BRIAN GAY WINS HUMANA CHALLENGE
Brian Gay outlasted the field and took home the Humana Challenge on the second hole of a playoff. Gay defeated David Lingmerth, Charles Howell III.
Scott Stallings had started the final 18 holes with a five-stroke advantage but he missed the playoff when he hit his second shot at the par-5 18th hole into the water and wound up making bogey.
Gay missed an 8-footer for birdie at the 18th hole that as it ended up would have given him the lead alone. Howell had an 88-foot eagle putt but ended up three-putting for par to join Gay and Lingmerth at 25 under.
Lingerth birdied the 18th hole for his 62. Gay shot 63 and Howell, who was tied for second at the start of the day, had a 64.
Stallings had a chance to join the playoff even after bouncing off the rocks into the water. He chipped 9 feet by, though, and missed the putt.
So the playoff began with Gay, Lingmerth, and Howel III. On the first playoff hole Lingmerth found the water with his second shot, knocking him out.
Howell and Gay moved on to second playoff hole. Gay found the fairway off the tee while Howell went into the right rough, just over a pair of fairway bunkers.
Howell's second shot hit the green but went into the back bunker. Gay's approach settled 5 feet from the pin.
Howell blasted out about 12 feet past the hole. He missed the par putt, giving Gay two putts to win.
Gay made the birdie putt and won for the first time in four years.
DONALDSON TAKES ABU DHABI TROPHY
Jamie Donaldson edged out Justin Rose and Thorbjorn Olesen on a thrilling final day at the $2.7 million Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday.
Donaldson squeezed five birdies in a closing four-under-par 68 to finish 14-under, one ahead of overnight leader Rose and Olesen.
The Welshman almost let in his rivals when he bogeyed the last hole after missing from five feet. But neither Rose nor Olesen, playing in the group behind, could birdie the 18th and the trophy belonged to Donaldson.
Donaldson, who also won the Irish Open last year, birdied the first, ninth, 11th, 14th and 15th before dropping his only shot at the 18th.
Rose picked up four birdies in the final round but was let down by bogeys at the fifth, 11th and 16th.
He tossed his putter high in the air in anguish after seeing a 12-foot birdie putt lip out at the 18th.
Playing partner Olesen also had to settle for a par at the closing hole after missing from 14 feet.
Portugal's Ricardo Santos finished fourth on 277.
JOHN COOK OPENS CHAMPIONS TOUR WITH A VICTORY
John Cook caught David Frost on the final hole of regulation, then beat him with birdie on the second playoff hole to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Cook closed with a 5-under-67 to catch Frost at 17-. Cook made a 16-foot birdie putt on the 18th green.
Frost shot a 69, missing a 15-foot birdie putt at the 18th that would have given him a win in the Champions Tour season-opener. He had held the lead since the 12th hole of the second round.
Both birdied the first playoff hole from inside 10 feet and went to the 17th tee. Cook hit his tee shot about 15 feet left of the hole and drained it after Frost had come up short with his 20-foot birdie try.
Cook won $309,000 for his ninth victory on the Champions Tour, to go along with 11 on the PGA TOUR. He birdied all four par-5 holes on Sunday, while Frost birdied just one.
Cook's victory gets him invited back next year. He did not have a bogey all week while Frost went bogey-free over his last 48 holes.
Bernhard Langer chipped in for a birdie on the last hole to finish third alone at 200. He started six back and bogeyed two of the first three before getting birdies on nine of the next 11 holes and finishing with a 64.
Fred Couples was five back going into the final round and also had two early bogeys. He rallied with an eagle and six birdies. That run died with a three-putt bogey at the 17th and he was fourth after a shooting a 67 and finishing at 202.
Kenny Perry was the first to make a move Sunday. He started the day in 14th place but surged into fifth with six birdies and an eagle. His 64 matched Langer's score as low round of the week. Perry finished four back with Kirk Triplett.
NEWS & NOTES
The LPGA announced a 2013 tournament schedule featuring 28 tournaments, nearly $49 million in total prize money, and more than 300 hours of tournament television coverage on Golf Channel and other networks, the most in the Tour’s history.
The 2013 LPGA schedule features three new tournaments including the $1.3 million North Texas LPGA Shootout, to be played April 22 to 28 at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas; the $1.3 million Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, to be played May 20-26 at the Ocean Club Golf Course at Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas; and the $1.8 million Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic in Beijing, China, which kicks off the Tour’s Fall Asian swing the first week of October at Reignwood Pine Valley Golf Club. Each of the new tournaments are four-day, 72 hole, stroke-play events, aired on the LPGA’s international television partner networks, including Golf Channel. Every North American tournament and 27 of the 28 Tour’s stops on the 2013 schedule will be televised worldwide.
Paul McGinley is Europe's captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup.
The Northern Irishman defeated Colin Montgomerie in a vote of the European Tour's tournament committee in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
McGinley had received the backing of some of the continent's biggest names, including top-ranked Rory McIlroy and third-ranked Luke Donald.
and speaking of that....
Jason Dufner wants American players to have more input in choosing the Ryder Cup captain.
The PGA of America chooses the Ryder Cup captain. While Dufner said he supported the choice of Tom Watson for 2014, he said many players would like to be more involved in the process since they are ''familiar with a lot of the guys that could be up for a nomination.''
The 11th-ranked Dufner, playing in this week's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, said Europe is ''going to come together'' because of the role players had in choosing McGinley.
Lanny Wadkins is returning to the broadcast booth as lead analyst for the Champions Tour.
Golf Channel said Wadkins will make his debut Friday at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii. He will be the lead analyst for the 22 events on the Champions Tour that Golf Channel televises.
Wadkins was lead analyst for CBS Sports from 2002 to 2006 until being replaced by Nick Faldo.
Wadkins was recognized for his fearless play and outspoken nature when he won 21 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1977 PGA Championship at Pebble Beach. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.
Phil Mickelson hinted at what could be a "drastic" change for the world of golf, and himself in particular. Thanks to his substantial earnings and his residency in California, Mickelson now falls into two sets of laws that substantially increase his taxes ... and he's not pleased.
"If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent," he said. "So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do."
He acknowledged that he could end up leaving his home state of California. And he further agreed that the financial issues were the reason why he pulled out of an ownership team that purchased the San Diego Padres back in August.
Mickelson has promised to address the issue in further detail at this week's Farmers Insurance Open.
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