Watson Wins Wild 7-Man Palyoff

By Associated PressAugust 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
Boeing ClassicSNOQUALMIE, Washington -- Denis Watson eagled the second hole of a seven-man playoff to win the Boeing Classic on Sunday.
 
Playing No. 18 for the third time in an hour, Watson hit a 3-wood to about 18 feet, then made a 22-foot putt, giving an emphatic fist pump as the ball dropped to end the largest playoff in Champions Tour history.
 
Craig Stadler missed a long eagle putt from the front of the green, and R.W. Eaks missed his 12-footer for eagle.
 
It was the second victory of the season for Watson, who won the Senior PGA Championship in May.
 
Gil Morgan, Joe Ozaki, Dana Quigley and David Eger also finished at 9 under for the tournament after a wild final nine holes where the lead changed on almost every hole.
 
To start the playoff, all seven went off the 18th tee in the same group, but only Morgan was in position to reach to the green in two. His 5-wood was struck well, but the ball was slightly left of the flag and landed in the bunker next to the green.
 
Eaks hit a perfect pitch with his third shot to 18 inches, putting pressure on the others. Watson hit his wedge over the green onto the fringe, but chipped in from 23 feet, forcing others to make birdie to stay in the playoff.
 
Only Eaks and Stadler were able to match. Stadler confidently sunk his 22-foot putt, while Eaks patiently waited before tapping in his birdie putt.
 
Morgan and Eger missed 12-foot birdie putts, while Ozaki's shot out of the green-side bunker hit the edge of the cup but rolled past.
 
Watson, Eaks and Stadler went back and played 18 again. All three reached the green in two, but Watson kept the playoff from continuing.
 
The previous playoff record was five players, which happened twice.
 
Watson could have avoided a playoff and won in regulation if not for his tee shot on the 17th. Leading by two shots, Watson pulled his shot on the par-3 into a small pond fronting the green. Watson made double bogey on the hole, then made par on the 18th.
 
Watson and Morgan started the day at 6 under, four back of qualifier Ray Stewart, who led after the first two rounds. Watson and Morgan both shot 69, while Ozaki, Stadler and Eaks all shot 67.
 
The low round came from Eger, who was out early and finished with a 6-under 66. Eger, the 2005 champion in the first year of the event, sat around with an unopened beer next to him waiting to see how the final holes played out.
 
Stewart, the sentimental favorite from Abbotsford, British Columbia, played a solid first two rounds, but was shaky on the front nine. He still held the lead at the turn, but fell apart on Nos. 15 and 17. Playing in the final group and trailing Watson by one, Stewart four-putted the 15th green for double bogey. He astonishingly rebounded to birdie 16, but then matched Watson and hit his tee shot on No. 17 into the water.
 
Stewart birdied the final hole, but finished one shot out of the playoff. He was trying to become the first Monday qualifier in Champions Tour history to win a tournament wire-to-wire. Only 10 qualifiers have ever won a tour event, the last being Pete Oakley at the 2004 Senior British Open.
 
Jerry Pate also missed the playoff by a shot after missing a 2-foot par putt on No. 18.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Boeing Classic
  • Getty Images

    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Getty Images

    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.