Joy’s Shanghai Diary: Byeong-Hun An & Fitzpatrick lead chase for Rookie of the Year award

Joy Chakravarty 15:17 08/11/2015
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This year's award looks like it will be a straight fight between Byeong-Hun An and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

The European Tour Rookie of the Year race now looks like a straight fight between Byeong-Hun An and Matthew Fitzpatrick after Anirban Lahiri decided to pull out of this week’s BMW Masters.

Lahiri was 15th in the Race to Dubai before WGC-HSBC Champions, Fitzpatrick 14th and An 10th.

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The Indian world No39 was scheduled to play the BMW Masters and DP World Tour Championship and is now planning to save his energy for his first trip to the season-ending championship in Dubai. The stretch starting from the Presidents Cup, followed by the Macao Open, the Hong Kong Open and the CIMB Classic, has left him physically drained and his right knee, which is weak following an injury two years ago, swollen.

“I will still give it my best shot,” said Lahiri. “I want to give myself the best chance of winning every tournament that I tee up in, and if I play both weeks, I will hamper my chances in both.”

Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick scripted another whirlwind finish, making birdies on the 14th, 16th and 18th holes for the fourth successive day in his round of five-under par 67. That helped him finish tied seventh at 15-under par 273. He moves up to 12th place in the Race to Dubai with the finish with An slightly ahead on 10th.

Shane Lowry missed his chance of his second straight World Golf Championship.

The optimistic Lowry

Shane Lowry was in with a chance of winning a second straight World Golf Championship title, but a cold putter has ensured he was out of contention after the first three rounds.

The Irishman had rounds of 74, 75 and 72 with 37, 33 and 36 putts, and on both Friday and Saturday was the last man to leave the practice green.

But despite being 21 shots behind leader Kevin Kisner on Saturday evening, it did not dent his optimism, and he tweeted: “So just the 21 behind going into tomorrow…Stranger things have happened!”

Lowry started the final round as if he meant business, making birdies on his first three, but closed with a one-under par 71.

South Korean KT Kim hit a hole-in-one on the 213 yard par-3 17th.

Hole in one for KT Kim

South Korean KT Kim wasn’t having the best of tournaments but a stretch of five holes changed everything for him, including winning a 700,000 RMB (Dh404,000) Cadillac CT640T.

That came courtesy a hole-in-one on the 213 yard par-3 17th, where he holed out with a 3-iron.

Starting with a birdie on the 16th to an eagle on the second, Kim was six-under par for a stretch of five holes after starting from the 10th tee.

It was the first hole in one in the tournament since Branden Grace made on the fifth hole of Mission Hills in 2012, and the 45th of the season on the European Tour – an all-time record.

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