Sweden's Noren wins Wales Open

By Associated PressJune 5, 2011, 4:51 pm

NEWPORT, Wales – Unheralded Swedish golfer Alexander Noren captured his second European Tour title by winning the Wales Open on Sunday, finishing two strokes clear after having first topped the leaderboard during the second round.

The 127th-ranked Noren shot a 1-under 70 in the final round for a 9-under total of 275 at Celtic Manor, adding to his win at the 2009 European Masters.

Noren won’t be able to celebrate for too long. He is scheduled to tee off at Sunningdale on Monday in a qualifying tournament for the British Open at Royal St. George’s next month.

“It will be weird but I will look forward to it,” he said. “I can’t believe it still. When the final putt was this far, I knew it was done. It was incredible.”

Gregory Bourdy of France hit the only bogey-free round in a 67 to finish joint runner-up with Anders Hansen of Denmark (71). Swedish pair Johan Edfors (69) and Peter Hanson (72) plus Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina and Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal were next at 278.

Noren’s confidence was boosted by coming through a qualifier on Monday for the U.S. Open at Washington’s Congressional course from June 16. It will be only his second major after taking a share of 19th place at the 2008 British Open.

He could still have been forgiven for succumbing to nerves, having only five top-three finishes in 122 previous events on the European Tour since turning pro in 2005. But Noren drove straight all day to make only one bogey in wet and windy conditions, aided by a putter that rarely let him down.

His only blemish was at No. 15 while holding a four-shot lead, sending his tee shot into the water and two-putting after chipping to within 10 feet.

“The pressure was all on the front nine and I said to myself that if I can get through No. 14 a few ahead it would be easier coming down,” Noren said. “My driving is the best it’s ever been, so it makes it even easier. This is the best ball-striking day I’ve had in my whole life.”

He acknowledged feeling some tension after entering the third round with a one-stroke lead, then said he expected a tougher task on Sunday.

It turned out to be anything but.

Helped by Hanson and Hansen failing to mount a challenge and Bourdy leaving his surge too late, Noren never looked like he would be caught.

Graeme McDowell, the 2010 champion who was looking to become the first player to retain the title, hit a 71 to improve by 10 strokes on his catastrophic third round. Having trailed by one, he fell 11 off the pace heading into his last competitive round before defending his U.S. Open title.

McDowell struck the ball well in making three straight birdies from No. 9, but four bogeys showed his game still needs some finessing.

“The damage was done yesterday and it was just about trying to repair some of the damage today,” McDowell said. “I have work to do between now and Congressional.”

Elliot Saltman, who returned to the tour last month after serving a three-month ban for incorrectly marking his ball, will leave with happier memories after hitting his second hole-in-one of the tournament in a 69 on Sunday.

“There has been a lot of players out here who have been brilliant and welcomed me back,” Saltman said. “It’s been a long slog.”

The Scot aced No. 17 and then finished with an eagle in Thursday’s opening round. He repeated the feat at the same hole on Sunday but his ensuing eagle putt at the last only just missed the cup.

Eamonn Darcy at the 1991 Mediterranean Open was the last player to hit a hole-in-one twice in the same event.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.