Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano wins the BMW Masters

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano was able to hold off a bevy of quality challengers on Sunday in Shanghai, getting his first win of the 2013 season at the BMW Masters.

What Happened

Conditions were brutal all week at Lake Malaren Golf Club, with high winds making it very difficult for the players to post low numbers, but that changed on Sunday. The course played much easier on the final day, with all but one of the top-12 finishers ending up under par for the round. Defending champion Peter Hanson posted the round of the day, a 9-under par 63 despite making two bogeys and ended up tied for 9th even after an opening round 79.

After a chip-in on the par-3 17th, Castano opened a three-shot lead over Francesco Molinari, and he needed every bit of it after finding two bunkers on the last. He was able to hit his putt on 18 for double bogey to get away with a one-shot victory.

Final Leaderboard

  • 1. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano -11
  • T2. Francesco Molinari -10
  • T2. Thongchai Jaidee -10
  • 4. Luke Guthrie -9
  • T5. Thomas Bjorn -8
  • T5. Peter Uihlein -8
  • T5. Pablo Larrazabal -8

What The Win Means For Castano

Castano now moves into the top five in the Race to Dubai, but perhaps most importantly to him, this win probably gets him back on Paul McGinley’s radar for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Castano basically split his 2013 season between the PGA and European Tours, and the result was only four top-10’s and no wins until today. It’s his seventh career professional victory, and the win will get him back into the top-50 of the Official World Golf Rankings.

Simon Dyson’s DQ

If you’ve read anything from me in the past, you know that I take issue with the Rules of Golf on occasion, but this one is pretty much as clear cut as it gets. Simon Dyson, who after the second round of play was 4-under par and in contention, was disqualified after pushing down a spike mark on the green that was in the line of his putt. Video below:

Dyson was disqualified after a fan called in the ruling, which I still don’t like, but this is pretty basic, day one stuff. Dyson was in direct violation of rule 16-1a, which you can check out at the official USGA site. Some of you may also remember that this is why Sergio Garcia chipped while on the green on Sunday at the Wells Fargo this year.

05.04.13 Garcia-green-chip

Joost Luiten’s WD

Joost Luiten hit exactly one shot on Thursday, a drive of 120 yards down the middle of the fairway, and withdrew from the tournament citing a shoulder injury. Obviously Luiten was injured before he hit the shot, so why was he out there? Well, the European Tour’s Final Series, a play on the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, states that in order to be qualified for the Dubai World Championship and the bonus money pool, players must play in two of the three events preceding the final in Dubai. Luiten currently sits 11th in the Race to Dubai, so he’s going to have a chance to win a good amount of money at the end of it, but in order to have that shot, he needed to hit that opening tee ball. Luke Donald, who was playing with Luiten, tweeted about the situation after the round:

It’s a new wrinkle in the rules, and it sucks for the first alternate, who was South Africa’s Justin Walters. The players knew Luiten was hurt and there was a chance that he might withdraw, but Donald’s right: the European Tour forced Luiten’s hand with this, and there will definitely be calls for change considering how ridiculous this makes the tour look.

John Daly’s Performance

He didn’t have the kind of finish that he would have liked, but an opening round 68 in his first competitive round in four months after elbow surgery was the shock of the week for probably everyone in the golf world. When the tough conditions got even tougher, it hit Daly harder than most and he couldn’t keep up, eventually ending up tied for 48th. Still though, he should be happy with the way he played, and who knows, maybe it leads to more quality play going forward.

Other Notes

  • No cut this week with the short field. Some notable finishes: Paul Casey (T8), Martin Kaymer (T13), Ian Poulter (T15), Lee Westwood (T17), Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington (T27), Luke Donald and Thorbjorn Olesen (T31), Henrik Stenson (T34), John Daly (T48), Graeme McDowell (T53), Louis Oosthuizen (59th), Miguel Angel Jimenez (60th) and Branden Grace (T61).
  • Watching the coverage, I couldn’t help but notice how slow Luke Guthrie is when he plays. In the first two rounds, he was paired with Uihlein and Daly, and it must have been killing Daly to watch how long Guthrie took over the ball. Daly’s always been a fast player and obviously came up in a time when rounds were a lot shorter than they are now, so I’d love to know what he honestly thought of what was going on. Guthrie’s a great young player, but it was difficult to watch at times.
  • Interesting story from Brian Keogh at the Irish Golf Desk regarding the potentially cold relationship between Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell. I don’t usually like to comment on rumour, especially when the involve things that we can’t honestly see for ourselves, but I bring this up because of McDowell’s quotes. He’s never been one to shy away from things and he always gives a thorough answer, so it surprised me when I saw this:

“I don’t have any comment. It’s been a long complicated year for everyone (talking about the slump) so I prefer not to talk about Rory McIlroy in this conversation,”

In any event, the link above is worth checking out. I’m sure they’ll get it resolved at some point, but it seems pretty apparent that they aren’t on the best of terms at the moment.

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