Thursday, November 07, 2013


                                   Paul Casey in action in Turkey today (Getty Images(c)


ANTALAYA, Turkey (AP) -- Tiger Woods only had time for little more than half a round on the opening day of the weather-affected Turkish Airlines Open today, and he'll be playing catch-up to the leaders when play resumes.

Woods was among the majority of players who weren't able to complete their first round after the start was pushed back three hours because the greens had been flooded by a thunderstorm. 
When his round finally started, he did little to put himself in contention, sitting at 1 under after 10 holes following a bogey on No. 9. That left him well behind the leaders, with Paul Casey headlining a trio atop the leaderboard after moving to 7 under through 14 holes at the Colin Montgomerie-designed Maxx Royal course.

Ricardo Gonzalez and Thorbjorn Olesen were the clubhouse leaders after both shot a 6-under 66, with 15 players having completed their round before bad light halted play.

Organizers are planning on an early start Friday to make up for lost time, with Woods facing a 20-yard chip shot over a greenside bunker for his third shot on the 11th when play resumes.

"It just gets dark so quickly and it's like someone just turned off the light switch," Woods said. "The air now also is heavy with moisture so the ball is not going very far compared to when we were warming up on the range and early in the round. But towards the end we were hitting about a half a club short. I'm still working on getting a bit of the rust out of my game but then tomorrow is going to be a long day for all of us."

He struggled with his driver today at the penultimate European Tour event of the season and didn't hit a fairway until the 10th hole. Still, he started by making a four-foot birdie putt on the first hole and then made another birdie at the par-3 eighth.

His playing partner and Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson was at 4 under, while Montgomerie was at even par after 16 holes on the course he designed himself.

Despite his slow start, Woods said Montgomerie had done a nice job with the layout.

"It's a tricky golf course and it helps to have played it numerous times as it is one of those courses where you get a better feel for it the more you play it," Woods said. 
"However looking back on my 10 and a half holes, I probably left a little out there and I see that seven under par is leading at this stage, so the goal in the holes I have left in the morning is to pick up a few quick birdies."
Gonzalez had six birdies and an eagle mixed with two bogeys, while Olesen had eight birdies with two bogeys. Three players, incluing Pablo Larrazabal of Spain, were two shots back in the clubhouse.


Par 72 (35-37
69 Marc Warren
74 Paul Lawrie (36-38) 
Paul had birdies at the long fourth, short eighth and long 11th. bogeys at the short fifth, sixth, seventh, short 14th and 15th.

David Drysdale       Three under par after 11 holes
Craig Lee               Three under par after 14 holes
Stephen Gallacher  Three under par after 15 holes
Colin Montgomerie Level par after 16 holes.
Richie Ramsay        Level par after 14 holes
Scott Jamieson       Two over par after 16 holes.

Paul Casey continued his mastery of Colin Montgomerie-designed golf courses at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Antalya, Turkey to fly into share of the seven under par lead before play was suspended for the day at the Turkish Airlines Open by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The Englishman’s last two European Tour victories  - the 2011 Volvo Golf Champions and this year’s Irish Open -  have come on Montgomerie courses, and the 36 year old is hoping to make it a hat-trick in Turkey after his flying start saw him compile an eagle, six birdies and a single dropped shot in 14 holes to join Darren Fichardt and Steve Webster in a share of the lead before play was called for the day.

“I seem to play very well around Monty’s golf courses,” smiled Casey. “I won in Bahrain a couple of years ago and then Carton House this year. I do enjoy his golf courses. I have no idea why, but maybe the fact that you can be incredibly aggressive does bode well for me. 
“I made a very aggressive start with eagle at the first hole and this is a golf course that seems to offer a lot of opportunities starting out. I probably aim for the stick probably too frequently, but you could get away with it today – if you have an opportunity to go at flag and a good yardage, you have to take it. 
"It was foot flat to the floor today and just fire at the pins, take advantage of the soft conditions we've got and see what happens.

“The field is exceptionally strong and with the layout of the golf course, and the way it is set up, I fully expect somebody is going to get to maybe 20 plus under par this week.”

With overnight thunderstorms lingering around the Montgomerie Maxx Royal, there was a three-hour morning delay to the first round of the Turkish Airlines Open, but once play got underway the players lit up the third event of The European Tour’s Final Series and the penultimate tournament in the 2013 Race to Dubai. 
Fichardt also managed to play 14 holes of his first round, birdieing half of them, while Webster reached a share of the lead in the space of 12 holes.

Ricardo Gonzalez and Thorbjørn Olesen were two of only 15 players to finish their first rounds, with the Argentinean and the Dane each signing for a pair of six under par 66s. 
Henrik Stenson, playing alongside World Number One Tiger Woods and US Open Champion Justin Rose, made a fine start, moving to four under through 11 holes to keep himself ahead of his nearest Race to Dubai Challengers in the field; Rose (one under through 11) and Ian Poulter (three under through 11).

While the birdies and eagles flew in all over the course, Woods made a more reserved start with two birdies and a single dropped shot in his first 11 holes, taking him to one under before the darkness descended on the Montgomerie Maxx and play was halted for the day due to bad light.  
Play will resume at 8am local time on Friday morning, with the players finishing the first round before beginning round two, with the tee-times the same as round one.



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