The Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles
22 - 25 August 2013
Diageo is proud to be the host and sponsor of the 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Held over The PGA Centenary Course, venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup, this is one of the leading events on The PGA European Tour International Schedule of Events and will welcome some of the best golfers in the world to one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Lawrie Claims Johnnie Walker Championship Title
Paul Lawrie won his second title of the season with victory in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
The 43-year-old Scot celebrated his Ryder Cup return with a four-stroke win over Australian Brett Rumford. Lawrie, who won in Qatar in February, led overnight and shot 68 for his eighth European Tour title.
“It feels pretty good to be fair,” said Lawrie.
Lawrie led Frenchman Romain Wattel by a stroke going into the final round and produced a consummate display of ball-striking and mental discipline to seal his third professional win on home soil.
“Probably one of the best ball striking weeks in my career. This course is obviously very good and the course played quite long and I’ve hit the ball a bit longer this week,” he said.
Lawrie, who won the Open at Carnoustie in 1999, has rediscovered his passion for the game after slumping to 346th in the world back in 2005. Earlier this week, the Aberdonian secured his return to the Ryder Cup for the first time since his debut in the infamous Brookline event in 1999.
“It’s difficult to rank wins, but obviously this is huge for me. My goal, once I got on The Ryder Cup team was to finish Top-5 in The Race To Dubai and obviously in front of my home crowd was very satisfying.”
Rumford carded 68, while Wattel took 72 to end 11 under with Sweden's Fredrik Andersson Hed and Dutchman Maarten Lafeber.
Lawrie's Ryder Cup team-mate Francesco Molinari of Italy was in a group on 10 under alongside previous European captain Colin Montgomerie and fellow Scots Richie Ramsay and Stephen Gallacher.
Monty was please with his resurgence of form, “I was losing heart a wee bit,” said Monty. “So I can still win out here and that’s all I want to do, just win once, you’ll never see me again” Monty joked.
A visibly tired, Nicolas Colsaerts needed a top-two finish to pip Martin Kaymer for the final Ryder Cup spot but ended 19th and will have to rely on a wildcard.
“It’s just been exhausting, just the last two months. You know, it’s just every week.” Colsaerts said. “If I had a couple of good breaks a round, I think I would have been in the last couple of groups and playing for the title.”
European Ryder Cup skipper Jose Maria Olazabal will name his two captain's picks at 12:00 BST on Monday, with England's Ian Poulter and big-hitting Belgian Colsaerts considered the leading contenders.
Lawrie Rises to the Top at The Johnnie Walker Championship
Scotland’s Paul Lawrie holds the overnight lead at Gleneagles after day three of The Johnnie Walker Championship.
The former Open Champion shot a five under 67, to go with his 68 and 69 and has gone one shot clear of second placed Romain Wattel on 12-under. In a round that included seven birdies, Lawrie is looking to take his second Tour victory of the season after winning in Qatar back in February.
“I played very good again and hit the ball very solid” said Lawrie. “ I gave myself a lot of chances and the only poor shot I hit was second shot on 9 off the fairway but apart from that, I hit the ball really solid, and putted well, 5‑under, so a good day.”
Lawrie was thankful of the home support.
“The support has been good all week to be fair; unusual, for me, maybe, but it's nice to see them all. And with Monty and Stephen Gallacher having good scores today they have seen some good golf by the Scottish boys” said Lawrie.
Monty shot a 3-under, 69 to finish tied seventh whilst Stephen Gallacher went round in an impressive 65 to lie in third place on nine under.
The round of the day came from Frenchman Romain Wattel. The 21 year-old from Montpellier, who started the day at only joint 31st, made an amazing seven birdies in 10 holes and charged from two under par to eleven under. The round of 63 leaves Wattel just one behind Lawrie and two in front of Stephen Gallacher.
A very happy Wattel said, “I didn't focus on the score. I just tried to play my best and to focus on each shot. So I just tried to play the best shot I could every time.”
“I'm really, really happy” said Wattel.
Wattel was not the only player suddenly making his presence felt.
England's Gary Boyd had made the cut with nothing to spare at level par, but finished the day alongside Maarten Lafeber and Brett Rumford on 8-under with a 64 containing two eagles and four birdies.
