Lipsky wins European Masters in playoff

By Associated PressSeptember 7, 2014, 3:34 pm

CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland - An American golfer won the European Masters on Sunday to put himself atop the Asian Tour money list.

David Lipsky's unorthodox par-4 on the first extra hole to beat Englishman Graeme Storm was an appropriate way for the 26-year-old Korean speaker from Los Angeles to earn a career-best ?383,330 ($497,000) payday in the sunbathed Swiss Alps.

With the event co-sanctioned by the European and Asian tours since 2008, the winner's prize lifted Lipsky clear in the money list.

''It feels great,'' said Lipsky, the first winner here from Asia's tour and the first American winner since Craig Stadler in 1985. ''I've played well the last couple of weeks and to put it all together is really something special.''

His difficult route to the 18th green went via a fairway bunker and thick rough well short of the putting surface. An exceptional chip shot left a 2-foot putt for victory.

That strategy came after Storm, the overnight leader, sliced his tee shot wide right and could only chip out sideways before making a bogey-5.

''I was just playing percentages,'' said Lipsky of his cautious second shot. ''I didn't mean to hit it in the rough. I overshot my mark by a little bit.''

Still, Lipsky had already played the 18th perfectly in regulation to earn the playoff chance.



His wedge approach shot left a tap-in to complete a final-round 65, playing in the second-last group.

Storm missed a 30-foot putt for victory on the final hole and carded 68. Both had 18-under totals of 262 on the 6,848-yard (6,262-meter) Severiano Ballesteros course

Ballesteros would surely have approved of Lipsky's adventurous 65 that included an eagle-2, six birdies and three bogeys, with a couple of 3-putts thrown in the mix.

Lipsky has taken a path less traveled in his own career, via Northwestern University, Illinois, to the Asian tour where he first won in 2012 in the Cambodian Classic.

''I have a little bit of east meets west,'' said Lipsky, whose father is American and mother is from Seoul, South Korea. ''I speak a little bit of Korean. It definitely helped the transition to Asia and made me feel comfortable.''

His $645,770 winnings this season are more than double those of the next player on the Asian Tour money list - Anirban Lahiri of India, who tied for 13th, seven shots back.

Victory also took Lipsky into the top 150 of the world rankings, from No. 369, and earned a European Tour exemption through 2016.

''It has really developed me as a player,'' Lipsky said of the Asian circuit. ''Now, with European Tour status, I'll have to think about different scheduling.''

Another young American, Brooks Koepka, and Tyrrell Hatton of England tied for third trailing by one shot after shooting 67 and 65, respectively.

The 24-year-old Koepka, who plays on the European Tour, shared the lead until making bogey-5 at the 17th, after his tee shot found a bunker.

On another low-scoring day in the thin mountain air, a 67 from European Ryder Cup player Jamie Donaldson of Wales was only enough to place seventh, three shots back.

Two other members of Europe's team to face the United States at Gleneagles, Scotland, were never in contention Sunday. Victor Dubuisson of France shot 72 to finish 10 shots back, and defending champion Thomas Bjorn of Denmark had a 68 to be 12 shots out.

Frenchman Romain Wattel had a hole-in-one at the 11th, one day after Storm claimed the $186,000 hybrid sports car on offer there.

Storm, seeking his first victory since 2007, stayed in front alone until the seventh hole when briefly caught in a three-way tie at 17 under with Lipsky and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, playing in the final group with Storm and Koepka.

Koepka made his move around the turn, easily making birdie at the 633-yard (579-meter) ninth, then picking up another shot on the 10th.

A shootout between Koepka and Storm loomed when both made birdie-4s at the 16th, but the American faltered at the next hole and Lipsky's exceptional birdie on the last forced the playoff.

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry