EurAsia Cup: Europe beat Asia 14-10 to retain trophy

Europe celebrate with the EurAsia trophy

Europe won eight of Sunday’s 12 singles matches to beat Asia 14-10 and retain the EurAsia trophy in Malaysia.

Thomas Bjorn’s side trailled 6½-5½ going into the final day but asserted their dominance by winning eight of the opening nine singles matches.

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters scored the winning point as he beat South Korea’s Byeong-hun An by one hole.

“I’m delighted the way these 12 came out. They have been fantastic all week,” said Bjorn.

“We had a really good group and we worked hard.

“It was mostly up to them last night and they wanted to go out and show what they are really about and they certainly did that.”

Europe started off with wins from Alex Noren, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Tommy Fleetwood before Poom Saksansin cut the deficit by beating Paul Casey.

But Henrik Stenson got Europe back on track with a 2&1 win over Hideto Tanihara, while team-mates Bernd Wiesberger and Alex Levy also won their matches.

Pieters had gone 4-up in his match and, despite An drawing level, he holed a seven-foot putt at the 15th to regain the lead and then won the next hole to secure the trophy.

“It’s always nice to get the winning point,” he said. “I got off to a good start, then played pretty poorly during the middle, then made a couple of very good birdies.”

Tyrrell Hatton picked up Europe’s eighth win, while Matthew Fitzpatrick halved his match after Kang Sung-hoon holed two birdies.

Asia, captained by Arjun Atwal, won the final two matches as China’s Li Haotong and Yuta Ikeda of Japan beat Paul Dunne and Ross Fisher respectively.

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Hawaii missile strike alert: Fear, panic and relief at PGA Tour event

The message Hawaiians saw on their phones

An alert, warning of an imminent ballistic missile strike, caused widespread panic and fear in Hawaii on Saturday.

Thankfully it turned out to be a false alarm – but the second message, confirming this, took 38 minutes to arrive.

Among those affected were players competing at the US PGA Hawaii Open in Honolulu.

There was the sheer terror…

John Peterson tweet reading: Under mattresses in the bathtub with my wife, baby and in-laws. Please lord let this bomb threat not be real

Sony Open in Hawaii tweet reading: Pray for us

JJ Spaun tweet reading: In a basement under hotel. Barely any service. Can you send confirmed message over radio or tv

…Relief…

Taylor Gooch tweet

Austin Cook tweet reading: Well this ma be one of the scariest alerts I have ever received. Luckily it was a mistake - this is no small mistake

…Anger….

John Peterson tweet reading: Man How do you press the wrong button like that. COME ON MAN

…And eventually, humour:

Jonathan Randolph tweet reading: Wow I normally hit the snooze button a couple of time but not today, hey North Korea chill out man

Instagram photo from Taylor Ford reading: Hiked a mountain and had a ballistic missle launch alert lal before 08:30. Indescribable feeling. The third round htis afternoon should be a cake wale

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The alert came amid growing concern over North Korea’s missile and nuclear programme. Hawaii is the closest US state to North Korea.

In December, the state tested its nuclear warning siren for the first time since the end of the Cold War.

State Governor David Ige apologised to Hawaiians, saying an employee had pressed the wrong button.

The US government has announced a full investigation.

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Paisley leads going into fourth round at South African Open

Chris and Keri Paisley

South African Open third-round leaderboard
-15 C Paisley (Eng); -14 B Grace (SA); -12 J Blaauw (SA), C Koepke (US), A Saddier (Fra); -11 D Fichardt (SA)
Selected others: -9 R Bland (Eng); -7 D Evans (Eng); -6 C Ford (Eng); -5 M Wallace (Eng), A Sullivan (Eng)
Full leaderboard

Chris Paisley moved a step closer to claiming his first European Tour title by taking a one-shot lead into day four of the South African Open.

England’s Paisley, 31, shot a third-round 70 at Glendower Golf Club to move to 15 under, with home favourite Branden Grace a stroke back after a 66.

“I’m really proud with how I’ve played, I felt really calm and never really felt stressed,” said Paisley.

Adrien Saddier, halfway co-leader with Paisley, fell three shots off the pace.

Paisley, from Hexham, shot a round containing three birdies and a bogey at the 16th to take a comfortable lead, but 29-year-old South African Grace birdied five of his last eight holes to come back into contention.

“Obviously playing with Gracie [in the final round], who’s won God knows how many times on Tour and obviously is a great player, and in his home country,” said Paisley. “I’m sure the crowd is going to be on his side. I’m just really excited about it.”

Grace, who became the first man to shoot 62 in a major at last year’s Open, claimed the most recent of his eight European Tour wins on home soil in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November.

“I got frustrated out there to be quite honest,” said Grace, who hit three eagles on his opening round on Thursday. “I thought I hit the ball superbly through 13 holes, but just couldn’t get it in the hole.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow big time. I’ve played myself right back into it and I’m really excited going into tomorrow.”

