Thomsen Lays Claim to Senior Club ProTitle

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 26, 2003, 5:00 pm
PGA of AmericaAfter 72 holes and three holes of sudden-death Jeff Thomsen of Boise, Idaho, dropped in a par putt to defeat Jon Fiedler of Camarillo, Calif., and lay claim to the 2003 Callaway Golf PGA Senior Club Professional Championship at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Thomsen, who is the head professional at Indian Lake Golf Club in Boise, Idaho, three-putted the 72-hole to fall into the playoff with Fiedler, but eventually won the $18,000 first place check.
Third round leader Lonnie Nielsen of East Aurora, N.Y., finished alone in third place.
The top 35 spots gain entry into the 2004 Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

Player Money Score
Jeff THOMSEN, Boise, Idaho $18,000 69-70-73-70--282
Jon FIEDLER, Camrillo, Calif. $14,000 73-68-71-70--282
Lonnie NIELSEN, East Aurora, N.Y. $11,500 70-73-68-72--283
Mike SAN FILIPPO, Hobe Sound, Fla. $8,500 72-68-73-71--284
Darrell KESTNER, Glen Cove, N.Y. $8,500 70-71-71-72--284
Roger KENNEDY, Stuart, Fla. $8,500 69-73-70-72--284
Don BRIGHAM, Rumson, N.J. $6,500 68-73-72-72--285
Bob RALSTON, Little Rock, Ark. $4,800 69-72-76-69--286
Buddy HARSTON, Lexington, Ky. $4,800 67-75-74-70--286
Dick McCLEAN, La Quinta, Calif. $4,800 71-75-70-70--286
Patrick O'BRIEN, Coral Gables, Fla. $4,800 71-72-73-70--286
Bobby HEINS, White Plains, N.Y. $4,800 71-69-75-71--286
Jim WHITE, Lincoln, Neb. $3,750 71-73-75-68--287
Will FRANTZ, North Port, Fla. $3,750 70-74-73-70--287
Bill SCHUMAKER, Columbia City, Ind. $3,750 71-71-71-74--287
John AUBREY, Butler, Pa. $3,062.50 72-71-75-70--288
Jerry TUCKER, Stuart, Fla. $3,062.50 68-77-72-71--288
Bob BOYLE, Kingsport, Tenn. $3,062.50 67-72-74-75--288
Roy VUCINICH, Moon Township, Pa. $3,062.50 72-69-71-76--288
Paul PARAJECKAS, Woburn, Mass. $2,800 73-73-77-66--289
Terry FLORENCE, Awendaw, S.C. $2,458.34 70-73-76-71--290
James B MASSERIO SR., West Chester, Pa. $2,458.34 71-76-72-71--290
Ed SABO, Tequesta, Fla. $2,458.33 72-74-72-72--290
Roy V. CHRISTENSEN, Spanish Fork, Utah $2,458.33 71-74-73-72--290
Jim FELLNER, Little River, S.C. $2,458.33 69-74-74-73--290
Tom HERZAN, Findlay, Ohio $2,458.33 70-72-74-74--290
Gary SOWINSKI, Rancho Santa Fe, Ca. $2,125 75-72-72-72--291
Gary BAKER, Naples, Fla. $2,125 69-75-74-73--291
John BROTT, Sanford, Fla. $2,125 70-74-74-73--291
Michael HARRIGAN, Medinah, Ill. $2,125 75-70-71-75--291
Bob GIUSTI, Carver, Mass. $1,950 76-70-73-73--292
Pete OAKLEY, Lincoln, Del. $1,950 71-74-77-70--292
Scott BESS, Columbia, Mo. $1,950 71-76-69-76--292
Jerry WISZ, Covina, Calif. $1,750 66-74-78-75--293
Bob BILBO, Olney, Md. $1,750 73-73-72-75--293
Tom STRUEBER, Carrollton, Texas $1,750 70-76-76-71--293
George NEWBECK, Maryville, Tenn. $1,750 68-71-78-76--293
Tom JOYCE, Long Island, N.Y. $1,750 73-71-73-76--293
David LUNDSTROM, Houston, Texas $1,475 73-72-74-75--294
Tony SARACENO, Cortland, N.Y. $1,475 72-73-74-75--294
Michael ZINNI, Mankato, Minn. $1,475 69-78-74-73--294
Marty FLECKMAN, Cypress, Texas $1,475 74-73-76-71--294
Ken CORLISS, Ashville, Ohio $1,475 73-71-80-70--294
Gregg WOLFF, Metter, Ga. $1,475 72-74-79-69--294
Mike MURANYI, Monroe, Wis. $1,250 69-72-77-77--295
Gary GROH, Lake Bluff, Ill. $1,250 71-75-75-74--295
Jim DICKSON, Rio Rancho, N.M. $1,250 73-72-77-73--295
Gary OSTREGA, Westfield, N.J. $1,140 70-76-75-75--296
Bern COULTER, Wilmington, N.C. $1,140 73-70-78-75--296
Bob ZIMMERMAN, St. Lucie West, Fla. $1,140 72-74-77-73--296
Vic LIPSCOMB, Moore, S.C. $1,140 73-72-79-72--296
Carter MURCHISON, Palm City, Fla. $1,140 73-74-77-72--296
John CALABRIA, Naples, Fla. $1,046.67 70-76-74-77--297
Brent BUCKMAN, BeeCave, Texas $1,046.67 72-75-73-77--297
Earl SVENNINGSEN, Golden, Colo. $1,046.67 71-70-77-79--297
Steve HECKEL, Carterville, Ill. $1,046.67 76-71-75-75--297
Bob ACKERMAN, W. Bloomfield, Mich. $1,046.66 71-70-74-82--297
Pete BUSCH, Scotch Plains, N.J. $1,046.66 75-72-78-72--297
Rick OSBERG, Chester Springs, Pa. $1,000 73-72-75-78--298
Gus HOLBROOK, Orlando, Fla. $1,000 73-74-77-74--298
Bob DIAMOND, Lufkin, Texas $1,000 74-73-79-72--298
Richie BASSETT, Palm Bch Gdns, Fla. $965 70-77-75-77--299
Jack McCONACHIE, Southington, Conn. $965 72-71-80-76--299
Greg HARMON, Mesa, Ariz. $965 70-74-80-75--299
Doug STEFFEN, Summit, N.J. $965 73-74-79-73--299
Dale BOGGS, Maryland Heights, Mo $930 73-73-72-82--300
John GENTILE, Richmondville, N.Y. $930 73-74-75-78--300
Jerry IMPELLITTIERE, New Windsor, N.Y. $930 72-75-80-73--300
Kim DOLAN, Las Vegas, Nev. $900 75-71-72-83--301
Craig KEALEY, Wallingford, Conn. $900 71-75-79-76--301
Reid SCHRONCE, Wilmington, N.C. $900 71-74-81-75--301
CHRIS RIGDON, Trussville, Ala. $870 78-69-77-78--302
Mike BUSS, Henderson, Nev. $870 70-77-81-74--302
Jerry GARRISON, Little Rock, Ark. $870 78-69-82-73--302
Marion HECK, Ft. Myers Bch, Fla. $845 74-72-78-79--303
Denny LYONS, St. Petersburg, Fla. $845 76-71-79-77--303
Edward Fisher, Grants Pass, Ore. $830 75-72-73-84--304
Carl PEDERSEN, Navarre, Fla. $815 78-67-81-79--305
Denis HUSSE, Fenton, Mich. $815 72-71-85-77--305
Photo by Enrique Berardi/LAAC

