Gibson Wins Austin Pro-Am

By Marty HenwoodMarch 15, 2005, 5:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeAUSTIN, Texas -- It turned out to be a 7,000-yard stroll in the park for Scott Gibson Tuesday as the Californian breezed to his first championship at the season-opening Barton Creek Austin Canadian Tour Pro Am Classic presented by Yes! Golf.
Heading into the day three shots in front of Erik Compton, the 31-year-old fired a final-round 2-under 70 and finished four trips around Barton Creek Resort and Spa with an 8-under 278 total, a full nine shots clear of runners-up Compton, Brian Guetz and five-time PGA Tour champion Blaine McCallister.
Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ont., the circuit Most Improved Canadian in 2004, came in with a 73 to wind up in a tie for sixth spot at plus-3.
Guetz, who played north of the border in 2000 and 2001, earned his way back on Tour earlier this month at Winter Qualifying School in California.
For Compton, Tuesday marked his sixth consecutive top-three finish dating back to last year. In that span, the former U.S. Walker and Palmer Cup team member, who led the Canadian Tour in earnings in 2004, has notched wins at the E-Loan Central Valley Classic and the MTS Classic.
But this week belonged to Scott Gibson.
It was the largest margin of victory on the Canadian Tour since 1999 when American Arron Oberholser set a Tour record with an 11-shot triumph at the Ontario Open Heritage Classic. Derek Gillespie of Oshawa, Ont. won the 2003 Corona Ixtapa Classic by eight strokes.
Im just ecstatic, said Gibson. What better feeling can you have than this?
Even more impressive is the fact that Gibson, at eight strokes in the red, was the only player under par for the week.
Any hopes of a dramatic finish in the 2005 Tour curtain-raiser were erased before the leaders turned for home as Compton faltered early, allowing Gibson to increase his edge to seven shots. With just one question remaining--whether or not Gibson would equal or surpass Oberholsers benchmark--the trophy engraver in Austin likely had an early day Tuesday.
You know, I wasnt even telling myself I only had nine holes to go, he admitted. I was playing head games with myself, telling myself there were three full rounds left. You start trying to protect that lead, and you never know what can happen. I just wanted it to end, but at the same time I was telling myself Youve worked hard for this. This is what it is all about. Enjoy it.
Tuesday afternoon marked the end of a frustrating year and a half for Gibson, who had a season-best 11th-place showing at Barton Creek in his 2003 rookie season. After placing 68th on the money list that year to retain his playing card, Gibson missed the entire 2004 campaign recovering from shoulder surgery. Using a medical exemption for this year, Gibson couldnt have asked for a more memorable return to the Canadian Tour ranks. He led for the final three rounds of the tournament and will now hold exempt status through 2007.

But even in his finest hour as a pro, Gibson couldnt help but tip his cap to Compton.
Erik is not only a great player, but just a great guy. His game was going sideways today, and he was rooting me on. He was telling me he was playing for second, that my game was just too strong this week. Id have no problems teeing it up with him again. He is a fantastic guy to play a round of golf with.
Medallists at the two recent winter qualifying schools made substantial moves north on the leaderboard in the final round. Chris Cureton of McKinney, Tex. vaulted 30 spots to 14th with a final-round 66. Close friends and California Q-School co-medallists John Mallinger and Peter Tomasulo each carded a 67 to move into fifth and sixth, respectively. Mallinger began the day in 24th place while Tomasulo was 30th.
It is a short week for the Canadian Tour as the Barton Creek Austin Canadian Tour Challenge presented by Yes! Golf is slated to get underway Thursday. The Golf Channel will feature live four-round coverage to wrap up the two-week Texas swing.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Barton Creek Ausitn Pro-Am
  • Full Coverage - Barton Creek Austin Pro-Am
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    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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    Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

    SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

    Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

    Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

    With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

    ''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

    Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.

    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

    ''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

    Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

    Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

    He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    "I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.