First European Tour win for Otto

first_img12 May 2008After seven wins on South African soil Hennie Otto finally broke his European Tour duck by scoring an outstanding victory in the Italian Open at the Castello di Tolcinasco Golf and Country Club in Milan on Sunday.Towards the end of March, Otto had narrowly missed out on his first European Tour win; he took a five-shot lead he took into the final round of the Madeira Islands Open, but ended up in a playoff against Alastair Forsyth, which the Scot won.Stunning formOn Sunday, the circumstances were similar to six weeks earlier in Portugal; Otto enjoyed a four-shot lead heading into the final round.He had been superb through the first three rounds; after opening with a seven-under-par 65, he turned in a strong 66, followed by a scintillating nine-under 63 in the third round for a stunning three-round total of 22-under-par 194. That left him only one shot behind the European Tour record for three rounds, jointly shared by South Africa’s Ernie Els and David Howell of England.Given his form in the first three rounds, it was a solid bet that Otto would take victory. It duly came, but it didn’t come easily.Early on, it looked as if the South African would cruise to victory after he increased his lead to five shots by sinking birdies on three of the first five holes. England’s Oliver Wilson was on the charge, however, and put Otto under pressure.Wilson on the chargeAfter his opening birdie blitz, Otto played six holes to par, but then dropped a shot on the twelfth. Wilson, meanwhile, was four-under through the front nine and then nailed four birdies in succession from the eleventh to the fourteenth.The Englishman settled for par on the last four holes to finish with a fine eight-under-par 64 and a total of 264.After dropping a shot at the twelfth, Otto immediately pulled one back with a birdie on the thirteenth. In much the same manner as Wilson, he played to par the rest of the way to complete his round in three-under-par 69 for a 25-under total of 263.His total was the lowest in the Italian Open since it was added to the European Tour, bettering the 265 recorded by Francesco Molinari in 2006. It was also the lowest winning total so far on the Tour this season.Useful experienceAfterwards, reflecting on his win, the 31-year-old from Boksburg said his disappointment at the Madeira Islands Open helped him stay focused when he saw his lead slipping away. In the end, he played a superb drive on the final hole, with one foot in a bunker, onto the green, to ensure he captured his maiden title in Europe.He felt his putting had let him down in Portugal. This time around, he said, his putting, especially from distance, is what won him the tournament.Otto’s winnings totalled €283 330, which when converted to rands is in excess of R3.33-million. As importantly as the winning purse, his victory earned him an exemption on the European Tour until the end of 2010; it is a bonus that is hard to put a price on.World rankingOtto entered the Italian Open ranked 154th in the world. After his win he is now ranked 76th, a massive rise of 78 places. His is one of nine South Africans ranked within the top 100.Ernie Els tops the list, in third, followed by Rory Sabbatini, in fourteenth, and US Masters champion Trevor Immelman in sixteenth. Retief Goosen is in 30th place, Richard Sterne is ranked 39th, and Tim Clark 45th. Louis Oosthuizen follows, in 74th spot, with Otto two places behind him, and Charl Schwartzel in 85th place.Italian Open LeaderboardHennie Otto (RSA) 263 (-25)Oliver Wilson (Eng) 264 (-24)Robert Karlsson (Swe) 265 (-23)Philip Archer (Eng) 267 (-21)Marcel Siem (Ger) 267 (-21) South AfricansDavid Frost (RSA) 276 (-12)Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 280 (-8) Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Climate-change contrarian loses Australian funding

first_imgOnce the darling of Australia’s conservative government, controversial climate contrarian Bjørn Lomborg has lost his Down Under caché—and cash. Yesterday, education minister Simon Birmingham, told a Senate committee that the government had withdrawn its offer of $3 million toward establishing an Australian version of Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center.The government of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who in 2009 dismissed climate change as “absolute crap,” had been keen to support an Australian Consensus Centre (ACC) that would conduct policy research on overseas aid, Australian prosperity, agriculture, and regional issues. Malcolm Turnbull replaced Abbott as leader of the Liberal Party on 15 September. Long in favor of action on climate change, Turnbull is gradually shifting the government’s course. Birmingham, appointed 19 September, told the committee that his predecessor, Christopher Pyne, had decided before the reshuffle that the “proposal was unlikely to enjoy success and that the funds could be better utilized elsewhere.” A spokesman for Lomborg told The Australian newspaper that it was “disappointing that a significant global research effort attracting top economists to look at development priorities will no longer be associated with Australia.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The ACC proposal had a bumpy ride from the beginning. The University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth announced plans to host it last April. The revelation that the government would contribute funding to start the center and cover a third of its operating expenses triggered outrage from the scientific and academic communities. In the wake of the uproar, UWA Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson announced on 8 May with “great regret and disappointment” that he would cancel the center’s contract and return the money to the government. The Abbott government vowed to find another host institution; Flinders University, in Adelaide, was developing a proposal with Lomborg. The news about the loss of funding was “disappointing” to Colin Stirling, Flinders’ vice-chancellor said in a statement. “Universities should be places for contesting controversial issues without fear or favour,” he said.Although government money is off the table, Birmingham noted that if any university wished to work with Lomborg, “they should of course feel absolutely free to do so.”last_img read more