Sunday, November 27, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 11-27-2011

 KUCHER AND WOODLAND TAKE TEAM EVENT
Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland won the Omega World Cup  team event in China for the first time since David Duval and Tiger Woods were teamed up together in 2000, and did so with some really great play throughout the entire week.

It just seemed to click with the long-hitting Woodland and the accurate Kuchar, who drained some long putts during Sunday's alternate shot to post a five-under 67 to finish at 24-under for the week, two shots better then a late-charging English team of Ian Poulter and Justin Rose.

 Before the final round, the Irish team of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, the past two U.S. Open winners, were two shots clear of the field, but could only muster an even-par round on Sunday, dropping them well behind the Americans.

Next year is the Ryder Cup so look for Woodland to get serious consideration from Captain Davis Love III after his performance. Kucher is a good bet to make the team,so they could make a formidible team. Stay tuned.



 CHALMERS DOUBLES UP DOWN UNDER
Greg Chalmers claimed his second major tournament Down Under in two weeks by winning the Australian PGA Championship on Sunday, making par in a three-man playoff while his rivals found trouble off the tee.

The left-handed Chalmers, who closed with a 5-under 67, added the PGA to the Australian Open title he won at The Lakes in Sydney two weeks previously. He will have a chance to complete the so-called Australian Triple Crown when he competes in the Australian Masters in Melbourne beginning Dec. 15.

Marcus Fraser got into the playoff with a 50-foot birdie putt on the 18th in regulation to complete a final round 69, while Robert Allenby had a 68 as the playoff trio finished with 12-under-par totals of 276 on the Hyatt Regency resort course.

Adam Scott shot 68 and Aaron Baddeley, who led before two late bogeys, had a 72 to finish at 10-under, two shots out of the playoff and tied for fourth.Third-round leader K.T. Kim and American Bubba Watson, who trailed by a stroke after 54 holes, were a combined 9-over in the final group.

American Rickie Fowler, making his professional debut in Australia after winning the world amateur title in 2008 in Adelaide, closed with a 70 and was at 6-under 282, six behind.



 OTTO TAKES SOUTH AFRICAN OPEN
 Hennie Otto kept his nerve to par the 18th hole for a one-stroke victory over Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger at the South African Open.

Home favorite Otto finished with an even-par 72 for a 14-under total of 274 to edge out Wiesberger and claim his second European Tour title in 222 events.

Wiesberger made his final-round charge with five birdies and a bogey in a 4-under 68 to move to 13-under for the tournament at the Serengeti course.

After wobbling with bogeys at Nos. 13, 15 and 16, overnight leader Otto birdied the 17th and held his nerve on the last for his first tour win since the Italian Open in 2008.

Retief Goosen ended with a 73 for a share of sixth place at 10-under, while defending champion Ernie Els had three double bogeys in his 79 to crash to a tie for 69th at 5-over.

England’s Richard McEvoy finished with a 4-under 68 to tie for third alongside home players Ockie Strydom (69) and Thomas Aiken (72) at 11-under, two back from Wiesberger and three behind Otto.

Searching for a third South African Open title, Goosen managed just two birdies and three bogeys in his final round to slip from a tie for second after the third round.

He finished alongside Sweden’s Magnus Carlsson (73) and another South African, Trevor Fisher Jr., on 10-under.

Els followed up his 76 on Saturday with a 7-over-par 79 the day’s worst round on Sunday.



IN OTHER NEWS

Lee Westwood has decided to join the PGA Tour again.

It will be the first time the English star has taken up PGA Tour membership since the 2008 season. The move requires Westwood to compete in 15 tournaments, which includes the four majors and World Golf Championships.

Westwood says he will return to The Players Championship, which he skipped this year because his schedule already was full. He also said he was intrigued watching the FedEx Cup playoffs on television and would like to take part in them.

Westwood started the year at No. 1 in the world and has since slipped to No. 3. He plans to start his American schedule next year at the Match Play Championship in Arizona, which counts toward the PGA and European tours.




Tiger Woods appeared to turn his back on Torrey Pines when he announced last week that he would open his 2012 season that week in Abu Dhabi at the HSBC Championship, with an appearance fee that likely approaches $3 million.

Woods not only is a seven-time winner at Torrey Pines he has started every season when healthy in San Diego since 2006, and the Farmers Insurance Open was the only California event he played during the West Coast Swing.

But there’s a bigger picture to his scheduling.

Indications are that Woods plans a return to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the first time since 2002.

Woods had planned to play Pebble Beach in 2010 when he had the AT&T logo on his bag, though that was before his personal life imploded. He could not play last year because it was opposite the Dubai Desert Classic, and Woods was fulfilling an existing contract.

Since he last played the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the tournament has improved by trimming the field from 180 players to 156 players, and taking Poppy Hills out of the rotation and replacing it with the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula.



Former No. 1 player in the world, David Duval whose 14 wins include the British Open, went back  to the second stage of Q-school. Duval closed with a 70 and was the runner-up at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta, Calif., easily advancing to the final stage next week.

Duval already had used his two exemptions from the career money list. He didn’t mind going back to the final stage of Q-school, for he had done that only two years earlier.

To fall outside the top 150, however, would give him two options—go to the second stage of Q-school, or get limited starts as a past champion and spend the rest of the year asking for handouts.

Neither was terribly appealing, especially the second stage of Q-school, but he decided to go because he still felt he could play and this is what he wants to do.

The next leg is the hardest one yet. Still to come are six rounds in the California desert. And even if Duval manages to get his card, he will not be assured of getting into the tournaments he once routinely played.
He still is going to need help with exemptions, and his ego is certainly not too big for that.



 Joseph “Bud” Lewis, the golf professional who was the longest serving and oldest living member of the PGA of America, has died. He was 103.


The Shelly Funeral Home said Lewis died Tuesday of natural causes.

With Lewis’ death, the PGA of America said Samuel Henry “Errie” Ball of Stuart, Fla., is the oldest living PGA of America member. Ball is 101.

Lewis became a PGA member in May 1931 and was the first to reach 80 years of membership.
He became head professional at Manufacturers Golf & Country Club in 1943 and spent 37 years in the position. He later was the club’s pro emeritus.

He won the Philadelphia Open in 1942 and 1950, and qualified for the PGA Championship four times and the U.S. Open three times. He was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame in 1996.

Lewis is survived by sons Joseph Jr. and Dan, daughter Jean, 12 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.



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Sunday, November 20, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 11-20-2011

AMERICANS RETAIN PRESIDENT'S CUP
 The Americans returned Down Under and won the Presidents Cup.

Jim Furyk became the fourth player to win all five of his matches, and the bottom half of the lineup was strong enough Sunday to give the Americans their fourth straight win in this lopsided series.
Perhaps it was only fitting that Tiger Woods clinched the cup for the second straight time.

U.S. captain Fred Couples was criticized for using a pick on Woods, who had been out with an injury most of the summer and had not won since his personal life crumbled two years ago. Woods played well all week, even if he didn’t always get rewarded with a point. In his singles match against Aaron Baddeley, he was never seriously challenged.

Woods closed out Baddeley, 4 and 3, and the celebration was on.

The Americans won, 19-15, the third straight time they have won by at least four points.
It was a small measure of revenge for the Americans, whose only lost came at Royal Melbourne in 1998. And it was vindication for Couples, who said a month early that he was taking Woods because he was the “best player forever.”

Woods looked as if he was headed in that direction.

The Americans led after each session, and their 13-9 lead going into the final session Sunday was too much for the International team to overcome, even with a loud and boisterous Australian crowd behind it.


DUTCHMAN TAKES JOHOR OPEN
 Dutchman Joost Luiten won the rain-shortened Johor Open on Sunday for his first European Tour title, closing with a 6-under 65 for a one-stroke victory over Sweden’s Daniel Chopra.

