Sunday, March 17, 2013
TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 3-17-2013
STREELMAN GET FIRST WIN
Kevin Streelman finally won on the PGA TOUR after many failed efforts, but, he looked like he's done it many times before.
Streelman didn't make a bogey over the final 37 holes on the tough Copperhead course at Innisbrook. He didn't miss a shot over the last 11 holes Sunday on his way to a 4-under 67. That gave him a two-shot win over Boo Weekley in the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank.
Streelman won in his 153rd start on the PGA TOUR. The win gives him 500 FedExCup points and puts him into the Masters for the second time in his career.
Weekley closed with a tournament-best 63 some three hours before Streelman finished.
Jordan Spieth, the 19-year-old from Texas, tied for seventh and earned special temporary membership on the PGA TOUR for the rest of the year.
LEWIS WINS FOUNDER CUP TAKES #1 SPOT
Stacy Lewis won the LPGA Founders Cup and jumped to No. 1 in the world, taking advantage of Ai Miyazato's collapse on the 16th hole.
A day after Lewis was penalized two strokes for her caddie's mistake on the short par 4 16th, the American took a two-stroke lead with a birdie on the hole after Miyazato made a double bogey following a bad approach shot that left an unplayable lie in a desert bush.
Coming off a victory two weeks ago in Singapore, Lewis won for the seventh time in her LPGA Tour career to end Yani Tseng's 109-week run at No. 1.
Lewis closed with an 8-under 64 in perfect conditions to finish with a tournament-record 23-under 265 total.
Miyazato was second, three strokes back after a 71. The Japanese star took a four-stroke lead over Lewis and Jee Young Lee into the final round when Lewis was penalized after play Saturday when it was ruled that caddie Travis Wilson tested the sand before Lewis played out of a bunker on No. 16.
FROST TAKES TOSHIBA CLASSIC
David Frost won the Toshiba Classic on Sunday, shooting a final-round 65 to defeat Fred Couples by five strokes and tie the tournament record of 19-under 194 set by Jay Haas in 2007.
Frost joined 2011 winner Nick Price as the only golfers to lead wire to wire in the event's 19 years. It was his fourth career Champions Tour victory and first since last year's AT&T Championship in San Antonio.
In four events this season, Frost hasn't finished out of the top 10, posting ties for ninth, fifth and losing in a playoff to John Cook in Hawaii in the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Couples, the 2010 champion, began the day a stroke behind Frost and tied him after a birdie on the first hole. That was the last time Frost would relinquish the lead. He birdied the second and third hole to build a two-shot advantage and the lead never went lower than one the rest of the round.
After making a birdie on No. 10 Couples had a chance to tie Frost again, but made a bogey two holes later and never recovered. Couples battled back pain for most of the day, especially on the back nine. After hitting an approach shot on No. 16 Couples dropped the club and bent over in obvious discomfort.
Jay Haas, the 2007 winner, finished tied for third with Peter Senior at 11 under. Tom Watson finished fifth another stroke back and Champions Tour rookies Rocco Mediate and Esteban Toledo tied for sixth at 9 under.
AIKEN WINS IN INDIA
Thomas Aiken collected his second European Tour title with a three shot victory at the Avantha Masters.
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and China’s Liang Wen-chong both launched worthy challenges during the final round – the latter recording a hole-in-one at the seventh – but Aiken held firm to sign for a five under par 67 and 23 under total at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort.
Bhullar came flying out of the blocks, and looked as though he may add a European Tour title to the Challenge Tour victory he recorded on home soil two years ago when he followed birdies at the first three holes with an eagle at the 356 yard par four fifth after driving the green.
Aiken’s playing partner Liang also closed in with birdies at the second and fourth, but the 2011 Open de España winner responded by holing a six footer at the second to remain two clear.
Aiken knocked in an eight footer at the fifth to go to 20 under, and when Bhullar bogeyed the eighth and Liang double-crossed his tee shot right into bushes at the sixth, took a penalty drop, and eventually three-putted for a double bogey, the South African was four ahead.
However, as quickly as Liang’s title chances looked to have evaporated they reignited with an eight iron ace at the short seventh which halved the deficit.
Bhullar birdied three of the last five to set the clubhouse target at 20 under par, but Aiken completed regulation birdies on both par fives on the back nine – he almost eagled both – then sunk a 30 footer across the final green for a fitting finale.
Bhullar’s 64 gave him second, with Liang two shots further back in third following a 69.
LOCAL FAV TAKES THAILAND OPEN
Prayad Marksaeng shot a final-round 64 for a 24-under-par total of 264 to win the Thailand Open Sunday.
The 47-year-old Thai, who was runner-up here in 2011, trailed Lucas Lee of Brazil by three strokes at the start of the day but sank nine birdies against just one bogey to beat Scott Strange of Australia by two strokes. Strange hit a 67 in the final round of the Japan Tour event.
Marksaeng became the first Thai to win the tournament since Boonchu Ruankit in 2004.
Another Australian, Nick Cullen, shot a 65 to secure third place.
NEWS & NOTES
Natalie Gulbis withdrew from the LPGA Founders Cup because of malaria contracted during the tour's Asian swing.
The LPGA Tour and the International Management Group said that Gulbis is being treated at home in Las Vegas and is expected to be at full strength in three weeks.
Two weeks ago in Singapore, Gulbis pulled out of the HSBC Women's Champions before the second round because the illness that was later confirmed to be malaria. She opened the season with a 63rd-place finish in the LPGA Thailand.
Laura Diaz was appointed vice captain of the U.S. Solheim Cup team Wednesday, pairing her with Dottie Pepper six years after their friendship seemingly ended over Pepper's blunt televised comment during the matches.Diaz plans to play a full schedule this season and hopes to qualify for the U.S. team.
Jack Nicklaus has announced that The Australian Golf Club, where he won three of his six Australian Opens, will host the country's national championship in 2014 following a redesign of the layout by the 18-time major champion.
The course hosted the first Australian Open in 1904 and it was last played there in 2007 when it was won by Craig Parry.
Nicklaus, who won the Australian Open at The Australian in 1975, 1976 and 1978, also helped redesign the course between 1977 and 1980, adding length and water hazards.
This year's Australian Open will be played for the fourth consecutive year at The Lakes, also in Sydney, at a date to be determined in December. Peter Senior is the defending champion.
Mississippi's only PGA Tour event is safe for now.
Sanderson Farms has agreed to be the title sponsor for the newly-named Sanderson Farms Championship, which will be played at Annandale Golf Club in nearby Madison, Miss., on July 18-21.
The tournament has been a part of the PGA Tour since 1968. It has had several name changes over the years, and lost its previous title sponsor Viking Range Corporation after the 2011 tournament. A conglomeration of companies sponsored the 2012 event, which was called the True South Classic.
Now Sanderson Farms takes over as the title sponsor in a move that could bring some much-needed stability. The Laurel, Miss., based company is the third largest poultry producer in the United States.
PGA TOUR - Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill - Tiger Woods
EUROPEAN TOUR -Maybank Malaysian Open - Louis Oosthuizen
CHAMPIONS TOUR - Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic - Fred Couples
LPGA TOUR - Kia Classic - Yani Tseng
WEB.COM TOUR - Chitimacha Louisiana Open - Casey Wittenberg
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Posted by Gary Mack at 9:15 PM