McDowell tops Simpson in RBC Heritage playoff

By Associated PressApril 21, 2013, 10:52 pm

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Graeme McDowell defeated fellow U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson in a playoff to win the RBC Heritage on Sunday for his second career victory on the PGA Tour.

McDowell was four shots behind when the round started, but rallied with a closing 69 over wind-blown Harbour Town Golf Links. The 2010 U.S. Open champ had his only bogey of the day on the 72nd hole to force a playoff with Simpson, the reigning U.S. Open titleholder.

McDowell stuck his approach on the extra hole about 15 feet away and two-putted for par. Simpson could not answer, missing about a 10-footer for par.

Luke Donald and Kevin Streelman tied for third.

McDowell's win ended a tough day in which only three players shot in the 60s.

Donald shot a 69 while Streelman had a 72. Jerry Kelly rounded out the top five after his even-par 71.

Charley Hoffman, the 54-hole leader, ballooned to a 77 and fell into a tie for sixth.

Both McDowell and Simpson had the chance to win on the 72nd hole. McDowell missed a 12-foot par putt after his approach went over the green. It was his only bogey on the round.


At a glance: Harbour Town Round 4

RBC Heritage: Articles, videos and photos

Video: RBC final-round highlights


Simpson had a 22-footer for birdie a short time later on the 18th, but sent it 3 feet past to lead to the tournament's third playoff in four years.

McDowell patted Simpson on the back after the playoff miss and smiled widely as the boats in Calibogue Sound tooted their horns and whistles.

Neither McDowell nor Simpson made the cut a week ago at the Masters, yet bounced back in a big way at Harbour Town.

The course showed its teeth, winds arcing flagsticks and blowing debris on every hole. Donald backed off his putt on No. 7 when a large leaf tumbled through his line. Crews watered several greens between groups simply to keep balls holding instead of skipping off the wind-swept sod.

Blowers were heard throughout the day, trying to push off leaves, twigs and other tree parts falling everywhere on the course.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for the area, warning of winds of 20-to-30 mph and gusts up to 45 mph.

''Extremely difficult,'' Donald said of conditions. ''Strongest wind I've played in all year.''

Few managed the wind better than McDowell, who lurked behind most of the round until striking on the back nine. He made a 28-foot birdie putt on No. 11 to move into a three-way tie for first with Simpson and Hoffman.

McDowell broke the tie on the 16th hole, landing his approach within 8 feet and making the birdie putt. He saved par from the back of the green on the 17th hole, but couldn't do it a second time on the closing, lighthouse hole at No. 18 for his first bogey in 32 holes to fall back into a tie with Simpson.

Simpson's chase appeared over when he made three bogeys in a six-hole stretch to fall two shots behind. He steadied himself with a birdie on No. 12 and parred his way to the finish to reach the playoff.

Donald, who's got two seconds and a third in his past four appearances at Harbour Town, got an early charge going before Hoffman and Simpson hit the course with four birdies on his first six holes to draw within two of the lead.

Donald, ranked No. 6 in the world, couldn't keep the surge going, though. He had birdie chances on the final three holes of the front nine, but came up empty. Bogeys on the 13th and 15th holes ended Donald's run. Still, it was the fourth top-five finish in the last five trips to the RBC Heritage for Donald.

DIVOTS: Brandt Snedeker went from last off at Augusta National to first off at Harbour Town. Ranked No. 5 in the world, Snedeker's week ended early Sunday as his was the first group off the tee for the final round. He shot a 74 and did not break par at Harbour Town. Snedeker was tied for the lead last Sunday and in the final group at the Masters. ... Defending champion Carl Pettersson drifted down the leaderboard since an opening-round 68. He finished tied for 40th at 1 over par. ... Former RBC Heritage champ Jim Furyk went from a 66 Saturday to a closing 78.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

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: