Stallings captures True South Classic

By Associated PressJuly 22, 2012, 10:28 pm

MADISON, Miss. – Scott Stallings strolled down the fairway on the 18th hole of the True South Classic, smiling and waving to a few fans like he didn't have a care in the world.

There would be no final-hole drama at Annandale Golf Club. He had this one all wrapped up.

Stallings shot a 4-under 68 in the final round on Sunday to beat Jason Bohn by two strokes. It was his first Tour victory of the year and the second of his career. He finished with a 24-under 264, which is a tournament record at Annandale.

With a few holes remaining, it looked as if the True South Classic would host a tight finish. But Stallings made back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 to suck all the suspense right out of the final hole.

''It made that tee shot on 18 a lot easier,'' Stallings said with a grin.

Bohn shot a 5-under 67 on Sunday. Billy Horschel was alone in third, four strokes back.

The 27-year-old Stallings raced up the leaderboard after shooting back-to-back 64s in the second and third rounds. That gave him a one-stroke lead over Horschel heading into the final day.

Stallings wasn't quite as spectacular on Sunday, but didn't need to be. Instead, he was steady, methodically working his way around the course, avoiding major trouble and picking up occasional birdies.

''He played really well, swung the club well, made the putts when he needed to make the putts, and that's the way you win,'' Horschel said.

Stallings had a two-shot lead by the turn, but made his only real mistake on No. 14, hitting his tee shot far to the right which caused his only bogey of the day. It was a surprising mistake simply because Stallings had been so good for so long - he had gone 54 holes without a bogey.

But he recovered, responding with one of his best shots of the tournament two holes later on No. 16, sticking the approach within three feet for a short birdie putt.

He birdied 17 after another pinpoint approach shot, making a 12-footer for a three-stroke lead.

Bohn made a birdie on 18, but it didn't matter. Stallings hit a short putt for par that won the tournament.

''Obviously, it's a special week,'' Stallings said. ''Anytime you win on the PGA Tour it's special. A lot of things and people went into winning this tournament and I'm very thankful.''

The victory was another sign Stallings is moving closer to his 2011 form, when he won nearly $2 million and finished 41st on the PGA Tour money list in his rookie season.

But he's struggled through much of 2012 because of various injuries - including torn cartilage in his ribs and two herniated disks in his back - making the cut in just five of 18 events before blazing through Annandale. Stallings said the rib injury suffered in January was the most painful, and it took him about five months to fully recover.

He also worked some with a sports psychologist to get back his mental edge.

''I hurt my confidence and hurt everything that came along with it,'' Stallings said. ''I learned a lot of lessons through that.''

Now he feels fully healthy - physically and mentally.

Annandale was drenched by heavy rain for much of the past week, and the soft, slow fairways and greens led to nearly ideal conditions for low scores.

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.