Wagner Wins Houston Heads to Augusta

By Associated PressApril 6, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Shell Houston OpenHOUSTON -- Johnson Wagners first PGA TOUR victory came with the ultimate bonus prize'a trip to the Masters.
 
Wagner controlled his nerves and held off several late challenges Sunday to win the Houston Open and earn a last-minute invitation to Augusta National.
 
The 28-year-old Wagner shot a 1-under 71 to finish at 16 under, two shots ahead of Chad Campbell (72) and Geoff Ogilvy (68). Billy Mayfair and Fred Couples shot 66s and finished three shots back at 13 under. Bob Estes and Charley Hoffman, three behind Wagner at the start of the round, shot 72s and finished four behind.
 
Wagner had missed six cuts in nine previous starts this year and was ranked 193rd on the money list when he arrived in Houston. He matched defending champion Adam Scotts course-record 63 in the first round, then held the 36- and 54-hole leads at an event for the first time in 44 career starts.
 
His emotions showed all day, as sweat soaked through his green shirt and he nervously wiped his hands with a white towel before most of his shots.
 
But Wagner held it together, pumping his fist after sinking a 6-foot par putt on the 72nd hole as his parents and several family members cheered from behind the green.
 
Next week, theyll be applauding him at Augusta.
 
While Wagner will play in his first Masters, Davis Love III will miss a major for the first time since 1990. Love had to win to qualify for next weeks Masters, but he finished 5 under, ending the longest active streak of major appearances at 70.
 
Phil Mickelson now holds the longest run of major starts, with 55. Mickelson shot a second straight 71 on Sunday and finished at 6 under in his final tuneup before Augusta.
 
This day belonged to Wagner, the 13th player to earn his first victory in Houston.
 
He started the day one ahead of Campbell, then opened a three-shot lead when he sank a 26-foot birdie on the second hole and Campbell three-putted. Wagner led by five after a birdie on the fourth. Campbell hit into the fairway bunker off the tee and bogeyed again.
 
Campbell drove into the fairway bunker on No. 8, then dumped his second shot into the water, leading to a crippling double bogey. Wagner birdied again to get to 17 under.
 
Ogilvy birdied Nos. 3, 5 and 8 to move into second place, but Wagner led by four at the turn.
 
Couples, the 2003 champion when the tournament was played at the members course across the street, was one of several players who mounted charges on the back nine.
 
Wagner bogeyed the 10th and Couples and Mayfair both birdied 13 and 15, the last two par 5s, to move to 13 under, tying Ogilvy. Campbell bounced back with three straight birdies on 11, 12 and 13 to get to 14 under. Estes also birdied the 11th and 12th to reach 14 under.
 
But Wagner hung on, as the players chasing him stalled, one after another.
 
Couples and Mayfair each parred the last four holes. Estes and Campbell both bogeyed the par-3 16th from awkward lies in the greenside bunker. Ogilvy birdied the 12th, but couldnt muster another one until the last hole.
 
Wagner left a long birdie putt short on the par-4 17th, but he calmly sank the 11-footer to stay at 16 under. He drove his last tee shot into the fairway bunker, avoiding the ominous pond that runs down the left side of the 18th hole.
 
He hit his 220-yard approach just short of the green, pitched to six feet and easily rolled in the final putt.
 
Wagner became the second wire-to-wire winner since the tournament moved to the Tournament Course at Redstone in 2006. Stuart Appleby led from the start when he won in 2006.
 
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    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


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    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


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    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.