Volvo China Open. Home Town Boy Li Haotong Wins

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Home town boy Li Haotong wins the Volvo China Open at Topwin Golf and Country Club in Beijing, his maiden European Tour win.

Volvo China Open

Li Haotong / Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHN Home town boy Li Haotong won the Volvo China Open with a marvelous bogey free final round -8 under par 64, sharing the low round of the day, for a tournament total of -22 under par, and a convincing three shot victory.

Haotong was very happy to be holding the trophy, especially as he listened to his caddy on the final hole;

“I just tried to relax myself and I’m really really happy to hold the trophy here.”

“The start of this year has given me a lot of hard times, even though I worked hard I still played badly, especially last week. I worked hard there and couldn’t control my ball.”

“When I had my tee-shot, I walked to my second shot there and I was thinking I need to go hybrid to get to the front edge to give me an easy chip to there but my caddy said, Haotong, you’re already three shots in the lead, you’ve just got to lay up and make par to win”

CHI Felipe Aguila claimed second place, three shots off the pace at -19 under par, a last round -3 under par 69 not good enough to put in a serious challenge for the title.

Sharing third place were ENG Richard Bland, -6 under par 66 today,  GER Marcel Siem, also -6 under par 66, and DEN Lucas Bjerregaard, -2 under 70 on the day, they all finished with -18 under par totals.

Peter Hanson, -5 under 67 today, Scott Hend, -8 under 64, and Richie Ramsay, -6 under 66,  were next in line  at -17 under par.

Volvo China Open. Two at the Top.

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There are two players tied at the top of the Volvo China Open leaderboard, Lucas Bjerregaard, from Denmark and  Felipe Aguilar, from Chile, at the Topwin Golf and Country Club.

Volvo China Open

Lucas Bjerregaard / getty images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bogey free third round from  DEN Lucas of -7 under par 65, saw him  join CHI Felipe, -5 under 67 today, at the top of the Volvo China Open leaderboard with -16 under totals.

Lucas has been adjusting to a new swing, and eventually it seems to be paying off, good putting helps;

“I had a couple of good runs at the end of last year so I’ll try and use all the experience I got there and try and go out and finish it off tomorrow.”

“I played nicely today and got things going a little bit on three there, holed a six iron from 160 metres but other than that the front nine was pretty quiet.”

“I hit some good shots on the back nine and making some putts as well, then I thinned my chip shot over the green on 17 and then made the putt from there so all in all a very good day.”

Felipe on the other hand has been struggling with his putting, even borrowing a putter from Fabrizio Zanotti;

“My putting is my weakest part of my golf game, it’s been very poor for the last six months and I switched putter this week and that was thanks to Fabrizio Zanotti.”

“I went in his bag and took his putter. He was kind enough to let me use it and I think that’s been the biggest difference, that I’ve made some putts that I really needed to make.”

“You have so many players out here who can shoot a low score and tomorrow somebody who wins is going to have to shoot a low score.”

“Hopefully it will be me.”

BEL Nicolas Colsaerts, bogey free -7 under 65 today, home favourite CHN Li Haotong, -6 under 66, ENG Tyrrell Hatton, -5 under 67 and SWE Alex Noren, -4  under 68, all share third place at -14 under par for the tournament. As you can see it is a very international leaderboard, and it is also a very close contest, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top tomorrow.

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Volvo China Open. 2nd Round Suspended, Felipe Aguilar Has Lead.

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Felipe Aguilar, from Chile, leads the Volvo China Open as second round play was suspended due to the threat of lightning.

Volvo China Open

Felipe Aguilar / getty images

Felipe carded a completed second round -7 under par 65 to top the Volvo China Open as play was suspended at Topwin Golf and Country Club, with a 36 hole total of -11 under par, in Beijing.

Felipe had missed six straight cuts, before getting to week-end play last week. He admitted his body has been feeling the strain after taking part in an Ironman triathlon over the winter period, his doctors had warned him of how long it would take to recover from the exertions of competing in that event. Even his putting was poor;

“I played quite consistently throughout my first two rounds so I’m quite happy. It’s been a tough start to the year so hopefully this will be a turnaround for me”

“I was pretty unstable at the start of the year, I missed several cuts by one or two shots and I wasn’t putting very well, missing shots that I usually don’t.”

“I guess now I believe my doctors when they said I would struggle to recover my fitness from doing an Ironman competition.”

“They said I would struggle for about two months afterwards and I actually did because it’s such fine margins in this sport.”

“I haven’t done much exercise in recuperating my body, but I have been doing a lot of work lately so hopefully this will do it.”

“I played quite solid today, I don’t think I missed one green.”

Alex Noren, from Sweden, a bogey free -5 under 67 today, and Bernd Wiesberger from Austria, -3 under 69, share second place at -10 under par, just one shot back of the leader.

Alex is happy to be back in contention;

“It’s always good when you’ve won before and it’s really nice to be up there. It was a while ago before Valderrama since I’ve been up there so it’s a nice feeling.”

“I’m hitting it nicely, I haven’t even hit a draw yet but the fade is working.”

First round leader Hennie Otto, is T4 at -9 under par, with four holes left to play. Another player at T4, Taehoon Kim recorded the second hole in one in this competition, from 177 yards with a seven iron on the par three 13th, adding to the seven birdies and a bogey in his finished round of -8 under par 64. Unfortunately there was no Volvo car for Taehoon.

Volvo China Open. Hennie Otto Leads

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Hennie Otto from South Africa, leads the Volvo China Open at Topwin Golf and Country Club.

Volvo China Open

Hennie Otto / getty images

Hennie carded a first round -9 under par 63,  containing an eagle and seven birdies, to lead the Volvo China Open by two shots, saying it was good putting that made the difference today;

“I’ve always got a good frame of mind every week but it’s just my putting let me down and today it came through.”

“I played really well today, the first hole I saved a good par and I think that gave me momentum. After that I hit it really close. I broke 30 putts this week.”

“You have to hit it in the right places and that’s the thing I did today. I hit them close, that makes a big difference. I’ve worked hard on my putting.”

“It’s a nice golf course. The greens are not what we’re used to but we’ve got a few courses in South Africa with the same type of grass and the slopes so we adapt quickly.”

“I’ve been playing well, I haven’t been putting well. I’ve been working hard on it and today it showed.”

Bernd Wiesberger is in second place following his opening round -7 under par 65.

Grégory Bourdy, Peter Hanson, Roope Kakko and Fabrizio Zanotti, all carded -6 under par 66, to be tied in third place.

Rikard Karlberg had the shot of the day, a hole in one at the 212 yard par three 16th, using a 7 iron, winning him the prize of a 2016 Volvo XC 90 SUV, the car which has been voted as the best SUV of the year,

Volvo China Open

Rikard Karlberg / getty images

Volvo China Open. Wu Ashun Wins

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History was made today in China as Wu Ashun wins the Volvo China Open, the first Chinese player to win an European Tour event on home soil, at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club. Quite ironic really as the Chinese Government recently banned Golf in the country, and instantly closed down many golf courses.

Volvo China OPen

Wu Ashun / Getty Images

Wu enjoyed the moment, and his winning total of -9 under par;

“It’s a wonderful day today.

“Everyone knows it’s very tough today, I played very good today and I’ve enjoyed this week.”

“It’s been a wonderful week with wonderful weather and I’d like to thank everybody.”

“It’s very special winning the China Open and it’s very exciting.”

“I have many friends here, and they helped me a lot and pushed me to play well.”

Wu and David Howell both started the day in a four-way tie for the lead with last week’s runner-up Li Hao-tong and  defending champion Alex Levy.

David was tied with Wu as he played the last hole, a par five, but missed his par putt to get into a play-off and handing Wu his history making European Tour win. David was alone in second place at -8 under par, and said it was tough to take;

“It’s obviously tough to take. I was in very good shape to win the tournament for most of the day, and didn’t get the job done. So it’s going to hurt for a while, but I didn’t do a lot wrong.”

“I holed a lovely putt on 17 to save par to give myself every chance coming down the last.”

“It felt like I was already in a play-off, because Ashun was in the clubhouse on nine under, so if I birdie the last I win the tournament, and if I make bogey I lose it. Unfortunately it was the latter.” 

Defending champion Alex Levy finished tied in third place with Emiliano Grillo and Prom Messawat, all at -7 under par.

Volvo China Open. 4 Tied at the Top.

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There are 4 players tied at the top of the Volvo China Open at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club in China. Alex Levy, David Howell and two Chinese players  Li Hao-tong and Wu Ashun.

