Langer crashes Couples party to win US Senior Open

By Associated PressAugust 2, 2010, 4:57 pm

2010 U.S. Senior OpenSAMMAMISH, Wash. – Bernhard Langer shot a final round 3-under 67 and took advantage of Fred Couples’ critical mistake to win the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday and complete a trans-Atlantic double.

Coming off a victory at the Senior British Open last week at Carnoustie, Langer finished at 8 under for the tournament, fighting off jet lag and a partisan hometown crowd hoping Couples could pull out victory near where he grew up.

Just like a dozen years ago when the PGA Championship was played at Sahalee Country Club, it wasn’t to be for Couples.

Level with Langer starting the day, Couples birdied the opening hole before his undoing on No. 2, a par 5 and the easiest hole on the course. Couples hit his third shot into the greenside pond and by the time he walked off with a triple bogey, he was in chase mode.

Langer didn’t let him catch up.

Couples, who was runner-up at the Senior PGA Championship earlier this year, finished three shots off the pace after closing with an even-par 70. Olin Browne (65) and John Cook (67) were shared third place at 2 under.

Langer became the first German player to win any U.S. Golf Association championship and the first Champions Tour player to win back-to-back majors since Tom Watson took the Senior British and JELD-WEN Tradition.

But Watson didn’t travel eight time zones and win his titles on consecutive weekends like Langer did.

It was Langer’s fourth Champions Tour title this year. And he did it in almost Ryder Cup conditions, with the crowd urging on Couples with every step he took.

But match play is never as penalizing as the second hole was to Couples.

The second hole had yielded the most birdies all week and played Sunday with a back right pin placement and the pond in front. Couples laid up on his second shot, giving himself about 65 yards to the pin with his third. His wedge sounded thin and went into the water nearly 20 yards short of the pin.

After dropping, Couples hit his fifth over the green, pitched his sixth back on and missed the double bogey putt. Suddenly a one-shot lead for Couples was a three shot deficit, when Langer tapped in his birdie putt on the second.

And every time it appeared Couples had an opportunity to make up a shot, Langer countered. He sunk a long birdie putt at No. 3 after Couples hit his second shot close and added another birdie at the sixth, a 480-yard converted par 5.

Meanwhile, Couples had birdie putts at every hole between Nos. 4 and 13 and failed to get any to drop, even though very few were within 15 feet. Couples finally made birdie at the 14th – from the fringe – to close within three. He added another, curling in a 25-footer at No. 16 to give hope of a late rally, but his tee shot at the par 3 17th went long and Langer made par after flirting with the pond on the right of the green with his tee shot.

Langer went without a bogey in 44 of his final 45 holes.

Only once did Langer appear to wobble and he got a fortunate bounce. He pulled his tee shot on the 11th well to the left and into some of the thousands of trees framing Sahalee. Instead of dropping into the deep rough, or going out of bounds, Langer’s shot deflected into the middle of the fairway.

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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.