Friday, October 28, 2016

Kevin Streelman takes two-stroke lead at Sanderson Farms Championship

Kevin Streelman
Kevin Streelman (Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports)
Kevin Streelman hadn’t shot a US PGA Tour round lower than 65 in over two years. But that changed Thursday.
Three early birdies started the fire and Streelman kept it burning, as the 37-year-old made seven more on his way to an opening 9-under 63 at the Sanderson Farms Championship. That earned him an early two-shot lead in Jackson, Mississippi.
While birdies predictably were not tough to find in Thursday’s first round, Streelman caught them the most. The American, starting on No. 10 at the Country Club of Jackson, birdied 11, 12 and 13 to quickly reach 3 under. He followed with birdies at 15 and 17 to reach 5 under and dispatched three more from Nos. 1-3 to move out to 8 under with six holes to go.
A bogey at the par-3 fourth stalled his momentum, but birdies at Nos. 6 and 9 sealed a low first 18 holes – and his best round since a third-round 63 in a runner-up performance at the 2015 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
The 9-under total bested all by two, with Trey Mullinax, Seamus Power and Carl Pettersson sitting in a tie for second at 7 under. Lucas Glover and Graham DeLaet lead a contingent in a tie for fifth at 6 under.
Streelman’s strong start was not expected based on recent form. The American opened his 2016-17 US PGA Tour season with a missed cut at the Safeway Open and has overall failed to make the weekend in four of his last seven Tour starts. He also missed the cut at Sanderson Farms last year, his only previous start in this event.
Fifty-four holes remain, but Streelman is searching for his third US PGA Tour win.
In total, 83 players broke par for the day. One of them was defending champion Peter Malnati, who sits in a tie for 69th after opening in 1-under 71.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

La Manga International Pro-am March 7 to 9

The 2017 La Manga Club International Pro-Am will take place from March 6 (practice day), 7 - 9 with 20 teams competing across the leading Spanish resort’s acclaimed North and South courses.
The announcement of the fourth edition of the Pro-Am comes not long after The Príncipe Felipe Hotel 5* being nominated in the third World Golf Awards in the ‘Spain’s Best Golf Hotel’ category – a category that it has won the last two years - and the South Course in the category for ‘Spain’s Best Golf Course’.
Pro-am competitors will get to enjoy the testing North Course as well as two rounds on the renowned South Course – the site of Arnold Palmer’s 1975 Spanish Open win and also where he redesigned the course in 1996.
Pro-Am packages for teams of one professional and three amateurs are available priced from €1,100 per amateur (free for professionals), but golfers can take advantage of an early booking offer of €1,049 when booking before 15th December. The Pro-Am participation fee for amateurs includes:

    Four nights’ twin-share accommodation at five-star Hotel La Manga Club Príncipe Felipe (March 6-10, 2017 inclusive)
    Buffet breakfast
    Three pro-am rounds (two rounds on South Course, one round on North Course. March 7th, 8th and 9th March 2017)
    One official practice round (one round on South Course. March 6, 2017)
    Practice balls
    Welcome reception (March 6, 2017)
    Light lunch on four tournament days
    Gala dinner and prize-giving ceremony (March 9, 2017)
    Professional prize fund of €20,000 (based on 20 teams competing)

The 2016 edition of the Pro-Am was won by the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland’s Matthew Cort, who secured his first PGAs of Europe Sanctioned Event victory with a wire-to-wire performance at the famous resort.


Hutcheon's great finish to earn PGA Cup 

place praised by captain MacKenzie

** Greig Hutcheon, Rob Coles, Albert MacKenzie and Matt Cort

On a day when Lossiemouth-born Albert MacKenzie celebrated his wedding anniversary, Great Britain and  Ireland’s PGA Cup captain was also able to toast the first three members of his 2017 team.
The trio of Matthew Cort, Rob Coles and Greig Hutcheon secured their spots in the side to face the United States at Foxhills Club and Resort next September, courtesy of finishing in the top three in the PGA Play-Offs today at Saunton Golf Club, Devon where MacKenzie is also the head PGA pro.
Champion Cort (Beedles Lake) and runner up Coles (Maylands) qualified automatically while Hutcheon beat Ireland’s Damien McGrane at the first extra play-off hole on Devon’s club’s East Course after both were tied at five under for the 72-hole tournament.
“I realised quite late on that four of the respective regional Order of Merit winners were going to finish in the top four,” said MacKenzie.
“I feel sorry for Damien as I watched him play some great golf but I think that Greig’s run on 13, 14 and 15 where he went two, three, three (birdie-birdie-eagle) – and two strong pars to finish to get into contention for the play-off, and then the birdie at the first extra play-off hole, was worthy of winning any event.
“So I know we are off to a great start. It was a very strong field at the start of the week, I knew that Saunton would throw up three wonderful players and the golf course has not let us down, I could not be happier.
“I think we found at CordeValle that the players that won the Play-Offs to go to CordeValle were going to be pivotal to our success. No question, the same is going to happen this time round.
“I’m going to dinner with my darling wife tonight because it is our wedding anniversary and with her company and the three guys I’ve got for the PGA Cup team – what a wonderful day.
MacKenzie spent much of the week keeping a close eye on the action and was full of praise for Cort who survived a mid-round wobble to beat Coles by one shot.
“Matt hit a beautiful shot into 15 – the shot the hole required to make an eagle to get back to consolidating his position at the top,” he added.
“And I think that the up and downs he made at 16 and 17 just showed what a class act he is. He is just a wonderful player and we’ve seen in recent weeks how good he is. He just looks like the finished article.”
Coles also earned plaudits – the former European Tour player began his week with a 76 but hauled himself into contention with rounds of 65, 70 and a last round 67.
“I watched Rob late on the second day when he shot 65, and it was evident from the first swing he made that he is just a class act.
“He is very experienced and has great control over his golf swing and more important to me than that is he is going to be a wonderful asset in the team-room – he is such an affable chap.
“And all the guys this week have all been so nice to have at Saunton, and I would really like to personally thank them for how they have conducted themselves and how well they have embraced Saunton.”


