Parnevik Survives Near Crash at Honda

By Mercer BaggsMarch 11, 2001, 5:00 pm
The final result of the Honda Classic proved to be a frustrating one for all but one man. Jesper Parnevik scrambled for an even-par 72 and a one-shot victory over Mark Calcavecchia, Craig Perks and Geoff Ogilvy, all of whom bogeyed the 72nd hole.

Parnevik becomes just the second wire-to-wire winner (Tim Herron, 1996) in the event's 29-year history. He also becomes the fifth straight Florida resident to win this tournament, which has been contested at the TPC at Heron Bay each of the past five years.
Parnevik comments on his Honda Classic win.

'It was probably one of my biggest wins, confidence-wise,' said Parnevik, who collected $576,000. 'This was an important win for myself.'
Parnevik entered the final round with a three-stroke lead at 19-under, but remained there as he made the turn. The Swede carded a birdie on the par-4 2nd, but dropped that shot with a bogey on the par-5 9th.
Playing alongside Parnevik, Calcavecchia pulled to within two shots with back-to-back birdies at the third and fourth holes. He then fell four back with a double bogey at the par-4 6th.
Calcavecchia, who fades the ball, tried to fight the left-to-right wind and placed his tee shot through a fairway bunker and onto the face of the lip.
'I tried to hit a 3-iron out of there and I caught it pretty solid, but the wind got it right away and then I had another terrible lie right at the green of the rough,' Calcavecchia later described.
He failed to get his next shot on the green and then left his fourth attempt six feet short of the hole.
'I actually hit a good putt there and misread it,' he said of his missed bogey effort.
Calcavecchia comments on the Honda Classic.
While Calc was slipping, a couple of Australians were rising to the top. Perks, who started the day seven shots off the lead, made his way to 18-under thanks to five birdies and an eagle over his first 14 holes.
He remained there entering the par-4 18th, where he missed the green left on his approach shot and then pitched to within 10 feet of the hole. Perks missed the par save to finish the day at 17-under after a final-round 66.
'I had a chance,' said Perks, believing his fate had already been sealed after signing his scorecard. 'I would have liked to have made par or even birdie on 18.'
Still, the runner-up finish was enormously positive for the two-time Q-School grad. He missed all five cuts on the West Coast.
'After the start of the year - I would have like to have won, but, overall, it's been a good week,' said Perks, who earned his first paycheck of the year worth $238,933.
Playing in the penultimate group, Ogilvy took sole possession of the lead at 19-under with a birdie on the par-3 11th. He stayed on that number until a bogey at the par-3 15th.
Ogilvy came up short with a 3-iron from 221 yards and three-putted from off the green. Then, like his countryman, Ogilvy missed the green with his approach at the 18th. He chipped to six feet, where he missed his par effort.
Though visibly frustrated - he kicked his bag to the ground after signing his scorecard - Ogilvy signed autographs and talked to the media.
'The finish was very, very poor,' he said. 'I had a good putt, I had a really good putt at it and it just didn't go. I'm pretty disappointed, really. I had a big chance today.'
This is the PGA Tour rookie's career best finish in the States. He did, however, finish runner-up in the 1999 and 2000 Johnnie Walker Classics on the European Tour; the latter of which he finished behind Tiger Woods.
Calcavecchia was the last man to make a run at Jesper. Playing this week despite knee surgery two weeks ago, Calc birdied the 11th and 17th holes to move to 18-under, one shot back of Parnevik entering the final hole.
Off the tee it was advantage Calcavecchia. The 2001 Phoenix Open champion laced his tee shot into the fairway, while Parnevik found the left-hand fairway bunker.
Jesper's second shot came up short and left of the green. Meanwhile, Calcavecchia tried to hit a 4-iron from 176 yards into a 20 mph wind. Unfortunately for him, the grandstands blocked the wind and the ball sailed to the back of the green, some 50 feet from the hole.
'It could have been my best shot of the week, a perfect swing,' Calcavecchia said. 'And I actually had a fairly bad break by having the ball end up right on the edge of the fringe. The first 25 feet of the putt, in order to get it close, I had to miss the fringe by about six inches or less, and so I was focused on hitting the first 25 feet of the putt.
'And I hit it right dead where I wanted to. I just forgot how long of a putt I had, evidently.'
Calcavecchia lagged his ball 15 feet short of the hole. Still away after Parnevik pitched his third shot 12 feet past the cup, Calc then lipped out his par save.
'The second putt I hit was as good as I could hit a putt,' he said. 'It caught a piece of the hole and didn't go.'
Jesper eventually two-putted for bogey and a one-shot victory, his fifth on the Tour.
'It was a very interesting day out there,' said Parnevik, who opted not to light his traditional victory cigar. 'And even though I would have loved to have holed the putt to win myself, I'll take it any way I can; even though I feel for Calc. I know how special this event is for Calc.'
The loss was bittersweet for the two-time Honda champion. He wasn't going to play this week because of his knee, but decided to give it a go since he lives just 45 miles from the Coral Springs, Fla., venue.
'I'm obviously pretty disappointed,' said Calcavecchia, who nearly took the paint off a broadcast booth with a couple of vicious swipes with his hat. 'I goofed up. I had my chance. I don't want to say Jesper didn't deserve to win, but I certainly look at it as I kind of blew it.
'To accomplish what I did this week, coming off the knee surgery, I think, is a pretty impressive accomplishment. It just doesn't feel like it right now.'
News, Notes and Numbers
*16-year-old high school sophomore Ty Tryon
shot a final-round 4-under-par 68 to finish in a tie for 39th. He was then given a sponsor's exemption into next year's event.
*John Daly double bogeyed the final hole to shoot an even-par 72. He missed what would have been just his second top-10 finish since 1998 by one stroke. He tied for 11th.
*Joe Durant, who had won in each of his previous two starts, tied for fifth after rounds of 67-71-66-69.
*This is the third time in five tries Jesper Parnevik has successfully converted a 54-hole lead into victory. He also won the 1999 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic in wire-to-wire fashion.
Click here for full-field scores from the Honda Classic
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McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.