Mediate wins Senior PGA by three over Montgomerie

By Associated PressMay 29, 2016, 10:32 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Rocco Mediate holed out from a greenside bunker for birdie on the par-3 17th to wrap up a record-setting, wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the Senior PGA Championship.

Smoking cigars during the round, the 53-year-old Mediate closed with a 5-under 66 - holing a 15-footer for par on the last at Jack Nicklaus-designed Harbor Shores - for a three-stroke victory over two-time defending champion Colin Montgomerie.

''I didn't know I shot 66,'' Mediate said. ''I didn't know what the heck I shot today. ... A lot of great things happened today and I don't believe I'm sitting here. I really don't.''

The bunker shot on 18 was the highlight of the day at the major championship.

''That was sick,'' Mediate said. ''As soon as it left the club, I knew it had a chance. Obviously, I didn't know it was going to make it, of course not, but I had a feeling I might. That made a big difference. It made a huge difference. Because Monty was there for three. At least three. And if I make bogey there, and it goes to one shot going to the last hole, who knows what happens? Who knows? So it was very fortunate at that time.''

Mediate finished at 19-under 265 to break the tournament record of 268 set by Sam Snead in 1973 at PGA National. The six-time PGA Tour winner became the first wire-to-wire winner in the event since Nicklaus in 1991 at PGA National.

Mediate matched the course and tournament records with an opening 62 and added rounds of 66 and 71 to take a two-stroke lead over Montgomerie into the final round.

''I won with the putter this week. Simple as that,'' Mediate said. ''I made a bunch of par putts that I had to make. Especially today. Especially early.''

Mediate broke through with the PGA Tour Champions major victory nearly eight years after losing the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines to Tiger Woods on the first extra hole after an 18-hole playoff. He thought that experience helped him Sunday.

''Absolutely. A hundred percent,'' Mediate said. ''Because going in there, it's like I played some of the best golf I ever played in my life that day and lost. OK. To the best player in the world at that time.

But today I'm playing against pretty much the other best player in the world of our age. Bernhard (Langer), obviously, too, but Colin, I mean, he doesn't make a whole bunch of mistakes.''

Mediate won for the third time on the 50-and-over tour, with the first two coming in 2013.

Montgomerie shot a 67 - and matched Snead for the second-best total in tournament history.

''I did nothing wrong. Did nothing wrong,'' Montgomerie said. ''Went out and shot 67. All credit to Rocco. He shot 66. And you can't knock it.''

The 52-year-old Scot won in 2014 at Harbor Shores and last year at French Lick in Indiana. He also won the 2014 U.S. Senior Open.

''All credit to Rocco,'' Montgomerie said. ''But I can hold my head high here and say I made great performance, 16-under par, 67, level 67s around here in the wind isn't all bad. I just got to congratulate Rocco and go home and come back again and see if we can win this again.''

Langer tied for third at 13 under in a failed bid to become the first player to win all five PGA Tour Champions majors. The 58-year-old German won the Regions Tradition last week in Alabama for his sixth senior major title and 100th worldwide victory. In Alabama, Langer joined Nicklaus as the only players to win four different senior majors.

Langer birdied the final two holes for a 67.

''There was a lot of good in my round today and even in the whole week,'' Langer said. ''It's just too many unforced errors.''

Brandt Jobe also was 13 under after a 68.

John DalCorobbo tied for seventh at 11 under to top the club professionals, shooting a 71. The 51-year-old DalCorobbo is a PGA assistant professional at Brickyard Crossing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He won the Senior PGA Professional in October to top the club pro qualifiers.

 

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Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x