September 24th, 2012
Johnson shines with top 10 finish
Brandt Snedeker wins Tour Championship and FedEx Cup
This weekend, the focus was on the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Georgia – the fourth and final tournament in the FedEx Cup. The elite field playing the East Lake course consisted of the 30 best golfers on the PGA Tour this year, competing for a modest purse of 8 million dollars as well as the jackpot of 10 million dollars for the FedEx Cup winner.
Dustin Johnson (69-67-73-70 = 279) finished tied for 10th place. His challenge was derailed in the third round when he carded three bogeys and double bogey at the last. In the final round, the long-hitter from South Carolina did manage a rare eagle to improve his position. But, in the final analysis, ten birdies in four days proved too few to threaten the leaders.
The tournament victory and the 10 million dollar bonus were claimed by the American Brandt Snedeker (68-70-64-68 = 270). The 32-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee, played almost perfect golf throughout. Snedeker was thus the deserving recipient of the winner’s cheque for US$1.44 million ahead of his Ryder Cup debut later this week. The runner-up was England’s Justin Rose (273), with his fellow countryman Luke Donald (274) and American Ryan Moore tied for third.
No sooner has this event concluded, however, than the next major date in the golf calendar is upon us – the 39th Ryder Cup, the most important team competition in golf, a traditional challenge match between Europe and the USA featuring the twelve best golfers from each continent. Just as two years ago in the “Clash of the Titans” at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, Martin Kaymer will be flying the German flag again this time at the Medinah Country Club near Chicago. Bernhard Langer is the only German before Kaymer to achieve this particular distinction. In addition to winning the most famous trophy in golf six times as a player, Langer was also the winning captain in 2004. In all, five Schüco brand ambassadors will be in action in this, the undoubted golfing highlight of 2012. Martin Kaymer will be joined in the European side by England’s Ian Poulter, the Italian Francesco Molinari and Peter Hanson from Sweden. The USA team includes Dustin Johnson, who will be looking to end the four-year wait for the US to regain the Ryder Cup. However, Europe has triumphed in four of the last five matches.
Meanwhile, on the Challenge Tour, 22-year-old Maximilian Kieffer from Düsseldorf finished a very creditable tied 7th in the Allianz Golf Open in Toulouse over the weekend. It was the second best finish of the season for this rising star, after his tournament victory in India at the start of the year. Kieffer shot 64 in the third round on the par 71 course, the lowest score of the entire week. Victory went to the French amateur Julien Brun, who recorded a four-round total of 271.
September 17th, 2012
Martin Kaymer makes impressive return to form
5th place at BMW Italian Open in Turin
On the European Tour, Schüco brand ambassador Martin Kaymer (70-66-67-67 = 270) achieved a terrific fifth place in the BMW Italian Open outside Turin.
The German finished on 270 (18 under par) to secure his first high placing in quite some time. Kaymer registered 23 birdies in all, with only five bogeys. In the final round alone, the 2010 US PGA champion fired 13 birdies in his first eight holes. At that point, Kaymer was third and in contention for the lead. The former world number one then bogeyed the 14th after his approach shot found a greenside bunker. The subsequent bunker shot finished 14 feet away and Kaymer’s putt then refused to drop. Nevertheless, it was the 27-year-old’s best tournament result since November 2011 when he won the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai. This strong performance should give Germany’s top golfer plenty of self-confidence going into this year’s Ryder Cup being held from 28 September 2012 at the Medinah Country Club near Chicago.
Frenchman Grégory Havret (70-69-69-69 = 277) played very consistent golf throughout all four rounds to finish 35th. The Schüco brand ambassador was level with the second German in the field, Alex Cejka.
Italy’s Edoardo Molinari (68 + 75) missed the cut in his home event, likewise Spaniard Álvaro Quirós (70 + 71) who has been unable lately to replicate his outstanding form of last season. Unfortunately, Scot Colin Montgomerie’s tournament lasted just nine holes of his opening round. A torn calf muscle forced the Ryder Cup veteran to withdraw. “Monty” is expected to be sidelined for eight weeks.
Gonzalo Fernando-Castano (68-65-67-64 = 264) was a very deserving winner after he shot the second best final round. It was the Spaniard’s sixth career victory on the European Tour. After four rounds of the Royal Park I Roveri course, “Gonzo” was two strokes clear of an impressive Garth Mulroy (266) from South Africa.
There was no action on the US PGA Tour this weekend, but this Thursday sees the start of the Tour Championship, the fourth and final tournament in the FedEx Cup. The field will include two Schüco brand ambassadors – Dustin Johnson and the Masters champion, Bubba Watson.
After his fine 8th place finish in the Pon Senior Open last week, Bernhard Langer took the opportunity to visit his home in Augsburg and then attend the Mercedes World Trophy Final in Stuttgart.
On the Challenge Tour, the youngest of all the Schüco brand ambassadors, Maximilian Kieffer from Germany, failed to make the cut in the Kazakhstan Open in Almaty after rounds of 71 and 72. The event was won by Scotland’s Scott Henry with a score of 269 (19 under par).
