John Cook wins Champions Tour season-ending event

By Associated PressNovember 2, 2009, 6:14 am

Champions TourSONOMA, Calif. – John Cook had a tough time staying focused Sunday in the final round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championships. Loren Roberts had no such problem.

Cook spent the morning exchanging text messages with Joey Sindelar, his close friend and former Ohio State teammate who was hospitalized Saturday after having a pulmonary embolism. Then Cook went out and won the season-ending tournament by five strokes for his second Champions Tour title in three weeks.

“That kind of shocks you a little bit when one of your compadres goes down,” said Cook, who closed with a 3-under 69 to finish 22-under 266 at Sonoma Golf Club.

“That’s serious stuff. I don’t like to see anybody, friends or family, go down like that. I was thinking of him all day.”

Cook, also the Administaff Small Business Classic winner two weeks ago in Texas, broke the tournament record of 268 shared by Jim Thorpe and Andy Bean.

Roberts shook off two days of struggles for a second straight 66 to tie for sixth at 13-under 275 and win the points title and $1 million annuity for the second time in three years. He had to hold off a strong surge from Bernhard Langer (68), who also finished at 13 under.

“I played two totally different golf tournaments in one week,” Roberts said. “The first two days I really didn’t hit it very good and I really didn’t putt well. You just hate to get to the end and blow it.”

He didn’t, shooting 12 under over the final two rounds. Roberts, the 2007 points champion, said he plans to donate a portion of his winnings to a Sacramento-area school district to help keep girls’ and boys’ golf programs going.

Russ Cochran (68) finished second in the tournament. Brad Bryant (69) and Jeff Sluman (68) were 15 under, and Phil Blackmar (69) was 14 under.

After opening with a 68 on Thursday, Cook shot a tournament-record 62 in the second round and followed with a 67 to enter Sunday with a comfortable lead.

Though he continued to have a few problems off the tee, Cook stayed consistent throughout the four days and avoided getting into serious trouble. He was bogey free Sunday and had only two bogeys the entire tournament, making up for whatever problems he did have with a solid short game and steady putting.

Before teeing off in the final round, Cook received an encouraging text message from Sindelar, his college teammate at Ohio State who remained hospitalized after having a pulmonary embolism during the third round. The Champions Tour said Sindelar’s condition had improved but doctors at Sonoma Valley Hospital wanted to keep the 51-year-old for further observation.

“He said he was fine and to go finish the deal,” Cook said. “Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see him tonight.”

Cook’s lead was never really challenged.

Cochran birdied No. 8 to pull within five strokes, but Cook moved to 21 under when he curled in a long putt on the 427-yard, par-4 12th.

Cochran had another birdie on the 436-yard, par-4 15th and made a long birdie putt on the 18th, finishing second for the second time in his rookie season on the tour.

Cook birdied the par-3 17th, then tapped in for par on the 18th.

This is the last time the season-ending tournament will be held at Sonoma. The event will be played at Harding Park in San Francisco in 2010 and 2011.

Roberts wouldn’t mind a few more years in the wine country, however.

He has celebrated the points championship twice while walking off the 18th green at Sonoma and nearly missed a third in 2006 when he three-putted on the final hole.

After falling behind Langer early this season, Roberts charged back into contention with wins at the Senior British Open in July and at the Boeing Classic in Washington in August then went into the season finale with a 165-point lead.

He didn’t play well the first two rounds in Sonoma, but corrected a flaw while on the driving range late Friday night then played 12 under the rest of the weekend to secure the points title.

“For me, this might be one of my best accomplishments in golf just because I really wasn’t playing very good the first part of the year,” Roberts said. “To be able to come back and win it essentially with two-thirds of a season was remarkable to me.”

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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