Watson Rallies to Win in Tampa

By Associated PressApril 20, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Outback Steakhouse Pro-AmLUTZ, Fla. -- Tom Watson successfully defended his Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am title Sunday, saving bogey after hitting into the water on No. 18 for a 1-under 70 and a one-stroke victory over Jay Haas and Scott Hoch.
 
A year after ending an 0-for-93 Florida drought at the TPC Tampa Bay, Watson finished at 9 under for his 50th title on the Champions and PGA tours.
 
Im on a streak, Watson said. Ive got to buy a house down here.
 
Hoch (71) had a chance to force a playoff, but his short par putt on 18 lipped out.
 
I just hit a terrible putt, Hoch said. I had not been putting all that good, but I havent missed anything like that.
 
Watsons 7-iron approach on the 456-yard 18th missed the green to the right and trickled into the water. After dropping, he pitched with a sand wedge to 5 feet, made the bogey putt, then waited inside the scorers trailer well behind the stands surrounding the green as Hoch played the final hole.
 
Like Watson before him, Hoch, who also started the day at 8 under, hit his approach right of the green, yet he appeared to catch a break when the ball settled just off the putting surface. His chip stopped 4 feet, 3 inches from the hole. But Hochs putt squirted away after falling partly into the hole.
 
Watson started the day three back of second-round leader Mark Wiebe, and for much of the afternoon it appeared as if Wiebe would win for the second consecutive start and third time in 13 Champions Tour events since turning 50 last September. But after moving to 12 under with a birdie on 14, Wiebe drove into the water on the par-4 15th and a subsequent triple bogey dropped him to 9 under.
 
He was still only one shot behind Watson when he doubled the par-3 17th after missing the green left. Wiebes second shot on the hole, a putt, failed to reach the putting service, further adding to his troubles. He shot a 5-over 41 on the back nine to tie for fifth at 6 under.
 
You know, I came pretty close, Wiebe said. My driver is my favorite club and if something let me down today, it was my driver.
 
Haas shot a 7-under 64, the low round of the day. He was 4 under on the back nine.
 
The victory was Watsons first on the Champions Tour this year and 11th overall. He won 39 times, including eight majors, on the PGA Tour.
 
The 58-year-old Watson, the events first back-to-back champion, began the tournament with an 8-under 63 on Thursday, a round that included birdies on seven of his final nine holes. He followed with an even-par 71. Sundays round included four birdies, but ultimately it was his bogey save on the final hole that won it.
 
I backed in through the back door, Watson said.
 
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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.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    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.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    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.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.