Sunday, October 25, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #048

GLOVER SLAMS IT

Lucas Glover, broke out a new set of Nike irons for the PGA Grand Slam Of Golf,a 36 hole tournament for the year's major champions, and doesn’t seem to have suffered too much.
  He fired a second-round 66 Wednesday to go along with his first-round 65 to finish on 11 under par, five shots clear of second-placed Angel Cabrera. Stewart Cink finished third, and PGA champion ,Y.E. Yang brought up the rear.

MATTESON WINS IN PLAYOFF

Troy Matteson, bogeyed the final two holes of regulation Sunday to fall into a playoff with Jamie Lovemark and Rickie Fowler, who were both seeking PGA Tour cards. He was able to rebound and
birdie the second playoff hole to beat Lovemark and Fowler in the Frys.com Open at Grayhawk Golf Club.
  After all three players parred the first playoff hole, Matteson hit his approach within 3 feet on the par-4 17th hole. Matteson then rolled in the putt for his second PGA Tour win.


JONZON WINS EURO EVENT

Michael Jonzon shot a 4-under 67 to win the Castello Masters, allowing him to keep his European Tour card for another year.
  The 37-year-old Jonzon finished at 20 under at Club de Campo del Mediterraneo, one shot clear of German Martin Kaymer and fellow Swede Christian Nilsson.


BLACKMAR WINS FIRST

Phil Blackmar won his first Champions Tour title Sunday, birdieing five of his first six holes en route to a 7-under 64 and a one-stroke victory over Jay Haas, Tom Kite and Andy Bean in the AT&T Championship.
  Blackmar,who joined the Champions Tour late in 2007, had a 10-under 203 total on the Oak Hills course. Blackmar earned $255,000 in the final full-field event of the year.
Haas had a chance to win or force a playoff, but bogeyed the 202-yard, par-3 18th.
Kite missed an 8-foot birdie putt on 18, and Bean failed to chip in from past the green.



MATT EVERY WINS EARNS TOUR CARD

Matt Every won the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship to earn a 2010 PGA Tour card with a 10th-place finish on the money list, closing with a 5-under 67 for a three-stroke victory over Michael Sim.
  Every earned $180,000 to jump from 49th to 10th on the money list, with the top 25 earning PGA Tour cards.
  Josh Teater and Steve Wheatcroft tied for third at 13 under.



CHOI GETS BACK ON TRACK

South Korea’s K.J. Choi has claimed a four-stroke victory in the Iskandar Johor Open.
  Choi closed with a bogey-free 8-under to finish at 20-under in the Asian Tour event shortened to 54 holes by heavy rain.



IN OTHER NEWS

Tiger Woods has won the points-based award as player of the year from the PGA of America, which was virtually certain when the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup ended and became a mathematical fact this week. His six PGA TOUR victories were twice as many as anyone else, and Woods already wrapped up the PGA TOUR money list and lowest adjusted scoring average .
It was the 10th time Woods has won the PGA of America award.
Still to be decided is the Jack Nicklaus Trophy for the PGA TOUR player of the year, which is a vote of the players.



Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman has had surgery on his left wrist and expects to return to the PGA Tour next year at full strength.
  Immelman, who has not won since the 2008 Masters, missed most of this year with severe tendinitis in his left wrist. He tried to let the injury heal with rest until it was clear that surgery was his best option.
  The surgery was Thursday in New York by the same doctor who did similar procedures on Luke Donald and Jim Furyk.
  Immelman is expected to start strength exercises in six weeks, and hopes to begin chipping and putting after three months of rehabilitation.

Luke Donald has written an article about the new groove requirements that will take place in the 2010 season. Here's the link http://www.thegolfchannel.com/equipment-insider/new-grooves-no-problem-33412/

That's it for this week. The season is waning down but we will still be here reporting on what ever comes up in the world of golf.

Have a great week and we will see you next week.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #047

LAIRD WINS SHRINER CLASSIC
Martin Laird won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in a three way playoff. He burdied the third playoff hole to beat George McNeill, who hit his second shot almost into the water. McNeill's shot hung on the bank and gave him no stance. He stood in the water and chipped up but missed his par putt.
Laird then went up and calmly rolled in his birdie putt to win, become the third Scot to win on the PGA Tour.
Chad Campbell, the third member of the playoff, lasted until the second playoff hole, when he bowed out with a bogey.
With the victory, Martin Laird moved from 134th on the money list to 62nd and gains a two year exemption on the tour.

Next week is the Frys.com Open. Cameron Beckman defends.


COOK WINS ADMINISTAFF CLASSIC

John Cook closed with a 68 on Sunday to win his third career Champions Tour title and first of the season, holding off Jay Haas and Bob Tway in the Administaff Small Business Classic.
Haas, looking for a victory in his third consecutive start and one stroke off the lead at the start of the final round, shot a 71. He had three birdies on the back nine, but had an early double bogey that hurt his chances. He had late chances to tie, but a putt for birdie at the 17th lipped out.
At 18, his drive landed in the rough short of the water guarding the green, then his shot to the green went long to the back fringe. When his long birdie attempt slid past the hole, Cook was the winner.
Tway, who shot a 70, started the round two shots off the lead, got close but never could catch the leaders. He had one bogey and three birdies, and closed with four straight pars.
The first and second rounds leader,Dan Forsman, was cruising Sunday and at 11 under through 13 holes. His run ended with a triple bogey at the par-3 14th, where he put his tee shot in the water. He finished with a 73 to tie for fourth at 8 under Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman.

The next tour stop is Texas for the AT&T Championship. John Cook is the defending champion.



WESTWOOD ENDS DROUGHT
It has been two years since Lee Westwood found the winner's circle. That search ended Sunday when Westwood defeated Francesco Molinari at the Portugal Masters on Sunday.
The Englishman shot a 66 to finish at 23-under, and move to the top of the European tour money list. Molinari had a 70 and Padraig Harrington had a 67 to finish third another two shots back.
Westwood bumped Rory McIlroy, into second in the standings for the Race to Dubai, which has replaced the European Order of Merit title.

Next week the tour goes to Spain for the Castello Masters. Defending will be Sergio Garcia.



COLLINS WINS NATIONWIDE TOUR EVENT
AP)—Chad Collins won the Miccosukee Championship for his second career Nationwide Tour title, closing with a 1-under 70 in windy conditions Sunday for a two-stroke victory in the final full-field event of the season.
The 31-year-old Collins, also the 2005 Henrico County Open winner, had a 10-under 27 total on the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club course. He earned $112,500 to jump from eighth to second on the money list with $386,014, with the top 25 next week after the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship earning 2010 PGA Tour cards.

The season concludes next week with the Nationwide Tour Championship in Charleston, South Carolina. Matt Bettencourt was last years champion.




IN OTHER NEWS
Seve Ballesteros is hopeful that his health will allow him to play a round at next year’s British Open at St. Andrews.
Ballesteros, who is recovering from brain cancer that has left him partially blind in his left eye, said Wednesday that he is considering an appearance at the event he won three times.



The organization that handles the annual PGA Tour stop in Milwaukee is dissolving after failing to find a sponsor, leaving the future of professional golf in the area on shaky ground.
The move virtually guarantees the Tour won’t return to Milwaukee next year. Tournament director Dan Croak said Thursday the organization has run out of money after paying its bills and other financial obligations, including a donation of more than $520,000 to charities.
The tournament, originally known as the Greater Milwaukee Open, has been in operation since 1968. Among its notable moments was Tiger Woods’ professional debut in 1996.
But the tournament’s popularity had been in decline of late, especially after it recently was moved to a date opposite the British Open and U.S. Bank announced its sponsorship of the tournament was ending.



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Sunday, October 11, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #046


Going into the final round of the Presidents Cup, the U.S. held a slim three point lead over the International squad. It would be prove to be insurmountable for the International team.

Led by the #1 player in the world, the U.S. rolled over their opponent to retain the Cup. Tiger Woods, who was perfect this week, going 5-0, won the point that clinched the cup. He also extracted a small bit of revenge by demolishing Y.E. Yang, who defeated Woods earlier this year at the PGA Championship.

Phil Mickelson wrapped up with a 7-foot birdie putt for a 2-and-1 victory over Retief Goosen, leaving him also unbeaten (4-0-1) in the Presidents Cup this week
.
The Americans won 19 1/2 -14 1/2 , the same margin as last time against an overmatched International team.

“They are just one hell of a team,” Ernie Els said. “We have to pretty much go back to the drawing board, because they are a pretty well-oiled team, and it’s hard to beat that kind of team.”

Stewart Cink put the first point on the board by defeating Adam Scott, who contributed only one point for the week.

Sean O’Hair and Anthony Kim followed with big victories of their own, and Hunter Mahan eventually won his leadoff match over Camilo Villegas of Colombia, the only player to get shut out at Harding Park.

Then it was Tiger's turn. He won four holes in a five-hole stretch in the middle of the round, holing one birdie putt after another, then sealed it with a 9-foot birdie on the 13th hole. Captain Fred Couples was first to meet Tiger with a hug.

When Couples was appointed captain, he called Woods and jokingly asked for a big favor: Make the team so Couples wouldn’t have to waste a captain’s pick on the world’s No. 1 player.
And that is exactly what Woods did, and then some.




(AP)—Ross McGowan of England has captured his first European Tour title, winning the Madrid Masters by three strokes over Mikko Ilonen of Finland.

The McGowan shot a 1-under 71 in Sunday’s final round to finish at 25-under 263 at the Centro Nacional golf course.

The Englishman shot a 60 on Saturday and began the final round with a seven-stroke lead, but struggled early with bogeys on the first and fourth holes.

Ilonen had a 66. David Drysdale of Scotland shot 67 and was another stroke back in third



IN OTHER NEWS

Phil Mickelson thought he was alone. His wife, Amy, is recovering from breast cancer and stayed home in San Diego.

Or so he thought.

Mickelson had no idea that when he returned to his hotel room Saturday night, his wife was hiding in the bathroom.
“It was an incredible surprise,” Mickelson said. “I didn’t think she was coming up, and she actually hid in the bathroom when I walked in the room. I didn’t know she was there, and she scared me pretty good. It was an awesome surprise, though."
Players and wives alike were surprised to find Mickelson and his wife at the team dinner Saturday night.
“It was pretty neat,” Mickelson said. “It was pretty emotional. Just everyone seeing each other was pretty cool.”
Amy did not make it out to Harding Park due to a medicine regime that saps her energy. She was, however, waiting back in the team room for the celebration.



All of the golfers this week were excited about golf being a part of the Olympics. In order for it to be successful in the Olympic games the top names will have to be willing to play and that appears to be the case.
“It’s a perfect fit for the Olympics, and I think we are all looking forward to golf getting into the Olympics,” Tiger Woods said.
Unlike other sports, there will be no Olympic trials for golf. Eligibility will be determined by the world ranking, with the top 15 automatically exempt. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said if the Olympics were held now, some 30 countries would be represented in the men’s and women’s competitions.
So here's to 2016.

Well that will do for this week

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #045

Matt Kuchar won the Turning Stone Resort Championship on Monday, beating Vaughn Taylor on the sixth hole of a sudden-death playoff.

Tied for the lead after 72 holes, neither player managed to win after two holes of a sudden-death playoff Sunday, before play was suspended because of darkness.

Playing the 12th, 13th and 18th holes in the playoff, Kuchar missed a chance to end it on the first hole Monday when he missed a 4-foot putt at the par-4 13th hole as each player bogeyed the hole.

They matched each other on the next two holes, then Kuchar got a huge break when Taylor hit his tee shot at No. 13 into the water hazard along the right side of the fairway.

Kuchar hit his second shot into the rough on a slope to the right of the green, pitched to inside 2 feet for the victory as Taylor made double bogey.

It was the second career victory for Kuchar, who won the 2002 Honda Classic.



Tom Watson was trying to become the oldest major winner on the Champions Tour. But after making only one bogey in the first three rounds, he had three in the final round finishing with a 70. This allowed Jay Haas to blow by him and win the last major of the year the Senior Players Championship by a stroke. Haas birdied the 18th holeto match the course record with a 6-under 64.

Haas finished at 13-under 267 for his third senior major title. He has 14 career Champions Tour victories, also winning the Greater Hickory Classic two weeks ago.

Haas took advantage of a well-placed 6-iron from 195 yards on his second shot on the par-4 18th hole. His shot landed on the right side of the green, and rolled to within 3 feet of the cup for a birdie.

Watson missed the fairway on 18, ending any hopes he could catch Haas. Mark Wiebe and Loren Roberts tied for third at 7 under, and Bernhard Langer and John Cook followed at 6 under.



Lorena Ochoa successfully defended her title, overcoming early troubles to shoot a 2-under 70 on Sunday for a four-stroke victory over Michelle Wie and Brittany Lang.

Ochoa finished at 18-under 270 to end an 11-start winless streak dating to the Corona Championship in late April. The top-ranked Mexican star has three victories this year and 27 overall on the LPGA Tour. She has been struggling with her game all season so it was a relief to be back in the winners circle.

“It feels good,” said Ochoa. “I have a lot of emotions because it hasn’t been easy. I’m ready to keep playing good ball and would love the chance to finish with a few more wins.”




IN OTHER NEWS

Kenny Perry's mother has died after a long battle with blood cancer, and the 49-year-old American said he would play inthe Presidents Cup next week in San Francisco at his family’s request.

Even as Perry turned in one of his best years with three victories and a playoff loss at the Masters, he has been copingwith an emotional home life as his mother was put in hospice in July.
Mildred Perry died peacefully Thursday morning in Franklin, Ky. She was 79.

Perry’s family urged him to compete next week at Harding Park in the Presidents Cup.



Golf star Greg Norman and tennis great Chris Evert announced they have separated.

The announcement Friday comes three days before Norman is to captain the International team at the Presidents Cup in San Francisco, where wives of the captains take on a visible role.
Norman and Evert, did not say whether they planned to divorce.

In a statement, the couple said only, “We will remain friends and supportive of one another’s family.” The statement said they requested privacy for them and their families.



Forbes Magazine says Tiger Woods has become the first athlete to surpass $1 billion in career earnings.

The magazine estimates that golf’s top-ranked player crested the plateau when he earned $10 million for winning the FedEx Cup.

Forbes reported on its Web site on Tuesday that Woods entered 2009 having earned $895 million since he joined the PGA Tour in 1996. Prize money, appearance fees, endorsement fees, bonuses and his golf course design business were calculated to have pushed him over $1 billion.


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