Maggert wins Dick's Sporting Goods Open

By Associated PressAugust 30, 2015, 10:01 pm

ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Jeff Maggert won the Dick's Sporting Goods Open on Sunday for his fourth Champions Tour victory of the year, closing with a 6-under 66 to beat Paul Goydos by two strokes.

Maggert took the lead in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, 119 points ahead of Colin Montgomerie. Montgomerie skipped the tournament because of commitments in Europe.

Maggert finished at 14-under 202 at En-Joie Golf Club. He won the Regions Tradition in May and the U.S. Senior Open in July, both major championships, and took the Shaw Charity Classic three weeks ago in Canada.

The Texan's second straight 68 on Saturday put him in good position for another win, and he took advantage in a big way with six birdies in a bogey-free round.

 Goydos shot a 68. Corey Pavin (69), David Frost (64), Peter Senior (65), Jerry Smith (67) and Ian Woosnam (70) tied for third at 10 under.

 Bernhard Langer, the winner last year and third in the Schwab Cup, failed to earn any points. He tied for 20th at 6 under after a 68.

The victory was worth $285,000 and boosted the 51-year-old Maggert's earnings for the year to $2,094,976. 

Second-round leader Rod Spittle (74) of Canada, bidding for his second career victory, couldn't keep the magic going that had placed him atop the leaderboard after rounds of 68 and 66.

Fifty-year-old Scott McCarron (75), who had a 64 on the second round and was tied for second with John Huston to start the day, faltered in his fourth Champions Tour event. He made only two birdies and a triple-bogey 7 at the 15th hole put a damper on his day.

As usual, the ninth edition of this tournament came down to the closing holes. Trailing by one shot on a warm, humid afternoon, Goydos hit his tee shot into the large water hazard that lines the left side of the fairway at the difficult par-4 15th hole and had to take a penalty as Maggert paused to watch.

Goydos recovered to make bogey and lose just one shot, then missed a birdie putt inside 8 feet at No. 16 after driving over a cart path to the right of the green.

Pavin tied Goydos at 12 under with a brilliant pitch for birdie from off the fringe at the par-3 17th. Moments later, the smile on Pavin's face disappeared when he hit his tee shot into the water hazard at No. 18. He then walked the fairway with head down, frustrated at a lost opportunity.

Maggert stayed out of trouble over the final three holes and was home-free when Goydos missed a birdie putt at No. 18.

Huston, the winner here four years ago, was at 10 under heading to the par-3 seventh but took himself out of contention to become the tournament's first repeat champion with a triple bogey. He mis-hit his drive, the shot nearly landing in the imposing water hazard that guards the right side, had to take a penalty, and couldn't recover when his next shot landed in a greenside bunker.

Maggert, two shots behind Spittle at the start of play, birdied the first three holes to reach 11 under and added two more before the turn. He chipped to a foot at the par-5 eighth hole and rolled in a 10-foot putt at No. 9.

The surge continued at No. 10 when Maggert rolled in a 40-foot putt to reach 14 under, two shots clear of Goydos.

Goydos, who began the day tied for fourth with Maggert, Woosnam and Stephen Ames, also started with a flurry of five birdies on the front side, but he, too, faltered at No. 7, making bogey. A birdie at the par-5 12th had Goydos back within one of the lead at 13 under.

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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.