Blake leads Lehman by a shot at Allianz Championship

By Associated PressFebruary 12, 2011, 4:34 am

Champions Tour

BOCA RATON, Fla. – A lack of practice didn’t hurt Jay Don Blake in his Champions Tour debut.

Blake opened with an 8-under 64 at the Allianz Championship on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over Tom Lehman after the first round of the over-50 circuit’s first full-field event.

“I’m still trying to knock the icicles off my body from living in Utah,” said Blake, who has been busy remodeling his house in St. George. “It’s been crazy with how bad the weather’s been.”

Blake didn’t look rusty or frozen in shooting eight birdies in a bogey-free round on the Old Course at Broken Sound. The 60-degree temperatures felt downright balmy and Blake wasn’t bothered by the occasional drizzle.

“I felt I kept my composure out there and executed the shots I needed to,” said Blake, whose wife, Marci, is his caddy. “You have to make some putts to shoot a round of 64 and I felt like I putted really well.”

Lehman had no complaints about his 65 coming off the PGA stop in Phoenix, where he played 54 holes in 29 hours because of bad weather.

“Bogey-free round – pretty stress-free,” Lehman said. “There were a lot of good scores. The greens were perfect. The wind wasn’t too strong. So if you hit good shots and a few good putts, you could definitely have a good round of golf.

“And I started my round out beautifully. I birdied the first three holes and kind of got the run going right off the bat.”

Lehman was in position to tie Blake with a birdie on the par-5 18th, but he hit a short chip about 9 feet past the pin, then missed the putt and settled for a par.

“It was just disappointing to not make a four with such a good tee shot,” he said. “Chip on 18 didn’t come off the club face like I expected at all. It was a disappointing chip.”

Scott Simpson, Peter Senior, Tom Jenkins and Jeff Sluman were tied for third at 6 under.

Simpson, Senior and Jenkins birdied 7 holes and bogeyed one, while Sluman had six birdies.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer shot a 68 to tie for 14th with seven other players. The German had five birdies to offset a bogey on the par-4 fourth.

Olin Browne hit the third hole-in-one in Allianz Championship history, hitting a 6-iron on the 176-yard eighth. He finished with a 69.

Jim Colbert, the winner of 20 senior titles and the 1995 and 1996 Player of the Year, became the ninth player in Champions Tour history to make his 500th start.

“I feel like I have more game now than I had the last few years,” said Colbert, who shot a 75. “It’s my hobby. I don’t do anything else. And I feel like I’m still working at it.”

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

Getty Images

Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.