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Rory McIlroy on golf drug testing: ‘I could get away with it’


Rory McIlroy on golf drug testing: ‘I could get away with it’

12 Jul From the sectionGolf

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 Rory Mcllroy

Rory Mcllroy won the Open Championship in 2014

Rory McIlroy says golf must improve its drug-testing regime as he could “get away with” doping as it stands.
The most recent report from the World Anti-Doping Agency revealed 507 tests were carried out on golfers in 2014, with eight testing positive.
“I’ve been tested once this year but it was only a urine test,” said the Northern Irish world number four.
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“You can’t really pick up HGH (human growth hormone) in a urine test, so I could use HGH and get away with it.”
The 27-year-old added: “If golf is in the Olympics it needs to improve the drug testing.
“On average, we get tested four or five times a year. It’s very little compared to other Olympic sports.”
A UK Anti-Doping spokesperson told BBC Sport: “UK Anti-Doping are currently in the process of carrying out a comprehensive testing programme for British athletes heading to the Olympic Games this summer.
“This programme includes golf and players who will form part of TeamGB in Rio this summer.”
The International Golf Federation, which is responsible for the testing programme, has not commented.
Wada carried out 283,304 tests worldwide, with banned substances found in more than 3,800 samples.
It told BBC Sport more than 10% of elite athletes could be using performance-enhancing drugs.
Golf had the fewest number of tests done out of all the summer Olympic sports.

I may not watch Olympic golf – McIlroy

Speaking in the build-up to the Open Championship at Royal Troon, McIlroy added: “Drug testing in golf is some way behind the other sports – but I don’t think there are drugs that can make you better across the board.
“There are drugs that can make you stronger and make you concentrate more, but not that can make you a better all-round golfer, as far as I am aware.”
Last month, McIlroy withdrew from the Olympic Games in Rio because of concerns about the Zika virus.
The Open begins on Thursday, and McIlroy has been paired in his first round alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Bubba Watson.
Full tee times for Thursday

The Open Championship

Venue: Royal Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland Dates: 14 July to 17 July

Masters 2016: The five Ps that can win the Green Jacket at Augusta National

 
Article courtesy of TheGaurdian  
1: Precision

Accuracy from the tee is underrated, and has become more necessary over the years but with approach shots it is absolutely essential.
“If you’re off with your tee shots, then you’re going to have a really long day,” explains the 2013 champion, Adam Scott. “But if you’re off with your iron play from the fairway, you’re going to have a long day on the greens putting from 40ft and not giving yourself a lot of chances.
“There are great opportunities here at this course but if the mistakes are made in the wrong areas, there’s a disaster waiting to happen on every shot.”
2: Patience

You cannot force anything around Augusta National. Rather, it is a case of taking opportunities when they arrive. And they will only arrive with a calm mindset.

The Forgotten Story of … the 1966 Masters

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“You’ve always got to be patient when you’re playing major championships, and at Augusta in particular,” says Henrik Stenson. “It’s just that the margins for error are so small.
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“I think the patience is even more necessary if you end up in trouble. You want to try and minimise it, make a bogey. Double bogeys are always hard to make up for in majors.
“And also, if you don’t get on a good run, you’ve just got to stay patient because you will have a good run at some point if you’re going to have anything to do with the final outcome.”
3: Pressure

With the greatest will in the world, not many kids grow up harbouring a dream of winning the US PGA Championship. The iconic status of the Masters, even the Green Jacket itself, places an inevitable mental burden upon those who find themselves in Sunday contention.
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Jason Day has spoken of wanting the Masters too much, to his detriment. Sandy Lyle, who won in 1988, adds: “Trying to win any major is stomach-churning. I had a two shot lead at the turn here and I am thinking: ‘Here we go, it’s all over in the next two-and-a-half hours.’
“It’s being like in a waiting room at the dentist. Your stomach is turning over at the thought of knowing you are going to have a painful experience. That’s about as a good way I can explain it.”
4: Putting

Augusta’s greens are notoriously quick and sloping. As Rory McIlroy puts it: “Sometimes you have 5ft left and would be happy with a two-putt.”

The Joy of Six: The Masters

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Being blunt, it is impossible to win without putting well over four days. When you putt brilliantly, as shown by Jordan Spieth last year, there is scope for seriously low scoring.
“On Masters week, there is a progression with the greens,” says the 2007 champion, Zach Johnson. “The roll-out becomes more and more. It may not be drastic but there is a couple of feet difference on roll-out of putts. Every year when I get here, my focus is on work on the greens; as it should be.”
5: Par fives

Holes 2, 8, 13 and 15 historically play as the easiest on Masters week. Taking advantage of the chances as presented here can define a player’s position.
“There are no longer any holes outside of the par fives that are easy birdies, other than the 3rd,” explains Phil Mickelson. “The par fours now are so long and tough, that you’re coming in with mid and long irons more often than short irons. We used to hit a lot of wedges in here and now we don’t.
“That’s why the par fives are such a critical element; they give you momentum and opportunities. They’re the only ones that you’re going to have easy putts for birdies. You’re going to have to make a lot of 20- to 40-footers to make birdies on the other holes. So you have to play them smart and effective to be able to shoot under par here.”

Sunshine Classic will see the Chase hotting up


A birdie-birdie finish for a fourth place finish in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge pushed ‘comeback kid’ Kiran Matharu to the summit in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies standings on Sunday.

The 27-year-old English golfer will start the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic, sponsored by Canon, at Glendower on Tuesday with just the slenderest of margins.

She is a mere 255 points ahead of South Africa’s Nicole Garcia, who triumphed at Fancourt, and she has less than a 300-point lead on another South African, Ashleigh Buhai, also a winner this season.

The Leeds golfer put her fans on notice with a top three finish in the season-opening SuperSport Ladies Challenge in early January. She steadily climbed the standings with a fistful of top five finishes before she claimed a magnificent wire-to-wire victory in the Ladies Tshwane Open to pronounce herself a top contender for the R1-million season-finale at Millvale Private Retreat in March.

Even if Matharu surrenders the top spot at Glendower Golf Club, the last seven weeks in South Africa have reshaped Matharu’s career.

She had a long list of achievements as a junior and backed up a victory in the Faldo Series with the English Ladies Amateur Championship title before she joined the pro ranks in 2006.

She won the Volvo Cross Country Challenge – an order of merit based on results in the Scandinavian TPC, SAS Masters, Finnair Masters and Nykredit Masters – in her second season and kept her card going until her career hit the skids and she lost her tour status completely in 2012.

A series of injuries that led to a loss of form and confidence and even a bout of the yips left the poster girl for Asian golf at a crossroads, but Matharu was not ready to except defeat.

Thanks to a cricket physiotherapist, her swing issues was finally diagnosed. Matharu’s problems stemmed from locked hips, but with long hours working on the game, a lot of hard graft in the gym, physiotherapy and her unwavering believe that she could turn things around, she has come full circle.

A tie for third at the WPGA International Challenge, a tie for seventh on the LETAS Tour and ninth in the Hero Women’s Indian Open last year signalled a return to form.

And here, on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, Matharu is getting back to her best. Buhai won the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies at Glendower in 2014 and Garcia scored her maiden breakthrough at the BMW SA Open venue in 2015. Both players will be hunting repeat success, but the pair agree that Matharu is becoming tougher to beat.

‘Kiran has just stronger and better each week and she’ll want to protect that number one spot at all cost,’ said Buhai, who missed the R500 000 showpiece in George last week for the LPGA Tour’s Australian Women’s Open.

‘I played with Kiran in the final round of the Ladies Tshwane Open and I know she will be tough to beat and she is a very hard opponent, because she never lets up.’

Garcia believes Matharu has the form and determination to go all the way to the finish line.

‘She definitely has the game and the experience and she’s shown week in, week out that she is a top contender,’ said the Benoni golfer.

‘That’s what makes this year’s Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies so exciting. Kiran is an iron lady, Ash is coming into really great form and I’m so confident after the win in George. With Lee-Anne Pace and Carrie Park out of the country, this week is going to be a huge battle between the three of us.’

– See more at: http://www.sascoc.co.za/2017/02/21/sunshine-classic-will-see-the-chase-hotting-up/#sthash.BHABneqG.dpuf

Stenson blazes through NGC back nine

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Henrik Stenson showed his mettle on Friday when he blitzed the back nine of the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City to ease into the halfway lead of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
The 2008 champion had made three consecutive bogeys ahead of the turn, cancelling out his good start of three birdies in the first five holes, but after a two-hour and 10-minute weather delay as an electrical storm raged overhead seemed to charge him up, and he made five birdies on his homeward journey to card a 67 for a one-stroke edge over Jaco van Zyl.
“I just tried to stay patient and get round, and I’ve done that pretty well so far,” said Stenson, who thought he might not even start the tournament because of a bout of flu.
“I’m getting over the virus, but I was more fatigued this morning than I was yesterday just because of playing yesterday. It takes a lot out of you playing in 35 to 40 degrees Celsius when you’re not physically well.
I’m heading in the right direction, but I’m not getting a chance to rest up much. Tomorrow I’ll probably have very heavy legs again, but being in the hunt for a tournament should get me going and hopefully that will kick-start it tomorrow.”
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Van Zyl was always in the lead until Stenson edged clear of him with a birdie on 17, and, playing in the same group as the Swede certainly motivated him. “It felt a little like a duel between me and Henrik,” he said.
“I looked at the leaderboard and I think we were two or three clear of the rest of the field. It’s always good fun, especially if you’re in the same group. You can kind of keep an eye on each other. There’s good reason why he’s No 7 in the world, looking at the putts he made coming in.”
One stroke behind Van Zyl in third on nine-under-par at halfway was American Robert Streb, who had the round of the day with his six-under-par 66 – and that was achieved despite consecutive bogeys on 16 and 17 – and they came after a run of three consecutive birdies.
And in fourth, Australian Marc Leishman carded his second consecutive four-under-par 68 to keep himself very much in contention at the conclusion of what has been a good year for him.
It’s all setting up for a good weekend, and Stenson, for one, is looking forward to it. “It’s a course that suits my game, I’ve always enjoyed playing here and the fans are very appreciative as well,” he said.
“I would’ve felt really bad if I hadn’t been able to play as I’ve had some messages from South Africans saying they’re coming to watch me play. I couldn’t defend the SA Open in 2013 due to my wrist, so it would’ve been hard not to play. It was nice to get some support, even though most of them are supporting Jaco in the final group.”
Van Zyl is up for it too. “It’s always nice playing in front of your home crowd and it makes it even more special being in such a big event. I’m really looking forward to the next two days,” he said.
© Sunshine Tour

