Sunday, December 12, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 12-12-2010

 JOHNSON AND POULTER WIN SHOOTOUT
Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter won the Shark Shootout Sunday, shooting a 13-under 59 in the scramble format to beat Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell by two shots.

Johnson and Poulter grabbed the lead with birdies on their first four holes and never looked back, finishing at 30-under 186 at Tiburon Golf Club. Clarke and McDowell (59) never got closer than two strokes.

The two teams passed second-round co-leaders Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker (64), and Fred Funk and Kenny Perry (66).

Kelly and Stricker, the defending champions, tied for third at 26 under with Chris DiMarco and Anthony Kim (61).

The 12 teams in the tournament hosted by Greg Norman played modified alternate shot on Friday and better ball on Saturday at Tiburon Golf Club.



2011 EUROPEAN TOUR KICKS OFF
Pablo Martin survived a disastrous triple bogey to successfully defended his Alfred Dunhill Championship title Sunday, shooting a 2-under 70 for a two-shot victory.

The Spaniard had a 7 at the par-4 17th but recovered to birdie the last for an 11-under 277 at Leopard Creek Country Club. He was two clear of Thorbjorn Olesen, Charl Schwartzel  and Anthony Michael, who took a one-stroke lead into the final round of the European Tour event.

He had surged ahead with an eagle-birdie start, and opened a five-shot lead through 11 holes following birdies on Nos. 7 and 9. With a three-shot lead on the tee at No. 17, the triple bogey then cut his advantage over playing partner Michael to one stroke with one hole to play.

But Martin recovered to put his second shot on the par-5 No. 18 on the middle of the green, and Michael found the water to end his chances.

Martin finished with a birdie four for successive victories at the European Tour’s season-opening tournament, winning a $210,000 check. He is the first winner on the 2010-11 Race to Dubai and the first player to retain a European Tour title since Padraig Harrington won a second straight British Open in 2008.

Next week is the South African Open Championship, which of course is not in Europe.



TINNING WINS THEN RETIRES
Danish veteran Iben Tinning won her final tournament on Saturday after shooting a 3-under 69 at the Dubai Ladies Masters.
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The 36-year-old Tinning, who is retiring after 15 years on the tour, ended at 11-under 277. She beat Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist by two shots and England’s Melissa Reid by three in the season-ending tournament at the Emirates Golf Club.
It was Tinning’s sixth tour victory and her first since 2005.

Holding a one shot lead over Reid and Nordqvist going down the 18th, Tinning managed to get safely on the green in three and then holed a 15-foot birdie putt for the win.

Reid, whose drive went into the woods, ended up bogeying the hole to fall into third place.

Lee-Anne Pace won the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit despite struggling to a tie for 52nd at 299. She became the first South African to top the women’s money list when Laura Davies of England failed to finish first or second.
American Michelle Wie, struggling with back problems all week, was eight shots behind going into the final round, but moved up to a share for sixth place after shooting a 67, the best score of the day, to finish at 283.


IN OTHER NEWS
The Golf Channel is going the morning show route.


The network said Friday it will introduce a weekday morning news show, starting Jan. 3. Golf will be the focus for "Morning Drive," but hosts Erik Kuselias and Gary Williams will briefly fill in duffers on general news and weather.


Programming chief Tom Stathakes says the show will be reminiscent of MSNBC's "Morning Joe." He wishes Golf Channel had done this earlier because some days it doesn't present fresh programming until evening.


Kuselias has worked for ESPN radio and TV networks, hosting "NASCAR Now" and "College Football Live." Williams has been doing the early morning program on Sirius/XM's Mad Dog Radio.






Consumer products maker Fortune Brands Inc. plans to split into three companies, keeping its liquor business, led by Jim Beam bourbon, while shedding the units that make Titleist golf balls, Moen faucets and Master Locks.

Fortune Brands said Wednesday it will focus on its spirits business, which generates annual revenue of $2.5 billion and also includes brands such as Canadian Club and Maker’s Mark.

The home and security business, which also includes MasterBrand cabinets, will be spun off on a tax-free basis to shareholders. Fortune’s golf business, Acushnet, which makes Titleist golf equipment and FootJoy golf shoes and gloves, will be either spun off or sold.
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