McIlroy defeats AK in playoff for Shanghai win

By Associated PressOctober 30, 2011, 11:00 am

SHANGHAI – U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy defeated Anthony Kim in a sudden-death playoff Sunday to win the Shanghai Masters.

McIlroy gave up an early three-shot lead before rallying from a stroke down on the back nine to finish regulation level with Kim at 18-under 270 and force the playoff.

The 22-year-old Northern Irishman had a chance to win the championship with an 8-foot birdie putt on the 18th at Lake Malaren’s Jack Nicklaus-designed Masters course, but missed by inches.

Both players drove into the bunker on the first playoff hole, then both made equally well-placed shots out of the sand close to the pin. The American missed his putt from about 3 feet, while McIlroy sank his 2-footer. It was the first time he’s won in three career playoffs.

McIlroy captured the $2 million first-place prize money, the richest in golf, while Kim took home $750,000. Thirty players took part in the invitational, first-year tournament, which isn’t sanctioned by a major tour.

“It’s something that I feel like I can still get better at is winning and putting yourself in the position to win when you’re not playing your best,” McIlroy said.

“Even if it’s scrappy golf where you grind it out, you’re going to win a lot more tournaments by doing that rather than playing your best golf the whole week. I was very happy I was able to pull this one out.”

Hunter Mahan (70) and Noh Seung-yul (73) finished joint third at 13 under.

Lee Westwood hit a hole in one on the 12th hole and seven birdies for a 67, finishing in fifth place at 12 under. It was the best round of the week for the second-ranked Englishman, despite the fact he ended with two bogeys.

The final round turned into an unexpected duel between third-ranked McIlroy and the 82nd-ranked Kim, who has just three PGA Tour victories to his credit.

There were echoes of McIlroy’s stunning collapse at the Masters earlier this year when he sprayed shots all over the course and surrendered a four-shot lead in the final round at Augusta on his way to an 80.

After three rounds of relatively mistake-free golf in Shanghai, McIlroy hit into the water and bunkers, and missed several close putts. But this time, he was able to turn it around.

His troubles started on the first hole when he hit the pin with his approach shot, causing the ball to bounce back into the fringe and leading to a bogey. Kim was able to quickly make up the difference, sinking three birdies to pull into a share of the lead at 18-under on the sixth hole.

“I felt good standing on the first tee obviously with a three-shot lead,” McIlroy said. “I thought my second shot was very good. It was just a little unfortunate to hit the pin and ricochet back off the green. To go from three ahead to one ahead after the first hole was obviously not the start I was looking for.”

After McIlroy answered with a birdie to retake the lead on No. 7, he hit his second shot into the water on the difficult par-4 No. 9, settling for a bogey and giving Kim another opening.

The American missed an easy putt from 5 feet to take bogey himself and remain one shot back at the turn.

McIlroy’s struggles continued on the back nine. The Northern Irishman hit into the bunker on the 11th and then three-putted for another bogey – his third of the day – to give Kim sole possession of the lead at 18-under.

After hitting into the bunker again and barely salvaging par on the 14th, McIlroy finally got a break on the 15th hole when he made a 5-footer for birdie and Kim missed from the same distance to even the score again.

McIlroy had a chance to take the lead on the 17th, but just missed his birdie putt. Then, on the final hole, he missed the putt that would have given him the victory.

“It was an exciting final day and a tough finish for me personally,” Kim said. “We had a lot fun out there today.”

Ian Poulter (72) finished in sixth place at 11 under, while Retief Goosen (68) and K.J. Choi (67) were in joint seventh at 8 under. Y.E. Yang (72), Padraig Harrington (72) and John Daly (71) followed at 6 under.

All the top players received appearance money and last place paid $25,000. There were no ranking points at stake because the event isn’t sanctioned by a major tour.

The WGC-HSBC Champions will take place next week at nearby Sheshan International.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm