Sunday, June 26, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 6-26-2011

JACOBSON GETS FIRST PGA TOUR TITLE
Fredrik Jacobson closed out his first PGA Tour title Sunday, shooting a 4-under 66 in the Travelers Championship for a one-stroke victory over John Rollins and Ryan Moore.

Jacobson hit all 28 fairways over the weekend.

Rollins and Moore closed with 63s. Moore missed a 4-foot par putt on 18.

Michael Thompson, a 31-year-old who came out of qualifying school this season, shot the best round of the day, a 62, including a 29 on the back nine. He finished fourth at 18 under.

Jacobson was trying to become the first player since Lee Trevino in the 1974 Greater New Orleans Open to play 72 holes without a bogey.

And he almost did it.

He had 63 consecutive bogey-free holes before running into problems on the par-4 10th. His second shot went right, ending up resting against the cart path, but after taking relief and pitching onto the green, he couldn’t make a 12-foot putt for par.

Moore birdied his first three holes, making short putts on each and was 5 under for the day through the first seven holes. He hit his second shot on the par-5 13th about 262 yards to 10 feet of the pin, but missed his eagle putt. His birdie put him in a three-way tie for the lead.

Moore made three more birdies in a row at Nos. 14-16 to got to 20 under and catch Jacobson again. But he hit into two sand traps on 18, before pitching inside 5 feet.

Jacobson’s second shot on 18 stopped up about 14 feet away, leaving him with an easy two-putt for the win.

After tapping in, he threw both arms in the air as his caddie slipped the flag off the pin as a souvenir.

He hopes it’s not his last.

 

LARRAZABAL IS KING AT BMW
Pablo Larrazabal birdied the fifth playoff hole to win the BMW International Open by beating fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia on Sunday, capturing his his second European Tour tournament.

Larrazabal made his short put on the par-5 18th after Garcia missed from about 5 feet to add to his victory at the Alstom Open de France title in 2008.

Both players have now qualified for the British Open at Royal St. George’s at Sandwich next month. Their prize money won putting them top of a money list from six European Tour events, starting with the BMW PGA Championship and ending in Munich.

Garcia birdied the 18th during his final round to shoot 4-under 68 and join Larrazabal (68) on 16-under 272 to force the playoff.

There was nothing between them for four playoff holes, matching each other’s score at No. 18 twice, No. 12 and No. 17 before playing the last hole for the fourth time Sunday. Garcia sent an eagle attempt four feet beyond the hole and missed his birdie chance.

Before the playoff, Larrazabal had birdies at Nos. 1, 6, 7 and 9 before two more at No. 10 and 11 gave him the outright lead.

Garcia’s started steadily with five pars but, having relinquished the lead, a long eagle putt on No. 9 took him back into a share of the lead at the turn.

He picked up seven shots in six holes up to No. 11, which he eagled to move two shots ahead of Larrazabal, who bogeyed No. 13.

Garcia, however, then made three straight bogeys from No. 12 for Larrazabal to cut the lead.

PGA Championship holder Martin Kaymer shot a 69 for a share of 18th place with Dustin Johnson (67) and European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie (69) seven strokes back.

Kaymer will drop out of the top three when the golf rankings are published Monday, allowing U.S. Open winner Rory McIlory of Northern Ireland to rise to third behind English pair Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. It will be the first time that the top three has been filled by players from Britain and Ireland.




TSENG WINS LPGA MAJOR
Yani Tseng of Taiwan underlined her status as women’s world number one by winning the LPGA Championship by 10 strokes on Sunday to become the youngest golfer to amass four major professional titles.

The 22-year-old Tseng, who began the overcast day with a five-shot lead, doubled her advantage by posting a final-round 66 at Locust Hill for a record-equalling total of 19-under-par 269 that left American Morgan Pressel (71) a distant second.

Tseng, who won the 2008 LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock and last year’s Kraft Nabisco and Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale, surpassed Pak Se-ri of South Korea and Tiger Woods, who were both 24 when they won a fourth professional major.

Patty Berg was 23 when she captured her first four majors in the years before the formation of the LPGA.

The long-hitting Taiwanese matched the best women’s major score in relation to par, duplicating Cristie Kerr’s total here last year, Dottie Pepper’s winning score at the 1999 Kraft Nabisco and Briton Karen Stupples’ total in claiming the 2004 Women’s British Open.

Her brilliant showing at Locust Hill represented a rebound from disappointment at the previous women’s major, the Kraft Nabisco in April, where she lost a two-shot lead in the final round to finish second to Stacy Lewis.

The victory was her third of the season and gave her three major wins from the last six women’s majors played.

In a telephone interview with the Golf Channel, 10-times major winner Annika Sorenstam called Tseng “the new face of the LPGA”.

The other top players in women’s golf battled for second.

