Tag Archives: clubhouse

Texas Open – PGA Tour: Rory McIlroy shoots five-under second round to move two shots behind the lead

Rory's back in the groove! McIlroy shoots five-under second round to close in on Texas lead

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

23:55 GMT, 5 April 2013

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UPDATED:

00:06 GMT, 6 April 2013

LIVE LEADERBOARD

Click HERE for the latest scores from the Texas Open in San Antonio

Rory McIlroy allayed fears about the state of his game by storming into contention at the Valero Texas Open.

With the Masters just days away, the world No 2 shot a five-under-par 67 to follow his even-par opening round, and move three behind leader Billy Horschel in San Antonio.

The Northern Irishman was a late entry for this tournament as he desperately sought to play himself into form for Augusta, and by the looks of today's performance he has done precisely that.

Strong showing: Rory McIlroy carded a five-under round of 67 to finish three shots off the lead in San Antonio

Strong showing: Rory McIlroy carded a five-under round of 67 to finish three shots off the lead in San Antonio

Improvement: McIlroy started the day at level par after his opening round 72

Improvement: McIlroy started the day at level par after his opening round 72

He finished off with birdies at 16, 17 and 18 to make an already good round a quite excellent one, tying with Charley Hoffman and KJ Choi for the lowest score of the day.

McIlroy had a 25-foot eagle putt at the last to go into a share of the lead, and he put it close, but he would have settled for five under at the start of the round and made sure of that by tapping in from inside a foot.

Charley Hoffman, Daniel Summerhays and Steven Bowditch were in the clubhouse on six under, before back-to-back birdies from Horschel moved him two clear at eight-under.

In his stride: McIlroy entered at late notice

In his stride: McIlroy entered at late notice

Leader: Billy Horschel moved to eight-under-par

Leader: Billy Horschel moved to eight-under-par

Meanwhile, Ian Poulter’s attempt to use the Valero Texas Open to help get ready for the Masters threatened to leave him even more short of confidence instead.

Europe’s Ryder Cup hero, who has slipped outside the world top 10, went almost immediately to the driving range to do more work after his second round 75 left him one over for the tournament, just inside the cut.

Poulter tweeted: ‘On the range giving myself a talking to. I was utter dog meat today. Absolutely disgraceful off the tee. But I can still win. No mistakes.’

Struggle: Ian Poulter carded a round of 75 to end day two one-over-par

Struggle: Ian Poulter carded a round of 75 to end day two one-over-par

Struggle: Ian Poulter carded a round of 75 to end day two one-over-par

Later he added: ‘I hit two out of 14
fairways. That’s just simply s***. I’m so mad it’s crazy. Just hit 100
drives on the range and sorted it.’

He drove into the rough at the first hole and missed two short putts, then it got worse as he double-bogeyed the second.

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.'

Mario Balotelli"s brother sees how the other half live in Salford

Balotelli's brother sees how the other half live in Salford

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UPDATED:

22:14 GMT, 17 November 2012

Sign here: Mario Balotelli's brother Enoch has joined Salford City

Sign here: Mario Balotelli's brother Enoch has joined Salford City

Mario Balotelli was left out of Manchester City's match-day squad again yesterday and a resounding 5-0 win over Aston Villa suggests it may be a while before he is back, but Salford City could certainly do with some of the old Balotelli magic.

They have signed Mario's 20-year-old brother Enoch, but a 2-0 home defeat in Saturday's Evo-Stik North League Division One North game against Ossett Town, watched by a crowd of 84, suggests there is much work to be done.

Enoch's modest new stage is five miles from where Mario struts his stuff at the Etihad Stadium but their careers are light years apart. While Italy forward Mario, 22, performs in front of 45,000 at the home of the Barclays Premier League champions, and has been nominated alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for this year's world Ballon D'Or, mid-table Salford's average gate at Moor Lane is 150.

Salford players earn between 30-75 a week compared to Super Mario's 7million a year, and funds have been tight following an arson attack on their clubhouse in 2009, well before Mario's more innocent firework antics before the 2011 Manchester derby.

Enoch has been Mario's companion since joining City from Inter Milan in 2010 and was given a 55,000 Porsche to get around town. While Mario uses the Balotelli name of their foster parents, Salford registered his striker brother as Enoch Barwuah, the surname of their Italian-Ghanaian birthparents.

