Monday, February 28, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 2-28-2011

 New World Rankings released
 1    Martin Kaymer,  Deu   
 2    Lee Westwood,  Eng   
 3    Luke Donald,  Eng    
 4    Graeme McDowell,  Nir      
 5    Tiger Woods,  USA    
 6    Phil Mickelson,  USA   
 7    Paul Casey,  Eng    
 8    Rory McIlroy,  Nir    
 9    Steve Stricker,  USA    
10   Matt Kuchar,  USA

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 2-27-2011

 DONALD TAKES MATCH PLAY EVENT
Luke Donald spoiled Martin Kaymer’s rise to No. 1 in the world by winning the Match Play Championship on Sunday with a performance so dominant he never played the 18th hole all week.

Not even the snow and sleet could stop Donald.

On a bizarre final day which began with snow covering the fairways, Donald pulled ahead for good with a birdie on the par-5 11th and a par on the next hole, eventually closing out Kaymer on No. 16 for a 3-and-2 victory.

The consolation prize for Kaymer is going to No. 1 in the career, which he assured by reaching the championship match.

Donald was in more dire need of this trophy, however.

It was his first win in America in five years, and it was only his second win worldwide since he captured the 2006 Honda Classic. The 33-year-old Englishman had done just about everything right except win.

He took care of that in a week like no other in the 13-year history of the Accenture Match Play Championship. Donald played only 89 holes in six matches and never trailed in any of them. In fact, he led after 81 of those holes.

Donald won his first World Golf Championship, and became the second player from England to capture the Match Play Championship. He goes to a career-best No. 3 in the world to continue a European resurgence in the ranking.

The next world ranking will be Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Donald and Graeme McDowell. It’s the first time since March 15, 1992, that the top four spots have been occupied by Europeans.

Matt Kuchar defeated Bubba Watson in the consolation match and will go to No. 10 in the world.

This Match Play Championship will stand out for reasons beyond golf.

A late winter storm dusted Dove Mountain with nearly an inch of snow, and the fairways were blankets of white in the morning. Donald looked out his hotel room and suggested on Twitter that a snowball fight determine who had honors on the first tee.

The snow had melted when they teed off, although dark clouds on the horizon loomed. Sleet began falling when the championship match reached the third green, and play was stopped when sleet covered the fourth fairway.

After about 10 minutes, when the fairways turned from white back to green, play resumed.

Donald seized on the moment. Already 1 up from his 18-foot birdie on the par-5 second, he watched Kaymer hit a fade over the bunker to about 7 feet, then answered with a shot into 2 feet for a conceded birdie. Kaymer missed, and Donald was 2 up.

On the next hole, Kaymer pulled his drive into the desert and fell another hole down.

Donald three-putted for bogey from below the ridge to lose his first hole, and Kaymer squared the match at the turn with a birdie on the eighth and a bogey on No. 9, where Donald hit his approach into a desert bush and had to return to his original spot in the fairway.

The turning point might have been No. 10.

Kaymer had all the momentum and blistered a tee shot down the middle, while Donald went from a scrubby lie in the desert to a waste area short of the green. Donald, however, blasted out to 3 feet for a conceded par.

He took the lead on the 11th by making an 8-foot birdie putt as Kaymer missed his birdie from just inside 6 feet, and Donald regained all the moment on the next hole when Kaymer came up short into the sand and took bogey.

Donald went 3 up on the 15th when Kaymer missed a birdie putt from inside 4 feet, and the “Germanator” conceded the match on the 16th when he failed to hole a 30-foot birdie putt.

It was the first time the championship match was decided over 18 holes instead of 36.



WAGNER WINS THE "OTHER TOURNAMENT"
 Johnson Wagner won the Mayakoba Golf Classic on Sunday for his second PGA Tour title, beating Spencer Levin with a par on the first hole of a playoff.

Wagner, also the 2008 Houston Open winner, closed with a 4-under 67 to match Levin at 17-under 267 on the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon course. Levin shot a 65.

Levin shot a 65.

Champions Tour player John Cook shot a 66 to finish third at 14 under.

Chris Stroud (70) was fourth at 13 under, and David Toms (67), Rory Sabbatini (66) Brian Gay (68), Briny Baird (69), Jarrod Lyle (70) and Bobby Gates (70) were 12 under.

Wagner had four birdies—on Nos. 7, 8, 11 and 13—in a bogey-free round. He earned $666,000 in the event played opposite the Match Play Championship in Arizona.\

Wagner opened with rounds of 69, 66 and 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Stroud into the final round.

Levin, winless on the PGA Tour, birdied five of the first eight holes. He dropped a stroke on No. 12, then rebounded with birdies and Nos. 13 and 17.

Levin struggled in the playoff on the par-4 18th.

The 53-year-old Cook had his best PGA Tour finish since tying for third in the 2006 St. Jude Classic. He won the Champions Tour opener in Hawaii in January.




 WEBB TAKES SINGAPORE EVENT
Australia’s Karrie Webb used four straight birdies on the back nine Sunday to surge past Japan’s Chie Arimura for a one-shot victory at the HSBC Women’s Champions.

The 36-year-old Webb finished with a 3-under 69 for a 13-under 275 for her 37th career LPGA tour win.
Arimura had led from the first round and had a one-stroke advantage over Webb going into the final round. The 23-year-old Arimura, who has seven Japan LPGA victories, has yet to win an LPGA tournament.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng of Taiwan jumped into contention with five birdies on the front nine, but couldn’t keep up that pace and finished in third place, three shots behind the winner.

Tseng was coming off a string of three victories in three weeks, earning the top ranking after wins at the Australian Women’s Open and Australian Ladies Masters on the Ladies European Tour in February and last week’s LPGA Thailand event.

South Korea’s Sun Young Yoo  finished fourth, five strokes behind Webb.  American Morgan Pressel was another shot back in fifth and Na Yeon Choi  of South Korea was sixth, seven strokes behind.

Japan’s Ai Miyazato, who won the tournament last year, finished tied for 14th at 2 over. Michelle Wie  finished 8 over while Juli Inkster was a full 20 shots back.



GOGGIN IS VICTOR IN NATIONWIDE OPENER
Mathew Goggin of Australia won the Nationwide Tour’s season-opening Panama Championship, shooting a 2-under 68 on Sunday for a two-stroke victory over countryman Alistair Presnell and Darron Stiles of the United States.

The 36-year-old Goggin, a two-time winner on the developmental tour in 1999, had an 11-under 269 total at the Golf Club of Panama. He earned $99,000.

Stiles finished with a 66, and Presnell shot a 73.

Erik Compton, the two-time heart transplant recipient who had the lead midway through the final round, shot a 75 making a double bogey on the final hole to tie for fourth with Tommy Biershenk (68) at 8 under.



IN OTHER NEWS
Organizers of the annual LPGA Tour stop in Springfield, Ill., say State Farm is dropping its sponsorship after this year.


Kate Peters, executive director of the LPGA State Farm Classic, said Friday that she was disappointed by the decision. She said the tournament will try to find a new sponsor.

State Farm has sponsored the tournament for the past 19 years. A message left for a spokeswoman with Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm was not immediately returned.

This year’s tournament is in June.



After almost a year in a prison camp for avoiding taxes golfer Jim Thorpe is out and ready to get back to playing golf.

He was recently interviewed for GolfWeek by Jeff Rude. It"s Thorpe's first interview since being released from a Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery, Alabama into a Florida halfway house last month and he is very open and honest.

Thorpe is also looking forward to getting back on the Champions Tour sometime in April.



The Danish Golf Association, say that lost golf balls pose an environmental hazard, taking up to 1,000 years to decompose and releasing poisonous heavy metals. These heavy metal attach “themselves to the ground sediment and poison the surrounding flora and fauna” when in water. Heavy metals used in golf ball production include tungsten, cobalt and lead.

Until next time.


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Sunday, February 20, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 2-20-2011

 "BADDS" WINS FIRST TIME IN 4 YEARS
Aaron Baddeley has won the Northern Trust Open for his first PGA Tour victory in four years.

In a battle of two generations, the 29-year-old Baddeley didn’t make a mistake over the last six holes at Riviera to hold off Vijay Singh and 51-year-old Fred Couples, who was trying to become the oldest PGA Tour winner in more than 35 years.

Baddeley closed with a 2-under 69 for a two-shot victory over Singh, who turns 48 on Tuesday.

Couples birdied the opening three holes for a one-shot lead that revved up Riviera, but it all changed on the seventh hole—a birdie by Baddeley from the fringe, a double bogey for Couples.

It was the third career PGA Tour win for Baddeley, who had fallen to No. 224 in the world. This gets him back to the Masters.



LANGER IS ACES
Bernhard Langer shot a 6-under-par 66 Sunday to set a tournament record with a 20-under 196 total and win the ACE Group Classic by four shots.

The 53-year-old Langer held a four-stroke lead going into the final round. Fred Funk got within two after Langer bogeyed No. 11, but Langer came right back with birdies on Nos. 12 and 14. He finished with a 5-footer for birdie on No. 18.

Funk had a chance to make the final hole a little interesting, but missed a short birdie putt on No. 17 and finished with a 66 for a 16-under total.

Nick Price  and Russ Cochran tied for third, another shot back. Mark Calcavecchia  was fifth at 14 under.

Langer, a three-time Champions Tour Player of the Year, won after what had been a slow start to the year. He finished tied for 16th and 17th in the season’s first two full-field events.

Unhappy with those two finishes, Langer practiced hard this week. He came in with a new driver, even longer putter and three sets of irons to try. And it paid off for him.

It marked the 10th time in 11 tournaments Langer has won when he either held or shared the lead after two rounds. The German had played well in his previous two appearances in Naples, tying for fourth last year and for third in 2009.

Langer earned 240 Charles Schwab Cup points. Tom Lehman, who didn’t play this week, leads the points race with 454, followed by John Cook, Cochran and Jeff Sluman.



CHOWRASIA IS A MASTER
Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia of India got his second professional win at the Avantha Masters on Sunday, shooting a 5-under 67 for a one stroke victory over Robert Coles of England.

Chowrasia set the clubhouse target of 15-under 273 at the joint Euro-Asian tour event and then had to wait an hour while Coles finished his round at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

The Englishman had several chances to win over the closing holes but couldn't sink the putts to pull it off. U.S. Open runner-up Gregory Havret of France claimed third another shot back after a 68.

First-round leader Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands was fourth after shooting a 69 to finish at 12 under. Overnight leader Pablo Larrazabal of Spain shot 72 and ended in a tie for fifth with India's Sujjan Singh at 11 under.



TSENG IS UNBEATABLE
Top-ranked Yani Tseng earned her third tournament win in three weeks Sunday, shooting a 6-under 66 to pull away for a comfortable five-shot victory over Michelle Wie in the LPGA Thailand.

Tseng led by one stroke over Wie and I.K. Kim going into the final round of the season-opening LPGA event and had the lowest score of the day with seven birdies and one bogey to finish at 15-under 273.
Wie settled for a 70 to finish second in the season-opening LPGA event, while Kim had a 71 was another stroke back in a tie for third with Karrie Webb, who shot a 69. Paula Creamer was fifth at 8 under after a 71.

Tseng took over the No. 1 ranking after winning back-to-back Ladies European Tour events, the Australian Open and then the Australian Ladies Masters last weekend.

Kim birdied three of her first six holes to sit tied for the lead with Tseng, and was at 13 under after a birdie on the 13th. However, she made a quintuple bogey on the 17th to fall out of contention, before finishing with a birdie to secure a tie for third.

