Palmer a Winner - Then Suddenly a Loser In 61

By George WhiteFebruary 12, 2001, 5:00 pm
The Masters has become known for its winners, but it has also become known for those who looked like they would win but didn't.
 
Arnold Palmer won in 1958 when he lodged a complaint about a penalty. He was penalized on No 12, but played a provisional ball and before the end of the round, was declared to have been right. He won again in 1960 when he sunk a long putt on 17 for birdie, then made another on 18 for birdie and the victory.
 
He thought he had won in 1961, too, as did the entire Masters gallery. He had come to the 18th hole with the lead and placed his tee shot very neatly in the middle of the fairway, looking for all the world like the winner.
 
As he was walking up the fairway, he paused to accept congratulations. Bravo, congrats, well done, they were saying. Palmer did his best to keep from getting ahead of himself, but he admits that he did start working on his victory speech a little early.
 
A 7-iron was all he needed to reach the green. But then disaster struck. Arnold pushed the shot into a bunker on the right side. He had been conscious of having to get it up - up beyond the front edge of the green. But he wasn't fully into the shot, perhaps thinking still about the words of congratulations. He came off it just a little, and it plopped into the sand.
 
He was now angry at himself for being so foolish at taking the congratulations prematurely. As he dug his feet into the sand and swung, he caught the ball thin. It flew out hot, coming to rest on the other side on the green, down a nasty slope.
 
Now he was faced with having to get the shot up and down in two strokes just to tie the man behind him, Gary Player. He attempted to putt it, but it reached the area of the pin and kept on rolling, rolling, 15 feet past.
 
Now he needed to make a 15-footer just to tie. He watched it curl off, and Palmer had a 6 and a defeat in a major he almost surely should have won.
 
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    Watson back in top 40 after OWGR free fall

    By Ryan LavnerFebruary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Bubba Watson ended his free fall in the Official World Golf Ranking with a two-shot victory Sunday at the Genesis Open.

    Watson, a fixture in the top 10 in the world as recently as 13 months ago, had dropped all the way to 117th after a 2017 season in which he struggled with poor form, illness and desire.

    After his third career win at Riviera, he is up to 40th.

    Kevin Na rose from 95th to 65th after tying for second in Los Angeles, while Tony Finau jumped from 41st to 33rd.

    Tiger Woods actually improved in the world ranking, from No. 550 to No. 544, despite a missed cut at the Genesis Open.

    On the European Tour, Joost Luiten surged from 90th to 68th after his victory in Oman.

    The top 10 in the world remained unchanged as the PGA Tour heads into the Florida swing: Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy.

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    Bubba catapults, Phil creeps up in Ryder Cup standings

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 19, 2018, 1:21 pm

    Bubba Watson was an assistant on the 2016 Ryder Cup team. He doesn’t want to be driving a cart in Paris.

    Watson, thanks to his victory in the Genesis Open, jumped from 60th to 10th in the latest U.S. Ryder Cup standings. The top eight after the PGA Championship qualify automatically for this year’s edition at Le Golf National in France.

    Phil Mickelson moved up one spot to 11th after tying for sixth at Riviera Country Club.

    Players will receive one point per dollar earned in regular events this year, with 1.5 points per dollar in majors and two points per dollar for winning a major. Here's a look at the current U.S. standings:

    1. Dustin Johnson

    2. Brooks Koepka

    3. Justin Thomas

    4. Jordan Spieth

    5. Matt Kuchar

    6. Brian Harman

    7. Gary Woodland

    8. Rickie Fowler

    ---

    9. Chez Reavie

    10. Bubba Watson

    11. Phil Mickelson

    12. Patrick Reed


    On the European side, the top four players from the Ryder Cup points list will be joined by the top four qualifiers from the world points list, with captain Thomas Bjorn making four additional selections. Here's a look at the current top names:

    Ryder Cup Points

    1. Justin Rose

    2. Tyrrell Hatton

    3. Ross Fisher

    4. Matthew Fitzpatrick

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Tommy Fleetwood

    3. Sergio Garcia

    4. Rory McIlroy

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    Genesis Open purse payout: Bubba makes bank

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 19, 2018, 1:03 pm

    Bubba Watson won the Genesis Open for a third time on Sunday, moving his career PGA Tour win total to 10. Here's a look at how the purse paid out at Riviera Country Club.

    1 Bubba Watson -12 $1,296,000
    T2 Kevin Na -10 $633,600
    T2 Tony Finau -10 $633,600
    T4 Scott Stallings -9 $316,800
    T4 Patrick Cantlay -9 $316,800
    T6 Adam Hadwin -8 $241,200
    T6 Phil Mickelson -8 $241,200
    T6 Cameron Smith -8 $241,200
    T9 Jordan Spieth -7 $180,000
    T9 Martin Laird -7 $180,000
    T9 Xander Schauffele -7 $180,000
    T9 Ryan Moore -7 $180,000
    T9 Justin Thomas -7 $180,000
    T14 James Hahn -6 $133,200
    T14 Aaron Baddeley -6 $133,200
    T16 Alex Noren -4 $111,600
    T16 Sung-hoon Kang -4 $111,600
    T16 Dustin Johnson -4 $111,600
    T16 Derek Fathauer -4 $111,600
    T20 Rory McIlroy -3 $78,000
    T20 Bud Cauley -3 $78,000
    T20 Kevin Chappell -3 $78,000
    T20 Talor Gooch -3 $78,000
    T20 Jason Kokrak -3 $78,000
    T20 Vaughn Taylor -3 $78,000
    T26 John Huh -2 $46,996
    T26 Peter Uihlein -2 $46,996
    T26 Luke List -2 $46,996
    T26 Rafael Cabrera Bello -2 $46,996
    T26 Patrick Rodgers -2 $46,996
    T26 Jamie Lovemark -2 $46,996
    T26 Dominic Bozzelli -2 $46,996
    T26 Matt Kuchar -2 $46,996
    T26 Anirban Lahiri -2 $46,996
    T26 Sam Saunders -2 $46,996
    T26 Graeme McDowell -2 $46,996
    T37 Branden Grace -1 $33,120
    T37 Tommy Fleetwood -1 $33,120
    T37 Charles Howell III -1 $33,120
    T37 Luke Donald -1 $33,120
    T41 Bryson DeChambeau E $24,516
    T41 Troy Merritt E $24,516
    T41 Kevin Streelman E $24,516
    T41 Pat Perez E $24,516
    T41 Charley Hoffman E $24,516
    T41 Brandon Harkins E $24,516
    T41 Jonas Blixt E $24,516
    T41 Nick Taylor E $24,516
    T49 Austin Cook 1 $17,964
    T49 Brendan Steele 1 $17,964
    T49 Paul Casey 1 $17,964
    T49 Chad Campbell 1 $17,964
    T53 Tom Hoge 2 $16,437
    T53 Benjamin Silverman 2 $16,437
    T53 Li HaoTong 2 $16,437
    T53 Retief Goosen 2 $16,437
    T53 Martin Kaymer 2 $16,437
    T53 Adam Schenk 2 $16,437
    T53 Adam Scott 2 $16,437
    T60 Ryan Blaum 3 $15,696
    T60 J.B. Holmes 3 $15,696
    T60 Harold Varner, III 3 $15,696
    63 Kelly Kraft 4 $15,408
    T64 Padraig Harrington 5 $15,120
    T64 Ryan Armour 5 $15,120
    T64 Sean O'Hair 5 $15,120
    67 Martin Piller 6 $14,832
    T68 Thomas Pieters 7 $14,400
    T68 Greg Chalmers 7 $14,400
    T68 Abraham Ancer 7 $14,400
    T68 Tyrone van Aswegen 7 $14,400
    T68 Charl Schwartzel 7 $14,400
    T73 Vijay Singh 8 $13,896
    T73 Chez Reavie 8 $13,896
    T75 Sang-Moon Bae 10 $13,608
    T75 David Lingmerth 10 $13,608
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    After Further Review: Haas crash strikes a chord

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 19, 2018, 2:39 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.


    On the horrifying car crash involving Bill Haas ...

    I spent a lot of time this week thinking about Bill Haas. He was the passenger in a car crash that killed a member of his host family. That man, 71-year-old Mark Gibello, was a successful businessman in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and a new friend.

    Haas escaped without any major injuries, but he withdrew from the Genesis Open to return home to Greenville, S.C. When he’ll return to the Tour is anyone’s guess. It could be a while, as he grapples with the many emotions after surviving that horrifying crash – seriously, check out the photos – while the man next to him did not.

    The entire Haas clan is some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Wish them the best in their recovery. – Ryan Lavner


    On TIger Woods' missed cut at the Genesis Open ...

    After missing the cut at the Genesis Open by more than a few car lengths, Tiger Woods appeared to take his early exit in stride. Perhaps that in and of itself is a form of progress.

    Years ago, a second-round 76 with a tattered back-nine scorecard would have elicited a wide range of emotions. But none of them would have been particularly tempered, or optimistic, looking ahead to his next start. At age 42, though, Woods has finally ceded that a win-or-bust mentality is no longer helpful or productive.

    The road back from his latest surgery will be a winding one, mixed with both ups and downs. His return at Torrey Pines qualified as the former, while his trunk slam at Riviera certainly served as the latter. There will surely be more of both in the coming weeks and months, and Woods’ ability to stomach the rough patches could prove pivotal for his long-term prognosis. - Will Gray


    On the debate over increased driving distance on the PGA Tour ...

    The drumbeat is only going to get louder as the game’s best get longer. On Sunday, Bubba Watson pounded his way to his 10th PGA Tour title at the Genesis Open and the average driving distance continues to climb.

    Lost in the debate over driving distances and potential fixes, none of which seem to be simple, is a beacon of sanity, Riviera Country Club’s par-4 10th hole. The 10th played just over 300 yards for the week and yet yielded almost as many bogeys (86) as birdies (87) with a 4.053 stroke average.

    That ranks the 10th as the 94th toughest par 4 on Tour this season, ahead of behemoths like the 480-yard first at Waialae and 549-yard 17th at Kapalua. Maybe the game doesn’t need new rules that limit how far the golf ball goes, maybe it just needs better-designed golf holes. - Rex Hoggard


    On the depth of LPGA talent coming out of South Korea ...

    The South Korean pipeline to the LPGA shows no signs of drying up any time soon. Jin Young Ko, 22, won her LPGA debut as a tour member Sunday at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, and Hyejin Choi, 18, nearly won the right to claim LPGA membership there.

    The former world No. 1 amateur who just turned pro finished second playing on a sponsor exemption. Sung Hyun Park, who shared Rolex Player of the Year honors with So Yeon Ryu last year, is set to make her 2018 debut this week at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

    And Inbee Park is set to make her return to the LPGA in two weeks at the HSBC Women’s World Championship after missing most of last year due to injury. The LPGA continues to go through South Korea no matter where this tour goes. - Randall Mell