Donald leads BMW PGA, closing in on No. 1

By Associated PressMay 26, 2012, 5:20 pm

VIRGINIA WATER, England - Luke Donald moved to the brink of a second successive BMW PGA Championship title and reclaiming the top ranking by shooting a 3-under 69 to take a two-stroke lead after the third round on Saturday.

Donald overcame tough, windy conditions at Wentworth to be one of only three players to break 70 on a day of high scoring that led course designer Ernie Els to criticize European Tour officials for the state of the greens.

Donald's fellow Englishman Justin Rose (69) was alone in second at 9 under while Peter Lawrie of Ireland (72) was two shots further back at 7 under.


Video: BMW PGA highlights


''Physically and mentally, it was tough out there and it's going to be a grind tomorrow,'' Donald said.

He needs to finish in the top eight to retake No. 1 from Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut for the second tournament in a row after a 79 on Friday.

England's James Morrison started the day with a four-shot lead on 12 under but made two 8s - one triple bogey and one quadruple bogey - on his way to an 81 to fall eight shots off the pace.

Morrison shot 64 on Friday but was one of nine players to make 80 or more when winds of up to 30 mph combined with hard greens to wreak havoc on an already-tough West Course.

Els, one of four players tied for fourth on 5 under after shooting 70, unloaded an expletive-laced tirade after his round in which he slammed Wentworth greenkeepers and European Tour officials for failing to adequately water the putting surfaces.

''I'm fed up with it ... It's not my bloody job doing it. It's their job. They have been around a long time, I'm really disappointed with it,'' said the two-time U.S. Open champion, who was criticized last year for making the course too difficult after helping redesign it in 2010.

Ian Poulter (69) was the only other player to break 70 at the tour's flagship event on Saturday to stand at 3 under.

Conditions dictated a cool head and Donald showed it once again. He had four birdies and dropped only one shot on the par-4 15th.

He holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the last to give him an extra cushion heading into Sunday, a year after his playoff victory over Lee Westwood here.

''This is a tough place and demands a huge amount of patience,'' Donald said. ''It's not great for a bomber (off the tee). It's great for somebody who can work their way around.

''The good players that can be patient and deal with it are always going to rise to the top usually.''

Rose bounced back from dropping shots at Nos. 2 and 3 to go through the rest of his round bogey-free, keeping him in contention for a win that could move him to a career-high No. 5 in the rankings.

''There were some borderline holes out there,'' said Rose, referring to Els' comments that players were struggling to hold their approach shots on the greens. ''It took all of your experience and skill and patience.''

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

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.

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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.