Monday, March 22, 2010


Jim Furyk is a PGA Tour winner again after 32 long months. Furyk closed with a 2-under 69 for a one-shot victory over K.J. Choi, and that  earned him his 14th career victory.

It was a final round that was at times brilliant, at times sloppy, and uncertain to the very end, including a wild 18th hole.

When the pressure was on  Furyk responded with crisp iron shots and clutch putts. No sooner had he built a cushion, Furyk managed to keep it interesting with bogeys, including a trio of three-putt bogeys on the par 3s

Choi finishing second goes from No. 75 to No. 47 in the world ranking, and he only needs to stay in the top 50 after the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill this week to secure an invitation to the Masters.

Furyk had a three-shot lead, which was erased by Choi’s four birdies through six holes. The turning point for Furyk came at the par-3 eighth, when he rolled in a birdie and Choi missed the green and made bogey, a two-shot swing that Choi never made up.

Bubba Watson shot a 68 to finish third. Both Watson and Choi had their chances to catch Furyk but some how he managed to keep dodging the bullets. Even to the 18th.

Knowing that a tee shot left on 18, could lead to a big number, Furyk hit it right into the trees. Trying to advance the ball close to the green, he hit what Furyk called a half-shank. Furyk had a good lie in the rough,and kept his shot pin-high and removed all drama by lagging that par putt to an inch, assuring victory when Choi failed to chip in for birdie from just short of the green.

Next up is the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. Tiger Woods is the 2009 Champion (not defending ).

Rhys Davies of Wales earned his first European Tour title on Sunday, winning the Trophee Hassan II by two strokes over Louis Oosthuizen after shooting a 7-under 66.

Davies bogeyed the second hole, but then had eight birdies in 11 holes on the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course to finish at 25 under.

Thomas Levet of France, Ignacio Garrido of Spain, Mikko Ilonen  of Finland and Thomas Aiken of South Africa were tied for third at 18 under.

Oosthuizen, the overnight leader, shot a 70 after beginning the day with a two-shot lead on Davies. The South African was also seeking his first European tour win.

Despite an eagle at No. 12 that put him back in front, Oosthuizen faltered down the stretch had to be content with his fourth runner-up finish.

The Tour next stop is Spain for the  Open de Andalucia. Soren Kjeldson defends.

Tiger Woods granted five minute interviews Sunday to  The Golf Channel and ESPN. He acknowledged “living a lie,” saying he alone was responsible for the sex scandal that caused his shocking downfall.

Woods answered questions on camera for the first time since his early morning car crash last November, yet divulged few details about the crash, his marriage, his stint in a rehabilitation clinic or his personal life. Woods insisted those matters would remain private, just as he had in a statement on his Web site right after his crash and again Feb. 19 when he apologized on camera in front of a hand-picked audience but took no questions.

He admitted to being nervous about coming back and playing at the Masters and continued to take full responsibility.

“A lot of ugly things have happened. … I’ve done some pretty bad things in my life,” he told ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi.

Tiger Woods won’t replace AT&T with a new corporate sponsor on his golf bag when he returns at the Masters, instead using his Nike brand.

AT&T dropped him as a sponsor on Dec. 31 in the midst of the infidelity scandal.
It will be the first time since he turned pro that Woods has used an existing sponsor’s logo on the bag. The golf bag and hat are the two areas in golf where companies get the most television exposure.

The PGA Tour is looking for a new title sponsor for its World Golf Championship at Doral after CA decided not to renew its contract.

CA had been the title sponsor the last four years. CA spokesman Bill Hughes said Wednesday the company will continue looking for marketing opportunities in golf, just not as the sponsor of a tournament.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has said he was confident the tournament would return to Doral next year, even if it has to find a new sponsor. Finchem said during the final round Sunday the tour had been speaking to a number of companies.

Former PGA champion David Toms  has been losing length off the tee that he can’t afford, and now he knows why. Toms said Friday he has a bone spur in his rotator cuff that will require surgery.

Toms said the original plan was to have the surgery after the Masters and return in time for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. However, he shot a 63 in the second round of the Transitions Championship and finished in the top 20. 

If he keeps scoring like this, Toms said he could try to make it through the year and have surgery in the offseason.

Toms already has dealt with back issues, and he’s tired of waking up in pain.

That will wrap it up for this week.

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