Bjorn captures European Masters win over Kaymer, McIlroy, Westwood

By Associated PressSeptember 4, 2011, 2:14 pm

CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland – Thomas Bjorn secured back-to-back titles for the first time in his career, shooting a 9-under 62 Sunday to win the European Masters.

Bjorn made nine birdies and an eagle in a blistering final round to finish with a 20-under total of 264, four shots clear of Germany’s Martin Kaymer, to earn the 333,333 ($473,000) winner’s prize.

The victory comes a week after the 40-year-old Dane won a five-man playoff at Gleneagles, Scotland, and is his third title of the year. Prior to 2011, he had not won two titles in one year on the European Tour since 1998.

“It’s been a remarkable week. Golf feels pretty easy at the moment but that’s not always the case,” Bjorn said. “Any time you go out and shoot 62 on Sunday you have got to be delighted.”

The fifth-ranked Kaymer began his round at an even more furious pace, with two eagles on his first five holes followed by birdies on Nos. 7 and 8. But he finished his round with 10 straight pars for a 65.

“If you are 6 under after eight holes you are always expecting more,” said Kaymer, who was fighting a cold. “I was feeling sick and it was difficult but after that start I was fired up and wanted to win.”

Rory McIlroy shot 68 to finish tied for third at 15 under with Jaco van Zyl of South Africa and overnight leader Jamie Donaldson of Wales.

Kaymer and No. 6 McIlroy hoped for victory here to help them climb in the rankings over two Americans immediately above them, Steve Stricker andDustin Johnson, who were playing in Boston this weekend.

Bjorn, a non-playing vice captain for Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup team last year, also took the early lead in the qualification race to defend the trophy in the United States next year.

“There’s remarkable talent on display in European golf. We will take it one step at a time but if I can keep playing well and stay healthy, there’s always a chance,” said Bjorn, who played on winning teams in 1997 and 2002.

McIlroy, the U.S. Open winner, had said Saturday that it was possible to shoot 62 and win the tournament – and Bjorn proved him right.

The Danish veteran, who was 2 over early in Thursday’s opening round, could even afford bogeys at the fourth and 12th holes Sunday. He followed up the first one by making four straight birdies, and added another at the 11th.

After his second bogey he looked in trouble again when his second shot at the par-5 14th landed in deep rough beyond the green-side lake.

“Fourteen was a big break,” said Bjorn, who found a decent lie and got down in two for a birdie. He then sank a 12-footer for eagle at the par-5 15th.

Already clear of the field, Bjorn buried two more eight-feet putts at the closing par-4s to shoot the lowest score of the week in the thin Alpine air.

Kaymer was four off the lead overnight and started his charge early. He eagled the par-5 first and added another at the fifth, finally taming a par-4 he had described as “easy” all week.

The 2010 U.S. PGA champion then birdied the seventh and par-3 eighth to take the outright lead.

However, Kaymer’s challenge stalled as the former top-ranked player failed to make a birdie after the turn.

McIlroy birdied the first two holes to share the lead at 14 under, sinking a 25-footer at the second before his putter went cold.

The Northern Irishman three-putted at the 339-yard (310-meter) fifth after driving beyond the pin and let mid-range chances slip at the seventh, ninth and 11th.

McIlroy threatened to contend with birdies at the back-to-back par-5s but Bjorn soon raced clear.

Second-ranked Lee Westwood began the day trailing Donaldson by one stroke and birdied the first, but could not sustain his challenge. Westwood carded a 70 to finish 14 under, tied for sixth place.

Before being presented with the trophy on the 18th green, Bjorn and a packed grandstand of spectators watched a giant screen tribute to the late Severiano Ballesteros after whom the course is named.

“For my generation, he was everything to the game of golf,” Bjorn said of Ballesteros, a three-time winner here and his captain at the ’97 Ryder Cup. “He was a true inspiration to everybody and a wonderful friend. I take a lot of pride in having known the man.”

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

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