Langer wins Champions Tour opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2014, 4:21 am

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii - Bernhard Langer birdied five of the last six holes Sunday to pull away from Fred Couples and Jeff Sluman and win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship by three strokes.

The 56-year-old German shot his second straight 64 in the final round of the winners-only event that opened the 35th season of the Champions Tour. He finished with a 54-hole total of 22-under 194 at Hualalai.

''It's a new year and my goal was to get over the hurdle and win as soon as possible,'' said Langer, who won here five years ago. ''I'm very pleased and extremely blessed to play golf like this. To be 22 under doesn't happen very often.''

Langer, who is 41 under in his last seven rounds at Hualalai, earned his 19th senior victory, but first since April despite a string of top-10 finishes the last half of 2013.

He and Couples shared the lead at 14 under going into the final day under ideal conditions. Sluman was two back, but surged ahead at the turn, his fifth birdie putt taking him to 17 under. All but one came from inside 6 feet.



''My iron shots were pretty bueno on those,'' said Sluman, who was making in his 80th consecutive senior start. He has been among the tour's top 20 money winners the last five years.

Langer and Couples caught him at 18 under with birdies on No. 13.

Langer just kept rolling, two-putting for birdie on the next hole to grab the lead alone, then draining three more birdie putts from inside 12 feet.

Sluman closed with a 65. Couples, looking for his 10th Champions win and second in a row, had a 67. After playing Hualalai's par 5s in 6 under on the opening day, he was just 4 under combined the final two days.

Two-time senior Player of the Year Jay Haas made a late charge after parring all but two of the first 12 holes. He birdied the 13th, then chipped in for eagle and birdie to get within two on the 16th hole.

He could make up no more ground on the streaking Langer. Haas, one of eight 60-year-olds in the field of 41, birdied the final hole to shot a 65 and finish fourth at 199.

First-round leader Rocco Mediate also got within two with his seventh birdie of the day, at the 15th, but parred the final four. He shared fifth with David Frost - who lost a playoff with John Cook here last year - at 16 under.

Langer, who earned $307,000 for the win, came up a shot short of making playoffs at both Hawaii senior events last year. The seniors play here again Sept. 18-21 in the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship at Kapolei.

The next tour event in Hawaii is the LPGA Lotte Championship, April 16-19 at Ko Olina.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis – “A really tough loss to the @LPGA family. God just added a fantastic teammate in heaven. Thinking about you, Nat!”

Christina Kim – “Rest with the Angels now, Greg Sheridan.”

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews – “RIP Greg Sheridan. One of the most successful and great caddies of World Golf, period.”

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott – “Sad to hear that long-time tour caddie Greg Sheridan has passed away. Greg, you will be missed.”

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas – “The world is a sadder place today without our buddy Greg Sheridan, a caddy and a friend for lifetimes…Godspeed buddy.”

LPGA pro Jennie Lee – “So sad to hear the news of long time LPGA caddie Greg Sheridan. I remember sitting next to him on the plane from Walmart to the U.S. Open one year and he gave me the best words of wisdom on player/caddie chemistry. He will be missed greatly. Thinking of you.”

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.