Hallberg defeats Couples at Rock Barn

By Associated PressOctober 4, 2010, 1:11 am

Champions Tour

CONOVER, North Carolina – Gary Hallberg shot a record-setting 11-under 61 Sunday to win the Ensure Classic by one stroke ahead of Fred Couples.

Hallberg finished at 18-under 198, tying the event record at the Rock Barn Golf and Spa and winning his first career Champions Tour title. Hallberg bettered the final-round record of 62, set by Bob Tway earlier Sunday. Tway’s round had surpassed the former mark of 64 set by Doug Tewell in 2004.

“You never think you’re going to win,” said Hallberg, who became the seventh first-time winner on the 50-and-over tour this season. “You look at the players – guys like Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer – who are champions, and you think ‘Even if I play my best, how am I going to beat those guys?’

Gary Hallberg
Hallberg's 61 jolted him to victory at the Ensure Classic. (Getty Images)
“You’ve got to believe, you’ve got to have confidence. I’ve never been the most confident golfer in my career … but I’m starting to believe in what I’m doing out there. I knew I could win, because I’ve done it before … but I didn’t know if I could do it here. I’m still stunned by it all.”

Hallberg – whose best finish on the tour had been a tie for second in the 2008 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn. – tied the overall tournament record, first set by R.W. Eaks in the first round in 2008, and tied a Champions Tour final-round record by a tournament winner, set by Rocky Thompson in 1994 and tied by Loren Roberts in 2006..

Couples, who led the tournament after Saturday’s second round, had a chance to force a playoff, but he missed an eight-foot putt for birdie on No. 18. He shot 67 on Sunday, and finished the three-day tournament at 199.

“I was pretty sloppy,” said Couples, who had three bogeys mixed in among the eight birdies he made in Sunday’s final round. “I’d like still be out there playing Gary, but it’s a little disappointing. I played well this week and made a bunch of birdies … but I hit a lot of really bad shots.”

Tied for 10th after two rounds, Hallberg made eight birdies and an eagle on No. 7 during his record-setting round. Yet he had to wait and watch as Couples and Langer – playing three groups behind – finished up.

“I thought 18 under was pretty good … then someone said Freddie birdied Nos. 14, 15 and 16,” said the 52-year-old Hallberg, who won $262,500, the largest paycheck of his pro career. “I thought, ‘Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. … He’ll eagle (No. 18) for sure.’

“But when Freddie missed that putt … wow, it was pretty amazing. To win by one (stroke), it’s just too good to be true.”

Langer (67), who now leads Couples by 644 points in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, finished third at 200. Tway (62) was one stroke back, and Morris Hatalsky (68) was two shots behind.

Tway, who was tied for 23rd after two rounds, vaulted into contention with four birdies and a hole-in-one on the front nine of Rock Barn’s Robert Trent Jones course. He then made two more birdies and an eagle on No. 18 to cap off what was the lowest final-round score in the event until Hallberg’s 61.

Tway’s ace, on the par-3, 186-yard No. 9, was just the third hole-in-one recorded in the tournament’s eight-year history, and all three came in the final round. Gil Morgan aced that same hole in 2005, and Mark McNulty 1-shotted No. 17 in 2008.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm