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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