Westwood shoots 69 for 2-shot lead in Dubai

By Associated PressNovember 20, 2009, 6:16 pm

2009 European TourDUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Lee Westwood shot a 3-under 69 Friday to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Dubai World Championship, increasing his chance of winning the European money title.

The English golfer put himself in a solid position to pick up two big prizes on Sunday. If he wins the last tournament of the European Tour season, he will receive $1.25 million in prize money – plus a $1.5 million bonus for winning the Race to Dubai money prize.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, the leader of the money race going into the tournament, also shot a 69. He was one of six players tied for second place at 7 under, two shots behind Westwood.

The others are Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, England’s Ross McGowan, Australia’s Robert Allenby, South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas.

Westwood is confident of winning both prizes Sunday.

“I am as much in control of my game as I have been for a long time,” he said after a round that began with two birdies on the Earth Course. “I feel very calm and happy with myself. All parts of my game feel solid and I enjoy times like this. I know that if I play as good as I can play I can win this tournament.”

Westwood revealed that to maintain his focus he took the advice of his English caddie, Bill Foster, and stopped looking at the leaderboard during his round.

“I have always been a leaderboard watcher,” he said. “But this week we decided to try something different. So we are not looking.”

McIlroy had gone to the top of the leaderboard, reaching 9 under with an eagle at the par-5 7th hole. He covered the front nine in 31 shots. But he slipped backed by missing two putts from inside 3 feet to save par on the 14th and 15th greens.

“I feel I am playing well enough to give myself a shot at the title,” the 20-year-old McIlroy said. “I am still in a good position going into the weekend not to dwell on missed opportunities.”

Harrington, who has won two British Open Championships as well as the 2008 PGA title, was holding the outright lead himself when he reached the par-5 18th. But he found the water his second shot and then, going for the green, put his ball in the stream to the left of the flag.

Harrington finished with a 69 and dropped back to join the group of players in second place. Shortly after that, Westwood sank a 20-foot birdie putt at the same hole to reach 9 under for two rounds.

Allenby, the Australian first-round leader, slipped back after making bogey at his first hole and shot a par 72.

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.