Monday, October 3, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 10-2-2011


 NA GETS FIRST PGA TOUR WIN
Kevin Na birdied holes 15, 16, and 17 and parred the 18th to stay at 23 under and hold off Nick Watney and win the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday at TPC Summerlin.
Na, a Las Vegas-area resident, has been close many times before but never broken through with that first victory. Making his 132nd career start, Na put together rounds of 66-65 on the weekend to break out of ties following the second and third rounds.
The victory moves Na to 33 on the PGA TOUR money list.



HOEY WINS DUNHILL
Michael Hoey edged countrymen Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell to win the Dunhill Links Championship by two shots on Sunday, continuing his country’s recent success in world golf.

Hoey, ranked No. 271, lost his three-shot overnight lead early in the final round but regrouped well, birdying three of the last four holes for a 4-under 68. His 22-under total broke the tournament record, set by Lee Westwood eight years ago, by one shot.

McIlroy’s closing 65 gave him second place two shots clear of McDowell  and Scotland’s George Murray, who finished tied for third.

Hoey led or held a share of the lead after every round of this week’s prestigious pro-am played over three of Scotland’s best courses—St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.

This was the first-ever Northern Irish 1-2-3 at a European Tour event, just adding to the country’s strong run in the sport. McIlroy, McDowell and current British Open champion Darren Clarke each have won a major in the last 15 months.



 PERRY WINS FIRST CHAMPIONS TITLE
Kenny Perry won the SAS Championship on Sunday for his first Champions Tour title, making a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th en route to a 2-under 70 and a one-stroke victory over Jeff Sluman and John Huston.

The 51-year-old Perry, a 14-time winner on the PGA Tour winner, had an 11-under 205 total—the highest winning score in tournament history—on the Prestonwood Country Club course.

Sluman also finished with a 70, and Huston shot a 71.



 IN OTHER NEWS
Lexi Thompson proved she was good enough to play on the LPGA Tour as a 16-year-old when she beat a strong field by five shots two weeks ago. She was granted membership Friday based on more than birdies and bogeys.

LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan approved Thompson’s petition to become the LPGA Tour’s youngest member effective in January, impressed with how the Florida teen handled herself in all aspects of tour life.

Thompson filed a formal petition Thursday that the LPGA waive its policy of members being at least 18. Whan approved it one day later, although he described that more as a formality.



Tests have confirmed that Steve Stricker has a herniated disk in his neck. The next step for the highest-ranked American golfer is figuring out what to do about it.

Stricker’s agent at IMG, Jon Heaton, said Wednesday that an MRI confirmed the neck injury. He says Stricker is not feeling any pain, although he is weak in his left arm.

He says Stricker is consulting specialists and evaluating treatment options.

Still to be decided is whether Stricker is fit enough to play Nov. 17-20 in the Presidents Cup. U.S. captain Fred Couples has said if Stricker can’t play, he would be replaced by PGA champion Keegan Bradley.




According to Tim Rosaforte  of the Golf Channel, Tiger Woods broke the course record at The Medalist, a Greg Norman design in Florida, on Friday, shooting a 62 to best the previous record by two shots. Tiger posted a back-nine 29 that included seven birdies, not bad for a man that has broke 70 only once on tour since returning from injury in August.

It was just a practice round and didn't count for anything on the PGA Tour, but it's still an impressive number by the former world number one.



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