Roaring to Victory Sabbatini Wins Colonial

By Associated PressMay 27, 2007, 4:00 pm
Crowne Plaza Invitational at ColonialFORT WORTH, Texas -- Rory Sabbatini has a new plaid jacket to help him forget about all his near-misses.
 
Sabbatini won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on Sunday, beating Jim Furyk and Bernhard Langer with a 15-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff.
 
Rory Sabbatini
Rory Sabbatini collected his fourth career PGA TOUR title at Colonial. (WireImage)
It is the fourth career PGA TOUR victory for Sabbatini, the 31-year-old South African who won the Nissan Open last year and earlier this season had consecutive top-three finishes at the Masters, the EDS Byron Nelson Championship and Wachovia.
 
After beginning the final round tied at 11 under, Sabbatini, Furyk and the 49-year-old Langer closed with matching 3-under 67s to finish at 14 under.
 
All three hit their playoff drives into the fairway on the 433-yard 18th. Their approach shots all landed safely on the green.
 
Furyk, No. 3 in the world ranking and the only one of the top 12 players at Colonial, missed his 34-foot putt. Sabbatini then made his putt before Langer, with the shortest putt and a chance to force another hole, missed an 8-footer to the right.
 
It was the first three-man playoff ever at the Colonial, which hadn't needed extra holes since 1994 before Tim Herron won a two-hole playoff last year with Richard S. Johnson.
 
Tiger Woods had won the last three-man playoff on the PGA TOUR, beating Nathan Green and Jose Maria Olazabal at the Buick Invitational in January 2006.
 
Sabbatini finished the rain-delayed third round early Sunday with a 62, missing the tournament record by a stroke when his 8-foot birdie attempt scooted just left on No. 9, the last hole he played in the third round.
 
Pat Perez (66) finished fourth at 12-under 268, and Green (66) and Tom Lehman (68) were another stroke back.
 
Scott Verplank also was tied for the lead going into the final round in his attempt to become the only player other than Ben Hogan to win Colonial and the Byron Nelson Championship in the same year. He closed with a 71 to tie for seventh.
 
Sabbatini got to 14 under when he made a 28-foot birdie at the 171-yard 13th, but there were plenty of other shots that almost went in during the final round.
 
At No. 9 for the second time Sunday, Sabbatini's 22-foot birdie attempt stopped just an inch short of going in. Out of a greenside bunker at the 611-yard 11th hole, he blasted his shot within 6 inches and had to settle for a tap-in birdie.
 
Sabbatini escaped trouble at No. 17 when hit his approach shot out of the thick rough onto the green for a two-putt par. On the final hole of regulation, he had a 19-foot birdie putt that curled away from the hole at the last second.
 
Now he gets a much-needed break, staying home in nearby Southlake instead of going to play in the Memorial. He had withdrawn from that tournament even before winning Colonial.
 
Sabbatini had a couple of weeks off after the Masters, but the Colonial was his fifth straight event. He was coming off a closing 73 at the AT&T Classic after finishing 44th at THE PLAYERS Championship.
 
Furyk got his first top-10 finish since three consecutive tournaments before the end of February. He tied for 13th at the Masters, but hasn't been better than 28th in any other tournament since, which allowed Phil Mickelson to leapfrog him in the world ranking after Mickelson won THE PLAYERS.
 
Langer, who had only one bogey in the 29 holes in regulation he played Sunday, regained a share of the lead when he hit his approach at the 382-yard 17th hole within 4 feet for a birdie.
 
His drive to the right at No. 18 then wound up in a tromped-down area of mud, though he got relief. His approach was still short of the green, but he saved par after his chip rolled within 3 feet of the cup.
 
Langer was trying to add the plaid jacket to the two green ones he won a long time ago. He hasn't won on the PGA TOUR since getting his second green jacket at Augusta in 1993, eight years after his first.
 
An eagle and three birdies in a late four-hole stretch at the end of his third round got him to the top of the leaderboard.
 
Divots:
David Toms got to 10 under when he had six straight birdies to matching the longest streak on the PGA TOUR this season -- set by Anthony Kim in the first round. But those were the only birdies for Toms. ... Tim Petrovic started the fourth round with three straight birdie putts of 26-29 feet. He went on to a round of 66 to tie for 12th at 271. He hadn't finished better than 23rd his first 14 tournaments. ... Defending champion Tim Herron was at 4-under 276 after weekend rounds of 70 and 71. ... Rod Pampling had a hole-in-one, using a 6-iron at the 189-yard 16th.
 
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.