Kamte fights back to grab the lead in Zambia Open

  

James Kamte made the most of moving day at the 2016 Zambia Sugar Open by carding a sensational third round, eight-under-par 65 at Lusaka Golf Club on Saturday.

On 14-under-par, Kamte leads a cramped chasing pack going into Sunday by three strokes.

The 33-year-old South African’s round included 11 birdies, three bogeys and only three birdies and he was almost left speechless in his post-round interview.

‘It was a special round today. I think I got stuck more into my game plan today. It just was a perfect round, you know. You don’t get too many like this. 11 birdies and three bogeys, I mean I don’t know what to say. It was a good round.’

Unlike yesterday, Kamte managed to take advantage of the par-fives around Lusaka Golf Club, and birdied four of the five.

‘I played the par-fives badly yesterday. I was one-over on them yesterday. Today I just told myseld that I needed to focus until the last hole. It’s great to see that I’m up there and that I’ve given myself a chance.’

Four players are three strokes further back, with Krugersdorp native Ruan de Smit making the biggest move of out of the bunch.

De Smit said: ‘I got off to a slow start, but played really nicely from there. I hit my driver the worst all week, but I think I had 10 putts on the back-nine which definitely helps a lot.’

De Smit was questioned about what it will take to take home with the trophy on Sunday and said,’Go low on the back-nine. Just take advantage of the four par-fives on the back-nine and hopefully it’s enough to beat the guys out there.’

Jan Hugo and Ulrich van den Berg join de Smit in second position on 11-under-par for the tournament. Hugo brought the gathering crowd to their feet on the 18th green with a chip-in eagle to card a back-nine of five-under-par 33.

‘It’s always nice to finish like that. It gives you a little boost for tomorrow. It shows you that you should never give up. That’s probably the motto for the week; you know “Anything can happen”. I’ll take that into tomorrow and we’ll see what happens.’

In typical moving day fashion, Merrick Bremner shot up the leaderboard froma share of 23rd to sole possession of sixth place. His third round six-under-par 66 leaves him four shots off the lead on 10-under-par. ‘I’m really pleased. I set it alight a bit on the back-nine and hit a few shots really close. I drove the ball well and gave myself a lot of opportunities.’

Round two leader Andrew Georgiou finds himself five shots off the pace after an unfortunate triple-bogey eight on the par-five 10th hole.

With an abundance of birdie and eagle opportunities on the back-nine, it will be a fascinating Sunday in Lusaka, and Kamte knows he will need to keep his cool to take home the trophy.

I’ve got one hand on the trophy now. I need to just keep my head and just keep going.’

Scores:

205 – James Kamte (RSA) 66 74 65

208 – Ruan de Smidt (RSA) 70 70 68, Jean Hugo (RSA) 69 70 69, Ulrich van den Berg (RSA) 67 71 70, CJ du Plessis (RSA) 70 67 71

209 – Merrick Bremner (RSA) 73 70 66

210 – Jean-Paul Strydom (RSA) 71 72 67, Chris Swanepoel (RSA) 71 68 71, Andrew Georgiou (CYP) 69 66 75

211 – Jacques Kruyswijk (RSA) 73 71 67, Colin Nel (RSA) 69 72 70, Erik van Rooyen (RSA) 71 69 71

212 – JC Ritchie (RSA) 76 67 69, Louis de Jager (RSA) 70 72 70, Zander Lombard (RSA) 73 69 70, Doug McGuigan (SCO) 70 69 73

213 – Bryce Easton (RSA) 74 71 68, Teboho Sefatsa (RSA) 73 72 68, Jaco Prinsloo (RSA) 70 74 69, Christofer Blomstrand (SWE) 73 71 69, Lindani Ndwandwe (RSA) 72 70 71,Scott Vincent (ZIM) 71 70 72

214 – MJ Viljoen (RSA) 73 73 68, Tyrone Mordt (RSA) 74 72 68, JJ Senekal (RSA) 76 69 69, Ryan Tipping (RSA) 70 74 70, Keenan Davidse (RSA) 73 70 71,Steve Surry (ENG) 71 72 71, Morne Buys (RSA) 68 75 71, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 72 69 73, Russel Franz (RSA) 71 70 73, Jonathan Agren (SWE) 71 70 73

215 – Rourke van der Spuy (RSA) 78 67 70, Le Roux Ferreira (RSA) 75 69 71, Calvin Pearson (RSA) 69 70 76

216 – Jaco Ahlers (RSA) 70 75 71, Danie van Tonder (RSA) 73 72 71, Oliver Bekker (RSA) 71 73 72, Madalitso Muthiya (ZAM) 70 73 73, Alexander Knappe (GER) 73 70 73,Stephen Ferreira (POR) 73 70 73, Jason Froneman (RSA) 69 73 74, Allan Versfeld (RSA) 68 73 75

217 – Andrew Curlewis (RSA) 74 71 72, Bradford Vaughan (RSA) 74 71 72, Etienne Bond (RSA) 73 72 72, Wallie Coetsee (RSA) 72 72 73, Lyle Rowe (RSA) 74 70 73
218 – Teaghan Gauche (RSA) 67 76 75, TC Charamba (ZIM) 75 67 76

219 – Jack Harrison (ENG) 68 70 81

220 – Lean Boezaart (RSA) 74 73 73, Jeff Hopkins (IRL) 73 73 74, Justin Harding (RSA) 74 72 74, Neil Schietekat (RSA) 69 76 75, Breyten Meyer (RSA) 73 71 76

221 – Kevin Rundle (RSA) 71 76 74, Stefan Engell Andersen (KEN) 73 74 74, Dayne Moore (ZAM) 70 77 74, Drikus van der Walt (RSA) 72 70 79

222 – Nemanja Savic (SRB) 71 76 75, Dwayne Basson (RSA) 71 76 75, Henry Featherstone (ENG) 73 73 76, Vaughn Groenewald (RSA) 72 73 77,Thanda Mavundla (RSA) 75 70 77, Heinrich Bruiners (RSA) 76 68 78

223 – Michael Hollick (RSA) 71 76 76, Steven Ferreira (RSA) 75 71 7

224 – Jared Harvey (RSA) 72 72 80

– See more at: http://www.sascoc.co.za/2016/04/24/kamte-fights-back-to-grab-the-lead-in-zambia-open/#sthash.S9gpR3rI.dpuf

Charl Schwartzel Beats Bill Haas In Playoff To Win 2016 Valspar Championship

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PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) Coming up on five years since winning the Masters, Charl Schwartzel was starting to wonder if he would ever win again on American soil.

He didn’t have much reason to think that would change Sunday at the Valspar Championship.

Schwartzel was five shots behind going into the final round on an Innisbrook course that was tougher than ever, and still three shots behind as he approached the toughest part of the Copperhead course.

What followed were extraordinary shots, and a playoff victory over Bill Haas.

All it took was a 65-foot birdie across the green on the 13th. He got up-and-down for birdie from a tough lie in the bunker. His go-for-broke pitch from a dicey lie on the edge of the bunker on the 16th hole allowed him to save par. And he made a 25-foot birdie putt he couldn’t afford to miss on the 17th.

Schwartzel closed with a 4-under 67 – the best score Sunday – and won on the first extra hole when Haas made bogey from a bunker.

”I just needed to get over the hurdle of winning out here again,” Schwartzel said. ”And I think the way today played out with it being really difficult, you’re grinding just to make pars and keep the ball in play. I just needed to put it together on the weekend when it counted.”

He won for the third time in his last six events dating to December (the other two were in South Africa)

Haas had a two-shot lead with three holes to play, and he was torn between whether he let one get away or whether the South African simply won it. Schwartzel and Georgia senior Lee McCoy (69) were the only two players from the final nine groups to break par.

”Charl had the mentality of needing to shoot a good score, and he did, and that was a hard thing to do,” Haas said. ”I had the mentality, `If I shoot even par, I win.’ Pars were kind of good. … I won’t beat myself up too bad. I’ve got to give Charl credit.”

The difference was Schwartzel making two long birdies, and Haas making bogey on the toughest hole at Innisbrook on No. 16. In the playoff, Haas hit into the trees, came up short into a bunker, and blasted out of the soft sand about 20 feet away and missed the par putt.

”That stuff happens,” Haas said about Schwartzel’s birdies. ”That’s what winners do. And winners don’t bogey two of their last four holes they play.”

McCoy felt like as big of a winner as Schwartzel.

The 22-year-old in his final year of college grew up next to Innisbrook and made good on his first sponsor’s exemption. He played next to Jordan Spieth, the world’s No. 1 player, in the final round and looked like a pro on his way to finishing alone in fourth.

It was the best finish by an amateur in a PGA Tour event of top players since 17-year-old Justin Rose tied for fourth at the British Open in 1998 at Royal Birkdale. Robbie Shelton tied for third last year in the Barbasol Championship, held opposite the British Open.

McCoy would have earned $292,800 had he been a pro.

”It was even more fun than you can possibly imagine with it being my home course, being in contention on Sunday playing with the No. 1 player in the world who is an absolute gentleman all day long,” McCoy said. ”It was really, really special.”

Spieth fell behind early, never caught up and closed with a 73 to tie for 18th, seven shots behind. He couldn’t help but applaud McCoy when he finished his round.

Schwartzel and Haas finished at 7-under 277.

It was the highest score to par to win on the PGA Tour since the Spieth won the U.S. Open at 5 under.

”I think everyone’s goal is to keep bogeys off the card,” Schwartzel said when he finished his regulation round. ”You’re just surviving.”

That wasn’t easy to do.

Steve Stricker was two shots out of the lead until he made a double bogey on the par-5 11th and never recovered. Graham DeLaet of Canada, starting the final round one shot behind and determined to get his first PGA Tour victory, never made a birdie in his round of 75.

Ryan Moore hit the ball great and couldn’t figure out the greens, which were slower than normal. Moore was within one shot of the lead at the turn, but he closed with 12 straight pars for a 71 to finish two shots out of the playoff in third place.

It also was a tough day for Ian Poulter, who had a 75-75 weekend and tied for 67th.

That bumped Poulter down to No. 67 in the world ranking, which could knock him out of the Dell Match Play. This was the final week before the world ranking is used to determine the 64-man field (Jim Furyk and Henrik Stenson are not playing). PGA Tour rookie Patton Kizzire closed with a 72 and tied for 33rd, enough to move past Poulter.

Nedbank Golf Challenge: Henrik Stenson shares lead in Sun City

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Nedbank Golf Challenge round one leaderboard
-6 J van Zyl (SA), H Stenson (Swe); -5 D Willett (Eng); -4 B Grace (SA), M Leishman (US)
Selected others -3 R Knox (Sco), R Fisher (Eng) M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -2 MA Jimenez (Spa), L Oosthuizen (SA); Level K Bradley (US), L Westwood (Eng)
Henrik Stenson overcame illness to take a share of the lead on six under after round one of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City.

The Swede, who has “been in bed with flu for three days” said he had “only a five per cent chance of playing” after pulling out of Tuesday’s pro-am.

Stenson leads with South African Jaco van Zyl after both had bogey-free 66s.

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Defending champion Danny Willett of England is third after having five birdies and no bogeys in his 67.

Willett, who finished second to Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai, said: “I don’t think he (Stenson) can be ill. He played brilliantly.

“You’ve got to think that if you can stay close to him over the next few days you’ll be doing well. Not too close though, he can keep his virus away!”

However, Stenson, who had all six of his birdies in his opening 10 holes, said: “From the 14th onwards my legs were like jelly and it was a real struggle.

“I completely ran out of energy. I missed a couple of chances coming in, but I would’ve taken one under standing on the first tee.”

South Africa’s Branden Grace and Open runner-up Marc Leishman are two shots off the pace in the 30-man event on four under, while last year’s runner-up Ross Fisher, his fellow Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick and Scotland’s Russell Knox are on three under.

Knox, who is making his first appearance as a full European Tour member and hoping to qualify for his first Ryder Cup appearance in 2016, said: “The number one reason I’m here is because I’ve had a great season, so it’s nice to reward myself.

“It’s a huge bonus and I’m not going to stress out.”

146th British Open – Schedule 

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Tomorrow marks the first round of the 146th British Open and below is a list of every player and their respective tee times for the first two days. We’d like to wish all our South African players the best of luck. 
Day one and Day two schedule: 

