Sunday, July 1, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 7-1-2012

TIGER ON TOP WINS THIRD OF YEAR
Tiger Woods won for the third time this year by outlasting Bo Van Pelt in a back-nine duel Sunday in the AT&T National.

Woods closed with a 2-under 69 and won for the 74th time on the PGA Tour, moving past Jack Nicklaus and into second place on the tour's career list. He is eight wins away from catching Sam Snead.

Van Pelt had Woods on the ropes until a surprising turnaround on the par-5 16th, where both players made bogeys and remained tied. Van Pelt flew the 17th green and had to scramble for bogey, giving Woods a one-shot lead that he did not give back.

Woods remained at No. 4 in the world golf rankings behind No. 1 Luke Donald, No. 2 Rory McIlroy and No. 3 Lee Westwood.

Tiger next plays this week in the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia. After an off week, he will resume his march toward Nicklaus' major record on July 19 in the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England.

Woods' victory ends a bizarre weekend at the AT&T National. Because of a massive storm that thundered across the area on Friday night, the course was closed to spectators for the third round Saturday. PGA Tour officials were concerned about safety because of broken and downed tree limbs throughout the course.

Officials cleaned up the course outside the ropes in time for play on Saturday, and Woods and the field played in front of a handful of media, security and essential volunteers. But the fans came back on Sunday to root the golfers on.

With the win Woods moved to the top of the PGA Tour money list and the FedEx Cup standings for the first time since September 2009.



AI MIYAZATO TAKES LPGA EVENT
Ai Miyazato shot a 6-under 65 on Sunday to overcome a five-shot deficit and win the NW Arkansas Championship for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year.

She made a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to reach 12 under for the tournament, and her ninth career LPGA Tour victory was secured when Mika Miyazato missed a 15-foot birdie attempt on No. 18.

 Ai Miyazato had seven birdies and one bogey in the final round to finish a stroke ahead of Mika Miyazato and Azahara Munoz.

Ai Miyazato also won the LOTTE Championship in April.

Mika Miyazato had a 67, and Munoz closed with a 65.

Veronica Felibert, the rookie from Venezuela who opened the day with a four-shot lead, shot a 72 to tie for fourth at 10 under.



DALEY GET FIRST CHAMPIONS TITLE
Joe Daley won the Constellation Senior Players Championship on Sunday for his first Champions Tour title, closing with a 2-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over Tom Lehman.

The 51-year-old Daley, winless in his PGA Tour career, had a 14-under 266 total at Fox Chapel. He earned $405,000 and full Champions Tour status for a calendar year.

Lehman finished with a 69. He was trying to win his second straight Champions Tour major after taking the Regions Traditions in his previous start.

 Olin Browne was third at 11 under after a 65. Mark Calcavecchia, tied with Daley for the third-round lead, had a 72 to match 2011 winner Fred Couples at 10 under. Couples finished with a 71.

Daley capped the victory with a 15-foot putt on the final hole for his tournament-high 24th birdie.

Couples, fighting chronic back problems all weekend, bogeyed Nos. 15 and 16 to drop out of contention.

Lehman also faltered late in the 90-plus-degree heat, bogeying three of the final six holes.



TOMASULO IN A PLAYOFF
Peter Tomasulo parred the fourth playoff hole Sunday to defeat David Lingmerth and win the United Leasing Championship at Victoria National Golf Club.

Tomasulo made a four at No. 18 after Lingmerth found trouble off the tee on the fourth hole of sudden death. It was Tomasulo's third victory on the Web.com Tour and first since 2010.

He managed a 2-under 70 in Sunday's final round, but could have avoided a playoff altogether had he not bogeyed the 18th in regulation.

Lingmerth shot a 4-under 68 to post 11-under 277. Tomasulo matched him there, then prevailed four holes later.

Richard Scott carded a 1-under 71 and took third at 10-under 278.

Scott Gardiner , Aaron Watkins , Morgan Hoffman, Derek Fathauer and Chris Riley  tied for fourth place at 9-under 279.

It was a tough day for third-round leader Alistair Presnell. The Aussie recorded three double bogeys, three bogeys and three birdies for a 6-over 78 and a share of 21st at minus-5.



DONALDSON TAKES IRISH OPEN
Jamie Donaldson finally landed his first European Tour title at the Irish Open.

The 36-year-old, who had 32 top-10 finishes to his name since turning professional 12 years ago, won the Irish Open at Royal Portrush by four shots from England's Anthony Wall, Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti.

Donaldson was overtaken by Swede Mikael Lundberg early in the day, but kept his composure and with five birdies in the last seven holes closed with a superb 66, only one off the lowest round of the week.

In the first Irish Open in Northern Ireland since 1953, an event watched by sell-out crowds totalling more than 112,000, he posted an 18 under par total of 270.

The week had also included his first hole-in-one on the circuit - and he began it at Sunningdale by qualifying for The Open after a round of 62.

Padraig Harrington had a frustrating day with a round of 70 leaving him six shots behind the winner. Not for the first time, it was the putter that failed to emulate the brilliance of his approach play.



IN OTHER NEWS
The PGA Tour announced another important sponsorship Wednesday, agreeing to a 10-year deal with Web.com as the sponsor of its developmental tour.

The Web.com Tour replaces what had been known as the Nationwide Tour, and the change was effective immediately.

The agreement comes four months after the tour renewed its deal for the FedEx Cup, a $35 million bonus series. Last fall, the tour negotiated a nine-year television deal with NBC Sports and CBS Sports, meaning its TV contracts are set through 2021.

Web.com takes over a tour that is to become the primary path for players to reach the PGA Tour.

Starting in September 2013, the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour and the top 75 PGA Tour players who failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs will meet in a three-tournament series that effectively replaces Q-school. Fifty cards would be awarded after those three events.

Web.com, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is a provider of internet services and online marketing solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses.


Matt Dobyns completed a runaway victory in the PGA Professional National Championship, closing with a 2-under 70  for a record eight-stroke margin.

The 34-year-old Dobyns, the PGA head professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y., finished at 13-under 275. The former University of Texas player shot a 68 to open and followed with rounds of 68 and 69  to take a six-stroke lead into the final round.

Hall of Famer Sam Snead, the PGA Tour's career victory leader, had the previous largest victory in the event, winning by five strokes in 1971

.The top 20 earned spots in the PGA Championship in August at Kiawah Island. Dobyns also received $75,000 and six PGA Tour exemptions over a 12-month period.


Sixteen-year-old Scottie Scheffler, a  junior at Highland Park (Texas) High School moved into the national spotlight with a couple of eye-popping rounds that would make even Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson shake their head in disbelief.

As the Dallas Morning News reported, Scheffler fired back-to-back 61s in the Dallas area, breaking the course record at Northwood Club with a 10-under 61, just one week after the club celebrated the 60th anniversary of hosting the 1952 U.S. Open.

Scheffler took only eight putts on the back nine.in the morning round then one-putted seven of the final nine greens in the afternoon.

Scheffler went on to tie the course record at Dallas Country Club just a couple days later with another 61 during a practice round.

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