Walters Wins Parmalat Classic
Walters carded a superb 7-under 65 to move to 11-under, holding off South Africa's Nicholas Lawrence by two strokes after he shot a 69.
It was the 23-year-old South African-born Walters' maiden victory as a professional in less than a year in the paid ranks and earned him R31,400.
Walters was born and raised in South Africa but owes his English passport to his English born mother.
He attended North Carolina State on a golf scholarship, Tim Clark's alma mater, where he enjoyed huge success winning four titles and becoming a four-time All American.
And he showed those qualities on Friday by going out in 3-under 33 and then piecing together a string of four consecutive birdies between the 13th and the 16th that killed off the chasing pack.
'The key hole for me was the 12th,' Walters said. 'I made a really good par there, sinking a 30-footer that really got the roll going.
'On 13 I hit the green with my tee-shot and two-putted for a birdie and then on 14 (par-5) I reached the green in two and made another birdie.'
He followed that with birdies on 15 and the par-3 16th, where he holed another putt of 30-feet, to move to 11 under.
'I was trying not to look at the scoreboard's down the stretch, but on 17 there was a huge scoreboard right in my line and I couldn't miss it,' he said. 'Even after I made par there, I didn't think I had it wrapped up.'
Lightning had delayed play on Thursday forcing over 60 players to complete their second rounds on Friday morning.
Walters was one of the lucky players who managed to complete their second rounds on Thursday, although it took almost nine hours.
'Yesterday was a gruelling round but I managed to get some rest last night and I felt fresh when I came out here today,' Walters added.
'I really played solidly on the front nine I didn't really do anything wrong and then I just got going on the back nine. It's great to win as a professional and I suppose this will always be a special moment in my life.'
The Winter leg of the Sunshine Tour takes a short five week break before the players head to Swaziland for the Capital Alliance Royal Swazi Sun Open on May 7.
De Zalze Golf Club
31st March - 2nd April 2004
205 - Justin Walters (ENG) 68 72 65
207 - Nicholas Lawrence 72 66 69
208 - Keith Horne 66 74 68
209 - Steve Basson 70 71 68, Michael Scholz 70 70 69, Jean Hugo 72 67 70, Ian Kennedy 69 67 73
210 - Sammy Daniels 70 72 68
211 - Ulrich van den Berg 70 68 73
212 - Chris Davison 72 70 70, Leon Trenerry 68 73 71
213 - Hendrik Buhrmann 74 69 70, Ryan Dreyer 73 68 72, Alan Michell 69 71 73
214 - John Bele 72 71 71, Albert Kruger 72 72 70, Nico Le Grange 73 72 69
215 - Steve van Vuuren 73 70 72, Grant Muller 70 74 71, Tyrol Auret 71 72 72, Walter Badenhorst-Schnetler 74 69 72, Lindani Ndwandwe 70 71 74, Schalk van der Merwe (NAM) 75 70 70, Patrick O'Brien 71 74 70, Wallie Coetsee 75 70 70
216 - Ben Kleynhans 73 70 73, Hennie Walters 69 75 72
217 - Jason Lipshitz 72 71 74, Ian Hutchings 70 73 74, Trevor Fisher Jnr 71 70 76
218 - Bradley Davison 68 75 75, Mike Lamb (ZIM) 72 71 75, Jason Robertson 76 69 73, Elmar van den Berg 74 71 73
219 - Brett Liddle 69 74 76, William Guy (SCO) 73 71 75, Justin Hobday 72 72 75, Bafana Hlophe 73 71 75
220 - Omar Sandys 70 69 81, Teboho Sefatsa 72 73 75, Dijon Tintinger 73 72 75
221 - Mawonga Nomwa 72 72 77, Shane Howe 75 70 76
227 - Anil Shah (KEN) 74 70 83
DSQ - Wayne de Haas 71 73 DSQ
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.