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Westwood Gas ‘No Expectations’ As He Looks For Maiden Major Title

Golf iAfrica.com

Lee Westwood says he has “no expectations” after moving into contention at the British Open on Friday and reviving hopes of him ending his long wait for a major title.
'Lee Westwood says he has “no expectations” after moving into contention at the British Open on Friday and reviving hopes of him ending his long wait for a major title.The 46-year-old, widely regarded as one of the best players to have never won one of golf’s four biggest events, fired a bogey-free second round of 67 to reach seven-under par for the tournament — just one stroke adrift of clubhouse leader J.B.Holmes.Westwood, playing in his 25th British Open, has finished in the top three at majors nine times without getting over the line. “I haven’t got any expectations.I’m just swinging quite well at the moment,” said the former world number one. “I’ve had a couple of weeks of links golf where I played well and made the most of how I played, and this week it’s happening. “It’s nice to do it at The Open Championship, it’s a big tournament and prestigious tournament and on a great golf course.” Westwood started steadily with 11 straight pars on Friday at Royal Portrush, before making four birdies in his last seven holes to move into a tie for third with compatriot Tommy Fleetwood.By carding rounds of 68 and 67, Westwood has started a major with back-to-back sub-70 rounds for the first time since the 2010 Masters, when he finished runner-up to Phil Mickelson.The closest he came at the Open was in 2009 at Turnberry, when he bogeyed three of the last four holes to miss out on a playoff — where Stewart Cink beat Tom Watson — by one stroke. – Worms in divots – Westwood, now ranked 78th, also led by two shots heading into the final round of the 2013 Open at Muirfield, another tournament won by Mickelson. “If you play well, you get yourself in contention at majors, you’re going to have chances,” he said. “There’s a long way to go in this tournament.I’ve never felt under that much pressure, to be honest. “If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.Just go home and have dinner, go on holiday the next week.Do the same things, life won’t change.” Westwood has his girlfriend Helen Storey caddying for him this week, but says they don’t talk too much about golf while on the course. “(We talk about) dinner.Where we’re going on holiday.Whether there’s a nail file in the bag. “You’d be surprised the sort of things we talk about out there. “The favourite one was from Denmark the first week she caddied for me, and I took out a divot because it was big and soft and she’s walking back with the divot like this, and I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ She said, ‘I hope there’s not a worm in this’. “It makes me smile.It’s a big advantage.” . The post Westwood Gas ‘No Expectations’ As He Looks For Maiden Major Title appeared first on iAfrica.com .'

The Open 2019: McIlroy’s misery – Worst moments from a disastrous day for Rory

Golf News South Africa

Watch the lowlights from a day to forget for Rory McIlroy, the home hero had a nightmare day at Royal Portrush bookended by a quadruple bogey ‘snowman’ at the first and a triple bogey at the 18th.
'Watch the lowlights from a day to forget for Rory McIlroy, the home hero had a nightmare day at Royal Portrush bookended by a quadruple bogey ‘snowman’ at the first and a triple bogey at the 18th.'

Park In-bee Grabs LPGA Lead

Golf iAfrica.com

Park In-bee fired a bogey-free nine-under par 62 on Friday to grab a one-shot lead in the LPGA NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers, Arkansas.
'Park In-bee fired a bogey-free nine-under par 62 on Friday to grab a one-shot lead in the LPGA NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers, Arkansas.The South Korean star, who counts seven majors among her 19 LPGA tour titles, strung together five birdies in a row from the 11th through the 15th among her nine birdies on the par 71 Pinnacle Country Club course.She was one stroke clear of Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, Thailand’s Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong and American Paula Creamer, with Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and Americans Annie Park and Maria Torres tied at 64.Sherman had 10 birdies and two bogeys in her 63 while Ciganda had nine birdies and a bogey.Both were in the clubhouse early behind Park, with Creamer joining them on eight-under with a round that featured nine birdies and a bogey.Park, who is in search of her first victory since the 2018 Founders Cup, won the 2013 NW Arkansas title and said her familiarity with the course is an advantage. “I have played this golf course so many times, so it helps me playing through this week,” she said.Even more helpful was seeing her putts drop. “It’s always great to see the ball rolling in the hole,” Park said. “I haven’t been seeing that for such a long time.For a couple of years I have been missing a lot of short putts. “I was waiting for this moment and, hopefully, I can keep this going.” Creamer, who has 10 LPGA titles but hasn’t won since 2004, was eight-under through 12 holes.She played the last six in even par, unable to sneak past Park. “I hit the ball really well,” Creamer said. “I don’t think I missed one fairway today.I had six-, seven-, eight-footers pretty much all the holes.I made them.” Defending champion Nasa Hataoka of Japan, who claimed her first LPGA title with a dominating, record-breaking victory last year, was in a tie for eighth, three shots off the lead.She has gone on to win two more titles, and came into her first LPGA title defense ranked fifth in the world.She was joined on 65 by world number one Ko Jin-young and Jenny Shin of South Korea and Americans Katherine Perry and Marina Alex. . The post Park In-bee Grabs LPGA Lead appeared first on iAfrica.com .'

Woodland Fires 65 To Top Star-Studded US Open Leaderboard

Golf iAfrica.com

Gary Woodland drained a 50-foot birdie put at his final hole on Friday to cap a six-under par 65 and take a two-stroke US Open lead over former champion Justin Rose at Pebble Beach.
'Gary Woodland drained a 50-foot birdie put at his final hole on Friday to cap a six-under par 65 and take a two-stroke US Open lead over former champion Justin Rose at Pebble Beach.Woodland’s tee shot at his final hole, the par-four ninth, nestled in a divot in the fairway, but he still managed to reach the green in two to close out his round in sensational style. “That was just a bonus,” Woodland said. “Hit a beautiful drive.I was in the divot, a pretty deep divot.We were a little indecisive what we were going to do.We tried to take a little less club and hit it hard and play out to the safe to the right and was nice to knock it in.” Woodland was more pleased with a tough up and down for par at the eighth, where he sank a clutch 15-foot putt after chipping from the greenside rough. “That was huge,” he said. “I played beautifully all day.I didn’t want to give a shot back.” Woodland became just the third player to post a 65 in US Open play at Pebble Beach, a record set by Tiger Woods in 2000 and equalled by Rose on Thursday.His 36-hole total of nine-under 133 is one shot better than Woods posted had in 2000, when he led by six on the way to a crushing 15-stroke triumph.Woodland, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour who led last year’s PGA championship at the halfway stage on the way to his best major finish — a tie for sixth — has plenty of marquee names on his tail.GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / Christian Petersen\t\t\t\t\t England’s Justin Rose plays his second shot at the ninth hole in the second round of the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach Rose, the 2013 US Open winner, fired a second-round 70 for 137.Former British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa had seven birdies and six bogeys in a wild 70 for 136.Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy and South African-born American Aaron Wise were a shot back on five-under 137, McIlroy with a 69 and Wise a 71.Five players were tied at four-under, a group that included two-time defending US Open champion Brooks Koepka, who carded his second-straight 68.He was tied with Americans Chez Reavie, Chesson Hadley and Matt Kuchar and England’s Matt Wallace.As Pebble Beach remained receptive in cool, overcast weather, 15-time major champion Woods was unable to take advantage.The US superstar stumbled to a bogey-bogey finish in a one-over par 72 that left him even four the tournament. “Not a very good finish,” Woods said shortly, admitting he was “still a little hot” shortly after signing his scorecard.Although birdies were still plentiful, Pebble Beach proved it could still bite.GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / EZRA SHAW\t\t\t\t\t Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy reacts to a shot on the 17th hole during the second round of the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach McIlroy was flying at six-under for the tournament when he found himself unable to get up and down for par from a greenside bunker at 13.He then took a double-bogey seven at the par-five 14th.McIlroy, coming off a seven-stroke romp at the Canadian Open, responded with back-to-back birdies. “Those birdies on 15 and 16 felt huge to get me back in this tournament for the weekend,” he said. “I need to keep it going.Fairways, greens: It sounds boring and cliched but that’s what you need to do round here.The course is only going to get tougher.” – Koepka hanging around – Rose considered himself in the “perfect spot” at seven-under, even if it wasn’t the top of the leaderboard. “At this point there’s not a lot to worry about,” said Rose, adding that he was doing what it takes to win a US Open.GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / ROSS KINNAIRD\t\t\t\t\t Tiger Woods plays from the fourth tee in the second round of the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach “My short game has been really, really strong this week.I’ve made a lot of putts inside 10 feet.I’ve managed my game really well. “I’ve always given myself an opportunity to salvage something out of every hole I’ve played.And I haven’t compounded any mistakes so far.” Koepka, trying to become just the second golfer to win three straight US Open titles, said much the same.He teed off on 10 and was even through nine holes with one birdie and one bogey.He put together back-to-back birdies at six and seven to inch up the leaderboard. “I know you just need to be hanging around on the weekend,” he said. . The post Woodland Fires 65 To Top Star-Studded US Open Leaderboard appeared first on iAfrica.com .'