Bettencourt wins Nwide Tour Championship

By Associated PressNovember 9, 2008, 5:00 pm
Nationwide Tour Championship McKINNEY, Texas ' Matt Bettencourt began his week at the Nationwide Tour Championship with kidney stones and a trip to the hospital. He ended it Sunday with a victory and the season money title.
It means everything to me, Bettencourt said after birdieing the final hole for a 2-under 69 and a 17-under 267 total. Its truly a dream come true. Dont give up. Dont quit on your dreams.
Bettencourt, also the Oregon Classic winner, made $180,000 to win the money title with $447,863. He earned full exempt PGA Tour status, the equivalent of finishing in the top 125 on the top circuits money list, and got spots in The Players Championship and Colonial. Brendon de Jonge was second with $437,035.
Jeff Klauk shot a 65 to finish second. He finished third on the money list with $407,418 to earn one of the 25 PGA Tour cards.
Bryce Molder (71) tied for third with 2007 U.S. Amateur champion Colt Knost (65) at 15 under to finish 23rd on the money list. Molder began the week 32nd.
This is what we work for. I gave myself a chance on the back nine Saturday and took advantage of it today, he said.
Molder started the day tied for the lead, birdied Nos. 8 and 10, then survived a double bogey on No. 16 with pars and 17 and 18.
My hands were still shaking on the final putt.
Ricky Barnes, the 2002 U.S. Amateur winner, took the 25th and final PGA Tour spot, shooting a 71 to tie for 37th at 3 under. He edged No. 26 David Branshaw by just over $3,500, after Barnes missed getting his card in 2006 by less than $1,000.
In 2006, I was the odd man out. I guess now Im the odd man in, Barnes said. The breaks finally went my way.
Knost, a former SMU star, said getting his tour card was a relief after turning down a chance to play in the 2008 Masters as an amateur by turning professional.
The first four months of the year I was second-guessed by everybody and I didnt think it was fair, Knost said. I proved I did the right thing for me. I dont know what else I can do.
Branshaw shot a 68 to tie for 11th at 10 under.
I had every chance in the world, but I just didnt make enough putts coming down the stretch, he said.
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.