The game of golf, it’s getting really difficult. The level of the players is getting high.”

“So as soon as you’re not 100 per cent, you’re not going to play the weekend. That’s part of it.”

“That’s why we keep working hard and practicing like I did, to be in that position I will be in tomorrow.”

Third position is being shared by; Rickie Fowler, Joost Luiten and Tommy Fleetwood, all at -10 under par, and in a good position to attack the course tomorrow.

Graeme McDowell and defending champion Justin Rose both carded +2 over par 72 today and effectively took themselves out of contention, now T18 in huge group of players at -6 under par for the competition. Phil Mickelson could only manage an even par 70 round and remains way down the pack.

Scottish Open. Daniel Brooks Has Half-way Lead.

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Daniel Brooks has the half-way lead in the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club in Scotland.

Scottish Open

Daniel Brooks / Getty Images

Daniel put together a second round -5 under par 65 to take the 36 hole lead in the Scottish Open, posting a -11 under par total, and giving him a commanding three shot  advantage over the field.

He was pleased with his play, after missing some cuts recently;

“I played really solid and I’ve not missed many shots at all.”

“The last three weeks now; Germany, I started playing nicely, just missed the cut there but played some nice golf.”

“France, I had a load of silly mistakes, bogeys. Cutting them out this week and it’s worked out nicely so far.”

“It’s hard to miss that many cuts. It does get you down. It only takes one good week out here and hopefully that’s what I’ll have.”

“I’ve been there, done it, hopefully can have a good weekend and see what happens.”

Daniel may have a three shot lead, but chasing him down, are six players tied second place at -8 under par; Mathew Nixon, Ryan Palmer, Shane Lowery, Johan Carlsson and the formidable pair of Graeme McDowell and defending champion Justin Rose.

Justin was involved in an incident on his second nine, his ball striking an old gentleman in the gallery, which probably had something to do with Justin carding all pars on that nine;

“You can’t quite see where the spectator line is on that hole and when I saw the ball bounce up I was hoping it had maybe hit one of the white stakes.”

“I was pretty concerned walking up there and seeing there was someone on the ground, but he took it like a trooper and was talking to me so that was slightly reassuring.”

“He told me had been coming to tournaments for years and years and had never got hit before.”

“But I feel like I have managed my game well, played the hard holes well and kept it clean.”

“There are still a couple of loose shots that I am getting away with on this course that I wouldn’t on other courses.

Shane, who was in contention at the U.S. Open, has put his recent good form down to a happy home life;

“I’ve settled down a lot and matured a lot.”

“Everything in my life is a lot more stable and my golf is reaping the benefits.”

Johan was happy with his putting;

“For me it was just pretty solid, I continued to putt good, made some saves.”

“I did have a few chances, though, but I made a few good par putts as well.”

Phil Mickelson made the cut and is currently T48 on -3 under par.

Scottish Open. Thorbjørn Olesen Shoots 63.

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Thorbjørn Olesen shoots 63 in the first round of the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club in Scotland.

Scottish Open

Thorbjørn Olesen / Getty Images

Thorbjorn opened the Scottish Open with a -7 under par 63, in benign conditions, to sit on top of the leaderboard with a two shot advantage at Gullane Golf Club.

Thorbjorn has recently returned from three months of injury, but in his first event back, the Mauritius Open in May, lost a play-off. He spoke of his rough times, and how good he is playing now;

“It’s been a tough time but I keep working on the right things and hopefully it will come.”

“I hit almost every green, only missing the 18th, and hit a lot of fairways, which was the key.”

There are no less than eight players tied in second place at -5 under par, after their first rounds of 65; American Ryder Cup player Jimmy Walker, Swede Johan Carlsson, Spaniards Alejandro Cañizares and Adrian Otaegui, and four Englishmen, Seve Benson, Matthew Nixon, Richard Finch and Daniel Brooks.

The next group, at -4 under par has nine players, which includes Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, and Shane Lowery.

Graeme has been looking at old videos of his swing, when he was winning;

“I’m trying to get back to basics and we have narrowed my stance and used my body to swing the club how I used to.”

