Tag Archives: stroke

Guan Tianlang fires fine 69 in New Orleans

Guan steals the show again as teenage sensation makes cut in New Orleans while Rose is hot on heels of leader Glover

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

21:10 GMT, 26 April 2013

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UPDATED:

09:02 GMT, 27 April 2013

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Lucas Glover took his place at the top of the leaderboard at the midway point of the Zurich Classic as Chinese teenager Guan Tianlang once again caught the eye.

American Glover carded a 67 on the second day to add to his opening round of 65 to sit 12 under par overall, one stroke ahead of his countryman Boo Weekley.

But just as many eyes were focused a little further down the leaderboard, where 14-year-old Guan matched his achievement at the Masters by making the cut with nothing to spare, carding a 69 to finish three under for the day and for the tournament in a share of 57th.

In form: Guan Tianlang reacts as his birdie putt just misses on the ninth green

In form: Guan Tianlang reacts as his birdie putt just misses on the ninth green

'I think I played a very good round
today and I made a lot of birdies and a couple of good up and downs,' he
told www.pgatour.com. 'So I think I had a pretty good round.

'Making the cut is one of my goals.
I'm having fun these couple of days, and I hope to play my best and go a
little further into the weekend.'

Guan's round, which contained five
birdies and two bogeys and was watched by huge crowds from start to
finish, took some of the spotlight away from Glover at the top of the
leaderboard.

Teenage kicks: Guan Tianlang playing a tee shot in his second round

Teenage kicks: Guan Tianlang playing a tee shot in his second round

Glover sunk eight birdies against
three bogeys to take over at the top from overnight leader Ricky Barnes,
who undid much of his good work on day one by carding a four-over 76,
12 shots worse than his opening round.

Weekley got his second eagle in as
many days, at the par-four 10th, to sit a shot behind Glover and one
ahead of DA Points, while Morgan Hoffmann was fourth on nine under and
Ernie Els fifth on eight under.

Meeting the fans: Guan signs an autograph for a young fan after finishing the for the day

Meeting the fans: Guan signs an autograph for a young fan after finishing the for the day

Hoffmann, a relative youngster on
tour who, at 23, is till nearly 10 years older than Guan, said of the
achievement of the young Chinese: '[It] is unbelievable. You know, The
Masters and then here, it's awesome…

'I hope he understands what he's doing, because everybody out here is following him.'

Parental guidance: Guan wipes his face after taking water from his mother, Liu Hongyu

Parental guidance: Guan wipes his face after taking water from his mother, Liu Hongyu

England's Justin Rose and Brian Davis
led the European challenge in a group of six men on seven under, one
ahead of Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts.

Defending champion Jason Dufner just made the cut, like Guan, at three under.

Margaret Thatcher passes away: Dave Whelan wants minute"s silence for former Prime Minister

Wigan boss Whelan calls for Wembley silence before Millwall clash to honour former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

17:09 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:09 GMT, 9 April 2013

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has called for a one-minute silence in honour of Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

The former Prime Minister died yesterday, aged 87 after suffering a stroke.

Whelan, whose Wigan side face Millwall in their FA Cup semi-final clash on Saturday, believes football fans should pay their respects to the deceased prime Minister.

Eyes on the prize: Dave Whelan would like a minute's silence for the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Eyes on the prize: Dave Whelan would like a minute's silence for the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Speaking to the BBC, Whelan said: 'We owe Mrs Thatcher a minute's silence.

'We have to say thank you very much for the service she gave'.

But the Premier League have told Sportsmail there are no plans for a one-minute silence ahead of this weekend fixtures.

Charl Schwartzel wins Alfred Dunhill Championship 2012 by 12 strokes

Schwartzel wraps up 2012 with emphatic 12-stroke win at Dunhill Championship

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UPDATED:

17:33 GMT, 16 December 2012

South African Charl Schwartzel completed his fantastic finish to 2012 with an astonishing 12-stroke victory on home soil at the Alfred Dunhill Championship today.

The third biggest winning margin in European Tour history was achieved at Leopard Creek a week after last year's US Masters champion won in Thailand by 11 shots.

Only Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, who won the 2000 US Open and 2005 Asian Open by 15 and 13 respectively, have left the best of the rest trailing so far behind in the circuit's 40-year history.

Emphatic: Charl Schwartzel lifted the Alfred Dunhill Championship after surging to a 12-stroke lead

Emphatic: Charl Schwartzel lifted the Alfred Dunhill Championship after surging to a 12-stroke lead

Schwartzel, 10 clear with a round to play, added a three-under-par 69 either side of a two-hour thunderstorm delay to take his eighth Tour title – five of them in South Africa – with a 24-under-par total.

In the Thailand Championship he was 25 under, and for the past five weeks – they started with finishes of fifth, third and second – he is a staggering 84 under.

France's Gregory Bourdy, his closest challenger for virtually the entire weekend, took a double-bogey seven on the final hole and that elevated Swede Kristoffer Broberg, four times a winner on the Challenge Tour last season, into second place.

Bourdy shared third with Scotland's Scott Jamieson, who last Sunday captured the Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban, defending champion Garth Mulroy and England's Andy Sullivan a month after he came through the Tour qualifying school.

Schwartzel also continued a remarkable record at the course on the border of the Kruger National Park. He won his first Tour title there in 2004 and has had four runner-up finishes.

'It's always been a special place for me,' the 28-year-old said. 'This is where I can almost say my career started and it's always stayed close to my heart.

'It's nice to have continued my form from last week. I was saying a month and a half ago it's been a pretty disappointing year.

Class act: Schwartzel ended the year on a high

Class act: Schwartzel ended the year on a high

'Slowly and surely I started to swing the club a lot better, back to how I did when I won The Masters, and I actually got excited to play again.

'It started at the SA Open and from there got better and better. It's been a pretty good year now!'

Schwartzel's lead was down to seven when he three-putted the eighth, but he spun his approach to three feet on the next and after the weather hold-up he collected more birdies on the 12th, 13th and par-five last.

Fellow countryman George Coetzee's best-of-the-day 65 lifted him into joint 10th place and came after results elsewhere had guaranteed he stayed in the world's top 50 and earned himself a Masters debut next April.

Also qualifying by the same route for a first trip to Augusta are Welshman Jamie Donaldson, Belgian Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts, South African Branden Grace and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen.

Geoff Ogilvy would have denied Olesen if he had had one less shot at the Australian PGA Championship, where he finished in a tie for fourth place.

Way off: Gregory Bourdy was the South African's closest competitor for almost the entire weekend

Way off: Gregory Bourdy was the South African's closest competitor for almost the entire weekend

Others to book their Masters places through the end-of-year top 50 are Scot Paul Lawrie, Italians Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, American Bill Haas, Australian Jason Day and Japanese player Hiroyuki Fujita.

Coetzee told the Sunshine Tour website: “My dream has never been just to play in The Masters.

That's not the job description – I want to play in those majors and I want to win all of them.

'It's great to have the opportunity. Last week I could feel that The Masters was making me play a bit rubbish because it puts a bit of pressure on you.

'After three days of scrapping around this week I got things together. It's Augusta – it's the one major with a limited field, it's the best in the world.

'I watched it as a kid and I was mad at Phil Mickelson for beating Ernie (Els) that year (2004) when he holed that putt and jumped around like a madman.

'It's got so much history and I'm sure it's going to be an unbelievable experience. As they say in poker – if you have a chip and a chair you never know.'

Getting an eye in: John Parry

Getting an eye in: Scott Jamieson

Brits on tour: Scott Jamieson (right) and John Parry (left)

Schwartzel on course for successive victories after opening up 10-shot lead

Schwartzel on course for successive victories after opening up 10-shot lead

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UPDATED:

15:48 GMT, 15 December 2012

Out in front: Charl Schwartzel

Out in front: Charl Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel, an 11-shot winner in Thailand last weekend, takes a 10-stroke lead into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in his native South Africa tomorrow.

But if the week is belonging to the 28-year-old from Johannesburg then the 192-yard 12th at Leopard Creek is compatriot Keith Horne's property – incredibly, he holed-in-one for the second day running.

/12/15/article-0-1686E1D3000005DC-518_634x393.jpg” width=”634″ height=”393″ alt=”Sealed with a kiss: Keith Horne of is presented with a BMW after his second hole-in-one ” class=”blkBorder” />

Sealed with a kiss: Keith Horne of is presented with a BMW after his second hole-in-one

'I just want to keep playing with no expectations. Tee it up, hit the ball down the fairway, hit it on the green, make the putt and see where it leads me.

'In the back of your mind you know what you want to achieve. We all want to win golf tournaments, but I can't be thinking about wanting to win because that's not how I'm actually going to win.

'I have to just stay right where I am and plod along. If I play the best I'll win – that's the way I see it.'

Roberto Matrinez backing for Jordi Gomez

Martinez wants critics to cut hat-trick hero Gomez some slack

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UPDATED:

18:55 GMT, 24 November 2012

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez hopes Jordi Gomez has answered his critics among the Latics fans after his hat-trick earned a much-needed three points against Reading.

The Spaniard was making only his third start of the season in the Barclays Premier League and was jeered early in the game for a few poor touches.

Eat that: Jordi Gomez left his critics eating humble pie with a hat-trick

Eat that: Jordi Gomez left his critics eating humble pie with a hat-trick

Match facts

WIGAN: Al Habsi, Boyce, Ramis (Lopez 48), Figueroa, Stam, McCarthy, Jones (McArthur 82), Beausejour, Gomez, Kone, Maloney (Si Santo 45). Subs not used: Pollitt, McManaman, Boselli, Fyvie.

Goals: Gomez 58, 68, 90+2

Booked: McCarthy, Jones

READING: Federici, Gunter, Morrison, Gorkss, Shorey, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Tabb (McCleary 72), McAnuff, Le Fondre, Roberts (Pogrebnyak 83). Subs not used: Taylor, Mariappa, Hunt, Harte, Cummings.

Goals: Morrison 35, Al Habsi 80 (og)

Referee: Howard Webb

The latest Premier League results, fixtures and tables

But he responded superbly with goals
in the 58th and 68th minutes to turn things around after Sean Morrison
had given Reading a 35th-minute lead.

The Royals looked to have snatched a
point with a major stroke of luck in the 80th minute when Wigan keeper
Ali Al Habsi dropped a wet and spinning ball against the bar that then
rebounded against him and went in.

But Gomez had the last word two
minutes into injury time to earn Wigan a 3-2 win that lifted them five
points clear of the relegation zone.

The midfielder is only the third
Latics player to score a Premier League hat-trick after Marcus Bent and
Henri Camara, and Martinez believes he has been treated unfairly by some
of the Wigan fans.

'The role Jordi had to play today was
as unfair as you're going to get,' said the Latics boss. 'Because he
missed the first two or three passes, all of a sudden the crowd let him
know.

Diving in: Shaun Maloney (right) challenges Reading's Jobi McAnuff

Diving in: Shaun Maloney (right) challenges Reading's Jobi McAnuff

'I've seen it so many times and it's
very difficult to compose yourself, and it would have been all too easy
for him to hide and look away from the challenge. But that's not Jordi
at all. Nobody deserved a hat-trick more today than him.

'It's not just the three goals, he always shows for the ball, he had another two great opportunities.


Heading for Reading: Morrison (top right) powers home the opening goal

Heading for Reading: Morrison (top right) powers home the opening goal

'The crowd were too vocal against
him and I hope that today they realise that the only thing Jordi does is
give his life for Wigan Athletic and to win football games. I hope we
all realise that and he gets a bit of warmth the next time he's on the
pitch.'

In contrast, Al Habsi has been a huge
hit since joining Wigan from Bolton in the summer of 2010 and he had
made a brilliant flying save from Adam Le Fondre's header moments before
his howler.

Rising high: Morrison (centre) gives Ali Al Habsi no chance

Rising high: Morrison (centre) gives Ali Al Habsi no chance

Going down: David Jones (top) clatters into Reading's Jay Tabb

Going down: David Jones (top) clatters into Reading's Jay Tabb

Martinez was more than happy to
forgive his keeper, saying: 'Goalkeepers are exposed to that, they're
the last men, and it's just Ali doesn't do that, which is why you're so
surprised.

'Minutes before he had the save of
the game. Internally as a team you should be there to help your
team-mate when he makes a bit of an error, which happens, it's a game of
errors and you need to be able to overcome whatever situation comes
your way.

'Today we showed that type of performance. In the first half we had a little bit of the feeling of something to lose.

It takes two to tango: James McCarthy (left) and Jason Roberts try to keep their balance

It takes two to tango: James McCarthy (left) and Jason Roberts try to keep their balance

'We weren't sharp or as effective as
we can be, and to concede from a set-play and allow Ali to have a
mistake, I think it was more our approach and our mentality, and we need
to change that.

'But it was pleasing to see the
players found a reaction and a way to overcome that. To give that win to
the dressing room pleased Ali more than anyone.

'I think it's the time to thank him
for the amount of times he got the team out of difficult situations with
his outstanding performances.'

make mine a double: Jordi Gomez (right) dives to head home Wigan's second

make mine a double: Jordi Gomez (right) dives to head home Wigan's second

To come away with nothing in such
circumstances was a real blow to Reading, who arrived in the north west
on the back of their first Premier League victory of the season against
Everton last weekend.

Boss Brian McDermott was frustrated
they could not see out the game but felt his side should have had a
penalty for a foul by Maynor Figueroa on Jay Tabb when the score was
1-1.

'I thought we deserved a point, and I thought it was the least we were going to get,' said McDermott.

Bald truth: Brian McDermott (left) felt Reading were worth a point against Roberto Martiniez's (right) side

Bald truth: Brian McDermott (left) felt Reading were worth a point against Roberto Martiniez's (right) side

Bald truth: Brian McDermott (left) felt Reading were worth a point against Roberto Martiniez's (right) side

'I think if the referee had given the
penalty on Jay Tabb we would have gone on to win the game. Someone of
Howard Webb's experience and quality, you would have expected him to get
that one right.

'When you're 2-2 in the 92nd minute
and we've got the ball, you've got to make sure you see the game out. If
you have to take a point in this league then take it and move on.

'We have to learn quickly from that.
We've seen out the last couple of games really well but unfortunately we
haven't seen this one out.'

Jordi joy: Gomez (right) celebrates with James McArthur after completing his hat-trick

Jordi joy: Gomez (right) celebrates with James McArthur after completing his hat-trick

Luke Donald leads DP World Tour Championship

Donald leads the way but McIlroy sits one back as top two target another Dubai battle

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UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 22 November 2012

They’re ranked No 1 and 2 in the world and No 1 and tied second on the leaderboard after the first round of the DP World Tour Championship.

Twelve months after their wonderful duel for the Race to Dubai, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald are it again here in the Middle East.

Fresh from his win in Japan last week, world No 2 Donald shot a 65 for a one stroke lead over McIlroy, Scot Marc Warren and Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

Out in front: Luke Donald is the leader after round one of the DP World Tour Championship

Out in front: Luke Donald is the leader after round one of the DP World Tour Championship

DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

Click here for the full leaderboard

‘There’s a long way to go, of course, but I think it would be fun for everyone if Rory and myself were to find ourselves in the final group on Sunday,’ said Donald.

‘I’d certainly welcome the challenge, that is for sure.’

There would be no Race to Dubai title on the line this time, of course – McIlroy has already sewn that one up – but Donald has his eye on winning this event and adding more gloss on a season that has seen him win three times already to make it eight victories over the last two and a half years.

‘I’d give this season a mark of eight out of 10,’ said Donald. ‘It is true that I didn’t play quite as I wanted at the majors but around them there are a lot of positives to take into next season.

'I’ve won a good number of tournaments over this stretch and I feel like I am in the finest form of my career.’

Sitting pretty: Rory McIlroy is just one behind Donald after the opening round

Sitting pretty: Rory McIlroy is just one behind Donald after the opening round

McIlroy came to the last needing a birdie four to ensure he would be playing with Donald on Friday and was a little miffed to miss out.

‘There’s always a nice buzz playing with Luke,’ he said. ‘We’re the two best-ranked players and he’s so tough to beat. But let’s hope we can keep playing well and so we’re playing together later in the tournament.’

There was a moment of levity in McIlroy’s press conference when his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki picked up the microphone.

‘Given the amazing support you’re getting out here this week, if you win can I expect a nice Christmas present,’ she said.

Support act: Caroline Wozniacki was there backing her boyfriend McIlroy

Support act: Caroline Wozniacki was there backing her boyfriend McIlroy

‘Don’t you get enough nice presents’ replied Rory.

‘How am I as a cheerleader’ asked Caroline.

‘You’re a better tennis player,’ said McIlroy.

There are plenty of good players in touch who are all intent on ensuring this isn’t just the Luke and Rory show.

Lee Westwood, who clinched both the Race to Dubai and this title here three years ago, is nicely in touch after a 67, the same mark as Padraig Harrington.

Right up there: Lee Westwood is just two shots off the pace after a 67 at the Earth Course

Right up there: Lee Westwood is just two shots off the pace after a 67 at the Earth Course

Two more Ryder Cup players, Justin Rose and Nicolas Colsaerts, shot 68, but Ian Poulter could only manage a 72 and, in typical black and white fashion, said he was disgusted with himself.

‘Finally hit the wall today, the jetlag has caught up with me,’ said Poults, who finished runner-up in Australia last week and won in China three weeks ago.

Australian Masters 2012: Ian Poulter and Adam Scott in fight for gold jacket

Poulter in straight duel with Scott Down Under as in-form duo move clear of field

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UPDATED:

10:03 GMT, 17 November 2012

The race for the gold jacket at the Australian Masters is between Ian Poulter and Adam Scott after they stamped their authority on the tournament with superb third rounds at Kingston Heath in Melbourne.

Poulter fired off a brilliant 64 to be 13 under overall and will head into the final day with a slender one-stroke advantage over Scott.

Scott's up-and-down round of 67 was not as flashy as Poulter's but it was good enough to keep him within striking distance and some five shots clear of third-placed Matthew Guyatt.

On the march: Poulter holds a one-shot advantage over Scott heading into the final day

On the march: Poulter holds a one-shot advantage over Scott heading into the final day

Guyatt could only manage a 75 on Saturday and is at seven under, while Kiwi Mark Brown is alone in fourth a shot further back at minus six.

The rest are too far back, although Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell picked up seven birdies when out nice and early on Saturday to fire a five-under 67.

That score was easily the world No 24's best of the week and was good enough to move him into a share of 13th place at one under overall.

Brown matched that score later in the day, but the two stars on show were Scott and Poulter and they look to be the only golfers set to fight it out for the gold jacket on the final day.

All smiles: Ian Poulter

Adam Scott

Head-to-head: Poulter and Scott will battle it out for the gold jacket at the Australian Masters

Golf blog

Playing in the penultimate group of the day, Poulter and Scott matched each other for the majority of the round through two distinctly different looks and playing styles.

Poulter was dressed boldly in red and often cautious off the tee, while Scott was more conservatively clothed in a grey sweater and often outdriving the Englishman by over 50 metres on some holes.

The two contrasting styles were obvious to all following the marquee group in Melbourne's south-east and none more so than on the relatively short par-four 7th.

Scott boomed his drive just a lob wedge away from the green and tapped in for his three after his approach shot stopped within a couple of feet from the hole, while Poulter made his birdie the hard way.

He had to rely on a putt from just off the green rolling in after his long-iron failed to make the putting surface from quite some distance out.

The Englishman cheekily smiled at his playing partner once the ball hit the bottom of the cup as Poulter took a share of the lead for the first time during his round.

Scott joined Poulter and Guyatt out in front at the eighth when he made his third consecutive birdie, but from that point on there were only two players in contention.

It was a case of 'anything you can do, I can do better' for Scott and Poulter, with the pair going head-to-head on the inward nine and producing some outstanding golf.

They picked up another four birdies apiece on the way home and none more impressive than when they made a mockery of the short and tricky par-three 15th by making a pair of twos with relative ease.

A hole later they both dropped a stroke – it was to be Poulter's only blemish for the day – and, when Scott could not get up-and-down from the back of the 17th and had to settle for a bogey, the defending champion was out in front on his own yet again.

The duo then birdied the last in style to complete the day's showdown and will once again go head-to-head on Sunday when the Masters winner will be crowned.

Chinese prodigy Guan Tianlong in line to win place at the Masters

Fourteen-year-old Chinese prodigy in line to win place at the Masters next year

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UPDATED:

14:45 GMT, 2 November 2012

Could a 14-year-old be playing in the Masters next year That amazing possibility has moved firmly into view after Chinese prodigy Guan Tianlang opened up a five stroke lead at the halfway stage of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand.

The event is backed by Augusta National Golf Club and draws the best amateurs from all over Asia and beyond, drawn by the irresistible lure of a place in the field at the Masters that goes to the winner.

After opening with a wonderful 66, everyone wondered whether the slightly built Guan, who only turned 14 last week, would succumb to stage fright in Friday's second round. He certainly answered that one with a stunning 64 to spread eagle the field.

Unmistakable: The beautiful Augusta National Golf Club, host of The Masters, which was won by American Bubba Watson (below) this year

Unmistakable: The beautiful Augusta National Golf Club, host of The
Masters, which was won by Bubba Watson (below) in an emotional triumph this year

Unmistakable: The beautiful Augusta National Golf Club, host of The Masters, which was won by American Bubba Watson (below) this year

'My goal was to come here and win and go to the Masters but I know there is a long way to go and it will be far from easy,' said Guan. 'I'm not thinking that far ahead because I know there are so many good players here.'

An indication of the prestige of the event is illustrated by the fact 36 different nations are represented among the 120 player field.

Guan first came to public attention last April when he made European Tour history by becoming the youngest player to play in a full-field event when he competed in the Volvo China Open. The way he is going, he will be making headlines all around the world next April as well.

At present the youngest player to compete in the game's youngest major is Matteo Manassero who, just for good measure, went on to make the halfway cut as well at the 2010 Masters aged 16.

At the United States Open last year, 14 year old Andy Zhang came through qualifying to become the youngest player to compete in a major since Young Tom Morris – a month younger than Zhang – strode on to the Prestwick links as one of 13 competitors in the 1865 Open.

If Guan manages to hold on and win this weekend, he will be younger than Zhang but older than Morris.

Teen dream: Andy Zhang at the US Open

Teen dream: Andy Zhang at the US Open

The teenagers are taking over!

Andy Zhang, another 14-year-old, became the youngest player to compete in a major championship since 1865 when he teed up at the US Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco in June.

Zhang was born in China, but made in America. A golf coach spotted him on a scouting mission in China and, at the age of 10, Zhang and his family moved to Florida and David Leadbetter’s academy.

Sadly, Zhang missed the cut at the Olympic Club after rounds of 79 and 78.

But he'll be back…

Joel Sjoholm claims first-round lead at BMW Italian Open

Sjoholm back in form with flawless 64 to claim first-round lead in Italy

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UPDATED:

18:24 GMT, 13 September 2012

Eight birdies put Sweden's Joel
Sjoholm one stroke clear with a round of 64 in the opening round of the
BMW Italian Open presented by CartaSi.

The 27-year-old had eight birdies in
his flawless round at Royal Park I Roveri as defending champion Robert
Rock could only shoot two under.

In the zone: Joel Sjoholm lines up a putt

In the zone: Joel Sjoholm lines up a putt

Italian Francesco Molinari was the best placed of the Ryder Cup-bound trio in the field as he shot four under, with Germany's Martin Kaymer carding two under and Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts firing a one under 71.

Sjoholm, who was born in Chile but adopted as a baby and took up the game at the age of three, did not drop a shot as he finished one ahead of England's Lee Slattery who moved to seven under in one of the final rounds to be completed.

Two of Slattery's seven birdies came on the final two holes to put him one stroke ahead of a group of seven.

Impressive: England's Lee Slattery

Impressive: England's Lee Slattery

A late charge by David Howell had seen him join Richard McEvoy and Richard Bland, South Africans Keith Horne and Garth Mulroy, France's Victor Dubuisson and Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin on six under.

Despite his score, Sjoholm felt he had not necessarily produced his best golf.

'It's more fun now I've finished,' he said.

'I hit it basically everywhere. I was in the woods a lot and made some funny birdies today.

'It was a big, fighting 64 rather than a solid 64, but it's great fun to be eight under.

'I want revenge because the last two weeks I actually played quite good golf. Normally when I score well, I have to putt well.

'The last few weeks I've putted quite poorly and missed the cut by one
stroke. Both times I felt like I had a good chance to make the cut, but
you have to forget and keep moving on.'

Molinari's brother Edoardo made his return after three months out following wrist surgery and scored two under with fives birdies and three bogeys in his native Turin.

He said: 'The wrist is feeling good. I'm very happy with it. There is absolutely no pain at all.

'It's an okay start. I was very rusty. I hit the ball quite poorly to be honest, but it's more than two months since I last played in competition. It's going to be a long way back to the top but I'll get there.'

England v South Africa: Jonny Bairstow hits half century as host dig in

Bairstow hits half century as England dig in after top order wobble

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UPDATED:

17:35 GMT, 17 August 2012

Jonny Bairstow's half century saved England after a top order collapse threatened to take the third and final Test out of the hosts hands.

Andrew Strauss was dismissed on the stroke of lunch and Jonathan Trott, Alistair Cook and James Taylor soon followed him back to the pavilion.

But Ian Bell and Bairstow dug in and put on a partnership of 124 to leave England on 208-5 at stumps on day two as they chased South Africa's total of 309.

More to follow…

Fightback: Ian Bell (left) and Jonny Bairstow (right) put on a partnership of 124 to help England after an early wobble

Fightback: Ian Bell (left) and Jonny Bairstow (right) put on a partnership of 124 to help England after an early wobble

ENGLAND v SOUTH AFRICA

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Finding his feet: Bairstow played well as England looked to chase down South Africa's first innings total

Finding his feet: Bairstow played well as England looked to chase down South Africa's first innings total

First to go: England captain Andrew Strauss was dismissed just before lunch

First to go: England captain Andrew Strauss was dismissed just before lunch

Going to the video: Jonathan Trott reacts as he's given out by the 3rd umpire

Going to the video: Jonathan Trott reacts as he's given out by the 3rd umpire

Short stuff: Ian Bell is hit by a short delivery from South Africa's Morne Morkel

Short stuff: Ian Bell is hit by a short delivery from South Africa's Morne Morkel

Watching on: Strauss, coach Andy Flower, Trott, and Alastair Cook look on from the team balcony after they were dismissed

Watching on: Strauss, coach Andy Flower, Trott, and Alastair Cook look on from the team balcony after they were dismissed

That is out: Morne Morkel takes the wicket of James Taylor

That is out: Morne Morkel takes the wicket of James Taylor