Wie also put pressure on Tseng by chipping in for a birdie on the first hole and picking up two more shots on the sixth and seventh. But she didn’t make another birdie the rest of the way and was four shots behind Tseng when she bogeyed the 17th.

Tseng will go for a fourth straight victory next week in Singapore.



SMITH WINS NZ EVENT
Australia’s Kristie Smith shot a 4-under 68 to overtake Italy’s Giulia Sergas and win the New Zealand Women’s Open on Sunday. Smith finished with a 72-hole total of 12-under-par 276 to claim her first title on the Ladies European Tour.

Smith, a former Australian amateur champion, turned professional in 2009 and won her first title last year on the Australian LPGA Tour.



IN OTHER NEWS
Jim Gray got in a heated argument with Dustin Johnson's caddie, to the point that The Golf Channel has removed Gray from its coverage this week from the Northern Trust Open.

According to USA Today's Michael McCarthy, Johnson's caddie went into a profanity-laced screaming match with Gray after he reported on The Golf Channel earlier that day that Johnson had landed a two-shot penalty for being late to the tee.

Johnson's caddie, Bobby Brown, took most of the heat for the late tee-time arrival, with Dustin even commenting after the round that he doesn't look at the time, leaving that up to the caddie.



The Barclays wants to take its FedEx Cup playoff event to Bethpage Black in 2012.

A person informed of the plans told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Barclays and the PGA Tour are negotiating to bring the tournament to the Long Island public course that has hosted two U.S. Opens.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said such a deal would need approval by the New York state parks and recreation department and the tour’s policy board.

The Barclays, the opening playoff event for the FedEx Cup, has rotated around New York and northern New Jersey since the FedEx Cup began in 2007. It has gone from Westchester to Liberty National to Ridgewood Country Club, and is set for this year at Plainfield Country Club.

Westchester, the original home to The Barclays, has been given the Senior Players Championship this year.
Dave Catalano, director of Bethpage State Park, was not in the office Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said the tour would have no comment on any discussions.

Bethpage Black is such a popular attraction that golfers are known to sleep overnight in their cars with hopes of getting a tee time. The U.S. Open was an instant hit when it first went there in 2002, attracting some 50,000 fans, many of whom watched the world’s best players compete on what local duffers regard as their public golf course.



Phil Mickelson was planning a Spanish menu for the Champions Dinner at the Masters to honor two-time champion Seve Ballesteros until realizing the Spaniard was not healthy enough to travel.

Mickelson said Tuesday on a conference call that he had been in contact with Ballesteros, hopeful that he would be able to return to Augusta National this year despite his ongoing battle with brain cancer.

“I just sent him an e-mail saying that if he were able to come, and feeling healthy enough to be able to make this tournament, I would love to have the dinner be something that he would like—a Spanish dish of paella or whatever he thought would be appropriate,” Mickelson said. “I wanted to kind of honor him.”

Mickelson said some e-mails he received recently indicate that Ballesteros will not be able to make it.

“Our thoughts and prayers are going to be with him that evening,” Mickelson said.

Ballesteros was diagnosed with brain cancer in the fall of 2008, a year after he announced his retirement from golf at an emotional press conference at Carnoustie during the British Open.


PGA champion Martin Kaymer and 17-year-old Matteo Manassero have accepted exemptions to play in the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook.

The tournament also offered an exemption to Dubai winner Alvaro Quiros, one of golf’s longest hitters.

The Transitions Championship will be played March 17-20. Jim Furyk is the defending champion of a tournament that quietly has attracted one of the stronger fields leading to the Masters.

Kaymer is ranked No. 2 and will be playing Innisbrook for the first time.



Former President George W. Bush is following after his father again, this time as the honorary chair of The First Tee program.

His father, former President George H.W. Bush, had been the honorary chair since the creation of The First Tee in 1997. He will now move to an emeritus role.

As honorary chair, Bush is to provide leadership and support to The First Tee’s mission of reaching children through educational programs that build character and teach values through golf.

