Sunday, November 23, 2014




Six new tournaments, seven new venues and a minimum of 47 tournaments across 11 months, are some of the many highlights of The 2015 European Tour International Schedule which is announced in full today.
The global appeal of The European Tour is highlighted in particular by the six new events: three of which are in the east – China, India and Thailand; two of which are in Europe – Germany and Scotland; and one in Africa in Mauritius.
Two of the new tournaments – the Thailand Classic and the Hero Indian Open – are played in consecutive weeks in mid- February; the month of January having been dominated once again by the traditional Desert Swing of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
The new Shenzhen International is the first of two tournaments back to back in China in mid-April, while the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in the opening week of May holds the distinction of being the first tri-sanctioned tournament between The European Tour, the Asian Tour and the Sunshine Tour.
Completing the line-up of new events for 2015 are the two in Europe; the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match-play in Scotland at the end of July and the return of the European Open to the calendar in Germany at the end of September

This is  five weeks before the traditional four-tournament Final Series tees off once again with the BMW Masters in Shanghai.
Earlier in the year, following the staging of the Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in May, the following week sees the Irish Open move to a new date to coincide with its new association with World Number One and newly crowned 2014 Race to Dubai Champion Rory McIlroy.
The Irish Open hosted by The Rory Foundation will be staged at Royal County Down Golf Club in Northern Ireland, one of seven new venues taking their place on the 2015 schedule 

The others are: Black Mountain Golf Club (Thailand Classic), Heritage Golf Club (AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open), Chambers Bay Golf Club (US Open), Gullane Golf Club (Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open), Murcar Golf Links (Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Matchplay), and Golf Resort Bad Griesbach (European Open).
Other significant dates moves include the Maybank Malaysian Open, at Kuala Lumpur Golf andCountry Club, moving from April to the first week of February as the event celebrates its tenth anniversary with the same title sponsor, while the Omega European Masters moves from its traditional September slot to the last week of July, following the 144th Open Championship on the Old Course at St Andrews.
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “We are very pleased to announce our full schedule for 2015, a schedule which offers our Membership diversity, interest, excitement and variety at a host of wonderful venues in all four corners of the globe.
“We are delighted to have been able to add so many new tournaments and destinations to the Tour and we are pleased that our scheduling has enabled us to create significant clusters of tournaments in the same regions of the world whether that be in Asia, the Middle East or indeed South Africa where we have six events next season.
 “Our thanks, as always, go to our Federation and co-sanctioning partners, sponsors and promoters for their continued support of The European Tour, and we can all look forward to a strong opening to The 2015 Race to Dubai, which will appeal to our membership as well as the many followers of The European Tour around the world.”


Dec 4-7 Nedbank Golf Challenge Gary Player CC, Sun City, S Africa
Dec 11-14 Alfred Dunhill Championship Leopard Creek CC, Malelane, S Africa

Jan 8-11 South African Open Championship Glendower GC, Gauteng, Johannesburg, S Africa
Jan 15-18 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship Abu Dhabi GC, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Jan 21-24 (Saturday finish) Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Doha GC, Doha, Qatar
Jan 29-Feb 1 Feb Omega Dubai Desert Classic Emirates GC, Dubai, UAE

Feb 5-8 Maybank Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur G and CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Feb 12-15 Thailand Classic Black Mountain GC, Hua Hin, Thailand
Feb 19-22 Hero Indian Open Venue TBD
Feb 26 -Mar 1 Mar Joburg Open Royal Johannesburg and Kensington GC, Johannesburg, S Africa

Mar 5-8 WGC- Cadillac Championship Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Doral, Florida, USA
Mar 5-8 Africa Open East London GC, East London, Eastern Cape, S Africa
Mar 12-15 Tshwane Open Pretoria CC, Waterkloof, S Africa
Mar 19-22 Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI Clube de Golf Santo da Serra, Santo Antonio da Serra, Madeira
Mar 26-29 Trophee Hassan II Golf du Palais Royal, Agadir, Morocco

Apr 9-12 THE MASTERS Augusta National GC, Georgia, USA
Apr 16-19 Shenzhen International Genzon GC, Shenzhen, China
Apr 23-26 Volvo China Open Venue TBD, Shanghai, China
Apr 29-May 3 May WGC – Cadillac Match Play TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, California, USA

May 7-10
AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open Heritage GC, Domaine de Bel Ombre, Mauritius
May 14-17 Open de España Real Club de Golf El Prat, Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain
May 21-24 BMW PGA CHAMPIONSHIP Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey
May 28-31 Irish Open Hosted by The Rory Foundation Royal County Down GC, Newcastle, Co Down, N Ireland

Jun 4-7 Nordea Masters PGA Sweden National, Lake Course, Malmo, Sweden
Jun 11-14 Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity Diamond CC, Atzenbrugg, near Vienna, Austria
Jun 18-21 US OPEN Chambers Bay GC, Washington, USA
Jun 25-28 BMW International Open Golfclub München Eichenried, Munich, Germany
Jul 2-5 Alstom Open de France Le Golf National, Paris, France

Jul 9-12 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Gullane GC, Gullane

Jul 16-19 144th OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP Old Course, St Andrews, Jul 23-26 Omega European Masters Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Crans Montana, Switzerland
Jul 30-Aug 2 Aug Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match-play Murcar Links GC, Aberdeen

Aug 6-9 WGC – Bridgestone Invitational Firestone CC, Akron, Ohio, USA
Aug 13-16 US PGA CHAMPIONSHIP Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin, USA
Aug 20-23 Made in Denmark Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, Denmark
Aug 27-30 D+D Real Czech Masters Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, Czech Republic

Sep 3-6 M2M Russian Open Venue TBD
Sep 10-13 KLM Open Kennemer G&CC, Zandvoort, The Netherlands
Sep 17-20 72nd Open d’Italia Golf Club Milano, Parco Reale di Monza, Italy
Sep 24-27 European Open Golf Resort Bad Griesbach, Bad Griesbach, Germany

Oct 1-4 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, Scotland
Oct 8-11 TBC
Oct 15-18 Portugal Masters Oceânico Victoria GC, Vilamoura, Portugal
Oct 22-25 Hong Kong Open Hong Kong GC, Fanling, Hong Kong
Oct 29-1 Nov BMW MASTERS Lake Malaren GC, Shanghai, China

Nov 5-8 WGC – HSBC CHAMPIONS Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China
Nov 12-15 TURKISH AIRLINES OPEN The Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Antalya, Turkey
Nov 19-22 DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, DUBAI Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE
*TBC World Match Play Championship Venue TBD



Saturday, November 22, 2014


 Tiger chooses Como as new swing coach

he biggest coaching vacancy in golf has been filled.
Tiger Woods tweeted today that he has chosen Chris Como to succeed Sean Foley as his next swing coach.
Como, 37, is based in Plano, Texas, and was named by Golf Digest as one of the "best young teachers" in 2013. Woods' tweet sent many to Como's website, prompting the site to crash in the minutes following the announcement.
Woods also released the following statement via his manager, Mark Steinberg: "I was introduced to Chris this summer by Notah [Begay], and subsequently we had several good conversations about the golf swing. I've worked with him about a month since I started practising. Chris will consult and work with me during the year."
Woods took on a more scientific approach to his swing while under Foley's tutelage - with mixed results - and it appears that trend will continue with his new instructor.
 Como is currently completing a masters degree in biomechanics and incorporates that scientific background into his instruction.
"I like to study the golf swing in biomechanical terms," Como wrote in Golf Digest in 2013.
Woods parted ways with Foley in August after four years together following an injury-filled season that featured zero top-10 finishes. He has previously worked with Butch Harmon (1996-2002) and Hank Haney (2004-2010).
Woods has not teed it up since missing the cut at the US PGA Championship and will return to competition next month at the Hero World Challenge.





Hideki Matsuyama carded a bogey-free 67 to remain in front at the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan Golf Tour, but his closest pursuer is familiar to most American golf fans: Jordan Spieth.
Matsuyama held a one-shot lead through 36 holes and increased his advantage to two thanks to a round that included four birdies, and the 22-year-old is 14 under after three rounds in Miyazaki. 
Spieth, 21, moved into sole possession of second with a 3-under 68 that earned him a spot alongside Matsuyama in Sunday's final pairing.
Matsuyama holds a significant edge in experience over Spieth when it comes to golf in Japan, as a win Sunday would be the sixth of his career on the JGT, and fifth since April 2013. Matsuyama earned his first USPGA Tour win earlier this year at the Memorial Tournament in a playoff over Kevin Na.
Spieth has yet to win since his maiden PGA Tour victory at the 2013 John Deere Classic, though a successful sophomore season included a runner-up at the Masters and T-4 finish at the Players Championship. This week's tournament comes in the midst of a globetrotting stretch for Spieth, who was T-35 earlier this month at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China and who will tee it up in next week's Australian Open.
While Matsuyama and Spieth continue to card birdies, one notable name went in the opposite direction Saturday: Webb Simpson. Simpson, who showed up in Japan this week with a conventional-length putter as the anchoring ban looms in 2016, struggled mightily on the greens in the third round.
 He had a pair of three-putt bogeys and needed 36 putts to complete his round of 4-over 75, and at 5 over he is tied for 57th among the 63 players who made the cut, 19 shots behind Matsuyama.






With some extra Scottish detail by Colin Farquharson
Henrik Stenson’s defence of his title in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai is still on course with just 18 holes of the 2014 European Tour season remaining, but the Swede was caught at the top of the leaderboard by Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello in the third round at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Stenson, who led by two shots at the halfway mark, posted a bogey-free round of 68 to move to 14-under-par 202 in The Race to Dubai finale, matching the clubhouse target set by Cabrera-Bello who finished with four birdies in his closing five holes for a superb seven-under-par  65.
Cabrera-Bello’s card was also bogey-free, thanks to a clinical display on the greens, where the two-time European Tour winner had 15 single putts during his 18 holes.
Englishman Justin Rose is three shots adrift of the leading pair on 11 under par 205. following a round of 68, while Thorbjørn Olesen reached 12 under with a birdie on the 17th hole, but found the water twice on the next hole to finish with a double bogey for a round of 69 and a 10 under par total of 206.
The Dane is tied in fourth place with Frenchman Victor Dubuisson (67), Englishman Tyrell Hatton (68) and World Number One Rory McIlroy, who carded four birdies in his opening 11 holes before dropping all of those shots with back-to-back double bogeys on the 12th and 13th holes.
He recovered with birdies on the 14th and 18th holes for a two under par round of 70, but  will need to come from four shots back if he is to add the DP World Tour Championship title to the Race to Dubai trophy he will lift on Sunday afternoon.

Aberdeen's Richie Ramsay, pictured left, very much in the mix over the first two rounds, suddenly dropped out of contention with a three-over 75 for 211, nine shots behind the co-leaders.
Ramsay never got the bit between his teeth after bogeying the third, fourth and eighth. His only birdie came at the ninth. He bogeyed the 10th and then parred the last eight holes.

Stephen Gallacher is joint 26th with Ramsay on the five-under-par tally after a third-round 71. Gallacher had five birdies but almost as many bogeys, four to be precise.
Top Scot is now Marc Warren, pictured right, who surged up to a share of eighth place with a best of the day, bogey-free 65 for 207. Warren birdied the fourth, seventh, eighth, 120th, 11th, 15th and 18th in halves of 33 and 32.

Key player quotes

Rafa Cabrera-Bello: “It was a very special round for me today.  I'm really, really pleased with the score, and obviously with the good finish. I actually felt I didn’t play great today.  I had to work really, really hard, especially at the beginning. But I managed to hang in there and shot three under on the front nine when I could have easily shot two or three over, which was very good. 
My short game and putting were unbelievable, probably the best day of my life for the short game.  I know when I play very well, I really believe I can beat anyone.  I've done it before to prove it to myself. So I'm just going to try to enjoy it, and if it happens, great.  If it doesn't happen, then I'm still going to put up a good fight.”

Henrik Stenson: “It's been a solid year, but I haven't got a trophy yet, so that would really rack it up and make me go on the Christmas break with a very positive feeling.  There is still a lot of golf to play, and Rafa seems to be on fire so he's going to be a tough match tomorrow.  There are still a bunch of guys two, three, four shots behind that could get on a hot streak and catch us.”

Rory McIlroy: “It was just a bad swing on 12 but it was annoying to follow up a double with another one on 13.  So I was a little frustrated but it was nice to get a couple back on the last few holes, at least keeping myself within touch going into tomorrow.
" I’ll try to get off to a fast start tomorrow, get off to the start that I got off to on Thursday, put some pressure on the leaders and see what happens.  I can't afford to stay patient tomorrow.  I need to go and get some birdies from the off and see where I can go from there.”


Par 216 (3X72)
202 H Stenson (Swe) 68 66 68, R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 73 64 65
205 J Rose (Eng) 71 66 68
206 R McIlroy  (Nir) 66 70 70, V Dubuisson  (Fra) 71 68 67, T Olesen (Den) 67 70 69, T Hatton (Eng) 70 68 68
207 R Karlsson (Swe) 71 68 68, M Warren (Sco) 71 71 65, J Luiten (Ned) 70 69 68, D Willett  (Eng) 69 67 71, B Grace  (RSA) 72 67 68
209 K Broberg (Swe) 70 67 72, R Fisher (Eng) 69 73 67, P Larrazábal (Esp) 71 69 69, H Otto (RSA) 71 68 70, G Coetzee (RSA) 70 70 69, J Donaldson (Wal) 72 70 67, A Sullivan (Eng) 73 69 67, S Lowry  (Irl) 66 71 72, T Bjørn (Den) 71 69 69
210 B Wiesberger  (Aut) 72 70 68, S Dyson  (Eng) 73 70 67, L Oosthuizen  (RSA) 69 71 70, T Fleetwood  (Eng) 69 74 67
211 F Molinari (Ita) 73 69 69, S Garcia  (Esp) 73 69 69, S Gallacher (Sco) 72 68 71, R Ramsay  (Sco) 67 69 75, E Pepperell (Eng) 76 69 66, T Jaidee (Tha) 72 72 67, D Howell (Eng) 71 67 73
212 E Molinari  (Ita) 69 74 69, E Els (RSA) 75 67 70, D Fichardt (RSA) 72 68 72, R Wattel  (Fra) 71 70 71
213 L Donald  (Eng) 76 66 71, W Ormsby (Aus) 73 71 69, M Jiménez (Esp) 71 73 69, C Schwartzel  (RSA) 72 71 70
214 A Levy (Fra) 71 72 71, M Siem  (Ger) 76 66 72, G McDowell  (Nir) 72 70 72, T Aiken (RSA) 76 66 72, J Blixt  (Swe) 70 74 70, I Poulter (Eng) 75 69 70
215 O Fisher  (Eng) 72 70 73, E Grillo (Arg) 68 75 72, N Colsaerts  (Bel) 73 72 70, M Kaymer (Ger) 72 69 74, L Westwood (Eng) 70 71 74
216 B Koepka  (USA) 78 68 70, R Sterne  (RSA) 71 74 71
217 F Zanotti (Par) 73 72 72
218 M Ilonen  (Fin) 74 76 68
219 O Wilson (Eng) 75 72 72
220 M Baldwin (Eng) 75 74 71
221 M Hoey  (Nir) 73 78 70, D Lipsky (USA) 76 75 70
222 M Manassero (Ita) 75 72 75






Manila: Singapore’s Mardan Mamat cruised into a four-shot lead at the US $1 million Resorts World Manila Masters after firing a sparkling six-under-par 66 today.
The 47-year-old, who has held a share of the first and second lead, put himself in prime position to lift a fourth Asian Tour victory at Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club after a round that included seven birdies against a lone bogey for a three-day total of 17-under-par 199.
Thai hotshot Kiradech Aphibarnrat birdied the last hole for a 68 to ensure a final round match-up with Mardan in what is the richest golf tournament in the Philippines while Frenchman Lioniel Weber fired a superb 64 to move into third place, five behind the leader.
American Berry Henson, who also carded a 64, settled for a share of fourth place with Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung, who returned a 68. Last year’s runner-up Prom Meesawat of Thailand produced a new course record of 63 which included seven birdies and one eagle that left him in tied ninth place on 208.
Par 216 (3x72) Yardage 7,337
199 - Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 65-68-66.
203 - Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 66-69-68.
204 - Lionel WEBER (FRA) 70-70-64.
206 - Berry HENSON (USA) 74-68-64, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 69-69-68.
207 - Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 70-73-64, Paul PETERSON (USA) 68-70-69, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 67-71-69.
208 - Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 73-72-63, Javi COLOMO (ESP) 69-69-70, Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 65-73-70, Danny CHIA (MAS) 66-71-71.
209 - Sam BRAZEL (AUS) 67-75-67, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 69-73-67, Simon YATES (SCO) 70-72-67, Arie IRAWAN (MAS) 71-71-67, Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS) 72-69-68, George GANDRANATA (INA) 70-70-69, Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) 71-68-70, Richard T. LEE (CAN) 71-68-70.





A nighmare triple bogey 7 at the very last hole cost Dornoch exile Jimmy Gunn a place in the Tour Final Qualifying School field in Florida next month.
Gunn looked like sailing through from the Stage 2 eliminator (ended Friday, California time) at Black Bear Creek Golf Club, Murrieta, California when he birdied the 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th after bogeying the sixth.
But he blew his chance with a 7 at the par-4 18th to finish with a 72 for joint 20th place on 289. Only the leading 19 with totals of 288 or better advanced.
Gunn's earlier rounds were 75, 75 and 67.
Trevor Simsy from California was the leading qualifier by four shots with a 12-under-par total of 276 (67-70-68-71).
Runner-up was J R Myers, also of California, with 67, 73, 73 and 67 for 280.





Scores »

Champions Tour Q-School
Winter Garden, FL - Panther Lake GC

1Frank Esposito-1F-11
2Grant Waite-6F-7
T3Jeff Coston-6F-6
T3Jerry Smith-1F-6
5Rod Spittle-2F-5
Complete Leaderboard »
WINTER GARDEN, Florida – Frank Esposito is a New Jersey man, but he sure can play golf in the state of Florida.
Just one week after winning the Senior PGA Professional Championship at PGA National Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Esposito played lights out in Central Florida at Orange County National Golf Centre and Lodge.
Esposito took medalist honours at Champions Tour Qualifying School, highlighting a group of five golfers that earned eligibility to play on the tour next season. Esposito, 51, finished at 11 under, four strokes ahead of the next-best competitor.
"I caught fire for two weeks, I really did. I played eight rounds under par down here and that's really unbelievable," said Esposito, who works as the head professional at Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, New Jersey
 "I was playing OK and I took some time off, about three weeks. To come down and do what I did, I'm almost impressed with myself."
The early 1980s Rutgers standout – he was a two-time honorable mention All-American – used his strength and accuracy off the tee to separate himself from the pack. Esposito played the five par 5s in 4 under during his final round at Orange County National's Panther Lake course.
"I drove the ball well today. The putter was a little shaky. I was a little nervous, but I really hit the ball well all week," said Esposito.
He carded a 1-under 71 Friday, capping off a streak of eight straight rounds under par that dates back to his performance at PGA National last week. Esposito was also one of 20 PGA professionals to compete in the 2014 PGA Championship last summer.
"He is such a great player," said Jerry Smith, who played alongside Esposito Friday. "He just hits the ball really solid almost every time. In Frank's game, I don't see too much of a weakness there. I think he should be able to do some good things next year."
Grant Waite nabbed the second card, finishing the week at 7 under. Waite surged into the second spot with a round of 6-under 66 in windy conditions Friday, with his only bogey on the day coming at the 18th.
Jeff Coston, who tied for third at 6 under, followed a similar path. Coston was at even par heading into Friday's final session, but managed to make seven birdies en route to a round of 6-under 66.
But Smith who really pulled out the dramatics to earn a spot on tour. Smith was at 1 over par in his final round with three holes remaining on the day after leaving several birdie chances on the green. He made after for that by sticking irons to 2 feet and less than one foot on 16 and 17, respectively, making birdies on two of his last three and tying for third at 6 under.
Smith's tee shot on the par-3 17th looked like it would drop for an ace.
"When it landed it did look really good," said Smith, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. "That would have made 18 a lot easier."
Taking the final spot was Rod Spittle, a native Canadian. Spittle finished at 5 under for the week after carding a final-round 2-under 70.
The top-five finishers earned fully-exempt status, while the next seven players will be conditionally exempt. Here is a list of the top 12 competitors:
  1. Frank Esposito 11-under 277
  2. Grant Waite 7-under 281
  3. Jeff Coston 6-under 282
  4. Jerry Smith 6-under 282
  5. Rod Spittle 5-under 283
  6. Jim Rutledge 4-under 284
  7. John Riegger 4-under 284
  8. Jeff Freeman 3-under 285
  9. Joel Edwards 3-under 285
  10. Rick Gibson 2-under 286
  11. Cesar Monasterio 2-under 286
  12. Doug Rohrbaugh 1-under 287
  13. Craig Thomas1-under




Adam Scott needs Sunday surge after 71    leaves him four shots adrift

Adam Scott in action in round three

Adam Scott remains in the hunt for a third successive Australian Masters title but will have to come from four shots behind on the final day.
Scott is attempting to become the first player to win the tournament three years in a row and, after a one-over-par 73 in his first round, he shot a four-under-par 68 on Friday and a one-under-par 71 on Saturday to stay in the reckoning.

Third round leaderboard

(Australian unless stated)
-8 P Spargo
-7 M Wright
-6 L Herbert
-6 N Cullen
-6 J Nitties
-5 G Ogilvy
-5 J Younger
-5 A Scott

7 others at -4
The world No 2 is one of eight players four shots off the pace, with Paul Spargo taking full advantage of Michael Wright's disappointing two-over-par 74 to take the lead on eight under.
Wright had led for the first two rounds at the Metropolitan Golf Club but now trails Spargo by a shot after he recorded five bogeys on Saturday.
Lucas Herbert, Nick Cullen and James Nitties are a further shot back on six under, while Geoff Ogilvy and Josh Younger are three shots off the lead on five under.
Chris Campbell, Nick O'Hern, Adam Bland, Nick Felton, Aaron Price, Matthew Griffin and Matthew Guyatt are the other seven players to join Scott on four under.
Scott admitted after his round that he needs a fast start on Sunday.
"Anyone sitting in my position tomorrow is going out with no pressure," Scott said.
"If I can get off to a fast start and somehow be within a couple of the lead when I'm turning and they're teeing off five or six holes behind...
"Posting a (low) number is a big thing in a golf tournament with some tough finishing holes here. It makes them think and thinking can be dangerous in golf.
"I need to get bolder. I've been a little cautious but I can't afford to be tomorrow."
The 34-year-old Spargo, who is world ranked 1126, is excited by the challenge leading an event of this stature poses.
"The more you put yourself up there in contention and playing with the leaders you get used to it so all the experience will definitely help," Spargo said.
"I've come a long way in a couple of years and my game's been good so I've done my time and this is the next step."


Friday, November 21, 2014


Defending champion Henrik Stenson, pictured, felt like he had "hit the wall" at the end of a long season but the Swede still managed to claim the halfway lead in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai today.
Stenson, whose win at Jumeirah Golf Estates 12 months ago ensured he became the first man to win the Race to Dubai and FedEx Cup in the same year, added a second round of 66 to his opening 68 to finish the day at 10-under-par 134.
But the world number four has Open and US PGA champion Rory McIlroy just two shots behind alongside Aberdeen's Richie Ramsay and England's Danny Willett, with Irishman Shane Lowry - aided by a hole-in-one on the 13th - and former US Open champion Justin Rose among a five-strong group another stroke back. "There's still a lot of golf to play and I'm really happy with how I closed this round," said Stenson, who was 25 under par in winning by six shots last year.
"Around the 12th hole I felt like I was running out of steam. It was difficult mentally from there on. I had to really focus hard and drag myself over the finish line.
"It's hot and sticky and even though I'm drinking well and getting plenty of energy, I just felt like I hit the wall on 12. If it's one or two holes left, you normally feel like, 'okay, I can hang on'. But it was a bit of an uphill (struggle) from there. I managed to finish in good style anyway so I'm pleased with that."
Playing his first tournament after a six-week lay-off, McIlroy could only add a scrappy 70 to his flawless opening 66, carding four birdies, two bogeys and a par on the seventh after a mis-hit second shot with a five wood which he described as "a fat, low, duck-hook runner that was not intentional".
The world number one recovered from the shock of hitting that shot like a high handicapper and a bogey on the 12th with birdies on the 14th and 15th, only to three-putt the 16th and drive into the water on the last.
"I'm in a good position and there is a lot of golf left," McIlroy added. "I've definitely been in worse positions after two rounds and still won.
"It could have been worse but it probably could have been a little better. I definitely didn't have it like I did yesterday. I had to dig in a little bit so hopefully that's the bad one out of the way and I have 36 holes now to make some ground up on Henrik.
"Henrik's very comfortable on this golf course obviously. I can't let him get too far ahead tomorrow. I have to get off to a fast start and try and put a bit of pressure on him. Hopefully I can do that."
Rose had been four over par for his first six holes on Thursday and was still four over after 10, but played the remaining eight holes in five under and carried on where he left off on Friday with seven birdies and one bogey in a 66.
The 34-year-old is making something of a habit of such performances, dropping four shots in his first four holes of the BMW Masters at the start of the month before battling back to eventually finish just one shot outside the three-man play-off won by Germany's Marcel Siem.

"I won the US Open from four over after 11 holes as well," said Rose, whose solitary bogey came when he drove into the creek which runs through the middle of the fairway on the 18th.
"My caddie and I were joking about putting an extra club in my bag for the first two holes [earning a four-shot penalty] just to get it over with, but I don't like giving everyone such a big head-start."
Lowry's hole-in-one, from 183 yards with a six iron, was his first on the European Tour and took him just one off the lead at the time, but the world number 52 was unable to pick up any further shots on the last five holes.
"It was a beautiful shot, a perfect number for my six iron," said Lowry, who needs a good finish to move into the world's top 50 and secure his place in next year's Masters.
"It's my first in tournament play and only my second ever so it was pretty exciting. It was hard to go on and play the next hole after that."
Speaking about his round of 71 after starting the day tied for the lead with McIlroy, Lowry added: "I am still in the tournament and I suppose if you had given me that on Thursday I would have taken it."
Richie Ramsay said: “That was really pleasing - 69 is a good score.  That nice little eagle on 14 got me going.  It was tricky out there at times and the greens were firming up, so you couldn't go for every flag.  

"You had to be selective about when to be aggressive and when to be patient, and I did that well. But the most important thing, for the second day in a row, was that my attitude was really good.  I’m really pleased with that and have some good friends and family out there watching, so it was nice to play well while they are out watching.”


Par 144 (2x72)
134 H Stenson (Swe) 68 66
136 R Ramsay  (Sco) 67 69, D Willett  (Eng) 69 67, R McIlroy  (Nir) 66 70
137 S Lowry  (Irl) 66 71, K Broberg (Swe) 70 67, T Olesen (Den) 67 70, J Rose (Eng) 71 66, R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 73 64
138 T Hatton (Eng) 70 68, D Howell (Eng) 71 67
139 H Otto (RSA) 71 68, R Karlsson (Swe) 71 68, B Grace  (RSA) 72 67, J Luiten (Ned) 70 69, V Dubuisson  (Fra) 71 68
140 G Coetzee (RSA) 70 70, P Larrazábal (Esp) 71 69, D Fichardt (RSA) 72 68, S Gallacher (Sco) 72 68, T Bjørn (Den) 71 69, L Oosthuizen  (RSA) 69 71
141 L Westwood (Eng) 70 71, R Wattel  (Fra) 71 70, M Kaymer (Ger) 72 69
142 B Wiesberger  (Aut) 72 70, A Sullivan (Eng) 73 69, F Molinari (Ita) 73 69, G McDowell  (Nir) 72 70, E Els (RSA) 75 67, L Donald  (Eng) 76 66, M Warren (Sco) 71 71, R Fisher (Eng) 69 73, M Siem  (Ger) 76 66, J Donaldson (Wal) 72 70, T Aiken (RSA) 76 66, O Fisher  (Eng) 72 70, S Garcia  (Esp) 73 69
143 A Levy (Fra) 71 72, E Molinari  (Ita) 69 74, T Fleetwood  (Eng) 69 74, C Schwartzel  (RSA) 72 71, S Dyson  (Eng) 73 70, E Grillo (Arg) 68 75,
144 W Ormsby (Aus) 73 71, T Jaidee (Tha) 72 72, M Jiménez (Esp) 71 73, J Blixt  (Swe) 70 74, I Poulter (Eng) 75 69,
145 F Zanotti (Par) 73 72, N Colsaerts  (Bel) 73 72, R Sterne  (RSA) 71 74, E Pepperell (Eng) 76 69
146 B Koepka  (USA) 78 68
147 M Manassero (Ita) 75 72, O Wilson (Eng) 75 72,
149 M Baldwin (Eng) 75 74
150 M Ilonen  (Fin) 74 76
151 M Hoey  (Nir) 73 78, D Lipsky (USA) 76 75





Unheralded Queenslander Michael Wright fired a second round of 68 to open a two-shot lead at the halfway point of the Australian Masters in Melbourne.
Wright had shared the overnight lead with compatriots Stephen Allan, Steven Bowditch and amateur Todd Sinnott, but produced another fine display to pull clear of the field on nine-under-par 135
Wright’s flawless 68 featured four birdies and not a single dropped shot, leaving him two ahead of Paul Spargo (67) and three clear of Sinnott (71) and Richard Green (67).
Geoff Ogilvy and (71) Matthew Goggin (69) are part of a five-man group sitting five shots behind the leader in joint-seventh, while Adam Scott battled hard to stay in touch.
The World No 2 - who is looking to win the event for a third straight time - carded a four-under 68 to move himself up to three-under overall and within striking distance of the leaders.
Scott produced three birdies and an eagle on the front nine, but could not quite keep up that momentum having turned for home.
"The course was really there to be had and I got off to a nice start through 10 holes and I was feeling really good, but unfortunately it slowed up on the back nine and a couple of random wedge shots cost me dearly," he stated.
"I'm within shouting distance, at least. Thirty-six holes, there's a lot of golf to be played, and if I play a good 36 I think I can be in with a chance."
But it is Wright who leads the way and the 40-year-old admitted he felt much more at home on the course on Friday, having struggled with nerves during the first round.
"I felt very comfortable out there today,” he said. “I'm looking forward to trying to feel comfortable over the next couple of days.
"There were a few (thoughts) but I managed to really keep them under wraps today. I felt a lot more relaxed in my body. It's when I get busy in the mind and start tightening things up I get into trouble."






With the US PGA Tour on hiatus, a duel could be shaping up halfway around the world between two of the game's rising stars.
Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth are among several high-profile participants in the Dunlop Phoenix this week on the Japan Golf Tour, and the two went shot-for-shot today in carding matching rounds of seven-under 64. 
After two rounds in Miyazaki, Matsuyama holds a one-shot lead at 10 under 132 while Spieth is tied for second alongside In-Hoi Hur.
Matsuyama and Spieth - whose combined age of 43 is one year fewer than that of Phil Mickelson.
Both have one Ue PGA Tour title to their credit. Spieth won the 2013 John Deere Classic and followed it with a successful sophomore season that included a runner-up at the Masters, while Matsuyama claimed the Memorial Tournament this summer in a play-off over Kevin Na.
Matsuyama led this week's field in Japan in driving distance during the second round, and capped his day with an eagle on the par-5 18th. He made only one bogey, and a victory this week would mark his sixth on the Japan Golf Tour - and fifth in the last 19 months.
Spieth's second-round scorecard was almost identical: an eagle on No. 18, with six other birdies against just a lone bogey. 
After a T-35 finish two weeks ago at the WGC-HSBC Champions, Spieth's 64 was his lowest worldwide round since a 64 in the second round of the John Deere Classic in July.
Other notable players in the field in Japan include Webb Simpson, who has switched to a conventional-length putter this week with the anchoring ban looming in 2016, and Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. 
 The two are tied for 47th through two rounds, 11 shots behind Matsuyama, as Fernandez-Castano bounced back from a poor opening round while Simpson struggled to a 2-over 73 that included four bogeys and a double bogey.
Par 144 (2x72)
132 H Matsuyama (Japan) 68 64
133 I-H Hur (Japan) 67 66, J Spieth (USA) 69 64

143 G Fernandez-Castano (Spain) 74 69, W Simpson (USA) 70 73 (T47)





 A view from behind the green at the short ninth on the Dave Thomas-designed Hawkshill course at Newmachar Golf Club. Picture by Cal Carson Golf Agency.



Paul Lawrie has given his support to another new golf tournament in the North-east of Scotland - a PGA EuroProTour event scheduled for next summer.
The Paul Lawrie Foundation Granite City Classic will be held at Newmachar Golf Club from June 24 to 26.
The former Open champion said: "With my son Craig playing on a few different tours, the EuroPro was the one which impressed me the most.
"It was well organised, and a very professional set-up and this seemed like the ideal opportunity to put Aberdeen and the surrounding area in the golfing spotlight again.
"It's a great tour and one which gives spectators the chance to see the next generation of talented golfers coming through.
"The Foundation will support the event financially and in return we will have places to offer our sponsors in the pro-am.
"I'm sure it will be a welcome addition to the EuroPro Tour schedule in 2015."
Michael MacDougall, manager of the Paul Lawrie Foundation, commented: "Full details will be announced in mid-December with regard to the prizefund, field size, etc."
EDITOR writes: In the 2014 season, PGA EuroPro Tour events generally had prizefunds of £42,000 with the big lure of a £10,000 first prize. The top seven finishers earn four-figure cheques and the prizelist is lengthy.

All the events are over 54 holes - with an entry fee in the region of £250 -  and the top players on the Tour Order of Merit at the end of the season can gain promotion to the Challenge Tour.
There is a two-stage Qualifying School for EuroPro Tour playing rights every spring.




Jimmy Gunn has given himself a fighting chance of reaching next month's final stage of the Tour Qualifying School in Florida by shooting a five-under-par 67 in the third round of the Stage 2 eliminator at Black Bear Creek, Murrieta in California.
The Dornoch-born player, now based at Mesa, Arizona, had birdies at the first, short sixth, long 11th, short 12th and 13th in bogey-free halves of 34 and 33. His 54-hole total of 217, after opening with a pair of 75s, is one over par - 12 behind the leader.
With one round to go, Gunn has moved up to joint 18th place in a field of 75 players. The leading 18 will go forward.

Black Bear Creek, Murrieta, California.
Par 216 (3x72)
210 Chris Naegel (Missouri) 66 70 74
212 Anthony Paolucci |(California) 65 74 73, Drew Scott (Nevada) 70 69 73.
217 Jimmy Gunn (Scotland) 75 75 67 (T18).


Thursday, November 20, 2014




 Niall McMullen (Lundin), pictured above on his way to winning the SGU Junior Champion of Champions' rescheduled 2013 tournament last March, has signed a Letter of Intent to join Elon University, North Carolina in August 2015. 
Heather Munro from Monifieth is already a freshman at the same university.
To reach the full story, switch over to our sister website,




Mikko Korhonen, pictured above by courtesy of Getty Images(c), became the first Finnish winner in the history of The European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage after another dramatic finale at the six-round marathon of golf, where 27 players from 12 different countries earned their cards for The 2015 Race to Dubai with totals of seven-under-par 421 or better
Myriad dreams were made and many more were dashed at PGA Catalunya Resort as one of the most intense events in golf reached a gripping conclusion, both at the top of the leaderboard and further down on the all-important card cut-line.
At the summit, a breathless battle unfolded in the final group as 17 year old Italian hotshot and overnight leader Renato Paratore attempted to fend off the challenge of his much more experienced playing partners, Ricardo Gonzalez and Korhonen, on the sun-drenched fairways of the picturesque Stadium Course outside Girona and near Barcelona in north-east Spain.
While Paratore came out of the blocks quickly with a birdie at the second, Korhonen drew level with the two-time Junior Ryder Cup player courtesy of an eagle at the par five seventh before a birdie at the 12th meant he took to the front for the first time.
The 34 year old negotiated the next six holes in level par and, while Paratore fell back after a difficult finish, with three bogeys in the final five holes, Gonzalez birdied four of the last six holes.
That wasn’t enough to deny Korhonen his maiden professional victory, however, as he finished two shots clear of the Argentinian on 20 under par courtesy of a five under par final round 67.
“It feels fantastic,” said Korhonen, whose win means he has qualified from Qualifying School for a third year running. For him the difficult task is to retain his European Tour place for at least a year.

 “It’s the first win of my professional career, finally. I haven’t challenged for the win very often in my career but it feels absolutely amazing.
“Of course, being first of all the guys here gets me into more tournaments so that’s good, but it’s not like any other tournament. You don’t exactly come here to win, even if you should, you just come to get your card. But victory makes it sweeter.
“I was a bit nervous even coming into this round knowing I had my card. This is my fourth time coming through Q-School and I’m confident now I can stay on tour next season. Getting my first win, even if it is Q-School, is still important for me.
“I wasn’t too nervous and that was a surprise for me. I did think about Mikko (Ilonen) today when I was on the first tee. I just thought, ‘be like Mikko’, just walk on the course like an Iceman and do your stuff.”
While Gonzalez was disappointed to miss out on outright victory, he was over the moon with his achievement and ranked it alongside the four European Tour titles he has amassed in a long and fruitful career on the top tier.
“This is right up there with winning on The European Tour,” said the Rosario player, who signed for a final round 67 and an 18 under total. “You need to be patient and keep yourself happy, and that happened this week. I said to my caddie that I needed to enjoy the week, and I’m very happy now.
“I felt the pressure at the start as I thought I’d lost my career. I’m 45 years old, so to earn one more year, it’s a big achievement.”
Hearts were in mouths in a tense final hour for those on the bubble as the cut-line shifted back and forth several times, from seven to eight under par.
When the axe eventually fell on the lower number, Frenchman Cyril Bouniol emerged as one of the most heart-warming stories of the day as he followed a bogey at the 16th and a double-bogey at the 17th with a nerveless birdie at the last to make it on the mark.
“The 18th was a dream come true,” said the 27 year old, who finished 19th in the Challenge Tour Rankings this year. “I’ve been playing my heart out all year just to get on The European Tour, and it was slipping away tournament after tournament, so I’m just glad to have walked onto the 18th and just believed in myself.
“I said to myself, ‘You’re good, this has to happen at some point, so make that birdie! It’s all the more meaningful to do that under so much adversity, and having not made a putt all day.
“I was standing over it at the 18th and I knew what it was for – either I would be on Tour or I would be back to what I’ve done all year, so I told myself to take a chance and it’s incredible it went in. I’m so happy.
Paratore, meanwhile, became the third youngest player in the history of the Qualifying School to earn a card and, while he could not hold out for the victory, he was delighted to earn a rookie season in The Race to Dubai, where he will join his close friend and four-time European Tour winner Matteo Manassero.
“It would have been nice to have won but the card is like winning for me,” said the 2014 Youth Olympic individual gold medal winner, who carded a one over 73. “I’m really looking forward to playing in all of the big tournaments with the best players. I can’t believe it’s happened so quickly.
“It would be great to follow in Matteo’s footsteps. Seeing what he has done at such a young age on The European Tour has been a real inspiration and I hope I can do the same.”

Matt Ford, in fourth place, was the leading Englishman in the final aggregates.
Former US amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick of England was another young former amateur star to seal his place in the big time on the first time of asking, while World Number 75 Anirban Lahiri of India will also play his maiden season on The Race to Dubai.



    par 428 (4x72, 2x70)
408 M Korhonen (Fin) 72 65 65 71 68 67
410 R Gonzalez (Arg) 68 68 65 72 70 67
412 R Paratore (Ita) 67 70 66 69 67 73
413 M Ford (Eng) 74 64 65 68 72 70
415 A Otaegui  (Esp) 67 71 68 72 70 67; J Parry (Eng) 68 68 71 69 72 67; E De La Riva  (Esp) 71 68 69 67 69 71;
416 R McEvoy  (Eng) 73 65 64 72 70 72;
417 R Karlberg  (Swe) 67 68 67 73 71 71;
418 A Dodt (Aus) 66 71 68 74 72 67; M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) 70 66 67 76 71 68; E Kofstad (Nor) 72 67 64 74 72 69; P Maddy (Eng) 67 72 68 69 72 70; T Murray (Eng) 76 64 63 73 72 70; C Lloyd (Eng) 72 66 66 71 73 70
419 J Lagergren (Swe) 66 72 69 70 73 69; A Lahiri (Ind) 65 68 66 73 75 72
420 J Scrivener (Aus) 77 64 67 74 72 66; B Virto  (Esp) 77 63 67 73 70 70; P Oriol (Esp) 70 66 68 69 77 70; P Edberg (Swe) 73 62 63 75 76 71; C Paisley  (Eng) 70 69 68 70 69 74; A Pavan (Ita) 69 67 70 71 69 74; L Jensen (Den) 69 74 67 66 70 74
421 A Tadini (Ita) 72 67 69 71 74 68; D Woltman (USA) 72 72 71 68 69 69; C Bouniol (Fra) 72 68 67 71 70 73


422 S Kim (USA) 73 67 67 75 72 68; W Homan  (USA) 77 68 70 65 71 71; P Lawrie (Irl) 71 67 67 74 72 71; R Gouveia (Por) 74 68 64 72 73 71; S Gros (Fra) 67 75 67 74 67 72; J Makitalo  (Fin) 66 74 71 67 72 72;
423 J Walters (RSA) 73 70 77 62 72 69; S Thornton (Irl) 68 69 67 76 72 71;
424 B Evans  (Eng) 73 68 66 74 73 70; S Fallon (Eng) 72 65 71 74 69 73; P Widegren  (Swe) 70 71 68 70 72 73; S Soderberg (Swe) 67 70 67 74 73 73; J Hansen  (Den) 71 71 64 74 69 75; S Manley (Wal) 66 72 67 71 73 75; C Del Moral (Esp) 68 74 65 70 70 77;
425 D Stewart (Sco) 67 76 71 68 74 69; S Walker (Eng) 66 71 68 75 76 69; E Goya (Arg) 71 68 71 73 72 70; N Geyger (Chi) 66 74 66 77 69 73; P Archer (Eng) 68 74 72 67 71 73; D Im (USA) 66 73 69 70 74 73; M Jonzon (Swe) 69 73 68 72 69 74;
426 J Knutzon (USA) 66 76 67 72 76 69; J Gonnet  (Fra) 68 73 70 72 73 70; P Whiteford (Sco) 77 66 65 73 75 70; A Marshall (Eng) 69 71 69 68 78 71; S Griffiths (Eng) 76 68 67 72 71 72; J Huldahl (Den) 67 79 70 66 72 72; J Hahn (USA) 67 79 72 58 78 72; D Dixon (Eng) 68 72 65 74 74 73;
427 G Maybin (Nir) 74 71 72 65 74 71; A Ahokas (Fin) 66 76 71 69 73 72; B Åkesson (Swe) 72 68 63 75 75 74; E Cuartero Blanco (am) (Esp) 74 65 66 71 77 74;
428 L De Jager  (RSA) 73 68 69 73 74 71; J Fahrbring (Swe) 74 70 71 67 75 71; M Delpodio  (Ita) 68 68 71 71 75 75; K Phelan (Irl) 69 72 65 72 74 76; C Gloet  (Den) 64 74 66 72 75 77;
429 A Saddier (Fra) 66 73 71 73 74 72; G Lockerbie  (Eng) 76 67 70 69 75 72; M Orrin (Eng) 69 73 66 70 79 72; K Ferrie (Eng) 66 75 65 72 76 75;
430 S Henry  (Sco) 70 72 68 73 75 72
432 D Coupland (Eng) 76 70 69 68 75 74; M Schneider (Ger) 72 74 72 65 75 74;
433 A Velasco (Esp) 69 74 68 71 78 73; G Porteous (Eng) 80 64 69 69 72 79;
435 M Soegaard  (Den) 67 73 68 73 76 78;
436 F Andersson Hed (Swe) 76 69 72 66 76 7







Duncan Stewart (joint 43rd on 425) pictured right, Peter Whiteford (jt 50th on 426) and Scott Henry (71st on 430) failed to make the top 25 and ties at seven-under-par 421 and better in the European Tour Final Qualifying School at PGA Catalunya but Stewart was last night looking on the positive side after six mentally and physically exhausting rounds of golf at the north-east Spain venue.
Said Grantown on Spey's Stewart:
"I'm thrilled with my overall result after the season I've had. Going into Stage 2 of the qualifying process and only having limited status. then shooting three over in the first round, I thought I was done.
"But I made it through Stage 2 and now I've turned it around at the Final Stage and by making the final day, I've gained full Challenge Tour status and limited appearances on the European Tour.
"I could sit here and say I'm gutted not tp finish in the top 25 but I was fighting my swing all week and was not at my best. I'd put my fourth-round 68 up there as one of my best ever.
"Over the whole six days. I have never been so stressed or nervous on the course before because everything was at stake. In my eyes it is job done and gives me a good go at it again next year. "

Par 428 (4x72, 2x70)
408 Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 72 65 65 71 68 67
410 Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 68 68 65 72 70 67
412 Renato Paratore (Ita) 67 70 66 69 67 73
413 Matt Ford (Eng) 74 64 65 68 72 70

Par 428 (4x72, 2x70)
425 Duncan Stewart 67 76 71 68 74 69 (T43)
426 Peter Whiteford 77 66 65 73 75 70 (T50)
430 Scott Henry 70 72 68 73 75 72 (T75).





So low have been the attendances at recent annual general meetings of the North-east District Association of the Scottish Golf Union that club officials are being offered nine holes of golf plus a soup and sandwiches lunch as a "carrot" to attend this year's meeting at Deeside Golf Club on Sunday, December 7 (2pm)
In a letter to all member clubs, NE District secretary George Young writes:
"Due to the poor attendance at the AGM in the past couple of years the President would like to invite the Captain and Secretary/Manager (or two representatives) from your club to nine holes of golf, followed by soup and sandwiches at Deeside GC prior to the AGM.
"It is important that as many clubs as possible are represented at the AGM and for their members to support the district committee in encouraging and fostering golfers of all abilities to enjoy this great game."


Copyright © Colin Farquharson

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