Sunday, February 5, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 2-5-2012

 STANLEY RISES LIKE A PHOENIX
 Kyle Stanley rebounded from a devastating loss to win the Phoenix Open, overcoming an eight-stroke deficit Sunday in a comeback as unlikely as his collapse last week at Torrey Pines.

In tears seven days ago in San Diego after blowing a big leaddropping the final strokes with a triple-bogey 8 on the final hole and losing a playoff, Stanley took advantage of Spencer Levin’s meltdown Sunday to win his first PGA Tour title.

Stanley closed with a bogey-free 6-under 65, holing a 4-foot par putt on the par-4 18th, to finish at 15-under 269.

Ben Crane had a 66 to finish a stroke back.

Levin, six strokes ahead entering the round and seven in front after one hole, shot a 75 to finish two strokes behind Stanley.



D.J. Trahan had a 66 to finish fourth at 12 under, and Brendan Steele (64) was another stroke back along with Kevin Na (65) and Bubba Watson (70).


 LAWRIE TAKES QATAR MASTERS
 Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie chipped in for an eagle and a birdie on his way to winning the wind-shortened Qatar Open on Sunday, shooting a 7-under 65 to hold off Jason Day and Peter Hanson.

Lawrie finished with a 15-under total of 201 to win his seventh European Tour event and his second in Qatar. Day (65) and Hanson (67) tied for second, four strokes back.

It was Lawrie’s second victory in a year—he also won the Andalucian Open last March—after a nine-year drought. Now in the top 45, he could contend for a spot in the 2012 Ryder Cup.
Lawrie came into the final round with a one-shot lead over Nicolas Colsaerts.

The 1999 British Open champion started slowly, with only a birdie on his first eight holes. But just as several players, including Sergio Garcia (68), were challenging for the lead, Lawrie sank a 20-yard chip for eagle on the 9th hole to go up by two.

Day and Garcia continued their charge, but Lawrie recorded four birdies on a flawless back nine that included clutch birdie putts on 11 and 14. And when Hanson chipped in for eagle on 16 to pull within three, Lawrie responded with chip in for birdie on 17. He played it safe on No. 18 and closed out with a short par putt for the win.

First-round leader John Daly (67) finished fourth at 9 under, with Garcia, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (65), Ricardo Gonzalez (70) and Soren Hansen (66) another shot back in a tie for fifth.


 BOELJON WINS IN AUSTRALIA
Christel Boeljon birdied the last hole to win the Australian Ladies Masters by one stroke on Sunday and avoid a four-way playoff.

The 24-year-old Dutch golfer closed with a 4-under 68 in the final round to finish with a 21-under total 267  taking the lead for the first time on the par-five last hole.

She was one shot clear of overnight leader So Yeon Ryu and Kim Ha-neul of South Korea and Italy’s Diana Luna.

It was a second LET victory for Boeljon, who made her debut for Europe in the Solheim Cup last year.

U.S. Open champion Ryu started the final round with a three-stroke lead, due mainly to her 11-under 61 on Friday, but closed with an even-par 72 and was overtaken on the last hole.


Luna and Kim each finished with rounds of 67 to claim a share of second place.

Sharing the lead with three others as she walked to the 18th tee, Boeljon reached the green in two and, with Ryu in the greenside bunker, left her eagle putt about five feet short. She made the easy birdie putt while Ryu flew her bunker shot too far.

Lydia Ko, the 14-year-old New Zealand amateur who become the youngest winner of a professional golf tour event with her victory at the New South Wales Open last weekend, finished as the leading amateur on 6 under at the Ladies Masters.

Veteran Laura Davies of England shot a 71 and finished well off the pace at 4 under. Seven-time champion Karrie Webb did not play and will start her 2012 season next week at the Australian Open, which is co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour.

 IN OTHER NEWS
 Phil Mickelson filed a lawsuit against an Internet service provider in Canada to learn the identity of a person who has been posting “vexatious statements” that the four-time major champion says is a deliberate attack on his reputation.

“I’m all for freedom of speech, but I won’t tolerate defamation,” Mickelson said Thursday after his opening round in the Phoenix Open.

In his lawsuit against Videotron S.E.N.C in Quebec Superior Court, Mickelson cited comments posted on Yahoo! Sports from Nov. 11 to Nov. 12, in which one or more persons under the pseudonyms “Fogroller” and “Longtitude” make statements that allege, among other things, that Mickelson’s wife had an affair and that he fathered an illegitimate child.

Mickelson says he is a victim of defamation. He is asking the court to force Videotron to identify the person so Mickelson can “stop the dissemination of false and wrongful statements … and obtain reparation for the prejudice already suffered.”

The motion was filed in Montreal on Jan. 25.

Mickelson first filed a complaint Nov. 21 in San Diego County superior court, which authorized him to subpoena information from Yahoo! Inc. That led to identifying “Fogroller” as a Montreal resident, with Videotron as the Internet provider.

Mickelson wants the Quebec court to demand that Videotron supply him with all information of the person using the Internet protocol address who first registered under the “Fogroller” pseudonym on Dec. 16, 2008, and of the person using the IP address that posted the statements about him.

 
Three players were disqualified from the Australian Ladies Masters on Friday for unknowingly breaching rules on preferred lies.

A rules official from the co-sanctioning Ladies European Tour said Australians Corie Hou and Inhong Lim and Australian-based South Korean amateur Annie Choi were disqualified after playing one hole of their second round.

The players, who were in the same group, said they had misinterpreted a local ruling during their first round which allowed preferred lies on fairways but not in the rough.

Choi had an opening-round 2-under-par 70, five strokes behind first-round leader Lee Bo-mee. Lim shot 80 and Hou 81.

The 16-year-old Choi said they had misunderstood what the starter said before they teed off about the local rule allowing preferred lies on the fairways because of wet conditions on the Royal Pines course.

The trio had played only one hole of their second round when the rule breach was reported to Ladies European Tour operations director Cyprien Comoy.

All three admitted to taking preferred lies off the fairways in the first round and were disqualified because it meant they’d signed incorrect scorecards.


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