Wadkins a Major Champion

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Ford Senior Players ChampionshipDEARBORN, Mich. -- Despite a double-bogey on the 72nd hole, Bobby Wadkins held on Sunday to win his first major championship crown at the Senior Players Championship. Wadkins' back nine included the double-bogey, a bogey, a par and six birdies -- including five in a row.
Wadkins ended the championship at 14-under-par 274, one stroke clear of Jim Thorpe. Wadkins won for the second time this year and for the third time in his Champions Tour career.
Bobby Wadkins
Bobby Wadkins, wearing his Miami Dolphins shirt, strikes a winning pose Sunday.
'I've never been in that situation before where you try to make a six to win the golf tournament and it's tougher than trying to make a par,' said Wadkins, who earned $375,000 for the win. 'I was lucky to make six. It might not have been a pretty win, but it's a win. I'm very pleased, it's great to get it over with.'
Thorpe could have forced a playoff, but a bogey on the last left him at minus-13 after a closing 3-under 69.
Third-round leader Loren Roberts faltered in the final round for the second straight Sunday. Roberts set a USGA record with his 8-under 62 in the third round of the U.S. Senior Open last week, but a final-round, 3-over 73 dropped him into a share of eighth.
This week, Roberts used rounds of 67-64 on Friday and Saturday to lead by two shots entering the final round at TPC of Michigan. His lead was as big five strokes on Sunday, but two double-bogeys and a bogey on the back nine dropped him into a share of third at 12-under-par 276.
Roberts finished alongside Jay Haas (68), 1998 winner Gil Morgan (69) and Des Smyth (70).
The 51-year-old Roberts drained back-to-back birdies from the third to move to 16 under, four strokes clear of Dana Quigley and Morgan. He parred his next six holes before disaster struck.
Roberts found a hazard off the tee at the 12th and that led to a double-bogey, which dropped him into a share of the lead with Thorpe. After a three-putt bogey from over the green at 12, Roberts found another hazard on 14. That led to another double-bogey, which dropped him four back of the leaders.
Thorpe opened with seven straight pars. He then ran off three consecutive birdies from the eighth to get to 13 under. A birdie on the par-5 13th got him to minus-14.
Wadkins tripped to a bogey on the first, but he came right back to birdie two. He birdied the fifth to get to minus-11 before five straight pars. From there, Wadkins turned it on with his putter.
The 54-year-old birdied the 11th, then drained 30-footer for birdie on 12. At the par-5 13th, Wadkins' birdie got him to minus-14 and a share of the lead with Thorpe and Roberts.
Wadkins poured in a birdie putt on 14 from nearly 35 feet to take the lead. He came up short of the par-3 15th, but ran in a lengthy birdie effort from the fringe to go two up on Thorpe.
With a two-stroke cushion, Wadkins was starting to feel some pressure as he went for his first major title. He missed the green at 16 before two-putting for bogey.
Wadkins, one ahead of Thorpe, pitched his third to 4 feet at the 17th and tapped that in for birdie and a two-stroke lead with one to go.
Thorpe, playing one group ahead of Wadkins, got too aggressive at the 18th. Thinking he needed birdie to possibly tie Wadkins, Thorpe ended with a three-putt bogey to fall three behind.
'I knew I needed to make birdie there (at the last) and the second shot played very long into the wind,' Thorpe stated. 'The back nine played very, very hard. If I had known what Bobby was going to do, maybe I'd have played it a little different. Hindsight is 20/20, and unfortunately I three-putted for bogey.'
Wadkins made things interesting, though, when he drove into a hazard at the last. After taking his drop, his third came up short in a greenside bunker. Wadkins then blasted his fourth over the green into the rough.
Needing to get up and down to avoid a playoff, Wadkins' bogey chip hit the hole, but rolled eight feet past. No worries though. Wadkins drained that putt for double-bogey, which was good enough for the one-shot win.
'I played so perfect on the back side until the last hole. I knew I had a two-shot lead,' Wadkins admitted. 'I hadn't hit a bad tee shot all day. I was just trying to hit a hard drive down the left side of the fairway and not get blocked out by the tree.'
Smyth had five birdies and two bogeys over his first 16 holes to get to 13 under. He also had a chance to get to 14 under with a birdie at the last, but he knocked his approach over the green, then two-putted for a closing bogey to end in a share of third.
Brad Bryant, a two-time winner this season, closed with an even-par 72 to join Tom Purtzer in seventh place at 11-under-par 277. Tom Kite and Fuzzy Zoeller were one stroke further back at minus-10.
Fred Funk, playing in his second straight Champions Tour event, shared 11th place with Morris Hatalsky, 2004 champion Mark James, Dan Pohl, Don Pooley and Dana Quigley at 9-under-par 279.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.