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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