Friday, March 24, 2017




Aberdeen's Adam Fisher finishes second in


Missouri, one stroke behind winner




By COLIN FARQUHARSON
Former Cults Academy pupil Adam Fisher, now a second-year student at Missouri State University, finished second in a field of 69 at this week's Twin Oaks Intercollegiate at Twin Oaks Country Club, Springfield in the state of Missouri.
Fisher had rounds of 68, 71 and 69 for a five-under-par total of 208 over the par-71, 6,701yd course.

Adam, pictured,  finished just one stroke behind the winner, Ethan Brue (Bradley University) who had rounds of 69, 68 and 70 for 207.
Fisher finished five shots ahead of the third place competitor.
Missouri State (861) finished second to Bradley University (859) in the field of 11 teams.


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Round 2 highlights from the 2017 Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club, Texas

In the second round of the 2017 World Golf Championships - Dell Technologies Match Play, conditions proved to be very difficult with high-wind speeds challenging all players on the course. 
         
AUSTIN, Texas – Notes and observations from Thursday’s Day 2 of the World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play, where tough conditions made for some wild shots and some big stars were eliminated from contention.
For more coverage from Austin Country Club, click here for the Daily Wrap-up.

WIND WORRIES

Charles Howell III blamed it for his shank, Phil Mickelson thought it was fun and Marc Leishman rode it to a 444-yard drive – the wind was wild at Austin Country Club.
Gusts of up to 35mph lashed the course throughout Thursday’s matches making for some very tough shots. Had it not been match play, there would no doubt have been some big numbers on the cards.
“I think it's fun,” Mickelson beamed after his second straight win.
“I mean, I think it's a hard challenge. I think that given the severity of the greens and so forth, certainly there are holes we're going to look ridiculous on. But in match play, you are not adding up every shot and if you happen to hit a bad one and make a bogey or double, it's not that big a deal. It's just relative to your opponent.”
Howell III was one of those players to look ridiculous. Sitting in the greenside bunker at the par-3 17th with a 1-up lead over Rafa Cabrera Bello, Howell III knifed his ball into a ravine.
“(Conditions are) difficult enough to cause a shank,” he said after rebounding to win the last hole and the match. “That was all the wind. It was a tough bunker shot and I was trying to hit a big ole flop shot in there and stop it. I was a bit numb playing the last hole after that.”
Leishman topped a list of nine players to hit 400-plus yard drives on the downwind, downhill par-5 12th – one of the advantages of the day.
“That’s all I’ve got,” he said of his 444-yard bomb. “It was fun to let it fly.”
Reigning PGA TOUR Player of the Year Dustin Johnson, no stranger to balls moving on the greens, admitted he was factoring the gusts into all his shots, even on the putting surface.
“You had to play the wind in putts,” Johnson said. “So that made it difficult, especially around the back nine.”
Jon Rahm, another winner, admitted to being baffled at times.
“With this wind, it's hard to control. We hit shots that we thought were perfect like the chip on 13 that went off the green. The second shot on 9. There was a couple of shots that we thought were going to be really, really good and we didn't get the best of bounces or the best of luck or the outcome we hoped for.”

IMPACT OF THE Withdrawals

With three players withdrawing from the event, some anomalies have popped up at Austin Country Club.
Jason Day (family illness) has now been joined by Gary Woodland (family reasons) and Francesco Molinari (wrist injury) on the sidelines.
Group 2: Woodland’s withdrawal ensured second seed Rory McIlroy’s elimination from contention. While he was gifted a win today, the fact Soren Kjeldsen gets a walk over win on Friday sees the 62nd seed go through.
McIlroy would have needed Woodland to beat the Dane on Friday to have a chance.
Group 3: With Day’s absence, his fellow Australian Marc Leishman does not have a match to play on Friday. However, if Lee Westwood can beat Pat Perez, the Bay Hill winner will need to be on site to be part of a 3-man sudden death playoff to advance.
“I’ve only got myself to blame for being in the scenario,” Leishman said after he lost to Perez knowing a win would have seen him through to the round of 16. “I’ll come to the course an hour before Lee and Pat finish and see how it’s going; if I have to warm up, I will.”
Group 8: The same scenario exists for Alex Noren, who now gets a walkover win over Molinari Friday, robbing Thongchai Jaidee and Bernd Wiesberger any chance of advancing.

THURSDAY’S SUPERLATIVES

Match of the Day – The Ryan Moore-Hideto Tanihara – the last match to conclude on Thursday -- came down to the last hole and had five lead changes over the last seven holes. Moore was 3 up at one point on the front nine, but Tanihara pulled to all square on the 12th.
Both players hit shots inside 11 feet on the 18th and made birdie to share the point. The match had even more significance as the result kept the door ajar for all four players in the group. 
Russell Knox lost his Group 11 tie by 3 and 1 to K T Kim.


Player of the Day – Brooks Koepka. He once again needed just 13 holes to close out his match. He's recorded 12 total birdies over the first two days — tied with Soren Kjeldsen — and has never trailed in either match. To say Koepka is on a roll would be an understatement. 
Biggest upset – Ross Fisher, the 47th seed, knocking off No. 4 seed Hideki Matsuyama. Three of the top 10 seeds fell on the second day, but Matsuyama's defeat came to the player with the lowest seed. The Englishman was ahead the entire way, winning the opening hole and extending his lead to 3 up at one point.
Most birdies made – Bubba Watson made seven in 15 holes during his 4 and 3 win over Scott Piercy.


 

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Pinehurst pro-am success for England's Sam Little



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Kjeldsen and Noren through to WGC – Dell Match Play last 16


Round two report  
Soren Kjeldsen and Alex Noren booked their places in the last 16 of the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play a day early after respective victories over Emiliano Grillo and Bernd Wiesberger on day two of the 64-man tournament at Austin, Texas.
Kjeldsen’s victory means World Number Two Rory McIlroy’s match against Grillo on Friday becomes meaningless as neither the Northern Irishman nor the Argentinean can catch Kjeldsen in their group.
McIlroy did not play on Thursday after his match against Gary Woodland was conceded by the American due to personal reasons.
Noren will benefit from the withdrawal of Francesco Molinari on Friday. The Italian was forced out of the tournament with a wrist injury, meaning the Swede will have a 3-0 record in the group stage.
Kjeldsen and Noren are the only two players to have secured their place in the last 16, but they look likely to be joined by World Number One Dustin Johnson, who defeated Martin Kaymer 3 and 2 to secure his second victory of the week and continue his imperious form.
There are some intriguing match-ups on Friday, chief among them the all-Spanish battle between Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm with Garcia needing a victory and Rahm needing at least a half point to advance.
Player Quotes
Søren Kjeldsen: “I'm very pleased to make it through. Obviously I was in a very, very, very tough group and I got through that which is a great achievement to start.
"It’s a shame that Gary had to withdraw though. I don't know the details, but Gary is one of the nicest guys out here. So we wish him and his family all the best.
The weather forecast isn't great tomorrow so I am not sure what I’ll do with the day off. I've got my two boys here. We're just going to take it easy. If the weather is decent in the afternoon I'll come and practice a bit. Apart from that, I'll just enjoy it.”
Sergio Garcia: “It was very difficult today. You not only had to hit the ball very, very well, which I managed to do, but you have to get lucky with guessing how the wind was blowing and how it was going to blow, because it was really gusty.
"But I managed to do that very well for probably 95 percent of the time, and because of that we made a good amount of birdies in difficult conditions.
“Looking forward to playing Jon and at least we know we will have at least one Spanish player going through. At the end of the day the only thing I can do is play the best I can, give it my everything.
"And hopefully it's good enough to beat him. If not, hopefully he gets through and he's the Spanish player in the round of 16.”
Jon Rahm: “Sergio and I both hoped this match would be later on in the tournament, obviously in the final. But we were both in the same group so I suppose whoever wins tomorrow will be in the next round. At least it's good for Spanish golf!”
Click on the following lines to view all the
results and match-play brackets:
 
 

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Thursday, March 23, 2017


Six Scots have still to complete first rounds in


Morocco as winds force suspension of play




FROM THE PRO GOLF TOUR WEBSITE
Due to heavy winds, play in the first round of the Ocean Open at Agadir on Morocco's Atlantic coastline had to to be to suspended. Two French professionals, Romain Bechu and Mathieu Decottignies-Lafon, are currently sharing the lead after they each scored four-under-par 67s in the morning.
The weather doesn’t seem so be a big fan of golf in Morocco. In Mohammedia the first round of the Open Royal Golf Anfa Mohammedia had to be suspended due to ground  fog. That wasn’t a problem in Agadir as the sun shone bright, but strong winds forced tournament director Simon Bowler to stop the afternoon block.
Those players who couldn’t complete 18 holes  will finish their round on Friday morning.
They included all six Scots in the field.
Chris Robb and Philip McLean are +1 after 9 holes.
Kevin Duncan is +2 after 9 holes.
Ross Cameron is +3 after 9 holes.
Alexander Culverwell is +4 after 9 holes.
Sam Kiloh, due to go out in the last threestome, has still to hit a shot!
The morning block was able to get back to the clubhouse without any interruption.

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Winning Ryder Cup captains to attend Stephen

Gallacher Foundation Dinner in Edinburgh
 
NEWS RELEASE
Two winning Ryder Cup captains are set to be among the guests at the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Dinner when the annual fund-raising event is held for the first time at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh.
Bernard Gallacher, the triumphant captain at Oak Hill in 1995, and Sam Torrance, who steered Europe to victory at The Belfry in 2002, will join Gallacher, as well as Paul Lawrie, in a Q and A being conducted by Dougie Donnelly at the March 30 event.
Comedian and broadcaster Fred Macaulay will host the night, which is aimed at raising the Foundation's profile on the back of solid building bricks having been laid since it was launched by the three-time European Tour winner almost exactly five years ago.
Former Scotland rugby international Andy Nicol will conduct an auction for some incredible lots, which will raise valuable funds for the Foundation as it provides opportunities for youngsters at grass-roots level in the Lothians and Borders.

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Scots Doak (66) and Lee (67) in the mix at Kenya Open Day 1

   
     

Jaco Ahlers topped a crowded leaderboard after the first day of a new European Challenge Tour season as his seven under par round of 64 earned him a one-shot lead at the Barclays Kenya Open.
Starting on the tenth hole, the South African showed his intent from the off, opening with an eagle at Nairobi’s Muthaiga Golf Club before a run of birdies around the turn put him in control ahead of the other morning starters.
The more testing front nine offered fewer opportunities to score but a closing birdie meant the 34 year old ended Round One with a slim advantage over a group of players on six under par.
Ahlers earned a European Tour card at the end of last year after successfully navigating the marathon Qualifying School Final Stage, but he suggested that this appearance on the Road to Oman might not be a one-off, especially given the start he has made to the year.
“It was a very good start to the round,” he said. “I eagled the first which always gets some of the nerves out of the system and I played solid, the front nine especially.
“I made a few putts and a lot of good swings on the front nine, the back nine was a little bit more scruffy but I managed to birdie the last and it’s a nice score to finish on.
“I like the look of the course. It’s like a lot of African courses, they look pretty similar, and we play an event every year in Zimbabwe and two in Zambia and they look pretty much the same, and I just like the look of it – it’s a great South African-style course.
“I definitely feel the back nine is playing easier. It’s a lot longer as well, about 400 yards longer than the front nine, and there’s a lot more wedges you hit in and birdie opportunities on the back.
“Overall this week I think you’ll probably see the front nine playing a lot more difficult.
“I got a card at Q-School so I’ll probably be jumping a bit between the Challenge Tour and the European Tour throughout the summer, but it’s a good start to the year whatever happens.”
Five players were inseparable in tied second place after the opening 18 holes, with Welshman Rhys Davies and Kalle Samooja of Finland joined on six under par by a pair of Swedish Oscars, Lengden and Stark, and their compatriot Jens Dantorp.
Dantorp came within a putt of earning a European Tour card through the Road to Oman Rankings last year, a bogey on the final hole of the season at the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final meaning it was heartbreak for the man from Malmö.
But the 27 year old shrugged off that disappointment to start 2017 as if he intends to right those wrongs.
A further two Swedes, Niklas Lindstrom and Alexander Wennstam, are among those one shot further back on five under par, along with Dutchman Maarten Lafeber – a former winner of this event.
This is the 25th time the historic tournament has formed part of the Challenge Tour schedule and fittingly there was much for the local fans to cheer, most notably the performance of Simon Ngige, whose four under par round of 67 left him in a tie for 13th place.
Scots Chris Doak (66) and Craig Lee (67) are in the mix.

Scores after round 1:
par 71
64 J Ahlers (SAfr)
65 J Dantorp (Swe) , O Stark (Swe) , R Davies (Wal) , O Lengden (Swe) , K Samooja (Fin)
66 N Lindstrom (Swe) , C Doak (Sco) , J Kruyswijk (SAfr) , S Fernandez (Spn) , M Lafeber (Ned) , A Wennstam (Swe)
67 B Virto (Spn) , O Wilson (Eng) , A Rai (Eng) , C Lee (Sco) , C Sharvin (NIre) , M Ovesen (Den) , A Chesters (Eng) , W Besseling (Ned) , L Gagli (Ita) , S Ngige (Ken) , A Meronk (Pol) , T Murray (Eng) , B Robinson (Eng) , G Boyd (Eng) , B Easton (SAfr) , M Baldwin (Eng) 
68 B Evans (Eng) , J Kunzenbacher (Ger) , P Howard (Eng) , S Ferreira (Por) , M Wallace (Eng) , F Laporta (Ita) , G Hurley (Ire) , L De Jager (SAfr) , R De Smidt (SAfr) , P Widegren (Swe) , C Bull (Eng) , A Saddier (Fra) , R Saxton (Ned) 
69 A Odoh (Ngr) , T Shadbolt (Eng) , M Madsen (Den) , C Mivis (Bel) , J Girrbach (Sui) , R James (Wal) , P Tarver-Jones (Eng) , M Delpodio (Ita) , M Orrin (Eng) , R McCarthy (Aus) , M Lampert (Ger) , M Williams (Zim) , J Makitalo (Fin) , A Nandwa (am) (Ken)
70 D Odhiambo (Ken) , R Charania (Ken) , R Santos (Por) , J Garcia Pinto (Spn) , C Ford (Eng) , N Johansson (Swe) , J Roos (SAfr) , M Hoey (NIr) , R Evans (Eng) , D Van Driel (Ned) , C Selfridge (NIr) , J Rutherford (Eng) , C Griffiths (Eng) , M Laskey (Wal) , S Soderberg (Swe) , A Pavan (Ita) , E Dubois (Fra)
71 R McGowan (Eng) , M Eggenberger (Sui) , S Connor (Eng) , D Law (Sco) , S Engell Andersen (Ken) , P Maddy (Eng) , S Heisele (Ger) , E España (Fra) , A Rozner (Fra) , F Bergamaschi (Ita) , R Ainley (Ken) , C Braeunig (Ger) , H Casey (Eng) , R Dinwiddie (Eng) , C Sordet (Fra) , K Hesbois (Bel) , D Huizing (Ned) 
72 T Omuli (Ken) , N Rokoine (Ken) , M Ford (Eng) , A Tadini (Ita) , E Van Rooyen (SAfr) , V Riu (Fra) , F Daux (Fra) , J Hansen (Den) , M Lundberg (Swe) , S Brown (Eng) , J Suri (USA) , M Haastrup (Den) , O Farr (Wal) , A Velasco (Spn) , D Indiza Anyonyi (Ken) , A Connelly (Can) , F Maccario (Ita) , M Kinhult (Swe) , M Kramer (Ger) , N Geyger (Chi) , S Forsström (Swe) , H Joannes (Bel) , J Van Der Vaart (Ned)
73 B Rusch (Sui) , O Lindell (Fin) , J Guerrier (Fra) , K Timbe (Ken) , G Snow (Ken) , J Lando Casanova (Fra) , C Berardo (Fra) , S Jeppesen (Swe) , B Neil (Sco) , N Ravano (Ita) 
74 D Van Tonder (RSA) , J Senior (Eng) , D Opati (Ken) , F Wanzala (Uga) , N Ngugi (Ken) , G Porteous (Eng) , M Fenasse (Fra) , J Karanja (Ken) , R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) , V Perez (Fra) , K Bollo (am) (Ken) 
75 B Njoroge (Ken) , D Foos (Ger) , R Kellett (Sco) , E Di Nitto (Ita) , C Wangai (Ken) , N Simwa (Ken) , J Brun (Fra) , A Schwartz (Fra) , D Wakhu (Ken) 
76 N Mudanyi (Ken) , S Shah (am) (Ken)  
77 J Sjöholm (Swe) , G Kubwa (am) (Ken) 
78 J Okello (Ken) , J Madoya (Ken) , C Blomstrand (Swe) , J Karichu (am) (Ken)  
79 N Molell (Tan) , J Allan (Eng) 
81 B Simwa (Ken)
84 A Is-Haq (am) (Ken) 
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Sean Lawrie wins again - leads team of four

 to NE Alliance pro-am victory



 Sean Lawrie (second left) with his winning team in the NE Alliance pro-am. Left to right: Justin Barclay, Steve Lawrie (Sean's father), Jackie Forrest with Billy Sim (Craibstone general manager) who made the presentation. Pictures by Cal Carson Golf Agency.

By COLIN FARQUHARSON
Sean Lawrie just keeps on winning! The 24-year-old second-year pro from Portlethen, playing out of the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, today followed up his capture of the North-east Alliance championship by five strokes by leading his team of four to victory in the Alliance pro-am at Craibstone.
Lawrie, his father Steve (Portlethen) (7), Justin Barclay (Hazlehead) (7) and Jackie Forrest (Northern) (11) posted a best two net scores per hole total of 19-under-par 119 (65-54) to win the Press and Journal Shield (best handicap total) and the Evening Express Shield (best scratch total). They each earned £100, Lawrie in cash, the amateurs in vouchers.


Runners-up (pictured right) on 122 (63-59) were professional Laura Murray (Kippie Lodge) and her amateur partners John Sunley (Northern) (7), Steve Shand (Kemnay) (7) and Les Roger (Royal Aberdeen) 10). They earned £75 each.

There were not enough pro qualifiers to have one in each team so Portlethen scratch amateur Gary Esson was the nominal pro in the last of the eight teams to finish and they claimed third place with a total of 124 (60-64) (pictured above). 
Esson's amateur partners were Brian Nicolson (Hazlehead) (2) and the Craibstone pair of John Borthwick (3) and Willie Beattie (10). They each earned a £50 voucher.

NE ALLIANCE PRO-AM
Craibstone Golf Club
FINAL TOTALS
Par 138 (2x69)
119 Sean Lawrie (Paul Lawrie GC), Justin Barclay (Hazlehead) (6), Steve Lawrie (Portlethen), Jackie Forrest (Northern) (11) (£100 each).
122 Laura Murray (Kippie Lodge), John Sunley (Northern) (7), Steve Shand (Kemnay) (7), Les Roger (Royal Aberdeen) (10) (£75 each).
124 Gary Esson (Portlethen) (scr), Brian Nicolson (Hazlehead) (2), John Borthwick (Craibstone) (3), Willie Beattie (Craibstone) (10) (£50 each).
126 Greig Hutcheon (Paul Lawrie GC, Inchmarlo), Stewart Finnie (Caledonian) (scr), Tom Boyle (Portlethen) (7), Mike Brown (Kemnay) (17); Kamran Zeynalov (Portlethen), David Fleming (Portlethen) (5), Colin Duffus (Royal Aberdeen) (6), Hamish McNaughton (Cruden Bay) (12).
128 John Duff (Newmachar), Scott Mackie (Kemnay) (3), Alfie Smith (Turriff) (4), Richard Ruddiman (Royal Aberdeen) (11); Joel Hopwood (Royal Aberdeen), John Nicolson (Hazlehead) (4), Raymond Reid (Tarland) (5), Doug Booth (Tarland) (9).
129 Jake Scott (Moray) (1), Graham Riley (Craibstone) (5), Steve Scott (Hazlehead) (5), George Murdoch (Craibstone) (13).

DAVE WILSON FAREWELL


+Next Wednesday's concluding fixture of the 2016-17 season at McDonald Ellon Golf Club will be the last North-east Alliance event for joint secretary Dave Wilson. The Turriff-based taxi driver is retiring from the post after the best part of eight years. He and Dave Mackay jointly took over the job when Ron Menzies died suddenly.



Dave Mackay has since moved North and Joel Hopwood took his place.


STEWART FINNIE AND WESTMINSTER BRIDGE

+Former Aberdeen Links champion Stewart Finnie, down in London to watch a big pro fight last week, last Friday walked over Westminster Bridge which was the scene of Wednesday's lone terrorist atrocity.




NEISH CHISHOLM FORCED TO PULL OUT OF PRO-AM
Kemnay senior golfer Neish Chisholm qualified to play in today's NE Alliance pro-am but he to pull out this morning.
When he woke up, he realised that golf was out of the question, his back having "seized up."
Craibstone member George Murdoch took Neish's place.










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North-east Alliance pro-am four-ball teams at Craibstone today


Sean Lawrie's team at today's North-east Alliance pro-am four-ball at Craibstone. Team members: Jackie Forrest (Northern),  Justin Barclay (Hazlehead), Steve Lawrie (Portlethen).  Pictures by Cal Carson Golf Agency.


Greig Hutcheon's team. Team members:  Tom Boyle (Portlethen), Mike Brown (Kemnay), Stewart Finnie (Caledonian). 


Laura Murray's team. Team members: John Sunley (Northern), Steve Shand (Kemnay), Les Roger (Royal Aberdeen).


Kamran Zeynalov's team. Team members: Colin Duffus (Royal Aberdeen) David Fleming (Portlethen), Hamish McNaughton (Cruden Bay).


John Duff's team. Team members: Scott Mackie (Kemnay), Alfie Smith (Turriff), Richard Ruddiman (Royal Aberdeen).


Joel Hopwood's team. Team members: John Nicolson (Hazlehead), Doug Booth (Tarland), Raymond Reid (Tarland).


Jake Scott's team. Team members: Graeme Riley (Craibstone), Steve Scott (Hazlehead), George Murdoch (Craibstone).


Gary Esson's team. Team members: Brian Nicolson (Hazlehead), John Borthwick (Craibstone), Willie Beattie (Craibstone).

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Kjeldsen takes down McIlroy in WGC – Dell Match-play thriller



Søren Kjeldsen prevailed from a classic encounter to beat World Number Two Rory McIlroy 2 and 1 on day one of the WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club at Austin, Texas.
McIlroy - the 2015 champion - was one of the favourites coming into the week but will now face an uphill battle to get out of Group Two after Kjeldsen produced a stunning performance.
The Dane finished with four birdies to win a roller coaster of a contest where the lead changed hands five times.
That match was certainly among the best of the 32 encounters on what was an enthralling first day. Other highlights included Race to Dubai Number One Tommy Fleetwood birdeing the 18th to win one up over Zach Johnson, while Sergio Garcia and Shane Lowry halved an intriguing match on the 18th when Lowry made a bogey to allow the Spaniard to win the hole and halve the match.
Englishman Tyrrell Hatton continued his incredible run of form with a 2 and 1 win over Charles Howell III.
Belgium’s Thomas Pieters – the man who became Europe’s most successful Ryder Cup Rookie last year – continued to forge a fine match play reputation with a 3 and 2 win over Scott Piercy
At the other end of the scoring spectrum there were convincing victories for World Number One Dustin Johnson (5 and 3 over Webb Simpson); Phil Mickelson (5 and 3 over Si Woo Kim), Daniel Berger (7 and 5 over JB Holmes) and Charl Schwartzel (6 and 5 over Ben An).
Player Quotes
Soren Kjeldsen: “I felt good coming into today. And spoke to my caddie Alistair yesterday and he said, you know, go and shoot five under and see if it's enough. Don't worry about him (Rory McIlroy).
"Obviously he's pretty spectacular player so you don't want to be watching too much! I knew that I had to play well to have any kind of a chance, therefore, I didn't look too much at what Rory was doing. I played really, really well.

“Coming in as the 64th player this week, I am technically the underdog in every match. It's nice. I haven't had the best start to this season this year in America, but the last few weeks have been getting a little bit better.
"So I felt good and I think you can talk a lot about match play, but at the end of the day you need to shoot good scores that's what I managed to do today.

I think I did a good job of not worrying about what Rory was doing. A few times he hit it about 100 yards past me. I was trying not to look at that too much. I knew I had to play well to have a chance. To be honest with you, that's case in every match this week.
"The players are so good that you need to be on your game. I got into my little zone. Alistair and I work really well and I managed to hit a lot of good shots and make some putts.”
Tommy Fleetwood: “I missed a couple of chances to sort of break away early on. And then the more the round went on, Zach was more in control of the game. I was hanging in there and obviously managed to get the win in the end.
“It's great to get off to a good start. The last time I played in this, I actually lost my first game and then qualified. You've got to be winning your match and try to build momentum. You take one match at a time, but to win the first one is great.”
Thomas Pieters: “The front nine was really good. The back nine we didn't play very well. We gave each other some holes. He gave me a couple more than I gave him, so it worked out for me. But I've got to work on putting for tomorrow. Getting off to a good start is nice. I just need to win my next two now.
“I've always loved match play. I was good at match play in college. I can't remember losing a lot of matches. You get on that tee and you need to beat that one guy. Even if you have a bad day and he has a worse day than you, so be it. You don't need to shoot 7- or 8-under each time, you just need to shoot one better.”
See attached pdf for full first round results:

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