US Open 2012: View from the Olympic clubhouse

View from the Olympic clubhouse: Rory in the rough

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UPDATED:

23:36 GMT, 15 June 2012

There won't be a more mind-boggling statistic in golf this year than this: Rory McIlroy missed more greens in regulation in the first round here (12) than he did in 72 holes at Congressional last year (10). After all those records he set 12 months ago, it's safe to pronounce Olympic Rory-proofed.

Out of it: Rory McIlroy hits a shot from a bunker

Out of it: Rory McIlroy hits a shot from a bunker

Gong wrong

Given all his achievements, it was a shame the honours list confirming world No 1 Luke Donald as an MBE coincided with his poor first round here. It doesn't stand for Major Breakdown Early, does it

The Top 60 not half

Making the halfway cut just got a whole lot harder at the US Open. Previously, anyone within 10 shots of the lead got to play both rounds at the weekend. This year, that rule has been scrapped. Now just the top 60 and ties will play on.

Wat a shot: It was only the third albatross in US Open history

Wat a shot: It was only the third albatross in US Open history

Peter who

Two hours after an albatross from Nick Watney on Thursday, the US Golf Association put out some details. They said it was the second successive albatross in a major, following Peter (sic) Oosthuizen's at the Masters. Not a statement worth waiting for, then.

St Jude Classic 2012: Rory McIlroy makes solid start

Rory's lift! McIlroy prepares for US Open defence with solid opening at St Jude

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UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 7 June 2012

Rory McIlroy produced a welcome return to form ahead of his US Open title defence next week with a solid opening round in the St Jude Classic in Memphis.

The 23-year-old world No 2, who went into the event low on confidence after missing his last three cuts, fired a two-under-par 68 to trail early clubhouse leader Jeff Maggert by two strokes.

Shaping up nicely: McIlroy is building up to his US Open defence

Shaping up nicely: McIlroy is building up to his US Open defence

Perhaps it helped McIlroy playing with two other Irishmen with Padraig Harrington, from the republic, also firing a 68 but Graeme McDowell, like McIlroy from the North and the US Open winner in 2010, struggling to a 75.

Irish eyes: McIlroy was joined by old friends Harrington and McDowell

Irish eyes: McIlroy was joined by old friends Harrington and McDowell

Magnus Carlsson leads Nordea Masters after first round

Home boy Carlsson outshines Westwood and Hanson to take lead at Nordea Masters

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UPDATED:

18:15 GMT, 6 June 2012

Magnus Carlsson produced a stunning round of 65 to open up a two-shot lead on day one of the Nordea Masters in Stockholm.

The 31-year-old sank eight birdies to go round the course in seven under, although his mood was dampened slightly by a bogey on the last hole.

Carlsson was one of four Swedes on the leaderboard at Bro Hof as the local favourites made the most of home advantage.

Swede dreams: Lee Westwood tees off on the 16th hole at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club in Stockholm

Swede dreams: Lee Westwood tees off on the 16th hole at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club in Stockholm

Peter Hanson was in a group of four players tied for second on five under, with five birdies sitting alongside a single bogey on his card.

Nordea Masters leaderboard

Click here to view a live leaderboard

England's Richard Bland, the early
clubhouse leader, also completed his round in 67, mixing eight birdies
with a bogey and a double bogey on the par-five 13th.

'To shoot five under round this course at anytime is good,' said Bland, ranked 661 in the world, on www.europeantour.com. 'I had a bit of an up and down start but I kicked it into gear around the turn which made the day really.

Leader: Magnus Carlsson of Sweden

Leader: Magnus Carlsson of Sweden

'I played the front nine, which was my back nine, pretty solidly, so the game's in pretty good shape.'

Bland's compatriot Matthew Baldwin also put on a solid display of six birdies and a bogey to finish the day five under, along with Spain's Ignacio Garrido.

World No 3 Lee Westwood led a group of eight players on four under, alongside Swedish pair Michael Jonzon and Robin Wingardh.

The Worksop golfer made a flying start with birdies at the first, second and fifth, adding another shot on the par-three 11th.

He then bogeyed the 14th but sank another birdie on the final hole to shot a four-under 68.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia carded a round
of 69, one better than England's Ross Fisher who signed for a two-under
70 with birdies at the first and 13th.

Fisher
missed out on the Wales Open title last weekend after being hit with a
one-stroke penalty and 6,000 fine for slow play when only one off the
lead with four holes to play.

Defending champion Alex Noren was in the same starting group as Westwood but had to settle for a two-over 74.

The only way over The 17th hole at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club has an island green

The only way over The 17th hole at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club has an island green

Tiger Woods in danger of missing cut at Wells Fargo Championships

Tiger in trouble as he faces missing the cut in North Carolina

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UPDATED:

23:34 GMT, 4 May 2012

Tiger Woods was in danger of missing the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship on Friday night, but Rory McIlroy’s hopes of winning back the world No 1 spot remained very much alive.

Woods shot a one-over 73, leaving him level for the tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina. The cut looked like coming at one under when Woods finished, raising the prospect of an early exit.

The same could not be said for McIlroy. Chasing a top-seven finish to dethrone Luke Donald at the top of the rankings, he shaved four shots off par to be six under.

Missing out: Tiger Woods looks like he could miss the cut

Missing out: Tiger Woods looks like he could miss the cut

The clubhouse leader was Nick Watney, who carded a 64 to be 12 under, despite dropping a shot on the 13th. Webb Simpson trailed him by one, with Stewart Cink and Ben Crane a further stroke down.

Former world No 1 Lee Westwood shot a level-par 72 to stand one under for the tournament.

Clubhouse leader: Nick Watney is out in front

Clubhouse leader: Nick Watney is out in front

Meanwhile, four birdies in the last six holes swept France’s Gregory Bourdy into the lead on the second day of the Spanish Open in Seville.

Joint 37th after an opening 73, Bourdy burst to five under par with a brilliant six-under 66 and took over the lead from American Shaun Micheel, who crashed to a 77.

That left Bourdy one shot ahead of English duo Simon Dyson and Robert Rock.

Rory McIlroy to regain No 1 spot as Luke Donald struggles in South Carolina

McIlroy to regain top spot as Donald struggles in South Carolina

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UPDATED:

19:07 GMT, 15 April 2012

Luke Donald will lose his world number one ranking to Rory McIlroy after finishing the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on two over par.

Donald, who closed with a second successive level-par 71, needed to finish in the top eight at Harbour Town to retain top spot, but was way back in joint 43rd when he completed his round.

Back on top: Rory McIlroy has regained his place at the top of the world rankings

Back on top: Rory McIlroy has regained his place at the top of the world rankings

The Englishman lost a play-off to Brandt Snedeker at the same venue last year, but he was never in contention this time around following his opening-round 75.

Sunday's final round also started badly with a double-bogey six on the first, but birdies on the fifth and sixth helped Donald salvage some respectability.

Losing his way: Luke Donald shot two over par in South Carolina

Losing his way: Luke Donald shot two over par in South Carolina

At least eight players were already ahead of him in the clubhouse with the leaders only recently under way.

Sweden's Carl Pettersson topped the leaderboard on 13 under par after three holes, three shots ahead of American Zach Johnson (through four).

MASTERS 2012: Arnold Palmer at Augusta

Palmer recovering well as legend makes appearance at Augusta ahead of Masters

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UPDATED:

21:58 GMT, 3 April 2012

Arnold Palmer was well enough to be at Augusta on Tuesday, two weeks after being hospitalised.

The 82-year-old missed presenting Tiger Woods with the trophy from his own tournament at Bay Hill on March 25 because of high blood pressure.

Palmer was expected to be at the annual Masters champions dinner ON Tuesday and to act as honorary starter with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player on Thursday.

Legend: Arnold Palmer took a visit to Augusta ahead of the Masters

Legend: Arnold Palmer took a visit to Augusta ahead of the Masters

That involves hitting a ceremonial opening drive each at 7.40am before retiring to the clubhouse.

Palmer also had the opportunity to take part in Wednesday's nine-hole par three competition, but that remained to be seen.

Six Nations 2012: Sam Warburton exclusive

EXCLUSIVE: Warburton: Granddad's death helped draw line under red card

The best openside flanker in the world dips his head to fit through the wooden door frame of his old clubhouse and introduces himself to the locals as 'Sam'. It is the most unnecessary introduction in the history of introductions.

Sam Warburton is the 23-year-old captain of Wales who has fronted one of the most famous assaults on World Cup glory, established himself as the stand-out candidate to lead the next Lions tour and is consistently hailed by his coach Warren Gatland as the best in the business.

'I was sat next to Warren when he first said that,' he groans. 'It was two days before the South Africa match at the World Cup. People were going on about the Southern Hemisphere sevens and Warren put that statement out there. I was sat there thinking in my head “no pressure then” and I started sweating. He didn't tell me he was going to say it.'

Sam's the man: Wales head into the Six Nations with one of the planet's most exciting players leading them

Sam's the man: Wales head into the Six Nations with one of the planet's most exciting players leading them

If Warburton's talent ever met his ego in a dark alley, it would not be a fair fight. Two days later, on the same night certain England players were hitting the bars of Queenstown, Warburton was hitting Springbok after Springbok. He made a quarter of his side's tackles in that match and earned worldwide admiration.

