Nordea Masters. Alex Noren Wins

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Alex Noren wins the Nordea Masters title at PGA Sweden National, in MalmöSweden.

Nordea Masters

Alex Noren / Getty Images

Alex cruised to a four shot win at the Nordea Masters, a final round of -1 under par 71 gave him his winning total of -12 under par. This is the second time Alex has won this title, he also won in 2011 at the Bro Hoff Golf Club in Stockholm.

He spoke about the tough windy conditions, and enjoying the moment;

“I’m so pleased. Now I can relax a bit because it was probably the toughest weekend in terms of wind I’ve ever felt.” 

“When you’re in the lead you can think a lot, and it was very tough.”

“I hit a few bad shots, I think on the seventh, eighth and ninth, but I played quite well on the back nine.”

“I didn’t have to look for my ball in the rough or anything, so it was not that stressful.”

“The win in the 2011 Nordea Masters was very thrilling; this one is very pleasing.”

“I wasn’t too confident coming into this week because I’ve had a tough time in the wind lately and here you really have to hit the right shots to get around. I got better as the week went on.”

“I’ve had a few good tournaments but I haven’t played well on the last day. When I’ve had a chance, like at Wentworth I had a small chance, I’ve had a slow round.” 

“I kept my poise and tried to hit the shots we needed, and it worked. My caddie really helped calm me down and make me stick to my routine.”

“You have to enjoy the good days in this game because you have plenty of bad ones.”

Søren Kjeldsen, winner of last week’s Irish Open, was second, a final round -1 under par 71 meant he could not put any pressure on the leader, he finished the tournament on -8 under par.

Søren came to his Home championship determined to put up a good performance; 

 “I was really determined to come and play well here. I didn’t quite know how to react after last week and I wasn’t sure how much it took out of me, but Alistair helped a lot and on Tuesday lunchtime we said it’s time to get back to work.”

“I’ve done that and mentally I felt very good. Today was especially pleasing because I learned a lesson last week about looking at leaderboards.”

“I never looked at one today and it helped me a lot. I felt very calm all day, even on the last few holes.”

 “I didn’t quite feel that I’d done enough. I played a really solid round today but I knew I probably needed something pretty special to give me a chance.”

“I didn’t quite do that but I was very pleased with the way I played.”

Local Malmö boy Jens Dantorp shared third place with Maximilian Kieffer, Alex Levy and Sebastian Soderberg, all at -6 under par for the competition.

Max enjoyed his week in Sweden, but was a little disappointed not to have won;

“It has been a great week. Obviously I’m a bit disappointed because when you’re in contention on the final day, you want to win it.”

“But it’s another experience I can learn from.”

“I’m very happy for Alex. He’s a nice guy and a great player and deserved to win.”

“Without the injuries he’d probably be in the top ten in the world. After so long out, I’m happy he came back and won.”

 

 

 

Nordea Masters. Alex Noren Has 54 hole Lead.

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Alex Noren has the 54 hole lead in the Nordea Masters, and will take a two shot lead into the final round in Malmö, Sweden at the  PGA Sweden National golf course.

Nordea Masters

Alex Noren / Getty Images

Alex shot the low round of the day in the windy  third round of the Nordea Masters, a -5 under par 67, giving him a tournament total of -11 under par, following a two-hour suspension for a morning thunderstorm at PGA Sweden National.

Alex is very happy with his game, especially his putting;

“It’s very nice and I’m very happy to play the way I did today, especially my putting.”

“My whole game, in fact, was pretty good. It was a great start. I hit some good shots on one and two and holed a couple of good putts on four and five.”

“The year has been fantastic, I’ve had a few good finishes and steadier play. I’m working hard on hitting the right shots at the right times, and on days like today you get a good test of it.”

Maximilian Kieffer is in second place, a third round -2 under par 70 taking his total score to -9 under par, two shots off the lead.

Sharing third place at -8 under par are Sebastian Soderberg and Jens Dantorp, who started the day at the top of the leaderboard, but stood still really in the third round with -1 under and +1 over respectively.

Local Malmö player Jens spoke about the difficult conditions;

“It was a tough day, the wind was blowing hard and it was tricky because it’s warmer and you couldn’t really feel the wind at the beginning.”

“After a while you learned that it’s blowing even harder than the other days. It’s really gusty as well, so anything can happen.”

“I’m proud of how I’ve played, but it’s tricky. I’ve improved a lot since this time last year, not so much with the golf swing or anything technical, but mentally.” 

“I feel a lot more comfortable being in this position. I’m enjoying being on the leaderboard, whereas a year ago I was a bit stressed about it.”

The 18-year-old amateur Marcus Kinhult, who had been at the top of the leaderboard, fell back to earth with +5 over par 77 today, which saw him fall  to T14 on -4 under.

Of the top eight players on the board, six are Swedish, with only Maximilian Kieffer in second spot, and Søren Kjeldsen, in fifth, who are the only players who could possibly spoil the Swedish party and win this tournament.

World number four Henrik Stenson has never won his National Open is one of the top eight, he had a -4 under par third round and sits on the leaderboard T6, at -6 under par.

Nordea Masters. Swedes Share Top Spot.

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Two Swedes, teenage amateur Marcus Kinhult and Jens Dantorp share the top spot in Malmo at the Nordea Masters.

Nordea Masters

Jens Dantorp / Getty Images

Jens and Marcus continue their battle at the top of the Nordea Masters leaderboard both shooting the same score gain today, -4 under par 68 and have a two shot lead at -9 under par.

Local boy Jens is enjoying the tournament and the support from the crowd, he is looking forward to continue the battle with Marcus;

“It was good fun out there. The crowds and the fan club were so good. It really helps boost me out there. I was feeling a bit tired towards the end of the day, but hearing the crowd cheering gives me new energy.”

“The wind picked up after lunch so it was tricky. The back nine was pretty tough and there were some tough holes in the wind. It certainly tires you a bit.”

“I had a really good start and that always helps. It helps keep your spirits up, and I was looking at the leaderboards trying to catch Marcus, and I did. I’m looking forward to playing with him tomorrow.”

“It will be fun. I’ve never played with Marcus so it’ll be nice to see how he plays and to try to beat him.”

“I’m trying to stay cool and tell myself it’s just another round of golf tomorrow. It’ll be a fun one because there will be big crowds. I’m looking forward to it.”

Marcus has become only the second Amateur in European Tour history to lead a tournament after 36 holes.

He is already a winner, recently picking up the Lytham Trophy, a prestigious amateur event, and he also enjoys  playing in front of big crowds;

“I’m pretty happy with my score and where I am in the tournament.”

“Today was more of a solid round from tee to green and I made two big putts, but my putting wasn’t as good as it was yesterday. My game feels good at the moment.”

“It’s pretty special to play a European Tour event, this is only my second time doing that. And to play at home in Sweden makes it even more special.”

Tied in third place at -7 under par are German Maximilian Kieffer, and another Swede in Sebastian Soderberg, with both players carding -3 under par 69 today.

Alex Noren, Eddie Pepperell and Tom Lewis share fifth place,  a further shot back on -6 under par.

Yesterday’s co-leader Chris Paisley could not keep up the pace, falling behind with a +1 over par 73 today, and is T13.

Highest ranked player in the field, World number 4 Henrik Stenson, shot a level par 72 to finish the day at -2 under par and T34 for the competition.

Nordea Masters. Three Tied at the Top.

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There are three players all tied at  the top of the Nordea Masters in Malmö, Sweden.

Nordea Masters

18 Year Old Marcus Kinhault / Getty Images

18-year-old amateur Marcus Kinhult has joined countryman Jens Dantorp and England’s Chris Paisley at the top of the Nordea Masters leaderboard, all recording first rounds of -5 under par 67.

Marcus put his superb start down to an improvement in his putting,

“It’s pretty special to play in a European Tour event and to play here in Sweden.”

“That score was thanks to brilliant putting. I played really well from tee to green but I also holed a lot of putts for birdie and for par. The putter was pretty hot.”

“I didn’t expect much, just to have a great week and gain some experience. So far, so good.”

“My game feels good, I’m very solid from tee to green and finally my putting is starting to come good. It’s a good combination.”

“There’s not much difference between the amateur and professional ranks. The course set-up is very similar to what we’re used to. I don’t feel any different playing here. I hope I can just keep making birdies and keep hitting fairways and greens.”

Chris also said his putting was good, and he was really happy about the improvement;

Nordea Masters

Chris Paisley / Getty Images

“I’m obviously really happy, I’ve been playing well for a little while but in a lot of my rounds I’ve not putted well enough or made a couple of stupid bogeys.”

“Today I holed a few putts, and I’m delighted with how I’ve started.”

“At this level it’s such fine margins. There are so many great players playing every week, so if you’re playing well every week but not quite holing the putts or making a few mistakes, there are always guys who will beat you.”

“I didn’t really do anything different today in terms of my long game, but I managed to sink a few putts and kept the bad holes off my card.”

“The confidence has been building for a while now and my game’s been good. I had a tough year last year and the year before, so it’s taken a while for the confidence to come back.”

“Over time I’ve been getting better and better, it’s a year’s worth of confidence building to get to this point.”

“I holed a nice couple of 20-footers which I haven’t done for a while, and I avoided all the out of bounds and water hazards. I love this place.”

“The golf course is great and one thing my caddie and I commented on earlier was how good the greens have stayed this afternoon. Normally in the afternoon they get a bit bumpy as the day goes on, but they’ve stayed great.”

“The whole venue is fantastic.”

The leaderboard is very compacted, with a group of nine players one shot back on -4  under par for the tournament. The home favorite, Henrik Stenson, finished three shots off the lead after an opening round of  -2 under par 70, and his 2014 Ryder Cup team-mates Thomas Bjørn and Stephen Gallacher are -1 under par.

 

 

 

 

Tshwane Open Rd 1, Darren Fichardt Leads.

Darren Fichardt  (Getty Images)

Darren Fichardt / Getty Images

Darren Fichardt secured the first round lead as he goes in search of a second European Tour win in as many weeks at the inaugural Tshwane Open, at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate in South Africa. Darren had a first round of -7 under par 65, and is looking to add to his  African Open victory a couple of weeks ago. Darren also likes the Ernie Els designed course here;

“The swing is good and I’m putting well, this golf course is awesome , it’s very fair. The greens are very soft, so you’re able to attack the flags. I’m happy with seven under to start off with. Right now it’s been eight weeks in a row and I don’t even know what’s going on! I’m just going with the flow and hitting one shot at a time. I’m looking forward to a break. I’ll take it one day at a time and do my best this week.”

In second place is  qualifying school graduate, Sweden’s Bjorn Åkesson, shooting a round of -6 under par 66, he said afterwards;

“I got off to a great start with two birdies through the first three, back nine I kept playing really good and made a lot of putts. That’s what you need to do to shoot low scores.”

This is the sixth and final event co-sanctioned between The European Tour and Sunshine Tour on The 2013 Race to Dubai, and so far they have been predominately South African winners. The only exception to this run was the win of   Scott Jamieson at the Nelson Mandela Championship, which was presented by ISPS Handa

The former Ryder Cup star, England’s David Howell, along with countryman Gary Lockerbie,  are accompanied by India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, Chilean Mark Tullo and South African Jean Hugo, all  are two shots off the pace in a share of third. Jeev Milkha Singh said he just loves playing here;

“I love playing in South Africa,  I’ve always had good results and it always gives me positive vibes and good memories when I come back. This year I played the Volvo Champs in Durban and it was my first time back in South Africa after eight years. Every time I wanted to come back there was an event in Asia or Europe and I was missing coming back.  Things have worked out nicely that I’m back here and I love the course. I’m happy with the way I hit the ball and I putted well. When it’s windy and you miss a few greens you need to make some up and downs and that’s what I did. I holed a lot of putts today and I’m happy with the way the round turned out.” 

Westy Wins In Sweden @ Nordea Masters

Westwood romps to victory

Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood easily won his third Nordea Masters title in Sweden, at the  Bro Hof Slott GC, cruising to a five shot cushion over his rivals. Lee had a last round of -3 under par, 69 for a tournament total of -19 under par. Nearest man to him was compatriot Ross Fisher, Ross could only muster a last round of -1 under par and finished with a total of -14 under par, alone in second place.

Although it was a steady last round Lee was not too impressed with some missed chances;

“I missed a few short putts on the front nine, had a lot of chances the first ten holes and could have really put some breathing space between me and the field. Having said that when I needed to on the back nine, when they got a bit closer and put me under a bit of pressure, I managed to make a great eagle at 12, good birdie at 15 and pull away. I hit some really solid shots. It didn’t look like I was hitting it close on the last three holes but I can tell you those last three holes I hit it exactly where I wanted to every time.”

This is first Lee’s first European Tour victory since the 2011 Ballantine’s Championship, but is his 22nd European Tour International Schedule victory in his 408th European Tour event and keeps him in third spot in the World Golf Rankings, behind Rory McIlroy and number one Luke Donald.

Ross Fisher’s brave challenge really went awry when he found water at the 13th and double bogeyed that hole. The Ryder Cup star recovered brilliantly with a hattrick of birdies from the 15th giving him a 71 and solo second place on 14 under par.

The host country, Sweden ,saw their chance winning the trophy for third time in a row disappear, when Peter Hanson ran up a double bogey seven on the back nine at the 15th, and finished his final round at -1 under par, 71. This score saw him finish in a tie for third on -13 under par with Mikko Ilonen from Finland and Sergio Garcia of Spain.

Westy Shines In Stockholm, @ Nordea Masters

Westwood shines in Stockholm

Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood, the Worlds number three golfer, shot an amazing 2nd round score of -8 under par 64, to lead the Nordea Masters by three shots in Stockholm. That is the lowest two round total at the at Bro Hof Slott GC.  Lee started his day on the tenth tee and made the  turn in  five under par 31, then came home in 35, with a bogey 5 at the par 4  14th hole. He spoke about his liking for Sweden;

“I’ve always enjoyed coming to Sweden, obviously winning here for the first time in 1996 gave me an affinity. And then I won again in 2000 when I won the money list so I’ve had a lot of success in Sweden and it’s somewhere I enjoy coming to. I played well, I played nicely yesterday but today I played a little bit better.  I’m getting to know the course a little bit better every day and it was there for the taking this morning. There was not a lot of wind and the greens were pretty pure.  I’m putting the ball well and rolling it nicely on the greens which gives you confidence. I hit it pretty close so I gave myself a lot of chances.”

Peter Hanson, playing partner with Lee Westwood for the round, is three shots back at -9 under par for his two rounds. Peter captured this tile in 2008 and is looking to make it a Swedish hattrick after Richard S Johnson and Alex Noren won the last two stagings.

” I didn’t strike the ball as well as I would have hoped and 68 was a good result.”

Sergio Garcia was charging into contention, he had four birdies in his first 12 holes, but then found water with his second to the par five 13th hole. Having dropped a shot there, the Spaniard bogeyed the 14th as well and eventually signed for a 69 and six under total.