Sunday, February 14, 2016

Scoring high at Almenara Golf Club, Spain in the MENA Tour Tour Qualifying School Stage 1

To view the scores


Labels: ,

Charl Schwartzel wins Tshwane Open by 

EIGHT strokes: Win No. 8 in S Africa
Charl Schwartzel  (Getty Images)
Charl Schwartzel (Getty Images)

Charl Schwartzel strolled to an eight-stroke victory in the Tshwane Open at Pretoria Golf Club, South Africa to claim his second title of the season.
Schwartzel shot a seven-under-par 63 today to finish on 16-under 264 over the par-70 course and clinch his eighth European Tour win on South African soil. H earned 163,682 euros. His earlier rounds were 71, 64 and 66
Denmark's Jeff Winther (73-66-69-64) finished second on eight under 272, with Anthony Michael another two shots further back in third place 274 with scores of 64, 69, 71 and 70.
Winther earned 118,763 euros, Michael 71,464 euros
Schwartzel, who began the day with a slender one-shot advantage, moved to ten under par when he rolled in his birdie putt from 15 feet at the second.
Despite dropping a shot at the third, the 2011 Masters Champion was four strokes ahead of nearest challenger Zander Lombard at the turn after following up consecutive birdies at the sixth and seventh with an eagle at the ninth to reach the turn in 31.
The 31 year old briefly held a five-shot advantage when Lombard dropped a shot at the tenth, but a second bogey of the day at the 11th saw Schwartzel fall back to 12 under.
But he bounced back in style, picking up a shot at the 12th before holing his 40 foot birdie putt from the back of the 14th green to move to 14 under.
Schwartzel rolled in a tricky putt to save par at the 15th before carding another brilliant birdie at the 16th to reach 15 under.
The South African safely parred the 17th before sinking his birdie putt from five feet at the 18th to win by eight shots.
Schwartzel was delighted with his putting in the final round. He said: "In the first three rounds I gave myself so many chances. If I had the stroke I had today, it probably would have been my best tournament ever. 
"It’s just frustrating when you don’t putt very well and you don’t convert, and to make the putts when it counts, that’s even more satisfying.
"Everything is sort of falling into place. I’ve worked really hard leading up to this and it’s just been feeling good, so everything has got some really good signs, so I’m excited."
Winther had set the early clubhouse target after mixing seven birdies with a solitary bogey on his way to a six-under-par 64. Starting the day seven shots off the overnight lead, Winther covered the front nine in 30 before dropping a shot at the 12th.
But Winther finished his round in style, firing birdies at the 13th and 16th to finish on eight under.

Michael, who held a two shot lead at the halfway stage of the tournament, reached the turn in 34 on Sunday after bouncing back from a bogey at the first with a sensational eagle at the ninth.
He dropped a shot at the 11th but recovered quickly, notching a birdie at the par-five 12th to move to seven under.
But a third bogey of the day at the 13th saw Michael finish the weekend on six under, one shot clear of Justin Walters, Richard Sterne and Dean Burmester.

SCOTSWATCH (By Colin Farquharson)
Peterhead-born Jamie McLeary achieved one of his highest-ever finishes in a European Tour event with scores of 68, 70, 69 and 69 for 12-under-par 276 and joint seventh place. He earned 26,059 euros.
Aberdonian David Law and Windyhill's Andrew McArthur - both former Scottish amateur champions - tied for 29th place on 282. Law had four very steady rounds of 70, 70, 71 and 71. McArthur shot 68, 74, 70 and 70. Both earned 8,692 euros.
Scott Henry earned 4,751 euros for a T49 finish on 285 with scores of 68, 74, 72 and 71.

TO view all the final totals and prizemoney



Annoyed Bill Murray throws fans' phones

  off restaurant rooftop, later misses cut

Bill Murray in his element at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Bill Murray at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am ( Getty Images )
PEBBLE BEACH, California– Bill Murray's relationship with at least a couple of golf fans may have taken a turn in an unfortunate direction Thursday night.
Murray, in town to play at the AT and T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, attended Justin Timberlake's party at the Vesuvio restaurant in Carmel-by-the-Sea that evening when fans crowded in on him and started taking numerous photos. 
Murray, annoyed at the excessive intrusion, grabbed three fans' phones and tossed them. Two made it over the restaurant’s second-floor rooftop, but the third never made it off the rooftop and eventually was found in a seat cushion, according to police.
According to a Carmel police incident report, two police cars were dispatched to a reported disturbance at the restaurant at 10:30 p.m.
When the police arrived, Murray was not on the scene and the two fans who had their phones tossed onto the street didn’t want to press charges, but only wanted to be compensated for the loss of their property.
The police contacted Murray’s representative and they confirmed that any damage to the objects would be paid by Murray.
While Murray could have been charged with theft or vandalism, according to Cmdr. Paul Tomasi of the Carmel police, no charges were filed.
When asked to speak on Saturday after the third round of the AT&T event, Murray declined, saying, “I’m done for today, thank you.”
The entertainer and his playing professional, D.A. Points, missed the 54-hole cut on Saturday in the pro-am portion of the event. Points earned a "made cut, did not finish" distinction on the pro leaderboard, thanks to a three-round even-par total. That means he won't be teeing it up on Sunday in the pro portion, either.



Moray pro Rodger Clarke wins North Alliance 

over home course at Lossiemouth


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Langer extends lead to seven at Chubb Classic

Bernhard Langer
Bernhard Langer ( Getty Images )
Maybe he hasn't nailed down his future putter plans yet, but Bernhard Langer appears to be just fine without the anchored stroke.
An early eagle, courtesy of a 15-foot putt, at TwinEagles' Talon Course got the 58-year-old German going, and he pounded in four more birdies on his way to a second-round 66 and a seven-shot lead at the Chubb Classic. Langer, a five-time PGA Tour Champions Player of the Year winner and the reigning Schwab Cup champion, posted 62-66 over the first two days to reach 16 under, with Scott Dunlap (69-66) and Kenny Perry (68-67) both seven behind.
"I know when things go great, it's unbelievable the scores that can be produced," Langer said. "I once won a tournament by 17 shots. When everything gets going, you know, I can go low."
Langer, of course, has been dealing with the recent anchoring ban that struck down on Jan. 1, 2016. The German had used an anchored stroke for 17 years, and while he's retained the long (unanchored) putter for now, he plans to switch to a putter with the Matt Kuchar-style grip or a conventional-length putter with an orthodox grip some time in the near future.
For now, though, Langer, who started the year T8-T10, looks poised with one round to go in Naples, Florida to earn his 26th career US PGA Champions Tour win.
 Langer cautioned that potential hiccups are still out there, so don't concede him the trophy yet. But until further notice, even as he's toggling between flatstick options, this is still the same dominant Langer of years past.




Mickelson in prime position to end victory drought at Pebble Beach

Phil Mickelson will head into Sunday at the 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am gunning for PGA Tour victory No. 43.
Phil Mickelson will head into Sunday at the 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am gunning for US PGA Tour victory No. 43. ( Getty Images )
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Different in so many ways from your weekly US PGA Tour show, the AT abd T Pebble Beach Pro-Am takes some getting used to, and it easily tosses players out of their comfort zones.
But given that Phil Mickelson’s won it four times and has played in it on 19 occasions, one would have to suggest that he has the show figured out. If you didn’t think so before this year, Saturday was perhaps definitive proof that Lefty’s formula works, because while the afternoon winds and crowd frenzy created trying conditions on the back nine at Pebble Beach, he was going about his tidy work in solitude on the front.
Not that Mickelson seemed overly impressed with his bogey-free, 6-under 66, mind you. Yes, he pushed to 16-under 199, and OK, he leads by two over Hiroshi Iwata. 
“But I didn’t strike it maybe as well as I had the first couple of rounds,” Mickelson said. “But I was able to get a lot of up-and-downs and make a lot of pars.”
Mickelson’s prowess with the short game was at its best on the par-5 18th when, after laying up too far right, he was blocked out by a massive tree and could only run a low pitch shot through the green to the back fringe.
Naturally, he pitched in the next one.
Now the fact that the 18th was his ninth hole speaks to a Mickelson philosophy that serves him well at the AT and T.
In love with the tournament, he’s not a big fan of the “celebrity rotation,” and, in fact, just two years ago Mickelson didn’t even play Pebble Beach on Saturday. He played at Spyglass Hill. And in one of his four wins here, in 2007, Lefty was again over at Spyglass on Saturday.
So it came as no surprise that the way things worked out, Mickelson’s third-round draw at Pebble Beach on Saturday had him playing the back nine first. True, you have to play ‘em all, but getting the back nine in the morning and being accompanied by a corporate executive, John Veihmeyer, as opposed to a Hollywood icon such as Mark Wahlberg or a musical superstar like Justin Timberlake when you run through the celebrity-crazed crowds at 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 is conducive to Mickelson’s style.
There’s also this — the scoring holes at Pebble Beach come at you early. The gentle first, the par-5 second, the short, par-4 fourth, the soft, par-5 sixth, the wedge-in-your-hand par-3 seventh.
So there was Mickelson, having gone out in 33, throwing down consecutive birdies at 5, 6 and 7 to leap to 16 under.
It would prove too much to catch, so while Iwata was scripting a 3-under 69 at Spyglass Hill to get into second and Freddie Jacobson (3-under 68 at Monterey Peninsula) and Sung Kang (70 at Pebble) were getting into a share of third at 13 under, some notable names had their hands full playing Pebble Nos. 1-18.
Justin Rose, for instance. He birdied four of his first six holes to get into the lead, then bogeyed four of the next 12. “Phil finished, I didn’t,” Rose said, having settled in at 9 under, tied for 11th.
Others could commiserate. Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson were paired together, shot 74 and 71, respectively, and at 1 under made the cut on the number.
Defending champ Brandt Snedeker? He raced to the turn in 30, then limped home in 40, a disheartening 2-under 70 if ever there was one. Making the cut at 2 under gives him another day at Pebble Beach, but truth be told, Sunday belongs to one name.
He could match Mark O’Meara’s record for five wins in this tournament and earn career PGA Tour victory No. 43, but the bigger deal is this: Lefty hasn’t won since the 2013 British Open. Winless campaigns in 2013-14 and 2014-15 had Mickelson in the longest drought of his Hall of Fame career, but somehow, the world appears back on its axis with him in pursuit of another Pebble victory.
The thing is, though, Mickelson is a man who sticks to a formula and that means not getting ahead of himself. Having a two-stroke lead is nice. Having played very well in spots at three tournaments prior to this week is good for his frame of mind.
But only one thing will be on his mind when he tees off Sunday. “I’d love to play a good, solid round,” he said.




Schwartzel leads Tshwane Open by one after 

Round 3, McLeary tied for 7th

Charl Schwartzel will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the Tshwane Open at Pretoria Golf Club, South Africa after carding a four-under-par 66 today.
The 2011 Masters champion notched three birdies, an eagle and a solitary bogey to finish day three on nine under par, one stroke clear of fellow South African Zander Lombard.
Beginning his third round two shots behind overnight leader Anthony Michael, the 31 year old Schwartzel picked up a shot at the second before holing his eight foot eagle putt at the ninth to join Lombard and Michael in a share of the lead at the turn.
Further gains at the 12th and 17th moved Schwartzel to ten under par, but he slipped back to nine under after missing his 12 foot par putt at the last.
Schwartzel is pleased to be in the hunt. He said: "I hit the ball really well. I think I only missed two greens and I gave myself a lot of chances for birdie.
"It’s very close up there and it’s still going to come down to tomorrow and who actually just shoots the best score. That’s what it’s going to be so I’m looking forward to it. 
"I love playing at home on golf courses I’m familiar with, in front of familiar faces. We don’t get to do that very often, so it’s nice."

Lombard, who started the day six shots off the lead, surged into contention after posting a flawless 63 which included five birdies and an eagle.
The 21 year old covered the front nine in 30 after following pars at the opening five holes with three straight birdies from the sixth before chipping in for an eagle from the edge of the green at the ninth.
And he made further gains at the tenth and 12th holes, before safely parring the final six to finish the day on eight under.
Lombard said: "I just had a great round. I put together some solid putts and kept it in the right places again. I managed to keep the bogeys off the card and really put a solid score together."
Michael and Haydn Porteous sit a further two shots back on six under after they each dropped a shot at the 18th.
Michael is looking forward to Sunday's final round. He said: "It’s a dream that we all live for, to compete in every tournament we play in and I’m very excited for tomorrow."

par 216 (3x72)
207 Jamie McLeary 68 70 69 (T7)
211 David Law 70 70 71 (T25)
212 Andrew McArthur 68 74 70 (T34)
214 Scott Henry 68 74 72 (T53) 



England's Toby Tree is in a share for fifth on four under after producing a five-under-par 65 in a mixed third round.
Tree recovered from a bogey on the second with three birdies and an eagle to reach the turn in 31, before adding another eagle at the 12th.
A birdie at the 15th saw Tree move to six under but he closed his round with a double bogey at the last to slip back to four under and finish alongside Dean Burmester.



Liam Johnston T24 finish in Portugal

Liam Johnston (Dumfries), Scotland's only qualifier for the final round of the Portuguese men's open amateur championship at Montado Golf Resort near Setubal on the Costa Azul, finished T24 on 290 with rounds of 70, 78, 70 and 72.
Italians Guido Migliozzi (14-under 274) and Andrea Saracino (276) filled the first two places with Denmark's John Axelsen a distant third on 283, nine shots behind the winner.

par 288 (4x72)
274Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 69 66 70 69
276 Andrea Saracino (Ita) 69 70 68 69
283 John Axelsen (Den) 71 73 71 68.

284 Marco Penge (Eng) 70 71 70 73, Owen Edwards (Wal) 70 67 71 76, Jack Singh Brar (Eng) 75 69 69 71 (T4)
285 Jack Yule (Eng) 71 69 70 75(T9)
286 Thomas Williams (Wal) 71 73 71  71(T11)
290 Liam Johnston (Sco) 70 78 70 72.

233 Ben Kinsley (Sco) 78 76 79.




Scots seniors down the field behind Swedish 

winner Tomas Persson in Spain

Scotland's three qualifiers for the last round of the Spanish senior men's amateur individual championship at Costa Ballena Ocean Golf Club - Billy Mitchell, Ian Jeen and Gordon Hay - finished well behind the winner, Sweden's Tomas Persson who shot 71, 70 and 73 for 214, winning by two shots from Spain's Ignacio Gonzalez  Martinez (73-73-70) with Irishman Maurice Kelly in third place on 217 (76-72-69).

Mitchelll was T290 on 229 (81-73-75).
Jeen and Hay tied for 37th place on 231 with Jeen scoring 76, 77 and 78, and Hay 78, 78 and 75.

Par 216 (3x72)
214 Tomas Persson (Swe) 71 70 73
216 Ignacio Gonzalez Martinez (Spa) 73 73 70
217 Maurice Kelly (Ire) 76 72 69.

222 John Ambridge (Eng) 71 76 75 (T6)
225 Davis Hannis (Eng) 75 77 73 (T10)
226 John Mitchell (Ire) 75 78 73, Stephen East (Eng) 73 77 76 (T12)
227 Hugh Smyth (Ire) 75 80 72, Keith Davies (Eng) 76 78 73, Glyn Rees (Wal) 75 77 75, Nigel Duke (Ire) 78, 76, 73 (T16)

229 Billy Mitchell 81 73 75 (T29)
231 Ian Jeen 76 77 78, Gordon Hay 78 78 75 (T37)  




Grandstand finish by Chris Robb but it earns 

him only T26 final place in Morocco

Former Scottish amateur champion Chris Robb (Meldrum House) covered his last six holes in four under par but rounds of 74, 72 and 71 for an aggregate of one-over 217 earned him only a share of 26th place on the German PGA Developmental Tour's Tazegzout Open at Agadir, Morocco today.
Robb ran up a double bogey 7 at the ninth in an outward 39 but he came roaring home in 32 thanks to birdies at the long 13th, par-4 16th and an eagle 3 at the par-5 18th, for the third day in a row.
The Banchory man finished 10 shots behind the winner, Germany's Martin Keskari who scored 69, 70 and 68 for nine-under 207 and a two-shot win from compatriot Patrick Kopp (72-70-67)
Robb was the only Scot to survive the second-round cut


McColl and young Lawrie top Scots in joint 

fifth place finish on Algarve

Jordon McColl (Kingsbarns Golf Academy) and Craig Lawrie (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) tied for fifth place in the Algarve Pro Tour's Boavista Classic over 36 holes at Boavista Golf and Country Club, Lagos.
McColl had a pair of 70s for two-under 140, a total matched by Lawrie's 69-71. They both earned 491 euros in finishing six shots behind the winner of the 2000 euros first prize, Englishman Ben Stow (Rushmore Park) who shot 69-65 for eight under 134 and won by three shots from compatriot James Adams (66-71).
Tartan Tour No 1 Greig Hutcheon (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) tied for 13th place and earned 325 euros for rounds of 69-72 for a one-under 141 total.
Jay Taylor tied for 16th place on 142 (68-74) while James Steven (72-71) and Conor O'Neil (also 72-71) tied for 20th place on 143 in a field of 53 competitors


Savage finishes 2nd, five Scots in top 10 of 

African amateur championship

By Colin Farquharson
Five Scots finished in the top 10 - spearheaded by second place Jamie Savage (Cawder) - in the inaugural African men's amateur stroke-play championship which ended at Leopard Creek Country Club, South Africa today (Saturday).

Savage, pictured, in a five-way tie for the lead at halfway, posted socres of 71, 67, 70 and 71 for nine-under-par 279, but still finished five shots behind the South African winner, Albert Venter who shot 65, 73, 65 and 71 for 14-under 274.
Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) and Craig Ross (Kirkhill) both closed with par 72s and tied for third place with England's Jamie Bower on seven-under 281.
Connor Syme (Drumoig) also finished with a 72 and claimed a share of seventh place on 285, a shot ahead of Walker Cup player Grant Forrrest (Craigielaw) who signed off with a 69 for 286. Forrest saddled himself with a five-over 77 on the first day and was seven-under-par for the remaining three rounds.
There were seven Scots in the top 20, an excellent achievement on foreign turf.
Cawder's Calum Fyfe and Nairn youngster Sandy Scott had last-round 72s, Fyfe tieing for 12th place on 287 and Scott finishing on his own in 16th place on 289. 
Strangely enough, Bob MacIntyre, the left-handed Scottish amateur champion from the Glencruitten club, Oban, did not have a good tournament. His last round of 71 was his only score under par. He finished tied 40th on 10-over 298.
Scott Gibson (Southerness) started the tournament with an 86 and finished it with a 72 for a share of 46th place on 300.

Leopard Creek Country Club, South Africa
par 288 (4x72)
274 Albert Venter (SAf) 65 73 65 71
279 Jamie Savage (Cawder) 71 67 70 71
281 Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) 73 70 66 72, Craig Ross (Kirkhill) 66 73 70 72, Jamie Bower (Eng) 66 72 68 75

285 Connor Syme (Drumoig) 73 70 70 72 (T7)
286 Grant Forrest (Craigielaw) 77 69 71 69 (T9)
287 Calum Fyfe (Cawder) 75 70 70 72 (T12)
289 Sandy Scott (Nairn) 76 70 71 72 (16th)
298 Bob MacIntyre (Glencruitten) 77 72 78 71 (T40)
300 Scott Gibson (Southerness) 86 73 69 72.



Zander Lombard moves into Tshwane

 Open picture in Round 3

Zander Lombard moved into the clubhouse lead near the end of the third day of the Tshwane Open at Pretoria, South Africa
The 21 year old began his third round six shots off the overnight lead after posting scores of 72 and 67 on Thursday and Friday respectively.
Lombard surged into contention when he covered the front nine in 30 after following pars at the opening five holes with three straight birdies from the sixth before chipping in for an eagle from the edge of the green at the ninth.
And the South African made further gains at the tenth and 12th holes on his way to returning a seven-under-par 63 for an eight-under 54-hole tally of 202 over the par-70 lay-out.
Charl Swartzel (9 under after 14) and Anthony Michael (seven under after 14) have still to finish, at the time of writing.

Overnight leader Michael mixed two birdies with a bogey on his front nine, while Schwartzel, who started the day two shots off the lead, birdied the second before holing his eagle putt at the ninth to join Michael and Lombard at the top of the leaderboard.

211 David Law 70 70 71 (T26)
212 Andrew McArthur 68 74 70 (T34)
214 Scott Henry 68 74 72 (T53)




Donald Trump  has heard nothing from the 

RandA - soTurnberry remains on Open rota

Donald Trump at Turnberry
Donald Trump at Turnberry ( Getty Images )
PEBBLE BEACH, California – Is Trump Turnberry really off the Open rota? Not according to Donald Trump.
The billionaire businessman, a leading Republican presidential candidate, was unaware of any issues with the RandA and instead is moving forward with proposed changes to the iconic property in Scotland.
“I haven't been told that at an all, no,” Trump said Friday by phone about Turnberry being taken off the Open rota, which first was reported by London’s Independent newspaper.
 “We're working together with the RandA on the design. We have redesigned it, and it's almost completed. It will be opened in July and, no, I haven't heard that at all.”
If the RandA has not communicated Turnberry’s exclusion to Trump, the presidential candidate’s fiery remarks about Muslims, Mexicans, Chinese and women clearly have made it more difficult for the RandA to select Turnberry for its next Open venue vacancy, which is in 2020.
“It is my belief and that of the RandA that golf should be open to all, regardless of gender, race, nationality or religion,” RandA chief executive Martin Slumbers said in a statement in December.
Trump bought Turnberry (No. 1 Golfweek’s Best GBandI Classic Courses list), on the southwest coast of Ayrshire, in April 2014 from a subsidiary owned by the Dubai investment group chaired by Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. 
At the time of the purchase, Trump promised a £200 million-plus  upgrade that included significant changes to the Ailsa Course that has hosted four Opens: 1977, ’86, ’94 and most recently in 2009 when Stewart Cink defeated Tom Watson in a play-off.
Trump said the changes are almost complete and have been undertaken using Martin Ebert, the RandA’s preferred course architect.
The RandA also contributed approximately £500,000 toward infrastructure improvements at Turnberry, which is consistent with what the governing body has done at other Open venues to facilitate the telecast.
Would the RandA have committed that money if officials were unwilling to return after the political campaign has ended or if Trump were to win the White House in November?
“Yes, we did,” Peter Dawson, the former chief executive of the RandA, said Friday after his second round at the AT and T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“We did do underground cabling at Turnberry. Turnberry is a commercial venture, hasn’t had quite the same relationship with the RandA as private-members' clubs have, in fact. Turnberry has done much more of their own financing of improvements there.”
Dawson added that when he left the RandA in July, Turnberry still was very much on the Open rota.
“Things have developed since then,” Dawson said. “It’s not for me to say what’s going to happen. It would be very difficult for me, even when I was at the RandA, to bind future championship committees, and I certainly can’t do it from a retired position.”
Trump believes his relationships with Dawson and Slumbers are on solid footing and that Slumbers, in Trump’s words, “Is a terrific guy, and he knows how great Turnberry is.”
Trump went on to say that Turnberry is one of the players’ favourite courses in Europe.
“All the players say it's their favorite course, and wait until you see what I did with the ninth hole,” Trump said. “We moved it out in the ocean. The 11th hole, we moved out to the ocean. The 10th hole might be the best hole in golf. You're not even going to believe it when you see it.”
Nick Faldo, a three-time Open champion, said he is eager to see the changes at Turnberry, which includes five new holes and nine new greens.
“It’s a great venue, great-looking golf course,” Faldo said. “I’ve only seen from afar what they’re doing. It sounds great. Some of these holes sound amazing: like this 10th hole could be unbelievable if you have to drive over the hill.”
Faldo never won at Turnberry, but understands its importance in the rota.
“Take anything outside the ropes away and, yes, Turnberry should be on the rota,” Faldo said. “Simple as that.”
From the Editor: Turnberry has the most remote - in terms of proximity to well-populated areas - geographical position of all the courses on the RandA's Open rota. Consequently, the attendances at Open championships played at Turnberry are the smallest. 


Kang surprises everyone - including himself - with 60 at Pebble Beach

PEBBLE BEACH, California – Sung Kang stole the show Friday at the AT and T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, carding an 11-under 60 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club that gave him a share of the lead.
It also marked Kang’s lowest career round – although it took a reminder from pro-am partner, comedian Ray Romano, for that last fact to sink in.
“We didn’t even know what the par was, even after we finished the hole. So I thought I shot 61,” Kang said. “Then after we finished he was like, ‘Hey, you beat your career round,’ and I said, ‘No, I didn’t. I shot 61.’
“’He said, ‘No, you shot 60,’” Kang continued. “We looked at the score and couldn’t still figure it out, like four or five minutes with (caddie Mike) Fluff (Cowan). And then we counted it again, ‘Oh shoot, we shot 60.’”
It’s easy to see how Kang’s low round may have surprised him considering the 28-year-old entered this week off of three straight missed cuts. Following an even-par 72 at Spyglass Hill, he seemed more likely to miss Saturday’s cut than play in the final group.
But everything fell into place during a round that included nine birdies and an eagle. Beginning on the back nine, Kang turned in 6-under 31 and had an outside chance for a 59 after three straight birdies on Nos. 6-8.

While he closed with a par, it was still good enough to give him a share of the lead alongside Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata, with big names Phil Mickelson (T-3) and Justin Rose (sixth) looming just off the pace.
“I was having a good round, so I didn’t really force it to make birdies,” he said. “I was thinking just, it just felt like it was going to happen no matter what. So do it, it’s going to happen. Just putt, it’s going to go in, just hit it and it just went in most of the time today.”
Kang parted ways with his prior caddie after the Farmers Insurance Open, and this week marks the first time he has had Cowan on the bag as Cowan’s regular employer, Jim Furyk, continues to recover from wrist surgery. Cowan also happened to caddie for Furyk’s 59 at the 2013 BMW Championship, the last time golf’s magic number was achieved on the PGA Tour, and Kang heaped plenty of praise onto the veteran bag man.
“He definitely cleared my head a lot. I don’t have to think too much,” Kang said. “He told me, ‘Yeah, you were listening to me very well today, and you didn’t listen to me at all yesterday.’ So I did fine today.”

 Mickelson seven under after 10 holes, then it went pear shaped
- Associated Press
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) - The back nine didn’t go according to plan for Phil Mickelson during the second round of the AT and T; Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and the par-3 14th hole at Monterey Peninsula served as the best illustration.
Mickelson’s tee shot was a laser that covered the flag, and as it descended toward the green, Mickelson began talking to his golf ball.
“Drop! Drop!” he said.
And when it finally did, Mickelson asked a more pertinent question: “Why isn’t anyone clapping?”
And then the realization set in.
“Did that go long?” he said.
Indeed, it was some 30 feet beyond the cup, and he had to settle for a two-putt par. It was like that for his final two hours. Mickelson was 7-under par through 10 holes and had two par 5s in front of him. He had to settle for a 65, and that wasn’t even the most exciting round at Monterey Peninsula.
“I was 7 under for the round,” Mickelson said. “I didn’t expect to play 1 over coming in.”
About an hour later, Sung Kang birdied three straight holes and walked to his final tee at the par-3 ninth needing a birdie to shoot 59. Kang didn’t even know this. He thought par at Monterey Peninsula was a 72, so a shot at golf’s magic number never crossed his mind.
He scrambled for par and an 11-under 60, a personal best and the course record. And it gave him a share of the lead with Hiroshi Iwata, who shot 66 at Pebble Beach.
One more round, and this tournament will really take shape with everyone having a crack at each of the three courses.
Going into Saturday, Iwata and Kang were at 11-under 132, one shot to par better than Mickelson, Freddie Jacobson (69 at Spyglass Hill) and Chez Reavie (70 at Pebble Beach). Mickelson and Kang move on to Pebble Beach on Saturday, along with the stars - in golf and in the entertainment business.
THE INTRODUCTION: Ray Romano has become a regular at Pebble Beach in recent years, but he wasn’t real sure who his professional partner was when asked earlier in the week. That’s OK - Kang didn’t know much about Romano, either.
“One of my buddies came up and said, ‘Oh, you’re with Ray. He’s very famous,’” Kang said. “I did some research on it. I Googled Ray and he was like on a really famous TV show for six or seven years. He gets like almost a third more earnings from TV drama show.”
Asked if Romano knew him, Kang smiled and said, “I think he’ll remember me after today.”

THE KEY SHOT: Mickelson had only 11 putts on the front nine. He made a 40-foot eagle putt on No. 10. He drove the ball beautifully, and hit his irons where he was looking. But if there was a key shot in his second round, it was a hybrid that traveled all of 6 feet.
Mickelson pulled his approach on the par-5 12th down the bank, across the firm sand of a waste area and into the shrubs. He could not take a penalty stroke for an unplayable lie because to drop it no closer to the pin would have meant dropping it in the bushes.
He poked his hybrid into the shrubs, carefully measured how he would make contact and punched at it. The ball squirted out and stopped 6 feet away on the sand.
“Problem was, if I tried to get it too far, I was afraid it would roll up the face and roll back down in the bush like it did,” Mickelson said. “So I just wanted to move it 5 or 6 feet so it didn’t go up the slope.”
He still made bogey. It could have been worse.
THE REASSESSMENT: Justin Rose was two shots to par out of the lead after a 68 at Monterey Peninsula. Statistically, that has been the easiest scoring course of the three in the rotation. Not to Rose, however. He said the greens aren’t quite as good as Pebble Beach or Spyglass Hill, and if you don’t see putts go in early, it makes it even harder. That’s when someone let him know that Kang was 11 under for the day and playing his final hole.
“The greens are obviously perfect,” he said.
THE PAR 5s: Jordan Spieth would love his position going into Pebble Beach if he could figure out how to play the par 5s.
He was around the green in two shots on all of the par 5s at Spyglass Hill on Thursday and made only one birdie. It was even worse at Monterey Peninsula. He didn’t make birdie on any of them. Spieth shot a 69 and was at 3 under, even though he has played the par 5s in just 1 under for the week.
“From where I’ve been, they’ve pretty much all been par 4s for me,” he said. “So it almost feels like I’m playing them 7 over. It’s bizarre.”


Friday, February 12, 2016

Langer doesn't miss anchored putter as he 

shoots 11 birdies at Chubb Classic

Bernhard Langer
Bernhard Langer ( Associated Press )
NAPLES, Florida – So much for all the doom and gloom that Bernhard Langer suddenly would go to pieces without an anchored putter. The German poured in 11 birdies – one off the US PGA Champions Tour record – en route to a 10-under 62 and a four stroke lead over Jay Haas after the first round of the Chubb Classic.
“He’s like a Rolls Royce,” Jim Thorpe said. “He just keeps rolling along.”
Langer fiddled with two putters last night and again this morning on the practice putting green before deciding to stick with the long putter and employing a legal, unanchored stroke.
“It was the right decision, I think,” he said.
Langer, who is seeking his 26th title on the over-50 circuit, took just 23 putts today and had two separate strings of five birdies in a row in tying the low first-round score here. He missed two putts from 6 feet or less, but countered with a 35-footer on 9 and a 40-footer at 17 for birdies.
“That’s a pretty amazing round,” Haas said, “I don’t care what course you’re playing on.
When Langer used the broomstick in Hawaii in January, some observers thought he was making a statement to golfers that the long putter didn’t need to be put out to pasture just because of the anchoring ban, which went into effect Jan. 1 (Rule 14-1b). 
He said he will take advantage of the next month to perfect his craft, and could switch to using the Kuchar grip, which he used to win the 1993 Masters, or a conventional-length putter with an orthodox grip. (The next  Champions Tour event is not until March 18-20.)
“Am I enjoying it? Not really,” he said. “I’ve been putting for hours and hours the last 6 weeks. It’s distracting. All the time I’m putting into putting I could be putting into other things. I wish I didn’t have to change.”
The fact that he still is unsettled suggests none of the strokes is up to his standard – yet. Even after Friday’s sublime performance he remained on the fence about the rest of the tournament.
“There’s a chance I might still practise a little bit with my other putter, the Kuchar-style putter, because that doesn’t feel too bad either, and then decide again tomorrow morning what’s going to happen,” Langer said.


Jeen, Mitchell and Hay only senior Scots

 to beat the Spanish cut

Only three Scots - Ian Jeen, Billy Mitchell and Gordon Hay, survived the second-round cut in the Spanish senior men's amateur individual stroke-play championship at Costa Ballena Golf Club.
Jeen is T31 on 153 with scores of 76 and 77.
Mitchell has scored 81 and 73 for T37 on 154.
Gordon Hay is T57 on 156 with a pair of 78s.
Leading the field by five strokes with one round to go is Sweden's Tomas Persson with great scores of 71 and 70.
Scots who missed the cut at 156 were James Johnson (79-79) and Lindsay Gordon (83-75) on 158;  Keith Bruce (77-83) and Stuart Black (81-79) on 160, and Bob Edgar (80-82) on 162

141 Tomas Persson (Swe) 71 70
146 Didier Clerget (Spa) 72 74, Ignacio Gonzalez Martinez  (Spa) 73 73

153 Ian Jeen 76 77 (T31)
154 Billy Mitchell 81 73 (T37)
156 Gordon Hay 78 78 (T57)

(156 and better qualified for final round)
158 James Johnston 79 79, Lindsay Gordon 83 75 (T67)
160 Keith Bruce 77 83, Stuart Black 81 79 (T79)
162 Bob Edgar 80 82 (T89)

Field of 113 players 




The MGR Angus Player of Week 2016/06 is Donald Smith of Kirriemuir who, with a purple patch in the latter months of 2015, jumps to No 1 on the MGR Angus Men’s Ranking.


1 Donald Smith (Kirriemuir) 1133 pts

2 Aidan Smith (Edzell) 1097

3 Graham Summers (Panmure) 1094

4 Walter Speirs (Edzell) 1027

5 Graeme Fulton (Brechin) 1002

6 Louis Perera (Edzell) 989

7 Shaun McGowan (Arbroath) 980

8 George Herd (Kirriemuir) 967

9 Ewan Auld (Brechin) 925,

10 Step McIntosh (Brechin) 922.



1 Edzell 724 pts

2 Kirriemuir 623

3 Montrose Caledonia 619

4 Arbroath 609

5 Brechin 596

6 Logie 557

For up-to-date ranking lists of participating clubs, the full Regional, National and International Rankings and how it works, visit

The MyGolfRanking service is free to clubs and members so


Clubs wishing to participate should register on or email for information.


Schwartzel is on Tshwane Open leader's tail 

after a 64 at Pretoria GC

Charl Schwartzel fired a brilliant 64 to catapult himself into contention heading into the weekend at the Tshwane Open.
The ten-time European Tour winner had opened with a disappointing 71 but an eagle and four birdies today fired him up the leaderboard and he will head into round three just two shots behind leader Anthony Michael.
South African Michael battled his way to a 69 in the morning on another day of tough scoring at Pretoria Country Club and nobody could get past his seven under par total.
But countryman Schwartzel, already a winner this season at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, stole the show in the afternoon, and not even an hour and 37 minute weather delay late in the day could derail the 31 year old, who had to return to par the last upon the resumption.

Michael is playing in just his 22nd European Tour event but finished in a tie for second at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in the 2011 season and was named Rookie of the Year on The Sunshine Tour in 2010.
Schwartzel by contrast has those ten wins, including the 2011 Masters Tournament, and seven of his victories have come in his home country.
He had birdies on the first and ninth but his round came to life on the par five 12th as he reached the green with a driver and a three iron before rolling a 15-footer up the hill for eagle.
Another birdie followed on the next and when he chipped in on the 15th, Schwartzel was five under.
"I'm very, very pleased with the way I hit the golf ball today," he said. "It was a massive improvement to a few months ago.
"I didn't putt very well today, but I hit the ball beautifully.
"The greens are very difficult to read, and I didn't hit a lot of bad putts but it's frustrating when you miss six-footers and still shoot 64."

Michael turned in 33 but a bogey on the 11th dropped him back before he drained a brilliant long right-to-lefter on the 15th to get to eight under.
A disappointing bogey on the gettable 17th was to follow, but he had done enough to take the lead.

"I left a couple out there but made a few clutch putts so it was definitely steady putting.
"The breeze caught me out a bit and club selection off the tee boxes was what really got me today so I'll just get focused for tomorrow. I'll just stay in the moment, stay in the present."

Joburg Open winner Haydn Porteous was at four under after a 66, alongside fellow South African Theunis Spangenberg who signed for a 71, and American Daniel Im who registered a 68.
Another home favourite, Dylan Frittelli, registered a 69 in the morning to sit a further shot back, one ahead of countryman and overnight leader Justin Harding.
The four-time Sunshine Tour winner had recorded the ninth hole-in-one of the season on the 14th but also had a double, six bogeys and a birdie to sit alongside fellow South Africans Dean Burmester, Shaun Norris, Richard Sterne and Jaco Van Zyl, Swede Steven Jeppesen and Scot Jamie McLeary.

SCOTSWATCH (by Colin Farquharson)
Jamie McLeary held on to a top 10 place with a 70 for 138, giving him a tied seventh position at halfway.
David Law also had a 70 for 140 and T22.
Andrew McArthur (68-74) and Scott Hendry (68-74) are tied 39th on 142, one shot inside the cut mark.
Blairgowrie's Bradley Neil missed it with a 74 for 145 and joint 84th place.
Dunbar's David Drysdale shot a 71 but it was not low enough to make up for his first-round 75 and he bowed out in joint 97th position on 146




Liam Johnston tied 24th with round to go in 

Portuguese amateur championship

Liam Johnston from Dumfries is tied 24th in a field of 120 players with one round to go in the Portuguese men's open amateur championship at Montado Golf Resort near Setubal on the Costa Azul.
Johnston has had rounds of 70, 78 and 70 for two-over-par 218  - 13 strokes behind the leader by two, Italy's Guido Migliozzi with 69-66-70 for 11-under 205.
Ben Kinsley from St Andrews, the only other Scot in the championship, had a third-round 79 fo233 and joint 96th place




Chris Robb lone Scots qualifier for Morocco 

final round, seven off the lead

Former Scottish amateur champion Chris Robb (Meldrum House) was the only Scot to beat the 36-hole cut in the Germany PGA Developmental Tour's Tazegzout Open at Agadir, Morocco today/
Robb, who had an eagle 3 at the par-5 18th, is in joint 38th place with rounds of 74 and 72 for 146 - seven shots behind the joint leaders, Martin Keskari (Germany) and France's Antoine Schwartz.
Ross Cameron (Saltire Energy) missed the cut by one shot despite replicating Robb's feat of an eagle 3 at the 18th. The Ellon-born player shot 73-75 to just miss out on the leading 40 and ties who will contest the final round.
Portlethen's Sam Kiloh (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) had two double bogeys in a second-round 77 for 153.
Rookie pro Alexander Culverwell, a former Scottish amateur champion from Dunbar, had an unhappy two days, scoring 79-81 for 160.




Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google