Gomez tops Snedeker in playoff for Sony title

By Doug FergusonJanuary 18, 2016, 4:21 am

HONOLULU - Fabian Gomez of Argentina closed with two birdies for an 8-under 62, and then made his 11th birdie of the day on the second playoff hole to beat Brandt Snedeker on Sunday in the Sony Open.

Gomez won for the second time on the PGA Tour, and this one was much tougher.

Starting the final round four shots behind, the 37-year-old Gomez ran off seven straight birdies in the middle of his round, let Snedeker back in the game with a pair of bogeys, and then holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole and a 20-foot birdie from just off the 18th green to finish at 20-under 260.

Snedeker made a 4-foot birdie on the 18th for a 66 to force the playoff.

Zac Blair, who shared the 54-hole lead with Snedeker, had a 10-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole to join them, but it missed on the high side. He had a 67.

On the first playoff hole at the par-5 18th, Snedeker's 12-foot birdie for the win narrowly missed. Returning to the 18th a second time in the playoff - the hardest fairway to hit at Waialae on Sunday - Gomez went with a hybrid off the tee to stay in the short grass. His 3-iron reached the front of the green and set up a long two-putt birdie.


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Snedeker hit driver into a bunker, laid up and hit wedge 10 feet behind the hole. His birdie attempt to extend the playoff slid by to the right.

"It's frustrating because I couldn't make putts to win the golf tournament," Snedeker said. He said leaving his 12-foot putt to win on the first playoff hole "is going to sting today and tomorrow."

Gomez won the St. Jude Classic last year by four shots and already was in the Masters. This victory will move him just outside the top 50 in the world ranking, greatly improving his chances of playing in the Olympics this summer.

His 62 was the lowest closing round by a Sony Open champion.

Blair saved par from 8 feet on the 16th hole to keep alive his chance, and he almost cashed in with what he called the best 3-wood of his life from 280 yards. "Oh my gosh, that's so good," Blair said as he watched it bound forward onto the green to 10 feet. He needed the eagle to join the playoff. It stayed just above the hole.

"One of the best putts I've probably ever hit right there on 18," he said. "Unfortunately, it didn't go in."

Si Woo Kim, the 20-year-old from South Korea, was part of a five-way tie for the lead briefly. He closed with one bogey and five pars for a 68 to finish fourth.

Kevin Kisner, playing in the final group for the third time in his last four tournaments, ended his streak of 15 consecutive rounds under par at the worst time. His best putts were to save par until a wild tee shot on the eighth led to double bogey, dropping him five shots behind. Kisner still was in the mix until a bunker-to-bunker double bogey on the 17th ended his day. He closed with a 70 and tied for fifth.

Gomez surged into contention, and then the lead, with seven straight birdies starting with a 12-foot putt on the sixth hole. The Argentine was so dialed in that the next six birdies were all inside 8 feet. But he followed that streak with two straight bogeys, and only the great finish got him into the playoff.

Snedeker and Blair were the only players who stayed with him.

Blair had a share of the 54-hole lead for the first time, playing alongside two of the best putters, and even with that little wiggle in his stance to get comfortable, he rolled it beautifully. He holed a 12-foot par putt on the opening hole and made birdie putts of 35 feet on No. 7, 20 feet on No. 8 and 25 feet on No. 12, the last one giving him a share of the lead when Gomez finally made bogey.

Snedeker came out flat with seven pars and a bogey and twice fell three shots behind. But with birdies around the turn, an 8-foot birdie on the 14th and Gomez making those two bogeys, he was right back in the mix.

He took the lead for the first time all day with a gap wedge he stuffed to 3 feet for birdie on the 16th, but moments later, Gomez made his birdie on the 17th.

In the second tournament since the ban on anchored strokes typically used for long putters, Blair was asked to review his stroke on the 17th before signing his card. He used a fairway metal to putt out of light rough, and a television replay made it look as though the end of the club might have been touching his body.

After a brief review, it was determined the club did not touch his body.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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