Els makes his move in Macau

Fri 18 Oct 2013

Els makes his move in Macau

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Macau, October 18: South African Ernie Els charged into contention with a brilliant six-under-par 65 to trail halfway leader Siddikur of Bangladesh by one shot at the US$800,000 Venetian Macau Open on Friday.
The four-time Major champion, who is also an Asian Tour honorary member and international ambassador, sank nine birdies against three bogeys at the Macau Golf and Country Club for a two-day total of six-under-par 136.
Siddikur was equally impressive in his round of 66 which included three birdies over his closing four holes as he edged ahead of the chasing pack with his 135 total as he continued to search for a second Asian Tour victory.
The in-form Baek Seuk-hyun, who has four top-10s in his last five starts, fired a 65 to tie Els while Filipino Elmer Salvador and Ben Campbell of New Zealand will also enter the weekend rounds in tied second place after a 66 and 68 respectively.
Els showed why he is nicknamed “The Big Easy” as he effortlessly moved up the leaderboard but he was disappointed to miss a two-foot birdie chance at the last hole which would have tied Siddikur for the lead.
Siddikur of Bangladesh Siddikur of Bangladesh
“The one little putt I missed at the last will sting a little bit. I was looking at the board and it would have been perfect if I could have been seven under to be in the last group. But it’s fine. I played really nice. I actually made some good putts and hit the ball nicely,” said Els.
“The wind was still up a bit. But this evening, it died down and it was a pleasure being out there. It was fun. I think I’ve found my lines off the tees and the greens as well. Not too comfortable with the short putts, that’s the only thing. That’s why I missed the last one.”
After dropping a shot on his opening hole, Els, who celebrated his 44th birthday on Thursday, launched his charge with four birdies before the turn. He looked to be in cruise control with five more birdies against two bogeys coming home.
“When I got here on Wednesday evening, I would have taken where I am right now after two rounds. I’m one shot behind and I’m in the thick of it. I’ve been here for two days and I feel my body is getting in the time zone. My rhythm is good. I brought my trainer over and he’s been stretching (me) and everything we can do to get my body going. So it’s actually feeling good,” said Els.
Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour in 2010, produced a strong finish to snatch the halfway lead in the Venetian Macau Open as he eyed a dream showdown with his idol, Els.
“It was a great round. I felt good. My ball striking was perfect, especially my putting as it all went in,” said Siddikur, who took only 25 putts and is currently 10th on the Order of Merit. “This is a placing course which I like very much. I finished third here last year and I had good thoughts coming back. I’m hitting it good. I’m in good shape.”
He hopes to get a chance to tee up alongside Els. “Ernie is my idol. I’ve been waiting for a long time to play with him. Last few years, I’ve missed by a few groups playing with him so hopefully this week,” he said.
Scott Barr of Australia Scott Barr of Australia
The burly Baek continued to ride on his rich vein of form as he charged up the leaderboard with a seven-birdie round which included three chip-ins. “It’s my best (score) on this course. I got really lucky on so many holes. I chipped in on three holes and made some long putts, 20 feet or so. Today, my putting and chipping was very good,” said the 23-year-old, who is fifth on the Order of Merit.
The Korean is determined to land his first Asian Tour victory after contending on numerous occasions but reckons he has put too much pressure on himself to enjoy a career breakthrough.
“Every time, I’m getting nearer. I’m trying my best. I’m just going to enjoy my game and play my game. Every time I try to go for it, I didn’t do it. This time, I just want to enjoy my game,” said Baek.
Filipino Salvador credited his straight driving play for pushing up him the leaderboard. “I drove the ball good which is important on this golf course. I think I only missed three fairways. Had a fair share of good putts that went in, the one on two was probably the longest from 25 feet. This is a very difficult golf course and you can’t make big mistakes. My swing feels good this week, so we’ll see how it holds up."
The halfway cut was set at two-over-par 144 with 69 players progressing into the weekend rounds.
Jointly organised by Macau Sport Development Board of Macau SAR Government (MSDB) and Golf Association of Macau, the tournament is sanctioned by the latter and the Asian Tour, and promoted by IMG. Following a successful foray into the world of golf last year, The Venetian® Macao-Resort has returned as title sponsor of the event for a second successive year.
Sponsors joining The Venetian®  Macao in support of the tournament include Rolex, Srixon, Air Macau, Blue Girl and Bonaqua, as well as first time sponsors Lamborghini, Maui Jim, Subway, Hytera, Twinwoods Wine and Hong Kong Descente, which carries both the Le Coq Sportif Golf Collection and Munsingwear.
For more details on the Venetian Macau Open, please visit www.thevenetianmacauopen.com
About Macau Sport Development Board of the Macau Special Administrative Region Government
Macau Sport Development Board, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macau SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macau, also to create an essential condition for sport development.
For the development of competitive sports and ‘Sport for all’, the Macau Sport Development Board organizes various high level international sport competitions as well as recreational classes and thematic ‘Sport for all’ activities each year, in an endeavor to promote the international status of Macau, reinforce communication and co-operation with other countries and cites, enhance citizens’ quality of life and arouse their interest in sport, so as to accelerate and facilitate the enhancement of the level of sport in Macau.
For more information, please visit www.sport.gov.mo
About Golf Association of Macau
The Golf Association of Macau is the governing body of golf in Macau and promotes the sport across all levels with the city. It is the co-organiser and official sanctioning body of the Venetian Macau Open.
About The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel
Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel is Macao's first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat Cotai Arena designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; MALO CLINIC Health & Wellness; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 300 retailers at Shoppes at Venetian. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.
For more information, please visit www.venetianmacao.com.
About Cotai Strip Resorts Macao – Macao’s Integrated Resort City
Sands China Ltd. is the leading developer, owner and operator of integrated resorts in Macao. The befittingly named Cotai Strip Resorts Macao, situated on reclaimed land between the islands of Coloane and Taipa, is the one destination that provides a stunning array of experiences at the heart of Cotai. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao has transformed a gaming-centric day-trip market into an integrated resort city and international hub for business and leisure travellers.
Pulsating with life, both night and day, Cotai Strip Resorts Macao features an expansive offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macao, with approximately 9,000 hotel rooms and suites, international superstar live entertainment, duty-free shopping with 600 retailers offering an unparalleled array of name brands, 1.3 million square feet (120,000 square metres) of meeting and exhibition space for Asia’s leading conferences and exhibitions, gaming excitement, transportation offerings and well over 100 dining options, including international restaurants, bars and lounges. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is a must-see destination providing every guest with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled excitement.
Comprised of the The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring the Four Seasons Hotel Macao; and Sands® Cotai Central, featuring the world’s largest Conrad, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn hotels, Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is where Asia’s ultimate destination is all within reach.
Cotai Strip Resorts Macao….truly Macao Starts Here™. For more information, please visit http://en.cotaistrip.com/.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Subway Restaurants (Official Quick Service Restaurant) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf
About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in more than 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging:  IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in India, China, Brazil and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.  More information is available at www.imgworld.com.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.