The first of the eagles came when he pitched in at the 350-yard 11th and he added another on the 513-yard last, the hole re-designed by Jack Nicklaus with the 2014 Ryder Cup in mind.
Defending Champion Thomas Bjorn grabbed birdies at four of the first seven holes and eventually finished on seven under. Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts was pushed down to joint 13th. He needs a top two finish to claim a Ryder Cup debut by pushing Martin Kaymer out of the final automatic qualifying spot but a wild card pick is looking more likely.
“I have some fly fishing set up Monday morning to think about something else” said Colsaerts.
Bjorn has already been named as one of Jose Maria Olazabal's four assistant captains, but hopes a successful defence of the title might bring him into consideration for a wild card.
Joint overnight leader, Mark Foster, who lost a play-off last year after taking a bogey six on the final hole, finished day 3 on 5-under with a disappointing 75, at five under Foster joins a group of five in tied 17th.
Knut Borsheim who shared the lead with Foster after day two, shot a 69 to finish on 7-under.
Mark Foster and Richard Finch jointly share the lead on
8-under, after the end of day two at the Johnnie Walker Championship at
Foster, who hasn’t tasted victory on Tour since his first win at the 2003 Dunhill Championship in South Africa, shot another 4-under 68 on Friday to go 8-under overall in search of his second Tour victory.
After two excellent rounds of golf, when asked what was responsible for his good scoring, Foster said, “Consistency, hit the ball well and kept the ball in play. Holed a few putts, but not as many as I would like.”
Finch had one of the rounds of the day, 67, which included seven birdies, to join Foster at the top of the leaderboard.
“Yeah, delighted. A couple of fives to start the day wasn't really what I was hoping for to be honest but after that, the next 16, I was delighted with; so to shoot 67 was definitely good. We had a few downpours, and I had a couple of 3‑putts and I got that the first couple of holes” Finch said.
“All in all, it's nice and looking forward to playing, out first tomorrow, good fun, and it should be a good weekend.”
Scotland's Ryder Cup star Paul Lawrie and Australia's Brett Rumford are the next best clubhouse scores on 7-under. Lawrie, who returns to the Ryder Cup next month for the first time in 13 years, shot 69 and Rumford 70.
Borsheim and Rumford share the lead at the Johnnie Walker Championship
Day one at the Johnnie Walker Championship and two unfamiliar names share the lead of a tightly packed leaderboard. Norweigan, Knut Borsheim, and Australian, Brett Rumford, who were playing in the same group, both fired 5 under 67’s on a pleasant day at Gleneagles.
Borsheim, who turned professional in 2010 is still seeking his first European Tour win and the 25 year-old got off to a good start with an early birdie on the par 5 second. Four more birdies were to follow with the final one coming on the 18th, a hole that has been considerably remodelled ahead of Gleneagles, that plays host to the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Borsheim seems to be a fan of the course, “It suits me pretty well, fairly long carry on my ball, and I can take advantage of the par fives. Today, I played solid, solid golf. It could of been better, could have been worse but a really solid round of golf and that’s nice and gives me confidence for the next” said Borsheim.
Not to be outdone, Rumford also sank his birdie putt on the 18th to match Borsheim and the Australian, who is 10 years his senior, is looking for his first Tour win since 2007 at the European Masters.
“It was a nice, steady day and the course was set up reasonably difficult,” said Rumford, who admits he has been going through a difficult patch of form. “Yeah, it’s been really annoying. It takes time to get back there and you have to work really hard at this game” he said.
Early pace setter, Thorbjorn Olesen, who held the lead for most of the day, had his first tour win in Sicily in April and showed his recent form hasn’t deserted him over The PGA Centenary Course, lying just one behind on 4 under.
“It's been a lot of good weeks and I think I learned a lot from The Open and the PGA, also. It's nice to make the Championship,” said Olesen who is tied with England’s, Mark Foster and two players who will be taking on the Americans in the Ryder Cup in just over a month’s time, Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari.
“It's been a good stretch and I've definitely learned a lot,” Olesen said.
Olsen’s compatriot and defending Champion, Thomas Björn, kicked off with a 70, while Nicolas Colsaerts, who is playing in an event where a top two finish will give him a Ryder Cup debut next month, came back from an early bogey with five birdies in seven holes around the turn to finish on a three under 69.
Colsaerts was happy with his days work, “Exactly the day I wanted - something not very stressful,” said Colsaerts. “A bit of a shaky start and then I found my rhythm again, made a couple birdies in a row and then was in control of my ball, which is what I wanted in these conditions.”
Another Scot who will also be happy with his day’s work is Richie Ramsay who joins Colsaerts on 3 under.
England's David Lynn, runner-up in the USPGA Championship a fortnight ago and with an outside chance of being one of José María Olazábal European Ryder Cup wild card picks on Monday, shot a one under 71.
Tomorrow sees the continuation, for the second successive year in a row, of ‘£5 Friday’. The Championship organisers have set the Friday ticket price to just £5. Once again Gleneagles will donate all the revenue from on-the-day ticket sales to ClubGolf – Scotland’s junior golf development programme.
Last chance saloon at the Johnnie Walker Championship
Stage Set for an Enthralling Johnnie Walker Championship
In an all star cast, twenty-six nationalities are represented in a field that includes a 24-man strong Scottish contingent for home fans to follow. The 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship field has amassed a remarkable 260 European Tour titles between them, including seven Majors. Joining defending Champion Thomas Björn and his fellow 2012 European Ryder Cup Vice Captains, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley are Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Nicolas Colsaerts amongst others, who will all be looking to take the title off Björn’s hands.
Spotlight turns to the Johnnie Walker Championship at
With over 300 European Tour titles between them the field is as strong as ever, lead by event Chairman Colin Montgomerie, European Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal and his newly announced Vice Captains, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and defending Champion Thomas Björn. The field also includes Paul Casey, Ross Fisher, Simon Dyson and home favourites Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher.
With just over a month to go until The Ryder Cup, match play exponent Ian Poulter moved into an automatic qualifying spot, at the expense of Sergio Garcia, after the Englishman’s joint third place in the US PGA Championship last weekend. If most people expected Poulter’s name to be in the frame, one name they will be surprised to see featuring is his fellow countryman David Lynn.
In what was Lynn’s first Major Championship in the USA, the 38 year-old carded a final round 68 to climb up the leaderboard to finish second. Lynn’s remarkable performance lifted him from 28th to 13th on the Ryder Cup standings and a strong showing next week over The PGA Centenary Course, venue of The 2014 Ryder Cup, could see him move into the top ten.
Gleneagles Scottish PGA Champion
Graham Fox books his place at the Johnnie Walker Championship
With calm weather making for good conditions on the King’s Course at Gleneagles, Fox finished on a 15-under aggregate of 269 and won by two strokes from the dominant Greig Hutcheon, with popular Aberdonian Scott Henderson a stroke further back in third to take the £8900 first prize.
If that wasn’t good enough, as winner of the Gleneagles Scottish PGA Championship, Fox secured the final place in the Johnnie Walker Championship. The 35-year old from West Kilbride last played in the event in 2002 and is looking forward to playing alongside many of his friends.
Fox said, “The opportunity to secure a place in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles was a huge incentive not just to play well, to win, the Tartan Tour’s flagship event. It is always great to be able to play the King’s Course and to enjoy all the history and tradition it represents, however The PGA Centenary Course is definitely one of the toughest.
Anticipation Builds Ahead of Ryder Cup Showdown at the
Johnnie Walker Championship
Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts have all notched up a victory on the European Tour this season, with all three hoping to secure their place in Jose Maria Olazábal's 2012 European Ryder Cup team to be announced on the Monday (August 27th) following the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
Since the last thrilling climax to Ryder Cup qualification in 2010, Gleneagles has embarked on a series of enhancements to the course in preparation for the 2014 Ryder Cup under the guidance of the layout's original designer, Jack Nicklaus.
With the Perthshire course recently reopened, the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship will provide the first insight into how the world's leading professionals respond to the remodelling.
“The 18th hole was the biggest change. We dropped the green five or six metres and created a tremendous amphitheatre” said Nicklaus. “It’s exciting, there will be birdies, eagles and bogeys on it and you’re going to get shots that change hands. I think they will enjoy it.”