Thursday, May 24, 2018

Great Dane's 65 at BMW PGA Championship

Bjerregaard leads as Rory
impresses on return
Tournament: BMW PGA Championship
Venue: Wentworth Club, Surrey, England
Prize fund: $7,000,000
The image of Lucas Bjerregaard is by courtesy of Getty Images .
Round One report from Wentworth
Lucas Bjerregaard carded a flawless seven-under- par 65 to take the lead after the opening round of the BMW PGA Championship - the first Rolex Series event of the European Tour’s 2018 Race to Dubai - as Rory McIlroy marked his return to Wentworth Club with an impressive 67.
Dane Bjerregaard entered the week on the back of a strong run of form, with back-to-back top tens in his last two appearances, and he carried that momentum into the opening round on the pristine West Course.
A birdie at the par three second hole got him up and running before picking up three more shots for a front nine 31, and three more gains on the way home – including a closing birdie at the par five finishing hole – handed the London-based 26 year old a one-stroke lead.
Tied for second place are South African duo Dean Burmester and Darren Fichardt, who have six European Tour titles between them, after a pair of 66s.
All eyes were on four-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy, however, who was returning to Wentworth for the first time since 2015 after being forced to withdraw through injury last year, and he delighted the huge crowds with an impressive 67 to move to within two strokes of the lead.
The 2014 BMW PGA Champion from Northern Ireland carded seven birdies and was disappointed to have missed a short birdie putt at the final hole, but the fans will no doubt be out in force on Friday morning in support of the former World Number One.
McIlroy was joined in a share of fourth position by Englishmen Richard Bland, Sam Horsfield and Matthew Fitzpatrick, playing his first event of the year on European soil and targeting a fifth European Tour victory in four seasons.
The 2017 BMW PGA Champion Alex Noren managed a birdie four at the last to round off a three-under 69 which kept him in the hunt to become the first player to win the prestigious title in back-to-back seasons since Luke Donald won it for a second successive time in 2012.
Player quotes
Lucas Bjerregaard: “I've not had much success around this place but I played lovely today. I hit it pretty well off the tee, hit a couple of loose shots in the end but managed to get up-and-down a couple of times.
“All in all, I didn't do much wrong. Maybe had a little bit of a lucky break on 18 there but it's nice to finish up with a four. It's quite important to hit it straight, and I felt like I did that. I put myself in a lot of good spots and left myself with a few short irons and took advantage of that.

“There's a long way to go. I'm just pleased that my form from the last few weeks seems to continue and hopefully I can keep doing some of the same stuff the rest of the week.”

Dean Burmester: “The South Africans are all geared up. Most of us have had a bit of time off, so it's been nice to get back and I think all of us love Wentworth. So it's really good to be back here.
“I've been grinding in the last three weeks in my time off with my coach and we worked on a draw that I really like, and you know, I just warm up with it now every day, and I do it every day and it's making a difference.
“It's not been the season I really wanted - barring one round in Mexico, it's been really quiet. This is a good place to kind of kick-start the year and I'm looking forward to the next three days.”
Darren Fichardt: “On this golf course, everything's got to be good. This time of the year, usually for me it has never been good, but I took quite a few weeks off to prepare for this stretch of Rolex Series events. It looks like I made a good choice. We'll see what happens but I’m playing well. I felt like I could birdie every hole.

“I know the main thing for me the last 12 years here is that it's crucial to hit fairways. If you hit fairways, you've got a good chance at the greens. There's a lot of sucker pins out there, so you need to respect the course, but there are a few birdies out there and I putted really, really well.

“So the opportunities I did have, I did make. Just a couple of holes coming in, I missed quite a few short putts, well, not short putts, but makeable putts, but I'm really happy.”

Rory McIlroy: “It was good to see golf like that. It was good to see the shots that I hit, and the drives that I hit, I put it in play a lot more. I still hit a couple of loose shots out there but I guess you can't expect perfection all the time. You have to sort of take it as it is. I played a lot better today than I have done the last couple of weeks, so it's a good step in the right direction.

“My wedge play was really good and that's something I've tried to work on continuously over the course of the last 12 months, trying to get that better. Any time I had a wedge in my hand today, I felt I had a realistic chance for birdie afterwards. If I can keep doing that and if I can keep putting it in the fairway like I have been, that's really positive signs going forward.

