BMW SA Open. Two Tied at the Top.

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There are two players tied at the top of the BMW SA Open, local players Trevor Fisher Jnr and Keith Horne lead after the first round in South Africa, but Rory McIlroy is right behind them.

BMW SA Open

Rory McIlroy / getty

Trevor and Keith both carded first rounds of -6 under par 66 to lead the BMW SA Open, which is hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni.

Trevor admitted he hit a few bad shots, and can improve on that opening score;

“I hit some bad shots but I hit some good shots too and the ball really went where I wanted it to go with the good shots.”

“With my bad shots I mistimed it but, in general, I was quite happy with the way I hit it.”

“I can still improve it a bit. I’ve just got to trust what I’m doing. It’s quite a change for me.”

“Old habits die hard. I’ve just got to figure out a way to trust this and keep it going for the next three days.”

Keith said he needs to sort out his driver, but his putting was good;

“You know, I wasn’t playing that well coming in, I’ve been playing really well until the holidays but my practice rounds here didn’t promise very much so it’s nice to get off to such a good start. In contention, first out, I can’t complain.”

“I hit my irons beautifully today and I putted well. You know my putting hasn’t been great and today was nice.”

“I really struggled with the driver today and I think if I’m going to be in contention on the weekend, I am going to have to sort out my game off the tee box.”

Rory is tied in third place with four other players, all with rounds of -5 under 67, and said he was pleased with his effort, and he can go lower;

“Yeah, it was good, the first competitive round of 2017. I’m quite pleased.”

“I felt like I gave myself a lot of chances on our front nine, the back nine. That four under could have been probably six or seven but it was a really good way to start.”

“It was a bit scrappy in places around the last few holes but five under par is a good way to start to start this tournament.”

“Weather-wise, not much wind, there was a score to be had out there. I think 67 I am pleased with but I feel that if we get conditions like that for the rest of the week I can definitely go lower.”

Nick Faldo is in the field, shooting -2 under par 70, and is trying to make the cut;

“I know what I can do and how to do it but actually doing it is hard work.”

“I have been working on my swing which is this little fade and I am basically testing myself to see if I can do it for the whole round.”

“I would love to make the cut, that was the first goal.”

Alfred Dunhill Championship, Defending Champion Charl Shares Lead With Paul Dunne.

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Defending Champion Charl Schwartzel shares the lead with Paul Dunne at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa.

Alfre Dunhill Championship.

Charl Schwartzel / getty

Charl and Paul both carded bogey free-6 under par 66 to lead the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.

Charl was happy with a couple of par saving putts;

“I made a good par putt on seven, and those putts are sometimes more important than the birdie putts.”

“I wasn’t doing anything wrong, really. A couple of the shots just didn’t finish as I planned.”

“My game was feeling good, but it was just a matter of getting the execution I was looking for, and on the back nine it came together nicely.”

Paul said he needs to get the ball in play off the tee’

“For me I feel if I can get the ball in play off the tee, with how my irons are feeling and with how good the greens are, I feel if I drive the ball well I’ll give myself loads of chances.”

“I’m feeling good. And look, I have the rest of the weekend, there’s a long way to go.”

Six players are tied in third place at -5 under par, Max Orrin, Scott Jamieson, Jean Hugo, Pablo Larrazabal, Alexander Bjork and Branden Stone.

Tshwane Open. Schwartzel Supreme.

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Charl Schwartzel reigned supreme in winning the Tshwane Open in South Africa.

Tshwane Open

Charl Schwartzel / Getty Images

Charl carded a -7 under par 63, which included a couple of bogey’s, to win the Tshwane Open in a canter, an eight shot victory, with a total of -16 under par, and claim his second title of the season.

He said great putting was the key, and he is really excited for the rest of the season;

“It’s felt like I’ve been playing really, really well this week.”

“It’s just frustrating when you don’t putt very well and you don’t convert, and to make the putts when it counts, that’s even more satisfying.”

“In the first three rounds I gave myself so many chances. If I had the stroke I had today, it probably would have been my best tournament ever.”

“Everything is sort of falling into place. I’ve worked really hard leading up to this and it’s just been feeling good, so everything has got some really good signs, so I’m excited.”

For the record, Jeff Winther, from Denmark, finished in second place, those eight shots adrift, a last round -6 under 64 lifting him up the leaderboard.

Third place  went to Anthony Michael, a sad final round of even par 70, giving him a -6 under par total, a massive ten shots off the pace after leading the tournament at one stage.

Tshwane Open. Schwaetzel Has 54 Hole Lead.

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Charl Schwartzel holds the 54 hole lead at the Tshwane Open in South Africa.

Tshwane Open

Charl Schwartzel / Getty Images

Charl shot -4 under par 66 in the third round of the Tshwane Open, and will take a one shot lead into the final round tomorrow with a -9 under par total.

He said it was nice to be playing well, and at home, especially being in contention once again;

“In a way it’s pleasing to me to see that the consistency of the long game is coming back and it’s just nice to be in contention.”

“I hit the ball really well. I think I only missed two greens and I gave myself a lot of chances for birdie.”

“It’s very close up there and it’s still going to come down to tomorrow and who actually just shoots the best score.”

“That’s what it’s going to be so I’m looking forward to it.” 

“I love playing at home on golf courses I’m familiar with, in front of familiar faces. We don’t get to do that very often, so it’s nice.”

Zander Lombard holds second place at -7 under par, he carded a splendid bogey free-7 under par 63 which put him firmly in contention. Good putting was the key for him today;

“I just had a great round.”

“I put together some solid putts and kept it in the right places again. I managed to keep the bogeys off the card and really put a solid score together.”

It’s an all South African top three as Haydn Porteous and Anthony Michael share third place, both at -6 under par for the tournament. Haydn -2 under 68 today, Anthony slipped back with a poor effort of +1 over par 71.

Nearest non South African is the wonderfully named Toby Tree, from England, but he is back at -4 under, and T5 with Dean Burmester.

Charl is the form horse in this race, and I expect him to go on and win.

Tshwane Open. Anthony Michael Leads

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Anthony Michael leads the Tshwane Open topping the leaderboard by two shots after 36 holes,  at Pretoria Country Club in South Africa.

Tshwane Open

Anthony Michael / Getty Images

Anthony carded -1 under par 69 second round in tough conditions at the Tshwane Open, to lead the tournament by two shots going into the weekend. Making some clutch putts kept his nose in front of the pack;

“It was a bit tough out there today. The greens were a little bit firmer, the breeze was a little bit tricky so I’ll definitely take that 69.”

“I left a couple out there but made a few clutch putts so it was definitely steady putting.”

“The breeze caught me out a bit and club selection off the tee boxes was what really got me today so I’ll just get focused for tomorrow.”

“I’ll just stay in the moment, stay in the present.”

Charging up the leaderboard was Charl Schwartzel, firing a bogey free second round -6 under par 64, giving him a -5 under total after yesterdays miserable +1 over opening round.

Tshwane Open

Charl Schwartzel / Getty Images

He said today was frustrating, missing so many 6ft putts, and still shoot 64;

“I’m very, very pleased with the way I hit the golf ball today, it was a massive improvement to a few months ago.”

 

“I hit it beautifully today, had so many chances and the course is playing really difficult, it wasn’t easy.”

“I didn’t putt very well today, but I hit the ball beautifully.”

“The greens are very difficult to read, and I didn’t hit a lot of bad putts but it’s frustrating when you miss six-footers and still shoot 64.”

Sharing third place is the first foreigner, American  Daniel Im, -2 under 68 today, Joburg Open winner Haydn Porteous, -4  under 66, and another South AfricanTheunis Spangenberg, +1 over 71. These guys are all at -4 under par for the competition.

Play was halted late in the day due to darkness, but the players with rounds to complete can not change the top of the leaderboard.

Joburg Open. Hayden Porteous Maiden Tour Victory

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Hayden Porteous claimed his maiden European Tour victory, the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club in South Africa. It also gets him into The Open this year at Royal Troon. It was also a one two for South Africa in the placings.

Joburg Open

Hayden Porteous / Getty Images

Hayden carded a final bogey free round -3 under par 69 to win the Joburg Open at -18 under par, a two shot maiden victory. He started to worry the putts not dropping in, but made birdie on the last to seal the deal;

“Words can’t describe how I feel right now, it’s surreal to be honest.”

“I’ve been battling with my golf for the last few months and hats off to (fitness coach) Garth Milne for all the strategy and game-plan and gym.”

“There was a lot of sweat and tears and I can’t get over this feeling right now.”

“When I get home and things start to calm down I’m going to have a proper think about it.”

“All the doors that are open because of winning the Joburg Open, it’s a dream come true.” 

“I started to hit a few fairways and a lot more greens and gave myself some chances to make birdie, unfortunately the putts didn’t go in but I was keeping the pressure low and making sure I was going to be making par.”

“To make a birdie on the 18th was the best feeling in the world.”

“I was just thinking ‘no silly mistakes’. Go left side of the green and hope the wind drags it to the right and then I hit probably the best five iron I’ve hit all week and it landed just short of pin high and to about 15-20 feet.”

“A putt I could only dream of to win the Joburg Open.”

“To qualify to get into The Open on merit is a big step in my career.”

“To play The Open for any player in the world is a big deal and hopefully I can do South Africa proud and do well there.”

Zander Lombard was in second place at -16 under par, his last round -1 under 71 good enough to get him a place at The Open;

“It’s a great bonus for coming second and I’ll definitely open up my schedule to fit it in.”

Four players tied in third place, at -15 under par, Björn Åkesson, SwedenDaniel Im, USAJustin Walters South Africa and Anthony Wall from England.

Anthony Wall won the third place for a spot at The Open, for the  second consecutive year;

“I’ve been lucky, thank goodness. I get to play in the greatest event in the world again.”

“I finished second last year right on the nail and this year the same so, thank God.”

“It’s been a truly wonderful week. I’m bitterly disappointed but to get an Open spot definitely softens the blow. It’s the greatest honour a golfer can have.”

“I played last year and finished 11th again and it’s just the greatest place to play golf.”

Joburg Open. Three Players Tied at the Top.

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There are three players tied at the top of the Joburg Open leaderboard after three rounds at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club in South Africa. Anthony Wall, Zander Lombard and Hayden Porteous will take a two shot lead into the final round tomorrow.

Joburg Open

Anthony Wall / Getty Images

Anthony is searching for only his second win on the European Tour at the Joburg Open, sixteen years after his first victory. He carded -4 under par 68 on the East course, and joins Hayden and Zander at the top of the leaderboard on -15 under par for the competition, and a two shot lead over the field going into the final round tomorrow.

Everyone played the East course today, with Zander posting  one of the low rounds of the day -7 under par 65, and Hayden -4 under 68.

Anthony is determined to make his children proud of him;

“That’s why I play golf now, to try and make my children proud of me, to try and win as many times as possible.”

“At the end of the day I’m father now before I am a golfer, that switched a few years ago and I just want to keep playing for them and my wife so they can be proud of me.”

“I drove the ball well. That was my weakness the first two days, today I was great off the tee. I holed a couple of good long ones, but I also missed three or four I could have holed, so all-in-all it was a good day.”

“I’ve got a great chance tomorrow. But they’re all good players, someone’s going to be a little luckier tomorrow and win, so hopefully it’s me.”

Four players share fourth spot at -13 under par for the tournament, Ross McGowan, who slipped back today with a +1 over par round, Jacques Blaauw -5 under 67,  Daniel Im, who shared the low round score today -7 under, and Paul Dunne -4 under 68, in his eighth start on Tour.

This competition is very tight and anyone who comes up with low round tomorrow could jump up and take the title, it should be an exciting final round at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.