Tag Archives: medinah

MASTERS 2013 BETTING GUIDE: Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar among our top tips for Augusta glory

MASTERS BETTING GUIDE: McIlroy and Kuchar among our top tips for Augusta glory

and the likeable 34-year-old, with his length off the tee and touch on the greens, can go close again.

Already a winner this year at the Accenture Match Play, Kuchar is 40-1 with Bwin.

Ian Poulter

Lee
Westwood, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose led the English charge with
top-10 finishes last year and a case can be made for all three this time round.

Westwood has settled well since moving to America and Justin Rose is up to No 3 in the world but our money is on Poulter.

Don't
expect the fist pumps and bulging eyes from Medinah but if he can play
like he did at the Ryder Cup he can better last year's seventh place.

Get on him at 40-1 (widely available) and take advantage of Coral offering 11-2 on him being top Englishman.

Augusta
National is often a graveyard for rookies – Fuzzy Zoeller was the last
man to win here on his first visit and that was way back in 1979.

Eighteen
debutants tee it up this Thursday and bookies have Nicolas Colsaerts at
the head of the betting for this market. We won't be arguing.

The
Belgian bomber has been like a kid in a sweetshop since driving down
Magnolia Lane for the first time and while a Green Jacket might be too
much to ask, expect his to still be wearing that big grin on Sunday
night. He's 5-1 to be top rookie.

* All prices correct at time of publication – subject to change

Paul McGinley named Ryder Cup captain for Europe at Gleneagles in 2014 ahead of Colin Montgomerie

Player power sinks Monty! It's Rory's choice as McGinley is named Ryder Cup captain

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McGinley has never been involved in a losing Ryder Cup side.

European Tour wins: Four (plus five other professional titles).

Best finish in a major: Tied sixth at the 2004 US PGA Championship.

P.S. In the 2009 and 2011 Seve Trophy, McGinley was the winning captain of Great Britain and Ireland over Continental Europe.

But it was McIlroy and the rest of
the miracle makers at Medinah who held sway; McIlroy's intervention on
Twitter last December that turned everything McGinley's way.

Where he went, other critical voices
followed, such as Luke Donald, Justin Rose and the hero in the last
match in America, Ian Poulter.

Thomas Bjorn, chairman of the
Players' Committee, said: 'Our players on tour wanted us to make this
choice and we listen to our players.'

As so often these days, McIlroy was
spot on with his judgment. McGinley might not have the star persona of
other captains but this was a deserved victory for a decent man who will
leave no stone unturned in his quest to complete a successful defence.

Never have you seen a golfer look
more proud than the 46-year-old Dubliner, who becomes the first Irish
captain in Ryder Cup history.

'I am obviously thrilled and also
feel very humbled to become the captain and I'm relishing the chance to
go up against one of my all-time gol f ing heroes i n Amer ican skipper
Tom Watson,' he said.

'I thought I had a strong hand
because I had the support of the players and, obviously, when the new
star of golf is so vocal in your favour, that is very gratifying as
well. If Rory doesn't make the team I think he has got a good chance of
getting a pick.'

All smiles: McGinley at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Tuesday ahead of this week's championship

All smiles: McGinley at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Tuesday ahead of this week's championship

McGinley on the course

The kingmaker was in the back of the
room to see his nominee gain his due, as was another architect of
Ireland's wondrous recent success on the world stage – McGinley's
long-time friend and golfing partner, Padraig Harrington.

'I couldn't be more thrilled for him,
he's a dogged man with a real passion for team golf and I think he will
be a brilliant captain,' said Harrington. One of the first to send his
congratulations was Watson.

'Paul is a class act,' he said.
Ironically enough, given what transpired, it was Montgomerie who gave
McGinley his first stab at captaincy, when he invited him to become
Britain and Ireland skipper at the 2009 Seve Trophy.

One of the team members was McIlroy.

'Paul made me feel so comfortable from the start,' said McIlroy.

'He makes you feel so good about
yourself. He put me out as No 1 and I was so determined to deliver a
point for him. He is the best captain I have ever played under.'

McGinley has fewer tournament wins in
526 European Tour starts than Watson has triumphs in The Open – four to
five – but it matters little.

Common sense: Rory McIlroy was pleased with the decision to install McGinley

Common sense: Rory McIlroy was pleased with the decision to install McGinley

More Twitter reaction

EUROPE

IAN POULTER (Ryder Cup specialist, looking to make his fifth appearance next year): 'Paul Mcginley Ryder Cup captain truly really happy that he has given the opportunity to captain the 2014 Ryder Cup team.'

RORY McILROY (World No 1, and McGinley's biggest supporter for the job): 'Common sense prevailed in the end…. Paul McGinley 2014 European Ryder Cup captain!!! Couldn't be happier for him… Roll on Gleneagles'

EDOARDO MOLINARI (Italian who played in the 2010 match): 'I am sure that Paul will be a fantastic captain! Well done to him…and now it's time to work even harder to be part of his team!'

SCOTT JAMIESON (Scot who has made a flying start to the season): 'Congrats Paul McGinley, def gets my vote, will be a great Ryder Cup captain.' UNITED STATES

TOM WATSON (United States Ryder Cup captain): 'Congrats to Paul McGinley on your R/C Captaincy. Looking forward to our future competition. You're a class act.'

DUSTIN JOHNSON (2011 Open runner-up, Ryder Cup player in the last two events): 'Heard the Ryder Cup news about McGinley… @TomWatsonPGAPro & the USA will be ready!!!!'

DAVID DUVAL (former world No 1 and two-time Ryder Cup player): 'Congrats to McGinley for the captaincy. We competed first 20 plus years ago in the Walker Cup.'

In the Ryder Cup he has been a lion,
sinking the winning putt at The Belfry in 2002. Alongside Donald, he is
the only European never to have been on the losing side having played at
least three Ryder Cups.

He was a vice-captain in 2010 and at
Medinah. 'I don't know what it is but team golf and the Ryder Cup have
always brought the best out of me,' said McGinley, who was forecast to
become a Gaelic football star for Dublin until his career was cut short
by a knee injury at the age of just 19.

McGinley's nomination as captain was a
victory for modesty, for he never felt the need to blow his own trumpet
in the months leading up to the announcement.

He started the drawn-out process
trailing Darren Clarke by a seemingly hopeless margin until the
Ulsterman's campaign was derailed by McIlroy's tweet of support for
McGinley before Christmas.

Then came Montgomerie as those committee members who wanted a big personality switched their allegiance to the Scot.

Sky were trailing in the days leading
up to the announcement that Montgomerie was confident he would get the
nod. Still McGinley kept silent.

'It's amazing how much you hear when you don't talk,' the Irishman said wryly.

'To be honest, it was my wife,
Alison, who told me not to join in but I didn't need much persuading. I
watched the story grow legs and the speculation swell but I thought I
was much better just letting the players speak for me.'

It is that sort of judgment call that
will serve McGinley well when he lines up opposite Watson. After 30
minutes of usual committee business, McGinley and Montgomerie, both
members of the body that decides on the captaincy, were asked to leave.

Glory days: Europe won the Ryder Cup in incredible fashion in 2012

Glory days: Europe won the Ryder Cup in incredible fashion in 2012

Not chosen: Colin Montgomerie was not asked to reprise his role as captain

Not chosen: Colin Montgomerie was not asked to reprise his role as captain

Thinking man: McGinley says he loves the tactical side of the game

Thinking man: McGinley says he loves the tactical side of the game

McGinley retreated to a room with his
brother, Michael. Thus began the longest two hours of his life. They
ate oatmeal cookies. Still no knock on the door.

'I've been there so I knew what was going on but it didn't stop the time dragging on,' he said.

Eventually, the call came, the one
that signalled the proudest moment of his professional life. Down an
escalator he went and into a world where the phone never stops ringing
and there's always another interview to give.

'I don't mind all that,' he said,
smiling broadly. Indeed, the grin never left his face all night. He was
wearing a 2014 Ryder Cup sweater of Seve Ballesteros blue, and he might
never take it off.

Derek Lawrenson weighs up the two captains in their areas of influence

Playing Record

Watson: If this counted for very much, Europe might as well hand over the trophy right now. Eight majors and still going strong at the age of 59 says it all. Such a glorious CV earns Watson the guaranteed respect of his team. But that's about all. McGinley: No captain in the modern era has had so few wins as the four mustered by McGinley. However, like Watson, he has never been on a losing Ryder Cup side (he played in three winning ones) so something will have to give. USA one up. Partnerships

Watson: An area where the great man may well struggle. How can he possibly know the different personalities of his team and what makes them tick when he's never played alongside them on a regular basis

McGinley: One of the Irishman's great strengths. Will know the players inside out and whether the time is right to put an arm around the shoulder or deliver a kick up the backside. All Square

Tom Watson

Tactics

Watson: Before Peter Baker played his matches at The Belfry in 1993, captain Watson made a beeline for the young Englishman and looked him squarely in the eye while shaking his hand. Baker was left with the clear impression Watson was trying to intimidate. Expect similar moves at Gleneagles.

McGinley: One of the reasons why Rory McIlroy was so effusive about McGinley for captain is his work in this area, where his attention to detail is second to none. Brilliant in this regard when Britain and Ireland captain at the Seve Trophy. Europe one up Home advantage

Watson: One of the reasons why Watson was picked was to nullify the partisanship of the Gleneagles crowd. Will the cheers ring out quite so raucously when the opposition is led by the golfing hero of so many Watch Watson play on this for all it is worth – and it is worth a lot.

McGinley: Not one of life's cheerleaders like all the other recent captains on home soil. His relatively low profile means that the roars when he appears on the first tee may well feel slightly muted when compared to previous matches. All Square

McGinley

Media Relations

Watson: In the press room, Watson is second to none. When he's telling one of his stories he has an audience of usually hard-bitten journalists eating out of his hand. Anticipate glowing testaments from the usually hostile UK press.

McGinley: Contrary to popular opinion, journalists like a bit of intelligence and the erudite McGinley has it in spades. Expect passionate and articulate answers laced with enough lines to keep even the most cynical tabloid man happy. All Square Speeches

Watson: One thing's for sure – he won't be standing up and forgetting how many children he has, like Hal Sutton did in 2004. At the opening ceremony expect a speech that strays perilously close to cheese territory but is also filled with grace and warmth.

McGinley: The fundamental reason why so many of the Medinah miracle makers wanted McGinley as captain is to do with his powers of persuasion in the team room. Knows what to say at the right time. Europe one up

McGinley factfile

1966: Born December 16 in Dublin. 1986: Promising Gaelic football career is ended by a broken kneecap. 1987: Wins an Irish youth cap in golf. 1988: Becomes Irish youths champion. 1989: Crowned Irish amateur champion. 1991: Earns a Walker Cup cap and turns professional. 1993: Makes his Dunhill Cup and World Cup debuts. 1996: Claims first European Tour win, in Austria. 1997: Achieves his second European Tour victory, and wins World Cup with Padraig Harrington. 2001: Wins Wales Open. 2002: Finishes 18th in first Masters. Makes his Ryder Cup debut and holes the winning putt. 2004: Earns second Ryder Cup cap and finishes unbeaten in a record nine-point win for Europe. 2005: Wins Volvo Masters to finish third on European money list and reach a career-high 18th in world rankings. 2006: Third Ryder Cup cap, and again McGinley plays his part in a nine-point win. 2009: Captains Britain and Ireland to Seve Trophy win. 2010: Among Europe's vice-captains in Ryder Cup win at Celtic Manor. 2011: Makes his 500th European Tour start and captains Britain and Ireland to another Seve Trophy win. 2012: Among vice-captains in another Ryder Cup win for Europe, this time at Medinah. 2013: Named Europe's captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup, to be staged at Gleneagles.

Ryder Cup record:

Caps: 3 (2002-04-06) Matches played: 9 (4 foursomes, 2 fourballs, 3 singles) Wins: 2 (1 foursomes, 1 singles) Halved: 5 (2 fourballs, 1 foursomes, 2 singles) Lost: 2 (2 foursomes) Points: 4 1/2

Colin Montgomerie worries European stars" defection to PGA Tour could weaken Ryder Cup defence

Monty worries European stars' defection to PGA Tour could weaken Ryder Cup defence

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UPDATED:

19:39 GMT, 18 December 2012

Colin Montgomerie says that steps need to be taken to encourage Europe's stars to play more in Europe.

Ten of September's successful Ryder Cup side – all bar Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari – will be members of the PGA Tour in America next season.

Montgomerie, whose induction next year into the World Golf Hall of Fame was announced today, is a member of the European Tour's tournament committee and said: 'It's very difficult and we have to sit down and try to address this.

Miracle at Medinah: Europe's victorious Ryder Cup stars celebrate in Chicago

Miracle at Medinah: Europe's victorious Ryder Cup stars celebrate in Chicago

'Sponsorship is getting harder and the first thing a sponsor asks is “who's playing”. He wants as many Ryder Cup players as possible.

'It's important for the future of European golf.'

Tom Watson spoke last week after being named as United States captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup about the edge Europe gains by staging the match on courses well-known to their players.

The 2014 match is at Gleneagles in Scotland, but although a European Tour event has been held there every year since 1999 it does not always attract the top names.

Honour: European Ryder Cup hero Colin Montgomerie (right) was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Tuesday

Honour: Colin Montgomerie (right) is now a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame

This August, for example, the only members of Jose Maria Olazabal's side who played there – even though it was the final qualifying event – were Lawrie, Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Montgomerie led the side at Celtic Manor two years ago and admitted today he was disappointed that more of his side did not play the Wales Open on the course four months earlier. Only seven of the 12 were there.

'We need to get our team to Gleneagles. We have to have that advantage,' the Scot said. 'In 1997 our biggest advantage was Valderrama. The Americans had three days to prepare, we had 10 years.'

Rory McIlroy named 2012 European Tour golfer of the year

More glory for Rory as world No 1 McIlroy is named European Tour golfer of the year

PUBLISHED:

15:06 GMT, 18 December 2012

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UPDATED:

15:06 GMT, 18 December 2012

World No 1 Rory McIlroy has been named the European Tour golfer of the year.

McIlroy succeeds Luke Donald as winner of the coveted award, having also replicated the Englishman's previously unprecedented achievement of winning both the Race to Dubai and US PGA Tour money list in the same season.

The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland captured his second major title in August, winning the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island by a record eight shots, matching the winning margin of his maiden major triumph in the 2011 US Open.

Glory boy: Rory McIlroy celebrated his second major success by winning the PGA Championship earlier this year

Glory boy: Rory McIlroy celebrated his second major success by winning the PGA Championship earlier this year

McIlroy also won three times in America before playing a vital role in Europe's stunning Ryder Cup victory at Medinah, while he ended the year in style with five closing birdies to win the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

'Everyone who knows me knows how special the 2012 season was,' McIlroy said.

'A couple of wins, including a major, and consistent performances in big events all helped me win The Race to Dubai for the first time.

'To win that was a massive highlight of an amazing season and I hope it will be the first of many. Now, to have been named as The European Tour Golfer of the Year puts the icing on the cake.

Over to you: McIlroy succeeds Luke Donald as winner of the coveted award

Over to you: McIlroy succeeds Luke Donald as winner of the coveted award

'It is a very special honour indeed and you only need to look down the list of players who have preceded me as the winner of this award to see precisely why; quite simply, it is a Who's Who of golf and I'm delighted to now be a part of that in the history books.

'We play golf because we relish the opportunity to win major championships and world-class tournaments around the globe. But when we do that, to be recognised for these achievements is a great thrill and I thank all the members of the panel who voted for me.'

Patrick Collins: England"s miracle workers have everyone believing again

England's sensational miracle workers have everyone believing again

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UPDATED:

22:50 GMT, 8 December 2012


In control: Alastair Cook's team look set to take a 2-1 lead

In control: Alastair Cook's team look set to take a 2-1 lead

The sporting year of 2012 is the gift that just keeps giving. And we watch in grateful wonder as the miracles descend in delicious profusion.

Never was there such a year, never such an outpouring of glory. From the Super Olympic Saturdays in Stratford to the golden days on lake and velodrome.

From the evening in Munich when European football turned Chelsea blue to the Sunday afternoon at Medinah when the Ryder Cup yielded to Europe's irresistible charge, to the epic at the Etihad when the title was won with the last kick of the season.

Just one week ago, there was the
chill afternoon at Twickenham when the All Blacks were thrashed and we
told ourselves that 2012 had eked out its last, improbable bonus. And
then came Kolkata.

To appreciate how far England's
cricketers have travelled, it is necessary to remember where they
started. In late March, Andrew Strauss sat in a bleak back room in Galle
and attempted to rationalise England's fourth consecutive Test match
defeat.

Whitewashed 3–0 by Pakistan in the
United Arab Emirates, then bemused by Sri Lanka's spinner Rangana
Herath, there was a growing conviction that England's hapless inability
to play spin rendered them hopelessly uncompetitive in sub-continental
conditions.

Spin king: Graeme Swann had a good session after lunch

Spin king: Graeme Swann had a good session after lunch

They chipped out a 1–1 draw in the Sri Lanka series, but come the first Test of this India tour and the roof fell in.

To lose by nine wickets in Ahmedabad was one thing, but to lose in such a clueless, calamitous fashion was quite another.

The statistics read like a long and
darkly threatening letter: India had not lost a Test series at home
since Australia beat them in 2004-05; England had not won a series in
India since David Gower's team came from behind in 1984-85; England had
won only 11 Test matches in India since 1933; India had lost only six
home Tests in a decade.

Had you been looking for a word to describe England's prospects, then 'unpromising' was probably the kindest.

It was at Mumbai that the transformation came to pass. Suddenly, almost irrationally, England began to believe in themselves.

Monty Panesar, happily restored, came
through in a clatter of wickets, Kevin Pietersen played one of
history's finest Test innings and Alastair Cook batted like a prince.

Victory was wholly unexpected and Kolkata was vigorously anticipated. It did not disappoint.

Led once again by Cook in his most
majestic form, England raised their game to another level and now the
questions were being asked of India. What shall we do with MS Dhoni

How long can Duncan Fletcher continue to coach a patently unresponsive team

And, most dramatically, who tells
Sachin Tendulkar that the golden years have run their course None of
which will concern England, whose restoration to form and confidence has
been quite sensational.

In any other year we might have been
speaking in almost disbelieving terms. In this gloriously bewildering
year of 2012, it ranks as just another miracle.

We are unable to carry live pictures from the third Test in Kolkata due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Peter Hanson beats Rory McIlroy to win BMW Masters

McIlroy fails to catch Hanson as Swede edges out Ryder Cup team-mate in Shanghai

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UPDATED:

11:51 GMT, 28 October 2012

Just a month after failing to win a point at the Ryder Cup – and being left on the sidelines for three of the five sessions – Peter Hanson had the sweetest win of his career on Sunday.

The 35-year-old Swede just held off world No 1 Rory McIlroy to take the BMW Masters title in Shanghai against a field that also included nine more of his European team-mates from Medinah.

With Luke Donald coming third and Ian Poulter fourth it was a week dominated by members of Jose Maria Olazabal's side, but Hanson was the one to come out on top.

Peter Hanson

Peter Hanson

Main man: Peter Hanson beat Rory McIlroy by one shot to win the BMW Masters in Shanghai

BMW Masters in Shanghai

Click here for final standings

/10/28/article-2224291-15B99DBB000005DC-683_634x443.jpg” width=”634″ height=”443″ alt=”Better luck next time: Hanson (right) with McIlroy after the Swede won in Shanghai” class=”blkBorder” />

Better luck next time: Hanson (right) with McIlroy after the Swede won in Shanghai

Race to Dubai standings

1 Rory McIlroy 2,766,222
2 Peter Hanson 2,106,534
3 Justin Rose 2,044,670
4 Branden Grace 1,669,984
5 Louis Oosthuizen 1,532,375
6 Francesco Molinari 1,474,414
7 Graeme McDowell 1,452,423
8 Luke Donald 1,445,831
9 Ernie Els 1,426,399
10 Paul Lawrie 1,410,431

World No 25 Hanson's par save from 15 feet preserved the gap, but there was still a possibility of a play-off when Hanson's approach to the 471-yard last came down in rough above a bunker.

He thought he might be entitled to a free drop because of a plugged lie, but was refused it and after doing well to chip to 10 feet he breathed a sigh of relief when McIlroy's 15-foot birdie attempt just missed.

That left Hanson with two putts for his sixth European Tour win – the last came with a closing eagle in Holland last month – and he took them.

'Rory made a tremendous effort and put quite a bit of pressure on me – his second to the 15th was true class,' Hanson added.

'He gave me a bit of a cushion early on (McIlroy missed two four-foot par putts) and I was maybe a little too defensive at the end, but it all worked out.

'My short game used to be my weak part, but I've been working on it and my putting has really improved.'

Marching on: Hanson held his nerve on the final day to maintain his lead in Shanghai

Marching on: Hanson held his nerve on the final day to maintain his lead in Shanghai

In Chicago Hanson was angry to be left out all day Saturday and he said the following week that he might not be sending captain Olazabal 'that many Christmas cards'.

But the pair chatted last week and are back on good terms.

'I was a bit disappointed,' Hanson said, 'but there's no feeling of revenge or wanting to show everyone now. It's a team effort and we ended up winning it.'

McIlroy is staying in China, but only for a one-day head-to-head against Tiger Woods – joint fourth in Malaysia today after a closing 63.

The rest of the week is being spent with his tennis star girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki in Bulgaria – she is playing a tournament there – but he returns to Asia for the Singapore Open and his defence of the Hong Kong Open.

Those events will give the 23-year-old the opportunity to clinch the money list double before the race-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai on November 22-25.

Not his day: McIlroy reacts after missing a put as he has to settle for second place

Not his day: McIlroy reacts after missing a put as he has to settle for second place

'I'm happy with how I played, but a little disappointed,' McIlroy said. 'I missed a few opportunities on the front nine and it was too little, too late.

'I wanted to make him work for it and it would have been nice to hole the putt on the last, but it wasn't to be and Peter deserved it.'

A closing birdie by Donald for a 66 enabled him to deny Poulter, who had a 65, a share of third place, while there were no fewer than nine of the Ryder Cup side in the top 15.

Justin Rose, now down to third on the 'Race to Dubai', tied for sixth, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell were joint 11th and Lee Westwood and Nicolas Colsaerts finished in joint 14th.

'It just shows we had a strong team,' Donald said.

Poulter added: “The board is full of Ryder Cup players, which you would expect.

'The guys are still on a high – and rightly so.'

Rory McIlroy and Peter Hanson set for BMW Masters duel in final round

McIlroy and Hanson set for Sunday duel at Shanghai noon over BMW Masters title

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UPDATED:

09:11 GMT, 27 October 2012

Peter Hanson has world No 1 Rory McIlroy breathing down his neck with a day to go at the BMW Masters in Shanghai.

A third-round 70 took Hanson to 16 under par, but his Ryder Cup team-mate shot 69 and is now only one behind as he chases a fifth victory of the season.

South African George Coetzee's 66 brought him only three behind and then comes a further two-stroke gap to a chasing pack which includes Luke Donald, Justin Rose and Irish pair Michael Hoey and Shane Lowry.

Frustration: McIlroy throws his club on the seventh green

Frustration: McIlroy throws his putter on the seventh green

Frustration: McIlroy throws his putter on the seventh green but still trails leader Hanson by just one shot

BMW Masters Leaderboard

Click here to see all the latest scores

Hanson was caught first by McIlroy
and then by Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts – another of the European stars in
Chicago last month – when he followed a birdie on the second with three
bogeys by the eighth.

But the Swede regained control with
birdies at the ninth, 11th, 13th and 15th. McIlroy matched two of those,
made a 14-foot putt to narrow the gap to one again on the 16th and then
lipped out from nine feet at the next.

'The wind was blowing from the
opposite direction, which made some of the holes trickier,' Hanson said.
'It was not as easy to go low and my driving was not great, but it was
still a good round.

Daunting: McIlroy hits his tee shot over water on the seventh hole of his third round on Saturday

Daunting: McIlroy hits his tee shot over water on the seventh hole of his third round on Saturday

Centre of attention: Northern Ireland's world No 1 hits an approach at the Lake Malaren Golf Club

Centre of attention: Northern Ireland's world No 1 hits an approach at the Lake Malaren Golf Club

'I need to play better, but if I can get back to how I was the first two days I think I have a good chance.

'To win would mean a lot. This is the start of a big stretch and it's nice to find a bit of form.'

He was the only member of Jose Maria
Olazabal's side at Medinah not to contribute anything to the points
total and was angry not to be given more than two games in the week.

McIlroy, winner of the Shanghai
Masters on the course a year ago, dropped his only shot at the long
third and had to wait until the 11th for his second birdie of the day,
but he remains favourite for a first prize of over 720,000.

Out in front: Sweden's Peter Hanson leads the way after three rounds of the BMW Masters

Out in front: Sweden's Peter Hanson leads the way after three rounds of the BMW Masters

Colsaerts was only one behind when he
came to the 420-yard 16th, but driving into thick rough and then going
over the green with his third led to a double bogey and he followed it
immediately with another, pushing his tee shot to the 17th into the
lake.

That enabled Donald, Rose, Hoey,
Lowry, last year's Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Swede Alex
Noren all to move into a tie for fourth on 11 under, five back.

The highlight of Rose's round was
driving the green at the dogleg 380-yard 11th and sinking a 30-foot putt
for eagle. He came home in 32 for a 69, but is in danger of falling
further behind McIlroy in the race to be Europe's money list winner this
season.

Plenty to smile about: South Africa's George Coetzee is in contention after a Saturday 66 left him three shots back

Plenty to smile about: South Africa's George Coetzee is in contention after a Saturday 66 left him three shots back

The 23-year-old Northern Irishman has
already sealed the PGA Tour title in America and can take a huge step
tomorrow towards emulating the double achieved by Donald last year.

Robert Karlsson played with Hanson and
McIlroy, but fell 10 behind with a 75, while Welshman Jamie Donaldson,
who led by four after his opening course-record 62, is now eight back
after disappointing rounds of 74 and 72.

Arjun Atwal leads McGladrey Classic

Atwal heads up McGladrey Classic at halfway point with Love and Furyk closing

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UPDATED:

00:14 GMT, 20 October 2012

India's Arjun Atwal holds a narrow lead at the halfway stage of The McGladrey Classic after a second round of 63 at Sea Island.

Atwal carded eight birdies and one bogey to finish 10 under par, one shot ahead of tournament host Davis Love (66) and Jim Furyk (65).

Atwal is currently 175th on the PGA Tour money list and needs a high finish this week to move into the top 125 and secure his card for 2013.

Small lead: Arjun Atwal is in pole position - but only just

Small lead: Arjun Atwal is in pole position – but only just

Leaderboard

Keep up with the score here

'Yeah, I'm in a desperate situation,' Atwal said. 'I got no choice to either win or finish in the top two, I think my caddie figured out. So I just gotta grind it out.'

Furyk is playing his first tournament since the Ryder Cup at Medinah, where the United States – captained by Love – squandered a 10-6 lead in Sunday's singles.

The former US Open champion has had seven top-10 finishes this season, but badly wants a first victory since 2010 after several near misses.

Hit: Jim Furyk watches his drive off the 10th tee

Hit: Jim Furyk watches his drive off the 10th tee

'I have a lot of confidence in my ball striking right now, but when you don't play a lot sometimes it's (about) the course management, making the good decisions,' Furyk told www.pgatour.com.

'And so far that's all kind of coming back to me slowly and I've kind of gained momentum as the last two rounds have gone on.'

Overnight joint leader Bud Cauley added a 70 to his opening 62 to lie two shots off the pace on eight under alongside David Toms (67) and Gavin Coles (65).

Not his day: Bud Cauley reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 17th green

Not his day: Bud Cauley reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 17th green

'I just kind of didn't have it today,' Cauley said. 'I would have loved to have shot under par, but even is not too bad. So I'm going to go on the range and work on it and hopefully play better on the weekend.'

Fellow co-leader Marco Dawson could only manage a five-over 75 to slide into a tie for 40th.

England's Greg Owen is three off the lead on seven under after adding a 69 to his opening 64.

Darren Clarke to captain Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles

EXCLUSIVE: Captain Clarke! Darren to lead Europe's Ryder Cup team in 2014

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UPDATED:

22:24 GMT, 9 October 2012

Darren Clarke has won the race to become Europe's Ryder Cup captain at Gleneagles in 2014.

Although a formal announcement is not due until January next year, the Northern Irishman has already been approached by the European Tour and has indicated he wants the job.

Clarke will be the first Irishman to hold the post but the news will come as a bitter disappointment to Paul McGinley, the other outstanding front-runner.

Skipper: Darren Clarke will beat Paul McGinley to the Ryder Cup captaincy

Pipped to the post: Darren Clarke (above) is favoured over Paul McGinley (below)

Pipped to the post: Paul McGinley

Both men were vice-captains for the miracle at Medinah but apparently it came down to Clarke’s longer list of achievements and higher profile.

His management stable mate Lee Westwood said: ‘If I were asked, it would be Darren. He has been a Ryder Cup stalwart for many years, is a major champion and a very good public speaker, which has to be taken into account. Tactically, he is very astute.’

Asked why he would pick Clarke over McGinley, Westwood could not have been more clear cut. ‘Paul is good in the team room, he makes a great vice-captain,’ he said. ‘Paul has played three Ryder Cups. Darren has played five, won a major championship and a lot of tournaments worldwide. He edges it for me.’

The long and the shorts of it: Lee Westwood, in relaxed dress while in action at the World Golf Final in Turkey, has backed his old mate Clarke for the job

The long and the shorts of it: Lee Westwood, in relaxed dress while in action at the World Golf Final in Turkey, has backed his old mate Clarke for the job

The 44-year-old Clarke etched his name into Ryder Cup lore with his performance at the K Club in 2006. Just a month after the death of his wife, Heather, there was not a dry eye in the house as the big man put in one of the most poignant sporting displays imaginable in claiming three points out of three.

The appointment will be popular with club golfers up and down the land, who identify with Clarke’s obvious struggles with his volcanic temperament on the course and his love of a pint off it.

Tiger Woods said SORRY to US rookies for Ryder Cup slump

Tiger haunted by Ryder Cup slump: Woods reveals he said SORRY to US rookies

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UPDATED:

18:52 GMT, 8 October 2012

Tiger Woods has confirmed that he apologised to the four rookies on the United States' Ryder Cup team for not contributing a single point in their devastating loss to Europe.

Woods, who was benched for the first time ever in the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup at Medinah, lost all three of his matches with Steve Stricker before halving his singles with Francesco Molinari after Martin Kaymer's win over Stricker in the match ahead had ensured Europe retained the trophy.

Reports in the US said that Woods sat down with Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker and said sorry for not getting the points which would have given Davis Love's side an even bigger lead than the 10-6 advantage they took into the final day.

Glum: Tiger Woods speaks at a press conference ahead of the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final in Antalya

Glum: Tiger Woods speaks at a press conference ahead of the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final in Antalya

'I had an opportunity to earn three points in team sessions but I did not do that. It was tough,' said Woods, who has won 15 and lost 17 of his 35 cup matches.

'Stricks and I went out there and tried to earn points for the team and didn't do that and it was frustrating.

'We had a four-point lead and we went 0-3. If we could have earned a couple of points it would have been a pretty good lead going into Sunday's singles.'

Asked about the disappointment of suffering his sixth defeat in seven Ryder Cup appearances, Woods, added: 'It probably did not set in for a few days because I had two sick kids to take care of. I was focused on them.

Agony: Woods reflects on the US defeat after a remarkable European comeback at the Ryder Cup last month

Agony: Woods reflects on the US defeat after a remarkable European comeback at the Ryder Cup last month

'Then I started to talk to my friends, guys on the team, and once it started sinking in, the position we were in and what had transpired, it got a little tough for a couple of days.

'I texted Freddie (Couples, a vice-captain) quite a bit and Stricks as well. Then like anything it's a tournament loss and you have to move on to the next event. We lose a lot more than we win in this sport and you learn to move on.'

Woods was also asked if he would like to captain the US team in the future, the 36-year-old – speaking ahead of this week's Turkish Airlines World Golf Final – added: 'One day that would be fantastic.

'It would be a huge honour, hopefully it doesn't happen in the near future. I would like to be able to play for a lot more teams but certainly one day when my career is slowing down or it's over, it would be huge to be part of a Ryder Cup from the captaincy side.'