Sunday, November 7, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 11-7-2010

MOLINARI  KING IN SHANGHI
It turned out to be a  duel down the stretch yet in the end Francesco Molinari outlasted Lee Westwood to capture the HSBC Champions for a one-shot victory to capture his first World Golf Championship .

Molinari closed with a 5-under 67 at Sheshan International for his first win this season, and only the second of his career. He spoiled the debut of Westwood as the world’s No. 1 player, although the Englishman put up a fight worthy of his ranking.

Two shots behind on the par-5 18th, Westwood hit a powerful drive that left him only an iron into the green. He had a 25-foot eagle putt to force a playoff, but the ball stayed left of the hole the entire way, and Westwood had to settle for a 67.

Tiger Woods  closed with a 68 and tied for sixth, 13 shots behind. It was only his third top 10 of the year, and his best finish since a tie for fourth at the U.S. Open. For the first time in his career, Woods failed to win on the PGA Tour, ending a streak of 14 years

Richie Ramsay of Scotland closed with a 71 and tied for third with Luke Donald who staggered in with  a 73.



SHIN CAPTURES MIZUNO CLASSIC
Jiyai Shin won the Mizuno Classic on Sunday for her second LPGA Tour victory of the season and eighth overall, closing with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over Yani Tseng.

Shin finished at 18 under after opening with rounds of 65 and 66 . The South Korean star, also the 2008 tournament winner in the event also sanctioned by the Japan LPGA, earned $180,000 to increase her season total  and to pull her within $3,535 of leader Na Yeon Choi with two events left.

Tseng, from Taiwan, shot a 66.

Stacy Lewis  was third at 15 under, Miki Saiki) was 12 under, and Choi , Brittany Lincicome  and Mika Miyazato followed at 11 under.

Tseng leads Japanese star Ai Miyazato by 14 points in the player of the year race. Shin and Choi are tied for third, 18 points behind Tseng.



COOK DEFENDS AND LANGER WINS POINT TITLE
John Cook successfully defended his title in the Champions Tour’s season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship on Sunday at Harding Park, and Bernhard Langer took his first season points title.


Cook shot 4-under 67 in steady drizzle after rain delayed the start of play, holing a 15-foot par putt on the 18th hole to beat Michael Allen by two strokes.

Cook began the day a shot behind Allen, but birdied two of the first three holes to take the lead for good. Cook finished at 17 under and earned $440,000 for his fifth career victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Allen, who grew up in the Bay Area, shot a 70 in the rainy, windy conditions that hampered his tee shots and forced the 2009 Senior PGA Championship winner to scramble most of the day.

Langer tied for third with David Frost at 12 under to wrap up the Schwab Cup points race and $1 million annuity. Fred Couples, the only player in position to catch Langer entering the tournament, closed with a 67 to tie for 10th at 9 under.



IN OTHER NEWS
The LPGA Tour’s Northwest Arkansas Championship will return next season.

Tournament officials said the event at Pinnacle Country Club will be played Sept. 9-11, and will offer a total purse of $2 million, with the winner earning $300,000.

Fourteen of the top 15 players on the LPGA Tour played in the fourth edition of the event in September, with Yani Tseng rallying to beat Michelle Wie by a stroke.



Shigeki Maruyama of Japan withdrew from the HSBC Champions one day after opening with a 76.

Maruyama pulled out because of a shoulder injury.

He was playing his first World Golf Championship of the year, eligible through winning the Golf Nippono Series JT Cup on the Japan Golf Tour late last year.



The PGA Tour's season-opening tournament at Kapalua has a new sponsor and a new name.

The tour announced Thursday that Hyundai Motor America has taken over as the title sponsor on Maui for a winners-only tournament that now will be called the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Seoul Broadcasting System had signed a deal through 2019 to be the sponsor, and will continue to support the tournament.

By changing the name of the tournament, the tour goes back to its tradition of when it began in 1953 in Las Vegas. It had been the ìTournament of Championsî until Mercedes began as sponsor in 1994.

The winners-only event moved to Kapalua in 1999. It most recently was called the SBS Championship.

Until next time.

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