Sunday, September 26, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 9-26-2010

 FURYK COMES UP BIG
Jim Furyk capped off a terrific year by winning the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup in a rainy day in Georgia.

He came to the final hole holding on to a thin one stroke lead after bogeying 17. Furyk then hit his tee shot , at the par 3 18th into a greenside bunker. With a 10 million dollar bonus riding on the shot , Furyk nearly holed the bunker shot and knocked in the 2 1/2 -foot par putt he had left to win the Tour Championship and capture a FedEx Cup that came down to the very last hole.

Furyk closed with an even-par 70 and a one-shot victory over Luke Donald in a steady rain at East Lake.
Donald, who chipped in from 100 feet for birdie on the 17th hole to keep his hopes alive, was waiting in the scoring trailer when Furyk hit his hybrid on the 230-yard closing hole into the bunker. A bogey would mean a sudden-death playoff to decide the FedEx Cup.

In its fourth year, it was by far the best of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Coming down to the final holes  five players  had a chance to win the cup including Nick Watney, who started the week as the No. 28 seed in a 30-man field.

It was all in Furyk’s hands when he birdied the 15th to build a three-shot lead, and Paul Casey bogeyed the 17th hole ahead of him. But Furyk had to scramble for bogey on the 16th, couldn’t reach the green on the 17th and made another bogey as he watched his lead slip to a single shot playing one of the toughest holes at East Lake.

Furyk was the No. 3 seed when the playoffs began, but was disqualified from the opener when he missed his pro-am time at The Barclays because the battery died in his cell phone, which he used for an alarm.

In the end, Furyk joined Tiger Woods as the only FedEx Cup champions to miss the first playoff event—Woods in 2007 because he didn’t want to play, Furyk this year because he couldn’t.

Furyk also became the first player to be outside the top 10 in the standings at the Tour Championship to win. Matt Kuchar, the No. 1 seed, shot a 71 and tied for 25th. This Sunday was so bizarre that Kuchar still had a chance to win the FedEx Cup.

Kuchar wound up second in the FedEx Cup and earns a $3 million bonus. Donald, who closed with a 70, moved up to third in the standings and picked up an extra $2 million.

With Furyk winning his third tournament of the year, he throws his name in the hat for PGA Tour player of the year consideration. No one else has won more than twice.

Next up is the Ryder Cup and the Viking Classic.



COCHRAN MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW
Russ Cochran is red hot. He won his second straight Champions Tour title, shooting a 1-under 71 on Sunday for a two-stroke victory over Tom Pernice Jr. in the SAS Championship.

Cochran, a winner for the first time on the 50-and-over tour weeks ago in South Korea, became the third wire-to-wire winner in tournament history, finishing at 14 under.

John Cook was third at 10 under, and Bernhard Langer, Mark Calcavecchia, Bobby Clampett and Ted Schulz  followed at 9 under.

Cochran bogeyed two of the first three holes, then played the final 15 in 3 under—birdieing Nos. 16 and 17to take the title.

Pernice eagled the par-5 17th to pull within one, but Cochran pulled away with his late birdies.

 Next up is the  Ensure Classic at Rock Barn.  Jay Haas defends.

 


 PARRY WINS ON EUROPEAN TOUR
John Parry of England captured his first European Tour title Sunday, winning the Vivendi Cup by two strokes over Johan Edfors of Sweden after shooting a 2-under 70.

The 23-year-old Parry, a former Walker Cup player who turned professional in 2007, finished at 17-under 271 at Golf de Joyenval Club.

Edfors had a 71 to finish a stroke ahead of five players: Francois Delamontagne of France, Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands, Jarmo Sandelin of Sweden  and Soren Kjeldsen and Mark Haastrup , both of Denmark.

Padraig Harrington showed signs of rounding into form ahead of the Ryder Cup, which begins Friday at Celtic Manor. The Irishman shot a 64 to finish tied for eighth at 13 under, ending the weekend with 15 birdies and an eagle.



SMITH WINS WNB CLASSIC
Nate Smith won the WNB Golf Classic for his first Nationwide Tour title, shooting a 6-under 66 on Sunday for a two-stroke victory over Alistair Presnell, Fabian Gomez and Brandt Jobe.

Smith, the 27-year-old former Duke player in his first season on the tour, finished at 18 under on the Midland Country Club course. He jumped from 78th to 25th on the money list . The final top 25 on the money list will earn 2011 PGA Tour cards.

Presnell closed with a 65, Gomez shot a 66, and Jobe had a 68.



IN OTHER NEWS
Construction of Tiger Woods' first American golf course, The Cliffs at High Carolina near Asheville, N.C., is back in full swing after developers agreed to reduce the planned impact the layout would have on area trout streams by almost half the original design.

Woods said in a statement Thursday that new routing makes the course a tad shorter and some of the walks between greens and tees a little longer, but does not take away from his intent to have a walkable, mountain course with breathtaking views.



U.S. captain Corey Pavin says the Phil Mickelson’s wife is planning to make the trip to the Ryder Cup.

Amy Mickelson has only been to the golf course one time since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2009. She showed up in the final hour at Augusta National to watch her husband win the Masters for the third time. So that is good news as she continues to get better.




Ryder Cup rookie Peter Hanson of Sweden has withdrawn from the French Vivendi Cup due to an illness just over a week before he is due to tee off for the European team.

The 32-year-old advised officials Thursday he is struggling with a head cold, chest infection and fever.

Hanson will return home from France, but hopes to recover before heading to the Celtic Manor course in Wales on Monday for the Oct. 1-3 Ryder Cup.

That's it for this week

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ELS ELECTED TO HALL OF FAME

(AP) Ernie Els has been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in the first year he was on the ballot.

Els, a three-time major champion from South Africa with 62 victories around the world, received 66 percent of the vote from a panel of journalists, golf officials and Hall of Fame members.

Doug Ford, whose 19 wins on the PGA Tour include the Masters and PGA Championship, and two-time major winner Jock Hutchison from Scotland were elected through the Veteran’s Category.

The Hall of Fame also will have a former U.S. president enshrined for the second straight time. Former president George H.W. Bush was selected in the Lifetime Achievement category.





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Sunday, September 19, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 9 - 19 -2010

It's a very slow week in the golf world as most tours take the week off but there was some action around the world.

 LARA WINS AUSTRIAN OPEN
Jose Manuel Lara of Spain won his second European Tour title on Sunday, beating David Lynn of England on the first playoff hole at the Austrian Open.

Lara had 10 birdies in an 8-under 64, including a 35-foot putt on No. 18 to finish at 17-under 271 and force the playoff. Lynn, who shared the overnight lead, had seven birdies in a 68.

Lynn drove into the rough on the first playoff hole and missed a 15-foot putt for par. Lara two-putted from 30 feet for a par that gave him his first victory since the 2007 Hong Kong Open.

Lynn had shared the third-round lead with fellow Englishman Danny Willett, who shot a 71 to finish three strokes back, tied for third with Alexander Noren of Sweden and U.S. Open Champion Graeme McDowell.



HAAS WINS BOISE OPEN
Hunter Haas became the Nationwide Tour's fourth two-time winner of the season, and moved to No. 4 on the money list, with his victory at the Boise Open. 
 
Daniel Summerhays the third round leader,missed a birdie attempt of his own at the 18th that would have forced a playoff and finished a stroke back.

Jhonattan Vegas, Keegan Bradley, Kirk Triplett, and John Mallinger tied for third 4 strokes back.



DAVIES WINS SPANISH OPEN
English star Laura Davies won the Spanish Women’s Open on Sunday for her 76th worldwide victory, closing with an even-par 71 for a two-stroke victory over American Christina Kim, England’s Rebecca Hudson and Australia’s Frances Bondad.


Davies,won earlier  this year on the Ladies European Tour in New Zealand, Germany and Austria,finished at 11 under after opening with rounds of 65 and 66 on the Flamingos course. She overcame a quadruple-bogey Davies  broke her own record as the oldest winner in Ladies European Tour history. She has 43 LET victories, 20 LPGA Tour titles and 13 other tour victories.



