WEEK 11 Phil Mickelson 25 consecutive years inside the World Top 50

Week 36


European Tour – Porsche European Open

Paul Casey secured his first European Tour title in five years after coming out on top in a titanic tussle at the Porsche European Open moving 3 spots to World No. 14.

 The Englishman was joined by Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and overnight leaders Robert MacIntyre and Bernd Ritthammer at 12 under par with three holes remaining during a thrilling finale at Green Eagle Golf Courses.

And Casey’s experience came to the fore after a stunning long birdie putt at the 16th proved to be the turning point as he carded a birdie-birdie-par finish to claim his 14th European Tour victory in Hamburg - his first since the KLM Open in 2014.

Casey started the day one shot behind the Scot and Ritthammer at eight under and recorded his best front nine of the week of 31 to move in contention, with MacIntyre still maintaining the one shot advantage at the turn.

The 23-year-old’s only blemish at the 12th left the door open for Casey, who replied with a birdie at the 13th, to get his nose in front before moving back ahead at the 16th following a four way tie for the lead.

MacIntyre and German Ritthammer had a chance to force a play-off at the last but they could not hole their putts as Casey became the third successive Englishman to win the event after Jordan Smith and Richard McEvoy.

Japan Golf Tour – Fujisankei Classic

Sang-Hyun Park won a second Japan Golf Tour title at the Fujisankei Classic moving from 130 to World No. 101.

Sang-Hyun Park started the Final Round 4 shots behind the leader but made a great charge with abogey free 6 under round. While Chan Kim and Ho-Sung Choi battled head to head in the final group, Sang-Hyun Park quietly and smoothly moved up the leader board and grabbed his come from behind win.

"I thought if Chan Kim and Ho-Sung Choi gets heated up against each other, I might have the chance to close in without being noticed. So, I concentrated on my play and grabbed the chance."

As Sang-Hyun Park thought, Chan Kim and Ho-Sung Choi got too heated up and started to lose control. Chan Kim's long drives went wild and couldn't find the fairways. Ho-Sung Choi also found water on 5th and made double-bogey. As the leaders struggled, Sang-Hyun Park played smart and closed in on the deficits.

"Chan Kim's distance is great, but I pay more attention on my accuracy. I swing with only 80% of power and concentrate on the rhythm and accuracy. As for Ho-Sung Choi, I honor him as my senior, but I have seen him back in Korea, so I am already use to his unique swing."

Sang-Hyun Park made 13-meter birdie putt on 13th and went on to made 3 in a row to jump up on the top of the leader board.

Sang-Hyun Park became Order of Merit Champion in home country Korea last season and became 2nd on the Asian Tour Money Rankings. His tied to 16th finish at this year's British Open, which was the highest finish amongst the Asian players.

Sunshine Tour – Kings Cup

Jaco Ahlers cruised to a three-stroke victory for his eighth Sunshine Tour title at the King’s Cup at Royal Swazi Spa Golf Club on Saturday moving from 269 to World No.205.

Making just one bogey all week, he carded six-under-par 66 in the final round to leave Daniel Greene in second place on 16-under-par for the tournament, with Alex Haindl and Estiaan Conradie sharing third a further shot back.

Despite such apparently flawless golf, Ahlers still felt the pressure as he moved towards what became an inevitable victory as the day wore on. “I did enjoy the day out there, but I made it a bit more difficult than I wanted,” he said. “I had to make up and down a few times which I didn’t have to do on the first few days and that made it a bit more stressful.”

It was a round in which he made scoring on the four par-fives count for him. Birdies on each of them – he missed out on birdie just once on the par-fives the whole week when he made par on the fifth in the first round – meant he had a solid base on which to build his victory.

“Coming down the stretch, the birdie on 17 meant a lot because it made the tee shot on 18 a lot easier,” he said of the final par-five birdie for the week. “I would have like to have made the final round even less stressful but it’s in the books and that’s all that counts.”

Part of the stress came from the fact that he hadn’t won since February 2018, and that he had lost his playing privileges on the European Tour. “It’s been a tough few months,” he said. “I took some time off, didn’t play in the previous tournament in Swaziland and had two months at home. I just had to reflect on a few things and start working on them. It’s nice to see the work come off.

