Thursday, December 15, 2011

Golf Tournaments Around the World--December 14-18

This week there are three big golf tournaments going on in the world--The JBWere Australian Masters, the Thailand Golf Championship, and the Dubai Ladies Masters.  Big name players from all over the globe are competing.

At the Australian Masters, Luke Donald is fighting to extend his lead in the World Rankings amongst a field consisting of Australia's best and others.  After the first round, Donald trailed leader Ian Poulter by 4 strokes shooting a 2 under par 69.  Poulter fired a 65 to lead by one over journeyman Aussie Ashley Hall.  The tournament is being played at the Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne.  This is the first professional tournament in Australia for Luke Donald.  The tournament wraps up Sunday.  Look for a rally by Donald, but don't count out Greg Chalmers, who is trying to wrap up the Aussie Triple Crown after taking the Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship.

The big story coming into the Thailand Golf Championship was the withdrawal of Rory McIlroy due to an illness.  Speculation says it is a mild case of Dengue Fever, so Rory and his camp decided it was best that he sit out and get some rest to go into next season strong.  The headline after the first day?  Lee Westwood shooting a 12 under par 60 to lead by 5 strokes.  The Amata Spring Country Club is playing long but the course is in beautiful shape and the weather was excellent the first day.  Westwood opened his first 6 holes in 7 under, and shot a 29 on the front.  He finished with a 31 on the back to shatter the course record.  Enigmatic John Daly sits in second place after day 1, firing a 7 under par 65.  Daly has been controversial the last couple weeks, after walking off the course in Australia.  The scene of the day came on the par 3 where Sergio Garcia put a ball in the water, then flared his 3rd shot off to the right.  The ball went right and the club went left into the lake.  Look for this tournament to be a runaway for Westwood if he can keep the putter solid.

The Dubai Ladies Masters started Wednesday in Dubai.  The leader after the second round is 16 year old Lexi Thompson, who leads by 1 over Sophie Gustaphson.  Michelle Wie is 4 strokes back.  Look for an exciting weekend with some great play.


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