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Jamie Donaldson opened The Honda Classic with a 5-under-par 32-33=65 to snare a piece of the clubhouse lead.

The Welshman went out in the second threesome off the 10th tee in today's afternoon wave. He split 11 (of 14) fairways but hit only 11 greens in regulation. However, limiting the damage to two bogeys allowed an eagle from 13'1" at the par-5 18th hole and five birdies to shine. His longest conventional birdie measured 18 feet at the ninth hole, his last of the round, but he also holed out from the rough for birdie seven yards out at the 12th. Donaldson is a two-time winner on the European Tour but today's score is his lowest aggregate on the PGA TOUR on which the Honda is his 19th career start.
Thu, Feb 27, 2014 04:58:00 PM

Ultra-consistent Matt Fitzpatrick hasn't finished outside the top 15 since winning September's European Masters and he's on target for another big week after starting the new 2018 Race to Dubai season with a 4-under-par 34-32=66 in round one of the UBS Hong Kong Open at Fanling.

That's just one swing behind leader SSP Chawrasia. The Englishman took his string of top 15s to eight with T12 in last week's DP World Tour Championship and gamers/bettors were all over him here due to that superb run of form allied with the third place he took in his only start at Fanling in 2015. Fitzpatrick met those lofty expectations today to finish the day in tied second. The Englishman made his first move with birdie-4 at 13 and picked up another shot at 16. Twice he made bogey but he responded to the first (at No. 1) with three straight red numbers at 2, 3 and 4 before bouncing back from another square at 6 with a circle at 7. This matches his lowest round at Fanling.
Nov 23 - 4:32 AM

SSP Chawrasia set the clubhouse target on the opening day of the new 2018 Race to Dubai season, firing a 5-under-par 32-33=65 to lead the UBS Hong Kong Open by a shot from Matt Fitzpatrick and Shubhankar Sharma.

The Indian is a three-time winner on the European Tour but all those victories have come on home soil. In fact, his only top five outside India was in this event when he posted T5 in 2014. Today, he showed his ability to go low at Fanling once more with a morning lap featuring six birdies against a lone bogey. Chawrasia started his day at the 11th hole due to the configuration of the course and followed an opening red number with further circles at 13, 16 and 18. He converted a four-foot birdie putt at 3 to hit 5-under before swallowing bogey on the par-3 5th. No matter, the 39-year-old rolled in a 15-foot birdie at 9 to secure the outright lead. Chawrasia registered 3.1 Strokes Gained Putting, better than anyone else in the field.
Nov 23 - 4:23 AM

Tommy Fleetwood won't have time to revel in his Race to Dubai victory; he's one of the elite names contesting this week's UBS Hong Kong Open in Fanling.

The young Englishman secured his position as new European No. 1 in last week's DP World Tour Championship after Justin Rose couldn't reel him in after faltering late. Fleetwood had to settle for T21 despite a pair of middle 65s and, although there's a slight feeling he stumbled over the line, the bare facts are that the 26-year-old finished his campaign with six straight top 25s. The weight of pressure probably compromised several of those finishes so this week could be a nice, free hit for him even though fatigue will be a factor too. Fleetwood played this event for the first time last year and posted T3 while he was also runner-up at April's Shenzhen International. Overall he has four top threes in China so the ingredients are there for him to have another winning week if his focus is right.
Nov 22 - 7:09 AM

Sam Brazel was the shock winner of last year’s UBS Hong Kong Open and he’s back at Fanling to try and win the title again this week.

The Aussie was ranked 480th in the world ahead of the 2016 event and, at 37, considered a little-known journeyman. However, he dwarfed his previous career earnings to shoot 13-under and edge out Rafa Cabera Bello at the final hole with a winning birdie. Although appearing to come from nowhere, there was a hint that Brazel could play well given that he’d finished T18 the previous year. Fanling is clearly a course he relishes. Since then, he hasn’t managed a single top 10 and he made little impression in the closing big-money events of 2017 with T66 in the Italian Open, T52 at the Turkish Airlines Open and T42 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Current form gives him little chance; course form suggests he could just pull another rabbit out of the hat.
Nov 22 - 4:23 AM

Sergio Garcia is looking for the perfect end to 2017 at the UBS Hong Kong Open hosted by Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.

This is the first time Garcia has played the tournament and he likes what he sees. "I had a chance to see the golf course this morning and it’s just spectacular," he said. "It’s a really fun test where you have to position your ball accurately as there are some tricky pin positions around the greens." He will also have noted the success of his compatriots here. Jose Maria Olazabal, Jose Manuel Lara (a friend of his who caddied for him earlier this year) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (four times) have won in Fanling. He has ranked fourth and third for Ball Striking in his last two starts and ended last week with a stunning 65. "I started the year with a win (Dubai)," he said. "Maybe I can end that way too."
Nov 21 - 12:18 PM

Justin Rose will be looking to claim a second UBS Hong Kong Open title at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling this week.

The course is not long, but it is testing and Rose likes it. He's said as much and he's also proved it when winning in 2015. That said, either side he finished MC and T36 so it's not all been good, the difference between those efforts was not his long game (he always hit plenty of greens), but his work around the greens (91% Scrambling for the win, less than 40% the other two appearances). The biggest question this week, however, is less 'Does the course fit?' than 'How will Rose react to his back nine last Sunday?' Remember, as he made the turn he was leading the DP World Tour Championship and with it the Race to Dubai. By the end of the round he had lost both. He said afterwards that he was distracted on 14 prior to hitting into water and regretted not standing back. That was the moment he wished he could replay. If the wound is healed quickly his form is strong: win-win-T4 is not bad at all.
Nov 21 - 8:29 AM

Buoyed by a walk-off eagle-2 from 161 yards away (video link below), World No. 264 Brian Gay carded a 2-under-par 36-32=68 in the final round of The RSM Classic to steal solo 3rd on 16-under 266, five swings shy of overnight leader and champion Austin Cook. UPDATE: This is Gay's 11th top-3 finish in 523 career events, first of the season and second in his last 10 starts (T3, 2017 Barbasol).

