Lehman-Langer win Champions Tour playoff

By Associated PressApril 26, 2009, 4:00 pm
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2007 Liberty Mutual Legends of GolfSAVANNAH, Ga. ' Tom Lehman made a par putt on the second playoff hole Sunday to become the 13th player to win his Champions Tour debut, teaming with Bernhard Langer to beat Craig Stadler and Jeff Sluman in the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.
 
Each team finished at 27-under 189 in the better-ball event. Lehman and Langer (62) started the final round at 17 under, a stroke ahead of Stadler and Sluman, two strokes off the lead.
 
Bernhard Langer
Bernhard Langer reacts during his playoff win with Tom Lehman. (Getty Images)
On a perfect day for scoring, several teams raced up the leaderboard at The Club at Savannah Harbor, an island course in the middle of the Savannah River. There was just one catch: No. 18 yielded only three birdies all day, and that was the playoff hole.
 
On the first playoff hole, Langers approach hit Stadlers ball on the green and stopped about 45 feet from the pin, and he sank it for birdie. Stadler, who got to replace his ball, promptly followed with a long putt of his own and the teams returned to the 18th tee.
 
After that putt, I didnt know what do to, Langer said. Then, Stadler made his on top of mine. It was very exciting.
 
Stadler thought so, too.
 
I had the exact same putt in regulation, so I hit it a little harder, Stadler said. I said to Slu, If it gets there, I made it.
 
Stadler bogeyed the second playoff hole. Langers approach landed in a greenside bunker, and he blasted to within 5 feet but missed the par putt. Then Sluman missed a par putt from 4 feet, leaving Lehman to win it with a par from inside 4 feet.
 
I was disappointed to see Sluman miss his putt, Langer said. That isnt like him at all.
 
Stadler and Sluman birdied Nos. 13-16 to reach 27 under, but couldnt keep the magic going. They finished with a pair of pars, tied for the lead with Langer and Lehman, and waited to see what they and the others playing behind them would do.
 
Langer and Lehman also settled for pars on the last two holes.
 
The final group had the team of Joey Sindelar and John Cook (64) paired with second-round leaders Loren Roberts and Mark Wiebe (65) ' all tied at 26 under. But those teams also settled for pars, missing a chance to join the playoff.
 
This course, with few tree, fairly flat greens and little wind, was the perfect setup for this event. If nothing else, switching the event back to team play last year has proven to be highly entertaining.
 
Teammates read putts for one another, and it paid off. It seemed as if some of the holes on the back nine had ball magnets in them, with birdie putts running in from everywhere. The fans loved it, of course, roaring their approval. At one point, there were four teams tied for the lead at 24 under with three others a stroke back.
 
The people here were loving it, Sluman said. Im sure the people watching on television were, too.
 
Langer and Lehman somehow managed to bogey the par-4 sixth. But they birdied No. 7 ' their fifth in seven holes ' and shot 4-under 32 on the front side. Then they birdied the first five holes on the back. It was that kind of day.
 
On the back, we didnt know, but we sensed that we could be in the hunt, said Langer, this seasons leading money-winner on the senior circuit with seven top-10 finishes in eight events. Just watching the leaderboard, you could see that.
 
Notes Langer earned 225 Schwab Cup points, giving him 922 for the season. Roberts moved up to second with 506 points. D.J. Gregory was among the fans walking the course. Gregory, 30, who lives in Savannah, has cerebral palsy and was given little hope of ever walking. Last year, however, he completed his mission of walking every hole of every round every week on the PGA Tour to raise awareness. Gregory, who walked 3,256 holes and traveled 79,838 miles to reach 23 states and two countries, has a book coming out soon. Defending champions Tom Watson and Andy North (65) were never able to mount a serious charge, finishing at 21 under. Still, since teaming up in 2005, Watson and North are a combined 102-under par and bogey-free after 12 rounds in the tournament.
 
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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.