Three late birdies propel Mahan to Barclays win

By Doug FergusonAugust 24, 2014, 10:24 pm

PARAMUS, N.J. - Hunter Mahan pulled away with three straight birdies late in the final round Sunday to win The Barclays, ending more than two years without a title on the PGA Tour.

The victory was the sixth of his career, and one of the most important.

Mahan had gone 48 tournaments worldwide without winning and began the FedEx Cup playoffs at No. 62, guaranteed to play only two events. By closing with a 6-under 65 for a two-shot victory, he is assured of making the Tour Championship every year since the FedEx Cup began in 2007.

And by beating one of the strongest fields of the year, Mahan was sure to make a lasting impression on Tom Watson for when he makes his three captain's picks for the Ryder Cup on Sept. 2.

''To get a win in an event like this and the timing, it feels unbelievable,'' Mahan said. ''So I'm extremely proud of myself. I felt great the last few weeks. My game was starting to come around. I knew this was around the corner, but to do it - and to do it today with a 65 - feels great.''

On a day when six players had at least a share of the lead, Mahan found a way to make it look like a comfortable win.

He rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt to take the outright lead on the par-3 15th, hit wedge to 3 feet for a birdie on the 16th and then rolled in a 20-foot birdie on the par-5 17th. That stretched his lead to three shots going to the final hole when Cameron Tringale bogeyed the 18th, and Mahan tried to inject a little drama.

Mahan drove into the trees, pitched out and then missed the green. But he holed an 8-foot putt for bogey.

Jason Day, who shared the 54-hole lead with Jim Furyk, would have needed to hole out from the rough on the 18th to force a playoff and he missed the green. Day closed with a 68 and shared second place with Stuart Appleby (65) and Tringale, who celebrated his 27th birthday with a 66.


The Barclays: Articles, videos and photos


Furyk now has failed to win the last eight times he has held at least a share of the lead going into the final round. He was in the mix until missing the fairway on the 14th and taking bogey, and he wound up with a 70 to finish in eighth place, four shots behind.

Tringale began the week with questions about disqualifying himself from the PGA Championship several days after the final major ended. He said he had doubts about whether he whiffed a tap-in for bogey and thus signed for a wrong score. He said he wanted a clear conscience.

''Didn't expect it to be this clear,'' Tringale said with a smile.

This was the best finish of his career, and as a byproduct of these FedEx Cup playoffs, it paid off nearly as well as a victory. Tringale, who was No. 61 in the standings, moved all the way up to No. 10 and is virtually certain of being in the FedEx Cup finale at the Tour Championship. That earns him automatic entry into at least three majors, including his first trip to the Masters.

The top 100 players in the FedEx Cup standings advance to the second playoff event next week outside Boston. Seven players outside the top 100 at the start of the week qualified for the Deutsche Bank Championship, including Morgan Hoffmann at No. 124. Hoffman, who grew up minutes away from Ridgewood, played with Mahan and shot 69 to tie for ninth.

Geoff Ogilvy earned the 100th spot, only it wasn't in his hands. Ogilvy missed the cut, and his chances came down to Brendon Todd, who made a 15-foot par putt on the last hole to allow Ogilvy to advance by two points. If Todd had missed the putt, Troy Merritt would have been at No. 100 by about a half-point.

Mahan last won in the Shell Houston Open in 2012, a week before the Masters. But his game slipped the rest of the year. He narrowly missed qualifying for the Ryder Cup team and was passed over as a captain's pick. Just over a year ago, Mahan had the 36-hole lead at the Canadian Open when he withdrew shortly before the third round upon learning his wife had gone into labor with their first child.

To his surprise, his wife and 1-year-old daughter Zoe were waiting for him when he walked off the 18th green as a winner.

Mahan finished at 14-under 270 and earned $1.44 million. He moved to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings, assured of being among the top five players at East Lake with the best shot at capturing the $10 million bonus.

British Open and PGA champion Rory McIlroy, going after his fourth straight victory, closed with a 70 and tied for 22nd.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: