Thursday, January 21, 2010

Abu Dhabi Championship

Ian Poulter: Hungry to play after a six-week break.

Poulter holes 70ft putt to share lead on 65

Ian Poulter holed a mammoth 70ft putt on the final green to earn a share of a one-stroke first-round lead at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship after carding a bogey-free seven-under-par 65.
South African Keith Horne, who finished second last week in Johannesburg, and Southampton resident Richard Bland matched Poulter's effort to top the leaderboard ahead of a group of nine at six under, including Paul Lawrie, Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy.
Garcia recovered from back-to-back early bogeys, while McIlroy blamed a "mental error" for a double-bogey - although he did respond in style with two consecutive birdies.
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Former champion and last year's runner-up Martin Kaymer is alongside Louis Oosthuizen, who also claimed a runner-up finish at Abu Dhabi Golf Club 12 months ago, one stroke further back.
Poulter admits he is hungry to compete after a six-week Christmas break, and all signs point to a positive result this week after he returned from a similar break to end a two-year winless streak in Singapore at the end of last year.
"I've done an awful lot of hard work and it definitely paid off. I hit my irons very solid and I holed some nice putts," said Poulter.
"One of my goals at the start of the year was to hole more 20ft putts, which I haven't done a lot of.
"And I said to my caddie 'I hope you're keeping count, a few of those are going in' and they kept going in. They dried up on the back nine a little, but there was a little bonus on the last."

COLIN FARQUHARSON'S SCOTSWATCH: If Paul Lawrie was the happiest Scot after a six-under-par 66 sees him start the second day in a share of fourth place, only one shot off the pace, then no prizes for guessing the unhappiest - fellow-Aberdonian Richie Ramsay. A winner in South Africa on his last European Tour appearance before Christmas, Richie went from the sublime to the ridiculous to be joint 110th with Alastair Forsyth on the three-over-par 75 mark today.
Starting at the 10th, Richie did not get his only birdie until the seventh. He bogeyed the 11th, 12th, fourth and six in halves of 37 (holes 1-9) and 38 (holes 10-18).
Lawrie, one of the early starters, was sharing the lead on five-under-par after he birdied the third, having started at the 10th. He got another birdie before he finished, at the eighth, but a 66 was eventually pushed down by the three leaders on 65. Paul had no bogeys and his earlier birdies came at the 10th, 16th, 17th and 18th in halves of 34 (holes 1-9) and 32 (holes 10-18).
Gary Orr and Marc Warren are joint second top Scots on 69 in a share of 25th place. Orr started at the 10th and birdied the 12th and 13th before dropping a shot at the 14th. On his second nine, he birdied the second and fourth and bogeyed the seventh in halves of 35 (holes 1-9) and 34 (holes 10-18).
Warren began at the first and birdied the second, bogeyed the sixth and birdied the seventh and ninth to be out in 34. Coming home, he birdied the 11th and 16th before bogeying the 17th in an inward 35.
Stephen Gallacher is tied for 30th place with a 70. Starting at the first, he parred his first 10 holes before he got birdie putts to drop at the 11th, 13th and 15th. His only bogey came at the 16th in halves of 36 and 34.
David Drysdale is tied for 54th place after a 71. Starting at the 10th, the Dunbar man birdied the 10th but had a bad run immediately after that with bogeys at the 11th, 14th and 15th before he birided the 16th and 18th to cover holes 10-18 in 36. On holes 1-9, Drysdale had eight pars and a birdie at the seventh for a half of 35.
Colin Montgomerie is back in a share of 88th place with a 73. Starting at the 10th, the Ryder Cup captain parred holes 10 to 18 and also the first before he picked up his only birdie of a frustrating day, at the second. Bogeys at the sixth and seventh gave him halves of 37 (holes 1-9) and 36 (holes 10-18).
Par 72
65 Richard Bland, Keith Horne (Rsa), Ian Poulter
66 Sergio Garcia (Spa), Rhys Davies, Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Daniel Vancsik (Arg), Peter Hanson (Swe), Rory McIlroy, Alexander Noren (Swe), Stephen Dodd, Paul Lawrie
Thomas Aiken (Rsa), Rafael Echenique (Arg), Martin Kaymer (Ger), Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa)
68 Francesco Molinari (Ita), Steve Webster, Shiv Kapur (Ind), Paul Waring, Shane Lowry, Todd Hamilton (USA), Mark Foster, Bradley Dredge
69 Gary Orr, Anders Hansen (Den), David Howell, Andrew McLardy (Rsa), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Marc Warren, Richard Finch, Rick Kulacz (Aus), Lee Westwood, Ross McGowan, Edoardo Molinari (Ita)
70 Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Matteo Manassero (Ita) (am), Johan Edfors (Swe), Prayad Marksaeng (Tha), Henrik Stenson (Swe), Jeppe Huldahl (Den), Hennie Otto (Rsa), Chris Wood, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke, Anthony Kim (USA), Stephen Gallacher, Richard Green (Aus), Jamie Donaldson, Ignacio Garrido (Spa), Ariel Canete (Arg), Barry Lane, Jyoti Randhawa (Ind)
71 Mikael Lundberg (Swe), Mikko Ilonen (Fin), Peter Lawrie, Graeme Storm, Anthony Wall, Thomas Bjorn (Den), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa), Marcus Fraser (Aus), Nick Dougherty, Mark Brown (Nzl), David Lynn, Seve Benson, Paul Broadhurst, Brett Rumford (Aus), David Drysdale, David Dixon, Tano Goya (Arg), Camilo Villegas (Col)
72 Soren Hansen (Den), Geoff Ogilvy (Aus), Peter Hedblom (Swe), Simon Dyson, Danny Lee (Nzl), Felipe Aguilar (Chi), Robert Karlsson (Swe), Michael Jonzon (Swe), Sam Little, Michael Hoey, Phillip Price, Maarten Lafeber (Ned), Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (Ind), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa), Paul Casey, James Kamte (Rsa)
73 Robert Jan Derksen (Ned), Richard Sheridan, Kenneth Ferrie, Oliver Fisher, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Robert Rock, Niclas Fasth (Swe), Markus Brier (Aut), Christian Cevaer (Fra), Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind), Colin Montgomerie, David Horsey, Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg), Gary Lockerbie, Jean-Francois Lucquin (Fra), Gregory Bourdy (Fra), Thomas Levet (Fra)
74 Martin Erlandsson (Swe), Steven Jeppesen (Swe), Fabrizio Zanotti (Par), Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa), Raphael Jacquelin (Fra)
75 Christian Nilsson (Swe), Richie Ramsay, Francois Delamontagne (Fra), Gareth Maybin, Oliver Wilson, Marcel Siem (Ger), John Bickerton, Alastair Forsyth, Gregory Havret (Fra), Othman Al Mulla (Ksa)
76 Anthony Kang (USA)
77 Ahmed Al Musharrekh (UAE), Danny Willett
78 Oskar Henningsson (Swe), Jose Manuel Lara (Spa)
79 Damien McGrane
83 Michael Campbell (Nzl)



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