Tag Archives: shenzhen

Anne Keothavong loses first-round match in Shenzhen

Keothavong crashes out of Shenzhen with straight sets defeat

|

UPDATED:

09:09 GMT, 31 December 2012

Defeat: Keothavong lost her first-round match on Monday

Defeat: Keothavong lost her first-round match on Monday

Anne Keothavong's season got off to the worst possible start as she was knocked out of the WTA tour event in Shenzhen by China's Peng Shuai on Monday.

The British number three, who came through qualifying over the weekend, was beaten 6-4 6-0 by the sixth seed in the first round.

The defeat will be a setback for Keothavong's Australian Open preparations with the first grand slam of the year starting in Melbourne in two weeks.

Laura Robson won her first-round match on Sunday as she triumphed 6-2 6-1 over Romania's Edina Gallovits-Hill.

Second seed Marion Bartoli dropped just one game against Chinese wildcard Wing-Yau Chan.

British number one Heather Watson is playing in the ASB Classic in Auckland this week.

Rory McIlroy admits criticism is fair after skipping HSBC Champions

McIlroy admits he deserves criticism for skipping WGC event to be with Wozniacki

|

UPDATED:

12:20 GMT, 7 November 2012

Rory McIlroy has defended his decision to skip last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in China to watch his girlfriend play tennis but admits that the criticism of his no-show was fair.

The world No 1 returns to action at this week’s co-sanctioned Singapore Open after taking a week off to cheer on Caroline Wozniacki at the Tournament of Champions in Bulgaria, a break he said was necessary despite the disappointment of golf fans.

'I think the criticism is fair… it’s a World Golf Championship event, one of the big ones. It was a tough one to miss, especially watching it on television,' McIlroy told reporters on Wednesday.

Rory relaxed: World No 1 McIlroy speaks to the media ahead of the Barclays Singapore Open

Rory relaxed: World No 1 McIlroy speaks to the media ahead of the Barclays Singapore Open

'But I can’t play every week. If I had played that I would have finished the season having played in Turkey, after the Ryder Cup and the FedEx Cup stuff. It’s just too much and one event had to miss out and that was it.

'I played the course at Mission Hills a couple of years ago and didn’t really like it. Thought it was a course where I would get frustrated and am glad the event is going back to Shanghai next year.'

World No 2 Tiger Woods also skipped the Shenzhen event in favour of rest and McIlroy realises that since rising to the top of the game, he needs to strike the right balance between playing, fulfilling media commitments and taking time off.

In the swing: McIlroy in action during the Pro-Am on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club on Wednesday

In the swing: McIlroy in action during the Pro-Am on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club on Wednesday

In the swing: McIlroy in action during the Pro-Am on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club on Wednesday

'Managing time is a very important part of my life,” the 23-year-old Northern Irishman added.

'I thought I did a little bit better this season than I did last year after I won the U.S. Open in 2011. People want more of you, they want you to do more things and you have to learn how to say ‘no’.

'You have to be selfish sometimes. First and foremost, you have to look after yourself and fit in the things that you want to do.

Putting it mildly: McIlroy admits he had disappointed fans and sponsors by missing last week's HSBC Champions

Putting it mildly: McIlroy admits he disappointed fans and sponsors by missing last week's HSBC Champions

'I am in a fortunate position that I can dictate where I want to play, what I want to do and where I want to go and as long as I am in that position then that’s lovely.'

Before taking their break, McIlroy and Woods squared off in a lucrative 18-hole exhibition in Guangzhou and despite beating the American in a good-natured showdown, the Ulsterman maintains their friendship does not compromise their rivalry.

'It’s not difficult to be competitive against him at all,' McIlroy said. 'For me, I never go into a tournament trying to beat just one player I try to play the golf course the best I can.'

Man to beat: The Ulsterman is leading the Race to Dubai heading in to the Singapore Open

Man to beat: The Ulsterman is leading the Race to Dubai heading in to the Singapore Open

Man to beat: The Ulsterman is leading the Race to Dubai heading in to the Singapore Open

'There are going to be times where I come up against friends and guys I have close links with and you don’t think about those things,' he added.

'You just try and play the best you can. I am happy for the guy next to me to shoot seven-under as long as I shoot eight-under and win. I don’t care if they play well or not, I just want to play better.'

Lee Westwood shoots 61 to share HSBC Champions lead

Westwood shoots super 61 at Shenzhen to share HSBC Champions lead with Louis

PUBLISHED:

11:15 GMT, 3 November 2012

|

UPDATED:

11:15 GMT, 3 November 2012

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods may have angered officials by not participating in the HSBC Champions, but Lee Westwood more than made up for their absence on a thrilling third day at Mission Hills.

The no-shows of the sport's two biggest names were not well received by sponsors or organisers alike, but Westwood and a strong supporting cast did their best to prove there is a depth of talent on the tour.

The world No 4's scintillating 11-under-par 61 helped him take a share of the lead, while overnight pacesetter Louis Oosthuizen added a late touch of drama when he missed a chance to go back out in front on the last.

Storming into contention: Lee Westwood shot a superb 60 to share the lead with Louis oosthuizen

Storming into contention: Lee Westwood shot a superb 60 to share the lead with Louis oosthuizen

Beyond the lead duo, who are locked together on 18 under, Brandt Snedeker went within inches of achieving golf's magical 59 when he missed a 15-footer for birdie on the final hole, with the American instead having to be satisfied with a course-record 60 – a shot better off than Westwood.

But although Snedeker shot the lowest, Westwood was the day's biggest winner. The 39-year-old had an unblemished third round of 11 birdies and soared up the leaderboard from 12th to joint first, with he and Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, three shots clear of nearest challenger Phil Mickelson.

The Ryder Cup star set his stall out with birdies at the first three holes and he did not look back. His putting was in good fettle – he landed a tricky 10-footer on the ninth to emphasise such – and he looked in control all the way round.

Oosthuizen had led by five going into Saturday, but a sluggish display with the putter cost him dear.

Good day's work: Westwood was more than happy with his third round at Mission Hills

Good day's work: Westwood was more than happy with his third round at Mission Hills

He had several near misses on his way around – showing signs of decline when he slid one wide from five feet – and things were summed up by his penultimate shot of the day when a 15-footer on the last would have given him a one-shot lead heading into Sunday. He missed by an inch.

The same fate befell Snedeker, who looked set to go sub-60 when he approached the 18th, only to pull up just short.

Earlier in the day, Ernie Els had briefly snagged a share of the lead on his way back to the clubhouse, but undid his hard work when he found the water on the 15th, taking a double bogey.

He finished with a 69 and sleeps on 14 under, along with Bill Haas and Ian Poulter.

So close: Brandt Snedeker just missed out on a 59 in the third round of the HSBC Champions

So close: Brandt Snedeker just missed out on a 59 in the third round of the HSBC Champions

Snedeker is a shot further back but seemingly the man with the momentum to mount a last-day assault. His overnight mood could have been even better too.

'I was disappointed not to shoot 59,' he said. 'In a career you might only get a couple of chances to do it. When I made eagle at the 15th the idea of shooting 59 came to me but I knew I needed to make birdie at the last three holes.'

Indian Gaganjeet Bhullar is a shot further back after an impressive nine-under round, with Martin Kaymer, Carl Pettersson, Scott Piercy and Adam Scott alongside him on 12 under overall.

In a highly competitive field, Luke Donald and Jason Dufner are next on 11 under, although it was not such a good day for everyone, as Dustin Johnson slipped from nine under to three over thanks to a horror 12-over round, with a quadruple-bogey nine on the 15th the lowlight.

Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen lead HSBC Champions

Scott finishes with a flourish to share lead with Oosthuizen at HSBC Champions

|

UPDATED:

10:03 GMT, 1 November 2012

A spectacular finish by Australian Adam Scott gave him a share of the lead with South African Louis Oosthuizen after the first round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

Scott, who blew the Open in July with four closing bogeys, this time followed back-to-back birdies with a 10-foot eagle putt on the 573-yard ninth at Mission Hills in Shenzhen.

That gave the 32-year-old a seven-under-par 65 minutes after 2010 Open champion Oosthuizen had rolled home a 14-foot birdie putt on the same green to set the clubhouse target.

Setting the pace: Adam Scott sits at the top of the leaderboard with Louis Oosthuizen

Setting the pace: Adam Scott sits at the top of the leaderboard with Louis Oosthuizen

Golf blog

Ireland's Shane Lowry, who qualified by winning the Portugal Masters three weeks ago, looked set to be the star of the show when he reached eight under after 16 holes, but he finished disappointingly.

Lowry, also fifth last week at the BMW Masters in Shanghai, missed the green at the short 17th and after failing to get up and down there he paid the price for driving into sand on the last.

Another bogey dropped the 25-year-old into a tie for third with three of this week's favourites – Masters champion Bubba Watson, four-time major champion Phil Mickelson and last week's winner Peter Hanson.

Mickelson, seeking a third victory in the event, matched Scott's eagle on the ninth, in his case from 25 feet, and said: 'My game feels really good. It's gotten better each week since the PGA Championship and hopefully I can carry on – I certainly feel confident that I will be able to.'

Fellow left-hander Watson, who eagled the 568-yard 11th and also had seven birdies to make up for three bogeys, said:

'The course sets up good for a little cut off the tee and the greens are rolling so true.'

Hanson is hoping to take advantage of Rory McIlroy's controversial decision – and that of Tiger Woods – to miss the final world championship of the season.

Flawless: South African Oosthuizen had seven birdies and no dropped shots

Flawless: South African Oosthuizen had seven birdies and no dropped shots

After holding off world No 1 McIlroy last weekend for the best win of his career so far, Hanson has a chance to overtake the Northern Irishman on the European Tour money list with only three weeks left in the race.

The Swede, playing with Watson, was relieved to finish with a par five on the ninth, however.

He blasted his drive well wide and hit another ball off the tee, but he was able to advance the first one down the fairway.

'It was a good celebration on Sunday night and I took it easy on Monday,' Hanson said.

'You know you are playing well, but you have to stay fresh and it's all about keeping your head in the right mindset and keep playing aggressive.'

On a money mission: Peter Hanson is in contention and can catch Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai

On a money mission: Peter Hanson is in contention and can catch Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai

Dustin Johnson, another of the six American Ryder Cup players who made the trip, eagled the seventh in a 67 that gave him a share of seventh place with Thai golfer Prom Meesewat.

Luke Donald is among those one further back, while Ian Poulter, Paul Lawrie and defending champion Martin Kaymer shot 69s.

Lee Westwood needed three closing birdies for a 70, the same as Open champion Ernie Els on his return from an ankle injury, but Justin Rose, third on the European Order of Merit and like Hanson with an opportunity to go to number one this weekend, had to be content with a 72.

Rory McIlroy Nike deal cleared to go after Titleist refuse to offer new contract

Rory's 156m deal with Nike cleared to go as Titleist admit they won't renew contract

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 30 October 2012

Rory McIlroy's long-mooted switch to Nike moved a step closer when his current club manufacturer Titleist said they would not be renewing his contract.

All the signs are that the 23-year-old world No 1 will now become the new poster boy for a Nike brand keen to improve their image following the Lance Armstrong scandal. McIlroy is expected to sign a 10-year contract that could earn him 156million.

Not everyone is convinced he has made the right move, ditching the only clubs he has used since he was a teenager.

Posterboys: Rory McIlroy (right) looks set to join Tiger Woods (left) at Nike

Posterboys: Rory McIlroy (right) looks set to join Tiger Woods (left) at Nike

‘I’d call it dangerous,’ said six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo. ‘Every manufacturer will tell you we can copy your clubs and tweak the golf ball so it fits you. But there is a feel and sound as well, and there’s confidence.

‘It is easy to go off and do this and it messes you up because it just doesn’t feel quite the same.’

Meanwhile, the prestigious HSBC Championship starts on Thursday in Shenzhen, China, without McIlory and world No 2 Tiger Woods, who played an 18-hole exhibition match just 750 miles away on Monday.

Seven of the world’s top 10 will battle for a 4.3m prize fund, but Giles Morgan, HSBC’s world head of sponsorship, warned that without all the top players available, golf sponsorship will suffer.