Duffy Does Disney
Waldorf began the day six shots back of Flesch, but birdied six of his first seven holes on the Magnolia course en route to his career-low round on the PGA Tour, and the lowest final round to win a Tour event since David Duval carded a 59 at the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
Waldorf finished the tournament at 26-under-par, one shot clear of Flesch, who shot 69 on Sunday. Tiger Woods, who played in the final group with Flesch, also shot 3-under-par 69 to finish in solo third place at 23-under-par.
It appeared as if Sunday's final round would be a two-man race between Flesch and Woods. However, neither man was focused solely on the other. After closing to within two of Flesch following the third round, Woods said he wouldn't be surprised if someone shot a superb sub-par round on Sunday to contend for the title.
'Anyone can shoot 62 out here without batting an eye,' Woods said on Saturday.
He was right.
Playing in the group in front of Woods and Flesch, Waldorf birdied his first three holes, parred the 4th, and then birdied three more holes beginning at the 5th. Duffy went out in 6-under-par 30 to make the turn at 22-under.
Woods and Flesch each played the front-nine steadily, if not spectacularly. Both men carded 1-under-par 35s, with each man posting two birdies and one bogey. Tiger's bogey at the par-3 6th broke a string of 110 consecutive holes at par or better.
A birdie at the par-5 10th gave Duffy a share of the lead with Flesch at 23-under. Woods also birdied the 10th to move to 22-under, one shot off the lead.
For Tiger, it was series of missed opportunities on the back nine. The defending champion recorded only one birdie over his final eight holes to finish the tournament at 23-under, three shots back of the eventual champion.
'It was one of those days where I didn't have much,' Woods said. 'But I hung in there and gave myself a chance.'
Waldorf posted a pair of birdies at the 12th and 15th holes, both par-3s, to move to 25-under, a number that was reached by Flesch following a birdie at the par-4 17th.
With a playoff looming, Waldorf stuck his approach shot on the home hole to 10 feet. Last year, Duffy won twice on the PGA Tour - both coming in sudden death. However, this Sunday, no extra holes were needed. Waldorf converted the birdie putt, his 10th of the day, to enter the clubhouse at 26-under.
Flesch, in search of his first Tour victory, kept his hopes alive by also placing his second shot on the 18th to ten feet. But unlike his 38-year-old predecessor, the 33-year-old left-hander was unable to coax in his birdie effort.
'I knew what I had to do,' Flesch said. 'I just couldn't get it to go. I figured somebody might come from behind because Tiger and I weren't playing that good.'
This is Waldorf's fourth career PGA Tour victory, and his third over the last two seasons. The $540,000 first-place check moved the 14-year Tour veteran to 39th on the money list, not enough to qualify him for next week's Tour Championship, but good enough for a trip to the 2001 season-opening Mercedes Championships.
'Obviously, it's a surprise to me,' Waldorf said of his come-from-behind victory. 'Today, I got everything I could out of the round.'
Chris Perry will be making the northward trek to the East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, Ga., for the $5-million Tour Championship. Perry began the week in 32nd place on the money list, but moved to 30th with a tie for 13th this week. Perry surpassed Rocco Mediate for the final spot in the limited field. Mediate was 30th in earnings as the week began, but missed the cut in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
There are three official tournaments remaining on the 2000 PGA Tour schedule, yet only one of those is a full-field event. Next week's Southern Farm Bureau Classic at the Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Miss., is the final opportunity for players to earn their 2001 PGA Tour playing privileges.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18