Luiten finished at 15-under 198 at Horizon Hills in the event also sanctioned by the Asian Tour.
Chopra birdied three of the last six holes for a 70.

Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, the 2010 winner, shot a 69 to tie for third with Wales’ Rhys Davies (65) and England’s James Morrison (69).

Defending champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland tied for third at 13-under along with Wales’ Rhys Davies and England’s James Morrison.



 MULROY WINS DUNHILL CHAMPIONSHIP
Home favorite Garth Mulroy held off a spirited final-round challenge from Briton George Murray to win his first tour title by two shots at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa on Sunday.

The world number 281 posted a final round four-under 68 to finish on 19-under 269, clear of Murray (67) with four players four strokes further back in third.

Mulroy sparkled on the back nine on Saturday when he carded five straight birdies, and his game was again on song for Sunday's final stretch when he notched up four birdies, including a monster putt for a two at the par-three 16th.

World number 95 George Coetzee of South Africa, the highest-ranked player in the field, hit a 69 to finish tied third (275) with compatriot Jaco van Zyl (67), Chile's Felipe Aguilar (72) and Briton Peter Whiteford (71).



PARK TAKES LPGA FINALE
South Korea's Hee Young Park won the LPGA Tour's season-ending Titleholders for her first tour victory, closing with a 2-under 70 on Sunday to hold off Paula Creamer and San Gal by two strokes.

Park, tied for the third-round lead with Gal, finished at 9-under 279  and earned $500,000.
The 24-year-old Park also has six victories on the Korean LPGA.

After bogeying the fourth hole, Park birdied three of the next four and parred the final 10 holes.
"She had great composure all day long," Gal said about Park.

Creamer also finished with a 70, and Gal shot a 72.

Creamer was winless this season.

Gal missed a chance for her second victory of the year.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 74 to tie for sixth at 2 under.

She won seven times on the LPGA Tour this year and had four other worldwide titles. The Taiwanese star was the Rolex Player of the Year for the second straight year, won her first Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average at 69.66, and topped the money list with $2,921,713.





 IN OTHER NEWS
 Greg Norman, never one to mince words, had criticized his counterpart Fred Couples for making Tiger Woods a captain’s pick, then watched at Royal Melbourne as one of his, Robert Allenby, failed to win a point in yet another losing cause for the Internationals

But Norman said he has no regrets. He was his usual upbeat self Sunday after the 19-15 loss to the Americans, and said that although he won’t be back as captain in 2013, he might be an assistant if asked.”

The Presidents Cup, which pits the U.S. against teams from non-European countries, has always taken a back seat to The Ryder Cup. And the United States has dominated nine Presidents Cup tournaments since 1994, winning seven times, losing once – at Royal Melbourne in 1998 – and tying in South Africa in 2003.

Norman said he’d like to see changes that would give the host country a say in the format.

He said he’d like to see the foursomes (alternate-shot) matches reduced, as that’s where the Internationals have been traditionally poor because the Americans play that format every year – in Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup.

 What’s wrong with the host nation of having the choice of the format anyway? Any golf tournament has got to be fine-tuned every year.” Norman said.




 Tiger Woods won't be starting his 2012 season at Torrey Pines. Instead of his traditional PGA Tour start in San Diego, Woods has agreed to play in a tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Woods will play in the Jan. 26-29 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship along with current No. 1 Luke Donald and defending champion Martin Kaymer, Abu Dhabi organizers said Wednesday.


The move is somewhat surprising for Woods, taking appearance money for the European Tour event instead of playing what he considers one of his favorite PGA Tour courses. He's won seven times at Torrey Pines as a pro, including his 14th and last major at the 2008 U.S. Open.

Woods has been starting his season at Torrey Pines, when healthy, since 2006. He missed the 2009 and 2010 tournaments because of injuries.



 Jeff Freeman won the Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament on Friday, shooting his fourth straight 5-under 66 for a four-stroke victory on TPC Scottsdale’s Champions Course

Freeman, a 49-year-old club professional at the Country Club of Orlando and the 1999 PGA Professional Player of the Year, birdied Nos. 4-8 and shot a 6-under 29 on the front nine.

Freeman won’t be eligible to compete on the Champions Tour until mid-April when he turns 50. He had a lengthy career on the Nationwide Tour with 176 starts, playing fulltime in 1994 and again from 2001-06. He also made 18 starts on the PGA Tour, 10 in 2000.

Gary Hallberg and Canadian Jim Rutledge tied for second at 16 under. Hallberg closed with a 68, and Rutledge finished with a 68.
Jeff Hart (67) was fourth at 15 under, and P.H. Horgan III (68) was another stroke back to take the final exempt position—before the reorder—for the 2012 season




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Monday, November 14, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 11-12-2011

 MICKELSON ELECTED TO HOF
 Phil Mickelson, one of the winningest and best-known golfers in history, will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May 2012.

Mickelson was elected to the Hall with 72 percent of the vote, the highest percentage since Greg Norman with 80 percent a decade ago. Since arriving on the professional scene two decades ago, Mickelson has been one of golf's most visible figures. He's won four majors, three Masters and one PGA Championship, and he's played on 17 Ryder and Presidents Cup teams, including the one kicking off next week. He reached a career high World Golf Ranking of No. 2.

Mickelson is the only member of the PGA Tour to be inducted; the inductees from International and Lifetime Achievement categories will be announced at a later date. The next-closest nominees were Fred Couples with 38 percent of the vote and Davis Love III and Mark O'Meara with 29 percent apiece.



CHALMERS TAKES AUSSIE OPEN: TIGER THIRD
 Greg Chalmers won his national championship for the second time Sunday, closing with a 3-under 69 to hold off a late charge by Woods and a 50-foot birdie putt by John Senden that nearly forced a playoff.

Woods had his best chance of winning all year.

“Two holes on the back nine today, and I putted awful yesterday, or I would have been right there,” Woods said.
Two tee shots led to bogeys on the back nine, though he also made birdie on the second-toughest hole at The Lakes on No. 12, then chipped in from just off the green for eagle on the 14th. Woods missed a 12-foot eagle putt on the 17th for a share of the lead.

Behind him, Chalmers made his final birdie with a brilliant tee shot on the par-3 15th hole to tap-in range, then played mistake-free down the stretch and picked up a meaningful par on the par-3 18th with an up-and-down from the bunker.

Chalmers last won the Australian Open in 1998 at Royal Adelaide, a week before the Presidents Cup in Melbourne.

The matches return to Royal Melbourne next week, and Woods at least showed that he wasn’t a complete waste of a captain’s pick by Fred Couples. He not only was the low American by finishing alone in third, he looked good doing it.

Chalmers finished at 13-under 275.

It was a strong field for the Australian Open, with eight Americans on the Presidents Cup team getting ready for next week. That included Woods, a steady presence on the leaderboard. For Chalmers, satisfaction came from his name on the silver trophy again.

Senden, the 54-hole leader, faltered early but gave himself a chance late with a good pitch across the 17th green for birdie. His long putt on the 18th went over the ridge and broke back toward the high side of the cup but missed by inches. He closed with a 72.

Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy had a 7-under 65 to tie for fourth with Adam Scott (68), Nick Watney (72), Nick O’Hern (72) and Jason Day, who hit his opening tee shot in the water and had a 74.



 MATTHEW WINS LPGA EVENT
 Catriona Matthew won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on Sunday for her fourth career LPGA Tour title, closing with a 1-under 71 for a four-stroke victory in the 36-player event.

Matthew, the 42-year-old Scot whose last victory came in the 2009 Women’s British Open, had a 12-under 276 total at Guadalajara Country Club and earned $200,000.

Anna Nordqvist and 2010 winner I.K. Kim tied for second. They each shot 71. Hall of Famer Juli Inkster had a 72 to tie for fourth with Ai Miyazato (71) and Hee Kyung Seo (69) at 5 under.
Michelle Wie, the 2009 winner, tied for ninth at 2 under after a 71.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 72 to tie for 19th at 3 over.



CASTANO TAKES SINGAPORE OPEN
 Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano won the rain-delayed Singapore Open on Monday, beating Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff.

After finishing level at 14-under 199 Sunday after the third and final round, Pagunsan and Fernandez-Castano teed off on the playoff hole before play was suspended for 90 minutes because of rain and the threat of lighting. The storm let up briefly, allowing players to hit one more shot before more rain stopped play again and forced the playoff into Monday.

Fernandez-Castano had started Sunday with a three-shot lead but faltered with three bogies on the back nine, allowing Pagunsan into contention.

Pagunsan had a chance to win on the first playoff hole but missed a short birdie putt

Fernandez-Castano earned $990,520 for his fifth victory on the European Tour. The $6 million event also was sanctioned by the Asian Tour.

Anthony Kim and Louis Oosthuizen  were tied for third, a stroke back.

Edoardo Molinari, Danny Lee and Joost Luiten tied for fifth at 12 under. Graeme McDowell finished 8 under, Ernie Els was 6 under and Phil Mickelson shot a 70 on Sunday to tie for 33rd at 5 under.

Long rain delays on Friday and Saturday forced organizers to shorten the tournament from four rounds to three.


 IN OTHER NEWS
John Daly hit seven balls into the water on the 11th hole Thursday and stormed off the golf course at the Australian Open.

Already with a tarnished reputation Down Under, Daly might have gone too far with Australia’s golf hierarchy. He was banned from playing in the Australian PGA in two weeks, and he might not be welcome back.

“It’s very disappointing for the tournament … that he has treated the championship this way,” said Trevor Herden, Golf Australia’s director of tournaments. “It is a bit of a habit.”

Daly was 7 over after 10 holes in the first round after becoming upset on the 10th hole when he hit a practice ball out of a bunker, believing it was his tee shot. The two-shot penalty and a three-putt that followed gave him a triple-bogey.

On the 11th, he hit ball after ball into the water, some landing in the center of the pond. Moments later, Daly shook hands with playing partners Craig Parry and Hunter Mahan and walked off the course.

He would have been hitting his 16th shot if he had more golf balls.

Daly wrote on Twitter to explain himself, saying “when u run out of balls u run out of balls. yes, I shook my player’s partners hands & signed my card w/rules official.”

In a text message to The Associated Press, Daly said he hasn’t had confidence in his game since he was injured five years ago, and that he never thought he would run out of balls during a round.

Herden said Daly’s actions were “unprofessional” and action needed to be taken against him. And Herden said running out of balls was no excuse for walking off the course.

“If you run out of golf balls, and you are acting in a professional manner, you will call a rules official and we will get the type of ball he is playing with and replenish his stock,” Herden said. “We can do that. For him to treat it as ‘that’s it’ and ‘see you later,’ that’s not good enough.”

The PGA of Australia later issued a statement saying no appearance fees had been paid to Daly. It also said Daly’s actions Thursday would be referred to a disciplinary committee.Daly, now ranked 666th in the world, was scheduled to play at the Australian PGA at the Hyatt Regency course at Coolum in two weeks. That won’t be happening, as the PGA of Australia withdrew the invitation.



 Luke Donald’s wife gave birth to a girl Friday morning in the north suburbs of Chicago, and both are said to be doing well. Sophia Ann Donald was born at 2:11 a.m. CST. Donald has another daughter, Elle, who was born last year.

Donald, poised to become the first player in history to win the money title on the PGA Tour and European Tour in the same year, next plays the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa on Dec. 1-4 before ending the European Tour season in the Dubai World Championship.



Greg Norman’s no-show at a black-tie dinner marking the 100th anniversary of the Professional Golfers Association of Australia prompted plenty of rumors, yet had a simple explanation.

The rumor mill flowed at the Australian Open on Saturday: that he had snubbed the PGA, that a courtesy car sent for him hadn’t arrived. Instead, as Norman revealed Saturday, he had a bad blister on his left heel—so bad that he left The Lakes course on Friday in bare feet.

So the thought of putting on dress shoes on to attend the function at Sydney Town Hall was out of the question, even if he is patron of the centenary celebrations.

Organizers got Adam Scott and Robert Allenby to replace him in a panel discussion, and PGA officials apologized to the crowd of 400 on Norman’s behalf.



Captain Fred Couples was worried about the health of his President's Cup squad but with a rested Hunter Mahan and a now healthy  Steve Stricker Couples can rest better at night.

Stricker presented the biggest concern, not only as the highest-ranked American at Royal American (No. 5), but as the partner for Tiger Woods when they won all four of their matches two years ago at Harding Park in another U.S. victory.

The pain in his neck began a year ago when he was in a deer stand during the offseason, taking aim with his bow when his left arm collapsed. Exercise got it up to full strength again, and Stricker went on to win the Memorial and the John Deere Classic. But he relaxed his workout regimen, and his left arm felt so weak in September that he withdrew from the BMW Championship outside Chicago.

 Stricker was among eight American team members on the course Monday. South Korea’s K.J. Choi was the only International player to practice, although Norman and his assistant captains Frank Nobilo and Tim Clark surveyed the course.

Stricker has played two rounds on the composite course at Royal Melbourne, one of the finest courses in the world, which put him ahead of the curve compared with the rest of the teams. Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk were the only Americans on the 1998 team at Royal Melbourne when the International team won in a landslide.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 11-06-2011

 KAYMER TAKES HSBC CHAMPION EVENT
 Martin Kaymer made nine birdies over his last 12 holes Sunday and closed with a 9-under 63 to win the HSBC Champions for the biggest comeback ever in a World Golf Championship.

Starting the final round five shots behind Fredrik Jacobson, with a host of stars around him, Kaymer ran off four straight birdies to start the back nine at Sheshan International. The German finally caught Jacobson with a birdie on the 13th, and then poured it on with key birdies on the final two holes.

Kaymer delivered the lowest closing round by a WGC winner since the series began in 1999, topping the 64 by Hunter Mahan last year at the Bridgestone Invitational.

Kaymer is the 10th player to win a WGC and a major championship.

Adam Scott, got within two shots of the lead early in the round until making two soft bogeys and never recovering. He closed with a 73 and was eight shots behind.

Jacobson led by as many as three shots until a long three-putt bogey on the par-5 eighth. As Kaymer made his charge, the Swede came to life with birdies on the 12th and 14th to stay tied. Jacobson’s hopes ended, however, when he pulled his tee shot into the rough left of the par-3 17th and failed to get par. He shot 71 and finished three shots behind.

Graeme McDowell closed with two birdies for a 67 to finish alone in third, quite a turnaround from last week in the Andalucia Masters when he failed to break 80 over the last two rounds at Valderrama.

Rory McIlroy made a short birdie on the par-5 18th that gave him a 69 and was significant for one other reason. With a three-way tie for fourth, he moved past Lee Westwood to the No. 2 ranking. Westwood, playing in the same group, shot 40 on the front nine and closed with a 74 to tie for 13th.
It was the second win of the year for Kaymer, who moves to No. 4.

He won his first tournament of the year at Abu Dhabi and became the top-ranked player at the end of February, holding the spot for eight weeks. Kaymer said he struggled with the attention of being No. 1, and the face of golf in Germany.



BLAKE WINS TOURNEY, LEHMAN WINS SCHWAB CUP
Jay Don Blake won the Charles Schwab Championship on Sunday for his second victory of the season following a 20-year drought, and Tom Lehman took the season points title and $1 million annuity.
Blake closed with an even-par 71 for a two-stroke victory in the Champions Tour’s season finale. He finished at 8-under 276 at TPC Harding Park.

Mark Calcavecchia, Loren Roberts, Michael Allen and Jay Haas tied for second.
Lehman shot a 72 to tie for 18th at 2 over, enough to hold off Calcavecchia by 74 points. Calcavecchia needed to finish no worse than a tie for second with one other player to have a chance to overtake Lehman.

Almost two months after surviving a five-hole playoff to win the Songdo Championship in South Korea for his first win since 1991, Blake calmly worked his way through the final round while a crowd of contenders took turns making brief runs at the lead.

Blake hit 12 of 14 fairways, made a pair of nice par saves out of the sand on the back nine then made the tournament-winning par on 18 after taking a bogey on the par-3 17th.

Nearly two dozen friends and family members rushed the green after Blake sank a short putt for par on the final hole. He earned $440,000 and finished fourth in the overall standings.

Blake, who had a four-shot lead with five holes to go and got some help from the contenders behind him.
Allen, second at this tournament in 2010, got to 7 under twice but couldn’t capitalize. He birdied No. 16 but a bogey on 17 dropped him back.

David Frost, who shared the lead after two rounds, also got to 7 under before fading. Frost had a 72 and finished in sixth at 5 under.

With Blake cruising, the only drama surrounded the points title.

Lehman, a three-time winner this season, struggled most of the tournament and never had more than two birdies in a round. Playing several groups ahead of Calcavecchia, Lehman had to watch from near the 18th green until his title was secured.

Calcavecchia made Lehman sweat it out and hit a solid tee shot on 18 before pushing his approach far right. He two-putted for par, then watched his chances at passing Lehman end when Allen putted out for par, guaranteeing at least a three-way tie for second.

Two-time defending tournament champion John Cook tied for 20th at 3 over.




 IN OTHER NEWS
Steve Williams ripped into his old boss with a racial slur that caused even more commotion involving the jilted caddie and golf’s biggest name.

Williams, still angered over getting fired by Woods this summer, was working for Adam Scott when he won the Bridgestone Invitational. That tournament also was the first time Woods played since splitting with his caddie. An emotionally charged Williams gave a TV interview on the 18th green and called it “the best win of my life,” even though he had been on the bag for 13 majors with Woods.

On Friday night, at the  Caddies  Award roast the host called Williams to the stage to collect his award "Celebration of the Year" and asked him to explain his enthusiasm. Williams, with a smirk on his face, leaned toward the microphone and said, “It was my aim to shove it right up that black a.......

On a night filled with banter and off-color remarks, this one was a show-stopper. Heads turned, eyes widened and jaws dropped amid a mixture of shock and laughter.

Williams later issued a statement apologizing to Woods. That was good enough for Scott, who said he had no plans to fire his caddie.



Brandt Snedeker will be out of golf the rest of the year as he recovers from hip surgery.

Snedeker, who won The Heritage in April and nearly earned a spot on the U.S. Presidents Cup team, had surgery Tuesday to fix a degenerative issue in his right hip. He is not expected to compete again for six to eight weeks.

Rickie Fowler will take Snedeker’s spot in the Chevron World Challenge, played Dec. 1-4 at Sherwood Country Club in California. Snedeker will be replaced by Bo Van Pelt a week later at the Shark Shootout in Florida.



Frank Bensel overcame an eight-stroke deficit Sunday to win the Callaway Golf PGA Assistant Championship for the second straight year, shooting a 6-under 66 in windy conditions for an improbable one-stroke victory.


The 43-year-old Bensel, the PGA assistant professional at Century Country Club in Purchase, New York, had an eagle, five birdies and just one bogey to finish at 5-under 283 on PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course.

He earned a spot in the PGA Professional National Championship in June, and the top 10 finishers and ties received berths in the first stage of the 2012 PGA Tour qualifying tournament.

Third-round leaders Aaron Clark and Scott Berliner shot 75s to tie for second with Jamie Broce, Tyler Hitchcock, Ryan Sikora, and Richard Terga.



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