The 23-year-old Pressel, winner of the 2007 Kraft Nabisco, birdied the par-five 17th hole to snap a four-way tie for second place and finish on nine-under-par 279.

Tied a further shot back were Americans Kerr (69) and Paula Creamer (69) as well as Norway’s Suzann Pettersen (67), the 2007 winner.

Pettersen also praised Tseng.

The resilient Tseng overcame a stumble at the first hole before turning the final round into a romp.

Disturbed by a photographer snapping a picture on her backswing, she pulled her opening tee shot into the left rough leading to a bogey-five that cut her lead to four shots.

The long-hitting Tseng roared back with three birdies in a row, bombing a drive 300 yards from the elevated tee on the third hole that outdistanced the drive of playing partner LaCrosse by nearly 60 yards.

She made a two-foot birdie at the second to reclaim her five-shot lead, a 10-footer at the third and another two-footer at the fourth.

After parring the fifth, Tseng birdied two of the next three holes for good measure and the rout was on as she made the turn with a 10-shot lead.



HUSTON TAKES CHAMPIONS TOUR EVENT
John Huston finally slowed his normally quick pace as he walked the 18th fairway at En-Joie Golf Club.

Playing in just his third Champions Tour event, Huston shot a 7-under 65 on Sunday, taking advantage of three straight bogeys by the normally steady Mark Wiebe, and won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open by three shots.

Huston finished at 16-under 200, earning a three-shot victory over Nick Price, who had a 66. Wiebe was another shot back after a 71.

It was Huston’s first win since the PGA Tour’s 2003 Southern Farm Bureau Classic.Wiebe won two weeks ago at Rock Barn and began the day with a two-shot lead over Huston, but his string of bogey-free holes stopped at 75 when he bogeyed Nos. 12-14 to drop out of the lead.

Still, Wiebe managed to regain his composure and rallied with two straight birdies, then had a chance for another at the short par-3 17th.

 Huston also birdied No. 16 and then sealed the victory after hitting his tee shot at 17 to within a foot of the pin.An errant drive at the par-4 closing hole brought a smile to Huston’s face after it bounced just past the water hazard that lines the left side of the fairway and left him with a nice lie.

Local favorite Joey Sindelar (68) finished at 11 under, tied with Jim Gallagher Jr. (65). Peter Senior (67), Ted Schulz (68), Jay Don Blake (70) and Peter Jacobsen (68) finished at 10 under and tied for sixth.






2 TIME HEART TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT WINS MEXICO OPEN
Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton has won the Nationwide Tour’s Mexico Open, closing with a 7-under 65 on Sunday for a two-stroke victory over Richard H. Lee.

The 31-year-old Compton was diagnosed at age 9 with cardiomyopathy, an enlarging of the heart that hinders its ability to pump blood. Three years later in 1992, he received a new heart. That one failed in 2008, and he needed another transplant.

Compton finished at 17-under 271 on the El Bosque Country Club course. His win put  him in position to earn a 2012 PGA Tour card as a top-25 finisher on the developmental tour’s money list.

Lee bogeyed the par-5 18th for a 69.



 IN OTHER NEWS
The fourth annual Notah Begay Challenge has been postponed.

 The charity event at Turning Stone Resort and Casino’s Atunyote Golf Club was scheduled for July 5, but an injury Tiger Woods  has forced Begay to put it on hold. Woods has committed to play but is still recovering from injuries to his left leg.
 Begay says an announcement of a new date and any changes to the format and playing field will come later.
 The event, aimed at benefiting Native American youth, has raised more than $2.4 million.



Tiger Woods  will miss another golf tournament as he recovers from injuries to his left leg, saying Wednesday he will not play in the AT&T National next week outside Philadelphia. “Doctor’s orders,” Woods posted on Twitter.
He said he would be at Aronimink to support the tournament, which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods said he is “feeling stronger,” but is still not 100 percent.
Woods, who has slipped to No. 17 in the world ranking, has not completed a tournament since he tied for fourth at the Masters. He said he hurt his left knee and Achilles hitting a shot on the 17th hole of the third round from an awkward stance in the pine straw.
He tried to compete in The Players Championship, but withdrew after nine holes.



More than $1 million has been donated to the Seve Ballesteros Foundation following a series of fundraising activities at Wentworth in honor of the late Spanish golfer.
A pro-am last month featuring a field of 24 leading golfers, including Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal, was held at the European Tour’s headquarters, while there also was an auction and donations from the public.
The European Tour says the money will go directly to Ballesteros’ foundation in partnership with Cancer Research UK.
Ballesteros died on May 7 from brain cancer.



The tour, the state of South Carolina and the Heritage Classic Foundation announced that Royal Bank of Canada had agreed to underwrite the cash-strapped Hilton Head event through 2016.
The Boeing Co. will be a local presenting sponsor, securing the Heritage's immediate future since Verizon's decision to stop sponsoring the event in the fall of 2009.



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