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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