Els Goes Low to Lead the BMW Asian Open

Ernie Els fires a 62 to lead by four after two rounds at the BMW Asian Open.

ernie_els_par3.jpgErnie Els followed up Thursday’s 5-under par, 67 with a 10-under par 62 on Friday to take a four stroke lead in the BMW Asian Open. The World Number 3 had eight birdies and an eagle to shoot the lowest round ever at Shanghai’s Tomson Pudong Golf Club in Shanghai, China. However, since the players were allowed preferred lies, his round will not be counted as a course record.

Ernie’s nearest competition lies four shots back and is a virtually unknown Kiwi, Eddie Lee. Lee fired a second round 66 to get to 11-under. Raphael Jacquelin of France shot consecutive 67s to sit at 10-under and all alone in third. Thomas Bjorn, Simon Wakefield and Jean Van De Velde (yes, that’s the guy who so infamously choked at the British Open) sit tied for fourth at 8-under par.

BMW Asian Open

Miguel Angel Jimenez looks to defend his title at the BMW Asian Open.

jimenez_mullet.jpgThe European Tour heads to Shanghai this week for the BMW Asian Open at the Tomson Pudong Golf Club. Last year, Miguel Angel Jimenez claimed his third victory of the year at this event. Jimenez is joined by World Number Three Ernie Els and other members of last year’s victorious European Ryder cup squad.

At this event last year, The European Tour made its first visit to China. Since then, the Tour has sanctioned other events there and the BMW Asian Open is the fourth tournament in China this year.

Adam Scott Wins Johnnie Walker Classic

Adam Scott struggles in his final round, but claims a wire-to-wire victory at the Johnnie Walker Classic.

scott_johnnie_walker.jpgAdam Scott fended off a late charge by Retief Goosen to claim a wire-to-wire victory at the Johnnie Walker Classic. Scott fired an even par 72 to finish at 18-under par for his first victory at the Classic. Scott defeated Goosen by three strokes for his ninth career title.

The majority of the players were finishing their third rounds on Sunday morning after heavy winds on Thursday forced play to be cancelled. Scott was one of the players who had to finish his third round on Sunday, and he let his seven stroke lead dwindle to five after a double-bogey at 18.

Johnnie Walker Classic Round 1 and 2 (Sort of)

Adam Scott fires a course record 63 and holds the lead of the Johnnie Walker Classic, while windy conditions interrupt play on Friday.

adam_scott.jpgAdam Scott fired an opening round 63 on Thursday to take the lead of the Johnnie Walker Classic in Beijing, China. Retief Goosen, Michael Campbell and Peter Hanson also share the lead with Scott; however, their nine-under par total is after two rounds, while Scott has only completed one round due to a weather delay. He is scheduled to compete his second round on Saturday morning.

Scott’s 63 set the course record at the Jack Nicklaus designed Pine Valley Golf Resort and Country Club. He finished his first round with birdie-eagle-birdie to get to 9-under.

Johnnie Walker Classic Preview

Miguel Angel Jimenez looks to defend his Johnnie Walker Classic title against an impressive field that includes Ernie Els and Retief Goosen.

jimenez_johnnie_walker.jpgThe Johnnie Walker Classic will visit mainland China for the first time this week, as Ernie Els and Retief Goosen lead an impressive field.

Goosen is the current leader of The European Tour Order of Merit and World Number Five. He looks to continue his success after a third place finish at the Masters two weeks ago. Els on the otherhand, looks to regain some of his success from earlier in the year when he had back-to-back wins in Dubai and Qatar.

Other players joining Els and Goosen include Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Luke Donald and defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez. Donald is looking to continue his good play as of late, finishing tied for third (with Goosen) at his first trip to the Masters in Augusta, Georgia.

Barry Lane Broadsided at the Estoril Open

As Barry Lane and Paul Lawrie buckle, Paul Broadhurst falls into first place at the Estoril Open.

broadhurst_estoril.jpgIt seems the European Tour has the same problems that the PGA Tour has: rain delays. Three groups of players were forced to finish their third rounds Sunday morning at the Estoril Open. Paul Lawrie held the third-round lead, but England’s Paul Broadhurst went on to win the Portuguese Open after fellow countryman Barry Lane gift-wrapped the victory for Broadhurst.

Lane needed par on the last hole to claim the winner’s check; however, the events of his final hole can only be described as a golf nightmare.

Estoril Open: Round 1 and 2 Recap

Paul Broadhurst and Jose-Filipe Lima share the lead at the Estoril Open, while Simon Dyson, who set a course record with a second round 64, and Barry Lane trail by one shot.

paul_broadhurst.jpgAt the half-way point of the Estoril Open, England’s Paul Broadhurst and Portugal’s own Jose-Filipe Lima share the lead. Both players are at -8 and one shot ahead of Barry Lane and Simon Dyson, both of England. Dyson set a new course record shooting a second round 64.

On Thursday, the players met heavy winds as Markus Brier of Austria shot 65 to take a two-shot lead over Titch Moor, Stephen Schahill and Mads Vibe-Hastrup. Brier executed some brilliant shots in his opening round, hitting his long and mid irons close. Brier hit a six iron to five feet on the sixth to begin a string of three consecutive birdies.

Estoril Open de Portugal Preview

Sam Torrance, Paul Lawrie, and a handful of first time winners head up a field for the Estoril Open de Portugal Caixa Geral de Depositos.

european_tour_logo.gifAfter recent trips to Asia, Africa, and Australia, the European Tour returns to its home turf for the Estoril Open de Portugal Caixa Geral de Depositos (aka “Estoril Open”). The Estoril Open is first event of the 2005 International schedule and is one of the Tour’s longest running National Opens, dating back to 1953.

This year’s event is being held at a new venue, the Oitavos Golfe in Quinta da Marinha, Portugal, which has hosted both the European Challenge Tour and the European Seniors Tour in the past two seasons.

Wiratchant Wins Innaugural Indonesia Open

Colin Montgomerie fires a final-round 60, but it’s not enough to crack the top 50 in the world or to beat Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant.

wiratchant_indonesia.jpgColin Montgomerie has failed to make this year’s Masters; however, he didn’t go down without a fight. Monty shot a final-round 60, including nine straight birdies to finish in a tie for fourth. Montgomerie could have shot a 59, but instead left a 10-foot birdie putt short on his final hole.

Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant joins Thongchai Jaidee as the second Thai to win on the European Tour. Wiratchant finished at 25-under to win the Indonesia Open, which was jointly sponsored by the the European and Asian Tours. Wiratchant shot a third round 66 and final round 63, his third round of -7 of the week.