Volvo China Open

Alex Levy / Getty Images

Two late bogey’s from Alex in the third round of the Volvo China Open robbed him of a two shot lead and assured us of an exciting dash to the line in the final round tomorrow. In the end he had to settle for a third round -1 under par 71 and a share of the top spot at -8 under par for the tournament.

Alex got off to a flier carding four straight birdies, but then the birdies dried up and the bogey’s crept in;

“It was the perfect start for me, but after that I got a little bit nervous, because I haven’t played well for three months now so I haven’t been in this position for a while.”

“It’s nice to be back at the top of the leaderboard, but I have to get used to it again.”

“I’m just really happy to be playing some good golf again, that’s more important than me worrying about winning the trophy again.”

“I’ll need to have a good round again tomorrow, but it’s not easy on this course because you can’t be too aggressive.”

David carded a nice -4 under par 68 to get himself into the tie for the top place, he said he was able to take advantage of the conditions today, that suited him better;

“It was a very nice day for me.”

“I felt like there was a score to be had out there, and I adapted to the conditions much better than I did yesterday, when I struggled with the comparative softness of the course. I knew what to expect today, and took advantage.”

“I really got it going nicely around the turn. I had a few chances early on which I didn’t take, but I managed to stay patient and eventually the birdies came.”

Li Hao-tong and Wu Ashun face the pressure of trying to become the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil. They both recorded third rounds of -3 under par 69, and Li said he will just stick to his game plan;

“I will just stick with my plan and play the best I can do out there without thinking about the finish.”

Volvo China Open

Li Hao-tong / Getty Images

Magnus A Carlsson carded the low round of the day, -7 under par 65 , which moved him 37 places up the leaderboard to share fifth with Seve Benson, Richie Ramsay and Prom Meesawat on -6 under par.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat’s attempt to win back to back titles became derailed today as he shot +4 over par 76 and dropped down the leaderboard to T25.

Volvo China Open. Julien Quesne has 36 Hole Lead

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Julien Quesne has the 36 hole lead at the Volvo China Open at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club in China.

Volvo China Open

Julien Quesne / Getty Images

Julien shot a second round -5 under par 67 to sit on top of the Volvo China Open leaderboard with half way total of -8 under par, and a one shot lead over compatriot, and defending champion Alex Levy, and America’s Peter Uihlein

In the calm morning conditions Julien made the turn in 32 strokes, saying he had played much better today, and joked that he would not be talking tactics with his friend Alex over their evening meal;

“I played much better today, so that was the main reason for my good score. I felt very comfortable and hardly missed any shots, so it was a very good day all round.” 

“My performance last week definitely helps build the confidence, so I felt good at the start of the week and I’m still feeling good now, but there’s a long way to go.” 

“There are so many good golfers in France now, so it’s logical that you see lots of French players up near the top of the leaderboard. I hope we can keep it going over the weekend.”

 “We don’t really talk about golf when we go out for dinner at night. We try to talk about other subjects, because just speaking about golf gets very boring!”

Alex would have been leading but he took a trip into water on the par four 16th, for a double bogey, and followed that with a bogey on 17;

“It’s a shame to make a double because I played really good today.”

“Maybe next time I do a different thing, a more safe play out of the bunker on the right, but it’s OK.”

Peter had a -5 under par 67 today for his -7 under par total, and Alex -4 under for his -7 under total to share second place.

Last weeks winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat is in a bunch of players at -5  under par, and is comfortable with the tougher weather conditions that prevailed in the afternoon. He is full of confidence as he looks to become the first player to win back-to-back European Tour titles since Rory McIlroy did that last summer.

“I’m very happy, especially as it’s playing tough, there are lots of slopes on the greens and the course is very firm.” 

“I’m not driving the ball as well as I did last week, but the rest of my game is in pretty good shape, especially my short game.”

“I’m still feeling good; I’ve been getting lots of rest and eating well, so I’m feeling fine and ready to go. Mentally I’m still sharp and my confidence is high, so I just have to keep it up.” 

“My Mum is still here with me and she told me to keep going and win back to back, so hopefully I can do it for her. She’s my good luck charm.”

Joining the -5 under club were last week’s runner-up Li Hao-tong, his fellow Chinese home favourite Wu Ashun, with two more Frenchmen Jérôme Lando Casanova and Romain Wattel, with the improving Italian  Matteo Manassero.