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Bill Zimmerman

In Friday's second round of the European Tour's Maybank Malaysian Open, Lee Westwood opened up a four-shot lead – while a swarm of hornets stole the show, attacking Pablo Larrazabal.

At 1 under for his round through four holes and playing Kuala Lumpur CC's No. 14, Larrazabal said he swatted an insect away from his nose. A swarm ensued. He started swinging a towel around his head and shoulder. It didn't deter the hornets.

“They were three times the size of bees,” Larrazábal told the tour. “They were huge and like 30 or 40 of them started ...

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April 17, 2014 | 2:46 p.m.

Westwood takes early lead at Malaysian Open

Lee Westwood opened with a 7-under 65 to take a one-shot lead at the Malaysian Open.
Lee Westwood opened with a 7-under 65 to take a one-shot lead at the Malaysian Open.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Determined to end a two-year title drought, Lee Westwood shot a 7-under 65 Thursday to take the lead at storm-affected Malaysian Open.

Westwood had a bogey at his first hole but birdied four of his closing five to take a one-shot lead ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium before play was suspended because of the risk of lightning.

A tropical downpour in the afternoon had previously halted play for more than an hour, and 45 players in the 156-man field will have to complete their first round on Friday.

The 36th-ranked Westwood is coming off a seventh-place ...

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Categories: Lee Westwood, European
Golfweek Staff
Bubba Watson during the 2014 Masters at Augusta National.
Bubba Watson during the 2014 Masters at Augusta National.

A few players at Augusta got their Twitter fix before their Masters final round, while others (whether on or off the grounds) shared some well wishes for their favorites taking to the course later. Here's another smattering of the chattering (which we'll update a few times as the day goes on).

• • •

Bubba Watson, @bubbawatson: "Sunday at @The_Masters! It's going to be a great day! #Rejoice"

Billy Horschel, @BillyHo_Golf: "Masters Sunday. First time I will be playing instead of watching on tv. Let's finish the week off on a high note! 5 or 6 under will do ...

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Golfweek Staff
Bill Haas during Thursday's first round of the 2014 Masters at Augusta National.
Bill Haas during Thursday's first round of the 2014 Masters at Augusta National.

Jack, Arnie and Gary got things started at 7:40 a.m. – well before defending champion Adam Scott opened his Masters defense with a birdie. Several players have held the lead today, with Scott and 2012 champ Bubba Watson in the thick of things, but Bill Haas is the leader at 4 under.

Recap the highlights of the first round of 2014 Masters – and keep scrolling down for previous Masters coverage!

• • •

Update #78: 7:29 p.m. EDT

Lee Westwood bogeys the last for ...

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Marco Crespi celebrates his first European Tour win at the 2014 NH Collection Open in Spain.
Marco Crespi celebrates his first European Tour win at the 2014 NH Collection Open in Spain.

CADIZ, Spain – Marco Crespi of Italy won his first European Tour title Sunday after carding a 3-under 69 in the final round for a two-shot victory at the inaugural edition of the NH Collection Open.

Playing in his 25th European Tour event, the 35-year-old Crespi had five birdies to overcome a pair of bogeys on the final day for a 10-under total of 278. Jordi Garcia of Spain carded a 66 to climb into a tie for second with Richie Ramsay of Scotland, who shot 68.

Felipe Aguilar of Chile (71) and overnight leader Matthew Nixon of England (73) finished ...

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Categories: Pro, European, Top Stories
Alistair Tait
Jamie Donaldson of Wales is headed to the Masters at Augusta National in 2014 along with a European Tour contingent that might not have made it decades ago.
Jamie Donaldson of Wales is headed to the Masters at Augusta National in 2014 along with a European Tour contingent that might not have made it decades ago.

Twenty-eight Europeans will tee it up in this year’s Masters. Sam Torrance, Ken Brown, Mark James and Howard Clark must wish they’d played in these enlightened times as opposed to the dark ages, when Augusta only allowed select Europeans down Magnolia Lane.

The contrast between the present and the past couldn’t be more stark. Thirty years ago, only four Europeans played in the Masters and one of those was an amateur. Twenty years ago, the number had risen to just 13. There were 18 in 2004.

Torrance and company made 26 Ryder Cup appearances, and won 54 ...

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Bill Zimmerman
Matthew Nixon leads the European Tour's 2014 NH Collection Open after three rounds (shown here during last year's Russian Open).
Matthew Nixon leads the European Tour's 2014 NH Collection Open after three rounds (shown here during last year's Russian Open).

Every day has seen a different leader at the NH Collection Open, but Saturday was the first to see the completion of its scheduled round in the wake of Thursday's rain delay.

Matthew Nixon of England will carry a one-shot lead into the final round after his 65 moved him to the top of the leaderboard, just ahead of Marco Crespi of Italy.

"I kept knocking them close and knocking the putts in,” said Nixon, who carded nine birdies against two bogeys Saturday and is looking for his first win on the European Tour. “If I could do that ...

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Bill Zimmerman
Marc Warren holds a share of the lead at the delayed NH Collection Open in Cadiz, Spain, on European Tour (shown here at the 2012 Mideast Emirates Classic).
Marc Warren holds a share of the lead at the delayed NH Collection Open in Cadiz, Spain, on European Tour (shown here at the 2012 Mideast Emirates Classic).

For the second straight day, play was cut short at the NH Collection Open in Cadiz, Spain – but not before Scotland's Marc Warren moved to a share of the lead with a 5-under 67 in the second round.

