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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