Asian Tour - Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC)

Korea’s Yikeun Chang shook off his bridesmaid’s tag when he closed with a flawless six-under-par 66 to seal a three-shot victory for his maiden Asian Tour title at the US$500,000 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) on Sunday.The 25-year-old Chang, a three-time runner-up on the Asian Tour, overcame a one-shot deficit as he rode a hot putter to return with a bogey-free round highlighted by six birdies at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.

Chang would take home a winner’s prize purse of US$90,000 following his breakthrough and his winning total of 21-under-par 267 would also mark the record lowest 72-hole score in the tournament’s 10-year history.

Talented Thai rookie Kosuke Hamamoto continued his fine form to sign for a bogey-free 67 and record his best result yet on the Asian Tour with his second-place finish. The 20-year-old Hamamoto has impressively kept the bogeys off his card for the last 52 holes.

Local hotshot Chan Shih-chang was disappointed not to recapture the trophy on home soil after battling to a 70 to finish in third place on 271. The 33-year-old, however, stayed positive as he capped his best result this season after missing six cuts in eight starts prior to this week.

Overnight leader Lin Wen-tang settled a further shot back in fourth following a 72 but took pride in his commendable result, which marked his fourth top-five finish in 10 attempts at the Yeangder TPC.

PGA Tour Canada - Mackenzie Investments Open

Entering the final round of the Mackenzie Investments Open with a five-stroke cushion over Kyle Mueller, Taylor Pendrith made the turn on Sunday at Elm Ridge Country Club and the mood shifted from ‘will he do it?’ to ‘how many will he do it by?’

In the end, Pendrith tapped in for par on the final hole to shoot a bogey-free 67, giving him an eight-stroke victory and his second Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR title of the season and his career.

“It was definitely the best week of tournament golf I have ever played,” said Pendrith, who moved to second on the Order of Merit with the win. “I honestly don’t remember playing from the rough on the weekend, maybe once or twice, but my wedge game was dialled in, especially today.

“I kept my head down all day,” added Pendrith. “I figured I was leading but never knew by how much. I was debating hitting iron on No. 17, it’s a tough tee ball, but I decided to hit driver because it was downwind and I hit 8-iron on the green and made a two-putt birdie. After that I knew I was going to win.”

Pendrith’s commanding performance broke the Mackenzie Tour’s relative-to-par scoring record, previously held by Corey Pereira, who shot 26-under at last year’s ATB Financial Classic in Calgary.

“That was definitely the most under par I’ve ever been over four days,” said the 28-year old. “It was a great field out here and there are so many players who could compete on the Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA TOUR, but to win by eight feels really good.”

With the eight-stroke victory, Pendrith matched the largest margin of victory in Mackenzie Tour history, a feat previously accomplished by Lee McCoy at the 2017 Canada Life Open and Hank Lebioda at the 2017 Mackenzie Investments Open.

“This just gives me tons of confidence,” said the Richmond Hill, Ontario native. “My game is really sharp right now, so If I can continue playing the way I have been then I have no doubt I will have a chance to win on the Korn Ferry Tour next year.”

Challenge Tour - Open de Bretagne

Sebastian Heisele claimed his maiden European Challenge Tour title in style, producing a closing round of five under par 65 to win the Open de Bretagne at Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val-André.

The German started the day with a one-shot lead and played nerveless golf throughout, carding six birdies, including five over his closing nine holes, to finish the week on 13 under par, two shots clear of his nearest challenger Josh Geary.

New Zealander Geary, playing two groups ahead of Heisele, briefly took the lead with an eagle on the 11th hole but the 31-year-old duly responded with birdies on the 10th, 11th and 13th and despite a dropped shot on the 14th hole he would stand on the 18th tee needing just a par to secure his first Challenge Tour victory.

He made no mistake, hitting his approach to within a foot of the cup to ensure a tap in was all that was required to be crowned the 2019 Open de Bretagne champion.

‘’It’s feels fantastic to win,’’ Heisele said. ‘’Hitting it to a foot on the final hole may well be the easiest way to close out a tournament. It’s a tricky pin there and to have a footer to close it all out was a good way to finish.

‘’I just tried to keep my composure and plod along. I didn’t have too many birdie opportunities on the front nine, other than at the first, but then had a really strong back nine to close it out and get the win.’’

‘’This is a big confidence boost for me. I’m not exactly sure what this will mean for the rankings but will certainly make things a lot easier going forwards and should now mean that China and the Grand Final are now in the books, so I’m looking forward to what the rest of the season will bring.’’

China Tour – Hunan Taohuayuan Open

Zhang Huilin, a native of Changde City, won his third China Tour title at the Hunan Taohuayuan Open Changde Taohuayuan Golf club. Zhang earned 6 Ranking points taking him to World No. 462.

Zhang Huilin moved into the lead during the second round and won by five shots ahead of Lin Yung Lung from Taipei by four, with a total score of -16.

It has been three years since Zhang Huilin got his last title. He turned pro 8 years ago and this is the first time for him to won within sight of his parents.

Australian player Kevin Yuan came second with a total score of -9. The Hunan provincial team member Chen Guxin is the best amateur of this game, finishing with a total score of -7.

EuroPro Tour – The PDC Championship

Billy Hemstock has won The PDC Championship at Studley Wood Golf Club in a playoff against Will Enefer.

Hemstock (Roehampton Club) started the day one shot behind Marco Penge and Nick Marsh and posted a final day score of 67 (-6) bogey-free to take it to a playoff against Enefer with a week of 74, 66 and 67.

Enefer (Retail Furniture Ltd) was way off the pace at the start of play but he signed for a course record 63 (-10) to take him to the top of the leaderboard for the majority of the afternoon. It was an explosive round with seven birdies and two eagles with his back nine particularly stand out.

Neil Fenwick (Dunbar Golf Club) kept himself in the hunt needing a birdie to make it a threeway playoff but he finished up one short with rounds of 71, 69 and 68 for third.

Going back to the eighteenth, Hemstock drained his putt for birdie whilst Enefer could only bogey it handing Hemstock his first win on the Tour since Mannings Heath last year.

On victory Hemstock said: “I felt like I played really well the first day. It was really windy. The second round I stayed patient and they started to drop and I had a good finish with four birdies on the back nine on the trot. I stayed in that sort of mindset and waited for things to happen. It was nice to birdie the last two to take it to a playoff.”

“I’d love to be in contention again at Newmachar. I’ve got a week or so to get my game ready or keep it in good fettle, but I’m looking forward to playing and especially at Tour Championships.”

The overnight clubhouse leader pairing of Marco Penge and Nick Marsh were level par apiece to tie for seventh in Oxfordshire.

Alps Tour Golf  - Cervino Open

After a record breaking score of 57 on Thursday and being leader throughout the tournament, David Carey beat the Italian player Edoardo Lipparelli in a play-off to win the Cervino Open.

He summed up his week: Carey “I did a 57, I won the play-off, things couldn’t be better. Everything together is just perfect”. His final score was -13 (191, 57/67/67).

It was a real battle of the titans out there on the fairways of the Golf Club Del Cervino in the shadow of the Matterhorn for the final tournament of the Alps Tour 2019. Heading out for the front nine in the last flight were, Carey at -12 and the Italians Federico Maccario at -10 and Lipparelli at -8.

Carey and Maccario both had steady front nines coming in at par but Lipparelli had been gradually eating away at their advantages as he scored 3 birdies to put him in second place at -11, just 2 strokes behind Carey and one stroke ahead of Maccario.

At the turn, pars all round on hole 10. The par four 11th saw Carey increase his lead to -13 with a birdie. Maccario birdied too bringing him back to even with Lipparelli at -11.

Lipparelli dropped a stroke on the par three 12th but quickly rebounded with a birdie on the 13th to his partners pars. Carey riposted on the 14th to draw ahead a little bit further with a birdie to -14. The 15th saw par for Carey and bogey for Maccario putting him at -10 but another birdie from Lipparelli to pull into second place at -12.

The par four 16th proved decisive. Maccario double-bogeyed moving him down to -8 and Carey bogeyed putting him at -13 whilst Lipparelli made par keeping him at -12.

So, heading into the final two holes it was a head-to-head between Lipparelli and Carey with just one stroke between them.  The 17th saw no change with a deuce of pars so it was into the 18th with everything to play for. Carey executed a perfect par but Lipparelli grabbed a birdie to put them all square at -13 and force a play-off.