Sunday, December 13, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #057

KELLY/STRICKER WIN SHOOTOUT
Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly won the Shark Shootout by a stroke on Sunday. Stricker made an eagle on the par-5 17th, hitting the second shot and the putt to give them the lead.

Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes, who had been in the lead most of the day, both missed birdie putts on No. 18 that would have forced a playoff in the scramble format.
Both Kelly and Stricker missed a lengthy birdie putt on No. 18 before Perry and Holmes both missed a 12-footer.

Chad Campbell and Tim Clark, and Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank also finished at 25-under 191 to tie with Perry and Holmes.

It was the second Shootout title for Kelly, who also won with Rod Pampling in 2006.

Kelly and Stricker, who carried a one-shot lead into the day’s play, split $750,000 out of the $3 million purse.



MARTIN TAKES DUNHILL CHAMPIONSHIP
Pablo Martin of Spain created more European Tour history on Sunday by winning the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.

Two years after becoming the first amateur to win on the circuit, the 23-year-old former Oklahoma State star is now the only one to capture titles both as an amateur and a professional. Martin, who had a poor 2009 season just held on to his card and now is exempt until 2012.

Martin won the Dunhill with a closing 3-under-par 69 as  he held off the charging Charl Schwartzel to win by one stroke.




WIE MAKES CHARGE BUT FALLS SHORT
Michelle Wie’s late charge fell short at the Dubai Ladies Masters on Saturday and In-Kyung Kim of South Korea claimed a three-shot victory at the season-ending tournament for her first European Tour title.

Wie shot a 7-under 65, tied for the day’s best round, but the 13th-ranked Kim responded to the pressure with a 4-under 68 that left her at 18-under 270. Maria Hjorth of Sweden was third at 274 after a 68.

Wie could have made Kim sweat on No. 18, but her attempt to reach the green in two failed when her ball rolled back into a water hazard. Wie made par but the pressure was off Kim.




ALLENBY WINS AGAIN
Robert Allenby won his fourth Australian PGA title for his second victory in two weeks, closing with a 5-under 66 on Sunday to beat fellow Australians John Senden and Scott Strange by four strokes.

Allenby, the Nedbank Challenge winner last week in South Africa, won the Australian PGA for the first time since 2005, when he swept all three tournaments in the so-called Australian Triple Crown - the PGA, Open and Masters.

The 38-year-old Allenby, who only entered the tournament on a sponsor invite three weeks ago after Vijay Singh withdrew because of a knee injury, finished with a 14-under 270 total.




PGA TOUR PICKS UP NEW SPONSOR
The PGA Tour has picked up its third new title sponsor of the year with an announcement that Waste Management will be sponsor of the Phoenix Open starting next year.

Waste Management replaces FBR, which had said earlier this year it would not renew its contract after 2010.

The tournament, which draws by far the largest crowds of the PGA Tour, will be known as the Waste Management Phoenix Open. It will be held Feb. 25-28 at TPC Scottsdale.

The tour previously found new sponsors for the season-opener in Kapalua (SBS Championship) and a new tournament in West Virginia (The Greenbrier Classic).

Terms of the six-year deal were not disclosed. A PGA Tour official said the tournament would be broadcast all four days on the Golf Channel in 2010, mainly because of an Olympic year. CBS Sports, which typically broadcasts the Phoenix Open, has the Super Bowl next year while NBC Sports has the Winter Games in Vancouver.

The Phoenix stop is later than usual next year. In 2011, it is expected to return to its customary Super Bowl weekend slot.




NATIONWIDE TOUR TO PLAY IN COLUMBIA
The Nationwide Tour is headed to Bogota, Colombia, next year for its first tournament in South America.

The Pacific Rubiales Bogota Open will be played at the Country Club of Bogota on March 4-7. The
 tournament will mark the first time a PGA Tour-sanctioned event has been played for official money in South America.

Colombian PGA Tour player Camilo Villegas and NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya are involved in the event and proceeds from the tournament will support the Camilo Villegas Fund and Montoya’s Foundation, .




FAMOUS TREE KNOCKED DOWN
A storm knocked down a cypress tree on the North Course at Torrey Pines that was one of the city’s most photographed trees.

The cypress was located behind the downhill, par-3 sixth hole that offers a stunning view of the ocean. Its trunk was snapped near its base Tuesday morning, one of 18 trees lost on the North and South courses at Torrey Pines.

City golf manager Jon Maddern says the wind reached 58 mph during the storm.

Maddern says arborists will determine how to treat the tree, estimated to b e 40 feet. The damage begins about 12 feet from the base.


THE TIGER REPORT
There is a lot of Tiger stories this week. The big announcement, of course, was his statement to take a hiatus from the game.

Sponsors are starting to bail . Accenture,Tag Heuer, Gillette, and AT &T are all reevaluating their relationship. Nike is staying put as is EA sports.

Steve Williams, Tiger's caddie, claims no knowledge of Tiger's affairs.

That's it for this week.
Don't forget the podcast here

See you next week

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