FIRST ROUND, THURSDAY, JULY 20
 
07:35 – Mark O’Meara (USA), Chris Wood, Ryan Moore (USA) 
07:46 – Phachara Khongwatmai (THA), a-Maverick McNealy (USA), Stuart Manley
07:57 – Stewart Cink (USA), Sandy Lyle, Wang Jeung-Hun (KOR) 
08:08 – Paul Broadhurst, Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Roberto Castro (USA) 
08:19 – Tom Lehman (USA), An Byeong-Hun (KOR), DARREN FICHARDT (RSA) 
08:30 – Soren Kjeldsen (DEN), Billy Horschel (USA), Danny Willett
08:41 – Matthew Fitzpatrick, Steve Stricker (USA), Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 
08:52 – Jason Dufner (USA), BRANDEN GRACE (RSA) , Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 
09:03 – Russell Knox, Alex Noren (SWE), Ian Poulter 
09:14 – David Duval (USA), Prayad Marksaeng (THA), K.T. Kim (KOR) 
09:25 – Song Young-Han (KOR), David Horsey, DYLAN FRITTELLI (RSA) 
09:36 – Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA), Charles Howell III (USA), Shiv Kapur (IND) 
09:47 – Russell Henley (USA), Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR), Peter Uihlein (USA) 
10:03 – Brendan Steele (USA), Alexander Levy (FRA), Webb Simpson (USA) 
10:14 – Wesley Bryan (USA), Anirban Lahiri (IND), a-Alfie Plant
10:25 – Darren Clarke, Gary Woodland (USA), a-Harry Ellis
10:36 – Pat Perez (USA), Padraig Harrington, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 
10:47 – Henrik Stenson (SWE), Kim Si-Woo (KOR), Jordan Spieth (USA) 
10:58 – Justin Rose, LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) , Justin Thomas (USA) 
11:09 – Hideki Matsuyama (JPN), Brooks Koepka (USA), Tommy Fleetwood
11:20 – J.B. Holmes (USA), Brandt Snedeker (USA), Shane Lowry
11:31 – SHAUN NORRIS (RSA) , Richard Bland, a-Luca Cianchetti (ITA) 
11:42 – Chang Yi-Keun (KOR), Chan Kim (USA), Mark Foster 
11:53 – Kang Sung-hoon (KOR), Tony Finau (USA), Matthieu Pavon (FRA) 
12:04 – Alexander Bjork (SWE), Joseph Dean, Robert Streb (USA) 
12:15 – Julian Suri (USA), Robert Dinwiddie, Adam Hodkinson
12:36 – Adam Hadwin (CAN), Andrew Johnston, Todd Hamilton (USA) 
12:47 – John Daly (USA), Adam Bland (AUS), a-Connor Syme
12:58 – William McGirt (USA), Toby Tree, Jamie Lovemark (USA) 
13:09 – Austin Connelly (CAN), Matthew Griffin (AUS), Matthew Southgate
13:20 – Cameron Smith (AUS), Bill Haas (USA), Callum Shinkwin
13:31 – Brian Harman (USA), Michael Hendry (NZL), Martin Laird
13:42 – Ross Fisher, ERNIE ELS (RSA) , Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 
13:53 – Tyrrell Hatton, Martin Kaymer (GER), Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 
14:04 – Jason Day (AUS), Zach Johnson (USA), Sergio Garcia (ESP) 
14:15 – Andy Sullivan, Joost Luiten (NED), David Lipsky (USA) 
14:26 – Rickie Fowler (USA), Adam Scott (AUS), Paul Casey
14:37 – Matt Kuchar (USA), Richie Ramsay, Ryan Fox (NZL) 
14:48 – Charley Hoffman (USA), Kevin Kisner (USA), David Drysdale
15:04 – Hideto Tanihara (JPN), Jimmy Walker (USA), Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 
15:15 – Jhonattan Vegas (VEN), BRANDON STONE (RSA) , Sean O’Hair (USA) 
15:26 – Pablo Larrazabal (ESP), Daniel Berger (USA), Yuta Ikeda (JPN) 
15:37 – Paul Lawrie, Kevin Chappell (USA), Yusaku Miyazato (JPN) 
15:48 – Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson (USA), CHARL SCHWARTZEL (RSA) 
15:59 – Jon Rahm (ESP), Patrick Reed (USA), Lee Westwood
16:10 – Phil Mickelson (USA), Francesco Molinari (ITA), Marc Leishman (AUS) 
16:21 – Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP), Scott Hend (AUS), Bubba Watson (USA) 
16:32 – Paul Waring, Kyle Stanley (USA), Kevin Na (USA) 
16:43 – Xander Schauffele (USA), Kim Gi-Whan (KOR), Andrew Dodt (AUS) 
16:54 – Li Haotong (CHN), Kent Bulle (USA), Haydn McCullen
17:05 – JBE KRUGER (RSA) , Nick McCarthy, Ashley Hall (AUS) 
17:16 – Ryan McCarthy (AUS), Laurie Canter, Sebastian Munoz (COL)


 
SECOND ROUND, FRIDAY, JULY 21

07:35 – Adam Hadwin (CAN), Andrew Johnston, Todd Hamilton (USA) 
07:46 – John Daly (USA), Adam Bland (AUS), a-Connor Syme
07:57 – William McGirt (USA), Toby Tree, Jamie Lovemark (USA) 
08:08 – Austin Connelly (CAN), Matthew Griffin (AUS), Matthew Southgate
08:19 – Cameron Smith (AUS), Bill Haas (USA), Callum Shinkwin
08:30 – Brian Harman (USA), Michael Hendry (NZL), Martin Laird
08:41 – Ross Fisher, ERNIE ELS (RSA) , Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 
08:52 – Tyrrell Hatton, Martin Kaymer (GER), Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 
09:03 – Jason Day (AUS), Zach Johnson (USA), Sergio Garcia (ESP) 
09:14 – Andy Sullivan, Joost Luiten (NED), David Lipsky (USA) 
09:25 – Rickie Fowler (USA), Adam Scott (AUS), Paul Casey
09:36 – Matt Kuchar (USA), Richie Ramsay, Ryan Fox (NZL) 
09:47 – Kevin Kisner (USA), Charley Hoffman (USA), David Drysdale
10:03 – Hideto Tanihara (JPN), Jimmy Walker (USA), Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 
10:14 – Jhonattan Vegas (VEN), BRANDON STONE (RSA) , Sean O’Hair (USA) 
10:25 – Daniel Berger (USA), Pablo Larrazabal (ESP), Yuta Ikeda (JPN) 
10:36 – Kevin Chappell (USA), Paul Lawrie, Yusaku Miyazato (JPN) 
10:47 – Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson (USA), CHARL SCHWARTZEL (RSA) 
10:58 – Patrick Reed (USA), Jon Rahm (ESP), Lee Westwood
11:09 – Francesco Molinari (ITA), Phil Mickelson (USA), Marc Leishman (AUS) 
11:20 – Scott Hend (AUS), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP), Bubba Watson (USA) 
11:31 – Kyle Stanley (USA), Paul Waring, Kevin Na (USA) 
11:42 – Kim Gi-Whan (KOR), Xander Schauffele (USA), Andrew Dodt (AUS) 
11:53 – Li Haotong (CHN), Kent Bulle (USA), Haydn McCullen
12:04 – JBE KRUGER (RSA) , Nick McCarthy, Ashley Hall (AUS) 
12:15 – Laurie Canter, Ryan McCarthy (AUS), Sebastian Munoz (COL) 
12:36 – Chris Wood, Mark O’Meara (USA), Ryan Moore (USA) 
12:47 – Phachara Khongwatmai (THA), a-Maverick McNealy (USA), Stuart Manley 
12:58 – Stewart Cink (USA), Sandy Lyle, Wang Jeung-Hun (KOR) 
13:09 – Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Paul Broadhurst, Roberto Castro (USA) 
13:20 – Tom Lehman (USA), An Byeong-Hun (KOR), DARREN FICHARDT (RSA) 
13:31 – Billy Horschel (USA), Soren Kjeldsen (DEN), Danny Willett
13:42 – Steve Stricker (USA), Matthew Fitzpatrick, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 
13:53 – Jason Dufner (USA), BRANDEN GRACE (RSA) , Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 
14:04 – Russell Knox, Alex Noren (SWE), Ian Poulter
14:15 – David Duval (USA), Prayad Marksaeng (THA), K.T. Kim (KOR) 
14:26 – Song Young-Han (KOR), David Horsey, DYLAN FRITTELLI (RSA) 
14:37 – Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA), Charles Howell III (USA), Shiv Kapur (IND) 
14:48 – Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR), Russell Henley (USA), Peter Uihlein (USA) 
15:04 – Brendan Steele (USA), Alexander Levy (FRA), Webb Simpson (USA) 
15:15 – Wesley Bryan (USA), Anirban Lahiri (IND), a-Alfie Plant
15:26 – Gary Woodland (USA), Darren Clarke, a-Harry Ellis
15:37 – Padraig Harrington, Pat Perez (USA), Thomas Pieters (BEL) 
15:48 – Henrik Stenson (SWE), Kim Si-Woo (KOR), Jordan Spieth (USA) 
15:59 – LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) , Justin Rose, Justin Thomas (USA) 
16:10 – Brooks Koepka (USA), Hideki Matsuyama (JPN), Tommy Fleetwood
16:21 – Brandt Snedeker (USA), J.B. Holmes (USA), Shane Lowry
16:32 – Richard Bland, SHAUN NORRIS (RSA) , a-Luca Cianchetti (ITA) 
16:43 – Chan Kim (USA), Chang Yi-Keun (KOR), Mark Foster
16:54 – Kang Sung-Hoon (KOR), Tony Finau (USA), Matthieu Pavon (FRA) 
17:05 – Alexander Bjork (SWE), Joseph Dean, Robert Streb (USA) 
17:16 – Robert Dinwiddie, Julian Suri (USA), Adam Hodkinson

Nedbank Golf Challenge

2

Date:Nov 9–12, 2017
Course: Gary Player Golf Course
Purse:€7,096,897

Tee timesToday
Player Tee time

V. Dubuisson
09:00

D. Frittelli
09:00

G. Storm
09:00

A. Wall
09:00

I. Poulter
09:00

Leishman wins NGC by six shots

image

It was as precise an approach shot as you could hope to see, and even though he didn’t believe it at the time, it was the sign that Australia’s Marc Leishman would go on to march to a six-stroke victory on Sunday in the $6.5-million Nedbank Golf Challenge.
He used his long, languid swing to deposit a sand-wedge three metres past the 13th hole, and the ball spun back towards the flag as if being pulled by a piece of string. It stopped just a fraction from the hole, and the tap-in birdie was probably enough to snuff out any remaining faint chance Sweden’s Henrik Stenson had of chasing him down.
“I definitely didn’t think I clinched it then,” he said. “But you never know with golf. Probably when the putt went in on 16 – that’s when I knew that I’d have to do something really dumb to lose it from there.”
The victory brought a tumultuous 2015 to an end on an appropriately high note after things had threatened to become awful in April: His wife Audrey was hospitalised with toxic shock syndrome while he was preparing for the Masters.

Tiger Woods: Injuries and operations mean I’ll never feel great


Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods’ last major championship win was the US Open in 2008

Fourteen-time major winner Tiger Woods says he will “never feel great” again because of the number of injuries suffered during his career.
Woods, 41, pulled out of the Dubai Desert Classic before the second round this month because of a back spasm.
He only returned to action in December after two back operations.
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“There were a lot of times I didn’t think I was going to make it back. It was tough, it was more than brutal,” Woods told Dubai magazine Vision.
Woods’ first return to competitive action after a 15-month lay-off came in December at the Hero World Challenge – an 18-man tournament in the Bahamas – and he finished 15th at the PGA Tour event.
He hopes to compete in the Masters at Augusta from 6-9 April.
“There have been plenty of times when I thought I would never play the game again at the elite level,” added Woods, who has won 79 titles on the PGA Tour.
“It was tough, it was more than brutal. There were times I needed help just to get out of bed.
“I feel good, not great. I don’t think I will ever feel great because it’s three back surgeries, four knee operations.
“I’m always going to be a little bit sore. As long as I can function, I’m fine with that.”
Woods has not won a tournament anywhere since 2013, while his title drought in major championships dates back to 2008.
“There is a changing of the guard,” he said. “My generation is getting older but if I’m teeing up then the goal is to win.”

U.S Masters Build up


THE first major of the year is just around the corner as Augusta prepares to host the annual Masters tournament.
Brit’s Danny Willett is the current holder of the inaugural green jacket after pipping American Jordan Spieth to a heroic win last year.
Brit Danny Willett will be defending his Masters title on  Thursday

But the odds are stacked against him this year as there have only been three back-to-back winners in the tournament’s history in Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.
Keep up with all the breaking news and action from Augusta with our live blog during Masters week
From Dustin Johnson to Phil Mickelson, here’s all the latest odds and predictions you need ahead of the Masters next Thursday.
Favourites
Dustin Johnson heads into the betting market as favourite with Sun Bets at 5/1 to win the tournament.
The American is right at the top of his game having just won the WGC match play Championship.
He finished tied for fourth last year having been right in contention and looks likely to be right up in the mix once again.
Dustin Johnson has reinvented himself as a blissfully happy family man after a number of personal issues REX FEATURES

4

Dustin Johnson heads into the betting as strong favourite

Jordan Spieth always has a bright showing at Augusta and is joint second favourite at 7/1.
He demolished the field in 2015 to become the second-youngest person to win the Masters.
Rory McIlroy will rival Spieth at 7/1 but his form hasn’t been up to his usual high standards recently.

Nedbank Golf Challenge 


Nedbank Golf Challenge Preview

By: Nazli Hamilton | 09 Nov | 08:28

© supersport.com

© Gallo Images

HISTORY
The Nedbank Golf Challenge – affectionately known as Africa’s Major – was first held at Sun City in 1981 when Johnny Miller bagged $500 000 for his 11-under par victory.
Back then the tournament didn’t enjoy official status and was held at the end of the PGA and European Tour seasons to allow the best players in the world to accept invitations to join the elite field of 12 during the South African summer.
Three things attracted big international stars to South Africa – exclusivity, the big prize money and the sunny weather. The tournament, however, has evolved over many years. There were the ‘Million Dollar’ days when the tournament boasted the biggest winners’ cheque in the world, and when other tournaments caught up the prize was upped to $2 million.
In 2013 the field was expanded to 30 players as the tournament joined the Sunshine Tour and European Tour calendars. This year, though, the tournament has been added to the European Tour Play-offs (The Race to Dubai) series of three tournaments – Turkish Airlines Open (won by Thorbjorn Oleson), Nedbank Golf Challenge and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The field has been expanded to 72 and will consist mostly of the top 64 available players from the current year Race to Dubai standings. The remainder of the field will consist of the defending champion, previous winners of the Sunshine Tour order of merit as well as tournament invitations.
Australia’s Marc Leishman is the defending champion after he defeated Henrik Stenson by six strokes for a 19-under par victory last year.
The tournament was last won by a South African in 2007 when Trevor Immelman lifted the coveted trophy. There are nine South Africans in the field this year: Thomas Aiken, George Coetzee, Retief Goosen, Brandon Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Richard Sterne, Brandon Steone and Jaco van Zyl.
NUMBERS
72 players from 22 different countries

56 European Tour winners

12 Ryder Cup players

61 per cent of the field will be making their tournament debut

23 winners this season

42 of the top 50 in The Race to Dubai

4 former European Number Ones
Henrik Stenson (2013)

Martin Kaymer (2010)

Padraig Harrington (2006)

Retief Goosen (2001, 2002)

All 5 multiple winners this season
Henrik Stenson

Danny Willett

Charl Schwartzel

Jeunghun Wang

Alex Noren

4 former winners of the Nedbank Golf Challenge
Retief Goosen (2004)

Henrik Stenson (2008)

Martin Kaymer (2012)

Danny Willett (2014)

7 Major winners with 11 titles between them
Padraig Harrington (3)

Martin Kaymer, Retief Goosen (2 each)

Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett (1 each)

1 former World Number One
Martin Kaymer