Lehman takes 2-shot lead in Tradition

By Associated PressJune 9, 2012, 10:49 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Defending champion Tom Lehman shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead after the third round of the Regions Tradition, a Champions Tour major.

Lehman had a 10-under 206 total at Shoal Creek. Peter Senior, a playoff loser to Lehman last year, and Jeff Sluman were tied for second. Senior shot 66, and Sluman 70 on an overcast, gusty and sometimes drizzly day.

Lehman said he'll stick to a similar plan on the final day.

''If I go play my game and play the way I've been playing, it's going to take a good round to catch me,'' he said. ''But likewise, if I don't, if I slip up some, there's a lot of guys close by. Two shots is nice, but it's not over by any means, not even close.''

Lehman opened with consecutive rounds of 69. His only bogey Saturday came on the 16th and he described that as poor luck not poor play.

''It was a beautiful putt that missed. Looked like it couldn't miss, but did,'' he said.

Bill Glasson held the lead for all but the tournament's first hole coming into the day, but fell three shots back with a 74. He was tied with Russ Cochran, Brad Bryant and Fred Funk. Bryant and Funk shot 71, and Cochran had a 72.

Glasson had a double bogey on the par-5 11th hole, when he got stuck on the lip of a bunker, and he also bogeyed No. 15. He remains in contention for his first win since the PGA Tour's 1997 Las Vegas Invitational.

''It was a tough day,'' Glasson said. ''I was too amped-up early and just kind of hit over every green. My short game's so bad. I made a double and two bogeys with wedges.

''I'm three back. Somebody else will have to sleep on the lead and maybe I'll get back to the way I played the first couple of days.''

With stormy weather expected Sunday, the final round is scheduled for an early two-tee start.

Then maybe another Lehman-Senior showdown.

Senior, from Australia, lost to Lehman on the second hole of a playoff last year when his 5-foot par putt lipped out.

Senior shot a 30 on the first nine holes, with four birdies plus an eagle on the par-4 seventh.

His first misstep was a bogey on No. 12 that cost him a share of the lead with Lehman and Glasson at the time.

''At the outset, I needed to shoot around this score that I shot, so I was pretty happy with it,'' Senior said. ''When I was 6-under after seven, I sort of looked to get a little bit greedy. But a couple more would have been nice.''

The last Champions Tour player to lose in a playoff and then win the same tournament the next year was Nick Price in the 2010 Principal Charity Classic.

Senior is still seeking his first Champions Tour victory but has been second five times.

''I would dearly love to win,'' he said. ''I've had plenty of opportunities, but that's probably the only thing that I'm looking forward to now is winning.''

Even the contenders took a few lumps from Shoal Creek.

Cochran, who opened two shots behind Glasson, lost ground with a bogey on No. 4. He had to split two pine trees after his drive sailed left but three-putted from the top of the green.

Chien Soon Lu, from Taiwan, was within a shot of the lead until the final hole. He triple bogeyed for a 69, when he overshot the green and had his chip shot roll off the front. He was 3 under for the tournament and four shots back.

Brad Bryant was still within a stroke of the lead before double bogeying No. 8, getting caught first in the water and then the bunker behind the green.

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

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With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."