Monday, August 29, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 8-28-2011

 JOHNSON WINS BARCLAYS
Dustin Johnson opened with back-to-back birdies. In a bunker for the first time all week, he holed a 85-foot shot for eagle on No. 4 to take the lead. Even a wild tee shot on the par-5 fifth landed in trampled grass with a clear shot at the green.

The Barclays, already reduced to 54 holes because of Hurricane Irene, would have reverted to a 36-hole tournament if the rain arrived early and kept the third round Saturday from finishing, making Matt Kuchar the winner, but it didn't and Johnson took off.

He shot 29 on the front nine for the second straight day—he played the front in 17-under par for the week—to close with a 6-under 65 and win the opening FedEx Cup playoff event by two shots over Kuchar.

Johnson didn’t take the lead for good until Kuchar, who won The Barclays a year ago on a different course, three-putted from long range just off the green on consecutive holes on the back nine to make bogeys. He closed with a 68.

Johnson, who moved to No. 4 in the world, finished at 19-under 194 for his first win of the year and fifth of his career. He became the first player since Tiger Woods to go straight from college and win in each of his first four years on the PGA Tour.

Ian Poulter birdied four of his last five holes for a 64, making him one of eight players who moved inside the top 100 in the FedEx Cup standings and advance to the second playoff event next week outside Boston.

William McGirt, the last of the 125 players who qualified for the playoffs, birdied the 17th hole that pushed him to No. 96. Padraig Harrington went from No. 124 to No. 80 with his tie for 13th. And then there was Ernie Els. He would have been eliminated had the tournament been cut short to 36 holes. Els had a 67 to from 118th in the standings to No. 99.

Johnson goes atop the FedEx Cup standings as the four-tournament race begins for the $10 million prize.



LINCICOME TAKES LPGA CANADIAN OPEN
American Brittany Lincicome fired a two-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the LPGA Canadian Women's Open by one stroke, capturing her second victory of the year and the fifth of her career.

Lincicome finished 72 holes at 13-under-par 275 to edge Stacy Lewis and Michelle Wie, the defending champion, with two more Americans, Angela Stanford and Cristie Kerr, sharing fourth on 277.

Since joining the tour in 2005, Lincicome had never won more than one title in a season, but has already doubled up this year, having also won the ShopRite LPGA Classic in June.

The $337,000 top prize also pushed Lincicome beyond $4 million in career LPGA earnings.
South Koreans Hee-Won Han, Jenny Shin, Na Yeon Choi and Jiyai Shin shared sixth on 278, one stroke ahead of compatriots Sun Young Yoo and Song-Hee Kim.

The final round of the $2.25 million event began with morning threesomes and organisers started early to complete play ahead of the approaching remnants of the storm that had been Hurricane Irene.

Lincicome started the day one stroke behind Wie, Japan's Ai Miyazato and US rookie Tiffany Joh but quickly charged to the top as the co-leaders faded in windy and rainy conditions.

Lincicome opened with a birdie at the par-five first and followed up with birdies at the par-five fifth and par-four seventh to grab a two-stroke lead.

But Lincicome stumbled with a bogey at the par-four 12th, falling only one stroke ahead of Kerr and Lewis, who were both ahead of her on the course.

Lewis reached the clubhouse at 12-under 276, posting the score to beat with Lincicome leading her by a stroke with five holes remaining.

Lewis birdied three of the first four holes, the par-five 10th and 12th in a bogey-free round.
Kerr, who opened with a birdie but took a bogey at the second, began the back nine with back-to-back birdies to put herself in the title hunt and birdied the par-five 14th to match Lincicome for the lead.
Wie, who opened with a birdie but stumbled back with bogeys at the third and ninth holes, birdied the 13th and par-three 15th to move to within a stroke of the lead.

But a bogey at the 16th dropped Wie one back and Kerr stumbled in with bogeys at 16 and 17 to finish on 277, leaving Lincicome alone at the top.

Lincicome parred the final five holes to reach the clubhouse on top with Wie needing a birdie to force a play-off but instead settling for a par.



BJORN IS WINNER ON EUROPEAN TOUR
Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn captured the Johnnie Walker Championship on Sunday, winning a five-man playoff on the fifth extra hole in another step in his resurgence. This was the European Tour’s first five-way playoff in 19 years

Bjorn birdied the par-5 No. 18 to defeat South Africa’s George Coetzee for his second victory on the tour in 2011.

Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal and England’s Mark Foster were eliminated earlier in the playoff on a cold and windy day at Gleneagles . All five players finished regulation at 11-under 277.

Foster, who shared the lead entering the final round, had been ahead by three shots with seven holes to play. He bogeyed the 18th when he needed a par to win.

Bjorn, winner of the Qatar Masters in February and fourth at last month’s British Open, shot a final-round 69. He sealed the 12th victory of his career after a sensational 7-iron approach to the fifth extra hole from 135 yards.



CALCAVECCHIA WINS CHAMPIONS EVENT IN PLAYOFF
Mark  Calcavecchia won the Boeing Classic on Sunday for his first Champions Tour title, holding off Cochran with a two-putt birdie on the first hole of a playoff. Cochran forced the playoff by making a 12-foot eagle putt on the final hole of regulation.

But after 30 previous starts on the 50-and-over tour, Calcavecchia finally found his breakthrough and snapped a four-year victory drought since the PGA Tour’s 2007 PODS Championship. It was his third victory in the Pacific Northwest, following wins in the 1997 Greater Vancouver Open and 2005 Canadian Open.

Earlier this year, Calcavecchia lost by two shots to Cochran in the Senior British Open and blew a big third-round lead at the Regions Tradition. Cochran left Calcavecchia behind in the Senior British after Calcavecchia four-putted the ninth hole in the final round.

Calcavecchia and Cochran shot 7-under 65s on Sunday, tied for the lowest rounds of the tournament.

Chip Beck  birdied four of the final five holes to finish third at 9 under. Jeff Sluman was fourth at 8 under.



TRIPLETT OLDEST WINNER OF NATIONWIDE TOUR EVENT
Three-time PGA Tour winner Kirk Triplett won the News Sentinel Open on Sunday to become the oldest winner in Nationwide Tour history at 49 years, 4 months, 29 days, closing with his second straight 4-under 68 for a one-stroke victory over Marco Dawson.

Triplett finished at 21 under and earned $90,000 to jump from 119th to 33rd on the money list with $110,523. The final top 25 will earn 2012 PGA Tour cards.

The 48-year-old Dawson also finished with a 68.

Ted Potter Jr. and John Mallinger tied for third at 18 under.

John Daly, playing on a sponsor exemption, had a 68 to tie for 32nd at 11 under. Two-time PGA Tour winner Boo Weekley, making his first Nationwide Tour start since 2006, had a 72 to also finish at 11 under.

Triplett won for the first time since the PGA Tour’s 2006 Chrysler Classic in Tucson, Ariz.



IN OTHER NEWS
 Kelly Kraft beat Patrick Cantlay 2-up in the 36-hole final Sunday, taking down the No. 1 player in the world amateur rankings. Both finalists will receive a spot in next year’s U.S. Open, and both traditionally are invited to the Masters. As the winner, the 22-year-old Kraft also gets a spot in the British Open.

That’s provided both players keep their amateur status, something Kraft seemed to be leaning toward.

Kraft, from Denton, Texas, just finished his senior season at SMU and several former teammates were on hand to cheer him on Sundaybut he definitely was the lesser-known player in the final.

The 19-year-old Cantlay is considered a rising star with a promising future in the professional ranks. And after showing he can compete against professionals, including an appearance at the U.S. Open, Cantlay didn’t take much solace in playing well at Erin Hills all week.

Cantlay already was on the Walker Cup team headed to Scotland next month, and now Kraft will join him.

Immediately after the tournament, USGA officials announced that Kraft, Jordan Spieth of Dallas and Auburn player Blayne Barber had been added to the team.



LPGA Tour veteran Sherri Steinhauer retired after missing the cut at the Canadian Women’s Open.

“It was in Canada that I captured my very first win on tour,” said Steinhauer of her victory at what was then a major tournament called the Du Maurier Classic in 1992 in Winnipeg. “My parents were there and it was their wedding anniversary.

Her brothers and father flew in for the tournament. Steinhauer opened with a 79 on Thursday and shot 71 on Friday to miss the cut by seven strokes.

The 48-year-old won eight times since joining the Tour in 1986, including two majors.



Fred Couples has told Tiger Woods  that he decided to add him to the 12-member Presidents Cup team.

Couples took the drama out of the debate over whether Woods would be on the team, saying Thursday it’s already a done deal.

“I’ve told him that he’s going to be on the team,” Couples said just before a practice round preparing for the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. “There is no reason for me to wait till Sept. 26 to pick Tiger. He’s the best player in the world forever.”

Ten players automatically qualify for the team based on points accumulated over the past two years. Couples is then given two captain’s picks to round out his squad, which will compete against a team of non-European International players at Royal Melbourne in Australia on Nov. 14-20.

Woods, who is 28th on the Presidents Cup list, had a long summer layoff because of soreness in his left knee and left Achilles’ tendon. He played in two recent tournaments, finishing 37th in the Bridgestone Invitational in early August then missing the cut the following week at the PGA Championship.

And finally congrats to Gerry from Long Island who picked correctly choosing Dustin Johnson to win the Barclays. His pick this week Matt Kuchar or Phil Mickelson. Good luck.



NO PODCAST THIS WEEK DUE TO HURRICANE IRENE

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 8-21-2011

 SIMPSON WINS WYNDHAM 
Webb Simpson claimed his first PGA Tour title Sunday, shooting a 3-under 67 to win by three strokes.

The 26-year-old Raleigh native finished at 18-under 262 and collected $936,000 in the tournament about a 30-mile drive from the Wake Forest campus where he was a college star

George McNeill (64) was at 15 under, with Tommy Gainey (69) another stroke back in the final event before the PGA Tour playoffs.

Carl Pettersson (69), Vijay Singh (65), Jerry Kelly (65), Kyung-tae Kim (66) and Charles Howell III (67) finished at 13 under at Sedgefield Country Club.

Simpson said his first visit to the Greensboro-based tournament came when he was 16. His father brought him to the event’s former home across town at Forest Oaks Country Club to caddie for Lancaster during the Wednesday pro-am.

His final 18 of this tournament were marked by steady, bogey-free play and a strong finish marked by consecutive birdies on Nos. 15 and 16.

After taking the lead during Round 3 with a late five-hole stretch of four birdies and an eagle, Simpson opened his final round with eight straight pars before moving to 16 under with a birdie on the par-4 ninth.

He stayed there until late in the day. Birdies on the par-5 15th and the par-3 16th gave him a three-shot lead with two holes to go.

McNeill made a late charge, with the former Florida State player moving to 15 under with a birdie on No. 17, his sixth birdie of the round. But all he could do after that was hope for a few late bogeys from Simpson.

Pettersson turned in perhaps the most remarkable birdie of the tournament on the par-4 first hole. After sending his drive well wide of the fairway and into a flower pot, he wound up chipping in from about 55 feet.

Gainey, a South Carolina native known as “Tommy Two Gloves” because he wears them on both hands, led or shared the lead after each of the first two rounds. After falling off the pace with two bogeys and a double bogey midway through the round, he reeled off four consecutive birdies on Nos. 12-15 to climb back in it.

The focus this week wasn’t solely on the leaders, but on the names moving up and down the FedEx Cup points list.

The Wyndham annually marks the last chance for players to claim spots in the playoffs, and some big names came to Greensboro hoping to play their way in.

Padraig Harrington, who called off a family vacation so he could try to escape the playoff bubble, finished at 6 under and jumped from No. 130 to No. 124. The top 125 qualify for The Barclays later this week in New Jersey.

Ernie Els, who entered at No. 126, made it into the playoff field despite shooting a final-round 72. His 8 under finish pushed him to 118th.

Among those who didn’t make it: Justin Leonard missed a 13-foot putt on the 18th, and that left him at No. 126.



COUPLES TAKES FIRST SENIOR MAJOR
Fred Couples finished off John Cook with a nifty wedge shot to 3 feet on the third hole of a playoff Sunday in the Seniors Players Championship.

Couples won his first senior major title, closing with an even-par 71 to match Cook (70) at 11-under on Westchester Country Club’s West Course—a longtime PGA Tour venue where Couples estimated he has played about 100 rounds in 30 years. Peter Senior (71) was third at 10 under.

Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, won for the first time this season after winning four times last year in his first season on the 50-and-over tour.

He won after having a non-traditional back procedure six weeks ago in Germany, and had to battle the stiff wind and a sore left hip that began giving him trouble during a nearly two-hour rain delay.

Couples joined Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd as the only players to win the Players Championship on the regular and senior tours. He also earned a spot in The Players Championship, an event he won in 1984 and 1996.

Cook held a share of the lead for nine holes but bogeyed No. 16 and missed birdie putts on the final two holes, forcing the second straight playoff and fourth overall in the event.

Tom Lehman (68) was fourth at 9 under, a stroke ahead of 2010 winner Mark O’Meara (69). First-round leader Jeff Sluman (70) slipped into a five-way tie for sixth.

Cook missed a chance for his first major victory, and dropped to 0-5 in Champions Tour playoffs.

 

PETTERSEN TAKES SAFEWAY CLASSIC
Suzann Pettersen overcame a nine-stroke deficit with a 7-under 64 and beat Na Yeon Choi with a par on the first hole of a playoff to win the LPGA Safeway Classic on Sunday

In the playoff, Choi’s second shot on the par-4 18th went into the water to the right of the green, and she missed a putt for bogey before Pettersen sank her winning putt at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Pettersen, coming off a victory Aug. 7 in the European tour’s Ladies Irish Open at Killeen Castle, won her second LPGA Tour title of the year and eighth overall. The Norwegian star jumped to No. 2 in the world rankings behind Yani Tseng.

Choi, from South Korea, finished with a 73 to match Pettersen at 6 under on the Ghost Creek Course.

Choi birdied the par-4 17th to take a one-stroke lead, but dropped a shot after leaving a chip well short on the final hole to force the playoff.

Christina Kim shot a 78 to finish a dismal 11 over, but it was just enough to keep her in the 10th spot in the points standings for the U.S. Solheim Cup team that will take on their European counterparts in late in September at Killeen Castle.

Pettersen has already earned a spot on the European Solheim Cup team. She eagled the par-5 10th hole Sunday to help propel her into the lead.

Hee Young Park, still looking for her first tour win, shot a 67 to finish third at 5 under.

Paula Creamer had a 68 to finish another stroke back. The fan favorite had one of the largest galleries of the day, including a pink-clad admirer who carried a sign reading “Go Paula, Cream the Field.”

Choi tied for second last year, two strokes behind Ai Miyazato.

Miyazato had a final round 68 to finish this weekend at 1 under, while Michelle Wie shot a 75 on Sunday to finish the tournament at 9 over.

Kim went into the event trying to hold off Katie Futcher, Kristy McPherson and Vicky Hurst for the last of automatic spots on the U.S. Solheim Cup team. Rosie Jones was set to add two captain’s picks late Sunday for the Sept. 23-25 matches.




FISHER EARNS FIRST EUROPEAN TOUR VICTORY
Oliver Fisher of England won the Czech Open on Sunday, shooting a 3-under 69 to finish two strokes ahead of Mikael Lundberg of Sweden to earn his first European Tour victory.

Fisher totaled 13-under 275 at Prosper Golf Resort to improve on his previous best result of two runner-up finishes.

Starting the round even with Steven O’Hara, Fisher had consecutive birdies on the seventh, eighth and ninth holes. He had three bogeys on the back nine, but offset that with birdies on the 14th, 16th and 17th to keep the lead.

Lundberg, chasing his third victory, also shot a 69. Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay (66) was third at 279, a shot ahead of Gary Boyd of England (72).

O’Hara collapsed on the back nine with four bogeys, including the last three holes, in a 75. He finished equal fifth with fellow Scot David Drysdale, England’s Steve Webster and Lorenzo Gagli of Italy at 281.



NITTLES CAPTURES NATIONWIDE EVENT
Australia’s James Nitties won the Midwest Classic on Saturday for his first Nationwide Tour title, shooting with a 6-under 65 for a five-stroke victory.

Nitties opened with rounds of 65, 63 and 65 and finished at 26-under 258 at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate. He earned $99,000 to jump from 53rd to 12th on the money list with $150,537, putting him in position to earn a 2012 PGA Tour card as top-25 finisher on the final list.

Jonas Blixt (66) and Nick Flanagan (68) tied for second, and J.J. Killeen (70), Jason Kokrak (65) and Josh Geary (69) followed at 20 under. Killeen was trying to win for the third time in four weeks.



IN OTHER NEWS
U.S. captain Fred Couples wants Tiger Woods on the Presidents Cup team, provided Woods plays tournaments before he shows up at the Australian Open a week before the matches.

Woods missed the cut at the PGA Championship—only his second tournament in four months—and failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. That makes him ineligible for any PGA Tour event until the first week of October. Couples is to make his two captain’s picks on Sept. 26, the day after the Tour Championship.

Woods already has a contract to play in the Australian Open in Sydney. The Presidents Cup is the week after, on Nov. 17-20, at Royal Melbourne. Woods has played every Presidents Cup since he first became eligible for them in 1998.

Couples and Woods are longtime friends, and when Couples agreed to return as captain, he jokingly sent Woods a text message telling him to play well so the captain wouldn’t have to waste a pick on him.

Turns out it was no joke. Because of injuries to his left leg, Woods went from the Masters on April 10 to the Bridgestone Invitational on Aug. 7 without completing a tournament. Then came the final major, where he missed the cut by six shots and finished out of the top 100 for the first time in a major.

Couples said he has talked to Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, about playing more events and “we’re going to figure out a way that we can get this done.”

Woods said upon leaving the PGA Championship that he has plenty of time to work on his game, but he did not rule out playing more.

Couples also said PGA champion Keegan Bradley was not guaranteed a captain’s pick if he needed one. Bradley is a 25-year-old rookie who has won twice this year, including the final major of the year.

Players have until the third playoff event—the BMW Championship in Chicago that ends Sept. 18 to finish among the top 10 and qualifying. Bradley is at No. 18.




Mike Weir’s season has ended because of elbow surgery.

The Canadian left-hander underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right elbow on Thursday. With a recover period of three to six months, he’s not expected back on the PGA Tour until 2012.

His 2010 season also was cut short by a torn ligament in his right elbow. He hasn’t played since withdrawing from last month’s RBC Canadian Open.

He made just two cuts in 15 PGA events this year and earned $23,312. He managed to break 70 in one of the 34 rounds he completed.

The former Masters champion has fallen to 539th in the world rankings.



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Sunday, August 14, 2011

 BRADLEY WINS PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
 Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship after staging an amazing comeback to force a three-hole and beat Jason Dufner at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Bradley trailed by five strokes after making a triple bogey on the 15th hole and Jason Dufner appeared to have the title wrapped up, but Bradley rallied and Dufner collapsed.

The leader put his tee shot in the water at 15, setting up the first of three straight bogeys. Bradley made birdies at 16 and 17, going to the final hole suddenly tied for the lead.

Both players made par on the 72nd hole, but Bradley won the three-hole playoff by a single stroke. He tapped in for par at the 18th hole and lifted the Wanamaker Trophy.

In the playoff, Bradley made a 4-foot birdie at the 16th hole to gain the upper hand. Dufner nearly holed out from the fairway with his approach, then missed a 6-foot birdie try.

Bradley was in command when Dufner three-putted the 17th for a bogey, going to the final hole with a two-stroke edge. Dufner rolled in a 20-footer for birdie but it didn’t matter. Bradley two-putted from 18 feet for the win, tapping into the final hole from about a foot away.

The players were tied at 8-under 272 at the end of regulation.

The 25-year-old Bradley, the nephew of LPGA Hall of Fame member Pat Bradley, won the PGA in his very first appearance at a major championship. Dufner was denied his first tour win.

Going to the playoff, the U.S. was assured of breaking its longest drought the modern era, having gone six straight majors without winning since Phil Mickelson captured the 2010 Masters.

Anders Hansen of Denmark closed with a 4-under 66, but finished one stroke out of the playoff at 273. Robert Karlsson of Sweden, David Toms and Scott Verplank tied for fourth at 275.




 FRIESEN GETS FIRST NATIONWIDE TOUR EVENT
Steve Friesen won the Price Cutter Charity Championship on Sunday for his first Nationwide Tour title, birdieing the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and a five-stroke victory.

Frisen, the 34-year-old former Nebraska player making only his second tour start of the year, finished at 26-under 262 on the Highland Springs course. He opened with rounds of 62, 68 and 68.

He earned $112,500 to move to No. 23 on the money list. The final top 25 will earn 2012 PGA Tour cards.

Gavin Coles (66) was second, and Paul Claxton (66), Cliff Kresge (67), Ted Potter Jr. (67) and Josh Broadaway (69) tied for third at 20 under.



 KANG DEFENDS U.S. WOMENS AMATEUR
Danielle Kang became the first player in 15 years to successfully defend the U.S. Women’s Amateur title, beating Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn 6 and 5 on Sunday in the 36-hole final in rainy and windy conditions at Rhode Island Country Club.


Kang, the 18-year-old from Westlake Village, California, had a 4-up lead after 18 holes and finished off Jutanugarn with a par on the par-4 13th.

Kang, who plans to turn pro, won last year at Charlotte Country Club in North Carolina. Kelli Kuehne was the last player to win two straight years, accomplishing the feat in 1995-96.

The 17-year-old Jutanugarn was the low amateur last month in the U.S. Women’s Open.
 
Her 15-year-old sister, Ariya, her caddie, won the U.S. Girls’ Junior two weeks ago. They were trying to become the first family members to claim two USGA titles in the same year.




  

 IN OTHER NEWS
 Sun-Ju Ahn solidified her position atop the JLPGA money list today with a playoff win over 1st- and 2nd-round leader Akiko Fukushima in the NEC Karuizawa 72. Ahn fired a bogey-free 66 in which she caught the 4-time champion in Nagano at -13 after 10 holes, then matched her birdie for birdie down the stretch as each golfer finished at -16.



Rory McIlroy
is ready for a break.

The U.S. Open champion, taped right wrist and all, shot a 4-over 74 at the PGA Championship on Saturday. McIlroy got off to an awful start with a double-bogey on the first hole and a bogey on the third. He rallied with three birdies coming in but was 12 shots from the top before second-round co-leaders Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley had teed off.

McIlroy said the wrist he injured Thursday when trying to hit a ball that was up against a tree root has improved each day.

He acknowledged once again that he hadn’t used good judgment in trying to advance the ball forward on the third hole Thursday instead of pitching out sideways into the fairway

 McIlroy is packing up the clubs for a couple of weeks before his scheduled return at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland starting Sept. 1.




You won't see
Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour for the rest of this year. Woods missed the cut Friday at the PGA Championship, the first time he's missed a cut in 14 appearances in this major championship.
And that means he will not qualify for the Tour's FedEx Cup playoff series.



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Sunday, August 7, 2011

 SCOTT TAKES BRIDGESTONE
 Adam Scott, who didn’t make a bogey over his last 26 holes and couldn’t afford to with 19-year-old Ryo Ishikawa giving him all he could handle, won the Bridgestone Invitational and his first World Golf Championship.
They were never separated by more than one shot until Scott chipped in from the side of the 12th green, then rolled in a birdie putt from just inside 30 feet on the 14th to build a three-shot lead. Ishikawa three-putted the 15th, and Scott had no trouble closing this one out.

He wound up winning by four shots over world No. 1 Luke Donald, who shot 66; and Rickie Fowler, who played a final round worthy of a winner with a bogey-free 66, only to run into an affable Australian who couldn’t be beat.

Ishikawa made a bogey on the last hole to tie for fourth with Jason Day. They both shot 69. For the Japanese star, it was his highest finish in America.

Scott finished at 17-under 263, the lowest score to win at Firestone since Woods had 259 in 2000 in an 11-shot win.

After missing three months with a leg injury, he finished a tournament for the first time since the Masters on April 10 and closed with a 70 to tie for 37th, 18 shots behind.Scott became the third Australian to win a world title, joining Geoff Ogilvy and Craig Parry. He won for the 18th time in his career and moved back into the top 10 in the world ranking.



PIERCY CAPTURES FIRST PGA TOUR WIN
 Scott Piercy holed a seven-foot par putt at the 72nd hole Sunday and won the Reno-Tahoe Open by a shot over Pat Perez. Piercy picked up his first-ever PGA Tour victory and earned a spot in this week's PGA Championship. Piercy closed with a 70 at the Montreux Country Club for a 15-under par total of 273.

All Scott Piercy needed to do Sunday was two-putt the final hole at the Reno-Tahoe Open from 29 feet for his first PGA Tour victory.

clearpxl Piercy didn't make it easy on himself, he ran his first putt seven feet by then made the nervous come-back putt for his win. He closed with a 2-under par 70 and a 15-under par total of 273.


Piercy will have to change those plans as he jumped from 142nd on the money list to the PGA Championship field and also assured himself a spot in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Piercy led by as many as three shots but a bogey at the 332-yard par-4 14th, dropped him into a tie for the lead with Perez at 15-under.

Perez gave the lead back to Piercy when he bogeyed the 17th hole with a three-putt from the fringe. Perez had a chance to get to 15-under par at the par-5 18th but missed from eight feet for birdie. He wound up solo second after shooting 68.

Blake Adams and Steve Flesch finished tied for third at 13-under 275.



HAAS WINS 3M ON FINAL HOLE
Jay Haas  two-putted from about 30 feet for birdie to win the 3M Championship Sunday, beating Tom Lehman, Kenny Perry and Peter Senior by one shot. It was his first tour victory in two years.

Haas smiled when asked how nervous he was playing the final few holes, especially the par-5 No. 18 with an approach shot over water.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been not nervous on the final hole with a chance to win,” he said. “I hope I continue to be that way.”

Haas started the day one shot behind Senior and John Huston and had a 68 to finish at 15-under 201, the highest winning score at the tournament since 2006.

Seven players were in the lead at 12 under with six holes to play.

Haas, who birdied three straight holes on the front side to get to 13 under before a bogey at No. 10, birdied No. 14 to open a two-shot lead. Perry, who missed a 1-foot par putt on the same hole, birdied No. 16 to get within one and — playing two groups in front of Haas—tied Haas with a birdie on No. 18 after his eagle attempt slid just right. Playing in the second-to-last group, Lehman also birdied No. 18 to temporarily move into a first-place tie.

Forty-six players birdied the final hole and five recorded eagles.

Perry, who has four top-10s in six Champions Tour starts, birdied three of first four holes and five of his first seven to get to 13 under, but struggled to get out a bunker on the par-4 No. 9 and recorded a double-bogey. He was 3 under on the back nine.

Hal Sutton (67) finished two shots back and Tom Watson (65) and Mark O’Meara (68) were three behind. Watson made a 70-foot eagle putt on the final hole, which was statistically the easiest hole all week.



KILLEEN WINS 2ND IN A ROW
J.J. Killeen shot a 3-under 69 to win for the second straight week on the Nationwide Tour, two-putting from 90 feet on the final hole to avoid a five-way playoff at the Cox Classic on Sunday.
The former TCU star sank a 5-footer at the last to finish at 22-under 262, edging Jonas Blixt (64), Ken Duke (66), Gary Christian (65) and former U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee (66) at Champions Run.
Lee was in the final group with Killeen and holed a 15-foot birdie to tie the clubhouse leaders and put pressure on Killeen.

Killeen earned $130,500 for the win and is now second on the money list coming off his victory at the Utah Championship last week. The top 25 on the money list earn PGA Tour cards for next year.



 IN OTHER NEWS
Shanshan Feng broke through today for her 1st big win as a professional by prevailing over a former JLPGA money-list title-holder and an up-and-coming Korean golfer in the final round of the Meiji Chocolate Cup. 

Down 2 at the start of the day, she started off cold with a bogey on the par-3 2nd to fall 3 behind Eun-Bi Jang and remain 2 behind Miho Koga after 6 holes. But then she bounced back with a 3-hole birdie barrage that Koga couldn't match and Jang could respond to only with a corresponding birdie on the short par-5 9th, so at the turn Jang lead Feng by 1 and Koga by 2. 3 holes later, though, and the players were in a dead heat at -12, as Jang went bogey-birdie-par, Feng went par-par-birdie, and Koga went par-birdie-birdie. 

Feng put pressure on her playing partners by birdieing 2 of her next 3 holes and took a 1-shot lead onto the 16th tee when they could only respond with a single birdie each.

And she kept it up by parring out as they each made 2 bogeys in a row, so even though they both birdied the par-5 18th, it was too little, too late to stop Feng, who ended up being the only player in the field to break 70 all 3 rounds. 

Her 67 made Chie Arimura's 9-birdie 64 moot and gave her her 1st win on the JLPGA in only her 2nd start as a member.



  Adam Scott will opt out of defending his Singapore Open title to return home and join a star-studded field at November’s Australian Open.

Scott will join the likes of Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy, Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson at The Lakes from Nov. 10.

Scott told Network TEN television Thursday it was a tough decision to forego defending his title in Singapore, “but the Australian Open is really tough to pass up and I am going to be playing in Sydney.”

Scott won the 2009 Australian Open at the New South Wales Golf Club and has his sights on a second title in the event’s strongest field in years.

 U.S. Open
champion Rory McIlroy loves playing in America so much that wants to join the PGA Tour again.

McIlroy spoke to PGA Tour officials Wednesday morning and said he was leaning toward taking up his tour card next season, meaning he would play at least 15 events on the PGA Tour in 2012.

The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland said he would start looking for a place to live in Florida—either Orlando or the West Palm Beach area—after the PGA Championship next week.

McIlroy, one of the brightest young stars in golf, gave up his PGA Tour membership after 2010, saying he wasn’t interested in the travel involved to play on the PGA and European tours, and that the FedEx Cup playoffs—a big incentive to join the PGA Tour—was too much golf at the end of the summer.

He has three career wins, the biggest two in America—a 62 in the final round at Quail Hollow in 2010, and his record-setting performance in soft conditions at Congressional to win the U.S. Open by eight shots at 16-under 268.

McIlroy struggled in wind at the British Open, however, and said after his final round that he doesn’t enjoy playing in such conditions. “I’d rather play when it’s 80 degrees and sunny and not much wind,” he said at Royal St. George’s.

Asked what changed his mind about PGA Tour membership, McIlroy said it was the British Open.




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