Westwood Comes up Short for US Open Playoff

By Associated PressJune 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Lee Westwood waited so long to come up this short.
Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate will face off in an 18-hole tiebreaker for the U.S. Open championship Monday without Westwood, who would have joined the playoff party if his 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole hadnt come up inches shy of the cup.
Im struggling to even think who is in the playoff, Westwood said. Its not really in the front of my mind, to be brutally honest.
Dashed were his dreams of becoming the first Englishman in 38 years to win the U.S. Open.
After his putt rolled off right of the cup, a dejected Westwood, who had gone toe-to-toe with Woods just as he had predicted, tapped in and watched Woods do what he couldnt.
Woods holed his 12-foot birdie putt, the ball curling into the right side of the cup to force the playoff with Mediate.
Woods said the green was a little wobbly down there and so pure a stroke because once it starts rolling down there, its kind of like playing Plinko. You dont know whats going to happen.
That tricky final green turned Westwoods hopes of a tiebreaker into a heartbreaker.
Well, its sickening not to be in the playoff tomorrow, Westwood said. But all in all I played pretty good all week and if somebody said youre going to have a chance from 20 feet for a playoff on Monday, then I would have probably taken that at the start of the week.
So while Im disappointed, Im pleased with myself and I think that Ive proved to myself and a few others that I think there is a major championship in me.
Just not this week at Torrey Pines, a test of golf and grit that left just Woods and Mediate in red numbers at 1-under 283 after 72 holes.
Westwoods 284 earned him a consolation of $484,595.
So shaken was he by his close call that Westwood didnt know if he was going to watch Woods try to win his 14th major or Mediate try to become the first golfer ranked outside the top 100 (hes 157th in the world ranking) to win a U.S. Open.
Westwood and Woods made the turn tied with Mediate, who was playing in the group ahead, atop the leaderboard at 1-under.
But things started to falter for Westwood on the back nine, where he bogeyed Nos. 10, 12 and 13'where he even lost his ball'before recovering with a birdie on 14.
That Westwood hung with Woods shouldnt be a surprise. Hes the only player ever to beat Woods when Woods has led by more than one shot going into the final round of a tournament.
In trying to cap a remarkable comeback in which he has gone from fourth in the world down to the 200s and back to No. 20, Westwood tapped into his experience in five Ryder Cups, which he said prepared him for the pressure and partisan crowd he had expected.
Yet he didnt find the pro-Woods gallery as menacing as he had feared.
The crowds were great. You got a few people shouting odd comments, but that is the absolute minority, Westwood said. In general, they were absolutely fantastic and I got cheered on all day. I was quite surprised, really. There were a lot of Come on, Lee. So no complaints.
Only regrets.
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    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.

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    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.