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Thailand Golf Championship. Garcia Grabs Win.

 

Sergio Garcia stays steady and grabs the win at the Thailand Golf Championship, shooting a last round -4 under par 68 for his winning total of -22 under par.

Sergio and Trophy / Getty Images

Sergio with girlfriend  Katharina Boehm  on his bag at  Amata Spring Country Club collected his first this year, the last victory coming at the Johor Open, an Asian Tour event in Malaysia last December.

Sergio was happy with his amazing week’s work;

“It was great, an amazing week, I’m very, very happy and I can’t wait to go back home to Switzerland and kind of sleep on it a little bit. I knew Henrik was going to make it difficult for me. He’s been playing so amazingly great, and he did. I started well, but he also did. He kept hitting good shot after good shot.”

Henrik Stenson, finished in second place, he also had a final round of -4 under par 68, to finish the tournament on -18 under par, four shots off the pace. A couple of missed chances and then Sergio got away;

“It was a good week. Especially because I’ve had a great year but coming here really on the fumes left in the tank, not too much going for me to perform this week in that sense. But I was hanging in there and I was just coming up a couple short. I needed something really, really good to happen there. I had a couple of chances to get a little bit close around 8 and 9 but I didn’t make those two birdie putts and Sergio was hanging in there, made one or two good saves and then he made three birdies in a row, and then he pulled away, and then really I would need something spectacular to happen the last four or five holes.”

In third place was Alexander Levy of France, he shot a final round -3 under par 69 to finish at -14 under par .

Last year’s winner, Charl Schwartzel  with had a second straight -5 under par 67, and finished in joint fourth place, along with Yuki Kono of Japan, US Open champion Justin Rose, and Anirban Lahiri of India.

Best placed Thai golfer was Nirat Chapchai, tied in eighth place at -11 under par, in his effort to win his National Championship.

Thailand Golf Championship. Sergio Surges Ahead.

  

Sergio Garcia produced his second brilliant round of -7 under-par, 65 and surges ahead with a commanding a four-shot lead at the Asian Tour Event, the Thailand Golf Championship.

Sergio Garcia

A Happy Sergio / Getty Images

Sergio, has his girlfriend Katharina Boehm caddying for him, with these kind of performances maybe she should get the job permanently;

“It was great obviously to be able to go out there and shoot 65 again I played nicely and felt pretty comfortable. I was able to hit some really nice shots and then was able to roll two or three really good putts in and it was nice to be able to finish birdie, birdie on this difficult finishing stretch. Not only Henrik, there’re probably five or six guys who can shoot a really good number.  It’s going to be exciting tomorrow. I’ll just try to do the same things I’ve been doing and stay focused, stay patient and hopefully I’ll be able to play well enough to win. “I want to try to be as aggressive as possible. I want to still try to make as many birdies as I can and if I manage to do that, then I’m going to put it quite difficult to the rest. I think if I start getting a little defensive, then I can give them a good opportunity of catching me.”

Tied in second place are Anirban Lahiri and Henrik Stenson, at -14 under par.

The Indian rising star Anirban is happy to be in the zone;

“I’m just going out there and play and I’m happy that I’m in a zone where I can play and not think about shots. Sergio is running away with it, so I’m glad I’m still within touching distance. I can’t really go into tomorrow expecting anything. I just want to play solid.”

Henrik enjoyed his day;

“That was a good day, it was definitely the best I played this week. Made some good birdies and some really good saves to keep the momentum going, those were crucial. Even though I’m tired and worn out, as soon as you see your name on the leaderboard, all of a sudden that tiredness goes away and you’re looking forward to be there and hopefully have a chance to win. I know Sergio is desperate to get his hands on a trophy but I’ll try to challenge him.”

Justin Rose of England

Justin Rose / Getty

Justin fell back with a third round of -2 under par 70 to finish the day in fourth place at -13 under par.

Thailand Golf Championship . Midway Point, Sergio & Justin Lead

Sergio Garcia carded a magical hole-in-one on his way to signing for a -7 under par 65, to share the halfway lead with Justin Rose at the Thailand Golf Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club.

Justin Rose - Thailand Golf Championship

Justin Rose / Eurosport

Justin and Sergio share the lead at the Thailand Golf Championship, both on -10 under par at the mid-way point in the Asian Tour tournament.

Sergio commented on his hole-in-one at the par three 8th;

“Yeah, wonderful day for sure, I saw the ball hit right of the green and it started rolling. I thought it’s probably going to end up close. We were saying ‘go in, go in’ and all of a sudden everybody goes ‘wow’ as I can’t really see the hole from the tee box. It was quite nice to see it happen. I feel like I played well both days. I probably didn’t make as many putts. Driving the ball very nicely and hitting a lot of greens and my short game has been pretty good, so overall I’m very happy with it.”

Justin said he got off to a slow start, and then put it all together;

“It was a funny round, I got off to a bit of a slow start and it all started to happen for me in the middle of the round. I just want to keep having fun, I want to end the season in a good way, even if I win or don’t win. The eagle on 11, I had a five iron that I hit in there which was the best shot I’ve hit in a month. It had the right flight, just felt perfect. The swing was good, the divot was good and everything about it was the way it should feel. A lot of us players hit good shots but that felt perfect. And to make that six-foot putt was nice to capitalize on that shot.”

Aniban Lahiri is in third place at -9 under par, and feels really comfortable on the course;

“It was a great day, holed my bunker shot on 11 and that kind of set the tone for the rest of the day. I haven’t really had a round or a series of rounds where I’ve really putted brilliantly, and I think today was one of those rounds where I really felt like I could hole anything and everything. It suits my style and I feel really, really comfortable, I felt like I’ve been knocking on the door now for so many events. I think I’ve played some of my best golf, consistency wise, but in terms of finishing off tournaments it has not been great. I’ve been in the top 10, top five, second place but I haven’t quite won and I think for me I’m playing well enough to win, even against a quality field like this.”

Asian Tour, Thailand Golf Championship. Lee Westwood the Asian Specialist

Lee Westwood/ asiantour.com

The top contender this week  the top at the US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship staged at the Amata Spring Country Club, is Asian specialist Lee Westwood. Lee is known around the world as an Asian specialist  because of his record of multiple victories around the region including the 2011 Thailand Golf Championship, where he romped home to a seven-shot win over South African Charl Schwartzel. During that week, Lee also flirted with the magical score of 59, just missing the mark by one stroke, in the opening round. He is in fine form this season, winning the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters on the Asian Tour following a third place result at The Masters. Lee has missed only one cut this season, and enjoys a World Ranking of  6th.

Bubba Watson will bring his own specialist style of golf to challenge the Championship at Amata Spring. Bubba is the reigning Masters Champion, and well-known for his extra long drives on the PGA Tour, where he averages over 315 yards. Bubba also has four top ten finishes this year in the U.S. and is determined to set his sights on victory here in Asia.

Gaganjeet Bhullar, currently fourth on the Asian Tour of Merit,is a young Indian player who has had a wonderful run of results on the Asian Tour, winning twice, and also finished tied 10th at the CIMB classic in Malaysia. Gaganjeet has a mathematical chance of toppling Thaworn Wiratchant at the top of the Order of Merit but needs a really good finish here and then again next week in Malaysia. Thaworn himself  is on course to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit, standing in 1st place at the moment, this would be the second time since 2005. He has three victories on the Tour this season and is certainly enjoying a purple patch. Thaworn finished second at the King’s Cup on home soil last week and knows a big finish this week will see him creep closer towards the prestigious Merit crown.

Sergio Garcia has enjoyed a resurgence of form earning him back-to-back wins in late 2011. He won again this year on the PGA Tour, at the Wyndham Championship and also has had six other top-ten finishes. And of course Sergio also played a starring role for Europe in the Ryder Cup victory over the United States in September. His current World Ranking is 22nd and he finished in fourth spot last year in the Thailand Golf Championship. Another notable from Europe and Ryder Cup player is Nicolas Colsaerts, the Belgian is the longest driver of a golf ball on the European Tour. Nicolas had a wonderful season winning the Volvo World Matchplay, and has also amassed eleven top ten finishes, and is ranked 35th in the World.

South African Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters Champion is also contesting this event, he is looking for his first win of 2012, to back up his seven top ten finishes this year. To win this year would help erase the memory of last years thrashing in the final at the hands of Lee Westwood.

This is a good field for this tournament and it should be a hotly contested affair, which will be a pleasure to watch.

 

Lee Westwood Wins Thailand Golf Championship

Englands Lee Westwood the worlds number three before the tournament, wins the Thailand Golf Championship by 7 shots from Charl Schwartzel of South Africa. Lee’s last round of 69 was enough to secure the victory although it was not as easy as his first two rounds might have suggested. Charl Schwartzel had a very good third round to close the massive gap Lee had created by playing sublime golf. Schwartzel faltered in the final round coming home in par, which eased any doubts Lee might have had. The win takes Westwood to number two in the world, above Rory McIlroy but still behind Luke Donald, who had a disappointing tournament down in Australia.

“I’ve amazed myself really,” Westwood said. “It’s been staggering, it all came together well. It’s probably the best I’ve ever played.”

“It was nice to hole on top of Charl on 12 and then make the one on 13, it took the pressure off a little bit. I wasn’t happy until I was on that boat coming back from the island on 17 with a big lead.

“It was special this week because of the difficulty of the course. I’ve never had an 11-shot lead before and it was difficult to come out and refocus and reset goals. At 20 under after two rounds, it’s yours to lose really with an 11-shot lead. There was pressure involved. Yesterday, I didn’t know how to approach it or handle it.”

Lee Westwood poses with the trophy after winning Thailand Golf Championship

Photograph: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

Lee is now going to focus on his fitness and winning a major, although he has had a good year of golf, he knows everyone will  agree with his good performance but that question about a major will always be asked.

“I’m in a tricky position because I’ve been so successful but not won a major. Anytime I’ve gone a year without a major, people are always going to say it’s been a disappointing year for Lee Westwood. If I was to evaluate the way I’m playing now and a year ago, I’m a better player.”

“I’m going to continue to work on my fitness and all aspects of my game. I’m going in the right direction, I can see a lot of improvement and I’m happy with the way I’ve finished the year, I’ve won two out of my last three events. I’ll go into the winter with a lot of confidence and I’ll try to come out next year playing the same kind of golf as I played this week, a little bit leaner and well rested.”

Lee Westwood’s lead reduced to four in Thailand

Lee Westwood had his big lead reduced in the Thailand Golf Championship after a disappointing one over par 73. There was no sign of the magic touch on Saturdays supposedly moving day. He put the performance down to missing a few putts, finishing the day with a total of -19

“I hit a few good shots but I didn’t make putts when I needed to, it was one of those days. A lot of people are going to think you’re going to shoot a 60, 62 and 64 every day but I’m afraid golf isn’t like that. It was one of those days, a few bad breaks, but if you’d have offered me a four-shot lead on Thursday morning I’d have taken it.”

Charl Schwartzel is now only four shots back after shooting a 66, for a total of -15 for the tournament, and is definately in with a very good chance of winning the trophy if Lee Westwood has another quiet round tomorrow, the final day.

 

Lee Westwood

http://news.bbc.co.uk

 

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