Clark chases down Furyk to win Canadian Open

By Associated PressJuly 27, 2014, 8:04 pm

MONTREAL  Tim Clark rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday, birdieing five of the last eight holes for a one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk.

Clark closed with a 5-under 65 at rainy Royal Montreal for his second PGA Tour victory. The 38-year-old South African player also won the 2010 Players Championship.

Furyk, the two-time Canadian Open champion who took a three-stroke lead into the final round, finished with a 69. The 44-year-old American matched Clark with a birdie on the par-3 17th and a par on the par-4 18th.

''It looked like Jim wasn't going to make any mistakes,'' said Clark, who moved into contention Saturday with a 64. ''He was pretty solid, so I knew I had to make birdies. At that point, there was nothing to lose. Suddenly I got hot and I went with it.''

Furyk is 0 for 7 with the 54-hole lead since winning the 2010 Tour Championship for the last of his 16 PGA Tour titles

''I kind of controlled my own destiny,'' Furyk said. ''I've got to shoot 3 or 4 under and it would have been impossible to catch me, or darn near it. I left the door open with even par on the front nine and Tim took advantage and shot 30 on the back.''

On No. 18, Clark left a 45-foot birdie putt about 6 feet short, and Furyk missed left on a 12-footer. Clark sealed the win by holing the 6-footer for par.


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''Once he missed his putt, I didn't want to have to go into a playoff, knowing he can take it over the water (off the 18th tee) and I have to play over to the right,' Clark said. ''So, it was huge for me to get it finished right there. I got hot with the putter on the back nine. To stand over that putt and still feel confident was really nice.''

Clark, four strokes behind Furyk after bogeying the par-4 first, took the outright lead with a birdie on the par-4 16th after a short rain delay. Clark finished at 17-under 263 to tie tournament record for total score set by Johnny Palmer in 1952 at St. Charles in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and matched by Scott Piercy in 2012 at Hamilton in Ancaster, Ontario.

Clark's wife, Candice, is from Toronto and has family in Montreal. He won his first pro title at the New Brunswick Open on the Canadian Tour in 1998 and followed a week later with a win at the CPGA Championship.

''The irony of it is Canada could be the location of my first win and my last one,'' Clark said. ''To come back here, it's full circle. That was 16 years ago when I was just cutting my teeth as a professional golfer and I was fortunate enough to be given some starts up here, so I have fond memories.

''It's certainly one I've wanted to win for a long time. Any national championship to me is special. particularly to the people from that country. It's an honor for me to be the open champion.''

Justin Hicks was third at 13 under after a 64. Matt Kuchar (65), Michael Putnam (66) and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (66) tied for fourth at 11 under.

Graham DeLaet, from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, was the top Canadian, closing with a 68 to tie for seventh at 10 under. Pat Fletcher, born in England, was the last Canadian winner, taking the 1954 event at Point Grey in Vancouver.

''I fell a little short, but it was fun,'' DeLaet said. ''So many people were cheering for me. ... Coming down 18 was a special moment.

Dicky Pride also finished at 10 under, matching the course record with a 63.

Organizers moved up the starting times by two hours and had the players went out in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees to try to finish before the forecast storms. Most of the players had finished before a cloudburst halted play for 26 minutes.

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Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 11:14 pm

John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.

The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.

That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.

He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.

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Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

“I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


Made Cut

Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

“If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

“The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

September can’t get here quick enough.

Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

“I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

“My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


Missed Cut

Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

Tweet of the week:

It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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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.