Matteson wins Fryscom Open in playoff

By Associated PressOctober 25, 2009, 11:55 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. ' Recovering from a late collapse, Troy Matteson birdied the second playoff hole to beat Jamie Lovemark and Rickie Fowler in the Open on Sunday at Grayhawk Golf Club.

Matteson bogeyed the final two holes of regulation to fall into the playoff with Lovemark and Fowler, who were both seeking PGA Tour cards.

After all three players parred the first playoff hole, Matteson hit his approach within 3 feet on the 464-yard, par-4 17th hole. With shadows stretching onto the green, he rolled in the putt for his second PGA Tour win.

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler came close to winning his first PGA Tour title. (Getty Images)

On the first playoff hole ' the 515-yard, par-4 18th ' Matteson and Fowler each reached the green in two and made easy par putts.

Lovemark got a gift when his approach splashed into a man-made lagoon, then bounced onto the slope of the green. Lovemark chipped to 3 feet and made the putt to stay alive.

The 29-year-old Matteson's first Tour victory came as a rookie in 2006, when he won the Open in Las Vegas, now called the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Matteson won $900,000, while Lovemark and Fowler each earned $440,000.

With about $553,000 in earnings this year, Fowler has received a temporary Tour membership that allows him to play in the Viking Classic next week. If he doesn't win that tourney, Fowler would have to go to the final stage of Q-School.

Lovemark said he's headed to the first stage of Q-School next week at Pinehurst.

Fowler and Lovemark had finished their rounds when Matteson faltered on a sun-splashed afternoon in the desert.

After bogeying the 17th, Matteson (68) knocked his approach shot into a bunker on the 18th. He chipped to about 10 feet, then missed the putt to force a playoff with Fowler and Lovemark.

Fowler and Lovemark watched the drama unfold from a practice green across the lagoon from the 18th green.

Fowler (64) led briefly midway through the round, but his bogey on 18 cost him a chance to win in regulation.

Lovemark played his way into contention with a 64. He had seven birdies in regulation, five on the back nine.

Bill Lunde (66) and Tim Clark (67) tied for fourth at 16 under, and 2007 winner Mike Weir (61) and Bryce Molder (63) followed at 15 under. Weir had a chance for the fourth 59 in PGA Tour history, but parred the final three holes.

Matteson rolled into Sunday with a three-stroke lead, thanks to back-to-back 61s on Friday and Saturday ' a PGA Tour record for lowest score in consecutive rounds.

For most of the day, the tourney was a duel between Fowler and Matteson, who traded salvos on Grayhawk's Raptor Course.

Fowler entered in a five-way tie at 12 under, four strokes back of Matteson. But the 20-year-old Fowler, who turned pro after the Walker Cup last month, quickly charged into the lead.

Fowler aced the par-3, 203-yard fifth hole to go to 17 under and leapfrog Matteson. It was the fourth hole-in-one in two days.

Matteson, playing two groups behind Fowler, responded with an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole to jump back in front.

Matteson's edge grew to two strokes with a birdie on the par-4 sixth, and he led by two at the turn. But Fowler birdied the 10th, 11th and 12th to reclaim the lead.

Matteson tied it with a birdie on the par-5 11th.

Fowler dropped a stroke with a bogey on the par-3 13th. But he regained his composure and pulled back into a tie with a 30-foot birdie putt on the 14th.

Moments later, a roar went up behind Fowler: Matteson had answered with his own birdie on the 12th and led again.

Matteson clung to the lead as the duel moved to the final holes. With a chance to tie on 16, Fowler missed a 45-foot birdie putt by inches.

Fowler was still in the hunt until the par-4 18th, when his tee shot landed on the side of a fairway bunker. Fowler put his next shot into a bunker to the left of the green, then chipped to the fringe and narrowly missed a par-saving putt.

The victory capped a strong final two months for Matteson, who played inconsistently for much of the year.

Matteson missed the cut in 11 of his first 22 starts this season. But he found his form as the year wound down, making the cut in his final eight events and finishing in the top-20 three times.

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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

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Green jacket tour

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Man of the people

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Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

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Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

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Victory at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm