Sunday, July 29, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 7-29-2012

 PIERCY TAKES CANADIAN OPEN
Scott Piercy made four straight birdies early and one big par late to win the Canadian Open on Sunday.

Piercy closed with a 3-under 67 and tied the oldest 72-hole scoring record on the PGA Tour. He two-putted from 50 feet for par on the 18th hole to finish on 17-under 263.

William McGirt, atop the leaderboard for much of the day, three-putted for bogey on the 15th and failed to save par from a bunker on the 18th for a 69 that left him one shot behind. Robert Garrigus, the 54-hole leader, three-putted the 16th hole for bogey. He shot 70 and also finished a shot behind.

Piercy won for the second time in his career.

Garrigus  missed six putts inside 8 feet. The last one was the most costly. He three-putted from long range just off the green on the 16th, missing an 8-footer for par that left him one shot behind. He missed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th to force a playoff and had to settle for a 70.

Pierce won while sitting in the clubhouse. Moments earlier, he two-putted for par from 50 feet on the 18th to finish on 17-under 263 and tie the oldest 72-hole scoring record on the PGA Tour.

Now, Piercy is headed to his first World Golf Championship, and then off to the PGA Championship. More perks arrive next year when Piercy goes to Augusta National for the first time to play in the Masters.

Josh Teater (66), Bud Cauley (66) and Chris Kirk (68) tied for fourth, three shots behind. Vijay Singh closed with a 67 to tie for seventh.


COUPLES WINS SR.BRITISH OPEN
Fred Couples won the Senior British Open by two strokes over Gary Hallberg after holing a 25-foot putt to finish with consecutive birdies.

The 1992 Masters champion shot a 3-under 67 in the final round to finish at 9-under 271 to win his first tournament in Britain. Hallberg shot a 66, equaling the best round of the day with American Mark Calcavecchia and Carl Mason.

English pair Barry Lane  and Mason and American Dick Mast had a share of third at 4 under. Overnight leader Bernhard Langer dropped five shots in five holes on the way home to shoot a 75 and slip into a tie for sixth.

Couples was locked in a struggle with Langer until the German double bogeyed No. 12 and the American birdied for a three-shot swing. Langer then bogeyed three holes in a row from No. 14 to slip out of contention.

Hallberg posted the best round of the tournament with a 63 on Friday before following that up with a 73 on Saturday. On Sunday, he made six birdies and didn't drop a shot. Calcavecchia had four birdies and no bogeys, while Mason had three birdies, an eagle and just one bogey.

Tom Watson closed with a 69, his third sub-par round of the tournament to share 10th place at 1-under 279.


WIESBERGER WINS AUSTRIAN OPEN
Bernd Wiesberger had a 7-under 65 to win the Austrian Open by three strokes on Saturday for his second European Tour title.

The Austrian, who was four strokes off the lead going into the final round, finished with an overall 19-under 269. Shane Lowry (66) of Ireland and Thomas Levet (68) of France tied for second.

Wiesberger won the Ballantine's Championship in April.

Overnight leader Thorbjorn Olesen dropped to fifth place after the Dane shot 74 with three bogeys on the back nine.

Wiesberger had four birdies in five holes around the turn. His tee shot at the 17th hit a tree and bounced to leave him in a good position to get onto the green. At the 18th, he made a 50-foot putt on the final hole.

Wiesberger became the third player to win more than one European Tour event this season, along with South Africans Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen.


 PARK WINS EVIAN MASTERS
Inbee Park of South Korea ended her four-year wait for an LPGA Tour title when she shot a 6-under 66 on Sunday to win the Evian Masters, beating veteran Karrie Webb and overnight co-leader Stacy Lewis by two shots.

It was Park's second LPGA Tour title and the first since the U.S. Open in 2008. She finished with a 17-under 271.

The 24-year-old Park made birdies on the last three holes to coast home.
Lewis, who shared the overnight lead with Park, made a run at the end, but her long putt for eagle on the 18th came too late.

China's Shanshan Feng made a late charge as well, shooting a 66 that also included an eagle on the 18th. She finished tied for fourth at 14 under with South Korean amateur Hyo Joo Kim (68) and American Natalie Gulbis (68).

Lewis, who had been seeking her third LPGA Tour title of the year, fell behind with a poor run in the middle of her round - she went eight holes without a birdie, including a bogey on No. 14.

This is the last Evian Masters before the event becomes the Evian Championship and the fifth women's major in September 2013.

Lewis, who tied the course record with a 63 on Friday, missed a birdie on the fourth hole as her shot drifted left. After missing a good birdie chance on the fifth, she hunched forward in frustration with hands on her thighs.

Park birdied the ninth to take the lead at the turn and then moved to 14 under with another birdie on No. 10.

Webb and 2007 Evian winner Gulbis had a chance to make up ground after Park bogeyed the 11th. Webb, the 2006 champion, chipped out of the green rough to sink a birdie on No. 13 to pull even with Gulbis and Park at 13 under.


KOHLES GETS VICTORY IN 1st PRO START
 Ben Kohles won the Web.com Tour's Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational in his first professional start, beating Luke Guthrie with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff.

Kohles closed with a 1-under 70 to match Guthrie at 12-under 272. Guthrie birdied three of the final five holes in regulation for a 66.

One of 12 college All-Americans invited to the event, Kohles turned pro after finishing his amateur career last week in the Porter Cup.

Casey Wittenberg, a two-time winner this year who tops the money list, shot a 68 to tie for second with Cliff Kresge at 11 under. Kresge finished with a 69.



NEWS & NOTES
U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson is a father again. Simpson's wife, Dowd, gave birth Saturday to daughter Willow Grace.

Simpson's agent, Thomas Parker, said mother and daughter are doing well.

Ariya Jutanugarn's petition to enter Q-School this year has been denied by the LPGA. Jutanugarn, who is 16 years old, will turn 17 on November 23rd. The LPGA rule states that a player must turn 18 years old by January 1 to be eligible for the qualifying process.

Ariya's primary reason for filing this petition was that her sister Moriya Jutanugarn, 17 and turning 18 on July 28, is going to Q-School and the younger sister wants to play alongside her older sister.

Ariya is a very good playerr. In her two starts on the LPGA this year, she finished T12 at the Honda LPGA Thailand Championship and T22 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Lexi Thompson was an exception to the rule, as she proved by setting a record in winning on the LPGA at 16 years of age. If Ariya had won on the LPGA Tour, then the commissioner would have been forced to do the same.



One day after Ernie Els won the British Open to become the third major champion using a belly putter, the Royal & Ancient said long putters were ''firmly back on the radar'' and that a decision could come soon on whether players can keep using them.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said discussions with the U.S. Golf Association about longer putters anchored to the body began before Els holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the claret jug at age 42.

Keegan Bradley at the PGA Championship and Webb Simpson at the U.S. Open both used belly putters. Adam Scott, who had a four-shot lead with four holes to play in the British Open, was using a long putter that he says helped turn around his game.

Dawson said the discussion with the governing bodies has switched from an equipment issue to a rules issue.

''The initial determination has been that we are examining the subject from a method of stroke standpoint rather than length of putter standpoint, and that takes it into the area of the rules of play, the rules of golf, rather than the rules of equipment,'' he said.

The rules committees of the R&A and USGA are conducting the study, and each will make a recommendation.


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