Rose and Bjerregaard set for Hong Kong final showdown

Sport360 staff 16:52 24/10/2015
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Justin Rose.

Justin Rose was tied for the lead at the Hong Kong Open Saturday despite a course-record equalling 63 by unheralded Dane Lucas Bjerregaard.

World number seven Rose was trailing by one stroke until the final hole when 285th-ranked Bjerregaard dropped his only shot to join Rose on an aggregate score of 15 under par.

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Bjerregaard fired eight birdies, including four in a row from 10 to 13, for a score of seven under par 63, matching the Fanling course record.

Meanwhile England’s Rose fired two eagles including a 44-foot putt on the par 5 13th for a six under par 64.

“I really enjoyed playing with Lucas, it was the first time I played with him. I didn’t know much about his game and was very very impressed, we had a fun day out there, flip-flopping birdies,” Rose told reporters.

“My round boiled down to two eagles really and a couple of par saves, I got into trouble a couple of times but was able to salvage good par.”

However it was a disappointing round for Rose’s European Ryder Cup teammates Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, the latter of whom needs to win in Hong Kong if he wants to qualify for the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

After opening in third place, the Englishman, who had made a mad dash to Hong Kong to retain his European Tour membership and keep alive his hopes of playing in the Ryder Cup next year, finished with a three over par 73 for the round, dropping to joint 23rd in the tournament.

Former major winner McDowell, who had been hoping to salvage some pride and points after what he earlier said was a disappointing year, ended the day with a one over par 71, also in 23rd place overall.

Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Anirban Lahiri from India carded 65 for the round and with an aggregate total of 199 was 11 under par for the first three days – just four strokes behind leaders Rose and Bjerregaard.

Jeev Milkha Singh, the first Indian to compete on the European Tour but currently ranked 960th in the world, was tied with 21-year-old British star Matthew Fitzpatrick a shot further back.

In the two-horse race between Rose and Bjerrebaard, England’s Rose admitted he was just trying to keep up with his ultra-solid Danish contender for much of the round.

Bjerregaard said it would “mean a lot” to claim his first European Tour win in Hong Kong as he was eager to play at the BMW Masters in China and the Race to Dubai.

On his Saturday performance he said: “I’ve been playing well the last six or seven weeks so it’s nice to see I can keep it going.”

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Spieth to headline returning Singapore Open tournament

Sport360 staff 12:22 20/10/2015
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Spieth is just behind Jason Day in the world rankings.

Jordan Spieth, the 2015 USPGA Tour player of the year, will headline the Singapore Open in January when it returns after a three-year absence, organisers have confirmed.

The 22-year-old world number two, who counts the Masters and US Open among five wins during a breakout 2015, said he was “really looking forward” to playing at the tournament.

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“I’m very fortunate to play golf around the world and can’t wait to visit Singapore for the first time,” Spieth, a member of the US team who won the Presidents Cup in South Korea earlier this month, said in a statement.

Under a three-year deal with Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, the SMBC Singapore Open will offer a minimum prize fund of $1 million and will be held at Sentosa Golf Club from January 28-31.

Formerly one of Asia’s richest with a $6 million purse when last held in November 2012, the tournament was cancelled in 2013 after British bank Barclays chose not to renew its sponsorship.

Previous headline players have included Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy. Australia’s Adam Scott is a three-time winner with victories in 2005, 2006 and 2010, while Italy’s Matteo Manassero won the last edition in 2012.

The tournament will be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation.

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Australian Jason Day takes over as world number one

Sport360 staff 08:38 20/10/2015
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Leader of the pack: Jason Day.

Jason Day has replaced Jordan Spieth as world No1 in the latest golf rankings released on Monday.

The Australian, who won his first major title at the PGA Championship in August, takes the top spot for the second time in his career.

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He previously moved ahead of Spieth on September 21, but lasted just a week as the American won the Tour Championship to regain top spot.

Neither player was in action last week, which ensured that Day would edge ahead based on the rankings formula with 12.42 points average to 12.40 for Spieth.

Former world No1 Rory McIlroy remained in third place on 10.92 points with the new “Big Three” of golf well ahead of the rest of the pack led by Bubba Watson.

Meanwhile, rookie Emiliano Grillo sank a birdie putt on the second playoff hole to outlast Kevin Na and claim his first USPGA Tour title in the season-opening Frys.com Open on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Argentine, who earned his PGA Tour card just two weeks ago by winning the Web.com Tour Championship, fired a three-under 69 – draining a long birdie putt on the 72nd hole to set up the playoff. Grillo, already being touted as rookie of the year contender, said: “I stayed positive, hit a great shot and luckily Kevin made a six. I was just focused on my putt.”

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