Sunday, June 24, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 6-24-2012


LEISHMAN WAITS FOR TRAVELERS VICTORY
Marc Leishman shot an 8-under 62 on Sunday in the Travelers Championship, then went back to the clubhouse to eat, watch some soccer and wait to see where he would finish.

More than two hours later, after Charley Hoffman blew a two-stroke lead on the final two holes, Leishman was hoisting his first championship trophy on the PGA Tour.

The 28-year-old Australian began the day six strokes behind the leaders, but made eight birdies in a bogey-free round. He finished at 14-under 266.

Hoffman was 16 under heading to the 17th hole, but pushed his tee shot right and into the water. He made a double bogey, and bogeyed the 18th after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker.

Hoffman closed with a 66 to tie for second with Masters champion Bubba Watson, who shot a 65.

Leishman became the fifth player in seven years to break through with their first tour win at River Highlands, joining Fredrik Jacobson last year, Watson in 2010, Hunter Mahan in 2007 and J.J. Henry in 2006.

Leishman's 62 was the lowest score in a final round by a champion on tour this season.

Hoffman seemed to be in command standing on the 17th tee, and still had a chance to win on 18. He put his tee shot onto a hill to the right and he put his second shot into the bunker. He ran that shot long and missed a 17-foot par putt.

Watson made a run at the lead on the front nine, with four birdies. But he had to scramble on the back nine, saving par on the 15th after putting his tee shot in the water. He also made par on 17 after hitting his second shot over the water and onto the green from the rough.

Leishman's win gave him just his second top-10 finish this season. He didn't play in Memphis or at the U.S. Open and said he came back after two weeks off refreshed.

Roland Thatcher, who was tied for the lead after three rounds, began his day with three bogeys on the first six holes. He seemed like an afterthought, until Hoffman's collapse. But he made an eagle on the par-5 13th after hitting his second shot within 15 feet of the pin.

He came up 18 with a chance to force a playoff, but put his second shot into a greenside bunker and bogeyed the hole.

He and fellow co-leader Brian Davis both shot 70, putting them in a group at 12 under with Tim Clark and John Rollins.



LANG GETS FIRST LPGA WIN
Brittany Lang won the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour title, birdieing the par-5 18th three straight times in a playoff.

Lang missed a birdie try on the hole in regulation, leaving her tied with Hee Kyung Seo, Inbee Park and Chella Choi at 16-under 286. Choi was eliminated on the first extra hole, and Park dropped out on the second.

Lang closed with her second straight 67, Choi had a 63, Seo a 67, and Park a 69.

Lang, Seo and Park, playing together in the final threesome at Grey Silo, all had a chance to win in regulation, but settled for pars on the finishing hole to set up the playoff.

Stacy Lewis, a two-time winner this year, and U.S. Women's Open champion So Yeon Ryu shot 64 to tie for fifth at 15 under. Lewis opened with a 72, then shot 64-69-64.

China's Shanshan Feng, coming off a major victory two weeks ago in the LPGA Championship, was another stroke back along with Anna Nordqvist. Feng had a 66, and Nordqvist a 67.

Michelle Wie tied for 68th at 3 over. She shot a 74.

 
CALCAVECCHIA TOPS LIST IN MONTREAL
Mark Calcavecchia won the Montreal Championship on Sunday for his second Champions Tour title, matching the course record with an 8-under 64 for a four-stroke victory.

The 52-year-old Calcavecchia had six birdies and chipped in for eagle on the par-5 16th hole on Richelieu Valley's Vercheres Course. He finished at 16-under 200.

The 1989 British Open champion, Calcavecchia won for the third time in Canada, following victories in the PGA Tour's 1997 Greater Vancouver Open and 2005 Canadian Open. He also set a PGA Tour record with nine straight birdies in the 2009 Canadian Open.Brad Bryant shot a 65 to finish second.

Second-round leader Bob Tway and first-round leader Russ Cochran tied for third at 11 under. Cochran closed with a 68, and Tway had a 70.


WILLETT WINS IN PLAYOFF
England’s Danny Willett beat Australia’s Marcus Fraser in a playoff at the BMW International Open to secure his first title on golf’s European Tour.

The 24-year-old sealed the victory on the fourth extra hole after both players had finished tied on 11-under-par 277 following the final round in Cologne, Germany.

