Sunday, June 27, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 6-27-10

BUBBA GETS FIRST WIN IN PLAYOFF
In a tournament that had far more excitement and drama then last week's U.S. Open, Bubba Watson came from six strokes behind to beat Scott Verplank on the second playoff hole with a par putt to earn his first PGA Tour victory Sunday at the Travelers Championship.

Watson, Verplank and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin needed extra holes after they all finished at 14-under par.

After sinking a 3-footer for par on the par-3 16th to win it, Watson hugged his wife, Angie, and began crying.

Verplank left his tee shot short of the green on the second playoff hole and missed an 8-foot par putt. Watson, who had a 48-footer for birdie, was able to steady his nerves enough to get it close.

Pavin was eliminated on the first playoff hole after hitting his tee shot just 219 yards and putting his approach into a bunker short of the 18th green. He chipped to within 3-feet, earning a standing ovation.

Justin Rose, who was coming off his first PGA Tour win earlier this month at the Memorial, had a three-stroke lead coming into Sunday.

But the 29-year-old Englishman was 1-over par on the front nine, and collapsed on the back, shooting a 5-over 75.

Rose held the lead until he missed a 10-foot par putt on the 10th hole and moved into a three-way tie with playing partner Ben Curtis and Verplank.

He lost the lead after a bogey on the 12th hole, then hit his tee shot on 15 into the water on his way to another bogey.

Curtis, who bogeyed just two holes in the tournament coming into Sunday, hit his tee shot on 12 out of bounds to the left, and made double bogey from there. Both he and Rose bogeyed 16 to drop out of contention. Curtis finished with a 73.

Next up is the AT&T National. Tiger Woods defends.


KERR WINS SECOND MAJOR

Cristie Kerr shot a 6-under 66 to win the LPGA Championship by 12 strokes and is set to become the first American to top the world rankings.

Beginning the final round Sunday with an eight-stroke lead, Kerr opened with six pars before getting birdies on three of her next four at Locust Hill Country Club. Kerr won and the LPGA projected she will take over top spot in the world ahead of Japan’s Ai Miyazato when the rankings are released Monday.

Miyazato shot 66 to finish 5 under in a tie for third with Jiyai Shin. Song-Hee Kim was second.

Kerr finished with a 19-under 269 to win her 14th career tournament and second major after the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open.

The ladies travel to Ohio for Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. Eunjong Yun is the 2009 winner.


ROBERTS WINS CHAMPIONS EVENT

Loren Roberts won the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in Endicott N.Y. It's Roberts 12th Champions Tour victory .He birdied the final hole Sunday for a closing 7-under 65 to get the win.

Roberts hit a pitching wedge to 6 feet and made birdie at the 18th hole at En-Joie Golf Club to finish at 15-under 201 and edge Funk, who also shot a 65. It was the 12th victory on the Champions Tour for the 54-year-old Roberts, who rallied from five shots behind with eight holes to play.

Local favorite Wayne Levi tied for third at 13 under with Zimbabwe’s Nick Price and Dan Forsman, who bogeyed three of the final five holes to lose the lead he held for most of the day.

Former Europe captain Nick Faldo believes he is being ignored by successor Colin Montgomerie in the buildup to the Ryder Cup in October.

Faldo’s haul in winning 25 points in 11 Ryder Cups is a record. He was also Europe captain in defeat at Valhalla two years ago.

However, during three days spent in Munich with Montgomerie at the BMW International Open this week, there has been no dialogue between the pair.

Faldo said that his attempts to contact this year’s captain have drawn a blank.



Seve Ballesteros has canceled plans to attend the British Open at St. Andrews next month.

The 53-year-old Spaniard underwent life-saving surgery in 2008 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Ballesteros had planned to play in a four-hole event for former champions on July 14, the day before the Open starts.

But he canceled the trip after undergoing his latest round of health checks at the La Paz Hospital in Madrid on Tuesday.

A statement on his website Thursday says his medical team decided “he should not put himself under any undue stress or in potentially emotional situations.”


That's it for this week.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 6-20-10

JOURNEYMAN WINS OPEN

Graeme McDowell won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He was able to keep his engine running while all the others in the demolition derby could not and got the win. Like the Opens won by Angel Cabrera,Michael Campbell,Geoff Ogilvy this was a truly forgettable affair as the USGA once again screwed up a once great tournament.

The greens were like concrete and appeared to be very bumpy and very fast. The rest of the course was set up tough but fair but oh those greens were horrendous. I guess the USGA still has a grudge against professional players and likes to see them suffer.

So McDowell won proably never to be heard from again. He shot 3-over-par 74 to finish the tournament at even-par 284 and beat Frenchman Gregory Havret, the 391st-ranked player in the world, by a stroke.

McDowell, was helped by the stunning collapse of Dustin Johnson, who also was in search of his first major. Johnson led McDowell by three coming into the day. He gave that away and more by making 7, 6 and 5 on Nos. 2, 3 and 4 en route to an 82—an afterthought who simply tried to stay out of McDowell’s way on the back nine.

Havret made a run, but when he bogeyed the par-3 17th, then failed to make birdie on the par-5 18th, all McDowell had to do was hit three shots to the green on 18, then two-putt from 20 feet to seal his victory.

Ernie Els made a run getting to 3-under par and briefly into a tie with McDowell midway through the front nine. But his tee shot on 10 went off the course, over the edge of the cliff, matted in the thick grass that leads down to the beach. He tiptoed down the hill but never found his ball. And when he came back to drop on the fairway, he chunked it, hit that ball into the tall grass, as well, and was lucky to make a 6 from there.

Mickelson and Woods were close but never got anything started to mount a charge to challenge McDowell.

The next stop on the Tour is the Travelers Championship. Kenny Perry is the 2009 winner.


MIYAZATO WINS SHOP RITE CLASSIC

Ai Miyazato shot a 7-under 64 to win the $1.5 million ShopRite LPGA Classic by two strokes over M.J. Hur of South Korea on Seaview’s Bay Course, just miles from the Atlantic City casino resort. It was the fourth win in nine events this year for Miyazato, who is finally living up to the expectations thrust on her in 2006 when she made the move from Japan to the LPGA Tour.

Trailing Hur by two shots, Miyazato grabbed a piece of the lead after making a 15-foot birdie at No. 2 and a tap-in on the par-5 third hole. A 3-foot birdie on No. 9 gave her sole possession of the lead and she opened daylight with a 15-footer on No. 10 and a 30-footer for birdie on the 14th hole.

Paula Creamer, threatened for two rounds but faded to seventh in her first tournament since surgery on her left thumb in March.

South Korean Inbee Park, the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open champion, had a final-round 67 and finished third at 12 under, four shots behind the winner.

Suzann Pettersen of Norway, South Korea’s Hee-Won Han and Katherine Hull of Australia shared fourth place at 11 under, one shot ahead of Creamer.

With the victory Miyazato moves to the top of the Rolex Rankings and takes over as #1 in the world.

The ladies travel to New York for the LPGA Classic. Anna Nordqvist defends.


KIRK TAKES HOME NATIONWIDE TOUR TITLE

Chris Kirk fired a 6-under 64 Sunday to come from behind and win the Nationwide Tour's Fort Smith Classic by one stroke over Kyle Thompson, who charged up the board with a 7-under 63.

Kirk finished at 16-under 264 and earned his first career title. He collected $94,500 in the process, pushing him from No. 4 to No. 1 on the money list with $262,382, which should be more than enough to guarantee him a place among the 25 leading money winners who will move onto the PGA Tour next year.

Fan favorite John Daly carded a 1-under 69 and tied for 22nd in his first Nationwide Tour start since 1991.


That's it for this week.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 6- 13-10

WESTWOOD TAKES ST. JUDE CLASSIC

Robert Garrigus had a three stroke lead going into the 72nd hole of the St. Jude Classic when his drive found the lake and the wheels came off.

Lee Westwood won the St. Jude Classic for his second career PGA Tour victory and first since 1998, beating Swede Robert Karlsson on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday.

The Englishman became the first European to win the tour’s third-longest event after Garrigus blew the on the final hole of regulation with a triple bogey. He bogeyed the first playoff hole.

Westwood and Karlsson went par-par-bogey until they returned to No. 18 once again. Westwood stuck his approach 6 feet from the pin on No. 18. Karlsson left his birdie putt from 43 feet away to extend the playoff about a foot short.

Then Westwood, rolled in the 6-footer for his first PGA win since New Orleans. He dropped his putter and celebrated with a fist bump.

Westwood started the final round trailing by three strokes, birdied three straight holes to grab the lead. But he bogeyed No. 17 and was ready to head off the course when told to stick around behind the 18th green. It was a good thing he did.

Shaun Micheel, winner of the 2003 PGA championship, shot a 67 and finished tied with Garrett Willis (67) for fourth at 271.

Next up is the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Lucas Glover defends.



KERR WINS STATE FARM CLASSIC

Cristie Kerr held off late challenges by Anna Nordqvist and Na Yeon Choi at the rain-delayed State Farm Classic , shooting a 3-under 69 in the final round to secure the first LPGA Tour victory by an American since Michelle Wie won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in November.

Kerr, who also won the title in 2004, finished at 22-under 266, a shot ahead of Nordqvist and Choi.

Juli Inkster, second after a first-round 65 had her tied for second, shot 68-71 on the weekend to end in 35th.

Karrie Webb made her way into a tie for 11th with a final-round 65. Natalie Gulbis went 4 under in her closing round to finish tied for 36th and Michelle Wie finished at 6 under, tied for 52nd.

Kerr led after third-round play was completed Sunday morning and would have been the champ if the fourth round had been washed out. But with more than half the round completed when heavy rains and lightning rolled in Sunday, tour officials decided to try to finish the tournament Monday.

Kerr never wavered. After Saturday’s delay, she made six more birdies to finish with a 63. Monday, she birdied three holes before an inconsequential bogey on 18.

Next up is the Shop Rite LPGA Classic. Seon Hwa Lee is the defending champion.




BJORN ENDS DROUGHT IN PORTUGAL

Thomas Bjorn emerged from a four-year title drought to win the Estoril Open by five shots on Sunday.

The 39-year-old Dane, who led by three strokes entering the final round, shot a 4-under 68 at Penha Longa to reach a 23-under total of 265 and hold off Australian left-hander Richard Green, who closed with a 70.

It was Bjorn’s 10th victory on the European Tour but his first since winning the Irish Open at Carton House in 2006.



IN OTHER NEWS

(AFP) Rocco Mediate has accepted a place in the US Open golf championship which became available when England's Lee Westwood won the St. Jude Classic on Sunday.

The one spot was held open for any player who won multiple PGA Tour sanctioned events between June 21, 2009 and June 13, 2010.

When no new player qualified via that route on Sunday Mediate, who shot 67-70 for 137 in the sectional qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, on June 7, got the call as first alternate.

Mediate has played in 14 previous US Opens, including a runner-up finish in an epic playoff against Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines in 2008.


The U.S. handily defeated Great Britain and Ireland 12.5-7.5 on Sunday in the 36th biennial competition between teams of female amateur golfers.

Alexis Thompson, a 15-year-old from Coral Springs, Fla., and 18-year-old Jennifer Johnson of La Quinta, Calif., both got off to huge early leads in their singles matches. The Americans needed only two of eight points in the singles to retain the cup after sweeping all six fourball and foursome matches Saturday to take a commanding lead.


World Golf Rankings as of 6/13/2010 - Luke Donald moves up two spots to #6 and Ian Poulter drops two only real changes this week.

Woods
Mickelson
Westwood
Stricker
Furyk
Donald
Els
Poulter
Casey
McIlroy


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Have a great week.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 6-6-10

ROSE BREAKS THRU ON PGA TOUR

Rickie Fowler, the 21-year-old rookie was trying to become the youngest winner of the Memorial Tournament. Fowler had a share of the lead thru the first 3 rounds but faltered on the back nine on the final round opening the door for Justin Rose to come thru and win the Memorial.

Rose rallied from a four-shot deficit with a flawless final round for his first victory in seven years playing the PGA Tour.

It was the second straight year the Memorial winner rallied from four shots behind. Tiger Woods did it a year ago, and Rose was equally impressive in playing bogey-free at Muirfield Village for a 6-under 66 on Sunday.

Rose ran off three straight birdies to make the turn, saved par with a 20-footer on the 10th to keep his momentum, then seized control over the next hour despite making only one birdie.

Fowler, drove into the bunker on No. 10 for bogey. He took birdie out of the equation on the par-5 11th when he laid up into a messy lie behind trees in the left rough. Then came the par-3 12th, where his tee shot bounded off the slope and into the water for a double bogey.

Fowler fought to stay in the mix, but he never got closer than two shots the rest of the way.

It has been a big year for England, from Lee Westwood rising to No. 3 in the world to Ian Poulter winning his first World Golf Championship and Luke Donald winning last week in Spain.


Next up is the St. Jude Classic. Brian Gay defends.



MACDOWELL TAKES HOME WALES TITLE

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland shot a closing-round 63 to pick up his fifth career European Tour victory at the Wales Open on Sunday.

McDowell’s 15-under 269 over this year’s Ryder Cup course at Celtic Manor left him three shots ahead of Welshman Rhys Davies. England’s Luke Donald, the winner of last week’s Madrid Masters, finished in third place.

McDowell had eight birdies in the first 11 holes of his final round.

The third-round leader, Germany’s Marcel Siem, collapsed to a 75, which left him in seventh. Siem’s woes left the 25-year-old Davies, the favorite to win Europe’s Rookie of the Year award, as the main challenger. His 9-under 62, a record on the new course, included two eagles.

The European Tour moves to Portugal for the Estoril Open de Portugal. Michael Hoey is the defending champion.



NICK PRICE WINS CHAMPIONS TOUR EVENT

Nick Price shot an 4-under 67 to hold off Tommy Armour III and win the Principal Charity Classic by four strokes.

Price had a 14-under 199 total to grab his second Champions Tour win this season and the third of his career.

Price led heading into the final round in each of the last two years in Iowa before falling short. But Price grabbed the lead after four holes on Sunday and stayed comfortably in front the rest of the way.

Armour, the co-leader with Price after two rounds, shot an even-par 71 and finished second for the third time this year with a 10-under 203.

John Cook, closed with a 66 to join Loren Roberts at 9-under 204, and six players finished at 8-under 205.

The win gave Price multiple victories in the same season for the first time since 1994, when he won six times on the PGA Tour.


GAINEY WINS FIRST TITLE

Tommy Gainey closed with a 6-under 65 Sunday to pick up his first Nationwide Tour win at the Melwood Prince George's County Open.

Gainey finished the event at 17-under-par 267.

Frank Lickliter II and third-round co-leader Jin Park shared second place at minus-16.

B.J. Staten, who shared the third-round lead with Park, stumbled to a 6-over 77 on the University of Maryland Golf Course to tumble into a share of 30th at minus-8.



IN OTHER NEWS

A new EA Sports spot with Tiger Woods takes a much lighter approach.The ad
is filled with humorous references to football and other team sports, an
attempt to market the game’s new Ryder Cup team mode. The commercial features
Woods and other professional golfers, including Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter
and Edoardo Molinari. The commercial is scheduled to air in prime-time
Sunday during Game 2 of the NBA finals on ABC.



Colin Montgomerie says his performance as European Ryder Cup captain will
not be affected by a newspaper report that he was unfaithful to his wife.

Montgomerie had earlier issued a statement saying he had put his marriage
“under considerable strain,” but that he and his wife were “working through
these problems.” The Scot added that he was “very sorry for the hurt I have
caused to the ones I love so much.”



Mark Calcavecchia played his last PGA Tour event at the Memorial. Calc, will turn 50 next week and move on to play the Champions Tour full time.



Listen to my podcast weekly at par3radio.podbean.com

Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Have a great week.