The 44-year-old was sleepwalking on even-par thru 17 holes and in a five-way logjam at T4 before his final-hole heroics. After opening in 65-64-69, he began in solo 3rd, four back of playing competitor Cook, who shot 67. The Orlando resident conjured eight (of 14) fairways and 11 greens in regulation, losing 2.604 strokes off-the-tee but gaining 4.350 approaching-the-green. He squared two bogey-5s at holes 2 and 4 and ate double bogey-6 at 16 (tee ball OB), offset by two circles at 8 and 13 (from 47'11), and eagle-3 at 15 from 27 inches and the walk-off eagle. The Texas native posted 1.545 putts per GIR and 0.047 SG: Putting with 26 total putts. This was his sixth RSM, second top 25 and second top 10 (T4/2014), and his third top 25 of the season among three cashes in five starts, first top 10.
Nov 19 - 5:42 PM

World No. 164 J.J. Spaun twirled a 4-under-par 32-34=66 in the final round of The RSM Classic to finish up his second appearance (T57/2017) on 17-under 265, up two places to solo 2nd, four shy of overnight leader and champion Austin Cook. UPDATE: Spaun jumps 46 spots to 116th in OWGR and 36 spots to a career-high 10th in the FedExCup standings.

This is a career-best finish for the 27-year-old and his first runner-up in 36 career events. It's his fifth career top 10, replacing a previous-best T4 at the 2017 WM Phoenix Open, and his second of the season in five starts (T10, Shriners). After kicking off in 67-70-62, the SDSU alum began solo 4th on 13-under, five back of Cook. Playing out of the penultimate threesome, he found 11 (of 14) fairways and 16 greens in regulation, gaining 1.347 strokes off-the-tee and 0.736 approaching-the-green. The Californian squared two bogeys at 11 and 17, outpaced by six circles at 6, 7, 9, 10, 16 and 18, two from between 13 and 18 feet. He recorded 1.625 putts per GIR and 0.916 SG: Putting with 30 total putts.
Nov 19 - 5:11 PM

Making his tournament debut, overnight leader and PGA TOUR rookie Austin Cook hung up a 3-under-par 35-32=67 in the final round of The RSM Classic to reach 21-under 261, good for a four-shot win over J.J. Spaun and his first TOUR title in his 14th career start. UPDATE: Cook vaults 158 places from 302nd in OWGR to a career-high 144th and jumps 85 spots to a career-high 3rd in the FedExCup standings.

The 26-year-old, a pre-tourney 80/1 outright, wins in his fourth start as a member. He's now 4-for-4 on the season, records his third top 25 and first top 10, brushing aside a previous-best T20 at the Shriners two starts ago. The Arkansas alum, who arrived off T50 at the OHL, records his third career top-10 finish, replacing a previous-best T6 at the 2015 Barbasol. After opening in 66-62-66, he began with a three-shot lead over 18-hole leader Chris Kirk and hit 12 (of 14) fairways and 13 greens in regulation. The Arkansan squared a lone bogey-5 at hole 2, silenced by four circles at 7, 15, 17 and 18, the latter two from between 13 and 15 feet. He posted 1.769 putts per GIR and 0.805 SG: Putting with 29 total putts. Cook earns a two-year exemption on TOUR and a host of invites, including to the 2018 TOC, the Masters, THE PLAYERS, and PGA Championship.
Nov 19 - 4:54 PM

Rookie of the Year Jon Rahm claimed the 2017 DP World Tour Championship with a magnificent final round of 5-under-par 34-33=67, setting a 19-under total of 269 which none of the last four players on the course, including pre-round leader Justin Rose, could match.

For the entire front nine Rose maintained his lead of the tournament, but as he reached the home straight of the Race to Dubai he made errors and Rahm emerged from the pack to take advantage. He had made three birdies in the first ten holes to allow that opportunity, at 3, 7 and 10, the latter from 8'0". He drained another from the same distance at 14 for birdie, missed one of a similar distance for a par-breaker at 15, knocked a third of that length in for a red number at the 16th to take the lead. He could only make par at the long 18th hole, but it was enough; he had bettered the target set by the runners-up Shane Lowry and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Rose and Dylan Frittelli failed to match it. It crowns a superb rookie season for him on the European circuit and makes a mockery of those who doubted him being elected Rookie of the Year. "To play this well in my first year," he said. "I am very honored and very proud."
Nov 19 - 7:41 AM

First-round leader and past champ Chris Kirk fashioned a 6-under-par 32-32=64 in the third round of The RSM Classic to post 15-under 197, up one spot to solo 2nd, three adrift of 54-hole leader Austin Cook.

After kicking off in 63-70, the Georgia alum began T3 on 9-under, five shy of 36-hole leader Cook. Playing out of the penultimate threesome, he hit nine (of 14) fairways and 15 greens in regulation, losing 0.553 strokes off-the-tee but gaining 3.132 approaching-the-green. The 32-year-old squared a lone bogey-5 at hole 9, offset by seven circles at 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 12 and 17, two from between 18 and 30 feet. He recorded 1.533 putts per GIR and 1.972 SG: Putting with 27 total putts. This is the World No. 188's first time in the top 10 thru 54 holes since T8 at the 2017 CareerBuilder back in January, where he finished T21 after 2-over 74.
Nov 18 - 4:59 PM




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