“I feel as if in an attempt to improve some things in my technique, I’ve actually got worse.”

“It was also nice to get back on a course that gives you a few opportunities in benign conditions. I just need a few low numbers to get my belief and confidence back and today will go a long way towards that.”

Defending Champion Justin is relying on caddie Mark Fulcher to plot a route around the Gullane Golf Club course;

“He’s doing the hard work and making my schedule a lot easier.”

“It was a pretty stress-free round and I did not burn up too much energy out there.”

Rickie has not played very well since winning The Players;

“There’s nothing you can really do about it. Things just start going the wrong way, and you can’t fix it, and you just kind of forget it. Unfortunate timing.”

“Those days just come, and there’s other days where it goes the other way and you can’t miss the hole.”

“So kind of give and take. That’s the way life is. That’s the way golf is.”

Phil Mickelson carded a -1 under par 69, he won The Open just one mile down the road at Muirfield in 2013, he struggled on the greens here at Gullane.

Scottish Open

 

Scottish Open. Rory Roars into the Lead

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Rory McIlroy roars into the lead at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen.

Rory McIlroy   (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory recorded a course record at Royal Aberdeen, shooting a first round -7 under par 64, he reported that everything was on from the word go. He even drove the 13th green, while Ian Poulter was still on it;

“Everything was pretty much on. I controlled my ball flight really well which is the key to me playing well in these conditions and on these courses.”

“I’ve been working the last ten days on keeping the ball down, hitting easy shots and taking spin off  it and I went out there today and really trusted what I practiced.”

“I’m driving the ball really well and I feel if I can get driver in my hand and have an advantage on the field I should do it. Going out this morning in these conditions I thought anything in the 60s would be a good score so to shoot something better than that is pleasing.”

“I told Poulter it was a three-wood but it was a driver. He was on the green trying to flex his muscles. I’ve got off to a lot of good starts and tended to fall away. Hopefully that won’t be the case this week.”

“It’s more mental than anything but I am really comfortable with my game at the minute.”

There are two players tied in second place at -6 under par after opening rounds of 65, they are Kristoffer Broberg and Ricardo Gonzalez.

Ricardo is happy with his team Argentina reaching the World Cup finals, and also having his son on his bag;

“I think it’s one of the best rounds of this year and that’s why I’m very happy now. To make 65 on that wonderful course, with my son on the bag, that’s great.”

“I enjoyed the match and maybe this is the key to play well, to relax and enjoy the day. I would like Argentina to win the World Cup and also if I can win here it would be amazing. It’s my dream.”

Defending Champion Phil Mickelson was four shots off the lead after an opening round of -3 under par  68, that featured an Eagle, two birdies and a solitary bogey caused by a three putt on the 18th green.

Scottish Open. Phil;s Presence Prevails.

Phil Mickelson made his presence felt in the Highlands by winning the Scottish Open in a dramatic shoot-out with Branden Grace on the Castle Stuart Golf Course in Scotland.

Phil Mickelson  (Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson / Getty Images

Initially Phil  required just a par on the par five 18th hole  to secure victory in regulation play, but he  uncharacteristically took three from the edge of the green, to set up a play-off. Both Phil and Branden finished on -17 under par for the tournament, but Phil managed a birdie next time around on the last hole, to claim his first victory on British soil. He was rightly ecstatic;

This is really cool, I have been coming here for some time and had some opportunities and I almost let it slip away today. To come out on top was terrific. I was so mad at myself for mentally losing my focus that I came out on that 18th pretty focused to make a four. I started coming here around 2000 or so and spent a lot of years here enjoying my time in Scotland and enjoying this competition, I’ve come close a couple of times, and to finally win, that feels great. It’s important to me, and it’s probably the biggest challenge of my career hitting the shots that are required here. And so to win here and to play well here, finally win on a links golf course, it really means a lot to me, and it also builds my confidence heading into future Scottish and British Opens.”

Tied in third place at -15 under pat were Henrik Stenson and J.B. Hansen.