Spieth defeats Reed, O'Hair in Valspar playoff

By Doug FergusonMarch 15, 2015, 11:04 pm

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) - Some of the best short-game shots Jordan Spieth has hit in his young career have been on the final two holes on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook.

Two years ago, it paved the way for him to get his PGA Tour card as a teenager.

He came full circle Sunday by making two improbable par saves to get into a playoff, and then winning the Valspar Championship on the third extra hole by making a 30-foot birdie putt to beat Patrick Reed and Sean O'Hair.

"I would rank those definitely in the top five I've ever had given the lies and the scenario," Spieth said.

And the winning putt?

"That's just luck," he said with a smile. "Guess it was my day."

It put an end to an afternoon of back-nine charges, big birdie putts and clutch par saves, the latest chapter in a PGA Tour season that already has featured eight playoffs.

This one was off the charts.


Valspar Championship: Articles, videos and photos


Reed rammed in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to cap off a 5-under 66, and then was lounging in a chair waiting to see if anyone could catch him, and they how many would join him. O'Hair got there with a 30-foot birdie on the 16th hole and a tough par save on the 18th, making a 5-foot putt look far easier than a guy who has now gone 87 starts since his last win.

Spieth looked like he wouldn't make it to the finish line. Tied for the lead, he left his 6-iron well to the right on the par-3 17th and hoped for the best. He said to caddie Michael Greller, "Please be a good lie or not on a downslope."

It was a terrible lie on a downslope.

Spieth hit a flop shot that landed perfectly and rolled 6 feet by the hole, and he saved his par. On the 18th, he hit a fat shot from a fairway bunker some 35 yards short, with a clump of grass behind it and the grain of the grass into the ball. Greller's advice was for Spieth to at least have a chance for par. He hit another flop to 12 feet, and the putt fell on the last turn from the left side of the cup.

"A crazy back nine," Spieth said.

Three behind with six holes to play, Spieth closed with a 2-under 69 to catch a faltering Ryan Moore and win his second PGA Tour title, both in a playoff. It was his fourth win worldwide - he now has three wins in his last eight starts around the world - to reach a career-high No. 6 in the world and already surpass $10 million in career earnings.

The 24-year-old Reed went his final 30 holes without a bogey and made two par saves in the playoff that were as good as anything Spieth did.

From a plugged lie in the lip of the bunker on the 18th in the playoff, he blasted out to 10 feet and rolled it in like it was a 3-footer. On the next playoff hole, the 16th, he went deep over the green into grass so deep he couldn't see it, and nearly holed the shot.

He was in deep trouble on the third playoff hole, too, and hit a bunker shot to 6 feet.

"I didn't even have to hit the putt because Jordan poured it in," said Reed, who beat Spieth in a playoff for the first of his four PGA Tour wins at the Wyndham Championship in August 2013.

O'Hair hasn't won since the 2011 Canadian Open, and he had to earn back his full PGA Tour card the last two years at the Web.com Tour Finals. In contention for the first time since longer than he can remember, his swing and his nerves held up fine. O'Hair had a 12-foot birdie putt to win on the second playoff hole, and it caught the right edge of the lip and spun away.

He played bogey-free on the back nine and shot 31 to close with a 67.

"I gave myself a chance," O'Hair said. "That's really all I can do. I played solid all day, played solid all week, and then the playoff was a ton of fun. Two young guys made me feel really old."

O'Hair is 32 with four children. He turned pro when Spieth was in the first grade. This was a big boost for O'Hair, who was never far from the lead for four days.

Henrik Stenson, in his Innisbrook debut, ran off three straight birdies and closed with a 67 to fall one shot short of the playoff.

Only two players in 2015 have had at least a share of the 54-hole lead and went on to victory on the PGA Tour. Moore did not become the third. He holed a 7-iron on the sixth hole for an eagle to take a two-shot lead, and back-to-back birdies early on the back nine stretched his lead to three shots with six to play.

Moore went long and into thick rough on the par-3 13th and made bogey, and then dropped another shot on the 16th. He made one more bogey on the 18th when his hopes were gone, closed with a 72 and finished fifth.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.