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Kiradech Aphibarnrat wins Malaysian Open

Smokin! Aphibarnrat holds nerve to win Malaysian Open after thunderstorm delay

By
Phil Casey, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

08:28 GMT, 24 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:01 GMT, 24 March 2013

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat today held his nerve after an untimely weather delay to claim his first European Tour title with a wire-to-wire victory in the Maybank Malaysian Open.

The tournament had been reduced to 54 holes following thunderstorms on each of the first three days, and another arrived just after the final group had teed off on the 16th hole today.

That meant a two-hour delay with Aphibarnrat one shot ahead of Italy's Edoardo Molinari, who had completed his 67 just before the delay and was safely in the clubhouse.

Smokin: Kiradech Aphibarnrat takes a puff on a cigarette on his way to victory

Smokin: Kiradech Aphibarnrat takes a puff on a cigarette on his way to victory

Hands on: Kiradech Aphibarnrat poses with the trophy after winning the Malaysian Open

Hands on: Kiradech Aphibarnrat poses with the trophy after winning the Malaysian Open

Kiradech Aphibarnrat

Kiradech Aphibarnrat

But Aphibarnrat made light of the disruption, hitting his approach to the 16th to three feet for birdie and then saving par on the next after almost finding water over the back of the green.

The 23-year-old former junior world champion therefore had the luxury of taking six on the 634-yard par-five 18th to complete a closing 70, sealing a a one-shot win over Molinari and claiming the first prize of 303,000.

Denmark's Anders Hansen (66) was third on 11 under, with France's Victor Dubuisson (70) and South African Charl Schwartzel (71) joint fourth a shot further back.

'This means a lot to me,' Aphibarnrat said. 'I had been struggling a lot after getting sick with my thyroid, but I fought and worked hard with my dad and my coach to have today.

'I have to thank my family, my mum and dad have always supported me and I am sure they are in front of the TV watching.'

Realisation: Aphibarnrat won his first European Tour title in Malaysia

Realisation: Aphibarnrat won his first European Tour title in Malaysia

Kiradech Aphibarnrat celebrates

The leaders started the day on the third hole and Aphibarnrat pitched to three feet for a birdie before holing from 15ft for an eagle on the par-five fifth.

At that stage his nearest challenger was Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who had eagled the same hole and also picked up three birdies, but the three-time major winner carded three bogeys in succession on the back nine to fade to sixth.

Bogeys at the seventh and 12th then saw Aphibarnrat joined at the top of the leaderboard by China's Wu Ashun, but as Wu also faded – shanking a pitch on the 16th into the crowd – Aphibarnrat birdied the 14th to edge ahead of Molinari, who was by now in the clubhouse.

The thunderstorm which arrived soon after looked to have come at a bad time for Aphibarnrat, but he added: 'I think it was good for me, I have time to rest and there were a lot of things going through my head. After I birdied the 16th I thought I had a good chance to win.

'The 18th hole I've played 10 times before, but today it was the toughest hole I have ever played, even though I could make six to win.'

Missing out: Edoardo Molinari had to settle for second place

Missing out: Edoardo Molinari had to settle for second place

Molinari was left to rue a number of missed chances, despite having previously missed the cut in all five of his appearances this season.

'It's mixed emotions because I'm very happy to have a good week for the first time in a long time,' said the former Ryder Cup player, who changed coach in December after missing three months following wrist surgery.

'The swing changes (under Sean Foley, who also coaches Tiger Woods and Justin Rose) are starting to pay off which is surprising because I thought it would take a lot longer, but I'm disappointed because I had a lot of chances on the back nine. The 18th is only the second fairway I missed all day which is very disappointing.

'I felt if I birdied the last I might have won outright because it puts a lot of pressure on the guy coming up behind, but unfortunately I think I'll be one or two short.'

Golf: Richard Sterne and Trevor Fischer Jnr are tied for the lead at the Johannesburg open

South African duo Sterne and Fischer Jnr tied for the lead in Johannesburg

PUBLISHED:

17:26 GMT, 8 February 2013

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UPDATED:

17:26 GMT, 8 February 2013

South Africa's Richard Sterne and Trevor Fisher Jnr are tied for the lead at the halfway stage of the Joburg Open, three shots clear of the chasing pack.

Sterne followed up his opening-day 63 with another blemish-free round of 65 today on the east course to join early leader Fisher Jnr on 15 under par for the tournament.

Fisher Jnr had looked set to take a comfortable lead into the third day after he shot a blistering 62 on the west course, just one stroke outside Charl Schwartzel's course record.

Faultless: Richard Sterne followed up his opening day 63 with a high quality 65

Faultless: Richard Sterne followed up his opening day 63 with a high quality 65

Faultless: Richard Sterne followed up his opening day 63 with a high quality 65

However, Sterne, who was runner-up to Stephen Gallacher in the Dubai Classic last week, continued his good run of form to stay in contention for his sixth European Tour title at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Course.

A birdie on the opening hole and gains at the fourth and seventh saw him quickly close ground on his compatriot before an eight-foot putt at the ninth saw him claim an outward score of 33.

Sterne then added birdies on three of the last four holes which saw him catch up with Fisher Jnr and repeat his effort from the opening day of finishing the round joint top.

'I did the right things and putted well. It's nice to not be behind going into the weekend,' Sterne told europeantour.com.

Man on a mission: Trevor Fisher Jnr shot a round of 62 to climb to the top of the leader-board

Man on a mission: Trevor Fisher Jnr shot a round of 62 to climb to the top of the leader-board

'It won't be easy on the weekend. The players that are five or six back can catch us as well. Charl's there, George (Coetzee) is due a win, so it's a long way from over.'

Fisher Jnr, who was named Sunshine Tour Players' Player of the Year two days ago, shot an eagle and seven birdies on the way to a nine-under-par round of 62 on day two.

'It was a great day out there,' Fisher Jnr said. 'Everything just happened for me and I sank the putts I needed to sink.

On song: Fisher Jnr shot an eagle and seven birdies

On song: Fisher Jnr shot an eagle and seven birdies

On song: Fisher Jnr shot an eagle and seven birdies

'I was happy and patient with myself – walked slow and did everything slow – and it was just a good day.'

Coetzee completed the all-South African top three on 12 under par while home favourite Schwartzel fired 65 on the west course to tie for fourth place alongside compatriot Keith Horne and Felipe Aguilar of Chile.

And Schwartzel was not surprised with Fisher Jnr's strong performance so far in the tournament.
He said: 'We played foursomes for South Africa Under-23s – I know how good he can be.'

England's Tommy Fleetwood finished on nine under par for the first two rounds after he carded 66 today to lie in a four-way tie for seventh while Scotland's David Drysdale and England's Richard Finch were another shot back in a cluster of nine players.

Martin Kaymer wins Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City

Former world No 1 Kaymer shines in Sun City to secure first title of the year

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UPDATED:

16:17 GMT, 2 December 2012

Martin Kaymer survived a late wobble to hold on for his first title of the year with victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City.

The overnight leader bogeyed the 15th hole to see his advantage at the top of the leaderboard cut to one stroke by South Africa's Charl Schwartzel but held his nerve the rest of the way to prevail by two strokes.

Kaymer finished on eight under par overall, with Schwartzel at six under and American Bill Haas alone in third, three strokes further back.

Long wait: Kaymer won his first title of the year in Sun City

Long wait: Kaymer won his first title of the year in Sun City

Long wait: Kaymer won his first title of the year in Sun City

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen began the final round just one stroke behind Kaymer, but a 74 saw his challenge run out of steam and he ended in fourth place on two under, one stroke ahead of defending two-time champion Lee Westwood of England, who carded a 73.

Scotland's Paul Lawrie, the leader after the second round, went over par for the second day running as he managed 74 to finish in sixth place overall.

Kaymer famously sank the putt that ensured Europe retained the Ryder Cup earlier this year, but on a personal level this season has been a disappointment for the German.

And he admitted that as the opportunity to finally break his year-long victory drought edged closer, nerves began to tell.

Clinging on: Kaymer bogeyed the 15th hole

Clinging on: Kaymer bogeyed the 15th hole

Clinging on: Kaymer bogeyed the 15th hole

'It was always tight,' Kaymer told reporters.

'Charl played a great round of golf and I was telling (my caddie) that I need a win. I need a win in 2012.'

Rainy conditions on the final day at Gary Player Country Club were in keeping with the previous three, meaning yet again that scores were kept in check by the weather.

No-one shot better than 69 all week, and that mark was again achieved by Kaymer on Sunday having also managed a three-under total over the second round.

The German began in positive fashion on Sunday, hitting a brilliant eagle on the second only to see his hard work erased with a double-bogey at three.

Birdies at nine, 10 and 11 took him clear of the pack again, although Schwartzel's birdie on the 14th trimmed the lead to one.

Swinging in the rain: Schwartzel made a late bid for the title

Swinging in the rain: Schwartzel made a late bid for the title

Swinging in the rain: Schwartzel made a late bid for the title

Kaymer hacked his way out of the rough to make an unlikely birdie on 14 and take his lead back out to two, but a bogey at the next meant the pressure stayed on.

Schwartzel's victory bid finally stuttered as he committed his first bogey of the day at the 17th, as Kaymer made par the rest of the way to close out an overdue victory.

'I'm very happy to finally win this year, that was the most important thing for me, because I was practising very hard,' Kaymer added.

'I played very well the last few weeks and months, but it just did not happen for me on the golf course.

'I said to Craig, my caddy, we have to win one tournament every year and this is our last chance. Fortunately we could bring it home.'

Perth International: Live leaderboard

Perth International leaderboard: Keep up to date with the scores

The European Tour is in Australia this week for the inaugural Perth International.

Jason Dufner and Charl Schwartzel are two of the big names on show and you can keep track of all the latest scores right here.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE LEADERBOARD

Big gun: Charl Schwartzel is going for glory at the Perth International

Big gun: Charl Schwartzel is going for glory at the Perth International

Rory McIlroy loses to Tiger Woods in Turkey

McIlroy crashes out as Tiger wins battle to make semi-finals in Turkey

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UPDATED:

11:49 GMT, 11 October 2012

The eagerly-anticipated showdown between Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, washed out by a thunderstorm on Wednesday, proved something of a damp squib at the Turkish Airlines World Golf final.

McIlroy had lost both of his opening matches in Antalya – to Matt Kuchar and Charl Schwartzel – and needed to beat Woods and hope other scores and results went his way to have any chance of reaching the semi-finals.

But the world No 1 never looked like keeping his half of the bargain from the moment his tee shot on the first hole found a water hazard, the 23-year-old eventually carding a round of 70 to lose by six shots to Woods.

All smiles: But Tiger Woods had the last laugh against Rory McIlroy

All smiles: But Tiger Woods had the last laugh against Rory McIlroy

Schwartzel (63) beat Kuchar (65) in the other game in Group One to make it three wins out of three and set up a semi-final with Lee Westwood, who finished runner-up in Group Two after shooting a 64 to beat Hunter Mahan (69).

The best golf on a low-scoring day came from Justin Rose, who carded a nine-under-par 62 in beating Webb Simpson to top Group Two and set up a last-four clash with Woods.

McIlroy at least had the consolation of taking away 187,000 for his efforts, which works out at 863 per shot, so it was perhaps not surprising that he was not overly disappointed with his early exit.

'Not really, I've got an afternoon by the pool, I don't mind,' McIlroy said.

'I knew I was going to have an afternoon off anyway so I was just going out and playing. I never really had any expectations.

On form: Justin Rose shot a superb 62 to beat Webb Simpson on Thursday morning

On form: Justin Rose shot a superb 62 to beat Webb Simpson on Thursday morning

'I've treated this week as it's great to come here, nice weather, play a bit of golf, I get to spend some time with Caroline (Wozniacki) – I viewed it as a week like that. I didn't touch a club until the first day.'

Asked about the form of Woods, McIlroy added: 'I never say good shot as much as when I play with Tiger. He is so solid from tee to green and he basically didn't hole much out there today and still shot seven under.

'I've said it all year, he's there, he's playing well and he is going to win tournaments and contend in majors.'

Going strong: Lee Westwood made it through to the semi-final in Turkey

Going strong: Lee Westwood made it through to the semi-final in Turkey

Woods, who won just half a point from four matches in the Ryder Cup at Medinah, added: 'It felt good. I really hit the ball well and missed quite a few putts out there so it could have been a really low number.

'I got off to a quick start and Rory hit it into the water on the first and got behind the eight ball a little. Once I got a big enough lead I thought just make one more birdie and a few pars and it would put a lot of pressure on Rory to come back at me.'

Westwood admitted he had thought about shooting a sub-60 round after five birdies and an eagle – his drive on the short par-four fifth finished 10ft from the hole – on the front nine.

'I thought I had gone out in 29 but then realised it was a par-71 and I was out in 28,' Westwood said.

'A low number was going through my mind but then I hit a couple of poor shots on 10 and 11 and that blew that.'

Turkish Airlines World Golf Final: Live scoring

Turkish Airlines World Golf Final: Live scoring from Antalya

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UPDATED:

09:15 GMT, 9 October 2012

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are set for their latest head-to-head battle but they've got another half dozen of the world's best players for competition at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final.

