Money Title on the Line at ANZ Finale

By Golf Channel NewsroomFebruary 20, 2001, 5:00 pm
This week's Australasian Tour finale, the ANZ Championship in Sydney, Australia will feature a pair of races, one for the tournament title and another for the Order of Merit.
Only three players are still in the hunt for the overall money title, but with a British Open exemption available for the top-3 finishers, many more names have extra incentive to play well this week.

19-year old Aaron Baddeley is comfortably on top of the Order of Merit with $639,525, leading Michael Campbell by almost $165,000. David Smail sits in third with $382,389. Baddeley's spot is secure unless Campbell or Smail win this week. If Campbell takes home the title, Baddeley can still win the title with a top-3 finish. Smail needs a win plus a Baddeley finish outside of the top-35.
'After I won the Australian Open it was definitely a goal,' Baddeley said of winning the Order of Merit. 'It gives you great exemptions to the British Open and the final stage of the US Tour school, if things don't go right in the US.'

'It helped me a lot when Aaron did not play too well last week,' Campbell said. 'But I can't depend on his results. All I can do is go out and play my own game and win.'
A number of players are still in the hunt for the top-3 exemption into this July's British Open. Among those within striking distance are Nick O'Hern, Peter Lonard, Geoff Ogilvy, Rod Pampling and Jarrod Moseley, who won the Order of Merit in 1999.
2000 ANZ Championship winner Andre Stolz will have to defend his title on a different course than last year. After an eight-year absence, Concord Golf Club returns as host, replacing Royal Canberra, where it was played last year. The purse also takes a huge jump, tripling from last year's total, with the winner receiving $270,000.
ANZ Tour Order of Merit through the Ericsson Masters:
1 Aaron Baddeley - $639,525
2 Michael Campbell - 475,702
3 David Smail - 382,389
4 Nick O'Hern - 339,230
5 Peter Lonard - 309,387
6 Robert Allenby - 307,500
7 Geoff Ogilvy - 241,336
8 Greg Norman - 202,483
9 Rod Pampling - 197,446
10 Jarrod Moseley - 180,345
11 Peter O'Malley - 173,492
12 Richard Green - 162,725
13 Scott Laycock - 156,844
14 Nathan Green - 148,212
15 Scott Gardiner - 142,376
16 Paul Gow - 139,614
17 Kenny Druce - 130,163
18 Wayne Smith - 127,353
19 Adam Scott - 123,740
20 Steven Conran - 122,320
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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 25, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Hahn jabs USGA over possible ball rollback

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 4:43 pm

As debate continues to heat up over possible sweeping changes to the golf ball amid distance concerns, PGA Tour pro James Hahn chimed in to question the merits of a potential rollback.

The ball and distance debate gained traction earlier this week when Jack Nicklaus offered that the ball should be rolled back to the approximate distances achieved in 1995, and he put blame for the current situation squarely at the feet of Titleist. That drew a response from former Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who put the onus back on the governing bodies.

It's an issue that will likely be discussed for months to come, but Hahn took to Twitter to throw a jab toward the USGA and play devil's advocate on some key arguments related to a possible rollback:

Hahn, who has two career PGA Tour wins and lost in a playoff last month at the Sony Open, ranks 55th on Tour this season in driving distance with an average of 301.2 yards off the tee.

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Na fires back over slow play criticism from cricketer

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 4:00 pm

Kevin Na fired back over recent criticism he received about his purported slow play at last week's Genesis Open.

Kevin Pietersen is a retired English cricketer with more than 3.6 million followers on Twitter. He tweeted a video of Na, known as one of the slower players on the PGA Tour, taking more than a minute to line up and hit what he described as a "Tap In" during the final round at Riviera:

He then added another video of himself on a green in Dubai, where he again called out Na and showed how long he believed it should take for a player to brush in a short putt:

Na has faced his fair share of slow play criticism, but this time he decided to defend himself. Na isn't on Twitter, but he took to Instagram to tell Pietersen to "stick to your own sport," pointing out both the length of the putt in question and the stakes that were involved during the final round, when Na went on to tie for second behind Bubba Watson:

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Pepperell wins his first European Tour title in Qatar

By Associated PressFebruary 25, 2018, 3:31 pm

DOHA, Qatar - Eddie Pepperell survived a tense finish to win the Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club on Sunday for his maiden European Tour title.

The 27-year-old Englishman held off a spirited challenge from compatriot Oliver Fisher, who needed a third successive birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff, but had his putt from six feet slip past the hole for a par.

Pepperell shot a 2-under-par 70 for a four-day tally of 18 under 270, while Fisher, who started the day tied for the lead, could only manage a 71.

Sweden's Marcus Kinhult (68) finished third at 16-under.

The No. 154-ranked Pepperell made things difficult for himself with a bogey on the 15th hole, but hit a superb wedge to three feet on the next to get back to 18 under again.

Fisher, who appeared to have fallen out of contention with three bogeys starting on the third hole, stormed back with birdies on the 14th, 16th and 17th holes.

On the last, Pepperell laid up with his second into the thick rough, made wet and unwieldy by rain in the Qatar capital, but found the green in three and two-putted for the win when Fisher missed his birdie putt.

Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

''I did the things I needed to do, I didn't play fantastic but I won ugly and for the first win to be ugly is good. Hopefully, I'll have some prettier ones in the future,'' said Pepperell.

''I knew I was playing well, especially tee to green, so I expected a lot of myself this week and I guess to pull it off is amazing. When Oli birdied the 17th, that was when it really caught up with me that I was only one ahead. I was in my own zone, I knew I had a couple of shots of lead but Oli did great. It was a tough front nine for him and I had to stay right in my own way and out of the two guys' way because they were struggling a bit and it's sometimes easy to get dragged into that.''

Fisher was disappointed, but saw the silver lining in the way he fought back.

''It went all the way to the last hole which, after my front nine, was what I was hoping for on the back nine,'' said Fisher, who won the 2011 Czech Open, but recorded his first top-three finish since the 2014 Africa Open.

''I hit a lot of good shots coming down the back nine and gave myself a lot of good chances, but there were just too many bogeys today, four in total, so you're never going to win a tournament making that many mistakes on a Sunday. But at least I pressed him all the way.''

Italian Renato Paratore (66) had the low round of the day and finished tied for fourth place at 15 under par, where he was joined by the Spanish pair of Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Pablo Larrazabal along with Gregory Havret of France.