Peter Hanson (21/10 to win with bet365) says it will “be fun” as he attempts to hold off the challenge of world number one Rory McIlroy and triumph at the BMW Masters in Shanghai.
McIlroy fired a seven-under-par 65 to move into second place, two shots behind Hanson after the second round at Lake Malaren.
The Northern Irishman, who lifted his second major at the US PGA Championship in August, is aiming to top the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic.
He leads the European Tour’s Race to Dubai standings and the US PGA Tour’s money list with the season coming to a close.
McIlroy (11/2 to win 2013 US Masters with bet365) is on 12-under, with Ryder Cup team-mate Hanson on 14-under after posting a 64 on Friday. Fellow Swede Robert Karlsson is in third on nine-under.
“It’s going to be fun. He’s going to be tough to beat and I’ll play 30 to 40 yards behind him, but hopefully I can give him a game,” said Hanson.
“It’s always nice to follow up a good 66 with an even better round. The greens are beautiful and the course is still pretty soft.”
Justin Rose, who could leapfrog McIlroy at the top of the European Tour money list with victory in China, posted a second successive 68 to lie four behind McIlroy and six off the lead.
The Englishman is in a group including Ireland’s Shane Lowry, winner of the Portugal Masters a fortnight ago, who went round in 64.
Tags: bmw masters odds, european tour odds, golf betting and odds, justin rose, peter hanson, portugal masters, Race To Dubai, robert karlsson, rory mcilroy, Ryder Cup, shane lowry
PGA European Tour | Golf Betting News | October 26, 2012 15:43 |
Rory McIlroy was happy with his opening salvo at the BMW Masters but admitted that there is still plenty of improvement needed if he wants to successfully defend the title (3/1 Tournament Outright with bet365).
The world number one fired six birdies with one dropped shot to sign for a round of 67 and a share of fourth place at five-under-par the end of the first day at Lake Malaren.
There is still plenty of work to be done – with Jamie Donaldson (9/2 Outright with bet365) blazing a trail at the top of the leaderboard, following a course record 62 which has taken him four shots clear of the field – but McIlroy was happy to get off to a decent start and early contention.
“Definitely a nice way to finish,” McIlroy said of his nine iron to the last. “I hit probably my best drive and my best iron shot of the day into the last, so always nice to finish like that.
“Jamie has shot 10 under, which is phenomenal scoring, and I was just happy to stay somewhere within touching distance.”
McIlroy heads the standings for the Race to Dubai and will have been delighted to open an early lead on title challengers Justin Rose and Branden Grace, who are one and three shots behind him respectively.
Luke Donald is hoping to use this week’s Scottish Open (Donald 15/2 favourite to win outright with bet365) as the perfect preparation for the third Major of the year at the Open Championship, starting on July 19.
The 34-year-old goes into the event having spent a combined total of 52 weeks as the world number one and has a chance to extend his advantage at the top with neither Rory McIlroy or Lee Westwood in action.
Donald is also looking to become the first man to successfully defend the title at Castle Stuart, winning by four shots last year after the event had been reduced to 54 holes because of the weather – the first win of his reign as the world’s best.
The Ryder Cup ace has taken some time off the course since the US Open to work on some things in practice and is now looking to put the modifications to the test as he fine-tunes his preparations for the Open Championship next week (Donald 18/1 to win outright with bet365).
“I’ve had three weeks off since the US Open and did a lot of good work on the swing so I’m excited to see how it performs under pressure,” Donald said.
“People’s thoughts will be moving towards next week and trying to get their games ready and obviously that’s part of the reason why I’m here as well.”
Donald is the clear favourite to win at Castle Stuart this week, although Tiger Woods, Westwood and McIlroy are ahead of him in the betting for Open glory at 6/1, 16/1 and 16/1 respectively.
Tags: castle stuart, golf betting, golf odds, lee westwood, luke donald, Open championship, rory mcilroy, Ryder Cup, scottish open, tiger woods, US Open
Golf, PGA European Tour | Golf Betting News | July 11, 2012 13:22 |
Thongchai Jaidee has given himself a great opportunity to win his first tournament on European soil after establishing a one-shot lead at the Wales Open (Jaidee 11/4 – Tournament Outright In-Play with bet365).
The Thai star carded a third-round 67 to add to his opening 71 and Friday’s 68 and leads by one shot on seven-under-par at Celtic Manor.
The 42-year has won four European Tour events to date but all were in the Far East, while he has claimed 13 Asian Tour titles in a stella career.
He has looked in excellent touch over the first three rounds but will have to keep his nerve on Sunday to get over the line with Ryder Cup star Ross Fisher breathing down his neck on -6 (Fisher 100/30 – Tournament Outright In-Play with bet365).
The Englishman has slipped way down the word rankings after a below-par 12 months but could be on his way back after a 71 on Saturday.
Holland’s Joost Luiten might also have a say in proceedings as he is in a share of second place with Fisher on six-under after a superb 64, while his compatriot Tim Sluiter is just one shot back.
Thomas Bjorn has an outside chance of overhauling the leaders but will have to shoot a low score on Sunday after carding a 68 on Saturday to move to -2 and a share of 10th place.
But Jaidee is the man they will all have to catch and he will look to win his first European Tour event since claiming the Ballantine’s Championship in April 2009.
Tags: ballantine's championship, celtic manor, golf betting and odds, joost luiten, pga european tour betting and odds, ross fisher, Ryder Cup, thomas bjorn, thongchai jaidee, tim sluiter, wales open odds and betting
PGA European Tour | Golf Betting News | June 2, 2012 17:30 |
Justin Rose is preparing for this week’s BMW PGA Championship (Rose 22/1 to win outright with bet365), but has spoken about his desire to get into the 2012 Ryder Cup team after missing out two years ago.
The 31-year-old played in the 2008 Ryder Cup but missed out on playing in the last running of the event, after being overlooked for a captain’s pick as he finished outside the automatic qualification places.
Rose has enjoyed a strong season to date, winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship and also securing four other top-10 finishes, and will have high hopes ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, which starts on Thursday.
The Englishman told Sky Sports it was a “tough one” to miss out on playing at Celtic Manor in 2010 but he hopes to get the points to ensure a place in Jose Maria Olazabal’s team for Medinah Country Club (USA 1/1, Europe 1/1, Tie 11/1 with bet365).
“I’m determined to make this team, not put myself in a position like last time where I need to rely on a captain’s pick,” said Rose.
“I’ve got to keep amassing the points – I’ve given myself a great chance now, and I should play some good, solid golf and get the job done over the rest of the season. I’m certainly not taking my foot off the pedal.”
Luke Donald can retain his world number one spot if he successfully defends his BMW PGA Championship title this week (Donald 15/2 outright with bet365), while home favourites Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood are also in the field at Wentworth.
Paul Lawrie admits the prospect of making the European Ryder Cup team is his major motivation as he prepares for this week’s Volvo World Match Play Championship (Lawrie 25/1 Tournament Outright with bet365).
The 43-year-old has enjoyed a new lease of life on the course over the past couple of years and is playing some of his best golf since claiming the Open Championship back in 1999.
The Scot returned to the winner’s enclosure for the first time in nearly nine years at the 2011 Open de Andalucia and he backed that up with victory in this season’s Qatar Masters.
The Aberdeen-born star has been grouped with Peter Hanson and Camilo Villegas for this week?s event at the Finca Cortesín Golf Club, with the top two in the group set to advance to the knock-out stage (Lawrie 19/10, Hanson 13/10, Villegas 9/4 Group Betting).
He is currently fifth in the European points standings and victory in his 500th European Tour event would see him move up to second.
Lawrie played in the 1999 Ryder Cup but has not featured in the prestigious event for 13 years and he insists that the thought of battling it out with the USA in Chicago later this year is never far from his mind (USA & Europe Evens Ryder Cup Outright with bet365).
“If I get in the Ryder Cup it would be the biggest achievement of my career, so that’s the motivation,” he said. “I really want to play on that team. It would be huge for me.”
American Rickie Fowler (50/1 US Open outright – bet365) has insisted his is looking to build on his first PGA Tour win and continue proving his doubters wrong for the rest of the season.
The 23-year-old produced some superb golf to claim his first win on the tour at the Wells Fargo Championship, at the expense of Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and the American DA Points, who both lost out in the playoff encounter.
Fowler (50/1 British Open outright – bet365) has long been regarded as a promising talent in the game but has rarely been able to put together a decent four rounds of golf to challenge for titles.
