Monday, January 18, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #63

PALMER WINS IN HAWAII, DEFEATS ALLENBY
Ryan Palmer almost holed out at the par 5 18th. He hit the flag with his third shot leaving him inches away . After Robert Allenby chipped from behind the green to just inside 10 feet, then missed his birdie putt, Palmer tapped in for the one stroke victory over Allenby in the Sony Open.

Allenby closed with a 67 in his bid to win for the third straight time on three different tours and the first time on the PGA Tour in nine years.

Palmer, the 33-year-old Texan, was atop the leaderboard every day, and kept his composure in a tight final round at Waialae against Allenby and Steve Stricker, who was briefly tied for the lead and eventually finished third.

Charles Howell III, ended a stretch of 17 tournaments without a top 10 with a 66-64 weekend to tie for fifth with Carl Petterson (66) and Davis Love III, who holed out for eagle from the 16th fairway and closed with a 67.

This win gives Palmer an invitation to the Masters for the first time in five years and his third PGA Tour title




SCHWARTZEL MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW
Charl Schwartzel of South Africa won his second victory in a row on the European Tour  on Sunday, shooting a 5-under 66 to pull away for a six-stroke victory at the Joburg Open.

Schwartzel overcame some early nerves on the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington East course but managed to pull away for the title.

Fellow countryman Keith Home shot the day’s best round, a 64, to share second place with Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland. Clarke eagled the last hole for a 68.

Schwartzel bogeyed the 475-yard third and admitted to some nerves ahead of his final round despite starting the day leading Clarke by four strokes.

Schwartzel settled down quickly with two solid pars after No. 3, and was back on track after a birdie at No. 6.

He made another birdie on the eighth hole to make the turn at one-under, and then birdies at Nos. 10 and 14 took him clear of the field as he coasted home for his second victory in two weeks after he won last week’s Africa Open.

The European Tour goes to the Middle East for the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Paul Casey defends.



OLDIES BUT GOODIES
 Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson held off defending champions Fuzzy Zoeller and Ben Crenshaw to win the Champions Skins Game in Hawaii on Sunday.

Nicklaus and Watson the oldest team, in the tournament, finished with 10 skins and $350,000 for their second victory in the event in four years.

Zoeller-Crenshaw took five straight skins for $230,000 to finish second in the alternate-shot, made-for-TV event. They were trying to become the first team to repeat after winning a record $530,000 last year.

Fred Couples, making his Champions Tour debut, and Nick Price sank a 4-footer for birdie on the playoff hole with two skins and $150,000 on the line — including the 18th-hole, $100,000 “Superskin”—to finish third with $190,000.

 Gary Player and Loren Roberts were shutout.

The Champions Tour start their 2010 season next week in Hawaii at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Bernhard Langer is the 2009 winner.




IN OTHER NEWS
A total of 16 newcomers are in the field of 91 players who have been invited to the 2010 Masters, the tournament announced Friday.

There are six amateurs in the field for the April 8-11 tournament at Augusta National. More than half of the field -- 49 players -- are originally from countries outside of the Unitd States.

Among the first-timers are PGA Tour players Jason Dufner, Brian Gay (a two-time winner on last year's PGA Tour), PGA Tour rookie of the year Marc Leishman of Australia and veterans Steve Marino and Kevin Na.

Simon Dyson (England), Nathan Green (Australia), Yuta Ikeda (Japan), Francesco Molinari and Nationwide Tour player of the year Michael Sim are also among the invitees.

Defending champion Angel Cabrera and Tiger Woods also received invitations.

Players not currently in the field who win a full-field PGA Tour event or finish in the top 50 of the World Golf Rankings the week prior to the Masters will also earn an invitation.



Sony Electronics is testing 3D  cameras at this event with a possible rollout of the technology in 2011. I hope they develop better glasses then those cardboard ones in the fifties.


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