Dyson outduels Green to capture Irish Open on final hole

By Associated PressJuly 31, 2011, 4:23 pm

KILLARNEY, Ireland – Simon Dyson of England won the Irish Open by a stroke Sunday, capitalizing on a poor approach shot by Australia’s Richard Green on the final hole.

Dyson was trailing by a shot when he birdied the 17th to draw even. His round of 4-under 67 left him 15-under 269 for the tournament. Dyson finished ninth at the British Open two weeks ago and called his performance in the Irish Open “probably the best golf I’ve ever played.”

Green all but handed Dyson the victory when his approach on the 18th led to a three-putt bogey, only his second of the day. He finished at 68 for a 14-under total.

“You always feel sorry for somebody when that happens,” Dyson said. “I’d much prefer to win it with a birdie. But I’ll take what I can get.”

Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher was third after a 68 left him at 12 under.

With the victory, Dyson qualified for next week’s World Golf Championship in Akron, Ohio. He received the Waterford Crystal winner’s trophy from Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and $360,000.

More than 20,000 fans lined the fairways Sunday in hopes of seeing fireworks by the Emerald Isle’s homegrown stars.

But British Open winner Darren Clarke and three-time-major winner Padraig Harrington didn’t even survive Friday’s cut. Sunday’s two surviving local favorites – Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell – both had mediocre performances again.

McIlroy closed with a 71 to finish 12 shots behind Dyson.

“It wasn’t quite the result I was looking for,” said the U.S. Open champion.

McDowell, who won the U.S. Open in 2010, said his round of 70 for a 4-under finish felt “very much like Groundhog Day. These greens just drove me insane all week.”

Dyson started the day in a three-way tie for the lead with Green and David Howell. While Howell fell off the pace with narrow misses on long putts, Green jumped to a two-shot lead with four birdies on the front nine.

Dyson caught Green with birdies on the 10th and 11th holes. Then Dyson missed a 6-foot birdie opportunity on No. 12 followed by an even worse 4-foot miss for a bogey on No. 13.

“We were just trading blows,” Dyson said, “and then I three-putted the 13th, which was a shame.”

Dyson pulled even again by birdieing the par-5 16th hole. Green, in the group behind, hit a stunning approach shot on the 16th, leaving him a 10-foot eagle chance. But his first putt rolled narrowly right; his birdie gave him a one-shot lead again.

Dyson didn’t let up, dropping his second shot on the par-4 17th within a few feet of the cup for a birdie and a tie with Green. He parred the 18th and watched from the clubhouse, head in hands, as Green took the 18th tee.

Green’s drive came close to landing in a creek. But he found himself with a good line to the cup, and chose his 8-iron for the 150-yard shot into a light crosswind. It dropped far short, barely reaching the green’s near corner. Green dropped his head in disappointment. Dyson, watching on TV, distractedly bit his nails.

Green’s 60-foot birdie putt for the win went straight to the hole – but cut inches to the right at the last moment and rolled 10 feet beyond. His attempt to send the tournament into a two-way playoff rolled a few inches left.

“I didn’t expect the 8-iron on the last hole to come up so short,” said the 40-year-old Green, a rare left-hander on the European Tour. “I had a great angle.”

Of his long-shot putt for victory, he said: “It was a pressure putt, and I hit it a bit too hard.”

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry