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

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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. Ross McGowan Has Half-Way Lead.

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Ross McGowan from England has the half-way lead in the Joburg Open in Johannesburg at the  Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

Joburg Open

Ross McGowan / Getty Images

A couple of Eagles on the par fives helped Ross to his -9 under par 62 in the second round of the Joburg Open, on the West course. Posting a half-way score of -14 under par, and a healthy three shot lead going into the week-end. He said he had played very well, even thinking about a 59;

“I played well yesterday and started well today, I opened up with two birdies. I went a bit flat for a few holes and then on the back nine, the fireworks happened.”

“I holed a wedge at 12 today which was nice and then I hit two great shots into the par five, so I had 15-20 feet there for eagle and managed to hole that one as well.”

“In Madrid I shot a 60, so you never know. I’ll try to go low again tomorrow.”

“I think I would have needed to be a few shots better on the front nine to even consider it but I’ve been close before.”

Four players share second place, those three shots adrift with -11 under par totals, they are, Jean Hugo, Hayden Porteous, from South AfricaAnthony Wall, England and Felipe Aguilar from Chile.

Anthony shot a second round -5 under 67 on the tougher East course, while Jean and Felipe carded -6 under 65 on the West, with Hayden scoring -5 under par 66, also on the par 71 West course.

Johan Carlson, Sweden and Stuart Manley, Wales, are tied in sixth place at -10 under par for the competition.  Paul Dunne, from Ireland, is playing in just his eighth professional tournament, he carded eight birdies in a flawless -8 under 63 on the West to be in the group T8 at -9 under par, in this very International field.

There are three places at The Open  are up for grabs this week with the top three players in the top ten not already exempt securing a place at Royal Troon.

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.

 

The Greenbrier Classic. Johnny Vegas & Lefty Langley Lead.

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Jhonattan (Johnny) Vegas and Scott (Lefty) Langley lead The Greenbrier Classic at Old White TPC.

The GreenbrierThe Green Brier

Johnny Vegas and Lefty Langley / Getty Images

Jhonattan and Scott sit on top of The Greenbrier Classic leaderboard at -9 under par, on a tough wet day at Old White TPC, in West Virginia. Jhonattan with a bogey free -5 under par 65 second round, and Scott with -1 under par 69, which included a couple of bogey’s.

No one really made a significant move to make a break away from the field, yesterday’s total was -8 under par, and the field is now so bunched up that there are twenty-three golfers who are within three shots of the lead, including seven players at -8 under.

Venezuela flag Johnny Vegas, from Venezuela, has not had a top ten finish this year, but said he is working on it. The top four finishers here at The Greenbrier, who are not previously eligible for The Open will earn a place this week, and Jhonattan is certainly aiming to be one of them;

“I feel like I’m playing great, I just haven’t been able to put it all together.”

“But I’m staying patient and working really hard to make it happen, and it’s coming together.”

“That’s one of the goals for the week, so we’re going to try to go get it.”

“It was a solid round overall, from the beginning to the end, I was able to hit every single green, gave myself a lot of opportunities, able to make some, some that nearly went in, but overall a completely solid round from tee to green.”

Scott had trouble following his opening round 62, leaving putts short;

“It was a little tougher day for me, following up a round like a 62 is never super easy mentally, but I hung in there today, didn’t have much going for most of my round, but made a bunch of pars and was able to make two birdies coming in for my last few holes.”

“I left a lot of putts within 6 inches of the hole, just right in the heart. I need to be a little more assertive Saturday on the greens.”

“Really ended the day on a real positive note, so I was pretty happy with the score, all things considered.”

Flag_of_Canada.svg Canadian David Hearn is still looking for his first PGA TOUR win, but has put himself in a good position this week to achieve that long-awaited goal;

“This would be a great place for me to win one, but I’ve got 36 holes of golf left.”

“I’m playing great right now and I look forward to the weekend.”

Tiger Woods was among those who made the -2 under par cut line, he is currently tied with a whole bunch of guys at -5 under par, Bubba Watson joined that crowd.

 

 

Travelers Championship. Bubba Buoyant at the Top

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Bubba Watson is buoyant at the top of the Travelers Championship leaderboard at TPC Harding Park, letting his putter do the talking.

Travelers Championship

Bubba and Putter / Getty Images

Bubba carded a bogey free second round -3 under par 67 to keep himself afloat at the top of the Travelers Championship leaderboard, maintaining his two shot advantage over the field. He said a red-hot putter was working well on these perfect greens. He was drug tested after the round Friday, and joked that he hoped he passed it;

“It’s just my mind right now, over the putts, I’m thinking well,  these greens are perfect. These greens are running so smoothly.

“Some of the holes were playing a little bit longer because of the wind.”

“The wind was in a different direction, so it just made the course a little bit tougher.”

“I hope I passed it, it’s usually when you’re at the top of the leaderboard they want to drug test you, especially me.”

Three players are tied in second place at -9 under par, Brian Stuard, Brian Harmon and Carl Pettersson.

Brian Harmon was happy to keep Bubba in sight, he also shot a -5 under par 67 today;

“That was kind of a nice momentum-keeper going into the weekend.”

Low round of the day went to Nick Watney, he signed for a -6 under par 64, which took him into a T8  position on the leaderboard at -7 under par, in a huge group of players.

Strangest news of the tournament concerns Keegan Bradley, who has updated his Saint Vitus Dance pre-shot routine to a new absurd level. On Friday he took almost a full minute before addressing the ball with his approach shot at the par four 14th hole. There were 19 mini-practice swings, up-and-back, club-twirling dance steps before hitting his shot, in this latest rendition of his twitchy routine. Like it or not Keegan is in the group at -7 under par, so unfortunately for those of us who have to watch that routine, it does seem to work for him.

Among those missing the cut, which was made at -2 under par, was Ernie Els,  defending champion Kevin StreelmanPadraig HarringtonHunter Mahan and Louis Oosthuizen.

The Claret Jug was on display at the Travelers Championship on Friday, this was a reminder to players that four spots and as many as nine in that tournament are up for grabs this week. The leading five players, who are not already exempt from the top 20 in the FedExCup will be part of the field at St. Andrews next month contesting The Open.

Jason Gore has never played at The Open, in all the years that he has been a professional;

“I’ve been in professional golf for 18 years now and I’ve never been to Europe.”

“So that just blows my mind. It blows a lot of people’s mind. Playing at St. Andrews would be a lot of fun, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

He has a chance to qualify this week, currently T5 at -8 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.

 

 

U.S. Open winner Michael Campbell to Retire from Golf.

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Kiwi and Maori Michael Campbell, who most famously held Tiger Woods at bay to win the 2005 U.S. Open, at Pinehurst, has decided to retire from professional golf at the age of 46 citing that he has lost the motivational spirit to play golf.

Michael followed his Major victory with a tie for fifth at The Open and also a tie for sixth at the PGA Championship in that same year.

He won 15 tournaments over his professional career, spending most of his time on the European Tour, but his last victory came at the World Match Play Championship, at Wentworth, just a few months after his Pinehurst triumph.

Listening to him speak he still seems a bit unsure if he should walk away;

“All of my friends who are the same age as me are still out there competing and doing well.”

“It makes you wonder maybe I should go back and play but right now I have got no motivation to play.”

“I have played golf for almost 40 years and that is a long time. I have played professionally for 20 years and that is a long time.”

“I have no complaints to walk away from the game that has given me such a wonderful life but it’s been a very hard decision.”

Michael Campbell