Sunday, February 24, 2013

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 2-24-2013

 KUCHAR TAKES MATCH PLAY EVENT
 Matt Kuchar defeated the defending champion  Hunter Mahan to win the Accenture Match Play Championship.  Last year Mahan eliminated Kuchar in the quarterfinals, this year was Kuchar's turn.
 

Four up after nine holes on a chilly afternoon of biting winds at Dove Mountain, Kuchar fended off a late Mahan fightback before sealing the win at the par-four 17th where his opponent took four shots to reach the green.
 

Kuchar has now won 15 of his last 17 matches in this global event and he has a 16-3 record overall. It was Mahan's first loss in 12 matches and his record overall is now 15-5.It was Kuchar's fifth triumph on the PGA Tour and his first success in one of the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) events which bring together the game's leading players.

In the consolation match, Jason Day rebounded after a  semifinal loss Sunday morning to defeat  one of the game's best at this format in Ian Poulter.
 

Day earned $615,000 for his third-place finish and improved to 8-3 in three appearances at the Accenture Match Play Championship. Poulter's record is 22-11 and he has one win and two fourth-place finishes in nine starts.



 PARK WINS LPGA THAILAND

Inbee Park of South Korea took advantage of overnight leader Ariya Jutanugarn's triple bogey on the last hole Sunday to secure a one-stroke victory in the LPGA Thailand.

Jutanugarn blew a two-stroke lead on the 18th when she first had to take a drop and then missed a three-foot putt to force a playoff. The 17-year-old Thai golfer, who had a hole-in-one earlier in the round, was moved to tears as the putt lipped out, while a surprised Park started celebrating in the clubhouse with her caddie.


The fourth-ranked Park finished with a 67 for a 12-under 276 total, with Jutanugarn a shot back after a 72.


Top-ranked Yani Tseng of Taiwan shot a final-round 63 to finish another stroke back in joint third with Beatriz Recari of Spain (70) and So Yeon Ryu of South Korea (68).


Jutanugarn's troubles on the par-5 last hole started when she landed in a bunker and had had to take a drop for an unplayable lie. She then overshot the green before three-putting for an 8.


Jutanugarn had fought back from a stroke behind Park by hitting a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th to regain the lead at 14 under - and win a car from a sponsor. But she then paid the price for playing too aggressively on the last.

It was the fourth LPGA win for the 24-year-old Park after her most recent in the 2012 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia last October.




FOLEY TAKES THE FIRST
Kevin Foley carded a 3-under 67 Sunday to erase a two-shot deficit and win the Web.com Tour's season-opening Panama Claro Championship. It was Foley's first tour victory.

The 25-year-old former Penn State player finished at 8-under 272 at Panama Golf Club.
Australia's Matthew Goggin was second after a 70.

The tournament opened the tour's 24th season. The Colombia Championship is next week, followed by the Chile Classic. The U.S. schedule begins March 21-24 with the Louisiana Open.



NEWS & NOTES
 Happy Birthday  to Vijay Singh who turned 50 on Feb. 22 but don't expect him to head over to the Champions Tour just yet. The World Golf Hall of Famer hasn't won on TOUR since 2008, when he earned three titles, but with five top 10s last year, he knows he can still compete.

 


The PGA Tour has notified golf's governing bodies that it sees no reason to ban anchored putting strokes.
 
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said Sunday there has not been enough evidence to show a competitive advantage gained by using a long putter or belly putter that is anchored against the body. Three of the last five major champions used a belly putter.

The U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced the proposed rule Nov. 28. They offered a 90-day comment period. Finchem says the tour is merely offering its view, and that it would be a mistake for the game to outlaw such a stroke.

The next development is whether the USGA and R&A decide to adopt the new rule.


 

The International Olympic Committee has been officially notified about a legal dispute over the ownership of the site of the planned 2016 Olympic golf course.

A court official visited the hotel where IOC officials were staying Wednesday to have the president of the coordination commission for the 2016 Games, Nawal El Moutawakel, sign the order notifying her and the IOC of the dispute.


The IOC and 2016 Rio committee have downplayed the issue as golf prepares to make its return to the games for the first time in 110 years.


The IOC did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment. The IOC's coordination commission is making its first official visit of the year to Rio, and fourth since the city won the bid to host the games in 2009.


The court document named El Moutawakel and the IOC's coordination commission, along with the local Public Olympic Authority. El Moutawakel said she complied with the court official but could do nothing more than relay the document to the IOC's legal departments in Switzerland.


There has been a long legal dispute over the land that is claimed by two different companies. Local organizers say they have enough guarantees from the businessman who says he is the current owner, but a judge has already said that any contracts made over the land will eventually be deemed illegal and nullified in case a court ruling goes against him.


 


This week marked the launching of a new book called "Beyond the Fairways and Greens: A Look Inside The Lives of PGA TOUR Families” and the proceeds of the coffee table book will go to support the charities the PTWA supports. The TOUR wives also are celebrating there 25th anniversary.


 CALENDAR
PGA TOUR - THE HONDA CLASSIC - RORY MCILROY

EUROPEAN TOUR - TSHWANE OPEN

LPGA TOUR - HSBC WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS 2013 - ANGELA STANFORD

WEB.COM TOUR - COLOMBIA CHAMPIONSHIP - SKIP KENDALL


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