Sunday, December 11, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 12-11-2011

QUIROS WINS BUT DONALD MAKES HISTORY
Alvaro Quiros holed a 40-foot eagle putt on the 18th to clinch a two-shot win over 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie at the Dubai World Championship on Sunday as No. 1-ranked Luke Donald became the first golfer to win both the PGA Tour and European Tour money titles.

The 34-year-old Donald, who won the PGA title earlier this year, had to finish better than ninth or hope Rory McIlroy didn’t win the tournament. He finished third while McIIroy, who has struggled with a lingering virus all week, finished in a tie for 11th at 9-under 279. That left McIlroy more than $1.34 million behind Donald in the money race.

Quiros had a final-round 5-under 67 on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates to finish at 269. Donald was three shots behind Quiros after he ran off three birdies in a row for a 6-under 66. Peter Hanson of Sweden was fourth, another two shots back, and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was in fifth another shot behind.

The big-hitting Quiros came into the final day with a two-shot lead but squandered it after he had three bogeys on the front nine to go with five birdies. Lawrie, who led after the first day, took the lead after he notched five birdies in his first eight holes.



BRADLEY AND STEELE WIN SHOOTOUT
PGA Champion Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele shot a 13-under 59 in scramble play Sunday to become the first PGA Tour rookies to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout.

Bradley and Steele took control with an eagle by Steele on No. 14 and a birdie on No. 15, finishing at 32-under 184 for a three-stroke victory over two teams.

Bradley and Steele had been talking about playing in Greg Norman’s event since the spring, and said they weren’t at the three-format event to “goof off.”

After sharing the lead with Champions Tour golfers Mark Calcavecchia and Nick Price following the first round of modified alternate shot, they were one ahead of them after Saturday’s better-ball.

Calcavecchia birdied No. 18 to give him and Price a 61, moving them into a tie for second at 187 with Rory Sabbatini and Jhonattan Vegas, who shot 60. Charles Howell III and Justin Leonard, and 2009 champions Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker tied for fourth another shot back.

Bradley, the reigning PGA Championship winner, and Steele made seven straight birdies from Nos. 6 to 13, then Steele made an eagle putt from off the green, and followed that up with a 4-footer on No. 15 for birdie.

Bradley and Steele had a chance at the tournament record of 34 under, but parred No. 16 and 18 coming in. Bradley, the nephew of former LPGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Famer Pat Bradley, and Steele shared $750,000 from the $3-million purse.


 
IN OTHER NEWS
The European Tour says it has agreed to keep the final event of the Race To Dubai in the city for three years and increase the prize money by $500,000 to $8 million.

European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said Sunday the next three editions of the Dubai World Championship will be rebranded as the DP World Championship, Dubai starting in 2012 will also return to Jumeirah Golf Estates, the host course since its inception in 2009.

The Race To Dubai includes 52 tournaments in 29 countries and concludes in Dubai.




The LPGA tournament in Springfield has been canceled after organizers failed to find a new sponsor.
Tournament executive director Kate Peters said Friday that the board decided late Thursday to end the event after 36 years. State Farm withdrew as the event title sponsor in February.

Peters said the board had tried to land a new sponsor and had been working with the LPGA. Top-ranked Yani Tseng won the tournament in June.

State Farm considered backing out of the tournament in 2009 but the LPGA and tournament organizers convinced the Bloomington-based insurer to stay on.



Rory McIlroy says he is pulling out of next week’s Thailand Golf Championship as he continues to recover from the lingering effects of dengue fever.

McIlroy showed signs of fatigue during his 11th place finish at this week’s Dubai World Championship. He said Saturday he felt exhausted and that blood tests have shown his white blood cell count remains low.

The U.S. Open champion believes he picked up a “mild case of dengue fever” when he was playing tournaments in South Korea and China.

McIlroy said he won’t play again until next month’s European Tour event in Abu Dhabi, and will remain in Dubai for the next few days to rest.



 Lorena Ochoa has given birth to a baby boy.

Ochoa’s brother Alejandro said the baby was born Thursday at 8:58 p.m. in Mexico City and named Pedro Conesa Ochoa. Her husband is Mexican businessman Andres Conesa.

Ochoa won two majors and 27 titles on the LPGA Tour in her eight-year career. She was the No. 1 golfer for three years before she retired in 2010.

The 30-year-old Ochoa has discounted returning to play full-time on the LPGA tour, but has said she’d like to play one or two tournaments a year.

She hosts the Lorena Ochoa Invitation in Guadalajara.



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