Sunday, July 25, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 7-25-2010

OH CANADA

Carl Pettersson rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday for his fourth PGA Tour victory, closing with a 3-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over Dean Wilson.

Pettersson, who set a tournament record with a 10-under 60 in the third round, finished at 14-under 266 .

Wilson, playing on a sponsor exemption, shot a 72 after opening with three straight 65s to take a four-stroke lead into the final day.

Six strokes behind Wilson after seven holes and four back with seven to play, Pettersson made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 13th to pull within one, then took the lead with a 25-footer from the fringe on the 480-yard, par-4 14th.

Wilson bogeyed 14, hitting into the thick rough to the right of the green, chipping through the putting surface to the opposite fringe and missing a 15-foot par try.

Pettersson pulled away on the par-5 15th with his third straight birdie and fourth in five holes, hitting a wedge to 4 1/2 feet. Wilson’s approach trickled into the back fringe and his birdie try came up 2 1/2 feet short.

Pettersson parred 16 and 17 and bogeyed the 18th, missing a 5-foot par putt after Wilson putted out for his fourth straight par.

A new event starts next week and that is The Greenbrier Classic.


LANGER TAKES MAJOR TITLE

Bernhard Langer, the two time Masters champ, won his first seniors major title by winning the Seniors British Open by one stroke over American Ryder Cup captain, Corey Pavin.

Langer shot a 1-over 72 at Carnoustie to finish at 5-under 279. Pavin ended with a 1-under 70.

Pavin,trailed by three shots at the start of the fourth round but cut the gap to two when he birdied his second hole of the day.

Langer survived three-putting both the 8th and 9th greens. After making birdie at 15, he parred his way to his 11th win in three years on the Champions Tour.

The tour has another major next week as they play the U.S. Seniors Open. Fred Funk defends.



SHIN WINS EVIAN MASTERS

Jiyai Shin of South Korea birdied the 18th hole to win the Evian Masters, shooting a 5-under 67 to finish at 14 under and one stroke ahead of Morgan Pressel, Na Yeon Choi and Alexis Thompson.

Shin’s fifth birdie in the final round put her one stroke clear of overnight leader Pressel, whose putt to force a playoff then rolled over the hole without dropping in.

Pressel’s downhill putt from the right of the green gathered speed, and she sank to her knees when it rolled over the hole—giving her a share of second with Na Yeon of South Korea and the 15-year-old Thompson from the United States .

Suzann Pettersen of Norway was fifth . Defending champion Ai Miyazato finished tied for 19th . Americans Michelle Wie and Criste Kerr were tied for 31st.

It's major time next week -the Ricoh Women's British Open Catriona Mathew is last years winner.


SWEDE WINS IN SCANDINAVIA

Richard Johnson of Sweden won the Scandinavian Masters on Sunday, making a 30-foot birdie putt at the last hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and finish a stroke clear of Rafa Echenique of Argentina.

Johnson, who shared the overnight lead with South Korea’s K.J. Choi finished with a total of 11-under 277 .

Echenique made four birdies in a 69, while Edoardo Molinari, of Italy was a shot further back in third.

Echenique replaced Johnson as leader after making birdies at the 12th and 13th holes. The two were tied again at the 18th before Johnson holed his 30-foot put to win his second European Tour title.

Next up is the 3 Irish Open. Shane Lowry defends.



IN OTHER NEWS

Little drama and a little-known champion sent the British Open’s television ratings plummeting to a record low.

ESPN said Sunday’s coverage drew a 2.1 rating, down 45 percent from last year’s 3.8. The previous low was a 3.1 in 1996, according to Nielsen, when Tom Lehman went into the final round with a six-shot lead.

Average ratings for the first three rounds were up from 2009, increasing from 1.3 to 1.4.

This was the first year the tournament was broadcast entirely on cable. The coverage previously was split between TNT and ABC.



Tom Watson has been granted honorary life membership of the European Tour.

The eight-time major winner received the award at Carnoustie ahead of the Seniors British Open, which began Thursday.

The 60-year-old Watson said it was a “great honor” and “totally unexpected.”

Watson joins Arnold Palmer, Bob Charles and Gary Player among the greats who have received the award while Senior Tour players.



The Blue Course at Congressional Country Club is longer, tougher and not far from championship condition after a massive renovation that included rebuilding all 18 greens.

USGA officials showed off Congressional Friday, five weeks after it reopened and 11 months before it hosts next year’s U.S. Open.

The new greens are soft and slow—a concession to the scorching temperatures on the East Coast this summer—but Mike Davis, the USGA’s senior director of rules and competition, said the reconstruction will allow them to play firmer and faster than in previous events at Congressional.



That's it for this week.

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Until next time.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 7- 18 -10

OOOSTER SOMEBODY WINS THE OPEN

Paul Casey is a magician and he pulled another disappearing act in a major tournament when he had the opportunity. Once again Casy had a chance to put pressure on the leader of a major and well, he choked as always. Louis Oosthuizen pulled away and won the British Open.

Oosthuizen was fortunate to play in the good weather, especially in the first two rounds, built a big lead and no one came after him.

Oosthuizen made only two bogeys over the final 35 holes in a strong wind that swept across the Old Course. He led over the final 48 holes and closed with a 1-under 71 for a seven-shot victory over Lee Westwood of England.

Casey had a chance going into the final round but his hopes ended with a triple bogey into the gorse on the 12th, and Oosthuizen spent the final hour soaking up an atmosphere unlike any other in golf.

So another mediocre major comes to and end.




BETTENCOURT WINS FIRST TITLE

Matt Bettencourt eagled the 11th hole, then held off Bob Heintz by a stroke to win the Reno-Tahoe Open for his first PGA Tour title.

Bettencourt capped his 4-under 68 with a bogey on No. 18 after a birdie on 17, finishing at 11-under 277. After his eagle on the par-5 11th, he played the final seven holes in 1 over par. He also bogeyed the par-4 14th at Montreux Golf & Country Club.

Heintz (69) missed a three-foot birdie putt on the 18 that would have forced a playoff.

John Merick and Mathias Gronberg each shot 69 and tied for third at 9-under.

Robert Gamez, Matt Jones, Alex Cejka, Kevin Stadler and Craig Barlow all finished another stroke back at 8-under.

This win qualified him to play in the PGA Championship for the first time.




GAINEY WINS FOR SECOND TIME ON NATIONWIDE TOUR

Tommy Gainey shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday to become the Nationwide Tour’s first two-time winner this season, holding on for a three-stroke victory in the Chiquita Classic.

Gainey, who matched the course record at TPC River Bend with a 62 in the third round, earned $99,000 and moved to No. 1 on the Nationwide Tour money list with $306,307. The top 25 on the money list at the end of the year get PGA Tour cards for 2011.

Joe Affrunti shot a 65 in the final round and finished second at 24 under for the tournament. Geoffrey Sisk and Colt Knost tied for third at 22 under.

Gainey’s final score equaled the second-lowest, sub-par finish in tour history. His 54-hole score of 24 under matched the tour record.



IN OTHER NEWS

Tiger Woods went back to his old putter for the final round of the British Open.

Woods played the first three rounds with a new Nike Method putter, hoping it would help him deal with the slower speed of the greens at the Old Course. But he had a hard time and went back to his old Scotty Cameron putter: it did not help. Tiger finished tied for 23rd at -3.



Tom Watson said goodbye to St. Andrews this week. While Watson may get to play the British Open again it is unlikely he will be playing in it the next time St. Andrews comes up in the rotation in 2015.



Billy Joe Tolliver won his third title at the American Century Championship, setting a record with 84 points in the modified Stableford system at the celebrity tournament.

The former NFL quarterback eagled the last hole at Edgewood Tahoe and had two birdies in his final round. He finished 19 points ahead of Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo, Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, former Atlanta Braves' pitcher John Smoltz and actor Jack Wagner.




Lion Kim won the U.S. Amateur Public Links championship.

Kim defeated David McDaniel 6 and 5 on Saturday night to win the 36-hole final at the rain-delayed tournament. The 21-year-old soon-to-be senior at Michigan came out of a 7-hour weather delay and won two straight holes, gradually built up his lead and claimed both a trophy and a traditional invitation into the field at next year's Masters. So congrats on the victory to Lion Kim.



Listen to my podcast weekly at par3radio.podbean.com

Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

That's it for this week.

Have a great week.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 7- 11 -10





THE CREAMER RISES TO THE TOP

Paula Creamer won the US Womens Open playing superbly down the stretch at Oakmont to win her first major title.

She, went into the final round at sunny Oakmont Country Club with a three-shot lead that never went below two shots. She played 23 holes on Sunday with a sore left thumb, including the final five holes of the weather-delayed third round.

Her final-round, 2-under 69 gave her a 3-under 281 for the tournament. Na Yeon Choi of South Korea and Suzann Pettersen of Norway tied for second at 1-over 285.

Creamer, coming off surgery on her thumb earlier this year, winced visibly after hitting a shot at the 12th hole, a hole she bogeyed. But she came back with a birdie on 13 and just took charge the rest of the way .

Alexis Thompson, the 15-year-old Floridian who is the next potential big star in women’s golf, trailed by five before taking a double bogey on No. 1. She was the second-longest hitter but was held back by a series of three-putts while tying for 10th.

Creamer joins 2007 winner Cristie Kerr as the only Americans to win this tournament in the last six years.

The ladies are off next week but head to France for the Evian Masters in two weeks. Ai Miyazato
defends.




STRICKER DOUBLES UP AT JOHN DEERE


Steve Stricker won the John Deere Classic for the second straight year, holding on for a two-shot victory after leading by seven strokes.

Stricker couldn’t match the shot-making that allowed him to record the lowest 54-hole total in PGA Tour history. But he came through with a critical birdie after driving into the trees on No. 17 the second straight day he put his ball there and closed with a 1-under-par 70, just enough to beat Paul Goydos.

Stricker finished with a 258—26 under and a record for the tournament. Goydos, who shot a 59 in the opening round, shot a solid 66 but still fell short of beating Stricker, who won for the second time this year and ninth time in his career.

Jeff Maggert shot a 70 to finish six strokes back.

The guys head to St. Andrews for the British Open as another major is here. Stewart Cink defends his title. For those who did not qualify there is the Reno- Tahoe Open. John Rollins was the 2009 winner.




MOLINARI WINS SCOTTISH OPEN

Edoardo Molinari of Italy claimed his first European Tour victory at the Scottish Open, shooting a 3-over 74 to beat Darren Clarke by three shots Sunday.

Scoring was very high after a long spell of rain at Loch Lomond, where Molinari finished at 12-under 272.

Clarke, of Northern Ireland, had begun the day a shot behind Molinari but had a 76. Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin closed with a 68 to place third at 8 under.

Molinari’s younger brother Francesco Molinari , Stephen Gallacher of Scotland and Peter Hedblom of Sweden trailed Jacquelin by a stroke. John Daly had a 77 and finished 14 shots off the pace.

The victory lifted Molinari into sixth place in the world ranking points table that will provide the first four members of this year’s European Ryder Cup team.

British Open next week is where the world meets.



IN OTHER NEWS

Two big names had early departures from tournaments this week.

Michelle Wie had two rounds of 82-76-158, putting her 16-over during her worst performance in the US Womens Open. She didn’t come close to reaching the cut line of 10-over 152.


Phil Mickelson missed the cut Friday in the Scottish Open. Again he missed the opportunity to get to # 1 in the world rankings.

Mickelson hit three tee shots on the 18th hole midway through his second round on his way to a quintuple-bogey 9. He never got those shots back in his round of 3-over 74, missing the cut by one shot.


Greg Norman has decided against going to St. Andrews this year, pulling out of the British Open and the Wednesday exhibition of former champions on the Old Course.

He was replaced in the 156-man field Friday by Jason Day of Australia.


In an effort to get a better field of players before a major the John Deere folks started offering a charter flight for those who qualified for the Open and decided to play the Deere Classic.

The charter is non-stop, features 100 first-class seats and costs $1,250 per person, which is donated to the Birdies for Charity foundation, and the results are easily quantifiable.

This week’s John Deere Classic features three players in the top 20 in the World Golf Ranking The exact same number of top-20 players, by the by, that were in the field at last week’s AT&T National, an elite invitational unencumbered by the long shadow of major championship.

This idea worked so well other companies are getting into the act. The Travelers Championship added a charter from the U.S. Open to Hartford, Conn., and has enjoyed similar results.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 7- 4 -10

Happy 4th of July to everyone. Hope you all had a happy and healthy 4th and remembered what the holiday is all about.

ROSE DOESN'T WILT WINS AT&T
One week after a massive collapse at the Travelers, Justin Rose held to win the AT&T National by one stroke over Ryan Moore. It was Rose's second PGA Tour victory in the last month following his victory at the Memorial.

Rose had a five-shot advantage when he made the turn Sunday. Then came consecutive three-putt bogeys, and the 29-year-old Englishman had to battle for pars to the secure the victory.

He closed with an even-par 70 for the one-shot victory over Moore, who finished with eight straight one-putt greens for a 65.

Tiger Woods closed with a 71, marking the first time in 11 years that he failed to finish a regular PGA Tour event without breaking par in any of the four rounds.

Vijay Singh who has been struggling this year had a top ten finish.

The John Deere Classic is the next stop with Steve Stricker defending.



MIZE SHOOTS 64 TO TAKE NEW TOURNEY
Larry Mize shot a final-round 64 to win the inaugural Montreal Championship by one stroke over John Cook for his first career victory on the Champions Tour on Sunday.

The 1987 Masters champion had seven birdies, an eagle and a bogey on the 7,105-yard par-72 course.

The 51-year-old finished with a 54-hole total of 17-under. He tied for the low round of the final day with Bobby Clampett.

It was Mize’s first official win of any kind since the 1993 Buick Open on the PGA Tour.

Cook, the second-round leader, mounted a late charge but finished a stroke short. The four-time winner on the Champions Tour missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th to tie it, and left a 25-footer on 18 wide to the right.

Dan Forsman finished with a 65 and Corey Pavin had a 67 to tie for third place .



CHOI TAKES JAMIE FARR CLASSIC
Na Yeon Choi (Nah Yuhn Choy) made a 2 1/2 -foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to win the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

Choi converted a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to join fellow South Koreans In-Kyung Kim, Song-Hee Kim and American Christina Kim in Sunday’s playoff. After all four missed birdie putts on the first playoff hole, Choi hit her third shot close and rolled in the putt for her third career LPGA victory.

Choi had rounds of 64, 67, 68 and 71 to finish at 270.ampion.

Christina Kim had a 12-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to seal the win but missed it.

Next week is Open week for the ladies as the U.S. Womens Open takes place. Eun Hee Ji is last years Champion.



JIMENEZ WINS FRENCH OPEN
Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain has won the French Open on the first hole of a playoff against countryman Alejandro Canizares and Francesco Molinari of Italy.

The trio finished the fourth round at Le Golf National in Versailles at 11-under 273 Sunday. Jimenez shot a 67 and his two rivals had 68s.

Jimenez had a par on the playoff at No. 18, while Canizares twice hit his ball into the water and Molinari found a fairway bunker with his tee shot and the sand again with his third shot, an approach to the green.

Jimenez earned $613,000 for the victory, moving into the top nine of the qualifying list to automatically make Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

The Barclays Scottish Open is next on the European Tour. Martin Kaymer defends.



IN OTHER NEWS
Tiger Woods has switched to a Nike golf ball that has a slightly harder cover and spins less than his previous model, which might explain why he has been hitting his tee shots farther than he has all year.

And speaking of Tiger
Tiger Woods has made it official by sending in his entry form to play in the PGA Championship.

The PGA of America said Friday that Woods was among the first four players to enter. The others were Masters champion Phil Mickelson, U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell and two-time PGA champion Vijay Singh.

The PGA Championship will be played Aug. 12-15 at Whistling Straits, where Singh won in a three-man playoff in 2004.


Ryan Moore is off to St. Andrews.

Moore finished second, a stroke behind winner Justin Rose, on Sunday in the AT&T National to lock up a spot in the British Open.

Moore earned a spot because he was the leading player not already eligible among the top five at the AT&T National. Moore got in over Jeff Overton, who shot 67 to finish third; and Charlie Wi who shot 69 to finish fourth.



Listen to my podcast weekly at par3radio.podbean.com
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Have a great week!