BMW Masters 2013: Daily Leaderboard, Analysis, Highlights and More
The 2013 BMW Masters tournament was won by Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano at Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai. The Spaniard finished one shot clear of Eduardo Molinari; a final round of 68 enough for him to come out on top of the pile.
Much attention had focused on Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy in the build up to the event. With the likes of Luke Donald, Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell all in action too, there was a fine field of golfers all competing for valuable Race to Dubai ranking points.
It was an enthralling event, and Bleacher Report have been tracking the progress of all the top players across the four days of competition. Check out our slides to see who shone this week.
Day 4: Fernandez-Castano Triumphs
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano produced a sparkling final round to take the BMW Masters title at the Lake Malaren Golf Club.
The Spaniard shot a four-under final round of 68 to take the title by one-shot ahead of Francesco Molinari, Thongchai Jaidee and Luke Guthrie.
The Spaniard continued his excellent form from day three to overhaul the overnight leader Guthrie, but it was Molinari who emerged as a potential victor, his 64 catapulting him into the upper reaches of the leader-board. The Italian was in sensational form on the back nine, with an eagle at the 13th the catalyst for four consecutive birdies.
But Fernandez-Castano was looking imperious. He look the lead after taking a birdie at 13th, extended his lead with another at the 15th and chipped in off the green on the 17th.
That gave him a comfortable 3 shot lead heading into the final hole, but there were to be some nerves yet. He found the bunker twice on the 18th, but eventually holed out from eighteen inches to take the title by one shot. It was an anxious finish, which Fernandez-Castano spoke of in the aftermath of his wonderful victory (from Europeantour.com):
"I knew it wasn't going to be an easy round, especially the way I started. I started hitting the ball pretty bad. But my caddie kept me cool and told me how good I had been hitting the ball through the week and I played fantastic after that.
On the last I played too conservative and it was a fighting six at the end for sure."
In truth, the double bogey at the last was the only blemish on a wonderful weekend of golf from Fernandez-Castano. His round of 67 on Saturday put him right into contention and the scorecard doesn't really reflect his dominance over the course of the final day.
Elsewhere, defending champion Peter Hanson shot the low round of the day. His scorecard contained 11 birdies and two bogeys, as he finished off his weekend with a marvellous 63.
Day 3: Cabrera-Bello Takes Advantage as Guthrie Falters
America's Luke Guthrie remains out in front after Day 3, although his rounds have gotten worse as the tournament continues.
From a seven-under 65 on Day 1 to a one-under 71 on Day 2, Guthrie could only manage 72 on his third round to finish on eight under for the competition.
This comparative mediocrity allowed Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello to rise up from eighth place to claim a joint share of the lead.
Cabrera-Bello hit an impressive 67, which was tied for the best round of the day, ensuring that the 29-year-old goes into the final day with a great deal of momentum.
Speaking to EuropeanTour.com, he seemed to be revelling in his good form:
I started with two birdies today, which was good. It gave me confidence straightaway, and then I just stayed calm, one shot at a time, and today it worked.
I'm happy, I'm proud, I'm confident and I'm enjoying the tournament so far, so hopefully tomorrow I can keep those feelings and take them on to the golf course with me, go out there, play my best and enjoy.
He shared the spoils with countryman Gonzalo Fdez-Castano and Frenchman Gregory Bourdy. Due to them also going round in 67, they shot up to third and fourth respectively.
Not so fortunate was Simon Dyson, who was tied for second place at the halfway mark. Dyson was disqualified for signing an incorrect score on his second round.
Dyson touched the line of his putt when marking the ball on the eighth hole. This should incur a two-shot penalty, but the Englishman failed to add this to his final score.
The 35-year-old is now in severe danger of missing out in the Race to Dubai, as he currently languishes in 66th place with just 60 spots available for next month's tournament.
Day 2: Guthrie Extends Lead to Four Shots
American Luke Guthrie has extended his lead at the top of the 2013 BMW Masters leaderboard to four shots, with a one-under-par round of 71 helping him eek out a further advantage.
His competition, though, is mounting with Ricardo Gonzalez, Scott Jamieson, Thongchai Jaidee, Paul Casey, Craig Lee and Simon Dyson all lying in a group of six golfers at four-under.
However, it was not a good day for Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, who once more picked up two bogeys on the back nine in Shanghai, earning a round of level par to lie at -1.
McIlroy fared better than playing partners Graeme McDowell and Henrik Stenson, with the pair both shooting two-over-par rounds of 74 to drop to par and +2 respectively on a day when conditions played a major role in proceedings.
Per Golf Channel, England's Paul Casey said of the blustery Day 2 conditions:
It's been very tough the last two days in the wind. These are not conditions I expected or wanted. But it makes a very good, difficult golf course even more so. It's a great test of golf, which is I guess what we want. This is the Final Series for us in Europe. It's meant to be difficult, and it has been.
Guthrie, then, continues to hold a shock lead at the Malaren club, having come over from the PGA Tour for the event to "broaden his horizons" per TheRepublic.com.
The American, while not up to Thursday's standards, did still provide one of the highlights of the day with a stunning six-iron approach on the par-three 17th to claim a birdie.
However, with some big names making the cut for the weekend, he will have to continue his impressive form if he is to claim a first European tour title.
Day 1: Guthrie Takes Three-Shot Lead
He may be just 23 and playing his first event in China, but American Luke Guthrie hit a flawless round of 65 to reach the top of the BMW Masters leaderboard on Day 1.
An eagle at the par-five 15th hole was the highlight of what was a stunning round, with Guthrie ending the day three shots clear of veteran John Daly.
Guthrie attributed his round to his excellent form on the greens, per ESPN:
It was a great day. It was one of the better rounds I've ever played. I had 19 putts, and that was definitely the key to my round.
I had about five weeks off before I played the last two weeks over on the PGA Tour, and I've been playing solid, hitting it a lot better and just been getting a lot out of my rounds again, which is nice.
Fellow American Peter Uihlein lies one shot behind Daly in third, while a group of seven players including Graeme McDowell and Paul Casey carded two-under-par rounds of 70.
Rory McIlroy produced one of the shots of the day to become the only player to birdie the par-four ninth hole, but a sloppy back nine leaves him tied for 11th position at one-under-par.
A bizarre incident, meanwhile, occurred at the first hole where Dutch golfer Joost Luiten withdrew after playing one shot.
European Tour rules insist golfers must play two of the three preceding "Final Series" tournaments, meaning Luiten had to play his shot to allow entry into the lucrative end-of-tour event in Dubai.
The incident has led to criticism of the new rules from Luiten's playing partner Luke Donald, per ESPN. Donald finished Round 1 a total of 10 shots off the lead (plus-3) in a tie for 41st place.