The inaugural running of the big-money tournament – the winner pockets almost 1million – at the Atalya Golf Club also features Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, Justin Rose and Hunter Mahan.

Head to head: Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods

Head to head: Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods

The eight are separated into two groups of four, with everyone playing each other in their group over the first two days at medal matchplay (ie. the player with the best score over 18 holes wins).

The leading two in each group go forward to the semi-finals on Thursday, with the final on Friday.

CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THE LIVE SCORING
Group One

Rory McIlroy

Tiger Woods

Charl Schwartzel

Matt Kuchar

Group Two

Lee Westwood

Justin Rose

Hunter Mahan

Webb Simpson

Branden Grace wins Dunhill Links at St Andrews

Glory for Grace as in-form South African claims Dunhill title with course record

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UPDATED:

17:50 GMT, 7 October 2012

South Africa's Branden Grace won for the fifth time this year, capturing the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews by two shots from Dane Thorbjorn Olesen.

He began the week with a European Tour record-equalling 60 at Kingsbarns – the 3million pro-celebrity event is staged over three courses – and was never overtaken after that, finishing with a tournament record-equalling 22-under-par total and a first prize of 491,000.

Pure delight: Branden Grace maintained his good form by securing the Dunhill Links title at St Andrews

Pure delight: Branden Grace maintained his good form by securing the Dunhill Links title at St Andrews

Grace, who has risen from outside the world's top 300 to inside the top 40, said: 'It feels awesome.'

But if starting the final round with a four-stroke lead and ending it two ahead of Olesen sounds a comfortable day's work, then think again.

Bridge the gap: South African Grace

Bridge the gap: South African Grace

After the Pretoria golfer dropped a shot on the seventh, Olesen birdied the next two and when Grace three-putted the short 11th for another bogey they were level.

It was then, however, that he showed the class that had already brought him the Joburg Open, Volvo Champions, China Open and, on his home circuit last Sunday, the Origins of Golf titles in 2012.

Grace birdied the following three holes from 10, 12 and 14 feet and when Olesen bogeyed the next, the gap was back to four. Even then it was not a cruise to the line.

Olesen birdied the 16th and he bogeyed the Road Hole 17th, but when Olesen came up a fraction short with his eagle attempt through the Valley of Sin on the last, Grace had two putts for victory from four feet – and needed only one of them.

It made him the first wire-to-wire winner of the Tour season, but was the second time he has won back-to-back.

Like Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, Grace is a product of the Ernie Els Foundation and the current Open champion has already tipped him to be another major champion.

Winning at the Home of Golf, as Oosthuizen did in the 2010 Open, will do for the time being, though.

'I've really dreamt of this moment my whole life,' he said. 'I had goosebumps thinking this morning about Louis and the possibility of holding a trophy here myself.

'It was a tough day, but the putter started working and that's all I needed to do.'

Clearing the way: Grace hit the front early on in the tournament and never looked back

Clearing the way: Grace hit the front early on in the tournament and never looked back

Grace's caddie Zack Rasego was on Oosthuizen's bag two years ago and, after asking him to start reading the lines with him on the back nine, he took control again.

Using a new driver after his usual one cracked last week, Grace shot a closing 70, while Olesen's 68 left him two ahead of Swede Alex Noren.

Scot Stephen Gallacher, whose only Tour victory in nearly 400 starts came in the event eight years ago, finished in a seven-way tie for fifth after running up a quadruple-bogey eight at the 16th.

The 37-year-old, lying fourth on his own at the time, went to what he thought was his drive and hit it, only to discover it was actually the ball of Danny Willett's amateur partner Steve Halsall.

Almost great Dane: Thorbjorn Olesen came home in second after a spirited fightback

Almost great Dane: Thorbjorn Olesen came home in second after a spirited fightback

It cost Gallacher a two-stroke penalty and his was then found in the left-hand rough.

'It never even crossed my mind because he was looking 50 yards further up. Obviously I'm a bit disappointed, but what can you do'

He also incurred a penalty in Thursday's opening round when, in taking a practice swing, he clipped a divot and it hit his ball.

Ernie Els upsets old management – Charles Sale

Has Ernie another steal on his mind

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UPDATED:

23:36 GMT, 22 July 2012

Open champion Ernie Els is causing upset at his former management company, who fear he is trying to recruit some of their best players for his new agency.

Els left Chubby Chandler’s ISM a year ago to join the Florida-based ProsInc and he has kept close links with his South African compatriots at ISM — George Coetzee, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel — including offering them travel to tournaments in his private jet.

Open champ: Ernie Els may have another prize on his mind

Open champ: Ernie Els may have another prize on his mind

ISM also have conflict-of-interest concerns about Els working for ProsInc in such a way when still a leading player, and Chandler intends to have talks with his former client to clarify his intentions.

Chandler has responded to the threat of losing the South African quartet by devoting more resources to them.

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Meanwhile, commission claims made by another American golf agency, Gaylord, against ISM have been resolved. The claims related to ISM’s Oakley sunglasses sponsorship deal for Rory McIlroy set up before he switched to the Horizon agency.

The unhealthy stranglehold event agents IMG enjoy at Wimbledon and The Open was even more evident at Lytham than at SW19. The IMG-run online TV operation @the Open Live featured plenty of footage plugging the R&A’s seven patron partners, whose 1.4million-a-year sponsorship deals were set up in some cases — including Ralph Lauren Polo’s latest — by the omnipresent IMG.

Toilet surprise

The biggest surprise of The Open for Royal Lytham’s lady captain, Wendy Barnsley, was not anything that happened on the course but what confronted her in the women’s toilets in the clubhouse. Wendy walked in during the second day of the championship to find a man in a state of undress using the facility to change clothes. When asked what he was doing there, the intruder said he could change where he liked following the Equalities Act. Neither the club nor the R&A would comment yesterday.

Faldo switch

Sir Nick Faldo, who has changed wives and management at regular intervals, now has his American partner LeslieAnne Wade represent him through her company Wade Media Management. LeslieAnne is a former communications chief at CBS Sports for whom Faldo works as the lead golf pundit. As well as commentating for the BBC at The Open, Faldo will also be part of the Beeb’s Ryder Cup highlights coverage.

When work and home life meet: Nick Faldo

When work and home life meet: Nick Faldo

Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal famously lost his cool in the press conference after the American victory in 2008 against the Faldo-led Europeans. Olazabal, a vice-captain then, was defending Faldo’s heavily criticised leadership. How Olazabal handles the media will be an issue in Chicago. Faldo, for one, believes he will cope fine, saying the spat with the press four years ago was due to the Spaniard’s comments being ‘lost in translation’. Olazabal speaks perfect English.

Win double for Owen

Not only did his Manor House stables send out three winners at Haydock Park on Saturday but Michael Owen’s encounter there with golf agent and keen gambler Chubby Chandler led to a promise he would buy a horse off the footballer.

The next day Owen had a chance to sell his football wares when the out-of-contract striker had breakfast as a guest of Chandler with Bolton chairman Phil Gartside.

Winner: Michael Owen had some luck with the horses

Winner: Michael Owen had some luck with the horses

Well done Alliss

Credit to Peter Alliss — four words that don’t often appear in Sports Agenda — for his comment that the price of food and drink at The Open was ‘borderline disgraceful’. The R&A’s explanation for the rip-off is that a greenfield site means catering has to be brought in, adding to the cost.

Turkey shorts plan

The Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals in October, part of Istanbul’s 2020 Olympic bid, will have the eight-strong field wearing shorts, which is not allowed on the pro tour. Turkey wants to improve standards enough to have a player competing when golf joins the Olympics in 2016. World No 1 Luke Donald has withdrawn from the event because of his schedule.

Derek Lawrenson: Stars gear up for Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals

Stars on board as Turkey shoots for the Olympics

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 2 July 2012

McIlroy: Playing for big money

McIlroy: Playing for big money

The first shots in Turkey’s bid to stage the 2020 Olympics will be fired in October with an eight-man golf tournament featuring Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.

Keen to show they can stage a high-profile sporting event, this star-studded affair, recalling the great days of the World Match Play at Wentworth when all the top names turned up, ought to fit the bill.

Based on the world rankings on April 1, the only two members of the top eight to turn down a place were Martin Kaymer and Steve Stricker, to be replaced by Justin Rose and US Open champion Webb Simpson. The other two competing are Hunter Mahan and Charl Schwartzel.

Naturally, attracting those eight to the first Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals does not come cheap. Last place will be worth $300,000 (191,000), while the winner will take home $1.5million (957,000). Next year, they intend to hike the amounts to a $2.5m (1,595,000) first prize, the richest in golf.