Now with his first PGA Tour win under his belt on Sunday, the California golfer is looking to continue working on his game and hopefully secure more titles and challenge for major events in the future.
Fowler said: “It’s been a wait, but I’m definitely still young, and hopefully this opens the door to many more.
“But it’s nice to be mentioned as a PGA Tour winner. There’s a lot of people that have doubted or said you’ll never win.
“There’s all kinds of stuff. So it’s nice to kind of shut them up a little bit.”
Australian Marcus Fraser is the second favourite at 8/1 with bet365 to land the Ballantine’s Championship but has suggested punters should ‘put the house’ on tournament leader Bernd Wiesberger at 2/7.
The 2010 champion played some good golf on his way to a round of 69 to move to nine-under-par but he couldn’t find the magic on the dancefloor and actually lost ground although he remains in second.
By contrast, Austrian Wiesberger was in great form on the greens, firing seven birdies on his way to a second successive 65 to open up a five-shot advantage as he attempts to land his maiden European Tour title.
Fraser insists he is happy with his performance going into the final round but knows it will be difficult to claw back five shots on a man in form (Fraser 5/4, Wiesberger 15/8, Oliver Fisher 9/4 – Fourth round 3 ball with bet365).
“I felt like I was playing chase out there most of the day and trying to keep up. Bernd is playing great – so much game and definitely a star of the European Tour to come. He’s obviously a great player now but he’s got big things in front of him, that’s for sure,” Fraser said.
“It reflects the way he’s playing. He played great here and gives himself a chance on every hole and he’s a great putter, as well.
“If I was a betting man, I would put the house on him. He’s just played so well and looks very comfortable.”
England’s Oliver Fisher carded a 67 to move to eight-under in a tie for third with Chile’s Felipe Aguilar (68), one shot clear of veterans Miguel Angel Jimenez (69) and Paul McGinley (65).
Branden Grace is a strong favourite to win the Volvo China Open after a third-round 64 gave him a three-shot lead with just 18 holes to play (Grace 4/7 Tournament Outright In-Play with bet365).
The South African carded an eagle at the sixth hole and secured three more birdies on the front nine and, although he dropped a shot at the 14th, he roared back with three birdies in his last four holes to finish day three on 18-under par.
Grace has already won twice on the European Tour this year and is sixth in the Race to Dubai standings and, despite the fact that he has a commanding lead, the 23-year-old is determined to finish off the tournament in a positive fashion.
“I have a nice lead but I don’t think I can go out there tomorrow and relax and let the guys come at me,” he said.
“I will be aggressive on the holes that I know I can be and try to make some more birdies.”
Defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts carded a 66 on Saturday to sit in second place but he will probably have to better that score on Sunday to catch the leader, while Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti is a shot further back on -14 (Grace 6/4 Colsaerts 8/11 4th round 2-balls with bet365).
Five players, including Marcus Fraser and Alexander Noren are on 13-under par with Francesco Molinari in a group of three players who have six shots to make up to catch Grace.
Defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts (7/2 Tournament Outright with bet365) has admitted that he has his work cut out to claw back a three-shot deficit and retain the Volvo China Open title with the form that Branden Grace is showing.
Belgian Colsaerts has improved with every round and carded a fine 66 to add to earlier efforts of 68 and 67 to move to 15-under-par, but remains three shots adrift after Grace fired a superb 64.
Colsaerts, who won this event by four strokes last year in his only European Tour win, is now hoping that the weather helps him overturn the deficit as Grace is showing no sign of letting up.
“He (Grace) played a fantastic round of golf today – it was flawless apart from missing one short putt,” said the 29 year old. “He played superb golf. I was trying to give myself chances but I left a few short. Maybe I was a little too cautious, but at least I did not put myself out of it.
“Coming to the course today we knew it was going to be calmer and scores would be lower although not that low. There is a nine and a bunch of eight unders which has proven it can be done in the right conditions.
“People tell me I play well in Volvo events but how well has he (Grace) done as well? It is going to be difficult to catch this guy tomorrow. I think it would be better for me if the wind would blow a bit tomorrow so that I can make a move because if it is like it was today it will be harder to catch him.”
Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti matched Grace’s 64 to climb up to third place on the leaderboard at -14, one clear of a five-strong group consisting of Alexander Noren, George Coetzee, Ignacio Garrido, Marcus Fraser and Jean-Baptiste Gonnet.