Friday, September 07, 2018

Tanihira leads for first time on European Tour

Hideto Tanihara will take the lead into the weekend for the first time in his European Tour career after firing a bogey-free 66 on day two of the Omega European Masters.
The Japanese moved to nine under in the morning at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club and nobody could reel him in, although he had a high-class chasing pack breathing down his neck in defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick - who matched the lowest round of the week with a 64 - to sit alongside Dane Lucas Bjerregaard and American Doug Ghim at seven under.
Tanihara is a 14-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour but announced himself to the European Tour last season as he finished fourth at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and in a tie for third at the BMW PGA Championship. He has three top tens so far this season as he looks for his first win in his first full season on Tour.
Fitzpatrick missed the cut on his first visit to the mountains in 2014 but has been formidable since, finishing second in 2015, seventh in 2016 and winning his fourth European Tour title here last season. In that time he has recorded just two over par rounds, with Friday's effort his seventh circuit of 65 or better in Crans-Montana.
Portugal Masters champion Bjerregaard arrived in Switzerland off the back of two top tens and quickly emerged as Tanihara's closest challenger in the afternoon along with American Ghim. The talented 22 year old was second at last season's US Amateur to earn entry to the Masters Tournament and the US Open, finishing as the low amateur at Augusta National and turning professional after playing at Shinnecock Hills in June.
This is just his second regular European Tour event after missing the cut at last week's Made in Denmark and after making an early bogey on the 11th, he bounced back with gains on the 12th, 15th, 17th, 18th, fifth and eighth.
The group in fifth then combined for ten European Tour titles including a Major Championship with Scot Stephen Gallacher, Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera, South African Haydn Porteous and England's Danny Willett at six under.
South African Thomas Aiken, India's SSP Chawrasia, Spaniard Nacho Elvira, German Maximilian Kieffer, Dane Søren Kjeldsen, Frenchman Alexander Levy and China's Wu Ashun were four shots off the lead.
Player Quotes
Hideto Tanihara: “My game was very consistent and if my putting was better I would have been able to get higher on the score. I was able to play like yesterday. I just want to focus on my putting more and then I will be better.
“There are a lot of great players here and I just want to concentrate on playing my game. I feel very grateful to be playing in this beautiful place. The altitude is very high and the temperatures very low and when the wind blows it is very difficult.
“There were two holes that I was able to save and read the green so it was a very calm decision, and I was able to putt well.
“Just want to focus and hopefully play two more days like this.”
Matt Fitzpatrick: “It was a great day. Got off to a bad start, I wouldn’t even call it a slow start, a bad start. Two over through four but that is one reason why I love this golf course, you know you can get it back on the short par fours coming up after that, a couple par fives on your back nine and you’ve got chances coming in, so I was delighted to take them.
“It is nice to be up at altitude here and the big difference on nine this year is I have a new three wood in comparison to last year so that has given me another ten or 15 which is good.
“I would say it’s probably as hard as I’ve seen it this year just because it’s so firm but I think yesterday morning was a good chance to go low, because it was soft and being first out but I managed to do it this afternoon, but I think it will be an exciting weekend.
“I’ll just play my own game, stick to the plan for each hole. I would say I probably play the golf course more aggressively than most people and I think I kind of know what I’m doing around here which is nice, so hopefully it kind of plays into my hands.”
Lucas Bjerregaard: “It was very solid today. As you said a little disappointing now, it would have been nice to keep the card clean but unfortunately hit a bad tee shot on 18, had to chip out and not much I could do there. I played lovely today, a lot of fairways a lot of greens, it was very stress free so I would love for that to continue over the weekend.
“It is a course where you can easily make a couple bogeys out of nowhere and the short holes you feel you have to make birdie because they are only 350 yards, but you make bogey if you lose your head for a second. The greens are quite difficult, and they are firmer than I remember, but beautiful to be honest they are rolling really nice, so you have to be quite accurate with your approach play.
“I’m very excited. I played well in Denmark last week, coming off two top-tens, so feeling like the game is getting in good shape, so I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
Doug Ghim: “I am playing in all the right places. I didn’t really have many spots where I thought I couldn’t make a par and had a lot of opportunities for birdie, and I have been putting pretty well so that’s been good.
“I have been driving it well too so that has given me a lot of opportunities to attack some of these pins. These greens are really firm and difficult, and some of the pins are quite tough too, so driving it has been a big part of the two days so far.
“I didn’t know I was in the field until Wednesday last week right before Denmark, so it was a bonus just to be here and I am just thankful to take advantage of it.
“Coming out of my amateur career I didn’t know what to expect or how different it would be, and it has been quite the learning experience, but I feel like I finally have my footing a little bit, so just excited for what’s to come.”
 Players with 36-hole tallies of 140 and over missed the cut
Round Two Scores:
par 140 (2x70)
131 H Tanihara (Jpn) 65 66,
133 M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 69 64, D Ghim (USA) 68 65, L Bjerregaard (Den) 68 65,
134 H Porteous (RSA) 69 65, D Willett (Eng) 68 66, S Gallacher (Sco) 68 66, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 66,
135 S Kjeldsen (Den) 65 70, A Levy (Fra) 67 68, M Kieffer (Ger) 64 71, S Chawrasia (Ind) 69 66, A Wu (Chn) 70 65, N Elvira (Esp) 66 69, T Aiken (RSA) 68 67,
136 C Koepka (USA) 71 65, C Schwartzel (RSA) 67 69, R Wattel (Fra) 69 67, R Sterne (RSA) 69 67, R Fox (Nzl) 67 69, D Brooks (Eng) 69 67, M Southgate (Eng) 69 67, J Guerrier (Fra) 65 71, D Drysdale (Sco) 66 70,
137 J Walters (RSA) 66 71, E Van Rooyen (RSA) 66 71, B Hebert (Fra) 70 67, M Wallace (Eng) 68 69, N Bertasio (Ita) 70 67, L Canter (Eng) 68 69, L Westwood (Eng) 68 69, A Johnston (Eng) 68 69, A Sullivan (Eng) 65 72, N Colsaerts (Bel) 71 66, S Jamieson (Sco) 69 68,
138 E Molinari (Ita) 70 68, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 71 67, M Pavon (Fra) 67 71, C Wood (Eng) 68 70, R Karlsson (Swe) 69 69, J Geary (Nzl) 68 70, G Green (Mas) 69 69, D Lipsky (USA) 68 70, C Shinkwin (Eng) 69 69, P Oriol (Esp) 72 66,
139 P Khongwatmai (Tha) 68 71, A Connelly (Can) 70 69, L Slattery (Eng) 68 71, R McEvoy (Eng) 72 67, J Wang (Kor) 71 68, J Morrison (Eng) 70 69, C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 71 68, R Gonzalez (Arg) 71 68, D Horsey (Eng) 70 69, M Korhonen (Fin) 69 70, G Coetzee (RSA) 69 70, J Van Zyl (RSA) 71 68, R Fisher (Eng) 70 69, M Kinhult (Swe) 70 69, J Campillo (Esp) 74 65, P Larrazábal (Esp) 67 72, F Zanotti (Par) 69 70, D Fichardt (RSA) 68 71, S Hend (Aus) 70 69, G Havret (Fra) 69 70, A Romero (Arg) 72 67, A Saddier (Fra) 74 65

140 O Fisher (Eng) 69 71, G Fernandez - Castaño (Esp) 71 69, O Farr (Wal) 71 69, B Rumford (Aus) 70 70, M Baldwin (Eng) 70 70, L Jensen (Den) 73 67, J Donaldson (Wal) 69 71, C Syme (Sco) 74 66, M Jiménez (Esp) 74 66, D Howell (Eng) 71 69, A Otaegui (Esp) 71 69, R Gouveia (Por) 70 70,
141 J Lagergren (Swe) 69 72, A Pavan (Ita) 70 71, S Sharma (Ind) 72 69, S Horsfield (Eng) 72 69, B Neil (Sco) 71 70, J Dantorp (Swe) 70 71, R Ramsay (Sco) 72 69, C Sordet (Fra) 73 68, A Rai (Eng) 67 74, R Bland (Eng) 70 71, P Dunne (Irl) 71 70,
142 R Rock (Eng) 68 74, M Kaymer (Ger) 69 73, D Burmester (RSA) 69 73, A Chesters (Eng) 68 74, T Detry (Bel) 67 75, W Ormsby (Aus) 70 72, J Scrivener (Aus) 69 73,
143 H Li (Chn) 72 71, A Dodt (Aus) 73 70, S Brazel (Aus) 73 70, C Hanson (Eng) 73 70, M Manassero (Ita) 71 72, B Rusch (Sui) 68 75, N Gerhardsen (am) (Sui) 72 71,
144 M Eggenberger (Sui) 74 70, T Pieters (Bel) 67 77, A Bland (Aus) 72 72, M Nixon (Eng) 71 73, C Blomstrand (Swe) 69 75, M Siem (Ger) 72 72, R Paratore (Ita) 74 70, C Ford (Eng) 74 70, T Pulkkanen (Fin) 74 70, G Folk (am) (Aut) 73 71,
145 B Dredge (Wal) 71 74, A Cañizares (Esp) 72 73, S Heisele (Ger) 73 72, J Winther (Den) 70 75, L Gagli (Ita) 72 73, M Ilonen (Fin) 71 74, H Sturehed (Swe) 71 74, P Waring (Eng) 71 74, R Cho (Kor) 75 70, M Schwab (Aut) 71 74,
146 R De Sousa (Sui) 74 72, R Evans (Eng) 74 72, K Koivu (Fin) 70 76, M Fraser (Aus) 75 71, S Lee (Kor) 71 75, S Brown (Eng) 78 68, J Thomson (Eng) 74 72, S Fernandez (Esp) 72 74, R Jacquelin (Fra) 77 69,
147 M Warren (Sco) 71 76, L Galliano (Sui) 73 74,
148 J Blixt (Swe) 72 76, G Bourdy (Fra) 69 79, F Aguilar (Chi) 73 75,
149 J Choi (Kor) 75 74, J Kruyswijk (RSA) 74 75, M Grönberg (Swe) 74 75, C Pigem (Esp) 77 72,
150 T Jaidee (Tha) 75 75, D Im (USA) 72 78, Y Miyazato (Jpn) 78 72, J Norris (Aus) 79 71, R Foley (am) (Sui) 74 76,
151 P Edberg (Swe) 77 74,
152 J Daly (USA) 77 75, M Dobias (Sui) 78 74,
153 Z Lombard (RSA) 74 79,
155 C Gugler (am) (Sui) 80 75,
156 L Schüpbach (am) (Sui) 74 82,
** A Björk (Swe) 69 WD, M Foster (Eng) 70 RT, S Gros (Fra) 84 WD,



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