Molder Regains Lead at Canadian Q-School
The Arkansas native carded a third round even-par 71 and his 54-hole total of 4-under 209 is two shots clear of Marcus Jones and Chris Weil. Will Moore of Dallas, TX, who leapt in front of Molder into first on Tuesday, struggled to a 76 and is now in fourth, four shots off the lead.
Eddie Maunder of Whitby, ON moved up to 11th with a 3-under 68 and is now just seven shots back of Molder.
The Canadian Tour will award exempt cards to the low five scores following Fridays final round, with the next eight plus ties receiving conditional status.
Australian Ben Bunny won the California Q-School by seven shots last week, while American Rob Labritz finished atop the leaderboard at the Florida school earlier this month.
This marks the first time the Canadian Tour has staged three consecutive Winter Qualifying Schools. The initial WQS was held in Myrtle Beach, SC back in 2001, with Orlando, FL playing host to the event for the next two years. Last season, Swedens Anders Hultman won Q-School by a record ten shots before winning the TravelTex.com Canadian Tour Classic in his first Tour start. Hultman would go on to win the Tours International Rookie of the Year Award.
Later this year, Spring Q-School will be held in Kamloops, BC with Fall Q-School closing out the season this September.
Once Q-school wraps up later this week, the Canadian Tour will stay in Austin for the first two official events of 2004. The Barton Creek Classic will be held next week, with the Barton Creek Challenge slated to go the week of March 1-7.
Round 3 Scores
1. Molder, Bryce Conway, AR 67 71 71 209
2. Jones, Marcus Graham, TX 70 70 71 211
2. Weil, Chris San Antonio, TX 72 72 67 211
4. Moore, Will Dallas, TX 70 67 76 213
5. Danielson, Paul Anchorage, AK 74 71 69 214
5. Hoenig, Ron Hobe Sound, FL 73 71 70 214
5. Woodson, Richard Sachse, TX 73 71 70 214
8. Goetze, Nick Valrico, FL 70 73 72 215
8. Maldonado, Antonio Mexico 72 68 75 215
8. Weibring, Matt Dallas, TX 71 71 73 215
11. Karnow, Kyle Sacramento, CA 75 73 68 216
11. Maunder, Eddie Whitby, ON 74 74 68 216
13. Donovan, Matt Pittsfield, MA 76 70 71 217
14. Bloomfield, John Jamaica 76 73 69 218
14. Carpenter, Gary Crofton, MD 74 73 71 218
14. Dillon, Brian Stockton, CA 76 69 73 218
14. McLeod, Mac Brandon, MB 74 73 71 218
14. Parker, Steve Houston, TX 75 71 72 218
14. Porter, Seth Hastings, NE 72 71 75 218
14. Sauger, Mark Moore Haven, FL 77 67 74 218
21. Novoa, Bryan San Antonio, TX 69 74 76 219
22. Humphries, John Baton Rouge, LA 73 72 76 221
22. Kielman, Kirby Austin, TX 78 71 72 221
22. Little, Blake Scottsdale, AZ 77 72 72 221
22. Mouw, Ryan Muskegon, MI 76 75 70 221
26. Alizzeo, Mark Hammock Dunes, FL 78 71 74 223
26. McGowan, Brian Port Saint Lucie, FL 74 75 74 223
26. Smith, Warren Houston, TX 77 76 70 223
26. Staples, Whit Tequesta, FL 79 73 71 223
26. Wall, JJ Austin, TX 76 75 72 223
31. Dawson, Philip Shingle Springs, CA 77 73 74 224
31. Hunt, Randall Arlington, TX 77 74 73 224
31. Newbolt, Tim Maui, HI 74 72 78 224
34. Kim, Tommy Honolulu, HI 73 78 74 225
35. Cassidy, David Scotland 75 77 74 226
35. Hastings, Brad Easton, MD 79 70 77 226
35. O'Reilly, Neill Port Washington, NY 78 76 72 226
35. Warner, Jarrod Phoenix, AZ 78 75 73 226
39. Ibarreche, Juan Pablo Mexico 78 77 72 227
40. Clay, Joshua Scottsdale, AZ 73 84 71 228
40. Mayhew, Drew Kingston, ON 78 77 73 228
42. Walters, Barry Yakima, WA 73 77 79 229
43. Bergstedt III, Russell Phoenix, AZ 76 75 80 231
43. DeGrasse, David Grass Valley, CA 81 77 73 231
43. Kuraoka, Justin Honolulu, HI 77 76 78 231
43. Patterson, Marcus Rancho Cordova, CA 80 74 77 231
47. Kaplar, Jeff Austin, TX 77 75 84 236
47. Stevens, Noah Austin, TX 80 77 79 236
49. Burbidge, David Orangeville, ON 78 79 81 238
50. Olsen, Kevin Newport Beach, CA 87 74 80 241
51. Klotz, David Marble Falls, TX 87 79 81 247
Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss
The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:
Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)
What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.
Round of the day: Sei Young Kim made the day's biggest charge, turning in a 6-under 66 to close the week in a share of 11th at 10 under. Kim made eight birdies during the final round, including five over her first eight holes en route to her lowest round of the week while erasing a third-round 75.
Best of the rest: Jutanugarn seemed like an afterthought as the tournament was winding down, but she kept her hopes alive with an 18-foot birdie on No. 17 and then capitalized on Thompson's mistake with a clutch birdie on the difficult final hole. It capped off a final-round 67 for the Thai who now ends what has been a tumultuous season with a smile on her face.
Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.
Shot of the day: There were only three birdies on No. 18 during the final round before Jutanugarn laced one down the fairway and hit a deft approach to 15 feet. The subsequent putt found the target and gave her win No. 7 on her young LPGA career.
Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win
Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.
He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.
Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:
Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'
Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.
Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.
Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.
"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.
The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.
Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.
"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."
McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open
When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.
Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.
Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.
While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.