Sunday, October 9, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 10-9-2011

MOLDER BREAKS THROUGH AT FRYS
Bryce Molder won the Frys.com Open after the longest playoff this year on the PGA Tour.
Molder made a 6-foot birdie putt on the sixth extra hole Sunday at CordeValle to outlast Briny Baird and capture his first tour victory in his 132nd attempt.

Molder rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation to close with a 7-under 64 and force a playoff. He had to play the hole three more times including a par he saved from a hazard on the fourth playoff hole— before he could claim the win.

Baird is now 0-for-348 in his 12 years on tour.

Tiger Woods finished 10 shots behind in a tie for 30th in his first tournament in seven weeks. He finished with three consecutive 68's.



FAXON WINS FIRST CHAMPIONS TITLE
Brad Faxon won the Insperity Championship without hitting a shot on Sunday when heavy rain washed out the final round of the Champions Tour’s event.

Faxon, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour who turned 50 on Aug. 1, shot a 7-under 65 in windy conditions Saturday to take a one-stroke lead at 10-under at The Woodlands Country Club.

Tommy Armour III was second, and Eduardo Romero finished two strokes back. Jay Haas, Olin Browne and Schwab Cup points leader Tom Lehman  followed at 7 under, and winner Fred Couples was 4 under.

Faxon won his first title on the 50-and-over circuit in his sixth start.

The round was washed out after two morning delays, Faxon was asked if had ever won a tournament as a pro or amateur, without hitting a shot because of weather on the final day.

Champions Tour official Brian Claar said tour regulations do not allow for a Monday finish.

Armour remained winless on the tour, but did move into top 30 in the money standings to possible qualify for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup.

Lehman retained his large lead in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup points standing headed to the final two events of the season.



TSENG WINS LPGA EVENT
Top-ranked Yani Tseng won the LPGA Hana Bank Championship on Sunday for her sixth LPGA Tour victory of the season and 10th overall title of the year, shooting a 5-under 67 to edge Na Yeon Choi by a stroke.

The 22-year-old Taiwanese star, the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open winner, finished at 14-under 202 on Sky 72 Golf Club’s Ocean Course.

Tseng earned $270,000 to push her tour-leading total to $2,396,838. She has 11 victories in four full seasons on the LPGA Tour.

Choi, the 2009 and 2010 winner, shot a 68, closing with a birdie in front of the large home crowd.

In 2009, Choi birdied the final hole to beat Tseng by a stroke.

Brittany Lincicome , Jamin Jang and second-round leader Soo-Jin Yang  tied for third at 11 under. Michelle Wie had a 69 to tie for 35th at 1 under.



SLATTERY MASTERS MADRID
Lee Slattery of England held on to win the Madrid Masters on Sunday, his double bogey on the final hole good enough for a one-stroke victory that gave him his first title in seven years on the European Tour.

No. 328th-ranked Slattery shot a 1-under 71 in the final round despite wobbling at the par-5 18th. He finished at 15-under 273 to stave off a challenge from Lorenzo Gagli of Italy.

Slattery had also started shakily. His two-shot overnight lead disappeared as he bogeyed the par-3s at Nos. 3 and 5 before recovering with a birdie at No. 7.

Four birdies in five holes after the turn helped him to a three-shot lead going into the final hole that proved to be just enough.

Slattery hit his second on the par-5 No. 18 into a bunker and put his third shot into the water, but gathered himself to pitch his fifth within 15 feet for a two-putt finish.



FOWLER BREAKS THRU GETS FIRST PRO WIN
Rickie Fowler won the OneAsia Tour’s Korea Open on Sunday for his first professional title, closing with a 3-under 68 for a six-stroke victory over U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy.

The 22-year-old Fowler, the 2010 PGA Tour rookie of the year, finished at 16 under at Woo Jeong Hills. He opened with rounds of 67 and 70 and shot a 63 on Saturday.

McIlroy finished with a 64. South Korea’s Kim Meen-whee (71) was third at 10 under, and countryman Y.E. Yang (75) followed at 5 under.



 IN OTHER NEWS
Tiger Woods has his first major endorsement since his downfall two years ago, announcing a deal Wednesday with Rolex to be one of its ambassadors.

Woods had lost five major endorsements in the two years since he was exposed for serial adultery and eventually divorced. He previously had a watch deal with Tag Heuer, which dropped him two months ago.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although it is believed to be longer than five years.

Woods earlier this year announced a deal in Japan to endorse a heat rub product for Kowa Company Ltd., although that was geared exclusively for Japanese markets.
His agent at Excel Sports Management, Mark Steinberg, promised more deals to come.

Steinberg said Rolex would be the first of a “couple of announcements” related to endorsements, including a deal for Woods’ golf bag. He has had his foundation logo on the bag since AT&T dropped him a month after Woods’ sex scandal unfolded in November 2009.

He said a bag deal was likely to be announced as early as six weeks. Woods has been in negotiations with Fry’s Electronics, sponsor of this week’s tournament, although those discussions have been going on for most of the year.



Sun Mountain provided rain suits for the U.S. team for the 2010 Ryder Cup. Of course, they were supposed to repel water, but on Day 1 of the event, when rain was coming down in buckets, the company's outerwear did nothing but soak the precipitation up like a sponge,  forcing the team to buy new waterproofs for the rest of the week.

It was a PR nightmare that forced the company into damage-control mode. While Sun Mountain has bounced back from the ordeal, most figured the odds of them getting a second chance were pretty slim.

However. on Wednesday, Sun Mountain announced the company had been chosen to be the official outerwear provider of the U.S. Presidents Cup team.



Webb Simpson plans to play the McGladrey Classic next week, giving him a shot at replacing Luke Donald atop the PGA Tour money list.
Donald is trying to become the first player to win money titles on the PGA Tour and European Tour in the same year. When the FedEx Cup ended, Donald was No. 1 on the list by $68,971 over Simpson.
Simpson’s agent, Thomas Parker, said Simpson planned to play at Sea Island next week and that he would decide later whether to play the season-ending tournament at Disney.

Donald has a large lead in the money list in Europe. He could add Disney if he wanted, although his wife is expecting their second child.



Scottish golfer Elliot Saltman made a hole-in-one during his second round at the Madrid Masters and earned a tasty prize—his bodyweight in ham.
Saltman made the shot from the par-3 third hole at El Encin Golf Hotel. Heavily cured and salted ham is a Spanish delicacy.
Saltman has a knack of carding holes-in-one he hit two in different rounds at the 17th hole in the Wales Open in June.
Ham was the prized offered for a hole-in-one at the third prizes on other holes included a car and a watch.
Tournament spokeswoman Maria Madrigal told The Associated Press that Saltman would take home about 238 pounds of ham, with organizers going by the weight listed on his official European Tour profile.



A strange year for Tiger Woods  took another bizarre twist Sunday when a fan was arrested for running toward the seventh green at CordeValle and tossing a hot dog in Woods’ direction.

The bun barely reached the green. The hot dog landed on the putting surface.

The 31-year-old man, whose name wasn’t released, dropped to the ground to be arrested as Santa Clara sheriff’s deputies converged on him. Woods backed off his birdie putt, then quickly resumed play.




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