Warren began the day by finishing the last seven holes of his opening round for an even-par 72.

"At the start of the second round I struggled a bit with concentration, but once I got it going I played really good," Warren said. "(The) long game was excellent, short game was good."

When darkness suspended play Friday, 45 players still hadn ...

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Bill Zimmerman
Jack Doherty during the first round of the European Tour's 2014 NH Collection Open in Cadiz, Spain.
Jack Doherty during the first round of the European Tour's 2014 NH Collection Open in Cadiz, Spain.

Having earned a spot on European Tour in November thanks to his 12th attempt at Q-School, Scotland's Jack Doherty took the lead after Thursday's rain-shortened opener at the NH Collection Open.

Doherty completed a 69 before darkness and leads a foursome by two shots. Rhys Davies, Bradley Dredge, Joakim Lagergren and Tjaart Van Der Walt are 2 under, with only Dredge having finished his round.

About half the field must complete their first rounds Friday. Three hours of rain stopped play in Cadiz, Spain, at La Reserva de Sotogrande, while windy conditions persisted after the downpour cleared.

– Associated ...

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Pryad Marksaeng of Team Asia celebrates his putt on the 18th green during the single matches on Day 3 of the EurAsia Cup.
Pryad Marksaeng of Team Asia celebrates his putt on the 18th green during the single matches on Day 3 of the EurAsia Cup.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Asia staged an improbable Ryder Cup-like comeback on the final day of the EurAsia Cup on Saturday, picking up seven of 10 points available in singles to level the score at 10-all and share the trophy with Europe.

Asia, trailing 7-3 going into the final day, briefly took the lead at 9½-8½ before Joost Luiten beat Koumei Oda 1 up to pull the Europeans level.

The final match between Asia's Hideto Tanihara and Europe's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano then finished all square.

Tanihara sank an 8-foot putt to halve the 17th after Fernandez-Castano eagled the 16th to ...

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Categories: European
Prayad Marksaeng of Team Asia reacts on the 13th hole in the foursome matches against Team Europe during Day 2 of the EurAsia Cup.
Prayad Marksaeng of Team Asia reacts on the 13th hole in the foursome matches against Team Europe during Day 2 of the EurAsia Cup.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Asia had two wins and two halves in the five foursomes matches at the EurAsia Cup on Friday, with Europe needing a late rally in the other match to hold a 7-3 lead after two days at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand and South Korea's Kim Hyung-sung had a 4-and-3 win over the Danish pair of Thomas Bjorn and Thorjorn Olesen in the first result of the day. Then Anirban Lahiri and Siddikur Rahman closed out a 1-up victory over Joost Luiten and Victor Dubuisson after Asia led 2-up with two to ...

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Categories: European
Bill Zimmerman
Graeme McDowell says the EurAsia Cup needs to become part of Europe's preparation for the Ryder Cup, especially in finding pairings that work.
Graeme McDowell says the EurAsia Cup needs to become part of Europe's preparation for the Ryder Cup, especially in finding pairings that work.

The pairings for the first matches at the inaugural EurAsia Cup are out in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as the Europeans taking part have an eye on preparation for this year's Ryder Cup.

If there is any foreshadowing to be seen in Thursday's pairings, only time will tell. But captain Miguel Angel Jimenez will partner with fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, while Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen will form an all-Denmark pairing.

Remaining groups for the morning four-ball matches are Victor Dubuisson and Joost Luiten; Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Stephen Gallacher; and Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson.

“One of the toughest ...

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Alex Miceli
From left, PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem, Gary Player, Nancy Lopez, Arnold Palmer and Chief Operating Officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Jack Peter, gather for a press conference during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Lodge and Club.
From left, PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem, Gary Player, Nancy Lopez, Arnold Palmer and Chief Operating Officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Jack Peter, gather for a press conference during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Lodge and Club.

The World Golf Hall of Fame announced changes to its selection process Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.

With Hall of Famers Nancy Lopez, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam (via audio) in attendance during the final round of the PGA Tour event, Jack Peter, the hall's chief operating officer, outlined dramatically different criteria and selection procedures for admission to the shrine in St. Augustine.

The biggest changes concern the selection process, creators of the list of potential members and who will vote on the upcoming class.

Previously, ballots for the PGA Tour ...

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Jeff Rude
Davis Love III would make Jeff Rude's Hall of Very Good based on his 20 PGA Tour victories and one major championship.
Davis Love III would make Jeff Rude's Hall of Very Good based on his 20 PGA Tour victories and one major championship.

Editor's note: This column first ran in Golfweek magazine that hit doorsteps on March 7, 2014. If you'd like to subscribe, click here.

• • •

When someone has proposed a candidate whom this voter deems unworthy of World Golf Hall of Fame induction, my answer often has been, “It’s not the Hall of Very Good.”

Such discussion about borderline players has been more frequent in recent years as the hall unfortunately has been watered down, to the point that members have questioned the merits of inductees and hall wannabes have thought, If he’s in, I should be. This ...

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Alistair Tait
Henrik Stenson won both the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai in 2013.
Henrik Stenson won both the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai in 2013.

Players' power has won a significant victory over the European Tour with the announcement that the European Tour no longer requires its members to play in two out of the first three events of the Final Series to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship.

That’s one of three major changes announced today to the Euro Tour’s season finale.

The Tour also announced a bigger bonus pool. The top 15 players on the money list after the DP World Tour Championship will share $5 million. Last year the top 10 shared a purse of $3.75 million.

The ...

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