September 10th, 2012
Peter Hanson wins KLM Open
Dustin Johnson justifies Ryder Cup nomination with sixth place finish
Sweden’s Peter Hanson (66-66-67-67 = 266) has won the KLM Open at the Hilversumschen Golf Club. The Schüco brand ambassador eagled the final hole of the tournament to finish on 14 under par, two strokes clear of Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal. It was Hanson’s fifth victory on the European Tour.
His compatriot Henrik Stenson (68-70-64-69= 271) secured a terrific share of fifth place. Stenson produced some excellent golf, including a dazzling 64 on “moving day”.
Martin Kaymer (65-71-68-71 = 275) returned to tournament action after a long break. The event was celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and Kaymer, the winner of the KLM Open in 2010, finished 21st. In the final round, the 27-year-old German signed for three bogeys on the front nine and his only birdies would come at the two par 5 holes. Kaymer hit twelve greens in regulation on Sunday and took 31 putts.
The other two Schüco brand ambassadors in the field, Miguel Ángel Jiménez from Spain (69 + 72) and Frenchman Grégory Havret (79 + 69) both missed the cut. Czech-born German, Alex Cejka, was tied 43rd.
At the BMW Championship, the third of four playoff events in this year’s FedEx Cup, in Carmel, Indiana, the best performance from the three Schüco brand ambassadors present once again came from Dustin Johnson (68-67-67-70 = 272). The long-hitting Johnson, from Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, finished in an outstanding tie for sixth place, justifying his selection for the US Ryder Cup team last Tuesday by US captain Davis Love. The Ryder Cup will be held at the Medinah Country Club near Chicago at the end of September. Masters Champion Bubba Watson (69-71-71-65 = 276) shot 65 on Sunday, the best round of the day, to climb into a share of 12th place. Watson finished level with England’s Ian Poulter (68-68-69-71 = 276). Geoff Ogilvy from Australia (68-71-74-68 = 281) improved to tied 28th with a good final round.
As last week, victory went to the currently all conquering world number one Rory McIlroy (64-68-69-67 = 268). The 23-year-old Northern Irishman triumphed at the par-72 Crooked Stick Golf Club by two strokes from England’s Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson from the USA (both 270). Tiger Woods (271) was fourth and rises to second in the latest world rankings, ahead of Englishman Luke Donald.
Happily, it means that two Schüco brand ambassadors – the American duo of Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson – have qualified for the FedEx Cup finale, the Tour Championship, in Atlanta in two weeks time.
On the European Senior Tour, Schüco brand ambassador Bernhard Langer from Germany (68-73-68 = 209) carded a final round 68 (4 under par) to finish tied 8th in the prestigious Pon Senior Open at Winston Golf in Vorbeck, Germany. The event was won by Terry Price (67-66-67 = 200). For the 51-year-old Australian, it was the first victory of his entire professional career. Price’s three-round score of 16 under par was six shots better than his nearest rivals, Barry Lane from England and France’s Marc Farry (both 206).
September 03rd, 2012
Miguel Ángel Jiménez 11th in the Swiss mountains
Dustin Johnson eyes chance for victory on PGA Tour
Richie Ramsay (69-68-64-66 = 267) was crowned the king of the mountains in the Swiss Alps as the Scotsman claimed the Omega European Masters title in Crans Montana. Despite heavy rain and cool temperatures throughout the European Tour event at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club, Ramsay emerged victorious on 16 under par, four shots clear of a quartet of golfers.
The best of the four Schüco brand ambassadors in the field was Spain’s Miguel Ángel Jiménez (77-65-66-66 = 274). It was only a disappointing opening round of 77 with seven bogeys that cost the popular Andalusian a chance of victory. Grégory Havret from France (69-72-70-68 = 279) finished in a share of 34th place. Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie (72-68-71-74 = 285) was 64th. The Swede Henrik Stenson had enjoyed a string of good results recently but failed to qualify for the weekend after rounds of 69 and 74.
The best German once again was Marcel Siem. The 32-year-old (68-72-68-67 = 275) finished in an excellent tie for 14th. Czech-born German Alex Cejka was tied 41st after a rare guest appearance on the European Tour.
On the PGA Tour, the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second of the four playoff tournaments in this year’s FedEx Cup, celebrated its tenth anniversary this weekend. The fourth and final round will be played on Monday to coincide with a public holiday in the USA. After three rounds, the lead is held by South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (66-65-63 = 194) on 19 under par. The Open Champion from 2010 fired a dazzling 63 on Sunday. It means that Oosthuizen has a three shot advantage over his nearest challenger, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, going into the final day. Next on the leaderboard is the American Dustin Johnson (67-68-65 = 200), one of five Schüco brand ambassadors in the field. The laid-back long hitter from South Carolina carded a fine 65 (6 under par) around the TPC Boston on Sunday to draw level with his compatriot Tiger Woods in third place. However, Ian Poulter (67-71-75 = 213) did not fare as well. The Englishman is currently tied for 50th, one stroke ahead of Geoff Ogilvy (72-69-73 = 214). The popular Australian sits in a share of 64th place with one round to go. Masters champion, Bubba Watson, missed the cut after rounds of 75 and 72.
There was no action this week on either the Champions Tour where Germany’s Bernhard Langer remains in second place overall in the Charles Schwab Cup, or the Challenge Tour, on which Maximilian Kieffer, the youngest Schüco brand ambassador, plays. It was also a free weekend on the two major ladies’ tours – the LPGA and LET.