Sunday, February 28, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #70

 MAHAN TAKES PHOENIX OPEN
Hunter Mahan came from four strokes back to defeat Rickie Fowler by a shot to win the Phoenix Open title Sunday.

Mahan had an eagle and a pair of birdies in a late four-hole span to finish at 16-under 268 for his second PGA Tour victory. The first came at the Travelers Championship in 2007. Mahan closed with consecutive 6-under 65s to finish at 16 under.

Fowler, a tour rookie, had a final-round 68 for the second runner-up finish of his young career, both of them in Arizona.

South Korea’s Y.E.Yang also shot a 65 to finish at 14 under, two off the pace. Last year’s PGA Championship winner, Yang led until his tee shot went in the water at No. 17.

Third-round leader Brandt Snedeker struggled mightily at TPC Scottsdale with a 78 to wind up far back at 7
under.

Yang had grabbed te lead, but Mahan's eagle on 13 caught Yang and Mahan went ahead with a birdie on 14 but Fowler was still chasing,

At the 15th, the open desert course’s final par 5, Fowler chose to play conservative and lay his shot up rather than go for the green, which is surrounded by water. That left him with a par, and he missed birdie putts of 14 1/2 , 17 and 30 feet on the last three holes.That consevatism may have cost him the tournament.

At the 16th Mahan’s tee shot caught the edge of the green and he made the subsequent 14 1/2 -foot putt to regain the lead at 16 under and as it turned out clinching the victory.

Next on the agenda is the Honda Classic, as the Florida swing begins. Y.E. Yang defends.



MIYAZATO DOES IT AGAIN
(AP )Ai Miyazato won the HSBC Champions on Sunday to become the first LPGA Tour player in 44 years to sweep the first two events of a season, closing with 3-under 69 for a two-stroke victory over Cristie Kerr.

Miyazato, the 24-year-old Japanese star who won the LPGA Thailand last week, took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 16th—a hole she played in 5 under for the week—and parred the final two holes to finish at 10 under on Tanah Merah’s Garden Course.

Marilynn Smith was last player to win the first two events in a season, accomplishing the feat in 1966. Babe Zaharias (1951), Louise Suggs (1952) and Mickey Wright (1963) also swept season-opening events.

Kerr birdied No. 16 to take the lead at 10 under, but bogeyed the final two holes for a 68. Jiyai Shin, the winner last year, closed with a 67 to tie for third at 7 under with Suzann Pettersen (69), Song-Hee Kim (67) and Yani Tseng (69).

The ladies take the next month off and return at the end of March for a  new event the Kia Classic.




 QUINN WINS IN PANAMA
Fran Quinn won the Panama Championship for his fourth career Nationwide Tour title, shooting a 1-over 71 for a two-stroke victory over Brian Smock.

Quinn had a tournament-record 15-under 265 total at Panama Golf Club.

Smock closed with a 67. Tommy Gainey finished third at 10 under, and Kevin Chappell , D.J.Brigman, Marco Dawson,  Mark Anderson and Argentina’s Julio Zapata tied for fourth, seven strokes behind Quinn.



IN OTHER NEWS
The LPGA Tour has picked Rosie Jones to be the U.S. captain for the Solheim Cup next year in Ireland.
Jones is a 13-time winner on the LPGA Tour who made her mark in the Solheim Cup, playing on seven teams. She last played in 2005 at Crooked Stick, going unbeaten in three matches as the Americans defeated Europe.

The United States leads the series 8-3, including three straight victories.

The 2011 matches will be played Sept. 23-25 at Killeen Castle in Ireland.



Players typically have until 5 p.m. Friday the week before a tournament to commit to playing. In the U.S. Open and British Open, they must submit an entry form.

The Masters is by invitation and has no such rules. So if Tiger Woods decides to play the first major of the year, he only needs to show up before his tee time on Thursday.



Nike will continue to support Tiger Woods even though the world’s best player has taken an indefinite leave from golf to deal with personal issues.

Nike brand president Charlie Denson said Thursday he does not want Woods back on the course until he sorts out his private life, which has been in the public spotlight since a bizarre car crash outside his Florida home last November revealed allegations of marital infidelity.

Woods issued a public apology last week and has sought inpatient treatment.

The sports giant’s $650 million golf sector has been one of the hardest-hit segments of its business during the global recession, but Nike is standing by Woods despite any damage done to its imagine by his high-profile transgressions.


AT&T and Accenture dropped Woods from their roster of sponsorships, and others like Procter & Gamble Co.’s Gillette and Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer de-emphasized him in their marketing. (AP)




Gatorade, sold by PepsiCo Inc, confirmed late Friday that it had ended its relationship with Tiger Woods, who made a lengthy public apology last week for his infidelities.

We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship,” a Gatorade spokeswoman said. “We wish him all the best.”



That's it for this week.

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Until next time.

 















Sunday, February 21, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #69

POULTER WINS MATCH PLAY EVENT
Ian Poulter won for the first time in the US with his victory over fellow countryman Paul Casey. Poulter put on a short-game clinic Sunday and led over the final 28 holes on his way to a 4-and-2 victory over Casey at the first World Golf Championship of the year.

Poulter seized control in the morning session with two solid chips for birdies, then effectively closed out Casey with a deft pitch up the slope—with mud on his ball, no less—that settled inches away for one last birdie.


Casey tried to make a charge, winning the ninth hole with a par and the 10th with a 15-foot birdie. Poulter had a 2-up lead with eight holes remaining, momentum on Casey’s side.


But Casey couldn’t make up any ground on the par 5s, and Poulter seized control for good on the 307-yard 15th, where both players drove to the right of the green. Poulter nearly holed his chip for eagle, while Casey pitched just onto the green, and his birdie putt to halve the hole caught the lip.

It was a long day for Casey who had to go out in the morning to finish his marathon match with Camillio Villegas to see who would face Poulter in the finals. Casey won with a par after Camilo Villegas hooked his tee shot into the desert. Casey won in 24 holes, the longest match of the week.


But the finals was all Poulter's. All in all it was all a rather lackluster event with most of the higher seeds being eliminated early in the tournament and without Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods playing the tourney lost alot of its's interest.



BECKMAN WINS IN MEXICO
Cameron Beckman won the Mayakoba Golf Classic for his third PGA Tour title, closing with a 3-under 67 on Sunday for a two-stroke victory over third-round leader Joe Durant and Brian Stuard.


The 40-year-old Beckman, three strokes behind Durant at the start of play Sunday, finished at 15-under 269 . Beckman also won the 2001 Southern Farm Bureau Classic and 2008 Frys.com Open.

Beckman bogeyed the sixth, got the stroke back with a birdie on the par-5 eighth and added birdies on 13 and 17 before closing with a par.


Next  week the Tour reunites in Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Kenny Perry is 2009 Champion.




LANGER WINS IN A PLAYOFF
Bernhard Langer holed out from a bunker to win the Allianz Championship defeating John Cook on the first hole of a playoff.

Langer's ball was plugged in the bunker about 45 feet from the hole. He holed the shot for an eagle to edge Cook on the first extra hole. Cook missed a 30-foot eagle putt on the hole.

Langer and Cook closed with 5-under 67s to finish at 17-under 199 on The Old Course at Broken Sound Club. Langer earned $255,000.


Langer lost the lead when he missed a 4-foot par putt on No. 17, but rebounded with a birdie on the par-5 finishing hole to tie Cook, recovering after his tee shot landed in a bed of crushed shells.

Joey Sindelar  finished third, a stroke out of the playoff. Gene Jones  was fourth at 15 under, and Mike Reid Loren Roberts,Tom Lehman and Tim Simpson were another stroke back.





LPGA STARTS 2010 SEASON WITH A BANG
Ai Miyazato,  who started six strokes behind Suzann Pettersen going into the final round, was 6 under in a six-hole stretch midway through the round coming on to win the season-opening Honda PTT LPGA Thailand on Sunday, holing a 30-foot birdie chip on the final hole for a 9-under 63 and a one-stroke victory over Pettersen.

Miyazto birdied three of the last six holes to match the tournament record of 21 under set by Pettersen in October 2007.

Pettersen finished with a 70. She had a chance to force a playoff on the par-5 18th, but missed a 23-foot eagle try.

Taiwan’s Yani Tseng  was third, six strokes back at 15 under. Karrie Webb  and Cristie Kerr followed at 13 under, and Laura Davies, Maria Hjorth , Momoko Ueda and Song-Hee Kim  were 12 under.
Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa, the winner last year, had a 72 to tie for 18th at 6 under, while Michelle Wie closed with a 69 to tie for 22nd at 5 under.

Miyazato began her  mid-round run with a birdie on the par-4 sixth, then eagled the par-5 seventh and added birdies on Nos. 9-11 to cut Pettersen’s lead to a stroke.

Pettersen dropped a stroke on the par-4 ninth with her first bogey of the tournament, but birdied the par-5 10th for the fourth straight day to push her advantage back to two strokes. Miyazato answered by birdieing the 13th to again pull within one, and making another birdie on 15 to tie Pettersen at 20 under.

Pettersen fell back with a bogey on 16, missed a 6-foot birdie putt on 17, then settled for a birdie on 18 after missing her eagle try.

Next week the ladies move to Singapore to play the  HSBC Women's Champions.  Jiyai Shin defends



IN OTHER NEWS
Tiger Woods spoke to the world for the first time Friday since the news of his affairs were made public . He took full responsibility for his actions and vowed to be a better person and role model.

Woods, confirmed he received therapy and was headed back for more on Saturday.  He gave no indication when he would return to golf but did not rule out this season.

For a complete transcript  of Tiger's statement click here

And so the saga continues .



David Duval was unable to follow up his second-place showing last week at Pebble Beach with a good tournament this week in Mexico. Duval missed the cut at the Mayakoba Golf Classic after a second-round 79.

Duval opened with an even-par 71,  His 79 included  four bogies, one double-bogey and two triple-bogies.



That's it for this week.

Don't forget the podcast is available at itunes or at http://par3radio.podbean.com/

Follow me on twitter at twitter.com/par3prods


Send your questions/comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Until next time.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #68

Tiger Woods will hold a news conference at 11:00 am Friday.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #67

JOHNSON DOUBLES UP
Dustin Johnson birdied the 18th hole to win the AT&T Pebble Beach Classic by one stroke, after a roller coaster 18 holes. David Duval and J.B. Holmes finished tied for second.  The victory gave Johnson consecutive wins at this event.

Johnson finished with a 2-over 74, the highest final round by a Pebble champion since Johnny Miller in 1994. And he became the first player since Davis Love III in 2003 to win at Pebble Beach with a birdie on the last hole.

Paul Goydos, who started the final round tied with Johnson, had a one-shot lead until he made a 9 on the 14th hole.

Next week is a two event week with the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship and the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico.  Geoff Ogilvy defends at  the Accenture and Mark Wilson is the 2009 winner of the Mayakoba Classic.



COUPLES IS VICTORIOUS AT ACE GROUP CLASSIC 
Fred Couples won the ACE Group Classic on Sunday for his first victory on the 50-and-over tour, defeating  Tommy Armour III by a stroke.

Couples closed with an 8-under 64 to finish at 17-under, while Armour, making his Champions Tour debut matched the tour record for lowest score in relation to par with an 11-under 61.

Couples made a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 17 and a tap-in par on 18 to wrap his first official victory since the PGA Tour’s 2003 Houston Open.

Armour started his charge with an eagle on the par-5 seventh, and birdied Nos. 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17. Armour tied Couples with the birdie on No. 17.
Scott  Hoch, the 2008 champion, shot a 69 to finish third at 9 under. Bernhard Langer and Mike Goodes tied for fourth at 8 under. They also shot 69s.

Next week is the  Allianz Championship where Mike Goodes defends.



DODT TAKES AVANTHA MASTERS
Andrew Dodt shot a final-round 68 on Sunday to defeat Englishman Richard Finch by a stroke and win the Avantha Masters.
Seven players began the final round tied for the lead, but it was Finch who made the biggest charge, shooting a 6-under 66 to get into contention. Dodt answered with birdies at Nos. 16 and 18 to get to 14 under, good enough for his first European Tour victory.

Richard Bland shot 71 to finish in a group at 12 under, along with fellow Brits Barry Lane and David Drysdale and Tetsuji Hiratsuka. The Japanese player shot 71 two days after his round of 62 set the course record.

Dodt, whose previous best finish was a tie for ninth at last year’s Barclays Singapore Open, began the day one shot off the pace but picked up three strokes by the turn and was well placed with nine holes to play.

A bogey at the 11th threatened his bid to win , but he managed to recover over the final three holes to take home the trophy.

Finch, mounted a charge from way down the leaderboard. He shot 32 on the front nine with five birdies and a bogey,but only picked up two more shots down the stretch.

The European Tour is taking the next two weeks off and will return in March.




PRESNELL WINS VICTORIAN PGA
Alistair Presnell shot a 12-under 60 on Sunday to match the PGA Tour of Australasia record and win the Victorian PGA Championship by a stroke.

Presnell missed a 6-foot birdie try on the 17th hole, then closed with a birdie on the Sandhurst course. He birdied 11 of the first 14 holes.

The Australian tied the tour record set by Paul Gow in the 2001 Canon Challenge at Castle Hill and matched by Ernie Els in the 2004 Heineken Classic at Royal Melbourne.

Australians Kurt Barnes and David Bransdon tied for second.






IN OTHER NEWS
Kia Motors America is getting involved with the LPGA Tour, agreeing to an endorsement deal with Michelle Wie and a title sponsorship for a new tournament at La Costa Resort.

Considered among the most popular female players, Wie will be the official golf ambassador and spokesperson for Kia Motors. Terms of the deal were not announced.

The Korean-based automaker also will be title sponsor of the Kia Classic, to be played March 25-28 at La Costa Resort north of San Diego. It will be the first time the resort has been on a national golf stage since the Match Play Championship left for Arizona in 2006.



Jespar Parnevik sounded optimistic about returning to golf Wednesday after speaking to a Michigan specialist who told him he could avoid surgery for a broken vertebrae.

One day after telling a Swedish tabloid that it would take a “miracle” for him to play golf again, Parnevik said rest and physical therapy could put him back on the PGA Tour in a couple of months.

Parnevik had surgery on his left hip about nine years ago, and missed the second half of last year with surgery on his right hip. Recently it was discovered he had a broken vertebrae.

Doctors told him he would need joint fusion surgery, which would threatened his career.


That's it for this week.

Don't forget the podcast at http://par3radio.podbean.com

Follow me on twitter at twitter.com/par3prods

Send your questions/comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Until next time.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #66

 STRICKER TAKES NORTHERN TRUST OPEN
Steve Stricker spent the winter working on his game and trying to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. His work paid off as he wins the Northern Trust Open by two strokes over Luke Donald.

Stricker came into the final round with a six stroke lead, but he led by only two shots after five holes, and still didn’t feel as though he had the tournament wrapped up until he tapped in for a 1 under 70 giving him the two stroke victory over Luke Donald.

Donald had all the momentum on the front nine until missing consecutive putts inside 10 feet. He never got any closer the rest of the day and closed with a 66. Dustin Johnson had a 66 and J.B. Holmes shot 67 to tie for third.

Stricker, the runner-up at Riviera last year, has won four of his last 15 starts and is now the #2 ranked player in the world passing  Phil Mickelson.




 WESTWOOD LOSES IN PLAYOFF 
Miguel Angel Jiminez defeated Lee Westwood on the third hole of a sudden death playoff Sunday to win the Dubai Desert Classic. Westwood missed a 5-foot par putt on the third playoff hole leaving Jimenez with a 4-footer for the win, which he calmy sank.

The two men  went into the last day with a share of the lead and shot an even-par 72 in the final round, with Westwood making a birdie on the 18th to force the playoff.


Westwood then missed two birdie putts from within 20 feet on the first two playoff holes that could have clinched the win, while Jimenez made a 12-footer on the second to save par
.
Thongchai Jaidee and Alvaro Quiros were also tied for the overnight lead but faded in the final round. Thongchai shot a 73 to finish third, while Quiros ended up in a tie for sixth after a 75 as strong crosswinds and faster greens led to higher score.

The win was Angel's 16th career victory

The European Tour moves to India for a new event the  Avantha Masters at the DLF Golf Club in Dehli. This tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour.



AND ON THE NATIONWIDE TOUR A PLAYOFF
In yet another playoff this weekend, Jim Herman, who had not made the cut in his last seven tournaments, won the Moonah Classic with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff against fellow American Chris Kirk
.
Herman shot a course-record 62 on the opening day and led or held a share of the lead throughout the joint U.S. Nationwide and Australasian PGA tour event.

Kirk and Herman finished with a 72-hole total of 11-under 277 on the Moonah Links course. Kirk bogeyed the 17th and missed a 4-foot putt for birdie on 18 that would have given him the win. Both shot 70s Sunday.

On the playoff hole, the par-5 18th, Herman hit his approach to about five feet, where he made the birdie putt for the title. Kirk was in trouble off the tee, hitting into rough on the left side of the fairway.

Last weeks winner, Robert Gates, finished third ,one stroke back.

Australian Jarrod Lyle, who lost his U.S. PGA tour card last year, finished tied for fourth with American Tag Ridings, two strokes back.

The Tour takes of the next two weeks and will return with the  Panama Claro Championship in Panama.
Vance Veazey is the 2009 winner.




IN OTHER NEWS
The PGA Tour and Synchro Sports have reached a three-year deal for a Champions Tour event in Canada, at the Fontainebleau Golf Club in Boisbriand.


The inaugural 54-hole Montreal Championship, featuring a 78-player field, will be played July 2-4 at the ClubLink course.

Synchro Sports will serve as the host organization and tournament promoter.



Luke Donald has extended his long-standing equipment relationship with Mizuno by signing a new multi-year agreement, company officials have announced.

The contract is Luke Donald's third with Mizuno, ensuring he enters his prime competitive years with the equipment brand used since his amateur days.

Donald is fully recovered from a wrist injury that plaqued him last season. He is healthy and ready to go after evaluating his game and making some changes, but his equipment supplier will remain the same.



Phil Mickelson will not use the Ping wedges that have caused controversy the last few weeks even though he
others will use the controversial club to keep attention on what he calls a ridiculous rule.

Mickelson vented his anger at the USGA and its lack of transparency in developing the new rules for grooves. He has complained that he's submitted wedges that fit the guidelines, only for the USGA to reject the club for violating the intent of the new rule.

That's it for this week.

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