Sunday, August 22, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 8-22-2010

ATWAL GETS FIRST PGA TOUR VICTORY

Arjun Atwal made a clutch par on No. 18 of the Wyndham Championship to post his first PGA Tour win.

He’s the first Indian-born player to win on tour and the first to win both the qualifier and the tournament in 24 years.

David Toms (64) was 19 under. John Mallinger and Michael Sim both shot 62s and were joined by John Rollins (65) and Justin Leonard (65) at 18 under.

Atwal was on top coming into the final round, but was challenged all day by numerous golfers including Lucas Glover, David Toms, and Justin Leonard. At one point, there were seven players sharing the lead at -18.

Atwal reclaimed the lead with a birdie on No. 14, Leonard birdied No. 17 and Toms birdied No. 18 to join them at 19 under. Leonard dropped back a stroke when he bogeyed 18 and Toms was the clubhouse leader at -19.

Atwal made his move on the par-3 16th, plopping his tee shot 6 feet from the flagstick and sinking his birdie putt to move to 20 under. He followed that with consecutive pars, sinking a 7-foot putt on No. 18 closing out his first tour victory.

Next up the playoffs begin at The Barclays. Heath Slocum will be defending.



JELD WEN GETS FUNKY

Fred Funk won the Jeld-Wen Tradition for the second time in three years, closing with a 3-under 69 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Michael Allen and Chien Soon Lu in the fourth of the Champions Tour’s five majors.

Funk took the lead with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th HOLE , then two-putted from 40 feet for par at 18 to finish at 12- on the Sunriver Resort’s Crosswater Golf Club course.

Allen shot a 67, and Lu had a 69.

Lu had a chance to tie Funk at 18, narrowly missing a 40-foot chip shot for birdie. Allen reached 12 under after a birdie at 15, but gave a stroke back with a bogey at 16.

Tom Lehman the third round leader shot a 73 and tied for fourth at 10 under with Mark Calcavecchia.

Bernard Langer, attempting to become the second player in Champions Tour history to win three consecutive majors, shot a 73 to tie for 10th at 8 under.

This may be the last Jeld Wen tournament as the company announced that it would no longer be sponsoring this event. The Champions Tour is expected to announce its plans for the tournament this week.

Next up for the over 50 crowd is the Boeing Classic. Loren Roberts is the 2009 winner.



MIYAZATO TAKES SAFEWAY CLASSIC

Ai Miyazato won her fifth LPGA victory of the year by taking the Safeway Classic by two strokes over Christie Kerr. The victory moves Miyazato into the #1 spot in the world rankings.

She closed with an even-par 72 to finish at 11 under, two strokes in front of Cristie Kerr, ranked No. 1 going into the event, and Na Yeon Choi.

Kerr shadowed Miayzato throughout the final round until hitting into the water on the par-4 18th.

Miyazato and Song Hee Kim, playing in the final pairing of the day, battled on the back nine holes after Kim pulled even with Miyazato with a chip from under a tree to birdie the par-3 11th.

But Kim dropped two shots with bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes.

Playing in the group in front of them, Kerr was steady—but missed a chance to pull even with Miyazato by misjudging a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 17. Her chances slipped away with the shot into the water on the final hole.

The ladies head north to Canada for the CN Canadian Women's Open. Suzann Petterson defends.



HANSON WINS CZECH OPEN

(AP)—Peter Hanson has won the Czech Open after a three-way playoff with Gary Boyd and Peter Lawrie, keeping his Ryder Cup hopes alive.

The Swede won the European Tour event with an 18-foot birdie on Sunday’s second extra hole—the par-4 18th.

Hanson needed a victory to have a chance of making Colin Montgomerie’s European team for the Ryder Cup.

Hanson led by four strokes overnight, but had a disastrous front nine that included three straight bogeys. He shot a 2-over 74 to finish at 10-under 278 at the Prosper Golf Resort.

Lawrie started eight shots behind Hanson and produced an eagle on the 10th and closed with a 66, while rookie Boyd had a 68.

Next week's tournament is the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Peter Hedblom defends.




IN OTHER NEWS


Rory McIlroy indicated he'd love to go head-to-head with the No.-1 player in the world:Tiger Woods

"I would love to face him," McIlroy told the BBC. "Unless his game rapidly improves ... I think anyone in the European team would fancy their chances against him."

Rory remember Stephen Ames, who provoked Tiger before the World Match Play event in 2006 and then got hammered 9-and-8, or Rory Sabbatini, who said in 2007 that Woods was beatable and then proceeded to collapse over the rest of his season. This Tiger is down and easier prey to be sure but be careful what you wish for




Juli Inkster was disqualified from the LPGA Safeway Classic for using a weighted training aid on her club while waiting on the No. 10 hole on the Ghost Creek Course. Inkster, who had a 30 minute wait for the No. 10 hole, apparently used a “doughnut” weight on her 9-iron to stay loose.

LPGA Director of Tournament Competitions Sue Witters said a viewer noticed the device from the television broadcast of the event and contacted tournament officials. Apparently some eople have a lot of time on their hand.

Inkster issued a brief statement.

“I had a 30-minute wait and I needed to loosen up,” she said. “It had no effect on my game whatsoever, but it is what it is. I’m very disappointed.”



Steve Williams doesn’t believe his job as Tiger Woods’ caddie is under any threat, despite media speculation about their 11-year association and concern over the champion golfer’s form.


Williams told New Zealand radio Wednesday that he and Woods remain close friends and there is no possibility their working relationship is about to end.


That's it for this week.

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