Monday, March 15, 2010


Ending the longest drought of his 20-year career, Ernie Els played the final 23 holes on the Blue Monster without a bogey and finished with a 6-under 66 on Sunday to win the CA Championship by four shots over 25-year-old Charl Scwartzel

Schwartzel, in his first time on a world stage, refused to let Els get away from him. Els was clinging to a one-shot lead as he stood over a 25-foot par putt on the 14th hole, and the Big Easy was relieved to see it fall on the final turn.

Schwartzel caught a bad break on the 15th hole when his ball plugged in a front bunker, and he knocked that into a back bunker on his way to a crucial bogey. He missed short putts on the next two holes and closed with a 70.
That allowed Els a strange sensation, walking up to the 18th green with his cap in hand, waving to the gallery, unable to contain a smile that showed equal parts relief and satisfaction.

It was a strong effort by Schwartzel, who has considered Els a hero since he first started playing golf. Despite two bogeys on the final four holes, he was the only player to give Els a run. And he was poised to take him down until his tee shot left him little hope in the sand.

Padraig Harrington fell out with three straight bogeys on the back nine, closing with a 72 to tie for third at 11-under 277 along with Matt Kucher and Martin Kaymer of Germany, who had a 69 and moved up to No. 7 in the world.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson, who was never ia real threat, shot a 68 and tied for 14th.

Rookie Derek Lamely fired a final-round 66 on Monday to post his first win.  After finishing his round,Lamely needed to sit and wait for two hours for the field to finish.

Kris Blanks parred the final hole, while Steve Whitcroft bogeyed to fall out of second place. As a result, Lamely gets a two-shot victory, becoming the first rookie to win on TOUR since Marc Turnesa at the 2008 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

He’s also the first Nationwide Tour grad from the previous year to win on TOUR since Chez Reavie at the 2008 RBC Canadian Open.

 Lamely came into Monday as the seventh alternate for this week’s Transitions Championship. Now he automatically gets into the field at Innisbrook for finishing in the top-10.

Taiwan’s Yani Tseng won the Women’s Australian Open on Sunday, birdieing seven of the last 12 holes for a bogey-free 7-under 66 and a three-stroke victory over 2009 winner Laura Davies.

The sixth-ranked Tseng, the 2008 LPGA Championship winner, had a 9-under 283 total on the Commonwealth Golf Club course. She opened with rounds of 74, 71 and 72 to begin the day four strokes behind third-round leader Karrie Webb.

Australia’s Katherine Hull and Giulia Sergas tied for fourth at 4 under. Alexis Thompson, the 15-year-old U.S. amateur star, closed with a 74 to tie for 16th at 3 over.

The golf equipment company Acushnet has agreed to sell its Cobra Golf brand to Puma, an apparel company slowly getting into the golf business.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Acushnet said Wednesday it would continue to help with production, distribution, sales and customer service after the sale is completed so Puma can make a smooth transition.

Among PGA Tour players under contract with Cobra are Ian Poulter, Camilo Villegas and J.B. Holmes.

Acushnet decided last year to reduce its promotion and advertising of Cobra to focus more on its signature brands, Titleist and Foot-Joy.

Acushnet associates who had worked exclusively with the Cobra brand are expected to become Puma employees.

Tiger Woods has hired former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer to help with damage control and a strategy for returning to golf, according to the New York Post. Sources told the Post that the former presidential advisor to George W. Bush has been meeting frequently with Woods where the two have been plotting a return strategy for the Arnold Palmer Invitational March 25 at Bay Hill. ( Golf Channel)

Two people with knowledge of Tiger Woods’ plans told The Associated Press on Thursday that he intends to remain out of golf at least until the Masters in early April. The two people spoke on condition of anonymity because only Woods is supposed to release such information.

Woods has been practicing at Isleworth near his Orlando home the last two weeks, and swing coach Hank Haney flew there recently to work with him.

Woods has not played since Nov. 15, when he won the Australian Masters in Melbourne for his 82nd career victory.

Phil Mickelson will play Bay Hill this year in a change from his regular schedule.  He decided to add Bay Hill because he wanted to get a certain number of tournaments in before Augusta, and  his game simply isn’t where he wants it to be yet.

And speaking of Phil Mickelson a terrific breakdown of his game was given in the Devil Ball Blog on Yahoo. Essentially the author says Phil's main problem is analysing everything too much and that he should just play and not think. for the complete article see below.

Augusta National announced Monday that next month’s tournament can be viewed on 3-D-capable television sets and computers. It will be the first 3-D sports event on TV in the United States; previous experiments used movie theaters.

Few Americans currently own the capable sets, but networks believe 3-D could be the next big thing and are starting to offer programming.

Comcast will broadcast the coverage for free to its customers with 3-D sets. A feed will also be available on the Masters’ Web site.

That's it for this week.

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