Steve Stricker wins in playoff at Colonial

By Associated PressMay 31, 2009, 4:00 pm
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FORT WORTH, Texas ' Steve Stricker blew a final-round lead right after he took it and gave away another stroke by missing a short par putt down the stretch.
 
Stricker stayed at it, though. A chip-in birdie on 17 helped him get in a three-man playoff. Then, lucky to be playing a second extra hole, he put his approach just 3 feet from the cup and knocked it right in to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
 
Admirable as it may be, the real story Sunday was how Tim Clark blew this tournament.
 
Steve Stricker
Steve Stricker collected his fifth PGA Tour title. (Getty Images)
Trying to shed his title as the guy whod won the most money on the PGA Tour without winning an event, Clark wasted a two-shot lead with five holes left. He left short a 9-foot putt that wouldve won it on the final hole, then pulled a 4-footer that wouldve ended the playoff on the first hole. The final kick in the gut came when his approach on the second extra hole hit the pin and rolled more than 20 feet from the cup.
 
I cant take anything positive from today, the 33-year-old South African said. I have a lot of work to do when it comes to closing out golf tournaments.
 
Strickers victory was pure relief, as evidence by his fist pump and choked-up interviews afterward. Its not that he questioned his ability to close out tournaments, he was just ready to win after finishing second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh this year.
 
Now he has five career wins ' and the No. 8 spot in the world ranking.
 
I feel fortunate, Stricker said, wearing the plaid jacket given to all winners at the Colonial Country Club. Ive been on the other end a couple times this year where you feel going to win and end up losing. This feels very good.
 
Stricker, who earned $1,116,000, led after two rounds with a 36-hole tournament record of 126. He moved back ahead with birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 on Sunday, then followed with consecutive bogeys.
 
When he missed a 4-footer on No. 16, Stricker seemed out of contention. His chances looked even worse when he was in fluffy grass behind the 17th green.
 
Then his chip rolled in.
 
You need breaks to win, thats why winning is so special, so hard to do, he said.
 
Steve Marino was the third player in the playoff. He narrowly missed a long birdie putt on the first extra hole, then pretty much took himself out of contention with a wild tee shot on the second extra hole. Colonial wouldve been a sweet place for his debut win considering his mom grew up a few blocks away and was in the gallery with a group of her childhood friends.
 
Obviously its disappointing, Marino said. But Im playing well right now and Im excited about playing golf and feel good about my game.
 
Stricker and Marino shot 68s to match Clark (70) at 17-under 263.
 
Jason Day, a 21-year-old Australian who recently became a Colonial member, shot 69 and finished fourth at 264. He shot 65 in the other three rounds, but started with a bogey and wound up a stroke out of the playoff.
 
Another stroke back was Paul Casey, coming off a prestigious win in Europe that vaulted him to No. 3 in the world ranking. He opened the final round with three straight birdies but couldnt build on it much.
 
Woody Austin (68) and Vijay Singh (69) tied for sixth at 14 under.
 
Clarks foibles on the 18th hole ' in regulation, then in the playoffs ' sent the playoff to No. 17, a hole Stricker already had birdied three times in four rounds.
 
His fourth birdie there was the charm.
 
This is what my whole career has been about up. Ive had to pull myself up when something hasnt gone my way, Stricker said. You have to let it roll off your back.
 
Maybe one day, Clark can. Not now.
 
Not after being tied for the tournament record with five holes to play. Not after being the tournaments most accurate driver to that point and then knocking two tee shots into trouble.
 
Not after all those foul-ups turned 0-for-183 into 0-for-184 and the seventh second-place finish of his career. The last one came last year at this event, when Phil Mickelson made a spectacular shot for birdie on the final hole.
 
Not even being reminded of his valiant final approach could lift his spirits.
 
Bad break or not, the tournament should have ended on the first playoff hole, Clark said. I didnt make a confident stroke and I pulled it.
 
The $545,600 in winnings, which upped his career total to almost $13.3 million, would be a mood-lifter.
 
But considering his unwanted claim to fame, thats both good and bad.
 
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  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


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    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


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    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

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    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

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    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

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