Harrington Donald and E Molinari chosen for Ryder Cup

By Associated PressAugust 29, 2010, 8:59 pm
Ryder Cup

GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Edoardo Molinari of Italy came up a big winner twice on Sunday – first winning the Johnnie Walker Championship, then becoming one of three captain’s picks for Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

Colin Montgomerie also chose three-time major winner Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald, who is No. 10 in the world ranking.

In one of the toughest choices for any European captain, Montgomerie had three picks for five worthy candidates. He had to leave off Paul Casey, who is No. 9 in the world and played on the last three teams, and Justin Rose, who won twice on the PGA Tour this summer at the Memorial and the AT&T National.

Montgomerie suggested that he had made up his mind about Molinari before he birdied the last three holes to win at Gleneagles.

Ryder Cup standings
All that's left is for U.S. captain Corey Pavin to make his wildcard picks. (Getty Images)

“It made our job easier that he did win,” Montgomerie said. “What he achieved in three rounds was enough to tell us that this player was capable of handling the most incredible pressure so well.”

Far tougher was having to leave off Rose and Casey, who has won the World Match Play Championship in England and twice was runner-up in the Match Play Championship in Arizona. Making it worse, Casey and Harrington were playing together in the final round at The Barclays. They were on the sixth hole when Harrington’s wife gave him thumbs-up to signal he was on the team.

“Caroline is a great friend,” Casey said. “She would have said something to me if I had been picked. So at that point, I kind of knew that I hadn’t.”

It led to an awkward situation the rest of the round.

“It was very, very hard to stick to your job,” Harrington said. “It was never going to be easy on Monty.”

Montgomerie said Molinari, who birdied the last three holes to win on Sunday, is “the type of player we need to regain this Ryder Cup.”

“In my 24 years on the European Tour I have not seen a finish of that quality by anyone in such a pressure situation,” Montgomerie said.

“Having to come here and having to win what he did today was incredible. And to birdie the last three holes in the way that he did – the job in selecting the wild cards (was) very, very easy for us.”

Molinari joins his younger brother Francesco on Europe’s team. They will be the first brothers to play in the Ryder Cup together since Bernard and Geoffrey Hunt of England in 1967.

“It’s a delight that we have two thrilling players coming from an emerging country like Italy and it’s no secret as to who will be partnering each other at Celtic Manor,” Montgomerie said.

The Molinari brothers were a winning pair at golf’s World Cup in China last year and both will make their debuts against the United States at Celtic Manor in Wales from Oct. 1-3.

“It was quite an emotional moment for me because this means I will be playing with my brother in the Ryder Cup and that (is) something that is almost unreal,” Eduardo Molinari said.

“We communicate differently from best friends out on the golf course – a lot of the time we don’t even have to say anything to each other, we know exactly what the other is thinking or wants to do and that’s a great help.”

Harrington and Donald were on the course in the final round of The Barclays in New Jersey. Donald birdied his opening six holes, playing as though he were making closing arguments, and he went out in 28 to get within two shots of the lead. He learned the news on the 10th green, then bogeyed the next two holes.

“It did throw me off a little,” Donald said, relieved to make the team after what he called a “crazy” selection process. He also felt bad for Casey and Rose, particularly because Donald’s brother is the caddie for Casey.

Montgomerie explained the choice of Harrington and Donald ahead of Casey and Rose.

“Padraig has won three majors in the past two years, he has great stature in the game and when his back is up against the wall he comes out and gives tremendous performances,” Montgomerie said. “He is a great competitor.”

Montgomerie said Rose would get a place on the team in the event that Lee Westwood failed to recover in time from his calf injury.

Montgomerie also announced that Europe will have a fourth vice captain as Sergio Garcia agreed to join his staff.

The nine players who qualified on their own for the Ryder Cup team were Westwood, U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, PGA champion Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher, Francesco Molinari, Peter Hanson, Rory McIlroy and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Six of Europe’s players have never competed in the Ryder Cup – the Molinari brothers, McIlroy, Hanson, Kaymer and Ross Fisher.

Montgomerie said the selection meeting with his vice captains took five hours, adding “we had an embarrassment of riches on this occasion.”

U.S. captain Corey Pavin is to announce his four picks on Sept. 7 in New York.

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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.