Monday, August 31, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #39

SLOCUM WINS BARCLAY
Heath Slocum was the next to last man to make the field for The Barclays, the first round of the FedEx Cup. That he would win it is even more remarkable, but win he did.

Slocum made a 20-foot par putt on the 18th hole for a one-stroke victory over Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and playing partner Steve Stricker.
Tiger made a run and had a 7 foot putt for a birdie on the 18th to tie for the lead. He stunned the crowd when he missed it.
On the same green where Woods missed from 7 feet, Slocum knocked in the 20-footer, then watched Stricker miss his 10-foot par try.
Slocum finished with a 4-under 67 to win for the third time in his career, and first time in four years.
The victory moved him to No. 3 in the FedEx Cup standings, giving him a shot at the $10 million prize next month in Atlanta.
The top 100 players in the FedEx Cup standings qualified for the Deutsche Bank Championship next weekend outside Boston. Slocum, Fredrik Jacobson, Troy Matteson and Richard S. Johnson moved into the top 100, bumping K.J. Choi, Ben Curtis, George McNeill and Matt Bettencourt out of the playoffs.
After the Deutsche Bank, the playoff field will be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship and to 30 for the Tour Championship.



M.J. HUR WINS FIRST
South Korean M.J. Hur made a 6-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to beat SuzannPettersen for her first tour victory at the Safeway Classic.

Hur shot a final-round 65, while Suzann Pettersen and Michele Redman each shot a 67 to finish at 13-under 203 and both birdieing No. 17 to help set up the playoff.
Redman, whose last tour victory came in 2000, was knocked out when she missed a short putt for par on the first playoff hole, the par-4 No. 18.
Pettersen’s putt for birdie on the second playoff hole missed to the left, giving Hur the chance to clinch it.
Rookie Anna Nordqvist was a one-stroke leader going into Sunday’s final round. Sheshot a 72 to finish at 10 under.
Defending champion Cristie Kerr finished well back at 5 under with a 72.



ROBERTS WINS BOEING
Loren Roberts birdied 17 and 18 to win the Boeing Classic beating Mark O'Meara by one stroke.

Roberts made the short birdie putt on 17 to draw even with O’Meara, then sank a 3-foot birdie putt on the 18th to win the title Sunday and keep O’Meara winless on the Champions Tour.
O’Meara led by a one shot until a bogey on the short, par-4 16th . His second shot bounced on the lip of a bunker short of the green and fell back into the sand. O’Meara came back with a birdie on the 17th, but could only manage a par on the par-5 18th when he hit his tee shot into a fairway bunker.
Roberts took advantage by getting his birdie and then by playing 18 flawlessly with three solid shots. From 50 yards out Roberts used a wedge and hit a low skip shot that landed on the fringe, checked up and rolled just a few feet from the cup. He calmly dropped that putt in for the victory.



HEDBLOM WINS IN SCOTLAND
Peter Hedblom of Sweden shot a 5-under 67 Sunday to win the Johnnie Walker Championship title by one stroke over Martin Erlandsson.

Hedblom won his third European Tour title at 13-under 275.
Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie closed with a 69 to share third place with defending champion Gregory Havret (67), three strokes behind the leader.



CHRISTIAN WINS MARATHON
Gary Christian won the Northeast Pennsylvania Classic on Sunday on the ninth playoff hole, which tied a Nationwide Tour record.
The Englishman made a short birdie putt to beat Mathias Gronberg and earn his first Nationwide title.
Christian and Gronberg each started the final round at 9 under and two shots behind 54-hole leader Guy Boros. Both players shot a 64.

IN OTHER NEWS
Jim Furyk was penalized four strokes in the third round of The Barclays when he left an extra club in the bag, a mistake that ended up costing Furyk $131,250 and 188 FedEx Cup points.
Furyk found the 15th club while preparing to play a shot near the second green Saturday and had to take two penalty strokes for each hole, turning his opening pars into double bogeys. He finished with a 70 in the rainy morning round, then shot a 69 on Sunday to tie for 15th at 3 under—six strokes behind winner Heath Slocum.
Without the penalty strokes, Furyk would have tied for sixth. He dropped from 16th to 18th in the FedEx Cup points race.


Byeong-Hun An won the U.S. Amateur at age 17, making him the youngest to ever do so.


The LPGA announced an three year extension with Wegmans through the year 2012 for Wegmans LPGA, with the option for additional one-year extensions. The event, which for
the past 33 years has been played at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y., will continue to feature a $2 million purse in 2010.
The LPGA will announce its full 2010 Tour schedule in November at the season-ending LPGATour Championship in Houston, Texas.


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Sunday, August 23, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #038


US Ladies take Solheim Cup

It was a very exciting Sunday as Europe and the US fought for the Solheim Cup. What was a tight contest , ended in a rout as the US mounted a comeback and took back the Cup. The Americans won the singles 8-4, making the final score 16 - 12.

Michelle Wie had the best week going undefeated in her first Cup action. Juli Inkster, the oldest member of the team, led the comback on the back nine.

Inkster struggled most of the day, down 2 to Gwladys Nocera through 12 holes. She managed to hang in and made birdies on 14 and 15, and evened the match with a solid shot into 12 feet on the par-3 16th. She actually went 1 up when Nocera missed a 6-footer for par on the 17th, but bogeyed 18.

Still, she’d gotten the United States that half-point. It was quite a finish for what Inkster insists will be her last Solheim Cup.

With Morgan Pressel's win over Anna Nordqvist the Cup was clinched and the party was on.

The ladies reconvene in Oregon for the Safeway Classic. Cristie Kerr is the defending champion.


MOORE WINS 1st

It appeared that this tournament just did not want to get started, and then it looked as if it would not end, but it did with Ryan Moore rolling in a birdie putt on playoff hole #3 to win the Wyndham Championship over Kevin Stadler.

Play stopped and started three times during the first three days due to lightning and heavy rains. The combined 9 1/2 hours in weather delays meant none of the first three rounds finished before sundown, forcing players to return to the course each morning to finish their rounds.

After vaulting up the leaderboard with five consecutive birdies on the back nine, he had two chances in the playoff to seal the victory after his approach on No. 18 landed in the middle of the green and rolled to 6 feet. He sank that putt for his first victory in his 112th event.

Stadler’s second shot on the third playoff hole skipped off the back of the green. He chipped within 20 feet, but his putt missed to the low side of the cup.
That cleared the way for Moore to make his first putt, pick up his winner's check and take home 500 FedEx Cup points for winning the final tournament before the playoffs start later this week.

Stadler, Moore and Jason Bohn forced the playoff after they were tied at 16-under 264 through 72 holes. Bohn was eliminated on the first playoff hole after he had trouble escaping the greenside bunker on No. 18 and his first try rolled back into the sand.

Sergio Garcia blew a three-stroke lead midway through the final round, shot a 70 and finished at a stroke out of the playoff.

Now the Tour gets ready for The Barclays the first leg of FedEx playoffs. Vijay Singh won last years tourney as well as the FedEx Cup.



Reid wins Tradition

(AP ) Mike Reid sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole Sunday to defeat John Cook and give him his second career victory, and second major, on the Champions Tour. He also won the 2005 Senior PGA Championship.
Cook’s approach shot on the playoff hole, No. 18, came to rest about 15 feet away and his downhill putt for birdie missed just left.

Reid shot a final-round 70 and Cook had a 69 to finish at 16-under 272.Cook, who was two strokes behind leader Brad Bryant going into the final round, birdied the par-3 No. 17 hole to take a one-stroke lead to the final hole. But he hit into the bunker, settling for a bogey and forcing the playoff with Reid, who made par on the hole.

Bryant, who opened with a career-best 62, stumbled to a final-round 73 to wrap up with a 14-under 274.

The Boeing Greater Seattle Classic is next up. Tom Kite defends.



DYSON WINS KLM IN PLAYOFF

(AP)—England’s Simon Dyson came from six shots back to win the KLM Open, beating Ireland’s Peter Lawrie and Sweden’s Peter Hedblom in a playoff Sunday.
After six birdies in his first 12 holes, Dyson matched a course record with a 7-under 63 and then birdied the first extra hole for his second title at the KLM Open.

