Fitzpatrick tops Hend in European Masters playoff

By Associated PressSeptember 10, 2017, 5:39 pm

CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland – Matthew Fitzpatrick made a safe par 4 on the third extra hole to win the European Masters on Sunday, after firing a 6-under 64 to force a playoff.

The 48th-ranked Englishman sank his putt from less than three feet while Scott Hend of Australia made a ragged bogey at the 18th hole on the scenic Swiss Alps course.

Fitzpatrick earned a $542,000 prize for his first win since the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai last November.

It was a fourth career title for the 23-year-old former U.S. Amateur winner.

Hend again pocketed $361,000 for losing the title in a playoff for the second straight year.

Both carded 14-under totals of 266 having had early starts Sunday to complete their delayed third rounds. On Saturday, play was suspended because of fog, while fading light brought the leading groups in early.

Englishman Tyrrell Hatton (66) and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti (68) finished three back on 11 under in a tie for third place.

A playoff was needed because Fitzpatrick and third-round leader Hend (68) both missed mid-range birdie chances on the 18th in regulation.

Hend also missed from five feet for victory on the 18th green in the second playoff hole.

Fitzpatrick, a Ryder Cup debutant last year, acknowledged thinking that Hend would seize that chance after his own 12-foot birdie putt slid by the hole.

''It's never nice to see,'' Fitzpatrick said of Hend's miss, ''but we kept our nerve and we played really smart all week.''

A long day for Fitzpatrick began with an 8 a.m. tee time for the final three holes of his third round. He bogeyed the 16th and fell four shots behind Hend for his return to the course three hours later.

Fitzpatrick surged after a steady start to the final round, and led by two shots when he birdied the par-3 16th. That made it seven birdies in an 11-hole stretch.

The lead was gone minutes later when Fitzpatrick bogeyed the par-4 17th, after finding a green-side bunker with his approach, and Hend birdied the par-5 15th.

Defending champion Alex Noren of Sweden was tied for sixth place on 9 under after a 66. Lee Westwood, the 1999 winner at the Crans-sur-Sierre club that is blanketed with snow each winter, finished on level par after a closing 69.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: