Tag Archives: howell

Tshwane Open – European Tour: Dawie van der Walt wins by two shots

Against the odds: World No 436 Van der Walt wins Tshwane Open on home soil

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

15:51 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

16:11 GMT, 3 March 2013

EUROPEAN TOUR LEADERBOARD

Click HERE for the Tshwane Open leaderboard

Dawie van der Walt claimed the biggest victory of his career to win the Tshwane Open by two shots ahead of fellow South African Darren Fichardt.

Another South African Louis De Jager was third a further shot back as Van der Walt picked up his first tour win of the season.

Van der Walt finished with a five under par 67 as he picked up his first win on the European Tour.

Champion: Dawie van der Walt lifts the trophy after winning the Tshwane Open by two shots

Champion: Dawie van der Walt lifts the trophy after winning the Tshwane Open by two shots

Champions: Dawie Van Der Walt lifts the trophy after winning the Tshwane Open by two shots

He was part of a four-way tie for the
lead at the start of the day with Fichardt, compatriot Charl Coetzee and
Chile's Mark Tullo

Coetzee and Fichardt went clear after
they birdied the second and third holes, but Van der Walt drew level
after he eagled the par four fourth.

Fichardt retook the lead after another
under par score on the fifth, but by the turn Van der Walt was in front
after consecutive birdies.

Dawie Van Der Walt

Dawie Van Der Walt

Winner: Van der Walt embraces second-placed Darren Fichardt (left) before celebrating with his caddie (right)

Tullo and Coetzee were out of the
picture after fading on the last nine, while a bogey on the 10th for Van
der Walt was negated by birdies at the 12th and 15th put him two clear.

It proved vital as he closed with three consecutive pars to seal the title.

'You can only imagine what it's like
to win such a big one,' Van der Walt told europeantour.com. 'I'm just
really happy that I played well and won, because you can play well and
not win.'

In the mix: England's David Howell finished tied for 10th on -14

In the mix: England's David Howell finished tied for 10th on -14

He added: 'You start doubting yourself and at
30-years-old you start to wonder if you're good enough and this shows me
that I am. I would have liked to win before 30, but I'll definitely
take this.

'Golf is a game where you don't get a lot of chances to win, and to do it is fantastic.

'I don't know what I'll do yet. The
purses are a lot bigger in The European Tour, so I'll have to rethink
some things. You can make your own schedule, which is important.

'I hit the ball really good and I
never really had to chip, which is not my strength. If you hit a lot of
greens and don't three-putt then you're going to do well.'

Scott Langley and Russell Henley share the lead at the Sony Open heading into the final round

Rookie pair Langley and Henley still setting the pace at the Sony Open in Honolulu

By
Aidan Mccartney

PUBLISHED:

11:13 GMT, 13 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:18 GMT, 13 January 2013

Rookie duo Scott Langley and Russell Henley share the lead at the Sony Open in Hawaii with the pair on 17 under par heading into the final round.

After starting the day two shots behind, Langley managed to draw level after making his fifth birdie of the day on the par four tenth before pulling ahead on 13.

A bogey on the 14th brought Langley back level, before a birdie on the next hole once again gave Langley the lead.

Joint leader: Scott Langley follows his shot off the first fairway during the third round of the Sony Open.

On song: Scott Langley follows his shot off the first fairway during the third round of the Sony Open

Russell Henley, left, and Scott Langley are tied for first place at 17 under going into the final round Sunday.

Leaders: Russell Henley (left) and Scott Langley are tied for first place at 17 under going into the final round

In contrast, his 23-year-old rival had a unremarkable round with three birdies including a four on the par five last to become the first player to reach 17 under par after 54 holes, while he also maintained his record of not dropping a shot in the tournament.

Sony Open leaderboard

Click here to see all the latest scores

Langley could have moved to 18 under but could not putt his birdie attempt from 11 feet on the 18th and had to settle for a share of the honours.

South African Tim Clark is three back as he went four under in his third round, while Charles Howell III and rookie Scott Gardiner are a further shot back.

It’s Gardiner’s first tour start and the 36-year-old Australian, who is the oldest rookie on the circuit, was more than pleased with his performance over the first three days.

Rookie: Scott Gardiner of Australia

Rookie: Scott Gardiner is four off the lead after hitting -13 during his first PGA Tour start

“It’s amazing what happens when expectations are not there,” he said. “I only hit balls once in the two weeks before the tournament because we had snow at Christmas and a couple days after.”

He played 195 Web.com Tour events for the last eight years, winning once before graduating, thanks to a 15th-place finish on last year’s money list with 234,000.

“I’ve been trying to remember some of the times I’ve played well on the Web.com Tour and that’s helped me a little,” he added. “All the years on the Web.com Tour have been fantastic so this is not as unfamiliar as it might be for other rookies.”

Rory Sabbatini follows his shot off the 18th fairway during the third round

Looking on: Rory Sabbatini watches his shot off the 18th fairway during the third round in Hawaii

Mansfield 2 Lincoln 1: match report

Mansfield 2 Lincoln 1: Stags scrape through to set up glamour tie with Liverpool

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UPDATED:

23:01 GMT, 12 December 2012

Louis Briscoe's late winner earned the Stags a bumper pay-day and a dream meeting with Premier League aristocrats Liverpool in Round Three.

The wide midfielder produced a neat finish to settle this replay 13 minutes from time as the Stags edged their way past Blue Square Premier rivals Lincoln City to set-up a classic tie against the five-time European Champions.

Briscoe sidefooted home after midfielder Anthony Howell had intelligently fed the ball into his path to leave home boss Paul Cox around 200,000 better off.

Big win: Mansfield celebrate victory over Lincoln in the FA Cup and will now face Liverpool

Big win: Mansfield celebrate victory over Lincoln in the FA Cup and will now face Liverpool

Match facts

Mansfield: Marriott, Beevers, Geohaghon, Dempster, Thompson (Sutton 46), Meikle, Howell, Clements, Briscoe, Green, Hutchinson (Rhead 61).

Subs Not Used: Speight, Wright, Murray, Stevenson, Daniel.

Booked: Howell.

Goals: Farman 14 og, Briscoe 77.

Lincoln City: Farman, Gilbert, Boyce, Miller, Gray, Smith (Larkin 81), Mills (Oliver 80), Fofana, Sheridan (Robinson 86), Power, Jamie Taylor.

Subs Not Used: Turner, Robson, Nicolau, Morgan.

Booked: Power.

Goals: Smith 41.

Att: 5,304

Ref: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey).

The FA Cup always throws up those ironies. And Imps' boss David Holdsworth was the unfortunate victim of one here.

The
former Sheffield United defender, now in charge of the Imps, was at
Mansfield when he signed Briscoe. How that winner must have hurt as the
well-travelled non-leaguer enjoyed his moment in spotlight.

In so
doing, he earned Mansfield only their third clash against the Reds. The
last one, in the League Cup, was 41 years ago. The crowd at the One
Call Stadium, were in raptures at the final whistle as the prospect of
welcoming Brendan Rodgers to their corner of north Nottinghamshire
became a reality.

Mansfield had already banked one windfall.
Money from televising this replay was already in the bank. And
broadcasters ESPN ensured this game went ahead in sub-zero temperatures
by spending 77,000 on a giant balloon to stop the pitch from freezing.

The
hosts rose to the occasion early on and were given the lead in the 15th
minute. Chris Clements' free-kick was floated into the area and John
Dempster rose highest. The header did not carry much power but it looped
onto the woodwork and entere the net, having first struck keeper Paul
Farman.

Lincoln's keeper made stops either side of Adam Smith's
superbly-taken 40th-minute equaliser to keep his team in it. They were
given a huge filip when the former Mansfield man broke beyond the home
rearguard before supplying a class finish, lobbing home keeper Alan
Marriott.

Winner: Louis Briscoe fires home Mansfield's second goal against Lincoln and celebrates (below)

Winner: Louis Briscoe fires home Mansfield's second goal against Lincoln and celebrates (below)

Louis Briscoe of Mansfield celebrates after he scores their second goal

But as the game headed towards extra time, Briscoe
decided the tie with a neat finish to bring set up a tie with the
Merseysiders – albeit this time no doubt in front of a larger fireside
audience in the New Year.

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox said: 'I'm
delighted for everyone involved with the club, the chairman, fans but
most especially the players.

'We have had some tough matches
against Lincoln and this was no exception, made more difficult if that
was possible, because of what was at stake.

'I think we deserved it overall and now we have the prospect of welcoming Liverpool which is great for everyone.'

Bo van Pelt wins Perth International

Van Pelt holds nerve to edge out Dufner and clinch maiden European Tour title in Perth

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UPDATED:

10:35 GMT, 21 October 2012

Bo van Pelt clinched his first victory on the European Tour with a two-shot triumph in the ISPS HANDA Perth International.

American Van Pelt came into the final day with a one-stroke lead after holing a 60-foot birdie putt on the 18th on Saturday and picked up a shot on the first on Sunday to set the tone for his round.

He finished on 16 under overall after carding a 68 to beat compatriot Jason Dufner by two shots, with first-round leader Alejandro Canizares three strokes further back in third.

Pretty in pink: Bo van Pelt celebrates winning the Perth International

Pretty in pink: Bo van Pelt celebrates winning the Perth International

'Jason and I had a great battle and played well. It definitely got tight there at the end but luckily for me I came out on top,' Van Pelt told the European Tour website.

'Lake Karrinyup was a great test of golf all week. It's been a battle; the wind blew, the greens were firm and fast, and it was just a joy to play all week.

'Whenever you get a lead you want to take advantage of it so it was nice to finish one off this week.'

Holding his nerve: Van Pelt beat his countryman Jason Dufner to the title

Holding his nerve: Van Pelt beat his countryman Jason Dufner to the title

Van Pelt demonstrated nerves of steel around the green and rolled in from 15 feet at the seventh to turn in 32, before picking up his fourth and fifth birdies of the day immediately afterwards.

He two-putted at the 15th to give Dufner hopes of catching up but Van Pelt birdied the next and another dropped shot at the 17th proved inconsequential after Dufner had bogeyed the 16th.

Paul Casey finished in a tie for fifth – alongside fellow Englishman David Howell, Scotland's Scott Jamieson and Rhys Davies of Wales – after a marvellous final round of 67.

Frustrated: Dufner finished two shots behind Van Pelt after their respective final rounds

Frustrated: Dufner finished two shots behind Van Pelt after their respective final rounds

The 35-year-old Casey has struggled for form this season after suffering a dislocated shoulder in a snowboarding accident last Christmas but is showing signs of getting back to his best and finished on eight under overall – one stroke behind fourth-placed Michael Hendry.

Emiliano Grillo leads Perth Invitational after two rounds

Grillo grabs surprise lead in Perth but American stars Dufner and Van Pelt lurk

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UPDATED:

11:59 GMT, 19 October 2012

Argentinian youngster Emiliano Grillo is the surprise halfway leader of the ISPS HANDA Perth International after a second-round 67.

The 20-year-old went into the week just focused on securing his European Tour card for next season, lying 112th in the Race to Dubai standings with the top 115 earning another year on tour.

But he leads by four shots after rounds of 66 and 67 at Lake Karrinyup and is now able to aim higher.

Frustration: Paul Casey couldn't maintain his fine form from day one as he slipped down the leaderboard

Frustration: Paul Casey couldn't maintain his fine form from day one as he slipped down the leaderboard

'I think I hit it better yesterday than today but a couple of eagles and a hole-out from the bunker helped a lot,' he told the European Tour website. 'I just want to have a good week. My goal this week was having a good one to keep my card for next year. If I can win, awesome.'

Perth International Leaderboard

Click here for all the latest scores

Both eagles came in a spectacular front nine as Grillo holed from a greenside bunker at the third before his second to the par-four ninth spun back into the hole. His five-under-par round also featured three birdies and two bogeys.

American Bo van Pelt and home player Jason Scrivener are Grillo's nearest challengers at seven under, Van Pelt recording an eagle and five birdies in a 67 while Scrivener's 69 contained five birdies and two dropped shots.

Roo beauty: Some local spectators watch Ryan Lynch tee off on the fourth hole on Friday

Roo beauty: Some local spectators watch Ryan Lynch tee off on the fourth hole on Friday

Another Australian, Max McCardle, is at six under alongside New Zealand's Michael Hendry, American Ryder Cup player Jason Dufner and Alejandro Canizares of Spain.

England's David Howell shot 68 to reach five under, in a large group sharing eighth place, and was keen to capitalise by sealing a place in the end of season DP World Tour Championship near his home in Dubai.

Howell is 71st in the Race to Dubai and a top-five finish in Perth would leave him in a top-60 place and on track to qualify.

'I have been working really hard to
make the top 60 and I've played really consistently the last two or
three months without any particularly good finishes,' he said.

'I'm going to have to have at least one good one if I'm going to make it, so hopefully I'll have a crack at it at the weekend.

'I live five miles from the course in Dubai and I've missed out the last few years, which is a bit frustrating.'

Compatriots Robert Coles and Richard Bland and Australians Peter Cooke and Stephen Dartnall are also at five under.

Former world No 3 Paul Casey briefly held a share of the lead before slipping back down the leaderboard.

Birdies galore: Josh Geary walks past a line of ducks on the third hole at Lake Karrinyup

Birdies galore: Josh Geary walks past a line of ducks on the third hole at Lake Karrinyup

Casey carded an opening 67 to lie two shots behind joint overnight leaders Hendry and Canizares and after two birdies in his first six holes on Friday, the former Ryder Cup star found himself in front.

However, Casey then dropped a shot at the 18th, his ninth hole, and worse was to come with a double-bogey six at the second. Another six followed on the par-five third and when he also bogeyed the fifth, Casey was on his way to an inward half of 40 and a halfway total of two under par.

Paul Lawrie in contention at European Masters

Lawrie remains in contention at European Masters as Quesne opens up lead

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UPDATED:

19:16 GMT, 31 August 2012

France's Julien Quesne moved into the lead of the Omega European Masters after he shot a second-round 65.

The 32-year-old moved ahead of England's Danny Willett with six under par for the day and nine under par overall to earn a one-shot lead.

Quesne, who claimed his maiden European Tour title at the Open de Andalucia Costa del Sol in March, fired seven birdies as he edged into the lead.

In touch: Paul Lawrie continued his fine form of late

In touch: Paul Lawrie continued his fine form of late

'I took a lot of pleasure from how I played today,' Quesne told www.europeantour.com.

'I hit so many good shots; I managed to stay calm and I holed a lot of putts.

'My final round in Andalucia was the best of my career, because it was under a lot of pressure. But today was probably my second best, because the conditions were very tough and I hardly missed a shot. So I'm very happy.'

Scotland's Paul Lawrie scored 66 to move into third ahead of Englishman David Howell, who mixed four birdies with three bogeys at Crans-sur-Sierre in the Swiss Alps.

Lawrie, part of the European Ryder Cup Team and the winner of last week's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, was satisfied with his current form.

Chance: Robert Coles

Chance: Robert Coles

He said: 'I played lovely again today, hit a lot of good putts – not all of them went in, but a fair few did. So I'm very happy with my day's work, despite the weather.

'A lot of guys don't like playing in the cold and the wet, but that plays into the hands of people like me who don't mind it.

'I've had a couple of decent sleeps, so I feel fine and raring to go. There's a nice, relaxed feel to this week anyway, which always helps.'

Tommy Fleetwood and Robert Coles were also six under par after the first two rounds, tied with Howell and Australian Marcus Fraser.

Frenchman Romain Wattel finished five under par for the day and was tied for eighth with Scotland's Richie Ramsay and three others at the end of the day's play.

Ramsay completed the course in a three-under 68 with five birdies and two dropped shots.

Overnight leader Gregory Bourdy had a miserable day, however. He picked up a shot at the first but carded five bogeys to score a four-over-par 75 and drop four shots off the lead.

David Howell leads as Lee Westwood falters in Paris

Howell of delight! Great days for David, but Westwood falters in Paris

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UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 7 July 2012

David Howell had what he described as 'the perfect Saturday' – but it was anything but for his stablemate Lee Westwood.

While Howell, down at 350th in the
world, charged into a share of the lead with a 67 at the Alstom French
Open, Westwood had an injury scare just 12 days before the start of The
Open at Royal Lytham.

The world number three tweaked a knee
and strained a groin when he slipped walking to the first tee for his
third round at Le Golf National near Paris.

Out in front: David Howell leads the field in Paris

Out in front: David Howell leads the field in Paris

It looked serious as he double-bogeyed the opening hole and bogeyed the next five, but with the pain easing he managed to play the remaining 12 holes in two under.

'I was talking to Richard Sterne's caddie and not looking where I was going,' Westwood told Sky Sports after a 76, his worst score in Europe for over three years.

'I slipped on wooden sleepers down the side of the cart path. My left foot went forward about two feet and my right foot stayed where it was.

'It felt like I strained something at the top of my right leg and tweaked my right knee as well.

'It seems to have eased off, but I am still a little bit wary of it.

Not looking good: Lee Westwood had a tough round after injuring himself

Not looking good: Lee Westwood had a tough round after injuring himself

'I felt if it stopped it might make it worse by seizing up, so I thought it was better to keep it moving.

'I didn't try to overdo it over the first few holes, but lost everything to the right – I couldn't put any weight on it. I don't know what I've done to it.'

Westwood planned to contact his trainer Steve McGregor for advice on whether to have treatment or just rest the injury.

The wooden sleepers around the course also played a part in Howell's round – in a good way.

His approach to the last only just carried the lake, landing on the sleepers and bounding forward on to the green.

Share of the lead: Anders Hansen is on six under par

Share of the lead: Anders Hansen is on six under par

After parring the hole to remain six under par, a total which only Dane Anders Hansen could match with a 69, Howell spoke of his delight.

'It was a great round,' said the 37-year-old former Ryder Cup star, who tumbled from ninth in the world in 2006 to 569th two years ago.

'Setting off in the top 10 you don't want to go backward. You want to move yourself into contention and that's the perfect Saturday.

All smiles: David Howell said his day was perfect

All smiles: David Howell said his day was perfect

'I had a nice bit of luck at the last. The seven-iron was my one really poor shot, but it went my way today and it scrambled over the water.

'I'm a long way from where I once was, but I've made six cuts in a row and it's been a long time since I've been able to say that.

'Obviously I don't measure success on cuts made, but it's good for the confidence.'

Howell, out in a two-under 34, added
further birdies on the 14th and short 16th just before play was halted
by a thunderstorm for the second day running.

Hansen and South African George Coetzee
were the players out in front at that point, but Hansen bogeyed the 16th
and 17th and Coetzee three-putted the 16th and 18th.

He is alone in third place only one behind, while halfway leader Marcel Siem shot 73 to fall back to joint fourth with French hope Raphael Jacquelin.

Ian Poulter stayed in the hint with a 69.

It moved him up from 14th to sixth alongside Swede Henrik Stenson and they are only three back.

There is also an Open Championship spot up for grabs and Howell, Siem and Stenson are all involved in the fight for that.

Crawley v Stoke live

FA CUP LIVE: Crawley v Stoke – all the action from the Broadfield Stadium as it happens

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the FA Cup as Crawley host Stoke at the Broadfield Stadium to start Sunday's fifth round action. The League Two side are the lowest ranked side left in the competition but will fancy an upset against their out-of-form Premier League opponents.

FA Cup fifth round

Crawley Town v Stoke City

Crawley Town: Gilmartin, Howell, Mills, Davis, Hunt, Torres, Bulman, McFadzean, Simpson, Barnett, Watt.

Subs: Kuipers, Akpan, Wilson, Akinde, Wassmer, Neilson, Wickham.

Stoke: Begovic, Shotton, Collins, Shawcross, Upson, Delap, Whitehead, Whelan, Walters, Crouch, Jerome.

Subs: Nash, Jones, Fuller, Wilson, Diao, Etherington, Wilkinson.

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

2min: Early pressure for the hosts who have already won two corners. The ground is bathed in that late Winter/early Spring sort of sunshine that always seems to be right in your eyeline. Tough for the keepers.

KICK OFF: Here we go…

11.58: Right, teams and officials are making their way out onto the pitch. Problems with the ESPN outside broadcast means we have no sound from the commentators. Real test of my Crawley Town knowledge on the way.

11.50: Here's the team news from Broadfield Stadium: Stoke have named a strong-looking side for today's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Crawley.

Peter Crouch and Cameron Jerome start in attack for the Potters, who make six changes to the side that suffered a Europa League defeat to Valencia on Thursday.

The hosts have handed on-loan Watford goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin his debut and is one of two alterations to the side that lost 3-0 to Swindon, with the cup-tied Billy Clarke replaced by Josh Simpson.

11.36: Tony Pulis has been at pains to emphasise just how much respect he will be showing the Crawley Side today.

And striker Peter Crouch is resigned to being singled out for abuse about his height and has admitted the verbals tends to be worse at venues like Crawley's 5,000-capacity Broadfield Stadium.

'When there are 40,000 people in the ground, you can block it out,' he said. 'But the worst are the smaller grounds. You can hear everything, and I think I'm going to need some earplugs.'

11.30am: Morning everyone. Surely you've seen enough of the Dereck Chisora v David Haye post-fight brawl, right*

Good, let's get on with the football. Three FA Cup ties today and we start with arguably the most interesting. The lowest ranked side remaining in the competition, facing Barclays Premier League opposition. What's not to like

The League Two outfit are spending their first ever season in the Football League but are well into their second super Cup campaign.

Town were the first non-League club to reach the Fifth Round for 17 years last season when they narrowly lost 1-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford. And Stoke aren't in the best vein of form, are they

I'll bring you all the action as it happens and you can fire your thoughts in this direction: EMAIL or TWITTER. Many thanks.

*If you haven't seen the footage, click here.

Out to make a point: Kenwyne Jones has scored only four goals for Stoke this season

Out to make a point: Kenwyne Jones has scored only four goals for Stoke this season

Robert Rock at ease after beating Tiger Woods in Abu Dhabi

Rock star who feels at home on the range after gunning down Woods in Abu Dhabi

Since staring down Tiger Woods to win in Abu Dhabi, Robert Rock has signed a deal with a six-star hotel and spent a night sleeping in his car.

He has also received the acclaim of one of his golfing heroes while tidying up at the driving range where he used to work full time.

No matter how great the rush to proclaim him the game’s next ‘Rock star’, the humble world from which he came resolutely refuses to give way. Refreshingly, the 34-year-old who might be the personification of the down-to-earth Midlander wouldn’t have it any other way.

Winner: Robert Rock is congratulated by Tiger Woods following his victory in Abu Dhabi

Winner: Robert Rock is congratulated by Tiger Woods following his victory in Abu Dhabi

One minute he’s lacing his sentences with thoughts that ooze drive and ambition; the next he’s saying he’ll never give up having a couple of pints after a round for fear he’d lose touch with normality.

After a week off he’s back on duty at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic today, and it’s fully in keeping with his new status that he’ll accompany world No 2 Rory McIlroy and defending champion Alvaro Quiros for the first two rounds.

The reception on the practice ground has been nothing less than wall-to-wall backslapping, although it’s typical Rocky that the highlight was a choice example of the mordant wit of David Howell.

‘Well done, but be careful. I beat him once too,’ said Howell, once the world No 10 who defeat-ed Woods in similar fashion in Shanghai in 2006 but has spent the past few years keeping his head just above oblivion.

Forty-eight hours after his victory, Rock was back at the Swingers Golf Centre in Lichfield where he learned his trade. Somebody brought in a DVD of the final day so he got to see the best bits.

‘A bit embarrassing because it was on a loop all day, but I had some tidying up to do at the academy,’ he said.

On a run: Rock was in sensational form in Abu Dhabi

On a run: Rock was in sensational form in Abu Dhabi

Rock was referring to the teaching academy he now has on site, which employs four pros. One of the things they do is go into the area’s schools offering free lessons and the headlines following Rock’s victory can only help the take-up rate.

Driving down to London on his way here last Saturday, he got stuck in the chaos in the snow on the M25. So much for the glamour world. Here he found himself watching people building snowmen on the motorway.

‘Very weird,’ he said. ‘After a while I just put the seat back and slept for a few hours.’

Now he’s back in his other world. Yesterday he agreed a two-year deal to represent the uber-opulent Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. ‘It must be the best hotel in the world,’ he said, with such a lack of PR gush you honestly took him at his word.

He also accompanied it with a brilliant anecdote. /02/08/article-0-11829EAA000005DC-763_233x423.jpg” width=”233″ height=”423″ alt=”Silver service: Rock poses with his cherished trophy” class=”blkBorder” />

Silver service: Rock poses with his cherished trophy

Only Ian Poulter among the top British pros has stories like these and has completed this ridiculous journey against all odds. It probably explains why Rock’s victory captured so many people’s imagination, including Sir Nick Faldo’s. He was in the gym at the time but emailed to say he couldn’t take his eyes off the television screen.

‘He sent me a picture of him watching me, which was slightly strange, but I’m not going to knock him. He’s always been one of my heroes,’ said Rock.

Having shown that his best golf is as good as anybody’s, can he now follow it up He stands at 58th in the world, which gets him into the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona in a fortnight but not the Masters. He needs to climb into the top 50 to achieve that.

‘I’m secretly pleased I have the fabulous incentive of needing to kick on to get to Augusta,’ he said. ‘If I was already in the field for the Masters, it might have been difficult to get myself going. Now I’ve got all the motivation in the world — and my birthday falls on the day of the second round. Wouldn’t that be something to celebrate it at the Masters’

Among those who congratulated him on the practice ground on Tuesday was European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal, and making his team for this year’s match is another target that has moved deliciously into view.

So to today’s first round, where he lines up alongside McIlroy. ‘Do I feel like I’ve won the lottery Yeah, that’s about right,’ he said.

Jeff Maggert and Matt Every lead the way Sony Open

Maggert rolls back the years to join Every at top of leaderboard in Hawaii

Veteran Jeff Maggert joined overnight leader Matt Every on top of the leaderboard and two shots ahead of the pack at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Maggert, 47, signed for a six-under score of 64 to reach 12 under for the tournament and was alone at the summit until Every birdied on the 18th green to join him.

Maggert won his third and last PGA title in May 2006 but is now firmly in contention heading into the final round.

Top: Jeff Maggert will fight it out for the Sony Open title in the final round

Top: Jeff Maggert will fight it out for the Sony Open title in the final round

He picked up his first birdie of the day at the fourth and then kickstarted his round on the par-five ninth with an eagle three.

Three more birdies followed on the back nine, with no dropped shots in the round.
Every, carrying a two-shot lead into the day's play, started disappointingly with a bogey at the second.

But he soon located his form and birdied at six, seven and nine to take the front nine in two under.

He did not carry that hot streak on, though, and was level after the turn when he collected a stroke on the 16th and regained it with four shots on 18th.

In with a shout: Matt Every now shares the lead but will fancy his chances

In with a shout: Matt Every now shares the lead but will fancy his chances

A group of three lie in wait on 10 under and Johnson Wagner, Brendon de Jonge and Charles Howell III will all be hoping to make their move tomorrow.

Wagner and Howell both took 66 shots on the day, with De Jonge five shots shy of his stunning second round 62.

DA Points and Duffy Waldorf are tied for sixth on nine under, with a further 11 players another shot back.

Yesterday's second-placed pair of Carl Pettersson and David Hearn are both in that group after losing ground with level-par 70s.