Sunday, August 8, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 8-8-2010

MAHAN SHOOTS HIS WAY TO VICTORY

Hunter Mahan ran off five birdies on the front nine to make up a four-shot deficit, delivered three clutch pars down the stretch to protect his lead and closed with a 6-under 64 for a two-shot victory over Ryan Palmer .

He won his first World Golf Championship title and moved to No. 12 in the world ranking. And he won for the second time this year, becoming the fifth player this year with multiple victories on the PGA Tour.

Retief Goosen, the 36-hole leader until a triple bogey on the opening hole Saturday, closed with a 65 and tied for third with Bo Van Pelt, who shot a 67. Sean O’Hair, who shared the 54-hole lead with Palmer, shot 71 and wound up alone in fifth.

Tiger Woods had perhaps one of the worst tournaments of his career shooting +18 and barely avoided last place. Phil Mickelson looked just as bad during the final round. With his best chance ever to replace Woods at No. 1 in the world—Mickelson was tied for 10th and needed to finish alone in fourth—the Masters champion sprayed shots all over Firestone on his way to a 78.

Next week is the PGA Championship the last major of the year.


LUNDE TAKES TURNING STONE GETS INTO LAST MAJOR

Bill Lunde earned a spot in next week’s PGA Championship by winning the Turning Stone Resort Championship on Sunday.

Lunde shot 6-under 66 and rallied for the come-from-behind victory with a 17-under 271 total on the 7,482-yard layout. He earned $720,000, a PGA Tour exemption through the end of 2012 and 250 FedEx Cup points for his first PGA Tour win in 53 career starts.

Lunde made the weekend cut by one stroke at 3 under and vaulted into contention with a 64 on Saturday.

J.J. Henry finished runner-up at 16 under after he tied the course record with a 63. Jerry Kelly, Josh Teater, Michael Sim, Billy Mayfair and Alex Cejka tied for third place at 15 under. Cejka was the leader after the second and third rounds, but closed with an even-par 72.

FROST BREAKS THRU

David Frost made a 25-foot putt for eagle on the 18th hole to finish an 11-under 61 on Sunday and win the3M Championship in record-setting fashion.

It is the first career Champions Tour win for Frost, whose 25-under 191 was two shots better than the previous tournament scoring record set by R.W. Eaks in 2008. His final-round score beat by one the tournament’s previous lowest round set by Dana Quigley in 2008.

Frost also tied the tour scoring record for a 54-hole tournament. His 191 total tied Bruce Fleisher’s mark at the 2002 Vantage Championship and matched by Loren Roberts at the 2006 MasterCard Championship at Hualalai and Bernhard Langer at the 2007 Administaff Small Business Classic. Roberts and Langer were 25 under; Fleisher was 19 under on a par-70 course.

Mark Calcavecchia, who was tied with Frost for the 36-hole lead, but finished five shots behind in second after a 4 under 68 at the TPC Twin Cities.

Nick Price,shot a 64 and tied Tommy Armour III and David Peoples for third, eight shots behind.

The tour is idle next week but reurn the 19 for the Jeld Wen Tradition.



IN OTHER NEWS

A proposal that would require PGA Tour members to compete in certain tournaments passed its first test and is on track to be adopted before the end of the Fall Series.

In an effort to bolster tournaments that typically get weak fields, the concept is to designate a small number of events and demand players choose one to play. The policy board approved the idea at a meeting last week in West Virginia, which was the first step.

“Because it’s a tournament regulation, it has to be passed twice,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. “It was preliminarily approved in concept. Now we go back to the PAC (Players Advisory Council) and work through the details, get some player input and bring it back to the fall meeting.”

What remains are the details, starting with how many tournaments would be designated and which players would be required to play. The tour could use the FedEx Cup standings, money list or even the world ranking from a previous year to determine who it affects.

It would be the closest thing the tour has had to mandatory participation, although it falls short of the “1-in-4” concept of the LPGA Tour in which players must compete in every tournament at least once over a four-year span.




Golf fans who want to watch the 2012 PGA Championship in person should get in line now.

Up to 44,000 people a day attended last year’s major at Hazeltine National in Minnesota. But organizers for the 2012 event at Kiawah Island say Pete Dye’s narrow, marsh-filled Ocean Course layout can’t accommodate such crowds.

They plan to limit access to about 27,000 people a day. Kiawah Island Golf Resort president Roger Warren says that will guarantee a better experience for everyone.

The Ocean Course was built for the 1991 Ryder Cup and was the backdrop for Robert Redford’s 2000 movie “The Legend of Bagger Vance.” The course hosted the 2005 PGA Club Professional championships and the Senior PGA event two years later.




Ben Curtis and Boo Weekley are going to the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits despite falling from the top 100 in the world ranking.

The PGA of America changed its criteria last year to require that members of the most recent Ryder Cup team stay within the top 100. Officials offered special invitations to Curtis, Weekley and others to fill its 156-man field.

The PGA Championship gave exemptions to everyone in the top 100 in Monday’s ranking who were not already eligible. It also invited three players outside the top 100 – Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain, Simon Khan of England and Seung-Yul Noh of South Korea.





Alexis Thompson, the 15-year-old golfer who recently turned pro, won't be looking to join the LPGA any time soon.

Thompson's coach Jim McLean said Thompson will not seek any kind of waiver from the LPGA's 18-year-old minimum-age requirement. Players can seek an exemption from the commissioner if they so choose.

He went on to say that Thompson's parents had observed what happened to Michelle Wie — too much too fast too soon — and want to allow Lexi to be a kid.




The PGA Tour’s stop in Charlotte will have a new name when Rory McIlroy defends his title next year, as the Quail Hollow Championship will be renamed the Wells Fargo Championship.


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