Langer makes history with comeback at 3M Champ.

By Associated PressAugust 5, 2012, 11:20 pm

BLAINE, Minn. – Bernhard Langer was right on target in the 3M Championship.

Entering the final round Sunday, Langer thought he would have to shoot a 10-under 62 to win the event for the second time in four years.

That's what he did, and it was enough to overcome a six-stroke deficit for a two-stroke victory over David Peoples. The 54-year-old German won his 15th Champions Tour title, ending a 24-event victory drought - his longest on the 50-and-over tour.

''Winning is always special, but this is pretty important because it's been awhile since I've won, and especially after what I've been through the last few weeks being in contention and not being able to close the deal,'' Langer said. ''It was very important for my confidence to pull off a win here sooner than later.''

He finished at 17-under 198 at the TPC Twin Cities.

Langer led by a stroke entering the final round last week in the Senior British Open, but dropped five shots in five holes on the back nine to shoot a 75 and tie for sixth. Three weeks ago, he had a four-stroke lead entering the last round of the U.S. Senior Open, but had a 72 to finish second.

Peoples, three strokes ahead entering the final round, had it on cruise control much of the day and shot a 70 to finish second - two shots behind. The runner-up finish is his best in 51 starts on the tour.

''I should have looked at the boards and I should have paid attention to what was going on,'' he said. ''I got in my own little world and fell in love with where I was. ... I kind of felt like, 'Just don't make any mistakes and you'll be all right.' I had no idea.''

Kenny Perry and Olin Browne tied for third at 15 under. Perry had a 64, and Browne shot 66.

Langer, also the 2009 event champion, was 5 under on the front nine, added birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 to get within two shots of the lead, and birdied Nos. 14 and 15 to tie Peoples at 17 under.

''It's not easy to play with a big lead and you start to protect a little bit and you don't start to shoot at the flag or whatever,'' Langer said. ''David hasn't won a lot of tournaments lately, but he's a great player, and I figured if I could put the pressure on it might be harder for him to close the deal.''

Moments after Peoples bogeyed No. 16, Langer put his 218-yard approach within about 8 feet on the par-5 18th to set up a clinching birdie. It was the largest final-round comeback in the history of the tournament.

Langer joins Hale Irwin as the only multiple winners in the event. Irwin won in 1997, 1999 and 2002.

The 52-year-old Peoples, who hasn't won an event since the PGA Tour's 1992 Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic, birdied three of the first five holes to open a five-stroke lead, but while he made par on 11 straight holes before the bogey on No. 16, others were closing the gap. Peoples also had a bogey on the par-3 17th before a birdie at 18.

''I just didn't feel like I was aggressive enough on that back nine. I hit a lot of wedge shots - you're supposed to hit those in there closer - and I didn't hit the ball in there really close.''

The 67-year-old Irwin shot a 65, the first time he's beaten his age in tournament play. His round included a 171-yard hole-out for eagle on the par-4 ninth hole, something never done in the 12 years the event has been at the course. He birdied six straight holes on the back nine, but bogeyed No. 18 after his second shot landed in the water while he tried to lay up. He tied for 50th at 3 under.

''That's kind of the synopsis of my game right now,'' Irwin said. ''Either I'm playing really well or I'm doing that stuff to keep really good scores from emerging.''

Irwin shot 74 each of the first two days.

Getty Images

Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

Getty Images

Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

Getty Images

13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

Getty Images

McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.