Imada Tops Perry in Playoff

By Associated PressMay 18, 2008, 4:00 pm
DULUTH, Georgia -- Ryudi Imada watched someone else go in the water this time.
 
Imada claimed his first PGA TOUR victory Sunday, beating Kenny Perry in a playoff at the AT&T Classic after losing the same suburban Atlanta tournament a year ago on the 73rd hole.
 
The two finished regulation tied at 15-under 273, but Perrys ball wound up in the water on the first playoff hole even though his second shot easily cleared the pond in front of the green.
 
Unfortunately for Perry, he struck a pine tree behind the green about 10 feet up the trunk. The ball ricocheted straight back across the putting surface and didnt stop rolling into it was in the water, the gallery groaning in disbelief.
 
Imada, who drove into the rough, laid up with his second shot and two-putted for a winning par. After taking a drop, Perry nearly spun back his wedge into the cup, then missed a 12-footer which would have forced another extra hole. Imada stepped up and calmly knocked his ball straight in the cup from 4 feet for the victory.
 
Imada has been a runner-up three times on the PGA TOUR, including twice already this season. A year ago, he got into a playoff with Zach Johnson at the TPC Sugarloaf, only to knock his second shot in the same pond that claimed Perrys ball.
 
Carlos Villegas shot a closing 66 but missed an eagle putt at the 72nd hole that would have gotten him in the playoff. He wound up one shot back at 274. Jonathan Byrd was two strokes behind in fourth, but no one outside of Perry was kicking himself as much as Parker McLachlin.
 
He appeared to be pulling away for his first PGA TOUR win when he eagled out of a bunker at No. 13, giving him a three-stroke lead.
 
But the pressure of being in contention for the first time clearly got to McLachlin down the stretch. He bogeyed three of the last five holes to finish with a 67 and a 276 overall, three shots out of the playoff.
 
Youve got your nerves going, McLachlin conceded. Youre trying to steady yourself, but the wind is blowing so hard, its hard to steady yourself.
 
That was never more apparent than at the final hole. McLachlin outdrove his two playing partners and was in virtually the same position as the two previous days, when he made eagle and birdie at the par-5 18th.
 
After Matt Kuchar and Dan Forsman both cleared the water from farther away, McLachlin stepped up to attempt the same with a hybrid.
 
But as he approached the ball sitting up on a high plateau, the wind suddenly shifted and started blowing right in his face. McLachlin hovered there for a good 5 minutes, first pulling a 3-wood from his bag, then switching to an iron for the lay-up.
 
The gallery down below began to grumble, then broke into full-scale heckling when they saw he was playing it safe.
 
McLachlin said he had no choice, but the move backfired. He wound up missing a long birdie putt, then lipped out a 3 1/2 -footer for par.
 
I just wasnt set up right, so I had to take my medicine, McLachlin said of his decision. I couldnt wait around 20 minutes to hit a shot, before adding with a grin, though I tried to.
 
Charles Howell III went into the final round with a one-stroke lead, but he couldnt close it out for his third Tour win. The Augusta native struggled to a 74 and finished four shots back.
 
The final round began early after the forecast called for the chance of afternoon thunderstorms. The players went off from both the first and 10th tees, with the final groups getting on the course at 10:15 a.m.
 
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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.