The Open. Zach Johnson Wins Play-Off

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Zach Johnson wins the The Open Championship, and the title of Champion Golfer of the Year, in a three-way play-off on the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.

The Open

Zach Johnson, The Champion Golfer of the Year / Getty Images

Zach was tied with Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen at the end of play in regulation at -15 under par for the Claret Jug tournament. That led to a four hole play-off, in which Zach birdied the 1st and 2nd holes, they all made bogey on the road hole the 17th, Zach and Louis both made par on the 18th, giving Zach the tile. Marc did not pay so well in the extra holes, after he had equaled Zach’s final round of -6 under par 66. Louis had a more modest last round of -3 under par 69, holing a birdie putt on the last to get into the play-off.

Zach spoke to reporters saying he was very pleased to be part of golfing history, having his name on the Claret Jug;

“I feel blessed to be the champion, I feel honored to part of the history of this game and to don my name on that trophy, especially with the names before me.”

“Humbling and surreal are two words that come to mind.”

“I can’t play any better than what I did. I had a lull on Friday and Saturday, but nothing significant, but stayed in it and waited for the opportunities and made a few.”

“I am fairly speechless right now. Dreams have been realised and goals accomplished.”

“I’m humbled, I’m honored to be your Open Champion and your champion golfer of the year.”

Jordan Spieth came up one shot short of the play-off, and his attempt at the grand slam. The famous Road Hole, the 17th was his undoing, carding a bogey while in a tie for the lead.

Jordan and Jason Day finished the tournament at -14 under par, and tied in fourth position.

Winner of the Silver Medal for the best amateur player went to American Jordan Niebrugge who finished on a wonderful score of -11 under par for the competition.

Irish amateur Paul Dunne, who led the tournament at the start of play today had a nightmare final round +6 over par 78, and dropped down the leaderboard to finish at -6 under par.

The Open. Blown Away, But D.J. Has Half-Way Lead.

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High powered winds at St. Andrews have blown away the third round of The Open Championship, but D.J. still has the half-way lead. A ten and half hour weather delay meant that they could only complete the second round on Saturday, the third round will now be on Sunday and the final round on Monday.

The Open

Dustin Johnson / Getty Images

Dustin finally completed his second round, at -3 under 69 despite dropping three shots on returning to finish the round, posting The Open Championship leading score of -10 under par;

“This morning when we started it was almost impossible, but I managed to hang in there and then when we just went out and restarted it was very tough, but managed to make some good pars and then birdie the last hole.”

 “So it was a good way to finish the day.”

Dustin had a ball blown off the green;

 “Fortunately it happened in kind of the end part of the second round, so we’ve still got a lot of golf to play, so it is what it is. Can’t do anything to change it.”

“When I went up to mark it I got probably an inch from the ground. My coin was about to hit the ground when it took off.”

“Then I went to mark it again and I think it took off again. And then Jordan was running to his ball. It was pretty funny.”

The restart early on Saturday went badly very quickly, the ferocity of the winds starting to blow balls round on the green. Louis Oosthuizen was looking at a putt of three feet, when the wind suddenly moved his ball nearer the cup. Instead of marking the ball, or even tapping it in, he proceeded to ask his playing partners and then asked an official for a ruling. By the time he was told he must play the ball where it lies, the wind had blown it some ten feet past the hole. Louis ended up carding a double bogey 6, just because he did not know the rules. It was at this point the officials called it a day, and the ten and half hour delay began.

As the players left the course Jordan Spieth commented;

“They shouldn’t have sent us out in the first place.”

In second place is Danny Willett, who had completed his second round on Friday, he has a tournament total of -9 under par, just one shot adrift of the leader.

Paul Lawrie holds third place on his own at -8 under par, carding a second round -2 under par second round.

Jordan Spieth, who is attempting the Grand Slam of golf, was annoyed with himself for carding five three putts in the long round, but he his still in with a chance at -5 under par;

“It was an interesting round that took a lot of time, but it’s nice to look back on Saturday evening and instead of being five shots back with one to go, I’ve still got two full rounds, so anything can happen here.”

“I believe I’m still in contention. I still believe I can win this tournament. I need a really solid round tomorrow, though, because Dustin is not letting up.”

“Dustin is going to shoot a good round tomorrow with less wind and I’m going to need to shoot a great round to really give myself a chance.”

“To fall from two back to five back isn’t exactly what I wanted, but it could have been worse, could have been better. If I can shoot something like ten under in the last two rounds, I think I’ll have a chance to win.”

With the way the wind has been blowing anyone within five shots or less could win, and that includes a whole host of star players.

 

 

 

The Open. The Weather Wins at St. Andrews.

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The weather wins at St Andrews as torrential rain meant waterlogged greens and fairways on the Old Course, and play was suspended for 3 hours and 14 minutes. At  the close of play Dustin Johnson still held the lead at -10 under par, but has yet to complete his second round, with Danny Willett in second place.

Danny had completed his -3 under par second round 69, and at the time was clubhouse leader at -9 under par, he thought that was pretty cool;

“It was a tricky back nine, at 15 I got a bit of a flier and went long and at 17 just got on it a little bit instead of holding it up the right. From 50-70 feet they are not gimme two putts.” 

“It was nice to birdie the last, we hit some good golf shots today and it’s a good score.”

“You throw wind and rain in there and it becomes a bit of a lottery. If it’s just wind it’s playable. That strength wind out there it’s playable, you’ve got to hit good shots and you can make birdies.” 

“Hopefully it’s the same strength tomorrow and I think we’re in for a great weekend.” 

“You can’t put it out your mind, leading The Open, it’s pretty cool isn’t it?”

Currently tied in third place at -8 under par are Paul Lawrie and Jason Day, both will be returning early tomorrow morning to complete their rounds.

Tom Watson was playing in his last Open Championship, and sadly missed the cut, but did receive a warm send off from the gallery around the 18th hole, having previously had his picture taken on the Swilcan Bridge.

The Open

Tom Watson / Getty Images

40 mph winds are predicted for tomorrow, so play could be interrupted again, with many players yet to finish the second round, and trying to make the cut. Tiger Woods is one of those having to return to finish. he has seven holes left to get to the cut line, projected at even par, but he is at +5 over for the competition, so it looks like he will miss the cut here at St. Andrews.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson spoke about the bad weather that will affect play over the week-end;

“The forecast is for very strong winds so it is a very tough course today and tomorrow, but because we have had so much rain it’s nowhere near as fiery as it can be so I’m very hopeful that wind won’t affect play.

“Our target is to finish on Sunday. We do have the ability to go into Monday, but we certainly hope not to.”

The Open. Dustin Johnson Leads.

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Dustin Johnson leads the 144th The Open Championship on day one at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.

The Open

Dustin Johnson / Getty Images

Dustin took advantage of the easier early conditions to post a bogey free first round -7 under par 65 on the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Dustin said on Monday he had no hang-ups about his Chambers Bay near-miss, and this round proves it;

“Nothing bad happened at Chambers Bay, so I wasn’t disappointed, really.”

“I did everything I was supposed to. I couldn’t control what the ball was doing on the greens there.

“There’s really no bad feelings from that, only good. I played really well and then it carried over to today.

“Any time you shoot 65 it is very pleasing. I thought I played well today I made two key par putts on 16 and 17.”

There are six players tied in second place at -6 under par, after their opening rounds of 66; Robert Streb, Retief Goosen, Paul Lawrie, Jason Day, Zach Johnson and Danny Willett.

Louis Oosthuizen is in the group at -5 under par,  the 2010 Champion has shot over 70 just once in his last 11 rounds on the Old Course at St Andrews, he is really comfortable out on this course, and with bad weather predicted, he could figure at the end.

Hottest player on the planet right now, Jordan Spieth, also carded a first round -5 under par 67, and is in the five way tie for eighth place.

He played alongside his good friend Dustin, and reported that the way Dustin is driving the ball, beating him will be a tough task;

The Open

Jordan and Dustin / Getty Images

“I am very pleased with the start. It was certainly nice to finish that way.”

“I saw a 65 in our group and if DJ keeps driving it the way he is, then I’m going to have to play my best golf to have a chance.”

“It’s hard to argue with somebody who’s splitting bunkers at about 380 yards and just two-putting for birdie on five or six of the holes.”

“I don’t have that in the bag, but I’ve played enough golf with him to where I believe in my skill set that I can still trump that crazy ability that he has.”

“I expect when he stands on the tee it’s going to be up there miles and down the fairway. I also expect that I can birdie each hole when I stand on the tee. It just happens to be a little different route.”

“If Dustin keeps driving the way he is I’m going to have to be at my best to have a chance.”

“He doesn’t really play badly, ever.”

Tiger Woods has proved once again that he is just not ready to really contend at a Major, he started poorly on the first with an unconvincing tee shot, with an iron. It left him with 135 yards to the pin, but he found the burn at the front of the green, took a drop and carded a bogey.

The Open

Tiger and Burn / Getty Images

Tiger finished the day at +4 over par 76, the same score as another old favorite, Tom Watson.

Alstom Open. Bernd Wiesberger Wins

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Bernd Wiesberger wins the Alstom Open in Paris, at Le Golf National.

Alstom Open

Bernd Wiesberger / Getty Images

Bernd got back to winning ways with a final round -6 under par 65, to collect the Alstom Open title posting a total of -13 under par.

Bernd really set the pace after the horns had halted play when lightning threatened;

“It’s been a great first half of the year for me so far.”

“I’ve had a lot of great success but just couldn’t pull it quite off. To stand here with the trophy right now, it’s pretty sweet.”

“This tournament has always been close to my heart.”

“I just hit a great shot down the fourth before the horns were blowing and they took us off the course. I liked my yardage, and had a good shot in there and had some momentum building, chipped in, holed a long putt.”

“I felt really comfortable out there. I had a great weekend, only one bogey, and 66, 65, that’s not a bad score.”

Second place went to James Morrison a last round -4 under par 67 giving him a tournament total of -10 under par, and three shots off the pace. He admitted that Bernd had played too well to be caught;

“My game is improving every day; I’m doing all the right things.”

“Bernd played too perfectly today. He won the golf tournament, it’s as simple as that. He played fantastic.”

Jaco Van Zyl finished third at -8 under par, a sad final round of +2 over par ending any hopes he had of winning. A consolation was he will be joining Bernd and James in The Open.

Martin Kaymer was in fourth place, -7 under par, and because Martin had already qualified for  The Open, the final place on offer for St Andrews this week went to Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who finished in fifth place at -5 under par.

 

Irish Open. Søren Kjeldsen is Champion.

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Søren Kjeldsen is the Irish Open Champion, which was hosted by the  Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club in Northern Ireland.

Irish Open

Champion Søren & Rory / Getty Images

Søren won the Irish Open with a birdie on the first a play-off hole, against Bernd Wiesberger and Eddie Pepperell. In the tough cold and windy conditions only four players shot under par rounds today , and of the three leaders only Eddie was under par.
Søren carded a +5 over par round which left him with a -2 under par total, to equal the scores of Eddie and Bernd.

In the treacherous conditions Søren dropped four strokes on the opening nine, and his nervous winning putt in the play-off did a 360 round the cup before falling;

“The last breath I took was on about the 14th.”

“I have never been as nervous as this in the other tournaments I have won.”

“I had decided not to look at leaderboards but once I started dropping shots I started looking because it gave me a little pleasure that I wasn’t the only one struggling because it was such a brutal day.”

“I was leaking shots left, right and center but made a great up and down on 15 and the three-wood second shot in the play-off was pretty special.”

Eddie produced a bogey free -2 under par 69 round today, to get himself into the play-off on that score. Second place also gets him into the 144th, The Open Championship, at St Andrews;

“It’s great.  It didn’t cross my mind until I walked off the 18th and my caddie told me.”

“That’s a real bonus, and I know my dad and a few friends had already planned to go up there regardless. So I’ll be looking forward to it already.”

“I had a good weekend, good day today and put myself into a position where I had a chance to win.”

“On the whole I’m very pleased I think.”

Bernd thought he had also reached in the par five 18th in two, in the play-off;

“I thought I hit a really good three iron, it was right online.”

“I don’t know how it came up that short.  It was like 15-20 yards short from what I expected from that lie.”

“Just two bad chips on 18 that kind of cost me in the end to go to another extra hole.”

“But all in all, especially after last week, the way I played there, I have to be very proud and I’m quite happy with second place, and especially going into my favourite event in a couple weeks, I hope I can go one better.”

Joining the top three in The Open will be Tyrell Hatton, who edged out Rafa Cabrera-Bello for a place after they finished in a tie for fourth place on -1 under par.

 

 

Volvo China Open. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

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There was a three-way tie at the top of the Volvo China Open leaderboard at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club in Shanghai, China. Kiwi Michael Hendry, England’s David Howell and Bradley Dredge from Wales share the top spot after round one.

Volvo China Open

David Howell / Getty Images

David, Michael and Bradley all fired opening rounds of -4 under par 68 to occupy first place in the Volvo China Open.

David, who won the last of his five European Tour titles at St Andrews in October 2013 said he was delighted with his progress with his golf game;

“I’m delighted, it’s a really different test this week.”

“We knew it was firm in practice, but it was hard to work out how difficult it was going to be. The scoring showed people are finding it tricky.”

“I drove the ball beautifully today, really found my rhythm on the range and took it out onto the course so I kept the ball in play well and did a lot of things right.”

“There was a decent breeze out there, but really it’s the firmness of the greens that is making it difficult for everyone. The greens are in great condition and you’ve really got to think your way round.”

“The greens were really firm so the big thing was if you were hitting fairways you had chances.”

“It was never easy getting the ball close to the hole with slopes on the greens and the firmness; it was quite tricky round there.

“This afternoon the wind is going to get up and it will be firmer still, so I’d be surprised if four under was beaten.”

Kiwi Michael won on the Japan Golf Tour last week, and he admitted that the win had provided a welcome confidence boost.

“It makes the game a little easier I think, it’s always nice to play tournaments when you’re in good form.”

The defending champion Alex Levy was one behind the leaders after a -3 under par opening effort, sharing fourth spot with Julien Quesne and Marcus Fraser.

Last weeks winner in China, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, opened here with a -1 under par 71, in his quest for back to back wins on the European Tour.