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EurAsia Cup: Asia comeback leaves Europe trailing by one point

Henrik Stenson (left) and Tommy Fleetwood

Defending champions Europe will go into Sunday’s final 12 singles trailing Asia 6½-5½ in the EurAsia Cup.

Europe trailed 3½-2½ after day one, and took the lead by winning three of the first four foursomes matches on the second day in Malaysia.

But Asia claimed the last two matches of the day to maintain their advantage at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

“I am looking forward to the singles. It’s crunch day tomorrow,” said England’s Tommy Fleetwood.

Fleetwood and Henrik Stenson had drawn Thomas Bjorn’s Europe side level with a 3&2 win over Indian pairing Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P Chawrasia.

“It was a really good morning, we played really solid,” added Fleetwood. “We didn’t make a bogey, we made quite a few birdies and in foursomes that’s going to be hard to beat, really.

Britons Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton then beat An Byeong-un of South Korea and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2&1 as Europe moved ahead, while Matthew Fitzpatrick and Thomas Pieters earned a 3&2 win against Kang Sung-hoon and Poom Saksansin.

But Japan’s Yuta Ikeda and Malaysia’s Gavin Green won three of the last four holes for a rousing 1-up win over Alex Levy and Rafa Cabrera for Arjun Atwal’s Asia.

Hideto Tanihara and Phachara Khongwatmai beat Alex Noren and Paul Dunne 2&1 before Haoting Li and Nicholas Fung also won three of the last four holes to claim a 3&2 win over Bernd Wiesberger and Ross Fisher to keep the hosts ahead in the contest.

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EurAsia Cup: Europe trail Asia by one point after opening day

Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey talk during day one's fourballs at the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia

Defending champions Europe trail Asia by one point after the opening day of the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.

Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood started Friday’s fourballs with a 4&3 victory over Byeong-hun An and Kiradech Aphibarnrat in Kuala Lumpur.

Asia won the next two matches before Ross Fisher and Tyrrell Hatton levelled at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

But another victory for the hosts and a halved final match saw them secure a 3½-2½ lead going into the weekend.

After the inaugural EurAsia Cup in 2014 was tied, Europe thrashed Asia by 13 points in the 2016 event.

“We’re not underestimating this team by any means,” said Casey, who is representing Europe for the first time in nine years.

“We are taking this very seriously, so the score you see on the leaderboard right now is not through complacency – they have played some amazing golf to be in this position.”

China's Li Haotong celebrates a birdie putt during day one of the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia

Europe Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn is also leading the team in this matchplay tournament and has selected a strong line-up.

England’s Casey rejoined the European Tour at the start of the season to be eligible for the Ryder Cup and started his first event back impressively with victory alongside Race to Dubai winner Fleetwood to put the first point on the board.

Asia moved in front with two wins in quick succession as Yuta Ikeda and Gavin Green beat Thomas Pieters and Matthew Fitzpatrick 2&1 before Sunghoon Kang and Poom Saksansin, who started with eight straight birdies, completed a comfortable 5&4 victory over Henrik Stenson and Alexander Levy.

England duo Fisher and Hatton beat Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia 5&4, only for Alex Noren and Paul Dunne to lose by two holes to Hideto Tanihara and Phachara Khongwatmai.

Europe had the chance to end the day level at 3-3 but Li Haotong made a crucial birdie putt to win the 18th hole, ensuring he and partner Nicholas Fung halved their match with Bernd Wiesberger and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

“I’ve been talking to the guys all week that we expect them to come out firing,” said Bjorn. “Expect them to be 100% up for this and that they are going to go out and play some good golf.

“When I look at the scoring in the groups I feel like a couple of guys might feel like they should have done better, but in general there was a lot of good golf from our side.”

Saturday will feature six foursome matches, with 12 singles taking place on Sunday.

Europe will seek to regain the Ryder Cup from the USA in Paris in September.

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South African Open: Branden Grace cards three eagles in opening round

Branden Grace

South African Open first-round leaderboard
-7 B Grace (SA), C Koepke (US); -6 C Paisley (Eng); -5 B Neil (Sco), N Elvira (Spa), E Van Rooyen, R Sterne (SA)
Selected others:-4 M Wallace (Eng); -3 O Fisher, R Bland (Eng); -1 E Els (SA); +3 G Storm (Eng); +7 T Immelman (SA)
Full leaderboard

Branden Grace scored three eagles in a seven-under-par 65 for a share of the lead after the South African Open’s first round.

The 29-year-old South African also carded three birdies and two bogeys to match American Chase Koepka.

Chris Paisley hit seven birdies and a bogey in a round of 66 and is one shot behind at the European Tour event.

But his fellow Englishman Graeme Storm – the defending champion – carded a three-over-par 75.

Trevor Immelman, the 2008 US Masters champion, also endured a difficult start, scoring five bogeys and a double-bogey in a seven-over-par 79.