The announcement came Friday at The First Tee’s biennial meeting of more than 600 people involved in various chapters around the country. The First Tee says it has reached more than 4.7 million through its programs since 1997.


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Sunday, February 13, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 2-13-2011

 POINTS GETS 1ST AT PEBBLE BEACH
 D.A. Points captured his first PGA Tour victory and dragged along comedian Bill Murray of to the pro-am title.

Points holed out from 100 yards for eagle on the 14th hole the second-toughest on the course and followed that with a 30-foot bending birdie putt that carried him to a 5-under 67 and a two-shot victory in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

He became only the fourth player in the last 20 years to make Pebble Beach is first PGA Tour victory.

Murray kept the gallery entertained along the way, and the comedian actor who has become a staple at this celebrity rich tournament finally gets his name on the wall of pro-am champions next to the first tee.

Hunter Mahan shot 31 on the front nine and twice was tied for the lead on the back nine. He birdied the 17th with a tee shot inside 3 feet, then reached the par-5 18th in two. But he three-putted for par, missing a 4-foot birdie putt.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter. Mahan closed with a 66 and wound up alone in second, two shots behind.

Steve Marino, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round, never caught up after Points made his eagle from the 14th fairway. Marino missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 16th to get within one, then slammed his driver to the turf on the 18th when his tee shot sailed into a bunker to the right.

Marino hit his third shot into the ocean and made a triple-bogey 8 that mattered only in his bank account. Not making a par to share second place was the difference of $327,200.

Tom Gillis closed with a 70 and finished along in third.



QUIROS WINS WILD ONE
 Spain’s Alvaro Quiros produced a bizarre final round which included a hole-in-one to capture the Dubai Desert Classic by one shot on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Quiros, celebrating his fifth European Tour success, also chipped in for an eagle and took a triple bogey after losing a ball up a palm tree in a final-round 68 to finish 11-under-par.

Denmark’s Anders Hansen, needing to birdie the last hole to deny Quiros, posted a 70 to end with a 10-under-par tally, the same as South African James Kingston.

Struggling Tiger Woods ended his desert campaign with a final-hole double bogey in a closing 75 for a four-under-par score.

Briton Lee Westwood dropped three shots in his closing two holes and posted a 72 but remains world number one after nearest ranking rival Martin Kaymer of Germany ended in a share of 31st place.

Quiros’s ace, his fourth on the European Tour, came at the 11th.

Starting his final round a shot behind the leaders, Quiros began with a bang after chipping in from five yards off the back of the green for an eagle at the second.

But he lost the lead when his drive at the eighth landed in bushes forcing him to take a penalty drop. However, Quiros’s ball plugged in the waste sand from where he skied the ball some 30-yards into a palm tree.

A pair of binoculars was required before Quiros, in the company of Chief Referee John Paramour, could confirm that the ball in the tree was his. Quiros took a penalty drop but walked off with a triple bogey.

He quickly shook off his misfortune to birdie the ninth and the hole-in-one then put him back in front for good.

Woods heads home still seeking a first win since November, 2009.

“It was a very frustrating day,” the American said.

“But I got off to such a poor start, to be two-over through three holes and I just couldn’t make it up from there.

“That’s the thing about making changes, As I’ve said, I’ve been all through this before with my last two instructors, and it will come around. I just need more work and more practice.”




LEHMAN IS VICTORIOUS AT ALLIANZ
Tom Lehman birdied the final hole to finish at 13 under, breaking a tie with Jeff Sluman and Rod Spittle and winning the Allianz Championship on Sunday.

Lehman shot a final-round 69 to win for the third time on the Champions Tour. The 51-year-old former British Open champion had five birdies Sunday, but he bogeyed the par-4 ninth and par-3 14th to make things interesting on the back nine.

Sluman had an eagle opportunity at the par-5 18th but had to settle for a birdie and a 69, while Spittle just missed his birdie putt and finished with a 70.

Russ Cochran  and Olin Browne were another shot back at 10 under. Defending champion Bernhard Langer shot a final-round 70 to finish at 6 under for the tournament.



IN OTHER NEWS
 Last week I reported that Taiwan’s Yani Tseng won the Australian Womens Masters for the second year in a  row. With that victory Tseng took over the No. 1 ranking in women’s golf.



Phil Mickelson says he has decided to compete in the Match Play Championship.

Mickelson, who skipped the World Golf Championship event in Arizona a year ago, had said last November he was contemplating sitting out again becauase it might conflict with a family vaction. He said after his final round at Pebble Beach that he would be there.

Lee Westwood will be the No. 1-seeded golfer at Match Play, which starts Feb. 23 at Dove Mountain north of Tucson. Martin Kaymer will be the No. 2, followed by Tiger Woods and Mickelson.

The 64-man field is determined by the world ranking that was to be published later Sunday.



Robert Garrigus  had to withdraw from the final round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am because of high blood pressure.

Garrigus, who won his first PGA Tour event last year at Disney, was only five shots behind and in a tie for 11th going into the last round Sunday.

He still had an outside chance of cracking the top 64 in the world ranking and qualifying for the Match Play Championship in Arizona.



A United Arab Emirates business magazine says Tiger Woods received $55.4 million from a developer to promote a local golf resort that has yet to be built.

Arabian Business reported Thursday that it has seen documents confirming Woods received the payments to promote the $1 billion project, with the course at the centerpiece of a complex of 100 villas, 75 mansions and 22 palaces.
Woods refused to comment Wednesday on the contract he signed with the course developer, part of a conglomerate controlled by Dubai’s debt-squeezed ruler. But he said he hoped to meet with developers to discuss reviving the project while he is in Dubai.



John Daly is going multimedia. He now has a TV built into his golf bag. Daly has signed up with ProBagAds.com, a new company that installs flat-screen monitors on a golf bag to display advertisements, much like an electronic billboard.

The screen rotates with Daly’s various sponsors. He says it only weighs about three pounds, so it’s not a big strain on his caddie. And while it looks like a TV, Daly says he’s trying to make it work like one.

He says he will be able to program it through his mobile phone, and he hopes to get his home television
programming on there.

Daly says when he plays golf overseas, he wants to have something to watch on TV—especially during football season.

Kyeong Bae first used the built-in monitor last year on the LPGA Tour.



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Monday, February 7, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 02-06-2011

 WILSON WINS SECOND OF THE YEAR
Mark Wilson  made a birdie on the second playoff hole in Arizona to outduel Jason Dufner and post his second win in 2011. Wilson holed a  9-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff  for the victory.

Wilson, two strokes ahead when play resumed Monday, closed with a 2-under 69 to match Dufner at 18 under. Dufner shot a 66, birdieing Nos. 16 and 17.

The 36-year-old Wilson, who won the Sony Open last month in a 36-hole Sunday finish, made a 4 1/2 -foot par putt on the 18th to extend the playoff after Dufner had tapped in for par. Wilson then won on the par-4 10th, setting up the deciding putt with a 7-iron approach from the middle of the fairway.

Dufner was facing a 7 1/2 -foot par putt when Wilson ended the playoff.

Delays for frost and frozen turf the first four days forced the Monday finish.

Wilson earned $1,098,000 for his fourth PGA Tour title. He also won the 2007 Honda Classic and 2009 Mayakoba Golf Classic.

Martin Laird and Vijay Singh  tied for third at 16 under, and Gary Woodland , J.B. Holmes  and Nick Watney  followed at 15 under.

Third-round leader Tommy Gainey, a stroke back with two holes left, closed with a 74 to tie for eighth at 14 under. He made a triple bogey on the par-4 17th after hitting into the water twice on the driveable hole.

Phil Mickelson tied for 29th at 10 under. He finished with consecutive 71s after getting into contention with opening rounds of 67 and 65.



BJORN TAKES QATAR MASTERS
Thomas Bjorn of Denmark won the Qatar Masters on Sunday, shooting a bogey-free 3-under 69 to beat Alvaro Quiros of Spain by four shots.

Bjorn led overnight and finished at 14-under 279 to earn his first win since the Estoril Open in Portugal last year. The Dane had three birdies in the final round, including one on No. 18 to capture his 11th European Tour title.

Quiros closed within two shots of the lead with a birdie on the 14th, but faltered at the end. He bogeyed two of the final four holes, including a three-putt on 15. Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain and second-round leader Markus Brier of Austria finished another shot back.

World No. 2 Martin Kaymer shot a 1-under 71 to finish 2 under in a tie for 28th. He needed to finish at least second to overtake Lee Westwood for the top ranking.



 TSENG DEFENDS TITLE
Taiwan’s Yani Tseng, bogeying only two of 72 holes, successfully defended her Women’s Australian Open title, shooting a final-round 2-under 71 Sunday to win by seven strokes.

Tseng finished with a four-round total of 16-under-par 276 on the par-73 Commonwealth Golf Club course.

No. 1-ranked Jiyai Shin was tied for second with two others. Shin shot a final-round 75, tying with South Korean Ji Eun-hee, and England’s Melissa Reid.

Jennifer Song of the United States finished fifth after a 71, nine strokes behind Tseng.
Four-time champion Karrie Webb shot 70 Sunday, 11 behind Tseng. Laura Davies of England shot 74 and finished at 290, 14 strokes behind the winner.

The 22-year-old Tseng, a three-time major winner and voted the 2010 LPGA player of the year, ran away from the field in the final round.



 IN OTHER NEWS
 The LPGA  has scrubbed this year's $1.3 million Tres Marias Championship in Mexico because of concerns about violence linked to the drug trade, officials said Wednesday.

"We hope to return next year, but would need to see significant improvement from a safety perspective," an LPGA spokesman said, adding that the tour was concerned about the safety of the players.

The tournament had been scheduled for April 21-24 in Morelia, located in north-central Mexico, where violence linked to drug cartels has been an ongoing problem.



Tiger Woods' charity concert is back on the calendar in Las Vegas this year.

Woods says his "2011 Tiger Jam" will be April 30 at Mandalay Bay Events Center, featuring Grammy Award-winning singers Keith Urban and John Mayer in a concert that benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. Tickets go on sale Feb. 12.

The concert was not held last year. Greg McLaughlin, the president of Woods' foundation, says organizers could not coordinate the schedules of artists and when Mandalay Bay was available.

Woods says Tiger Jam has raised more than $12 million for his foundation and that he is excited to continue the tradition.



Golf has shown some promise the first month of the year, with significant increases in viewers on The Golf Channel, which broadcast the opening three events and the first two rounds of Torrey Pines; and CBS Sports, which had the weekend at Torrey.

CBS said its national rating for the final round was 3.5 with a 7 share, which was up 59 percent from a year ago.

The Golf Channel, meanwhile, said it got a 1.0 with 997,000 viewers for the first round of Torrey Pines, which was up 89 percent from last year. It said the season-opening Tournament of Championship was up 38 percent, and the Bob Hope Classic was up 60 percent, despite the final round going up against the NFC and AFC Championship games.



And finally,  all good things must come to an end. For Arnold Palmer, that meant bringing to a close one of the most meaningful  chapters of his life this week.

On Monday, Palmer piloted his Cessna Citation 10 for the last time, flying from Palm Springs to Orlando. It was an emotional flight for “The King,” who spent what seemed like his entire life jet-setting around the globe.

Palmer logged almost 20,000 hours in the cockpit, an astonishing number when you consider those hours equate to more than 833 days in the air. But for a guy who enjoyed traveling and seeing the world from the sky – in 1976, he set a round-the-world speed record that still stands – the figure doesn’t seem so crazy.



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