Records Peats and Feats

By Dena DavisApril 20, 2009, 4:00 pm
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LIFE OF BRIAN: PGA Tour Journeyman Brian Gay rewrote the golf history books Sunday, capping off a record-breaking tournament with a 7-under 64 final round at Harbour Town and setting marks for scoring, margin of victory and fewest bogeys over 72 holes. The 37-year-old, who grinded on Tour more than a decade before notching his first career win in his 293rd start last year, at long-last earned himself an invitation to the Masters ' something his opposite-event victory in Mexico at the 2008 Mayakoba Classic did not afford him.
BackspinAfter years of near-misses and coming up warning-track-power short, Gay went deep with a moonshot-blast clear out of the Verizon Heritage ballpark. He must have felt like the Cleveland Indians at the new home of the Yankees. Yes, the Harbour Town stadium definitely suited him, as did the tartan jacket ' which we think is an auspicious sign for the former University of Florida All-American, who spent part of his childhood in Moultrie, Georgia. Back then, he and his family made several pilgrimages to the pearly gates of Augusta National, where the young Joseph Brian Gay dreamed of one day playing for the green jacket. If Gay's last two seasons on Tour are any indication of where this reserved, man-of-few-words is headed, then we like him as the quiet dark horse in the 2010 Masters field. Particularly, if the Gators win another National Championship in football. Interestingly, the only golfer to win two Southeastern Conference championships has now scored a pair of PGA Tour touchdowns with both coming mere months after a BCS national championship for his school.


HERE'S TO YOU, GAYLE DIMAGGIO... Pro-Am staple Bill Murray's wayward tee shot on No. 9 hole at TPC Tampa Bay, knocked a neighborhood woman in the noggin as she was standing in her own backyard in Friday's opening round of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Gayle DiMaggio, who lives with her husband in a house on the course, was looking to get a glimpse of the tournament's celebrities when Carl Spackler hooked his drive right into her head. After returning home from the hospital with stitches, she had only one request for Murray: a signed copy of his movie Caddyshack.
BackspinFirst, there's a joke in there somewhere about a comedian leaving her in stitches... Too easy? Maybe. But we're not above layups here. A point is a point. And our second point is, if we're Gayle DiMaggio, we are milking this injury for all it's worth. We'd also insist on signed copies of Stripes, Ghostbusters, Lost in Translation, Groundhog Day, Rushmore, a role with him in his next movie, a shout-out in US Weekly magazine in the 'Stars! They're just like us!' section, a few rounds of golf at Pebble, and maybe a leisurely golf cart cruise thru Stockholm, Sweden with the funny man at the wheel. Yes, a nation turned it's lonely eyes to DiMaggio, and Gayle blew it. She had the opportunity to let her fellow man live vicariously through her as Bill Murray's new 'BFF.' Instead, she settled for a stinking DVD marred with illegible ink. So, yeah. She has that going for her, which is nice...


ONE THE HARD WAY: Nick Price ended an 0-for-38 streak on the Champions Tour Sunday, when he clinched the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am title for his long-awaited maiden Senior victory. But the 'W' was not without some drama as the Zimbabwean carded three double-bogeys in his final-round front nine ' finding water on two of those holes. Price had to birdie Nos. 13-15 to get back to 9 under and regain some confidence. I am absolutely dumbfounded by this round,' the 52-year-old said afterward. 'I might make some bogeys, but not three double bogeys like that. It supposed to be easier when you get older.
BackspinNot really, Nick. When you're oh-fer, it gets harder to win as you get older. Just ask Sergio Garcia.


WHAT ARE THE (T)ODDS?: Brendon Todd made Nationwide Tour history by making a hole-in-one at the same hole two days in a row at the Athens Regional Foundation Classic this week. The Todd (for you 'Scrubs' fans) made the first ace on Thursday with a 7-iron on the par-3 17th hole from 157-yards. On Friday, he opted for an 8-iron at the same tee box at the Jennings Mill Country Club course and slam-dunked that one, as well. Its still hard to believe, Todd said after posting a 1-under 71 in the second round. Its a bit surreal, even now.
Backspin It is hard to believe, Brendon. You now hold a record that even Tiger Woods may never touch. Those odds are crazy. I suppose the next thing you'll tell me is that the hard-luck sports city of Philadelphia scored three 'aces' of their own this weekend with a Phillies walkoff home-run, a Flyers post-season victory, and a Sixers last-second winner in the playoffs. Now, that would be unbelievable. (Although, that town could use something special to help ease the loss of the great Harry Kalas.) All we know is that the stars must have been aligned in Athens, GA. It's no coincidence that Todd's alma mater, located just another 7-iron ace away from his rare feat, celebrated an unprecedented fifth consecutive national title for the Lady Dawgs women's gymnastics team the very same weekend. Not even Tiger has five-peated like that.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Colin Montgomerie verbally dressed down a photographer who was snapping pictures in his backswing during his second round Friday at the Volvo China Open .... Tiger Woods was courtside for his Orlando Magic's first playoff game Sunday, a surprising 100-98 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers ... Boo Weekley failed to defend his title at the Verizon Heritage coming up well short of completing the Harbour Town hat-trick...
Backspin When informed of Monty's outspoken reaction to the camera man during in the Scot's 1-over 73 round in Beijing, John Daly and Stevie Williams said they were not impressed ... The world's No. 1 golfer witnessed a stunning late-game fold by his favorite NBA team Sunday in the 'Blue-and White-Ignite' Amway Arena. We're just relieved Kenny Perry isn't a Magic fan (though he follows the blue and white of the University of Kentucky). Two Sundays in a row of that collapsing nonsense would be devastating for the poor guy .... It's probably for the best that Weekley only managed a T13 finish at his Hilton Head home-away-from-home. Had the Milton, Florida native three-peated, he surely would've had to share his title success with Pat Riley when the mass-produced camoflauge-tartan commemorative t-shirts and koozies brought royalties into question. Unlesssssss, Boo had coined his own phrase....'Tartan-peat.'

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

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'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

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

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

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.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship

With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."