“Obviously there's the next three days to worry about, but I've got a few big tournaments coming up in the States, and then a very busy summer with a lot of important stuff coming up. So if I can keep playing like this, it should hopefully be a good summer.”

par 72
65 L Bjerregaard (Denmark)
66 D Fichardt (SAf) , D Burmester (SAf)  
67 R McIlroy (NIre) , M Fitzpatrick (Eng) , S Horsfield (Eng) , R Bland (Eng) 
68 B Dredge (Wales) , N Bertasio (Ita) , M Korhonen (Finland) , K Aphibarnrat (Thailand) , C Paisley (Eng) , L Jensen (Denmark)
69 M Southgate (Eng) , G Fernandez - Castaño (Spn) , T Olesen (Den) , B Grace (SAf) , R Ramsay (Sco) , R Rock (Eng) , S Lowry (Ire) , H Tanihara (Jpn) , C Ford (Eng) , T Jaidee (Thailand) , S Gros (Fra) , F Zanotti (Paraguay) , J Morrison (Eng) , A Noren (Swe) , M Kieffer (Ger) 
70 E Van Rooyen (SAf) , R Fox (NZ) , A Saddier (Fra) , B Hebert (Fra) , A Dodt (Australia) , D Lipsky (USA) , L Westwood (Eng) , D Brooks (Eng) , M Kaymer (Ger) , A Levy (Fra) , T Fleetwood (Eng) , F Molinari (Ita) 
71 N Colsaerts (Belgium) , A Quiros (Spn) , J Smith (Eng) , M Warren (Sco) , R Fisher (Eng) , P Dunne (Ire) , D Frittelli (SAf) , T Immelman (SAf) , S Gallacher (Sco) , G McDowell (NIre) , B Neil (Sco) , A Sullivan (Eng) , S Lee (SKor) , A Björk (Swe) , P O'Hara (Sco) , M Ilonen (Finland)
72 T Detry (Belgium), T Aiken (SAf) , M Pavon (Fra) , J Campillo (Spn) , A Rai (Eng) , R Cabrera Bello (Spn) , J Heath (Eng) , G Green (Malaysia) , J Guerrier (Fra) , A Wu (China) , M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) , J Lagergren (Swe) , C Wood (Eng) , M Wallace (Eng) , P Larrazábal (Spn) , P Casey (Eng) , E Pepperell (Eng) 
73 A Johnston (Eng) , A Chesters (Eng) , J Kruyswijk (SAf) , S Hend (Australia) , C Pigem (Esp) , S Brazel (Australia) , H Li (China) , D Horsey (Eng) , A Pavan (Ita) , D Howell (Eng) , T Hatton (Eng) , P Waring (Eng) , R Karlsson (Swe) , A Romero (Arg) , J Luiten (Netherlands) , P Hanson (Swe) , O Farr (Wales) , B Stone (SAf) , J Choi (SKor)  
74 M Kinhult (Swe) , I Poulter (Eng) , H Porteous (SAf) , R Paratore (Ita) , J Wang (SKor) , J Winther (Denmark) , C Shinkwin (Eng) , D Drysdale (Sco) , S Chawrasia (India) , J Dantorp (Swe) , C Hanson (Eng) , P Khongwatmai (Thailand) , B An (SKor) , R Coles (Eng) , R Cho (SKor) , J Suri (USA) , S Fernandez (Spn) , A Bland (Australia)
75 W Ormsby (Australia) , M Fraser (Australia) , E Els (SAf) , O Fisher (Eng) , T Pieters (Belgium) , S Jamieson (Sco) , M Manassero (Ita) , J Donaldson (Wales) , R Gouveia (Portugal) , J Scrivener (Australia) , P Oriol (Spn) , N Elvira (Spn) , G Coetzee (SAf) , B Rumford (Australia) , T Bjørn (Den) , D Willett (Eng) , A Otaegui (Spn) , G Bourdy (Fra) , H Varner (USA) , G Havret (Fra) , D Im (USA) , J Norris (Australia)
76 R Jacquelin (Fra) , S Kjeldsen (Denmarl) , R Evans (Eng) , R Sterne (SAf) , M Siem (Ger)  
77 C Sordet (Fra) , T Pulkkanen (Finland) , L Slattery (Eng) ,
78 Z Lombard (SAf) , C Koepka (USA) , E Molinari (Ita) , A Connelly (Canada) , R Wattel (Fra) , R Wallis (Eng) , P Harrington (Ire)  
80 S Brown (Eng) 
85 G Hay (Sco) 



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