James Sutherland finishes fifth, Alistair Kyle 

sixth in Ohio's Highland Cup

Davis and Elkins College's roster of UK students were out in force at this week's Ohio Valley Invitational for the Highland Cup at Marietta Country Club, Marietta in Ohio.

James Sutherland, pictured right, a third-year student from Glasgow, finished fifth in a field of 53. He scored 76-74 for 150 - eight behind the winner by four, Zac Gower (Fairmont State) (73-69 for 142 over a par-70 course of 6,241yd.
Alistair Kyle (Davis and Elkins), pictured below, a final year student from Glasgow finished sixth on 151 (76-75).
Team-mates Jack Gibson (77-80 for 157) from Jersey, Fraser Paul (78-79 for 157) from Glasgow, Ben Marshall (84-79 for 163) from Dunstable, Alistair Cameron (81-79 for 260) from
Buckinghamshire and Tony Gibbons (87-84 for 171) from Southend finished T12, T12, T20, 26th  and T37 respectively.
Cameron Pettigrew, a Scot from Skelmorlie, Ayrshire and a freshman student at Ohio Valley University, finished 34th on 169 with scores of 87 and 82.
Davis and Elkins (603) won the team title ahead of Cedarville (608) and Fairmont state (619) in a field of eight teams.


Neil and Savage in the mix at Tarragona

Bradley Neil is in third position and Jamie Savage joint fourth after the first round of the 54-hole Spanish Evolve Tour's Pre-Q School tournament at Bonmont Golf Club, Tarragona which is on the East coast of Spain between Barcelona and Valencia.
Neil shot a two-under-par 70 with birdies at the first, second, seventh and 14th, his only bogey coming at the 16th.
Savage would have been alongside his compatriot but for a double bogey 7 at the 17th which knocked him back to a par 72. He had birdied the second, seventh, ninth and 14th but also bogeyed the eighth and 13th.
Welsh amateur David Boote, a graduate of Stanford University, California, is sharing a two-stroke lead on four-under 68 with Germany's Christian Braeunig.
A third Scot in the field of 20, Wallace Booth, had a double bogey 6 at the 18th on his way to a 76 and joint 12th place.

par 72
68 D Boote (Wal) (sm), C Braeunig (Ger)
70 B Neil (Sco)
72 P Kopp (Ger), J Savage (Sco), H Arkenau (Ger).

76 W Booth (Sco) (T12)

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PGA Play-offs

Hutcheon's purple patch earns him PGA Cup 

place, big tourney invites and £1,100

Greig Hutcheon produced a brilliant birdie-birdie-eagle burst on the inward half of a closing round of four-under 67 and then won a play-off to earn  selection for the next GB and I PGA Cup match plus invites to next year's PGA Championship and British Masters by finishing third in the PGA Play-offs over Saunton Golf Club's East Course in Devon.
The Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmarlo player, twice a winner of the tournament, also earned £1,100 for a total of five-under-par 279 (71-69-72-67).
He finished two shots behind the £2,000 winner Matt Cort (69-69-68-71 for 277) and one behind another Englishman, Robert Coles (76-65-70-67 for 278).
Hutcheon tied with Damien McGrane (70-70-73-66)  on the 279 mark and then beat the Irishman in a play-off with a birdie at the first extra hole to claim the last of the three guaranteed places in the PGA Cup team.  
Hutcheon said: “I was pleased to have a good score at the finish because I have squandered a lot of shots out there this week. 

“It hasn’t been a great scoring week, but I have battled hard.” 

Despite finishing with a sensational 66, McGrane said it could have been lower still. 

He said “I felt like I could have been nine under.  But to come here for four days and only have one decent score is disappointing. 

“The other three days I wasn’t at the races.” 

The consolation for McGrane is that his finish earns a trip to play in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth next year as did Neil O’Briain (Old Conna), Phil Archer (Birchwood), Chris Gane (Left Handed Golf at Silvermere), Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf), Paul Streeter (Lincoln Golf Centre) and Paul Hendriksen (Ivybridge).

Fox, the leading Scot overnight, dropped out of second place with a closing 74 for 283 which placed him joint seventh and earned him £625.
Anglo-Scot Ian Campbell (Cheshunt Park) earned £450 for a 13th place finish on 285 and Paul O'Hara (North Lanarkshire Leisure) had rounds of 76, 70, 75 and 71 for 292 and joint 19th place. He earned £321.


Saunton Golf Club East Course, Devon
par 284 (4x71)
277 M Cort (Eng) 69 69 68 71 (£2,000)
278 R Coles (Eng) 76 65 70 67 (£1,500)
279 G Hutcheon (Sco) 71 69 72 67 (£1,100)
+Hutcheon beat McGrane in a play-off for the third spot
in the GB and I PGA Cup match team.
279 D McGrane (Ire) 70 70 73 66 (£1,100).

283 G Fox 73 68 68 74 (T7) (£625)
285 I Campbell 74 69 71 71 (13th) (£450)
292 P O'Hara 76 70 75 71 (T19) (£321). 



Matt Cort pulled off a sensational PGA Play-Offs victory to cap an emphatic season of success. 

And it was third time lucky for the Beedles Lake pro who admitted: “I am thrilled. I have had a couple of seconds in this event so it’s fantastic to finally win it. 
“This caps off a great season. It is great to finish it number one.” 