Intriguingly, Woods will receive an extra fee. I understand a tie-up for the next three years will be announced with Turkish Airlines, with the American clearly seen as a key component of the country’s Olympic bid.

Golf, of course, will be an Olympic sport once more by 2020.

As you can imagine, this event, to be officially announced at The Open in a fortnight, has gone down like a lead balloon with the US and European Tours, who are not involved.

Who is going to be interested in the conflicting Portuguese Masters and the Frys.com Open in California when Sky could be showing a final between Woods and McIlroy As a sop to both tours, the event, beginning just nine days after the Ryder Cup, will finish on a Friday, so as not to affect weekend coverage.

Star attraction: Woods will play in Turkey

Star attraction: Woods will play in Turkey

As a spin-off, the first Turkish Open will hit the European Tour schedule next April.

Everybody could end up a winner, therefore. Rejoining the Olympic fold has delivered its first dividend.

Tiger lords it over the doubters

The last time golf was in a state of flux at the majors it was Tiger Woods who came along to usher in his period of dominance.

Could the same thing be about to happen again

They say winning tournaments is harder than ever but Woods, now 36, made it three wins from his last seven outings at the AT&T National on Sunday to continue his stunning revival.

Top of the US Tour money list and up to No 4 in the world rankings. How long before he dislodges Luke Donald at No 1

Naturally, he could not resist lording it over his critics. ‘I remember a time when people were saying I couldn’t win again,’ he said. ‘That was six months ago, and here we are.’ Indeed, the landscape has changed so dramatically that Woods will go into The Open at Lytham – where he shot 66 as an amateur in 1996 – as the strong favourite.

Closing in: Woods will hope to dislodge Donald as world No 1

Closing in: Woods will hope to dislodge Donald as world No 1

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He has one more tournament before then, this week at the Greenbrier, where Sam Snead was once head professional. With 74 US Tour victories, the only man now standing ahead of him on the all-time list just happens to be Snead, with 82.

Chances are, Woods will reach that total by the age of 40. If his right knee and achilles hold up, what price him managing 20 majors – he has 14 – and 100 tour wins

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

‘A massive thanks to all supporters and organisers at the Irish Open in Portrush. Best event I have ever played on the European Tour.’

Some compliment from Englishman Mark Foster, given he has played in more than 300 of them. But then, it was some week.

Waring feeling as safe as houses

Tell most players the wrist injury they are suffering from is so bad it could be a year before they play again and, quite understandably, they will think the roof has fallen in.

Paul Waring decided to build a roof instead. Or rather the 26-year-old, from Wirral, spent his time away from the game watching someone else do it as he oversaw the renovation of a dilapidated old house he had bought.

Now the house is a handsome home and Waring is also on the mend. At the Irish Open last week he played his first tournament for 13 months.

Naturally, he had no expectations and that might be one reason why he managed an amazing top-10 finish.

‘It just feels great to be playing again with no problems with my wrist,’ he said. ‘I kept myself busy with the house so I didn’t spend time worrying whether I would ever play again. Now the trick is to maintain that relaxed approach.’

In his younger days, Waring was a DJ in the clubs and bars in Liverpool specialising in house music. Now he has become a dab hand at house renovations.

Jason Dufner takes lead from Padraig Harrington in Florida

Dufner takes lead from Harrington on day two at Transitions Championships

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UPDATED:

00:15 GMT, 17 March 2012

Padraig Harrington was unable to follow up his stunning opening round at the Transitions Championship in Florida as he surrendered top spot to American Jason Dufner at the end of day two.

The Irishman carded a course-record 10-under-par 61 on Thursday, the lowest round of his career, but he could only make a two-over-par 73 after carding three bogies and just the one birdie.

That left the three-time major winner in joint second spot at the midway point of the tournament on eight under, two adrift of Dufner and level with William McGirt.

Tough day: Padraig Harrington

Tough day: Padraig Harrington

Dufner, still searching for his first PGA Tour win, recorded a second successive blemish-free round of 66 after picking up birdies at the first, third, fifth and nine to turn in 32, before adding another birdie on the 11th.
Dufner's compatriot McGirt added a 68 to his opening-day 66.

England's Luke Donald was one of five players tied for fourth spot on seven under par.

After turning in one over par, the world number two had a superb start to the back nine with four birdies in the opening five to lift him into contention.
Sergio Garcia was in the group on six under after his second consecutive 68, while Justin Rose is one shot further back after a 70.

Masters champion Charl Schwartzel failed to make the cut following another disappointing day as he followed up his 76 with a 73.