Monday, October 4, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 10-4-2010

EUROPE WINS RYDER CUP
The Europeans hung on to win  the Ryder Cup by one point as the United States team made a terrific comeback but fell short. The Americans rallied from a three-point deficit to tie the score, bringing the title down to the 12th match. It all came down to Graeme McDowell vs Hunter Mahan.


McDowell made a clutch birdie putt at the 16th and was conceded his par putt at No. 17 when  Mahan flubbed a chip shot, then missed a last-gasp putt from off the green to save par

The youngest  American,  Rickie Fowler, gave the visiting team hope of pulling off an improbable comeback when he won the final three holes to halve his match with Edoardo Molinari. Fowler rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the 17th to extend the match, then made an 18-footer at the final hole to stun the Italian.

A few minutes later, Zach Johnson finished off a  win over Padraig Harrington, evening the score at 13½.

That brought it down to McDowell vs. Mahan.

The Irishman was 3 up with seven holes left. But he made a bogey at No. 12, and an errant tee shot at the 15th, a short par-4, handed Mahan another hole.


With Fowler's half-point, Mahan merely had to halve his match for a 14-14 tie that would've kept the trophy in American hands.

But McDowell rolled in a downhill putt from 15 feet at No. 16 for a  birdie. When Mahan made a mess of the 17th hole, the winner didn't even have to bother with his final putt.

The Europeans got off to a strong start in singles, but U.S. captain Corey Pavin backloaded his lineup in hopes of rallying at the end. It almost worked.

Tiger Woods played in the eighth spot and routed Francesco Molinari 4 and 3, even after losing the first two holes. The world’s top-ranked player finally looked like it, holing out from the fairway at No. 12 for eagle and playing 15 holes at 9 under.

Phil Mickelson, who lost all three of his team matches, played in the 10th spot and beat Peter Hanson 4 and 2.

But the Europeans put up just enough points to reclaim the cup. Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Miguel Angel Jimenez the oldest player at this Ryder Cup won their matches. Rory McIlroy pulled out a crucial half-point against Stewart Cink, whose putter went ice cold down the stretch..

And so we wait for two years for a shot at winning the cup back.

This was an event marked with bad weather, ugly uniforms, and just confusion and chaos all along the way by the U.S team.

The 2012 Ryder Cup will be held on U.S. soil at the  Medinah Country Club, outside of Chicago.



HAAS WINS VIKING CLASSIC
Bill Haas overcame five bogeys in the final round to win the Viking Classic by three strokes on Sunday. Haas, who never trailed in the tournament, bogeyed the first hole, and had four bogeys on the back nine—including one of the par-5 18th. He also scattered five birdies to finish at 15-under 273 for his second victory of the year.

Michael Allen came as close to being a threat as anyone, tying Haas on No. 12, only to drive out of bounds on the next hole and ending up with a double bogey. He had a 71 and finished at 12 under. Allen, 51, who turned professional in 1984, has now played in 357 PGA tournaments without a victory.

D.J. Trahan and Brendon de Jonge  tied for third at 277, and three players finished another shot back.

Next week the Tour reunites for the McGladrey Classic. A new event on the Fall schedule.




HALLBERG TAKES ENSURE CLASSIC
Gary Hallberg shot a record-setting 11-under 61 Sunday to win the Ensure Classic by one stroke ahead of Fred Couples.

Hallberg finished at 18-under 198, tying the event record at the Rock Barn Golf and Spa and winning his first career Champions Tour title. Hallberg bettered the final-round record of 62, set by Bob Tway earlier Sunday. Tway’s round had surpassed the former mark of 64 set by Doug Tewell in 2004.

Hallberg—whose best finish on the tour had been a tie for second in the 2008 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn.—tied the overall tournament record, first set by R.W. Eaks in the first round in 2008, and tied a Champions Tour final-round record by a tournament winner, set by Rocky Thompson in 1994 and tied by Loren Roberts in 2006..

Couples, who led the tournament after Saturday’s second round, had a chance to force a playoff, but he missed an eight-foot putt for birdie on No. 18. He shot 67 on Sunday, and finished the three-day tournament at 199.

Bernhard Langer, who now leads Couples by 644 points in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, finished third at 200. Tway was one stroke back, and Morris Hatalsky  was two shots behind.




 BOWDITCH TOPS FIELD AT SOBOBA CLASSIC
Australian Steven Bowditch shot a final-round 68 on Sunday to set the tournament record of 19-under par, winning the Soboba Golf Classic by three shots for his second career Nationwide Tour victory.
Soboba Classic
Bowditch made birdie at the first and eagle at the sixth, and was never seriously challenged during the final round. Daniel Summerhays also shot 4-under 68 to finish alone at 16 under, and Keegan Bradley (71) and B.J. Staten (70) were another two shots back.

The victory and its $180,000 first-place check moved Bowditch from 76th to No. 11 on the money list with four weeks left in the season. The top 25 earn PGA Tour cards for 2011.



IN OTHER NEWS

The raingear the U.S. team is wearing looked like basketball warmups and   is absorbing too much water for the U.S. players. After 2 hours of play in the rain Friday  the US Team Captain Corey Pavin decided to go to the merchandise tent and buy new raingear. Apparently they knew about this problem on Tuesday but ignored the problem until it became a real problem on Friday.




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