But he was pushed all the way to the title by a trio of players as the final round came alive around the East Course links at Saunton. 

And the Midland Region Order of Merit Champion’s comfortable three-shot overnight lead came under relentless attack. 
Robert Coles, Damien McGrane and Greig Hutcheon were hot on Cort’s tail. 
McGrane and Coles produced sparkling first nines to tighten the screw – McGrane firing a five-under 31 and Maylands pro Coles 32. 
But as McGrane’s putter cooled after the turn, Coles was relentless and stood on the 16th tee three shots clear of Cort on eight-under after reeling off seven birdies and just one bogey over 15 holes. 
He said: “I was going well, had a good start and I was playing really nicely.” 
Cort meanwhile had slipped back to five over after dropping successive shots at the 11th and 12th, admitting: “I was watching the other two and I did not start that well. 
“The round got away from me a little bit although I held on.”
But the event hinged on three holes – 15 through 17 – when Cort tightened his grip on the trophy and Coles saw his challenge slip away. 
Cort fired in a sensational eagle at 15 to pull himself back to -7 as Coles hit trouble with bogies at 16 and 17.
Coles said: “It was under control and then a couple of holes at the end caught me out.
“I got the tee shot wrong at 16 and ran out into a bunker and had to chip out. Then at 17 I had to stand in a bunker for ball out of the bunker. 
“I looked at the board and saw I needed to make par at the last – so I was pleased I did.” 
The eagle at 15 meant Cort could par the last three for a level par 71 and one shot victory. 
And he revealed dropping behind actually helped him discover his best golf over the closing holes.
He said: “When I bogied 11 and 12 and saw that Rob and Damien were having good days, that probably put me in a good position because then I was playing catch up a little bit. 
“You have to change the way you play. You cannot play defensive anymore because you haven’t got the lead. 
“After 12, I played really good.” 
The pendulum swung in Cort’s favour on the par 5 15th which, due to the wind direction, was reachable in two.
Cort added: “That was key for me. I hit a four iron on the back of a two tier green and got it to between 12 and 15 feet and holed it.
“By the time I got to the 17th, I knew it was between me and 'Colesy.' It was pretty tight over the last few holes.”
As well as the £2,000 winner’s cheque, Cort has secured automatic places in next season’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and the British Masters.
He will also play in the PGA Cup side along with Coles and Hutcheon.
Victory is the high point in a season which also saw him top the PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit – which guaranteed him his Challenge Tour card. 
“Scoring and ball striking-wise – this has been one of the most consistent years of my career. 
“That gives me confidence to go on for next year.”
After a few rare days off to see wife Leanne and son Charlie, 3, Cort will fly out for the second stage of European Tour qualifying in Spain. 
“I have had two nights at home in three weeks,” he revealed. “So I am missing my family.
“But with the form I am in right now, I have to go over there and have a go.” 
Paul Lawrie Golf Centre pro Hutcheon followed up his final round 67 by snatching the last PGA Cup place from McGrane with a birdie on the first play-off hole decider. 
Hutcheon said: “I was pleased to have a good score at the finish because I have squandered a lot of shots out there this week. 
“It hasn’t been a great scoring week, but I have battled hard.” 
Despite finishing with a sensational 66, McGrane said it could have been lower still. 
He said “I felt like I could have been nine under.  But to come here for four days and only have one decent score is disappointing. 
“The other three days I wasn’t at the races.” 
The consolation for McGrane is that his finish earns a trip to play in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth next year as did Neil O’Briain (Old Conna), Phil Archer (Birchwood), Chris Gane (Left Handed Golf at Silvermere), Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf), Paul Streeter (Lincoln Golf Centre) and Paul Hendriksen (Ivybridge).
Pos    Scores                   Name                  Represents
1       69, 69, 68, 71 (-7)     277  Matt Cort             Beedles Lake
2       76, 65, 70, 67  (-6)    278 Robert Coles         Maylands G&CC
3       71, 69, 72, 67 (-5)     279 Greig Hutcheon    Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmarlo
4       70, 70, 73, 66  (-5)    279 Damien McGrane   Ireland
5       70, 70, 73, 68  (-3     281 Neil O’Briain         Old Conna
6       73, 70, 69, 69  (-3)    281 Phil Archer           Birchwood
7       76, 67, 73, 67  (-1)    283 Chris Gane           Left Handed Golf at Silvermere
8       73, 68, 68, 74  (-1)    283 Graham Fox         Clydeway Golf
9       69, 68, 73, 73  (-1)    283 Paul Streeter        Lincoln Golf Centre
10     75, 68, 73, 67 (-1)     283 Paul Hendriksen   Ivybridge


 Law and Stewart sharing 13th place in UAE

David Law and Duncan Stewart are sharing 13th place after two rounds of the European Challenge Tour competiton, the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge, in the United Arab Emirates.
Aberdonian Law had a bogey-free 69 with birdies at the fifth, 13th and 14 while Stewart, from Grantown-on-Spey,  shot four birdies before the turn, also on his way to a 69 for seven-under-par 137.
The Scots are four shots behind the leader, Frenchman Romain Langasque who has had scores of 66-67 for 11-under 133.
Grant Forrest is tied 21st on 138 (67-71), a shot ahead of Scott Henry (66-73).
Ross Kellett made the cut with a shot to spare after a 73 for 141 and joint 47th place.
The only Scot to miss the cut was Peter Whiteford with 73-72 for one-over-par 145. 
Par 144 (2x72)
133 R Langasque (Fra) 66 67
134 J Edfors (Swe) 68 66, G Porteous (Eng) 67 67,  P Widegren (Swe) 65 69.

137 D Law 68 69, D Stewart 68 69 (T13)
138 G Forrest 67 71 (T21)
139 S Henry 66 73 (T31)
141 R Kellett 68 73 (T47)
145 P Whiteford 73 71

Frenchman halfway leader in Ras Al 

Khaimah Challenge

Romain Langasque stormed into the halfway lead of the Ras Al Khaimah 2016 Golf Challenge with a five-under-par second round of 67 that took him to 11 under par overall.
The Frenchman dropped a shot on the ninth but was otherwise flawless at Al Hamra Golf Club as he moved one shot clear of his nearest rivals and put himself in contention for a first European Challenge Tour title.
It has been an outstanding maiden season in professional golf for the 21 year old, featuring three runner-up finishes and three further top fives on the Road to Oman, and he knows a victory would be a fitting way to prepare for European Tour life next year.
“It would be the perfect way to finish the year,” said the current Rankings Number Ten. “It could be very interesting, if I won this week, to have a chance next week to win the Grand Final too.
“Let’s see what happens this week first, I’m just going to do my best and have fun. If we think about objectives, of course, I want to win, but it’s not the first objective which is just to play my best every hole, and for the moment I’ve made a good start.
“I just want to continue like this and stay patient – I thought too much about the win in Kazakhstan so this week I’ll try to go shot by shot and just do my best.
“This is my first time here and we’re really lucky with this weather. The course is quite young I think but the design is very fun to play because you can make a lot of birdies but there’s strategy involved and you have to be patient too.
“You have to be aggressive round here too, which is my natural game too – it suits me perfectly because I don’t have to change my style, I like that.
“It’s a really fun place to play, and I played really well, I liked the course, so that’s two really good rounds to start this event and we will now have to see how the weekend goes.”
Behind Langasque are Johan Edfors, who birdied five of his final six holes to get to ten under par alongside Garrick Porteous and overnight co-leader Pontus Widegren.
One shot further back is a large group of players including Pep Angles, who made nine birdies on his way to a course record 64, and Jordan Smith, who is bidding to regain his Number One Ranking.
Alexander Knappe took the top spot for the first time last week but the German missed the cut in the northernmost of the United Arab Emirates, which fell at two under par, with 70 players – including 16 year old amateur Rayhan Thomas – qualifying for the final 36 holes.
+Thomas won the Scottish boys' open amateur stroke-play championship earlier this year.


WGC-HSBC Champions Tournament

Russell Knox in the Shanghai mix with a 66

Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg marked his debut in a World Golf Championship event with an impressive eight-under-par opening round of 64 to lead the WGC-HSBC Champions by one shot from Rickie Fowler in Shanghai.

The 2015 Italian Open champion made a spectacular start to his round at Sheshan International Golf Club, posting four consecutive birdies before picking up another shot on the seventh hole to reach the turn in 31 shots.

He added four further birdies on the back nine to move to nine under par heading to the 17th tee, holding a two stroke lead at that point, but after a par on that hole he dropped his only shot of the day on the closing hole to lead American Fowler by just a single stroke.

Fowler was bogey-free in his round of 65 as he chases a second European Tour victory of 2016 in an HSBC-sponsored event, following his early season win in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Defending champion Russell Knox, of Scotland, is two shots back after a six under par round of 66, with another former champion, 2010 winner Francesco Molinari, in a share of sixth place on five under par following an opening 67.

Player quotes
Rikard Karlberg: “It was just one of those days; it was a walk in the park. I committed to a lot of shots and hit them perfectly, just as I wanted.
“With the wet conditions you just need to be aggressive, bomb to the tee and bomb to the pin, and that's what I did today. I had great distance control. I hit great shots all day except the last hole.
“On the 18th my drive didn't fade and I ended up in the bunker and I had a little sand behind the ball. Unfortunately I didn't really catch it and ended up in the rough, short right, in the water. I  had to play it safe and hit a good putt.”

Rickie Fowler: “It’s always nice to start with seven under par, I’m pleased with that. I knew with the soft conditions they were going to try to tuck some pins. It was going to be very scoreable if you drove it in the fairways and I was able to do that.
“I played very well tee-to-green and that made things a lot easier from there. It was a stress-free, simple round.

Russell (Knox) and Paul (Casey) have been playing well and we enjoyed each other's presence. We had a good time out there and fed off each other a bit. I don't think there's a threesome that beat us today.”
Russell Knox:  “The first round is never my strongest so I’m delighted to get off to a flyer and shoot six under. I didn't put any pressure on myself, but you only get one shot at your first defence, so I want to make sure I have a good time over the next three days.
“The conditions were just like this on Sunday last year - very dark and dreich, as the Scots would say, with a little mist and rain. The course played long today, which is fine for me. If it's lift, clean and place, as long as I'm on the fairway, I can compete around here. So it's all about my tee shot to set up my iron game.”
“When you're playing with Rickie Fowler, nobody cares if I'm defending champion. So that always takes a little pressure off. It's an honour to be the defending champion and hopefully I can keep my trophy.”

par 72

64 R Karlberg  (Swe)
65 R Fowler  (USA)
66 R Knox (Sco) , D Berger (USA) , H Matsuyama  (Jpn)
67 B Haas  (USA) , P Casey  (Eng) , F Molinari (Ita)
68 A Noren  (Swe) , D Burmester (RSA) , R Bland (Eng) , Z Xinjun (Chn) , S Garcia  (Esp)
69 L Westwood (Eng) , A Scott  (Aus) , R Fisher (Eng) , G Coetzee (RSA) , C Wood  (Eng) , H Stenson (Swe)
70 T Jaidee (Tha) , T Hatton (Eng) , J Kokrak  (USA) , K Chappell (USA)

71 R McIlroy  (NIr) , J Holmes (USA) , B Watson (USA) , T Pieters  (Bel) , G Woodland (USA) , L Oosthuizen  (RSA) , R Cabrera Bello (Esp) , B Wiesberger  (Aut) , J Thomas (USA) , R Moore  (USA)
72 J Luiten (Ned) , M Tabuena (Phi) , L Wenchong (Chn) , M Millar (Aus) , A Levy (Fra) , M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) , J Zunic (Aus) , S Hend (Aus) , Z Hui-Lin (Chn) , B Dredge (Wal) , M Kaymer (Ger) , K Kisner (USA) , E Grillo (Arg) , C Schwartzel  (RSA)

73 M Kuchar  (USA) , S Kjeldsen (Den) , W Ashun (Chn) , B Grace  (RSA) , S O'Hair (USA) , H Tanihara (Jpn) , B Koepka  (USA) , L Haotong (Chn) , R Castro (USA)

74 K Kim (SKor) , D Willett  (Eng) , S Kim (SKor) , S Lowry  (Irl),  G Bourdy (Fra) , D Johnson (USA) , B An (SKor)

75 Y Song (SKor) , N Holman  (Aus) , A Johnston (Eng) , K Na (USA)

76 J Blaauw  (RSA) , S Lee (SKor)

77 D Zecheng (Chn) , R Sterne  (RSA)

78 P Reed (USA) , M Fraser (Aus) , J Walker  (USA)

79 S Piercy (USA) , S Chan  (Tpe) , J Vegas (Ven)

82 J Wang (SKor)


Former Scottish boys' champion Will Porter 

T44 at Duluth, Georgia

Former Scottish boys champion Will Porter from Arbroath, a freshman student at Chattanooga University, Tennessee, finished T44 in a field of 84 at the College Classic at Beerkeley Hills Country Clubs, Duluth in Georgia this week.

Will, pictured left,  scored 74, 74 and 72 for 280.
Another Scot, Callum McGuigan from Crieff, who transferred to Francis Marion University over the summer, finished T67 on 227 with rounds of 76, 73 and 78.
The winner by a margin of eight strokes was Braden Thornberry (Mississippi) with great scores of 68, 64 and 77 for 298.
Not surprisingly, Mississippi (831) were clear-cut winners of the team title ahead of Lipscombe (846) and Troy (847) with Chattanooga (858) with and Francis Marion (896) last in a field of 13 teams.

Matty Lamb makes top 28 at Dallas

Matty Lamb from Hexham, a freshman student at Charlotte University, finished T28 in a field of 72 at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate at Royal Oaks Country Club, Dallas in Texas.
Matty, pictured, had improving rounds of 74, 72 and 71 for a four-over total of 217 over a par-71 course of 7,068yd.

Charlotte freshmen team-mates John Gough from Slough, Marc Boucher from Dublin and Conor Purcell from Dublin finished on 214, 223 and 225 respectively.
Gough had rounds 70, 74 and 70; Boucher 80-72-71 (T54) and Purcell 75-76-74 (T62).
Baylor (1034) won the team title ahead of Houston (1066) and Michigan (1069). Charlotte (1083) finished nine in a field of 11 teams.   

Baylis helps Akron finish third in big field

George Baylis from Ascot, a third-year student at Akron University, finished T8 in the Old Dominion/OBX Intercollegiate at Kilmarlic Golf Club, Powell's Point in North Carolina.
George had rounds of 69, 70 and 73 for a total of 212 - eight behind the winner, David Langley (Old Dominion) who had scores of 70, 67 and 67 for 204.
Campbell (845) won the team title ahead of hosts Old Dominion (846) with Akron (448) a creditable third in a field of 18 teams. 

Murray Naysmith made top 20 at Tavistock

In his last tournament of the first half of the 2016-2017 US college season, Murray Naysmith, pictured right, from Edinburgh, a freshman at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, finished T20 in a field of 75 players at the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational at Isleworth Country Club, Windermere, Florida.
Over one of the longest college courses in the business - 7,544yd - the Scot had rounds of 74, 72 and 73 for 219 - 11 behind the winner, Alejandro Tosh (Florida) who scored 70, 65 and 73 for 208. 
Another UAB student, Tim Harry, a sophomore from Glamorgan finished T67 with rounds of 78, 78 and 74 for 230. 
William Aldred from Hertfordshire, a freshman at California-Berkeley, finished T63 with scores of 76, 77 and 78.
Cal team-mate Alexander Wilson from Edinburgh finished last of 75 with disappointing scores of 81, 82 and 83 for 246.

Florida (844) won the team title by 11 shots from runners-up Vanderbilt (855) with Arizona State (867) third. UAB finished 13th of 15 with a total of 903. California-Berkeley finished last with a total of 931.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Peerless Paul Lawrie wins by five at Montrose

after seven-birdie, six-under round of 65

Paul Lawrie continued his Portugal Masters form with a brilliant round of six-under-par 65 at Montrose Links today (WED) to win his first appearance of the season on the North-east Alliance season by five strokes.
It was a master class on links golf in a rising wind with birdies at five of the first six holes on his way to an outward 32, marred only by a bogey at the ninth.
Lawrie pushed his bag of birdies up to seven with further gains at the 10th and 15th for an inward 33.
The field of 99, of whom 20 had No Returns, was the highest of the NE Alliance season - and most of them were astonished with Paul's performances. 
Lawrie summed up his round: "It was just a solid day. Hit it well from tee to green. Gave myself a lot of chances and putted nicely again. It was good to keep the form going from last week in Portugal.
"The Montrose course I thought was in very good condition - as always some tough holes mixed in with some good birdie chances."
Joint second on the one-under 70 mark were Royal Aberdeen amateur Nick Macandrew (33-37) and Newmachar tour pro John Duff, finishing in the top two for the fifth time at the seventh fixture of the new season.
Duff would have finished much closer to Lawrie but for bogeying the last three holes after birdies at the fifth, sixth, 11th and 15th.
Macandrew highlighted his card with an eagle 3 at the sixth and birdies at the second, ninth, 14th and 18th.
Paul Lawrie's elder son Craig finished fourth on his own on level par 71.
Craig's inward half of 37 included double bogey 6s at the 10th and 17th.



OUT 4-4-3 4-4-5 4-4-4: 36  IN 4-4-3 4-4-5 3-4-4: 35


OUT 3-4-2 3-3-4 4-4-5: 32 (-4)
    IN 3-4-3 4-4-4 3-4-4: 33 (-2

JOHN DUFF 70 (-1)

OUT 4-4-3 4-3-4 4-4-4: 34 (-2)
    IN 4-3-3 4-4-4 4-5-5: 36 (+1)

NICK MacANDREW 70 (-1)

OUT 5-3-3 4-4-3 4-4-3: 33 (-3)
    IN 5-5-3 5-3-5 4-4-3: 37 (+2)

CRAIG LAWRIE 71 (level par)

OUT 4-3-3 4-4-4 4-4-4: 34 (-2)
    IN 6-4-3 4-3-4 3-6-4: 37 (+2)




Leitmannstetter rallies to claim maiden win on 

MENA Golf Tour's Ghala Open


MUSCAT,  Oman — Aaron Leitmannstetter overhauled a five-shot deficit to capture the Ghala Open in windy and dusty conditions for his maiden victory on the MENA Golf Tour today.
The 23-year-old German closed with a superb six-under 66 to reach 10-under for the tournament, one clear of joint overnight leader Ahmed Marjan of Morocco as Sweden’s Fredrik From finished in solo third a further shot adrift.
Playing in the day’s sixth last group, Leitmannstetter reeled off seven birdies against a lone bogey to leave a strong field trailing in his wake as he become the first German to inscribe his name on a MENA Tour Trophy. 
“It feels amazing to get the job done this time around after finishing second in this very tournament,” said the Dubai-based German after receiving the winner’s trophy from Ziyad Al Zubair, a board member of Ghala Golf Club, and Moroccan Ambassador to Oman Tariq El Hsissen.
“It was quite windy out there, I though a 10-under would be a good target and luckily I managed to achieve that. Very, very happy with performance during the week, said Leitmannstetter, who is playing in his third season on the MENA Golf Tour. 
Morocco’s Marjan was left ruing shots that got away, especially on the 16th where he was sitting for an eagle, but three putted from 24 feet for par. A birdie on the closing hole could have forced a playoff, but he left it short from 15 feet.
“Yes, I had my chances, but couldn’t take them. Overall, very pleased to finish second. It was good week and I can take many positives from this event. Almost every part of my game fell into place, it’s just that I couldn’t get over the line which is a shame.” 
Chile’s Matias Calderon and the English duo of Benjamin David and Todd Clements shared the leading amateur award after the trio finished on matching five-under 211s.

SCOTSWATCH: Jack Doherty's back-to-back 68s over the final two rounds elevated him to a share of seventh place in the final standings on five-under 211. He earned £1,033.
Rookie Jack McDonald earned £690 for a joint 15th finish on 212 with rounds of 70, 70 and 72.
Aberdeen-born Clarke Lutton, the leading Scot with one round to go, nosedived to a joint 20th finish with a 75 for 213. He earned £557.
Paul Doherty finished T43 on 220 with rounds of 74, 73 and 73.

MENA TOUR - Ghala Open
Ghala Golf Club, Muscat, Oman

Par 216 (3x72)
206 A Leitmannstetter (Ger) 70 70 66.
207 A Marjan (Mor) 70 65 72
208 F From (Swe) 72 66 70.

211 J Doherty 75 68 68 (T7)
212 J McDonald 70 70 72 (T15)
213 C Lutton 70 68 75, D Kay 70 71 72 (T20)
220 P Doherty 74 73 73 (T42)




Fox now leading Scot in PGA Play-offs

Graham Fox has replaced Greig Hutcheon as the leading Scot after three rounds of the PGA Play-offs over Saunton Golf Club's East Course in Devon today (Wed).
Fox, playing out of Clydeway Golf, has shot 73-68-68 for four-under-par 209 and is in second place, three shots behind England's Matt Cort who regained the lead with his third sub-70 score in a row (69-69-68) for seven-uner 206. 
Fox  bogeyed the first but then covered the next 17 holes in four under par with birdies at the third, short fifth, seventh and long 15th in halves of 34.
Hutcheon (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmarlo) was three over par after 11 holes today, bogeying the sixth, 10th, and 11th before birdieing the short 13th and long 15th in halves of 37-35 for a 72 and a joint fifth position on one-under 212.
Anglo-Scot Ian Campbell (Cheshunt Park) is tied 10th on 214 with rounds of 74, 69 and 71.
Paul O'Hara (North Lanarkshire Leisure) had no birdies to offset four bogeys in his third-round 75 for joint 20th place on 221 in the select field of 24.
First prize is £2,000 and the first three will gain automatic selection to the GB and I team for the PGA Cup match against the United States.  
Places in the fields for the BMW PGA Championship and British Masters also await the leading finishers.


Saunton Golf Club East Course, Devon.
Par 213 (3x71)
206 M Cort (Eng) 69 69 68
209 G Fox (Sco) 73 68 68
210 P Streeter (Eng) 69 68 73

212 G Hutcheon 71 69 72 (T5)
214 I Campbell 74 69 71 (T10)
221 P O'Hara 76 70 76  (T20)



Cort on course to make it third time lucky

Two-time runner up Matthew Cort has an elusive PGA Play-Offs title within his grasp after a flawless 68 at Saunton Golf Club.
The event hasn’t been kind to the Leicestershire golfer - he lost in a play-off in 2013 while last year was leading by one going up the last only to see a two-shot swing to Gareth Wright.
But the Beedles Lake-attached pro is well-placed to erase those disappointments, having carved out a healthy lead going into the final round of the £15,000 event.
Nearest challenger, Scotland’s Graham Fox, who also carded a 68, is three strokes back at four under for the tournament with overnight leader Paul Streeter slipping to third, a further shot back following a two-over-par 73.
Cort’s consistency has been reflected by just three bogeys in his opening 54 holes although he twice skirted with dropped shots at 17 and 18 thanks to some heavy-handed putting.
“On 17, I was on the green, about 35 feet away but the pin was cut on the right on a ridge so I’m thinking don’t leave it short, make sure you get it up the slope, and it took off. I de-greened it so it was nice to hole the one coming back,” said Cort.
“I have a good friend who says he wants me to be a bit more attacking on the putts – and that one was!
“On the last, it’s downhill into the wind, and I think my brain was a little bit fried with the pace so again that was a good two putt having left myself eight feet short but overall I played very steady.”
With a top ten finish and a spot in next year’s BMW PGA Championship virtually confirmed, Cort also has his sights on securing a place in the PGA Cup team – the top three automatically qualifying for the 2017 Great Britain and Ireland team which is captained by Saunton’s Lossiemouth-born Albert MacKenzie.
“I’ve played Wentworth the last four years and not done so well. That was the main target – to get into the top ten - now I have got PGA Cup to play for – which is a big deal as I’ve not played it before. I’ve watched the last two, thinking I wouldn’t mind a go.”
Despite his advantage, Cort is unlikely to take anything for granted with the East Course capable of biting at any moment.
“Links bunkers can get you in trouble – on the second I went for one and ended in greenside trap. It was lying pretty badly in the bottom of bunker with a steep face. I didn’t get it out but managed to hit my second bunker shot close and holed it for a par,” added Cort.
“Those kind of dangers lurk out there and if you start spraying it off the tee you can get into some bother. I’ve just got to go out and play half decent and get it done.”
With successive 68s following an opening 73, Clydeway Golf’s Fox has crept into contention and poses the most immediate threat to Cort and takes a refreshingly straightforward approach to proceedings.
“I just go out and play, hit it and find it, hit it and find it, I’m not really thinking beyond that,” said Fox.
“The golden carrot is dangling for you but I couldn’t care less at the moment, I’ll just go out and play and it will be what it will be.”
Roberts Coles (Maylands Golf and Country Club) is in fourth spot at two under with the trio of Phil Archer (Birchwood), Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance) and Greig Hutcheon (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmarlo) at one under. Irish duo Neil O’Briain (Old Conna) and Damien McGrane are level par.

Leading third round scores
par 213 (3x71)
Pos    Scores                   Name                  Represents
1       69, 69, 68 (-7)    Matthew Cort       Beedles Lake
2       73, 68, 68 (-4)    Graham Fox         Clydeway Golf
3       69, 68, 73 (-3)    Paul Streeter        Lincoln Golf Centre
4       76, 65, 70 (-2)    Robert Coles         Maylands G and CC
T5     73, 70, 69 (-1)    Phil Archer           Birchwood
T5     69, 72, 71           Colm Moriarty      Drive Golf Performance
 T5    71, 69, 72           Greig Hutcheon    Paul Lawrie Golf Centre

Full leaderboard


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

John Daly admits to drinking mid-round in a 

US PGA Tour event ... and he played better!

Let's just say ESPN didn't decide to do a documentary on John Daly because of his history of sound judgment on and off the golf course although he did win the US Open and the Open.
Instead, it was for all the ingredients that have made Daly one of golf's most intriguing and mercurial figures: the multiple marriages, the on-course meltdowns, and the drinking. Lots and lots of drinking.
In a teaser for the upcoming "Hit It Hard," which will debut November 1 as part of the popular "30 for 30" series, Daly acknowledges there were plenty of occasions when he played tournaments hungover from the night before. 
But as far as drinking during the round, Daly says it was only one time, years ago in the Los Angeles Open.
"It was so slow and I played the back nine first," Daly says. "I think I'm two or three over. I went in the locker room and downed like five beers, and I think I shot four under on the front nine. That is the only time I know I drank during a round, and I played great. I played great that week. I finished strong."
If Daly's candour from the one clip is any indication, we suspect the ESPN film will be worth watching.


Duncan McNeill T51 finish in Quail Valley 

Invitational despite improving rounds

Duncan McNeill from Annan, a second-year student at McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana, finished T51 in a field of 75 at this week's Quail Valley Collegiate Invitational at Quail Valley Golf Club, Vero Beach in Florida.
Duncan had improving rounds of 75, 74 and 72 for a five-over-par total of 221 over a very long par-72 course - 7,350yd.
Elliot Fullalove (Jacksonville) from Kingswood, England, finished T7 on 210 with scores of 69, 69 and 72. 
Team-mate David Wicks from Bexhill scored 69, 72 and 71 for 212 and a T15 finish. 
Two players tied with the lowest aggregate of 13-under-par 203 - Ilari Saulo (Middle Tennessee State) (67-65-71) and Philip Knowles (North Florida) (67-68-68).
Michigan State (835) won the team title ahead of North Florida (837), Arkansas (845) and Jacksonville (848). McNeese State (861) finished eighth of 15. 

 Leadbetter and Howells make top 20 at Old 

Corkscrew Golf Club in Florida

James Leadbetter, son of famous coach David Leadbetter, and his Florida Gulf Coast University team-mate, Casper Howells, a final-year student from London, made the top 20 in the final placings at the Homewood Hilton Airport Invite college tournament at the quaintly-named Old Corkscrew Golf Club at Estero in Florida.
Leadbetter finished T11 in a field of 91with rounds of 76, 72 and 76 for eight-over-par 224.
Howells claimed T19 position on 228 with rounds of 80, 77 and 71.
At the top of the leaderboard there was a dramatic swing away from Will Sallee (Eastern Kentucky), the clear-cut leader after 36 holes with rounds of 70 and 68. He "blew up" to a third and final round of 81 for 219 and had to share the No 1 honours with Manuel Elvira (Central Florida) who made up an amazing 11 strokes on Salee over the final 18 holes to tie with him. Elvira's earlier rounds had been 75 and 74.
At least Sallee's scores helped Eastern Kentucky (888) to win the team title against of Florida Gulf Coast (892) and Central Florida (896) in a field of 16 teams. 

Paul McBride T56 at Georgia Collegiate

Paul McBride, from Dublin, a third-year student at Wake Forest University, finished T56 in a field of 90 at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate at Alpharetta, Georgia.
Over two courses, one of 7,017yd and the other 7,039, Paul had rounds of 76, 70 and 77 for a total of seven-over-par 223 - 16 shots behind the joint winners, Jimmy Stanger (Virginia) (67-68-72) and Max McGreevy (Oklahoma) (68-69-70). They finished two shots ahead of the field.
Virginia and Texas, both totalling 856, dead-heated for first place in one of the closest team finishes of the season.
Southern California and Stanford, both 857 (only one off the lead), tied for third place, one shot ahead of Texas A and M (858).
Oklahoma (859) came next, a shot ahead of Duke (860) who were a similar margin ahead of Oklahoma State (861) with Wake Forest (863) ninth in a field of 17 teams. 
So seven/eight shots covered the leading nine teams. You cannot get much tighter finish than that!


Hutcheon moves up to share of third place in 

PGA Play-offs with a 69 for two-under 140

Banchory's Greig Hutcheon, seeking a third win in the PGA Play-offs, moved up to a share of third place, three behind new leader Paul Streeter (Lincoln) at the halfway stage of the tournament, being contested by a select field of 24 at Saunton Golf Club's East Course in Devon.
Hutcheon, playing out of Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmarlo added a two-under-par 69 to his opening 71 for a two-under tally of 140.
He birdied the long second and par-4 fourth and then reeled off 14 par figures for the remaining holes in hlaves of 34-35.
Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf) is tied seventh on 141 after a 68 (36-32) which included fourth birdies and one bogey.
Anglo-Scot Ian Campbell (Cheshunt Park) shot a 69 (36-33) for 143 to move up to a share of 11th place.
Paul O'Hara (North Lanarkshire Leisure) improved by six shots with a one-under 70 (35-35) for 146 and joint 16th place. 
 The top ten finishers are guaranteed a place in next year’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth while there are two places up for grabs at the British Masters as well three spots in the Great Britain and Ireland PGA Cup team.


Saunton Golf Club East Course, Devon

Par 142 (2x71)
137 P Streeter (Eng) 69 68
138 M Cort (Eng) 69 69
140 G Hutcheon (Sco) 71 69, D McGrane (Ire) 70 70, N O'Briain (Ire) 70 70, A Willey (Eng) 71 69.

141 G Fox 73 68 (T7)
143 I Campbell 74 69 (T11)
146 P O'Hara 76 70 (T16).
Field of 24 players



 Streeter takes lead with a 68 for 137

Former champion Paul Streeter hit a purple patch on the greens to surge into the lead at the halfway stage of the PGA Play-Offs at Saunton Golf Club.
The Lincoln Golf Centre pro, who won this title in 2007, reeled off five birdies on the front nine to set the pace in the £15,000 event.
While closing bogeys took the shine off the round, his three-under-par 68 was still enough to give him a one stroke advantage over Beedles Lakes’ Matt Cort who added a second 69.
Benign weather greeted the 24-strong field and Streeter wasted little time in capitalising on the favourable conditions at the Devon links – holing a tricky putt on the first and then getting up and down from a bunker.
“I had a good chance on the third too, then holed a 20 footer on six, hit it stone dead on eight and made an eight footer on nine,” said Streeter.
“It was looking like one of those days and then the putter went cold.”
Further chances came and went on 10, 11, 13 and 16 before he missed an eight footer for par on 17 and three putted the last.
“I read it as left half and it swung a lot more than I thought and missed the hole,” admitted Streeter.
“I think now the greens have dried out, they are just taking a bit more break, when they were damper you could hit them straight and they would go in so obviously I need to recalculate.
“But like I said yesterday, my aim is to shoot under par every round, if I win great – if I don’t so be it, but if I shoot under par the next two rounds I’ll be happy.”
Behind the leading pair, a bunched leaderboard features two Irishmen – Neil O’Briain and Damien McGrane – a Scot – Greig Hutcheon – and Englishman – Andrew Willey – who are three shots adrift of Streeter at two-under-par.
Robert Coles from Maylands in Essex is also in the mix having carded a best of the day 65 which included eight birdies and leaves him one under par for the 72-hole tournament alongside Graham Fox and Colm Moriarty.
"I had a bad day yesterday and I had a bad opening hole today - so I was six over par for the tournament and I wasn't feeling too good about it,” said Coles.
"I hit a couple of shots close on the front nine and managed to do quite well by the turn. From the 11th I started making some putts which really helped the score.
"I started to give myself some chances and I had a bit of luck here and there which was nice. "I am relieved to be back in the realms of contention."
The top ten finishers are guaranteed a place in next year’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth while there are two places up for grabs at the British Masters as well three spots in the Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team.


Copyright © Colin Farquharson

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