Toms Finds Success Yet Again at Kingsmill

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 7, 2001, 4:00 pm
Once again, David Toms is making a case for himself as one of the games elite, as the Louisiana native carded a final-round 68 on Sunday for a successful defense of the Michelob Championship.
 
Toms ended the event at 15-under-par 269, one stroke better than Kirk Triplett (66) and four better than Charles Howell III (67) and Esteban Toledo (70).
 
With victory, the 35-year-old has now won three times on the PGA Tour in 2001.
 
He took the Compaq Classic of New Orleans in May and followed it up with the Wanamaker Trophy at this years PGA Championship.
 
His triumph Sunday gives him seven for his career, and since 1999, only Tiger Woods has taken more trophies. Toms is now tied with Phil Mickelson and David Duval on that mark of seven.
 
Equally impressive, he has now won five times on seven occasions in which he has taken a lead into the final round.
 
As demonstrated at the Atlanta Athletic Club, site of this years PGA, there seems to be no better closer than Toms.
 
He appears to be the Real Deal.
 
Starting the day with a two-stroke lead, Toms immediately put space between he and the rest of the field with a birdie right off the bat at the par-4 1st, and added three more over his next six holes.
 
One more birdie at No. 14 gave Toms some breathing room, which he would need, as he bogied the 17th.
 
'I got over to 17 and put a bad swing on it and obviously I made it pretty interesting here on the last hole,' said Toms.
 
In the meantime, Triplett was showing moments of brilliance on Sunday, rattling in three birdies on the front nine and three more over the back.
 
Had it not been for a lone bogey at the par-4 11th, the floppy-hat-wearing winner of the 00 Nissan Open might have had a chance in the end.
 
Likewise, young Howell made a good run as well, with three birdies over his last five holes, but he was just too far back thanks to a third-round 71.
 
In the end, it was just Toms, as he placed a 5-iron pin-high on the closing par-4 18th, and successfully two-putted for 68 and the one-shot win.
 
'I played some good golf this weekend,' said Toms. 'It was just solid golf tee to green.'
 
For the performance, Toms takes home a check worth $630,000. He moves from fifth to third on the official money list with $3.3 million.
 
For the year, only Woods and Mickelson stand in front of him in that race.
 
Click Here for Full-Field Scores from the Michelob Championship at Kingsmill.
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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.