'My parents always say the bigger the game the better I play. Certainly the more I enjoy it and the less nervous I am.

'The least nervous I've been for any match was the semi-final against France. It's quite strange, inversely proportional, but you relish the big battles. There's no point in playing duff teams and duff players. I've such a competitive nature you want to be the best in the world.'

Tipping the balance: Warburton's now infamous tackle on Vincent Clerc which earned him a red card

Tipping the balance: Warburton's now infamous tackle on Vincent Clerc which earned him a red card

The semi-final will always be remembered for the tip tackle on Vincent Clerc and the red card that followed. But for Warburton, the story has moved on. While Wales mourned a lost shot at the Web Ellis Cup, he lost his grandfather before Christmas and gained some perspective.

'When I came home, I went to London with my girlfriend Rachel,' he says. 'The first guy we saw at the hotel took our bags upstairs and, as he turned to leave the room, he said: “/02/03/article-2096149-0E49007E00000578-986_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Best in the business: Warren Gatland hailed his captain before the World Cup” class=”blkBorder” />

Best in the business: Warren Gatland hailed his captain before the World Cup

'They are my parents' dogs, Gus and Ted (after Tottenham legends Poyet and Sheringham), but I don't want to get my own while they're still alive because it would feel like I'm cheating on them. I can't have them seeing me with another dog.'

He is just as engaging off the topic of rugby. If he isn't drumming topless during a jam session with his mates, he is dreaming about being reincarnated as a turtle. Seriously.

'I haven't drummed for a while, but I need to get back into it,' he says. 'I couldn't have been a rock star though I can play with my top off and get a sweat on. That's as far as it goes. I'll have a jam with my mates. He'll make up a riff and I'll come in or vice versa, only messing around.

'I watch quite a bit of Discovery Channel in my time off too and I liked Blue Planet. Rachel got me the series for Christmas and they were doing a bit on the turtle. After all the pressures of playing rugby, if I could be reincarnated, a nice, placid life as a turtle in the ocean sounds ideal.'

You could say Warburton took to captaincy like a turtle to water. His interpretation of leadership is compelling.

'You get some captains who will talk at every opportunity in a meeting and give you all the cliches all week. But if I was a player I wouldn't remember what somebody said to me on Monday morning after a session. If there's something to be said I'll say it but I won't just talk for the sake of talking. I don't want to try to act like a captain, I want to be myself.

Back to action: Warburton is hungry for Six Nations success after the heartache he experienced in New Zealand

Back to action: Warburton is hungry for Six Nations success after the heartache he experienced in New Zealand

'The players know my style. It probably took them a while to get used to it, and they probably thought I was a bit quiet but they are used to it now. Being a senior player doesn't mean you're the oldest, it means you're an experienced, consistent performer. We've got lots of them which is what makes my job quite easy.'

A significant factor to Wales' success — besides a bucket of talent, pace and power — has been their unique physical conditioning. They were without question the fittest side at the World Cup.

'We call it “putting it in the bank”', he says. 'When you're in that dark place in a match and you're struggling, you just think back to a tough session in Poland and it helps you get through because you've been to a worse place and survived.

Up for the cup: Warburton with coach Gatland

Up for the cup: Warburton with coach Gatland

'Going on the beach at -10 for sprints on the sand with the chill coming off the sea was brutal. I had five layers on, gloves and a beanie hat and when it finished I was still cold.

'But it gives us confidence and I know everyone is expecting great things from us. You walk past the Millennium Stadium and they've got the three fixtures, the last of which is Wales v France which is already sold out because people anticipate it will be a Championship game. That's where the Welsh public are at. But you're going to have highs and lows, you're not going to be at the top of your game for 10 years.'

The Warburton fan club seems to transcend all generations. The interview is interrupted twice, first by a flock of elderly ladies who want photographs, and finally by a class of screaming eight-year-old girls.

They see Warburton walk past the window of their school and start singing to him in perfect unison. It is a song they have been practising for singing class, according to the teacher, who emerges blushing from the classroom.

The song is Cee Lo Green's 'Forget You'. Somehow, I don't think Wales will.

Sam Warburton is supporting NatWest RugbyForce, the community volunteer programme that is improving club facilities. To register your club in Wales visit natwest.com/rugbyforce and to register in England and Scotland visit rbs.com/rugbyforce.