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California Dreaming …followed by a bit of a nightmare for Hampshire’s Rose Justin Rose, world number one and Hampshire’s favourite golfing son, laid down a marker with is best season’s start for 17 years as he won the opening event at Torrey Pines. Rose brushed off the challenge of Australian Adam Scott to secure victory in the Farmers Insurance Open by two shots. The 38-year-old, associated with North Hants Golf Club since he was a youngster, wobbled with three bogeys in the opening five holes of the final round but played the last 12 in five under to card a threeunder 69 and win on 21 under. “I haven’t won in January since about 2002, so this feels great,” said the 2013 US Open champion.

“I am really happy. I challenged the status quo and changed everything up in the search to try to get better.” Rose switched golf club brands at the end of last year, and won with new caddie Gareth Lord on his bag for just the second time, with his regular caddie Mark Fulcher recovering from heart surgery. “I felt comfortable with the way I drove the ball this week on a tough test,” added Rose. “A whole new look for me. But I don’t mind it, if it is going to produce this golf.” The victory secured Rose a 10th US PGA Tour title and his first win since the Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour in November. Scott said: “He’s the number one player in the world, and he’s showing why.

Even when he was a little off, he kept it together.” But, as if to prove the vagaries of golf, along came the season’s second event – and Rose actually missed the cut for only the second time in 36 tournaments. The hiccough came in the Saudi International, won by American Dustin Johnson. Rose followed his opening round of 70 with a twoover 72. He said afterwards: “The mistakes I made were due to trying to chase the cut and that doesn’t happen if I had putted a bit better the first day. “I actually played really nicely on day one. Today I felt not as good, but the mistakes were more because I was behind the eight-ball trying to get into the tournament.”

Two men on

cloud nine James Nitties made a world record-equalling nine consecutive birdies in the ISPS Handa Vic Open. His run from the 15th to the fifth in the first round - a European Tour record matched Mark Calcavecchia’s feat in the 2009 Canadian Open. “I’m pumped. It is pretty cool,” said the Australian. But at half way, Nitties was eight shots off the lead, and nosedived to 62 place by the end. Someone else was on a different kind of cloud nine: Scotland’s David Law, who eagled the 18th to overcome a three-shot deficit in the final three holes to win his first European Tour title. Challenge Tour graduate Law said: “To have won, it sort of changes things a little bit. “It’s massive. It’s not something I expected. For me just being out here playing on the European Tour was enough. “I’ve been loving the four events I’ve played so far and to just be a European Tour player was what I was happy with.”

Quinta Do Lago on Cloud Nine After Record 2018 Quinta do Lago is set to build on a record-breaking year after seeing a significant rise in golf green-fee bookings in 2018.

The stunning Algarve sports and lifestyle venue reported an increase of nine per cent in rounds played at their three superb 18-hole championship courses – the North, South and Laranjal – an impressive growth of 8,500 in real terms. Aside from the continued popularity among UK guests, Quinta do Lago’s wealth of world-class facilities has seen the emergence of visitors from European neighbours Scandinavia and Italy, as well an influx of visitors from as far afield as USA, China and Argentina. After impressive performance in 2018, growth looks set to continue, especially with the availability of new flight routes into nearby Faro from new destinations: Berlin, Cologne, Cork, Marseille and Milan. With ‘The Magnolia Hotel’, the state-of-the-art sports performance centre ‘The Campus’ and 10 high-class bars and restaurants to choose from, Quinta do Lago’s appeal continues to grow across the globe. Located just 15 minutes away from Faro airport, the resort’s world-class golf and lifestyle facilities make it the perfect choice for a sporting break, and Quinta do Lago has plenty for golfers to get excited about, with three-night, two-round breaks bookable from only €314 per person until the end of March. www.quintadolago.com

10 TEE TIMES | March 2019

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Tee Times Golf Magazine, March 2019  

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