Archive for November 22nd, 2018

I didn’t play well admits Fleetwood

SOUTHPORT’S Tommy Fleetwood lies four shots adrift of Aaron Rai, Jason Scrivener and Yusaku Miyazato who lead the way at the Honma Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi after benefiting from favourable afternoon conditions today.

Fleetwood admitted: “It’s okay. You can’t press too hard and to be fair, I didn’t play very good. I was fine getting off the tee. Drove the ball lovely which is the really important part to do, but yeah, my iron play was like way off. One under around there is not bad, but yeah, we had chances there but I mean, I didn’t play very well.”

After India’s Arjun Atwal had set the early clubhouse target with a flawless 66 on a cool and windy morning in Fanling, calmer weather opened the door for later starters Rai, Scrivener and Miyazato to produce opening 65s and move to the top of the leaderboard.

Three-time European Tour winner Atwal, Challenge Tour graduate Jack Singh Brar and American Micah Lauren Shin were the leaders’ nearest challengers on four under after they all carded four birdies and no bogeys in their opening rounds.

Rai began his round with a birdie at the first but had to wait until the 12th to pick up his second shot after a string of pars. He was rewarded for his patience with an eagle at the 13th, sending a stunning approach to within a few inches of the cup before tapping in.

Australian Scrivener only managed one birdie on his front nine before picking up four shots in five holes from the 12th to get to five under, meanwhile Japan’s Miyazato started from the 11th tee and carded birdies at the 13th and 15th, before making further gains on the fourth and seventh to join Rai and Scrivener at the summit.

Leading Round One Scores

65 J Scrivener (Aus) , Y Miyazato (Jpn) , A Rai (Eng) ,
66 M Shin (USA) , A Atwal (Ind) , J Singh Brar (Eng) ,
67 T Aiken (RSA) , D Boonma (Tha) ,
68 A Quiros (Esp) , N Colsaerts (Bel) , Y Liu (Chn) , A Chesters (Eng) , T Jaidee (Tha) , D Drysdale (Sco) , S Brazel (Aus) , K Joshi (Ind) , T Pilkadaris (Aus) , S Hend (Aus) , H Park (Kor) , H Porteous (RSA) , J Wang (Kor) , B Henson (USA) ,
69 T Fleetwood (Eng) , A Johnston (Eng) , J Morrison (Eng) , A Cañizares (Esp) , W Lin (Tpe) , D Lipsky (USA) , S Fernandez (Esp) , C O’Toole (USA) , A Karlsson (Swe) , C Bezuidenhout (RSA) , S Sharma (Ind) , J Janewattananond (Tha) , M Schwab (Aut) , K Koivu (Fin) , J Higginbottom (Aus) , J Harding (RSA) , J Kruyswijk (RSA) , S Kim (USA) ,

 

Fleetwood fired up for Hong Kong challenge

THE 2019 Race to Dubai has not even started yet but Tommy Fleetwood already has his sights set on maintaining the form that saw him rise to the top of world golf when he tees it up at the HONMA Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi this week.

The Englishman  sits ninth in the Official World Golf Ranking, a career high for the 27 year old, and arrives at Hong Kong Golf Club in excellent form with 15 top 20 finishes pushing him to third on the season-long Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.

The Ryder Cup star would dearly love to be crowned European Number One once again and has an impressive track record in this event, finishing in the top six in both of his previous appearances.

Meanwhile, Rafa Cabrera Bello is hoping to make it third time lucky this week. The Spaniard has finished second in his last two starts at the event, losing out by a single shot to Australians Sam Brazel and Wade Ormsby in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

His runner-up finish last term was his best result of another incredibly consistent campaign that saw him record a further five top tens, four of the them in Majors, World Golf Championships and Rolex Series events.

Despite being one of the best performers in golf week in, week out, he has just two wins in the last nine years and would love a victory at a course that has seen countrymen José María Olazábal, Miguel Ángel Jiménez and José Manuel Lara share six victories between them since the turn of the century.

Player Quotes

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Tommy Fleetwood: “It is nice seeing places, and I think as golfers and just the nature of what we do, we don’t get to see places as much as we’d like to, so to do the odd nice little touristy thing is really nice, especially somewhere like Hong Kong. It’s one of my favourite places, so the more I get to see of it, the better.

“I think it was a great follow to what was the season of my life. I would have liked to have won another time after starting so strong and winning, and I think I played well enough to win a lot of the time, but always sort of had one round that cost me or

made me fall just short.

“It’s a brilliant year. You have to remember how well you’ve done, and the two guys that finished above of me in the Race to Dubai were two Major champions. But the good thing to look forward to is I feel like there’s a lot many of improvement out there, so that’s still the exciting part.

“I think just over the course of four days my game just needs to stay a little bit more consistent. I said it a couple times last week, I’ve always fallen like one round short. I’ve always had one round that’s been poor, and I just need to make those rounds better.

“You’re always improving your game and you’re all looking at ways to improve it, so that’s the same.  Week in, week out, everybody does that, and you just have to do that in the smartest way possible.  But my consistency level was brilliant last year, and especially playing two different Tours, as well, so I was very proud of that. But aga

in, winning is what we all want to do, so to do that I need to put four rounds t

ogether.

“We’ve already spoke about the city, but the course, I feel the last two years, it’s set up nicely for me. It is quite a big patience game because you feel like there’s a lot of chances, but the course actually doesn’t give you that much in the end. Especially if the wind is swirling, it makes it very difficult. But in general, ball striking is pretty key. You can’t really play this golf course from off the fairways. You have to be on the fairway to score, and that’s obviously one of my strengths, so hopefully I can keep that up for just one more week.”

Fletcher is Lancashire’s next president

Norman Fletcher (1).JPGTHE Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs has appointed Norman Fletcher as president-elect for 2019-20.

He has been a member of Chorley Golf Club for 58 years and is well-known in golfing circles for his work with the PGA, the Ryder Cup and a number of national golf development projects.

Following an early teaching career, Fletcher worked for the PGA for 33 years before retiring in 2017.

Initially he was the PGA North Region secretary before moving to the National HQ at The Belfry in 1992. He undertook a number of roles and was assistant chief executive from 1997 to 2005.

A move to the role of Director of Regional & External Relations in 2005 provided a little more time for him to continue playing competitive golf at senior level.

His PGA responsibilities have been extensive and wide-ranging. They included his work with the England Golf Partnership, of which he was the first chairman. and partnership manager from 2005-09, working on the whole sport plan for golf 2005-09, and was a director of EGP until 2017.

He was director of the PGA’s of Europe from 1994-2010 and a Trustee Director of the Golf Foundation from 1994-2017.

Fletcher was involved in the Ryder Cup as a referee from 1985-89 while from 1993 to 2006 he was responsible for Ryder Cup ceremonies and co-ordinating all arrangements for the Royal Household, Heads of State and VIP visits to the event, including logistics and liaison with security services.

A member of Chorley Golf Club since 1960, he was captain in 1982, president in 1990 and club champion on six occasions.

He has held a Category 1 handicap since 1966, which he still retains. During his time  at the University of Exeter he captained the golf team and represented the English Universities v Scotland in 1971-72.

Fletcher has also represented the Bolton Golf Association team in five decades, also playing for Lancashire County Seniors from 2005 to 2016, going to three National County Finals as a player, captain and non-playing captain.

He is also a member of Royal St. David’s Golf Club at Harlech since 2000, was chairman of the club in 2017 and is the present captain. He won the Welsh National Teams’ Championship with Royal St. David’s GC and represented Wales in the European Club Team Championship.

He has been married to wife Kathryn for 45 years and they have two children, Sarah and Daniel.

Fletcher said of his appointment: “I was surprised and delighted to be offered the office of president and I hope to represent this great county to the best of my ability in 2019.“Being asked to be president is a real honour and serves as a link back to my grandfather – Norman H Fletcher – who was known as Norrie and represented the Lancashire Union for many years in its early days of the 1920s and 30s.”He will officially take up his new role in March.

Millar is top pro in Alliance fixture at Mottram

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PRIZE GUYS: From left, am-am winners Charles Herbert,  John Dowd (Manchester Alliance  president) and Ross Birch

ELLESMERE ace  Anthony Millar was leading professional with a haul of 39 points in the Manchester Alliance fixture at Mottram Hall.

One adrift of him was  win was Graham Cox (Lymm) and Ollie Smith (Ashton-on-Mersey) as Chorley’s Andy Palmer claimed the assistant’ prize with 37.

Grant Hamerton and Steve Horner (Pike Fold) headed the pro-am section with 44 points, one better than Davenport’s Jamie Goodhall and Cheshire junior Archie Palmer who won a card play-off from Tom Hollingsworth (Bramall Park)  and Chris Priestley (Macclesfield).

Mottram players Charles Herbert and Ross Birch (Northenden) racked up an impressive 48 points to clinch the  am-am.