McLachlin cruises to victory at Reno-Tahoe Open

By Associated PressAugust 3, 2008, 4:00 pm
Reno-Tahoe OpenRENO, Nev. ' Parker McLachlin shot a 2-over 74 Sunday and still cruised to his first PGA TOUR victory by seven strokes at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open.
 
McLachlin, in his second season on the PGA TOUR, recovered from trouble time after time to card 14 pars, three bogeys and a birdie on the 18th to finish the tourney at 18-under 270.
 
It feels like it has been a lifetime coming. It has been a dream of mine since I was about 12, said McLachlin, 29, who grew up in Hawaii and played at UCLA. This is a huge stepping stone for me.
 
The 29-year-old tied the course record with a 10-under 62 on Friday and set a 54-hole record at 20-under at the 7,472-yard Montreux Golf & Country Club near Lake Tahoe. But he had to scramble his way to the $540,000 winners check after hitting only four greens in regulation for the day. Brian Davis and John Rollins tied for second at 11-under 277.
 
Englands Davis trailed by only four strokes with five holes to go but had a double bogey and two bogeys down the stretch to shoot a 75. A shot back tied for fourth were Martin Laird (66), Harrison Frazar (69), Eric Axley (69) and Ryan Palmer (70).
 
On Sunday, McLachlin hit only one of his first 10 greens'only five for the round'but relied on his wedge and putter to save par, including a 12-footer after he had driven into the rough behind large pine trees on the par-4 fifth and a 9-footer after blasting out of a greenside bunker on the sixth.
 
McLachlin started the day with a six-stroke lead over Davis, but slipped back to four when Davis chipped in out of a bunker on the par-5 11th to get to 15-under and McLachlin missed a 6-foot birdie attempt to remain at 19-under.
 
The leader was in trouble again on the par-3 12th when his tee shot went in a waste area 20 yards right and short of the green but again managed to chip out of the pine needles to within 15 feet and make the putt. He also chipped out of a greenside bunker on No. 13 to 8 feet then rolled it in.
 
His lead grew to six again when Davis double-bogeyed after he took two shots to get out of a bunker at No. 14, while McLachlin two-putted for par from 12 feet.
 
McLachlins drive hit a tree and landed in a pond on the 636-yard, par-5 17th, but his 200-yard fourth shot made the back of the green and he two-putted from 60 feet for a bogey. He putted 15 feet for birdie on the 18th to join four others who claimed their first PGA wins at Reno'Notah Begay III (1998), Chris Riley (2002), Vaughn Taylor (2004) and Will MacKenzie (2006).
 
Brian was putting the heat on and I was feeling it. I was just gutting it out, McLachlin said. I didnt have much in the tank. It was all I had. Im pretty spent right now.
 
The closest McLachlin had come to winning on the PGA TOUR before was a tie for fifth in May at the AT&T Classic.
 
With the top 50 golfers in the world playing at the Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio, McLachlin entered the week ranked 98th on the money list, but the $540,000 first-place check at Reno gives him $1.28 million on the year and should push him at least inside the top 70. It also ensures him a spot in next weeks PGA Championship, his first major since he qualified for the U.S. Open in 2004.
 
Last year on the Nationwide Tour, McLachlin led the National Mining Association Pete Dye Classic by seven strokes entering the final round, but shot a final-round 77 to finish tied for fourth.
 
A similar scenario was possible on Sunday without his heroics around the greens. From 60 feet away on the 220-yard par-3 No. 7, he chipped to within 4 feet and made the putt then dropped a 6-footer after chipping from 50 feet on the par-4 No. 8.
 
With the wind swirling on the downhill, 616-yard, par-5 No. 9, his attempt to layup safe with his second shot landed on the side of a hill in six-inch deep rough 85 yards short of the pin. But again he chipped onto the fringe within 15 feet and two putted for par to make the turn at even-par 36.
 
The streak of par saves ended on the 494-par, par-5 10th when he hit in a bunker behind the green and missed a 12-footer for par.
 
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

    By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

    If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

    Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

    If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

    Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

    Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

    I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

    A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

    And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.