Willett, threw away a three-stroke lead. But the former world No1 in the amateur ranks was given a reprieve when Fraser bogeyed the 456-yard final hole.

That meant a tie on the 11 under par mark of 277 after Willett's superb three-iron escape from close to the trees and the pair had to play the 18th four more times to settle the issue. On the fourth try Willett flew his approach over the green , while Fraser had a long birdie putt.

Willett hit a beautiful chip shot from behind the green to within six inches. Fraser barely missed his 30 foot birdie  putt then missed his 4 foot return putt . Willett tapped in giving him the title

Willett collects a check for 333,330 euros ($419,000). He had previously recorded 19 top-10 finishes on the European Tour without taking a title.

He was 1-over today, with Fraser shooting a 1-under round. Three players finished a shot back, Ireland’s Paul McGinley, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain and England’s Chris Wood.


IT'S WITTENBERG IN WICHITA
Casey Wittenberg won the Wichita Open on Sunday for his second Nationwide Tour victory of the season, closing with a 5-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over Justin Hicks and Jim Herman.

Wittenberg, also the Louisiana Open winner, finished at 18-under 266 at Crestview Country Club. He tied for 10th last week in the U.S. Open.

Wittenberg earned $108,000 to jump from 10th to second on the money list with $240,019. The final top 25 will earn 2013 PGA Tour cards. He also could earn an immediate promotion with a third victory.

Hicks shot a 67, and Herman had a 70.


KIM WINS U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR PUBLIC LINKS
Kyung Kim won the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links on Saturday, beating Ashlan Ramsey 4 and 2 in the 36-hole final at Neshanic Valley.

The 18-year-old Kim, from Chandler, Ariz., took a 2-up lead with a birdie on the 32nd hole, won the 33rd with another birdie and took the 34th with a par to close out the match.

''I just can't believe it,'' said Kim, who will be a freshman at Southern California this fall. ''It was a long week, but to be finally done and to win, it's pretty amazing.''

Fighting 20 mph wind, Kim had 10 birdies in 34 holes.

The 16-year-old Ramsey, from Milledgeville, Ga., had eight birdies.

The tournament is limited to players who don't hold privileges at any course that doesn't extend playing privileges to the general public.


KENNEDY IS ON TOP AT MIZUNO OPEN
Australian Brad Kennedy shot a 6-under 66 on Sunday to win his first tournament in Japan at the Mizuno Open while earning a place at next month's British Open.

The 38-year-old Kennedy carded four birdies on the front nine and added three more after the turn against a lone bogey on the par-4 No. 12. He finished at 17-under 271, three strokes ahead of Japanese golfers Toshinori Muto and Toru Taniguchi.

Kennedy's previous best finish on the Japanese tour was a tie for second at last year's Canon Open.


IN OTHER NEWS
The U.S. Open's return to prime time boosted its television ratings.

Sunday's final round earned a 6.6 overnight rating and 13 share on NBC. The network said viewing was up 29 percent from last year, when the coverage started and ended earlier with the tournament on the East Coast.

But it was down from the previous two West Coast Opens when play also took place in prime time.

In 2008, the fourth round drew an 8.5/18, and in 2010, a 6.9/15.


The Principal Financial Group will remain the title sponsor of the Champions Tour event in Iowa through 2015, even though it needs to find a new golf course to host the tournament.

Principal announced Tuesday that is has signed a three-year deal to stay on as the main sponsor, but Glen Oaks general manager Bill Kirkendall said the club won't host the event in 2013. Tournament organizers said they are exploring other courses in greater Des Moines, home of Principal's headquarters.

Principal senior vice president and tournament board chairman Mary O'Keefe said the company was in discussions to remain as sponsor even before it found out Glen Oaks was out, citing the event's popularity and its success raising money for children's charities.

Glen Oaks general manager Bill Kirkendall told The Associated Press that the club simply felt it was time to walk away after hosting the event 11 times.


Royal Troon will host the 2016 Open Championship, the R&A announced today.

Royal Troon is playing host this week to the world’s top amateurs, and will challenge the game’s top professionals four years from now when the Open Championship returns to the Ayrshire course for the first time since 2004.

The championship was expected to come back to Royal Troon in 2014, but the R&A delayed its return because of a busy sports schedule in Scotland that year.


Beau Hossler's  impressive play at the U.S. Open made an impression on AT&T National tournament director Greg McLaughlin. Instead of getting one shot to tee it up with the best golfers in the world, Hossler will get another shot at Congressional next week, after McLaughlin confirmed, via Twitter, that the teen would be the AT&T National field.

According to GolfTalkCentral's Ryan Ballengee, Hossler, who already committed to the Texas Longhorns, was hoping for a pairing with future teammate Jordan Spieth and former alum Justin Leonard, but Tour officials confirmed the threesome wouldn't happen.
 
That's not a bad way to kickoff the summer.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 6-17-2012


SIMPSON BACKS INTO OPEN WIN
Webb Simpson erased  a of couple early mistakes, and a four-shot deficit, to win what turned out to be an exhibition of poor golf.

Simpson bogeyed two of his first five holes, and stood at +5, his hopes apparently vaporized. But then came three straight birdies, and four in five holes, and presto, he was right back in the mix. 

A fortunate par save on 18, from the exact same spot that Tiger Woods chunked a shot on Saturday, and Simpson found himself in the lead by a stroke and waiting for Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell to finish their final holes.

Both men made it interesting; McDowell birdied 17 and missed a 24-foot putt on 18. Furyk, who had held the lead since Friday afternoon, gave up a costly bogey on 16 and put his approach on 18 into the sand. But in the end, both men missed their opportunity, and Webb Simpson had the U.S. Open trophy drop into his hands


FICHARDT WINS EUROPEAN TOUR EVENT
Darren Fichardt of South Africa shot a 2-over 73 to win the Saint-Omer Open by three strokes on Sunday for his third European Tour title. Fichardt went into the final round with a five-stroke lead and shot his worst round of the tournament to finish at 5-under 279. He also won the Sao Paulo Brazil Open in 2001 and the Qatar Masters in 2003.

Gary Lockerbie of England birdied two of the last three holes to shoot a 69 and finish second. Simon Wakefield of England (72) was third, one stroke behind Lockerbie.

No other player finished the tournament, played in strong winds, under par.

Wil Besseling of the Netherlands (73), Pelle Edberg of Sweden (72) and England's Charlie Ford (70) and Adam Gee (72) were at 286.


IN OTHER NEWS
Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel is taking a month off after the U.S. Open because of a nagging rib injury.

Schwartzel has withdrawn from the Travelers Championships next week in Hartford, Conn., and the South African does not plan to play again until the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

He has decided to play the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday at The Olympic Club. Schwartzel says he has experienced discomfort all week, and doctors told him he should take three weeks to rest. He says if he doesn't take a break, it could be months before it goes away.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 6-12-2012

 WOW!! Fourteen year old to play in US Open.  Andy Zhang will become the youngest golfer in U.S. Open history to tee it up in the major, after Paul Casey withdrew with an undisclosed injury on Monday.



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Sunday, June 10, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 6-10-2012

 JOHNSON WINS ST. JUDE
Dustin Johnson won the St. Jude Classic on Sunday in his second event back on tour after a back injury cost him nearly three months, shooting a 4-under 66 that held off John Merrick by a stroke.

Johnson began the final round two strokes back and held a piece of the lead three different times. He won his sixth career title with consecutive birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 and finished 9-under 271.

He aggravated his back in early March lifting a jet ski at his home and didn't return to the PGA Tour until last week at the Memorial, where he tied for 19th.

Johnson, who picked up the check for over $1 million, led by only a stroke going to No. 18. Rory McIlroy, Chad Campbell and Nick O'Hern, three of the four who had a chance to tie Johnson with a birdie, knocked their tee shots into the lake.

Davis Love III, the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, shot a 69 and tied for third with O'Hern (69), Campbell (68) and Ryan Palmer (66) at 273. McIlroy, who now heads to San Francisco and The Olympic Club to defend his U.S. Open title, had a 69 and tied three others at 274.Tour officials pushed tee times up more than three hours and sent players off both tees in threesomes to avoid thunderstorms predicted for Sunday afternoon.

Johnson carded four birdies and a bogey in the round. He took control with consecutive birdies, rejoining the lead pack at 8 under when he rolled in an 11-footer on the par-5 16th. 