Top-ranked amateur Niemann one back at LAAC in Chile

By Nick MentaJanuary 21, 2018, 8:44 pm

Argentina’s Jaime Lopez Rivarola leads the Latin America Amateur Championship at 5 under par following a round of 3-under 68 Saturday in Chile.

The former Georgia Bulldog is now 36 holes from a trip to Augusta.

He is followed on the leaderboard by the three players who competed in the playoff that decided last year’s LAAC in Panama: Joaquin Niemann (-4), Toto Gana (-4), and Alvaro Ortiz (-3).

Chile’s Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who currently holds conditional status on the Tour and is poised to begin his career as a professional, unless of course he takes the title this week. After a disappointing 74 in Round 1, Niemann was 10 shots better in Round 2, rocketing up the leaderboard with a 7-under 64.

Niemann’s fellow Chilean and best friend Gana is the defending champion who missed the cut at the Masters last year and is now a freshman at Lynn University. His second-round 70 was a roller coaster, complete with six birdies, three eagles and a double.

Mexico’s Ortiz, the brother of three-time Tour winner Carlos, was 6 under for the week before three back-nine bogeys dropped him off the pace.

Two past champions, Matias Dominguez and Paul Chaplet, sit 5 over and 7 over, respectively.

The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship earns an invite to this year’s Masters. He is also exempt into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open sectional qualifying, and Open Championship final qualifying.

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McIlroy gets back on track

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 21, 2018, 3:10 pm

There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:

He is well ahead of schedule.

Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.

“Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”

To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”

And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out. 

Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.

“I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”

The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.

The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)

But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.

Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.

Everything in his life is lined up.

Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.

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Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.