Mahan tops Fowler in Phoenix

By Associated PressMarch 1, 2010, 5:10 am

Waste Management Phoenix Open

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler both came out of Oklahoma State with big expectations. There, the similarities end.

Mahan is reserved and unassuming, Fowler tends toward the flamboyant.

The quiet one prevailed, barely, at the Phoenix Open.

Mahan defeated the younger Fowler by a stroke on Sunday for his second PGA Tour victory. For now, Fowler will have to settle for another second close call in Arizona.

Hunter Mahan
Hunter Mahan poses with his second career PGA Tour trophy. (Getty Images)

The 27-year-old Mahan had an eagle and a pair of birdies in a late four-hole span to finish at 16-under 268. Mahan, whose first victory came at the 2007 Travelers Championship, closed with two bogey-free 6-under 65s.

Fowler, just 21 and a tour rookie, had a final-round 68 for the second runner-up finish of his young career, both of them in Arizona.

In his second PGA Tour event last Oct. 25, Fowler lost in a three-way playoff to Troy Matteson in the Frys.com Open just down the road at the Grayhawk Golf Club.

“Been in a playoff and having a putt to go into the playoffs,” Fowler said, “so obviously I’m going to try to play out here as much as I can.”

Mahan and Fowler barely know each other, but they are Cowboys through and through.

“Oklahoma State has had a lot of great players, and they keep putting them out there it seems like every year,” Mahan said. “Rickie is a great player and a great kid. I’m proud to call him a Cowboy.”

Added Fowler, “It’s always a little better to lose to a Cowboy.”

South Korea’s Y.E. Yang also shot a 65 to finish at 14 under, two off the pace. Last year’s PGA Championship winner, Yang led until his tee shot went in the water at No. 17.

Mathew Goggin, Chris Couch and Charles Howell III tied for fourth at 13 under.

Third-round leader Brandt Snedeker struggled mightily with a 78 to wind up far back at 7 under.

The win was worth $1.08 million.

Although he hadn’t won, Mahan has played well the past two years. He played on the 2008 Ryder Cup team and had six top-10s in 2009, including a runner-up finish at the AT&T National. His earnings the last two years topped $5 million.

“It’s just finding a way to win. I just haven’t been able to do it,” he said. “So obviously it feels great to get off the year on my fifth tournament to win. It gives me a lot of confidence in myself that I’m doing the right things in my game, and it feels great, it really does.”

A total of 0.67 inches of rain fell and wind reached 47 mph overnight at TPC Scottsdale and sprinkles lingered Sunday morning. But the rain subsided by the time the leaders teed off at noon.

The tournament, in its 75th year, was known as the FBR Open but returned to its longtime Phoenix Open name when Waste Management Inc. took over as the title sponsor this year.

The weather held the estimated final-round crowd to just under 44,000, well off last year’s 60,000-plus. That brought the week’s total attendance to nearly 426,000, down from 470,000 a year ago at the rowdy event that always draws the biggest crowds on the tour.

Mahan hit his second shot on the par-5 13th 250 yards within 7 feet of the pin and made the eagle putt to reach 14 under.

His 18-foot birdie putt on the par-4 14th moved him to 15 under.

The clincher came at the notorious 16th, the par 3 surrounded by bleachers filled with noisy, irreverent fans who cheer and boo with equal enthusiasm.

Mahan’s tee shot caught the edge of the green and he made the subsequent 14 1/2 -foot putt to regain the lead at 16 under.

“You still have a tournament to win, you can’t really worry about the people,” he said. “You just kind of have to block it out, but at the same time kind of enjoy it because you don’t have that opportunity to have so many people watching you on one hole.”

At the 15th, the open desert course’s final par 5, Fowler chose to play conservative and lay his shot up rather than go for the green, which is surrounded by water. He said he felt he was a bit too far away from the pin to go for it, considering he was just one shot back and had what he felt were good birdie chances on Nos. 16 and 17.

“I felt that instead of bringing trouble into play,” Fowler said, ” … I took the safe route.”

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Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.


Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

"I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.