JEON WINS ON JLPGA
Mi-Jeong Jeon opened with a 33 and closed with 4 straight birdies for a 64 to win  the Munsingwear Ladies Tokai Classic over Sun-Ju Ahn, who shot a 65 of her own to pass 2nd-round co-leaders Na-Ri Kim and Sakura Yokomine.

Jeon extended her lead on the 2010 JLPGA money list and she became the 1st 3-time winner on the JLPGA this season and moved her career JLPGA victory total to 16.



 IN OTHER NEWS
Golf Channel announced Wednesday that it will develop the network’s first-ever morning show. Tentatively titled "Dawn Patrol", the show is slated to debut in January. Scheduled to air live, weekdays from 7-9 a.m. ET from Golf Channel’s Orlando studios, the show will feature news and commentary on the biggest sports and news stories of the day.




Padraig Harrington is refusing to underestimate Tiger Woods heading into next month’s Ryder Cup, insisting the American retains an “intimidation factor” despite his lack of success this year.

The No. 1-ranked Woods only made it onto the United States team after receiving a wild card by captain Corey Pavin and has not won a tournament this year.

“He is the No.1 golfer in the world still by rankings,” Harrington added. “He has a presence—an intimidation factor.”




The LPGA will return to suburban Los Angeles next year.

A new venue that’s actually an old LPGA venue is news in the announcement that Kia Motors America is extending its title sponsorship for two years with the event moving to Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms next year. It will mark the first LPGA event in the Los Angeles area since 2005.

La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad hosted the inaugural Kia Classic this year but was unable to continue to host due to a planned golf course renovation next year, according to the LPGA.



Sean Foley vs Stack and Tilt - interesting article on Tiger's new "consultant/coach" and his theories on the golf swing.   http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/2010-09/photos-stack-tilt-sean-foley#intro




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Sunday, September 12, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 9-12-2010

JOHNSON DRIVES THE BMW

Dustin Johnson , who had an 82 in the final round of the U.S. Open, and grounded his club in a bunker in the PGA, birdied the 17th hole and took home the BMW Championship. Paul Casey was the runner up.

Casey grabbed the lead and had it or a share of it all day,at one point it was 3 strokes , but as usual Casey choked and fell into a tie with Johnson. Johnson was steady all day and made the big birdie when it counted.

Johnson moved to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings and will have a shot at the $10 million bonus in two weeks at East Lake.

Matt Kuchar tied for third and will be the No. 1 seed in two weeks at East Lake. He was at 7 under and needed a birdie for any hope of getting into a sudden-death playoff, but he ran his birdie putt about 3 1/2 feet by the hole.

The Tour takes next week off, but will return in 2 weeks with The Tour Championship.



TSENG COMES FROM BEHIND TO WIN IN ARKANSAS

Yani Tseng shot a 65 and came from behind to defeat Michelle Wie by one stroke and win the P&G NorthWest Arkansas Championship.

Wie, trying for her second straight victory, had the lowest nine-hole score on the LPGA Tour this year on Saturday. She finished the second round at 10 under, three strokes ahead of Juli Inkster, Tseng and Na Yeon Choi .

But Tseng was spot on today as she birdied four of five holes early on the back nine, then held on for a one-stroke victory over Wie with a birdie on No. 18. She finished at 13-under for three rounds. Wie gave up the lead Sunday during a shaky back nine the same half of the course she played in 7-under 28 during a great stretch Saturday.

Mika Miyazato took third at 10 under.



COCHRAN TAKES CHAMPIONS TOUR EVENT IN ASIA

Russ Cochran won the Songdo Championship on Sunday for his first Champions Tour victory after making a birdie on the opening hole of a playoff with Fred Funk in the 50-and-over circuit’s first event in Asia.

The 51-year-old left-hander finished at 12-under 204 on the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea to earn $456,000. He won the 1991 Western Open for his lone PGA Tour title.

Cochran, who shot a final-round 66 to force the playoff, tapped in for the win after splashing a shot from the bunker to about a foot from the hole.

Funk, who began the day with a two-stroke lead, shot a 68. He had a chance to win in regulation, but missed 3-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th.

He landed his approach into a bunker on the playoff hole—a replay of the 18th—but failed to get up and down and extend the match.


KAYMER WINS KLM OPEN

PGA champion Martin Kaymer shot a final round 4-under 66 to win the KLM Open by four strokes on Sunday.

The German, who had led by one shot overnight, carded five birdies and only one bogey when he missed the green at the short 10th hole, to stay top of the leaderboard all day and finish with a 14-under total of 266.

Sweden’s Christian Nilsson and Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti both shot 69s to finish joint second at 10 under.

The win was the 25-year-old Kaymer’s seventh on the European Tour and his third in 2010 following victories in Abu Dhabi and last month’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Next week the tour goes to Austria for the Austrian Golf Open. Rafael Cabrera - Bello defends.



PUTNAM GAINS FIRST NATIONWIDE TITLE

Michael Putnam fired a 4-under 67 Sunday to come from behind and win the Utah Championship by three strokes over Venezuela's Jhonnatan Vegas and New Zealand's Bradley Iles. Putnam finished at 18-under 266 and collected his first victory since turning professional in 2005.

Putnam, the 36-hole leader, began the final round at Willow Creek Country Club at 14 under and one shot back of Iles, who stayed one step in front briefly with a birdie at the second hole. A string of four birdies in five holes to close the front nine gave the former Pepperdine University standout the lead for good.






IN OTHER NEWS

Tiger Woods is not guaranteed to play in the maximum five matches against Europe in next month’s Ryder Cup. Pavin is not the type to be scared of limiting Woods' play.

The top-ranked Woods, chosen as one of U.S. captain Corey Pavin's four wild-card picks last week, will be playing in his sixth Ryder Cup but has only been on the winning side once, in 1999.

Woods, a 14-time major winner but without a tournament victory this year, has picked up 11 points from a possible 25 in the Ryder Cup. He has won three of his five singles matches but only seven of 20 matches in foursomes and fourballs, which are played in pairs on the opening two days.


Tiger Woods was officially eliminated from the FedEx Cup Playoffs Sunday, but the closest player to being his rival says the world No. 1 is closer than people think to a return to form.

Phil Mickelson ,the #2 ranked player in the world , believes Woods is very close to being back in top form.

“I think he is inches away from being there,” Mickelson said after the two played together in the final round of the BMW.

Mickelson shot a 4-under-par 67 to Woods’ 70. Woods has gotten the best of Mickelson just once the last eight times they’ve been paired together.


Nearly three weeks after her strange disqualification from a tournament in Oregon, Juli Inkster is still a bit vexed.

Inkster said the fact that viewers can alert officials of possible violations can put players who earn more exposure at risk.

Inkster isn’t the only big name to be disqualified lately. Jim Furyk was declared ineligible for The Barclays last month when he overslept and was late for his pro-am tee time.

“And then you’ve got other people out here that are doing stuff that’s illegal, and they are getting away with it,” Inkster said.


That's it for this week.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

VERPLANK PULLS A FAVRE 9-9-2010

Just when we thought he was done for the season, Scott Verplank, who withdrew from the Deutsche Bank with an injury, showed up to play in the BMW Championship. Apparently, he took a cortisone shot and heavilly wrapped the wrist and decided to play.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 9-7-2010

The picks are in. Captain Corey Pavin announced his four picks today. They are Tiger Woods, Zach Johnson, Stewart Cink, and Rickie Fowler. That last one is a bit of a surprise but a great Pr move and the kid has had a terrific year. We'll see next month.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 9-6-2010

HOFFMAN GOES LOW IN BOSTON

Charlie Hoffman
won the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second leg of the FedEx playoffs. He made 11 birdies, and that was more than enough to win the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Hoffman ran off four straight birdies early to make up a four-shot deficit, and he kept right on going Monday on the TPC Boston. He closed with a 9-under 62 to win the second playoff event and go to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings. His margin of victory was five strokes over Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy, and Luke Donald.

Tiger Woods shot 68 and tied for 11th. It was enough to keep the No. 1 ranking when Phil Mickelson again blew a good chance to replace him. Mickelson made two double bogeys on the back nine and wound up with a 76.

Next week round 3 of the playoffs at the BMW Championships. Tiger Woods defends.




SCHULZ GETS FIRST VICTORY


Ted Schulz won the First Tee Open on Sunday for his first Champions Tour title, holing a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach en route to a 2-under 70 and a one-stroke victory over Tom Pernice Jr.

The 50-year-old Schulz—in the field as an alternate in his 12th start on the 50-and-over tour—finished at 14-under 202. It was his first victory since winning the 1991 Nissan Open for the second of his two PGA Tour titles

Pernice finished with a 67. Mark Calcavecchia and Tom Kite closed with 69s to tie for third at 12 under. Fred Couples (68) followed at 11 under.

Jeff Sluman, the 2008 and 2009 winner, shot a 71 to finish at 6 under.

Next week is a new event in South Korea the Posco E&C Songdo Championship.




JIMINEZ WINS EUROPEAN MASTERS


Miguel Angel Jimenez won the European Masters on Sunday, shooting a 4-under 67 to beat
Edoardo Molinari by three strokes.

Jimenez finished at 21-under 263 to secure his third European Tour victory of the year, following wins in Dubai and France.


Molinari also shot a 67, while fellow Italian Matteo Manassero had a 68 to finish third another two shots back.

Despite his convincing victory margin, the 46-year-old Jimenez nearly faltered on the back nine.

After leading by three shots going into the final round, the Spaniard extended his advantage to six as he covered his first nine holes in 4-under.

But in the space of four holes that lead was cut to just one stroke as Molinari produced birdies at the 12th and 14th holes, and then holed a 2-foot eagle putt at the par-5 15th.

With Jimenez having bogeyed the 14th, there was a chance Molinari might produce a late dash for the line for the second weekend running. He birdied the last three holes to come from behind and win the Johnnie Walker Championship last Sunday.




KISNER WINS MYLAN CLASSIC

Kevin Kisner won the inaugural Mylan Classic for his first Nationwide Tour title, closing with a bogey-free 4-under 67 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Geoffrey Sisk.

Kisner finished at 13-under 271 at Southpointe Golf Club and earned $108,000 to jump from 50th to 14th on the money list with $194,692. The final top 25 on the list will earn 2011 season PGA Tour cards.

“This game is so much about winning and you have to beat 155 great players in order to have a chance,” Kisner said. “This is pretty special.”

Kisner closed with a 4-foot par putt, but didn’t know that Sisk (71) had fallen behind with a double bogey on the 17th. The 45-year-old Sisk then failed to birdie the 72nd hole, giving Kisner the title.




DAVIES TAKES AUSTRIAN LADIES OPEN

England’s Laura Davies won the Austrian Ladies Open on Sunday for her 75th worldwide victory, closing with a 2-under 70 to beat France’s Virginie Lagoutte-Clement by a stroke.

Davies, also the winner in 2007 and 2008 and second last year, finished at 11-under 205. She won with a birdie on the final hole after hitting a shot from a greenside bunker to 6 feet.





IN OTHER NEWS

Scott Verplank could no longer hold onto a golf club and figured there was no point in playing.

Verplank was back in Oklahoma on Sunday waiting to get an MRI on his left wrist a day after he withdrew from the Deutsche Bank Championship after four holes in the second round. He says he has been fighting the injury the last two months, and it reached a point at the TPC Boston where he could not control where the club was pointed



One week after Jim Furyk was knocked out of a tournament for oversleeping and missing his pro-am time, Chad Campbell was disqualified Saturday at the Deutsche Bank Championship when officials realized he never registered for the tournament.

Much like the formality of signing a scorecard at the end of a round, PGA Tour players must register when they get to a tournament before it starts. Campbell arrived Tuesday evening, practiced all week and even played Friday, opening with a 1-over 72.


Nationwide Insurance announced Friday it will end its title sponsorship of the PGA Tour’s developmental circuit when the contract expires in two years.

Instead, Nationwide will stay involved in golf starting in 2011 as the presenting sponsor of the Memorial Tournament, founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus.

The company, based in nearby Columbus, Ohio, has been the title sponsor of the development tour for the past eight years.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said his tour was economically healthy and had survived a difficult financial climate, but would be looking to find a replacement sponsor for the Nationwide Tour.


That's it for this week.

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