Fulke is Volvo Master
The win was worth more to Fulke than just a $480,000 first-place check, it guarantees him a spot in next week's $5 million WGC-American Express Championship.
Meanwhile, the loss hit Clarke on two fronts. Not only was the Northern Irishman denied his third victory of the season, but he also missed a golden opportunity to distance himself from Lee Westwood in the money race.
Clarke's second-place finish was enough to supplant Westwood at the top of the Volvo Order of Merit. Clarke, who entered the week roughly $70,000 behind his good friend for first place in 2000 earnings, collected $333,500 for his runner-up effort. However, the Englishman fired back-to-back rounds of 65 over the weekend at Montecastillo to tie for third. With one official event remaining on the European schedule, Westwood is a mere $94,000 back of his stablemate.
'It is all going to come down to the last week,' said Clarke, who shot a final-round 68. 'I am a bit disappointed after going out tied for the lead not to win, but Pierre played fantastic down the stretch.'
Clarke, who began the final round tied with Fulke, led by one as the final twosome entered the par-5 16th. Clarke had played the final three holes in 7-under-par over the first three rounds, but it was Fulke who got the better of his playing companion on Sunday.
Fulke coaxed in a 25-foot eagle putt at the 16th to momentarily take the outright lead at 16-under-par, until Clarke dropped in a birdie of his own from eight feet.
Tied at the top, Clarke inexplicably hooked his tee shot at the par-4 17th deep into the left rough. Clarke was forced to lay-up from there and carded a bogey 5.
Now leading by one, Fulke had a chance to end the tournament with a 30-foot birdie at the 72nd hole - he narrowly missed. That gave Clarke a chance to force a playoff from 20 feet, which he was unable to do. Fulke then tapped in for par for a round of 5-under-par 67 and a one-shot victory.
Fulke, who was sidelined for five months due to a wrist injury, adds this title to the one he won earlier in the season at the Scottish PGA Championship.
'To have come back from the injury and play as well as I have is wonderful,' said Fulke, who moves from 31st to 12th on the money list. 'This opens a lot of doors.'
Aside from qualifying for the AmEx Championship, Fulke also leads the Ryder Cup points list.
Michael Campbell kept alive his hopes of capturing the money title by firing a 9-under-par 63 in the final round to tie Westwood for third place. The Kiwi stands in fifth place on the Order of Merit, some $680,000 back of Clarke.
Like Campbell, Colin Montgomerie is 'technically' in the hunt to record his eighth consecutive Order of Merit title. Monty carded a Sunday 65 to tie for ninth this week, and now finds himself nearly $840,000 removed from first place.
One million dollars is on offer to next week's winner in Valderrama, Spain. Both Montgomerie and Campbell must win and hope for a major collapse by, not only Clarke and Westwood, but also Ernie Els and Thomas Bjorn, who reside in third and fourth place, respectively, on the money list.
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
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.
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.