MICHAEL SIMS EARNS "BATTLEFIELD PROMOTION" TO PGA TOUR

Michael Sim has played his way onto the PGA Tour.

The Australian shot a 4-under 67 Sunday to win his third Nationwide Tour event this season, taking the Christmas in October Classic by two strokes.

IN OTHER NEWS

Juli Inkster, the oldest woman to play in a Solheim Cup, announced that she has made her last Solheim Cup appearance as a player.

The Hall of Famer said she knows she won’t play in another but looks forward to someday being a captain.

Inkster, 49, said that while she isn’t officially retiring as an LPGA player, she’s going to take a significant step back in her playing career.

Inkster was 1-2-1 this week, making her the all-time American points leader in Solheim Cup history with 18 points. She's 15-10-6, a record built on teams that won five Solheim Cups and lost three.



Tiger will get another shot at Y.E. Yang at the HSBC Champions in November, along with defending champion Sergio Garcia and world No. 2 Phil Mickelson.


Others competing in the tournament Nov. 5-8 in Shanghai include Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, Stewart Cink and Padraig Harrington.


FedEx playoffs begin. Give it a watch.


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See you next time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #037

Yang wins PGA

In the end Tiger Woods couldn't make the shots he needed to and Y.E. Yang did coming from behind to defeat Tiger and win the PGA Championship.
Yang became the first Asian-born player to win a major Sunday with a stunning performance in the PGA Championship, memorable as much for his clutch shots as the player he beat.
Woods was 14-0 when he went into the final round of a major atop the leaderboard. He had not lost any tournament around the world in nine years when leading by two shots.
Woods held a a one stroke lead until the 8th when he fell back into a tie with Yang . Padraig Harrington ,who started the day two strokes back stayed close to the lead, but the 8th hole did him in . As he did last weekend he chipped a ball into the water and ended up with an 8 taking him out of the tournament.
Tiger regained the lead at 11 but bogeyed 12 to tie Yang. Both players parred the 13th. It was the 14th that would turn the tournament around.
Woods drove the green and was looking at a long eagle putt. Yang's drive was short of the green and forced to chip. And chip he did he hit a perfect chip that went in for an eagle and a two stroke lead. Tiger then missed his eagle putt but birdied to stay one shot back.
Both men parred 15 and 16 and bogeyed 17. Yang holding to a one stroke lead. Yang and Woods
hit their drives in the 18th fairway.Yang hits a wonderful second shot to about 8 ft. Tiger tries to answer but his shot goes into beginning of the rough just off the green . Tiger chipped on passed the hole. Yang then sunk his birdie putt locking up the victory. Woods would bogey the hole making the three shot margin.
And so the majors are over for this year and the players now gear up for the playoff run towards the FEDEX Cup finale and the Presidents Cup.

Next up is the Wyndham Championship. Carl Pettersson defends.


IN OTHER NEWS
Phil Mickelson had possibly one of his worst tournaments shooting 12 over for the PGA. Lefty took six weeks off earlier this summer after his wife and mother were diagnosed with breast cancer, and his game has been slow to return. He played last week at the Bridgestone for the first time since the U.S. Open in June and tied for 58th.
His next tournament will be in two weeks a The Barclays where he hopes to get his game back.


AP)—West Virginia’s Oakhurst Links is up for sale—the birthplace of American golf, where sheep roam the fairways and modern technology takes a back seat to hickory-shafted clubs.
Owner Lewis Keller said that after 50 years, it’s time for someone else to oversee the White Sulphur Springs course that held its first competition in 1884.
The asking price for the nine-hole course and its museum—$4.5 million.


The LPGA prepare for the Solheim Cup which takes place this week starting the 21st.

That's it for this week.

Have a great week.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #036

Two In A Row

The battle roared, Harrington and Woods came into today with the #1 player in the world three strokes back but by the time they got to the fifth hole Tiger had a lead. Not that Harrigton played poorly, he merely was in the way of a hot Tiger.

They made the turn and ran into trouble. Tiger was spraying the ball and Harrington kept grinding away and regained a share of the lead with his first birdie of the day on the 11th. And when Woods made consecutive bogeys, Harrington found himself with a one-shot lead heading for the homestretch.

It was the 16th that turned the tournament around abruptly. With Harrington still up by a shot, both hit drives into the rough at the 630-yard, par-5 16th hole. Woods punched a shot into the fairway, but Harrington pulled his layup and it ended up on the slope of a trap. From there he hit a high shot that soared over the green and into thick rough.
Harrigton then hit a flyer from the deep stuff behind the green, the ball going past the pin and into the lake in front of the green.
Tiger hit a shot that defied belief. His 8 iron soared high and landed past the hole and rolled back to within a foot.
After walking back down the fairway, Harrington took a drop and hit his sixth shot just over the green, he chipped on and hit the putt for a triple-bogey 8.
When they left the 16th Woods had a three stroke lead and the tournament. It was Tiger second win in a row and the 70th of his career.

Meanwhile, in the "other" tournament. John Rollins took home the trophy in the Legends Reno -Tahoe Open. Rollins posted a 17-under 271 to claim his third victory on the PGA Tour by three strokes over Jeff Quinney and Martin Laird.
Rollins, who tied the course record with a second-round 62 at Montreux Golf and Country Club, offset an early double bogey with a chip-in eagle at the par-5 11th on Sunday. He bogeyed three of the next four holes but notched a critical birdie on the par-5 17th, then got up and down from off the green on No. 18 for an even 72.

Next up is the PGA Championship the last Major of the year. Padraig Harrington is the defending champion.


IN OTHER NEWS
Harrington and Woods were put on the "clock" for slow play during Sunday's WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Harrington later said he felt the pressure to speed things up, but didn’t use that as an excuse—although he twice said he “rushed” shots at the 16th.
“I think being on the clock influenced him,” Woods said. “By rushing like he had to that … forced him to make a couple mistakes.”


Tiger Woods will be fined by the PGA Tour for his public criticism of a rules official after winning the Bridgestone Invitational, a tour official said Monday.
European Tour chief referee John Paramor told Woods and Harrington they were being timed.
Paramor said the final pairing was well behind most of the back nine, but officials gave them time to catch up. They were still 17 minutes out of position on the 16th tee, when they were put on the clock.

(AP)—Scott McCarron and Matt Kuchar got in the PGA Championship as alternates Sunday when previous qualifiers Tiger Woods and John Rollins won events.
The PGA Championship had reserved two spots in the field for the winner of the Bridgestone Invitational and the Reno-Tahoe Open. Woods and Rollins already had qualified for the final major, which starts Thursday at Hazeltine.
Alternates are based on a PGA points list, which is PGA Tour money earned dating to August 2008.
Bob Estes is now the first alternate.


Bridgestone has signed on renewing its contract with the PGA TOUR through 2014.
Bridgestone joins Accenture (Match Play), Zurich (New Orleans) and Travelers (Hartford), which also renewed contracts through 2014. Tim Finchem, the PGA Commissioner, calls this a solid trend in a down economy.

That's it for this week.
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Sunday, August 2, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #035

Tiger wins Buick
His contract with Buick was not renewed but that did not stop Tiger Woods from playing in the Buick Open and winning it. With a one stroke lead coming into the final round, Tiger shot a 69 and cruised home with a three shot victory.
Roland Thatcher briefly shared the lead at 17 under and finished tied for second with Greg Chalmers and John Senden.
Woods will play at the Bridgestone Invitational next before going to Hazeltine for the PGA Championship, his final chance to win a major this year.
He is set to compete in two straight tournaments going into a major for the first time in his career.
With the win Woods moves into first place in the FedEx standings, it also is his 69th career victory puts him closer to Sam Snead's career total of 82.
Next week is the WGC Bridgestone Invitational ,Vijay Singh defends. And , for those who are not invited there is the Legends Reno Tahoe Open, Blaine McCallister defends there.



US Senior Open in a Funk
It was funkytown in Indiana as Fred Funk took control and won the US Seniors Open. Funk set a tournament record by finishing 20-under par and won by six strokes.
Joey Sindelar finished second at 14 under, his sixth top-10 finish of the season.
Funk shot 13 under the first three days to take the lead. He birdied holes 2, 5 and 9 on Sunday for a 33 on the front nine and was on his way to routing the field.
Funk lost a playoff last week in the Senior British Open. He has fought through knee and shoulder injuries to finish in the top seven in six of his past seven tournaments.
Loren Roberts tied the course record with a 64 on Sunday to finish tied for fourth at 11 under. He was ahead of the record until he bogeyed on 17. He made par on 18 to finish 8 under.
After two Major Championships in a row the Champions Tour Takes a few weeks off and will return with yet another Major : The Jeld Wen Tradition. Fred Funk will be defending.



Scot wins Ricoh Women's British Open
Ten weeks ago,Catriona Matthew gave birth to her second child. Today, she won the Women's British Open by three strokes capturing her first major title.
The 39-year-old Scot birdied three straight holes on the back nine to hold her third-round lead. She finished at 1-over 71 for a 3-under 285 total.
Karrie Webb of Australia closed with a 68 and was second. Sharing third were Paula Creamer, Hee-Won Han, Ai Miyazato, and Christina Kim.
Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie had their best rounds of the week with 69s. Kerr shared eighth place and Wie tied for 11th.
The ladies are off for about a month. The break is for the Solheim Cup which begins on August 21.



Swede wins European Tour Event
(AP)—Sweden’s Oskar Henningsson made six birdies Sunday to win the Moravia Silesia Open by two strokes, shooting 13-under 275 at the Prosper Golf Resort.
It was the 23-year old rookie’s first European Tour victory since he turned pro in 2004. The $2.8-million tournament marked the return of the PGA European tour to the Czech Republic.
The English duo of Sam Little and Steve Webster finished tied for second at 11-under.
Miguel Angel Jiminez of Spain, who helped design the 7,155-yard course, finished tied for 17th with four other players after finishing at 4 under.
Bernhard Langer won the last event in the Czech Republic at the Karlstejn Golf Club course near Prague 12 years ago.



IN OTHER NEWS
Michelle Wie and Juli Inkster were named as Captain's picks to the US Solheim Cup Team today. It is Wie's first appearance in the event. Inkster, who will make her eighth Solheim Cup appearance and at 49 will become the oldest player to compete in the matches.
Wie and Inkster will team with Paula Creamer, Christie Kerr, Angela Stanford, Nicole Castrale, Brittany Lang, Morgan Pressel, Kristy McPherson, Christina Kim, Brittany Lincicome and Natalie Gulbis.
On the European side Catriona Matthew, with her win in the Ricoh Women's British Open , will be joining the European team. The team includes Gwladys Nocera (France), Tania Elosegui (Spain), Diana Luna (Italy), Laura Davies (England), Sophie Gustafson (Sweden), Suzann Pettersen (Norway), Helen Alfredsson (Sweden), Maria Hjorth (Sweden), Becky Brewerton (Wales, wild card), Janice Moodie (Scotland, wild card) and Anna Nordqvist (Sweden, wild card).




After playing for the sixth straight week on a road trip that has taken him to five countries, John Daly felt as though he hit rock bottom Friday with his worst score ever in a regular PGA Tour event that left him wondering whether he should quit.
His swing coach, Rick Smith, described Daly as being in a “toxic state” after an 88 in the Buick Open, which Smith attributed to a massive weight loss, not enough sleep and the wrong kind of diet.
Daly said he would see his doctor in Florida next week, then decide whether to play in the PGA Championship at Hazeltine.



Phil Mickelson will be returning to the PGA Tour next week at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. He will then play the PGA Championship, and the Barclays. He says on his website if all goes well he will then play at more events.
Both his mother and wife were diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and underwent surgery. Phil has not played on tour since the US Open in June.


That's it for this week.

Have a great week.