Johnson then moved to the top of the leaderboard by himself at 9 under by hitting his second shot from 161 yards to 9 feet on the par-4 No. 17 before sinking the birdie putt.

He found the fairway with his tee shot on No. 18 and finished up with a par that proved to be just enough.

 

LEHMAN REPEATS AT REGIONS
Tom Lehman won his second straight Regions Tradition, finishing the Champions Tour major with a 4-under 68 on Sunday to take a two-stroke victory.

Lehman overcame a near-constant drizzle and occasional heavy rains at Shoal Creek - plus hard charges by Bernhard Langer and Chien Soon Lu - for his sixth Champions Tour victory. Langer and Lu each finished with a 66 to share second behind Lehman's 14-under 274.

The former British Open champion, who shot in the 60s all four days, joins Jack Nicklaus, Gil Morgan and Fred Funk as the only players to win the Tradition multiple times. He played the final hole with his cap turned backward in the rain.

He's the first player to repeat in a senior major championship since Allen Doyle won the U.S. Senior Open in 2005 and 2006. Gil Morgan in 1997 is the only other Tradition winner to post four rounds in the 60s.

Lehman won $335,000 with his first victory since last year's Regions Tradition, a 13-month drought. Lehman is the 11th winner of 2012.

After beating Peter Senior in a playoff last year, Lehman didn't have to sweat this one out nearly as much on a brisk day that began with an early two-tee start and ended with storms closing in. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place the ball because of the conditions.

Lehman made long birdie putts on Nos. 7 and 12 after Langer briefly tied him at 9 under, pushing his lead to two strokes with a short birdie putt on the par-3 13th hole.

He bogeyed No. 17, but that added little drama since he avoided trouble on the 18th.

Fred Couples closed with a tournament-low 65 and entered the final hole with four straight birdies but still finished four strokes back.

Russ Cochran and Bill Glasson, who led after each of the first two rounds, were five shots back. Jeff Sluman and Brad Bryant were six strokes behind. Sluman had eagled the par-5 No. 3 for the second straight day to move to 10 under, six of that coming from that hole.


 
FENG MAKES HISTORY AT WEGMANS
Shanshan Feng fired a 5-under-par 67, the lowest round of the tournament,  to become the first player from mainland China (male or female) to win a major championship.

 Unflappable from her opening tee shot, Feng also fired one of the just three bogey-free rounds in the entire tournament.

Stacy Lewis, bidding to win her third straight stroke-play event on the LPGA Tour, shot a 70 to tie for second with Mika Miyazato, Suzann Pettersen and third-round leader Eun-Hee Ji. Miyazato shot 69, Pettersen 70, and Ji 72.

Karrie Webb, who started the day one shot behind Ji, had a 72 to finish at 3 under. Little-known Gerina Piller, a star in college at UTEP, and Ai Miyazato each had a closing 68 to also finish at 3 under.

Paula Creamer had a 71 and Giulia Sergas and Inbee Park each shot 72 to finish another shot back.

Defending champion Yani Tseng had a closing 76 and was 13 over in a tournament she won a year ago by 10 shots.


 
 WILLIAMS GETS FIRST WIN IN MEXICO
Lee Williams posted three birdies on the back nine Sunday en route to a two-under 70, which helped him win the Mexico Open by a single stroke.

Williams, who won for the first time on the Nationwide Tour, finished at 14- under-par 274 at El Bosque Golf Club.

Paul Haley II closed with a four-under 68 to take second at minus-13. This was his second runner-up finish of the year.

Scott Gutschewski birdied eight of the first 10 holes to grab the lead at 13- under par, However, he went one-over through the final eight holes to end alone in third at 12-under-par 276.

Tyrone Van Aswegen  and Philip Pettitt, Jr.  shared fourth place at minus-11.


 
WESTWOOD TAKES EURO TITLE
LEE Westwood heads for the US Open with the Nordea Masters title.

The world No.3, desperate to land his first Major in San Francisco, strolled to a five-shot win at Bro Hof Slott, Stockholm.

Westwood fired a final round of three-under 69 for an impressive total of 269.

It was the Englishman’s 22nd European Tour victory and third Scandinavian Masters following successes in 1996 and 2000.

After missing five putts of under 10 feet in the first 10 holes Westwood found his three-shot overnight lead cut to two first by Sergio Garcia then by Sweden’s Peter Hanson and Englishman Ross Fisher.

