Love holds off Gainey to win Disney

By Associated PressNovember 9, 2008, 5:00 pm
ChildrenLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. ' Davis Love III hit into the rough and a bunker on the last two holes. Then he hit the jackpot.
 
Love scrambled for pars on both holes and closed with an 8-under 64 to win his first tournament in more than two years, holding off a late challenge from Tommy Gainey for a one-shot victory Sunday in the Childrens Miracle Network Classic at Disney World.
 
It was the 20th career PGA Tour victory for Love, giving him a lifetime exemption. Among active players, only Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson have won at least 20 times.
 
I always questioned, Am I doing the right thing? Why am I still doing this, the 44-year-old Love said. I didnt doubt my desire, or that I could still compete, it was just the little things I had to do.
 
Gainey, who had $65,405 in earnings heading into the final tournament of the year, shot 30 on the back nine including birdies on the final two holes for a 64. He made $496,800 to go from No. 228 to No. 148 on the money list. That gets him into the final stage of Q-school, and his conditional status for being in the top 150 should get him about 15 starts next year.
 
I played horrible, terrible this year, Gainey said. I had one week, and this was the week. I definitely assured myself of a place to play next year.
 
Love stepped in hole playing a recreational round last year and tore two ankle ligaments. During his time off, he worked harder on conditioning and spent time with sports psychologist Bob Rotella, who convinced him to adopt a take-no-prisoners approach.
 
That came in handy over the final two holes.
 
With a two-shot lead, Loves tee shot on the 17th nearly found the water but still was buried in deep rough, leaving him no shot at the green. He laid up 100 yards short, hit wedge to 7 feet and saved par. From the right rough on the 18th, his ball came out hot and flew the green into a back bunker. Needing par to win, he blasted out to 3 feet and made the putt.
 
I was in trouble (on 18) but I was still confident I could get the ball up and in, Love said. I didnt worry about winning or losing or screwing up.
 
Love went 64-64 on the weekend, the best final 36-hole score in the tournaments 38-year history.
 
Gainey went to the driving range after Love hit his second shot on 18 into the sand.
 
I thought that would be a tough downhill shot, and I thought I had to go to the range to loosen up, Gainey said.
 
He had barely begun loosening up when his ears told him everything he needed to know.
 
You could hear the crowd, Gainey said. The crowd said it all. When Id heard he chipped within 3 feet, or 2-foot-11-inches or whatever, I knew Davis Love wasnt going to miss that.
 
I took my gloves off and put them back in the bag.
 
Scott Verplank and Steve Marino, tied for the lead going into the final round, each closed with 71 and tied for third. Verplank shot 38 on the front nine, and four straight birdies to start the back nine were not off to get him back into contention.
 
Verplank has been the 54-hole leader at Disney three times without winning.
 
Marino, however, matched birdies with Love and was tied for the lead when it all fell apart on the easy par-4 13th. With his tee shot just short of the green, Marinos pitch failed to clear the bunker and plugged into the slope of the sand. His next shot caromed off the lip of the bunker, and he took bogey to fall two shots behind.
 
The win was Loves seventh top five finish in the tournament and his 15th straight round in the tournament in the 60s, breaking the record held by Tiger Woods. His last tour win came at the 2006 Chrysler Classic at Greensboro, NC.
 
Erik Compton, who has had two heart transplants and was playing on a sponsors exemption, shot an even-par 72 and finished tied for 60th. The 28-year-old will be playing in the second stage of Q-school next week, only six months after his second transplant.
 
Its frustrating, because I know I can play, Compton said. Its just getting my stroke back. My bodys holding up and I feel more energetic now than at Q-school.
 
Jeff Overton, playing less than three weeks after an emergency appendectomy to try to secure his card, was 125th on the money list but tied for 21st to easily retain his card.
 
One of the biggest shots belonged to Martin Laird, who holed an 8-footer for par on the last hole for a 71 to tie for 21st. That enabled him to move up to No. 125 on the money list and secure his full card for next year.
 

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  • Full Coverage ' Children's Miracle Network Classic
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  • Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    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:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    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.