Sunday, April 22, 2012


The final round of the Valero Texas Open is in the books with Ben Curtis getting his first win since 2006.

After John Huh and Matt Every missed their birdie attempts on the par-5 18th, Ben Curtis had two putts to get his first win since 2006, but he only needed one.

After the round, Curtis fought back tears while saying: ''It's been a tough couple of years.''
Huh roared back with a 69, but the Mayakoba Classic winner fell just short.

Curtis birdied the par-5 18th for an even-par 72 and 9-under total. 

It was a redeeming and emotional win for the 2003 British Open winner who had only limited tour status after a long slump. Every couldn't close the deal after starting the tournament with a course-record 63.

Four blown putts from 9 feet or closer - including a 6-footer for birdie - kept Every a stroke back until Curtis birdied No. 18.

It was nonetheless a validating week for the 28-year-old Floridian, whose only name recognition in three winless years on the tour was a misdemeanor marijuana arrest as a rookie in 2010. That earned a PGA Tour suspension, and even now, Every's official biography lists regaining his tour privileges as his biggest achievement.

Defending champion Brendan Steele, a distant afterthought for three rounds, made himself known again at TPC San Antonio with a bogey-free 67 to finish an impressive weekend climb from 56th. He tied for fourth with Bob Estes, Brian Gay, and Charlie Wi at 5 under.

Michael Allen and David Frost shot a better-ball 10-under-par 62 Sunday for 29-under 187 and a one-stroke victory over John Cook and Joey Sindelar in the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf championship.

Allen won the 2009 Senior PGA Championship, then went winless in 40 consecutive events until winning at TPC Tampa Bay last week. Now, he's the top money-winner on the senior circuit and leads in the Charles Schwab Cup race.

Frost eagled the 14th to put the team at 29 under at The Club at Savannah Harbor and that proved to be the difference as, moments later, Cook cut the lead to one with a 45-foot birdie at No. 18.

The leaders made par the rest of the way.

Allen sealed it despite a heavy downpour that swept in over the Savannah River just as they finished teeing off on the final hole. His 40-foot birdie attempt from just off the green hung on the lip of the cup, but that was all the team needed.

Three teams tied for third at 27-under: Andy Bean and Chien Soon Lu (62); Jeff Sluman and Brad Faxon (63), and Tom Purtzer Brad Bryant (64). The winners each received $230,000 and 230 points in the season-long Schwab Cup race.

Allen went into the Legends Cup race with 620 points, 157 ahead of Bernhard Langer.

Branden Grace won the China Open on Sunday for his third European Tour victory of the year, closing with a 3-under 69 to hold off 2011 winner Nicolas Colsaerts by three strokes.

The 23-year-old Grace, from South Africa, finished at 21-under 267 at Binhai Lake.

He won the Joburg Open and Volvo Champions in consecutive weeks in South Africa in January. Colsaerts, the winner last year at Luxehills, also shot a 69.

The event also was sanctioned by the OneAsia Tour and China Golf Association.  

Third-ranked Lee Westwood defended his Indonesian Masters title Sunday with a two-stroke victory despite a shaky final round.

The 39-year-old Englishman, who completed his delayed third round with a 7-under 65 to take an eight-shot lead in the morning, shot a 2-over 74 in his final round at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club for a 16-under total of 272.

He opened his fourth round with a birdie but then had two bogeys at the fifth and sixth holes. Westwood birdied No. 10 and followed that with a bogey, and he also dropped shots on the 13th and 14th holes.

Former top-ranked Asian Tour player Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand shot a 5-under 67 in his final round to finish second with a 14-under 274.

Japan's Ai Miyazato won the LPGA LOTTE Championship on Saturday for her eighth career LPGA Tour title, birdieing three of the last six holes for a 2-under 70 and a four-stroke victory.

Miyazato finished at 12-under 276 at wind-swept Ko Olina. She opened with rounds of 71, 65 and 70 to take a three-stroke lead in the final round. Miyazato won after finishing second behind top-ranked Yani Tseng this year in Thailand and Phoenix.

Meena Lee, tied for the lead after a birdie on No. 15, had a 70 to tie for second with Azahara Munoz at 8 under. Munoz finished with a 70.

Tseng, a three-time winner this year, closed with a 74 to tie for 10th at 4 under.

Scioto Country Club is returning to the national spotlight in golf for the first time in decadeS. The USGA announced that the U.S. SeniorsOpen will be there, in 2016. The event will be held in conjunction with Scioto's centennial.

Jack Nicklaus learned the game on the rolling Donald Ross-designed layout in suburban Columbus, Ohio. The winner of 18 major championships will serve as the tournament's honorary chairman.The tournament will be held Aug. 11-14, 2016.  

Indianapolis golf fans are going all in for this year's BMW Championship.

Organizers say ticket sales for the city's biggest men's golf tournament since the 1991 PGA Championship have already surpassed last year's total and that attendance for the four-day September tournament could approach 150,000. That would make it one of the tour's most attended non-majors this season.

Daily tickets went on sale April 1, and fans are rushing to buy them despite not knowing who will actually play Sept. 6-9 at Crooked Stick Golf Course in suburban Indy.The top 70 qualifiers receive invites to the third tourney in the FedEx Cup playoff. After the BMW tourney, the field is cut to 30 finalists who vie for a $10 million winner's check two weeks later in Atlanta.

Organizers have already announced the tourney will return to Chicago in 2013 and 2015, with Denver hosting it in 2014. But Indy's response could push the city into the BMW rotation or perhaps prompt tour officials to give Indianapolis a chance to fill a hole on a future schedule.  

Authorities say Australian pro golfer Matthew Giles has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after he crashed his car into a home southeast of Phoenix.

A Gilbert police report says Giles was ''travelling at a very high rate of speed and tried to make a left turn'' when he lost control of his car and it crashed into a single-family home Monday night.

Police say the accident ruptured a natural gas line, but there were no reported injuries.

They say Giles was given sobriety tests at the crash scene and results are expected in about two weeks.

Giles finished 66th in the Nationwide Tour's TPC Stonebrae Championship in California the day before the crash.

The 22-year-old Giles is a native of Sydney, but the former University of Southern California star lives in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale.

And finally Bubba Watson admitted that the only person he talked to the night after he won the Masters was Justin Bieber. "He called me and I talked to him on the phone and he and Selena (Gomez) were congratulating me, and it was a big honor that they would both call me and talk to me."  

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