But at the par-five 12th he put daylight between himself and the field as he hit a great six iron to 10 feet and drilled in the eagle putt.

Hanson’s chances of victory were dashed when he drove into water at the 15th and made double bogey.

Fisher called off the chase by dropping two shots at the 13th when he also found the drink. Three closing birdies allowed Fisher to sign for 71 and take outright second at 14 under as he bounced back from being handed a one-shot penalty for slow play in the Wales Open.


NEWS & NOTES
Britain-Ireland rallied past the United States on Sunday to win the Curtis Cup, ending the Americans' 16-year domination of the tournament.

The outcome means that for the first time all four major professional and amateur men's and women's team trophies are held by Britain, Ireland and Europe.

Britain-Ireland beat the Americans 10 1/2 to 9 1/2 despite needing to win five of the eight singles matches Sunday. Stephanie Meadow of Northern Ireland scored the critical point by defeating Amy Anderson.

Britain-Ireland and Europe now hold the Curtis Cup, men's amateur Walker Cup plus the pro Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup titles.



Casey Martin and his cart are headed back to The Olympic Club for the U.S. Open.

Martin, who successfully sued for the right to ride a cart because of a rare circulatory disorder in his right leg, earned a spot in the U.S. Open on Monday night when he holed a 5-foot par putt in darkness on the final hole at Emerald Valley Golf Club.

The 40-year-old Martin, now the golf coach at Oregon, turned with his hands on his hips and looked toward the darkening clouds after making the putt for a 36-hole score of 138. Had he missed, he would have been in a three-man playoff for two spots.

Martin earned his way onto the PGA Tour in 1999 and eventually won his lawsuit to ride a cart. He failed to keep his PGA Tour card after one year, and eventually became the golf coach at Oregon. But with the U.S. Open returning to Olympic, and a qualifying site so close to home, he decided to give it a try.


Davis Love III qualified for his 23rd U.S. Open, playing 36 holes in 2 under in rounds at Scioto Country Club and Ohio State's Scarlet Course. He was one of 16 players at the biggest of the 11 qualifiers across the country on Monday.

Others making the grade included medalist Charlie Wi, Kevin Streelman, D.A. Points, Steve Marino and Rod Pampling.

The 48-year-old Love has won 20 tournaments around the world, including the 1997 PGA Championship.

 
Grace Park, who won one major among her six victories on the LPGA Tour, announced her retirement Friday at the LPGA Championship.

''I'm ready for a new phase in my life,'' said the often-injured Park, who finished her two rounds at 6 over par and wasn't likely to make the cut. ''It's my own fault for not taking care of my body.''

The 33-year-old Park, who won the 2004 Kraft Nabisco Championship, suffered from back, neck and hip problems, underwent two surgeries, and missed the better part of three years on tour because of her ailments. She won more than $5 million on tour.



Congratulations to Gerry of Long Island for picking Dustin Johnson to win the St Jude Classic. His pick for the US Open is Hunter Mahan


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Sunday, June 3, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 6-3-2012

 TIGER TIES NICKLAUS AT JACK'S EVENT
Tiger Woods rallied to win the Memorial with an amazing shot at 16 to turn the tide.Two shots behind with three holes to play, and his ball in an impossible spot behind the 16th green, Woods holed a flop shot from 50 feet away that turned bogey into birdie and sent him on his way to a stunning comeback Sunday in the Memorial.

Woods made three birdies on his last four holes for a 5-under 67, matching the lowest score of the final round, and he finished in style. He hit 9-iron to just inside 10 feet, and raised his putter - a pose that Nicklaus made famous for so many years - well before the ball tumbled into the cup.


It was his fifth win at Muirfield Village, and the 73rd of his PGA Tour career to match Nicklaus at No. 2 on the all-time list. Sam Snead won a record 82 times.He started the day four shots behind and wound up with a two-shot victory over Andres Romero  and Rory Sabbatini, who was in control of the tournament until he fell victim again to some old magic by Woods.

Woods said he didn't miss a shot all day, though that flop shot stands out.

''The most unbelievable, gutsy shot I've ever seen,'' Nicklaus said from the TV booth. ''Look at the position he was in. If he's short, the tournament is over. If he's long, the tournament is over. He puts it in the hole.''

Woods won for the second time this year, and moved to No. 4 in the world.

This was more impressive than his five-shot win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in March, when he had a one-shot lead on a course where he could get by with par. The Memorial required much more work, especially when he had to go after birdies in the final hour. And that's what he did.

He reached the par-5 15th into the wind in two shots to set up a two-putt birdie and get within one shot of Sabbatini. But just like that, it looked as if his chances were over when his tee shot bounded through the green and into a tough lie behind the green.

With a full swing, the ball came out soft and began tracking toward the hole. It caught the right edge of the cup and dropped for a most improbable birdie, and Woods took two steps to the left and delivered a full uppercut not seen from him in some time.

Sabbatini didn't need to see it. He was on the 15th green, scrambling for par, when Muirfield Village shook with the loudest roar of the day. The South African suddenly was tied for the lead, but not for long. He hit his tee shot into the right bunker on the 16th, the third-hardest hole Sunday that yielded only four birdies, and then blasted out to just inside 15 feet and took bogey to fall one behind.
That was all Woods needed.

From the middle of the 18th fairway, with Nicklaus watching from behind the green, Woods hit 9-iron to the perfect spot on the back of the green that it caught the slope and rolled to just inside 10 feet.

Nicklaus always waits on the 18th green for the winner, a tradition Woods knows better than anyone. This was even more special given the circumstances of his 73rd win.

It was a hard-luck finish for Sabbatini, who has a long history with Woods for brazen comments that always backfire on him. He didn't get many breaks, but kept his patience throughout the final round and still had a chance until he failed to take advantage of a big drive on the 17th, having to save par from a bunker.

Spencer Levin, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round, lost the lead to Sabbatini with a two-shot swing on the par-3 12th, then took double bogey on the next hole to fall from contention. He closed with a 75, the same score he shot in the final round at Phoenix when he had a six-shot lead.

That was nothing compared with Rickie Fowler, who played in the second-to-last group with Woods to help generate an enormous gallery. Fowler opened with a birdie, and his day fell apart after that. With a double bogey on the last hole, he closed with an 84.

The only consolation for Fowler was getting a front-row seat to a comeback remarkable even by Woods' standards - especially the chip-in on the 16th. Fowler said a good shot would have been anywhere around 10 feet.

It was the second time this year Woods has won in his final tuneup before a major. He won Bay Hill, but then tied for 40th at the Masters. The U.S. Open at Olympic Club starts on June 14, and Woods would be quite happy to take the game he had Sunday to San Francisco.

The Memorial will be remembered for the one flop shot he made.



LEWIS WINS LPGA CLASSIC
Stacy Lewis shot an even-par 71 Sunday to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic by four strokes over Katherine Hull.

Lewis finished 54 holes at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club at 12-under par 201. It was Lewis' third LPGA win and her second of 2012. She won the Mobile LPGA Classic in April. Last year, Lewis won a major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Hull sank a 10-foot birdie putt at the final green to finish alone in second place at 8 under after a closing 68.

Mika Miyazato and Azahara Munoz were both at 206 after rounds of 68 and 69, respectively.
Lexi Thompson, Anna Nordqvist, and Hee-Won Han were both at 207.





HAAS TAKES PRINCIPAL CHARITY CLASSIC

Kirk Triplett put together the best round of golf anyone had ever played Sunday in the Principal Charity Classic. But Jay Haas was brilliant for three rounds instead of one, proving yet again that nobody can dominate the Glen Oaks Country Club like he can.

Haas finished with a 16-under 197 total to win the tournament by five strokes, becoming the first golfer to win the Champions Tour event in Iowa three times.

Haas,  led by three shots after shooting 65 in the second round and made it stand up with a final round 5-under 66.

Haas' 16-under score tied the tournament mark set by Gil Morgan in 2006 and matched the largest victory of the season in the Champions Tour.

Triplett set the course record with a 9-under 62 and finished second at 11-under 202 along with Larry Mize. Fred Funk and Tom Lehman tied for third at 10 under.Haas had built up enough of a lead to be able to play it safe -- notching a victory that felt strangely similar to his easy one at Glen Oaks in 2007.

Haas birdied the par-3 second hole for some breathing room, and saved par on No. 9 despite three putts. Haas nailed another birdie on the 14th hole, giving him a four-shot cushion with four holes to play.

Haas capped a brilliant weekend by leaving his tee shot on the par-3 No. 16 within two feet. He tapped in, but a bogey on the next hole kept him from passing Morgan.

Triplett was playing just his fourth Champions Tour event this year, and a tie for eighth in Tampa Bay in April had been his best finish. He started Sunday in equally unassuming fashion at 2-under, nine shots back of Haas, before playing the best round Glen Oaks had ever seen.

Triplett notched birdies of half of his holes, including a 10-foot putt on the notoriously difficult No. 17 to reach the record low. He nearly went to 10-under, but his long putt on the 18th hole stopped a few feet shy of the cup.



JAIDEE WINS WALES OPEN
Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee survived a poor start to win the Wales Open by 1 stroke on Sunday, with a final round 1-over 72 in wet conditions.

The 42-year-old Jaidee, who was the leader through three rounds, holed four birdies on the back nine at Celtic Manor, after bogeying the fourth and double-bogeying the par-five ninth, where he went out of bounds before finding a bunker.

Jaidee finished 6-under 278 for his fifth European Tour title and his first in mainland Europe.

The Netherlands' Jooist Luiten (72) and Denmark's Thomas Bjorn (68) shared second place with Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (67) and South Africa's Richard Sterne (68) at 5-under.



HAHN GETS FIRST NATIONWIDE VICTORY
James Hahn earned his first Nationwide Tour victory Sunday by beating Scott Parel on the second hole of a playoff at the Rex Hospital Open.

Hahn shot a 4-under 67 and joined Parel at 13-under 271. Both players had pars on the par-4 No. 18, and Hahn birdied the par-5 No. 9 while Parel had a par on the second playoff hole.

Hahn earned $99,000 for the victory. He started the day four strokes behind third-round leader B.J. Staten, but made his move early with three birdies on his first five holes.

He had his fifth birdie of the round on the par-4 No. 13 and closed his round with five pars.

Jin Park (67), Staten (72) and Jim Renner (71) finished at 272.




IN OTHER NEWS
Tiger Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, has been arrested on drunken driving charges in suburban New York.

Police say Steinberg was stopped during a sobriety checkpoint Saturday night in Ardsley and arrested on DWI and aggravated DWI charges.

Sgt. David Fisher says Steinberg, who told authorities who he was, was arrested after he was issued a field sobriety test. Police say his blood alcohol content was .18 percent. The legal limit in New York for DWI is .08 percent.


Michelle Wie  shot a 12-over 154  at the Shoprite Classic in Galloway, N.J., this week to miss her fifth cut in a row. Wie, whose career has been on a very public roller-coaster ride ever since she turned pro at age 16 in 2005, seems to have fallen into a  slump since graduating from Stanford University in March.

Her putting, always her Achilles heel, has crumbled completely  and her driving isn't far behind (she managed to hit 12 out of 28 fairways in the same two days). Experts and casual watchers alike seem to agree that whatever is ailing the tall Hawaiian, it must be mental.


Rory McIlroy, the No. 2 player in the world from Northern Ireland, blew himself out of the Memorial Tournament Friday after another inexplicable display of poor golf.

A birdie-free 7-over-par 79 left McIlroy with a 36-hole total of 150, three shots outside the cutline, marking the third straight start that he has been dismissed before the weekend. McIlroy has not made a cut since he lost to Rickie Fowler in a playoff at the Wells Fargo Championship, and he posted a 79 for a second straight week.

His continuing struggles are a far cry from his impressive run prior to the Masters when he finished in the top-5 in 10 of 11 starts around the world.


Phil Mickelson shot a 79 and then told playing partners Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson that he was going home because he was mentally drained after a hectic past few weeks that included taking his wife, Amy, to Italy and France for her 40th birthday.

"I've got to be more big picture-oriented and think about the U.S. Open (in two weeks at Olympic) and what's best to get my best golf out there, and I need the next few days to rest up a bit," Mickelson said, offering regrets he wasn't living up to his "responsibility" to finish the tournament.

The 79 was his worst round ever at the Memorial. He declined to say whether he was bothered by distractions on the course.

But Watson and Fowler laid the blame for his withdrawal on fans who continually distracted Mickelson by snapping photos with cellphone cameras.



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