The four-round tournament is the second oldest Open championship in the world, having first been formally played in 1903.

World number 30 Grace, the highest ranked player in the field, scored all his eagles on par-five holes and secured his third with an excellent 20-foot putt on the 15th hole.

“I can’t remember when, or if, I’ve ever made three eagles in a round but it was fun,” he said.

“I was a little bit rusty with some of the wedge shots but all in all I’m very pleased with the outcome. It’s a great start to 2018 and it’s always nice to play back in South Africa.”

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South African Open: Branden Grace cards three eagles in opening round

Branden Grace

South African Open first-round leaderboard
-7 B Grace (SA), C Koepke (US); -6 C Paisley (Eng); -5 B Neil (Sco), N Elvira (Spa), E Van Rooyen, R Sterne (SA)
Selected others:-4 M Wallace (Eng); -3 O Fisher, R Bland (Eng); -1 E Els (SA); +3 G Storm (Eng); +7 T Immelman (SA)
Full leaderboard

Branden Grace scored three eagles in a seven-under-par 65 for a share of the lead after the South African Open’s first round.

The 29-year-old South African also carded three birdies and two bogeys to match American Chase Koepka.

Chris Paisley hit seven birdies and a bogey in a round of 66 and is one shot behind at the European Tour event.

But his fellow Englishman Graeme Storm – the defending champion – carded a three-over-par 75.

Trevor Immelman, the 2008 US Masters champion, also endured a difficult start, scoring five bogeys and a double-bogey in a seven-over-par 79.

The four-round tournament is the second oldest Open championship in the world, having first been formally played in 1903.

World number 30 Grace, the highest ranked player in the field, scored all his eagles on par-five holes and secured his third with an excellent 20-foot putt on the 15th hole.

“I can’t remember when, or if, I’ve ever made three eagles in a round but it was fun,” he said.

“I was a little bit rusty with some of the wedge shots but all in all I’m very pleased with the outcome. It’s a great start to 2018 and it’s always nice to play back in South Africa.”

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Dominant Johnson cruises to eight-shot win in Hawaii

Dustin Johnson

Tournament of Champions final-round leaderboard
-24 D Johnson (US); -16 J Rahm (Spa); -15 B Harman (US); -14 R Fowler (US), H Matsuyama (Jpn), P Perez (US)
Selected others: -13 J Vegas (Ven); -12 J Spieth (US); -4 J Thomas (US)
Full leaderboard

World number one Dustin Johnson surged to an eight-shot victory at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

The American, 33, who led after three rounds, fired an eight-under 65 to cruise to the title, with Spain’s Jon Rahm a distant second after a 69.

Johnson followed rounds of 69, 68 and 66 by making four birdies on the front nine then eagled the par-four 12th.

American Brian Harman finished third on 15 under while Open champion Jordan Spieth was a further three shots back.

Australian Marc Leishman, who was the joint leader at the halfway stage but carded a 76 on Saturday, finished tied seventh on 13 under.

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World number one Johnson takes two-shot lead in Hawaii

Dustin Johnson

Tournament of Champions third-round leaderboard
-16 D Johnson (US); -14 B Harman (US); -12 J Rahm (Spa); -11 R Fowler (US), J Dufner (US); -10 J Vegas (Tha), P Perez (US)
Selected others: -5 J Spieth (US); +2 J Thomas (US)
Full leaderboard

World number one Dustin Johnson holds a two-shot lead going into the final day of the Tournament of Champions.

The American shot a seven-under-par 66 on the third day in Hawaii to move clear of the 34-man field on 16 under.

Compatriot Brian Harman is his closest challenger while Spaniard Jon Rahm is a further two shots back after picking up five shots on his last five holes.

Australian Marc Leishman, joint leader after two rounds with Harman, fell down the leaderboard after a 76.

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Tournament of Champions: Marc Leishman joined by Brian Harman in halfway lead

Mark Leishman

Tournament of Champions second-round leaderboard
-10 M Leishman (AUS), B Harman (US); -9 D Johnson (US); -8 P Perez (US), C Stroud (US), J Vegas (Tha)
Selected others: -6 R Fowler (US); -5 J Spieth (US); level J Thomas (US)
Full leaderboard

Australia’s Marc Leishman was joined in the lead by America’s Brian Harman after the second round of the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

First-round leader Leishman, 34, did not drop a shot and made four birdies – two on the front nine and two on the back – to go 10 under for the event.

He is now tied for first place with American player Harman, 30, who carded his second 68 of the tournament.

World number one Dustin Johnson is one shot behind them, after a 68.

Meanwhile, world number two Jordan Spieth is five shots adrift of the leaders after he was one of three players to fire a 66, and defending champion Justin Thomas is level par after a two-over 75.

“It was tough [playing in the wind], but I’m really happy with four birdies and no bogeys,” Leishman said.

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