Bourdy pulls from the pack in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 14, 2009, 5:00 pm

2009 European TourHONG KONG – Gregory Bourdy of France shot a bogey-free 7-under 63 on Saturday to take the lead heading into the final round of the $2.5 million Hong Kong Open.

Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands was the only one of the three other overnight leaders to keep pace with Bourdy, shooting a 5 under to stay within two strokes after the third round.

Bourdy, a two-time winner on the European Tour, maintained his form from Friday, making four birdies on the front nine and three on the back nine for a 16-under 194.

Now No. 87 on the European Tour money list, the Frenchman boosted his chances to qualify for the $7.5 million year-end championship in Dubai next week, which is limited to the top 60 money earners after Hong Kong.

“It is my last chance to get into Dubai, last chance to win and I am leading by two, so I will do my best tomorrow to win,” said Bourdy, who described his 63 as one of the best rounds of his career. “I hit a lot of greens and that has been the key the last three rounds. I have been very consistent with my irons and my putting was unbelievable.”

Rory McIlroy shot a 65 to sit five strokes off the pace and bolster his bid to win the European Tour money title despite a seesawing day that saw him make a double bogey, a bogey, six birdies and an eagle. The 20-year-old from Northern Ireland is No. 2 on the money race behind England’s Lee Westwood.

McIlroy, who lost a playoff to Taiwan’s Lin Wen-tang last year, said he was happy with the way he recovered from the double bogey.

“I knew I was hitting it well and putting well, and it was a matter of giving myself chances again,” he said. “Maybe a couple of years ago after making double I would have been a bit flustered … When people ask about the difference between turning pro and now, the answer is experience.”

Two-time Hong Kong champion Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain briefly enjoyed the clubhouse lead with a 7 under, before moving into fourth with an overall 10 under with Lin (67), Ireland’s Peter Lawrie (66) and Italian Francesco Molinari (66).

PGA Championship winner Y.E. Yang had a double bogey and two bogeys before recovered to a 1-under 69. The South Korean shared 10th at 202 in a group that included with England’s Ian Poulter (68) and overnight co-leader Charl Schwartzel of South Africa (71).

The fourth overnight leader, China’s Liang Wenchong, also faded, shooting four bogeys for a 2-over 72 and was in a group another shot back.

Westwood, who is playing in Hong Kong for the first time, has complained about having a hard time getting used to the course at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling and continued to struggle on Saturday, shooting three bogeys en route to a 1-under 69 that put him at 205.

Eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie shot a 3-under 67 and was also at 5 under.

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Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

“Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

The problem was an expired visa.

Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

“Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

“It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”