Appleby Roars Back to Defend Mercedes Title

By Sports NetworkJanuary 9, 2005, 5:00 pm
04 Mercedes ChampionshipsKAPALUA, Hawaii -- Stuart Appleby shot a 6-under 67 on Sunday to win the season-opening Mercedes Championships for the second straight year. Appleby finished the event at 21-under-par 271 on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort for a one-shot victory over Jonathan Kaye.
Tiger Woods carded a 68 to join Ernie Els in a tie for third at 19-under-par 273. Vijay Singh, Adam Scott and Stewart Cink were one shot further back at 18-under-par 274.
Appleby was four strokes behind Singh to start the final round and moved his way up the leaderboard with a strong front nine. Appleby, who edged Singh to win this event last year, picked up his first birdie of the day at the par-4 third and reached 17 under with a birdie at the par-5 fifth.
The Australian drilled a perfect tee shot at the reachable par-4 sixth and watched as his ball rolled onto the front of the green, coming to rest 14 feet from the hole. Appleby converted the eagle try to go to minus-19.
While his challengers were struggling on the inward half of the saturated course that experienced a four-hour delay at the beginning of the day, Appleby was steady in the wind and drained a 15-foot putt for a birdie at the par-4 12th.
Appleby then parred his next four holes before running in a long birdie putt at the par-4 17th to secure his sixth career victory on the PGA Tour and a return trip to Kapalua next season.
Kaye matched Singh early with a birdie at the third but gave that stroke back with a bogey at the fifth. He holed out for an eagle at the par-5 ninth, however, to stay in the mix and took the outright lead with a birdie at the very next hole.
The 34-year-old stumbled to a bogey at the par-4 12th to fall back to 20 under and was unable to make a move down the stretch en route to the runner-up finish.
'It's a good way to start the year,' said Kaye. 'Obviously finishing second isn't too bad.'
Woods, whose lone tour victory in 2004 came at the WGC-Match Play Championship, found trouble early with a bogey at the par-4 third. He answered strongly, however, with three consecutive birdies starting at the par-5 fifth to move to 16 under.
He added a birdie at the 12th and rolled in an 8-foot putt for a birdie at the par-5 15th. Woods then birdied the closing hole to join Els in a tie for third.
'If I can just get the putter rolling a little bit more than I did obviously this week, the ball-striking is there,' said Woods. 'I'm really excited the way I was able to control my ball all week.'
Els, who shot a 71, was cruising along over the closing holes until an errant tee shot par-5 18th resulted in a late bogey.
Singh, who was in control of the tournament throughout the week, managed a triple-bogey at the par-4 13th and was never able to recover. The top-ranked player in the world countered with a birdie at the 14th for a round of 74.
David Toms and Vaughn Taylor shared eighth place at 16-under-par 276. Sergio Garcia and Craig Parry were seven shots off the pace at 14-under-par 278.
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    Watch that time Tiger throttled Ames, 9 and 8

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 4:54 pm

    Nine and eight. Three words that live in golf lore. Just say them and any golf fan can tell you what they mean.

    In the 2006 WGC-Match Play, Tiger Woods faced Stephen Ames in the opening round. Ames, when asked prior to the event about his chance of winning, infamously said, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting it."

    What happened on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at La Coasta Resort & Spa, was the most lopsided result in tournament history: 9 and 8 Check out the highlights below:

    After his win, Woods was asked if Ames' comment had motivated him. Woods replied, "9 and 8."

    Woods eventually lost, 1 up, to Chad Campbell in the third round. He then won his next start at Doral and went on to finish the season with six consecutive Tour wins, including The Open and PGA. He also won his first start in 2007 to make it seven consecutive Tour titles.

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    Schedule change, caddie change for Casey at Match Play

    By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 4:12 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Paul Casey originally planned to skip the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, opting for two weeks off before the Masters.

    Those plans changed when he removed the Arnold Palmer Invitational from his schedule and returned home to England last week to attend the funeral of a family friend. That adjustment also prompted a caddie change this week, with Scott Vail stepping in for the Englishman’s normal caddie, John McLaren.

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    “We looked at tickets and it just didn't make sense for Johnny to fly back. We try and base our schedule around playing the best golf possible, but also having quality family time,” Casey said on Tuesday at Austin Country Club. “For Johnny to break up a nice three-week break with his family, there was no point to ruining that.”

    This isn’t the first time Casey, who won the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, has needed a replacement caddie. At last year’s Travelers Championship, McLaren took a similar break and was replaced on the bag by Shannon Wallace. Although it’s not uncommon for caddies to take a week off, McLaren does have one stipulation.

    “The only rule we have is that if Johnny is not going to work, he picks my caddie. So he picked the caddie,” said Casey, who is 20-12-1 in 12 starts at the Match Play and has advanced to the championship match twice.

    Westchester Country Club hosted the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship. (Getty) Getty Images

    Westchester selected to host 2021 U.S. Women's Am

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 3:20 pm

    The USGA announced Tuesday that Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., has been selected to host the 2021 U.S. Women's Amateur. The tournament will be held Aug. 2-8, 2021.

    The club's West Course first hosted the event in 1923, and it boasts a storied history of professional tournaments as well. The PGA Tour hosted the Westchester Classic, later known as the Buick Classic and eventually The Barclays, at Westchester from 1967-2007, including the first-ever FedExCup playoff event, won by Steve Stricker in 2007.

    The course was also the site of the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by Fred Couples, and the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship, won by Inbee Park.

    "The USGA is thrilled to bring the U.S. Women's Amateur to Westchester Country Club for the second time," Stuart Francis, USGA championship committee chairman, said in a release. "One of the USGA's three oldest championships, the Women's Amateur consistently identifies the world's top female players, and we are confident Westchester will provide the ultimate test for the championship's 121st playing."

    First held in 1895, the Women's Amateur is open to players with a USGA handicap index not exceeding 5.4. Sophia Schubert won last year's event at San Diego Country Club, while this year's tournament will be held at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.

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    Stock Watch: Park rises again, under the radar

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 20, 2018, 12:48 pm

    Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


    Rory (+10%): The massive drives, the fist pumps, the unmistakable strut – McIlroy finally found the spark that he needed to play confident, aggressive golf. Bring on Augusta and his shot at history.

    Tiger (+7%): It was another forgettable end to a final round, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture: Five events into his comeback, Woods has now carded 10 consecutive rounds of par or better – all on tough tracks – and can be viewed as a legitimate threat at the Masters. Remarkable, really.

    Inbee Park (+5%): Fighting injuries and questioning whether she should retire, the Queen ‘Bee routed a top field in just her second start back. Stud.

    Bryson (+3%): When The Machine operates properly, he’s one of the best ball-strikers in the world. Yes, he’s still painfully slow, but there’s no denying his talent – his runner-up against a star-studded field should help him tremendously.

    Laura Davies (+2%): Fifty-four years old and nursing an Achilles injury, she turned back the clock with one of the coolest performances of the young season, on any tour. She’s still got tons of game.


    Henrik Stenson (-1%): Maybe he’s just destined to go winless at Bay Hill. In the past four years, he’s had three excellent chances to win there and came away empty-handed each time.

    Rickie (-2%): Hanging near the lead, Fowler closed his third round bogey-double, then shot 74 in the final round to drop out of the top 10. Sigh.  

    P-Reed (-3%): His whiny protest to a rules official about a free drop – “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth” – got even juicier when the Ryder Cup partners were drawn in the same group at the Match Play. Get your popcorn ready.

    Ted Potter Jr. (-5%): His impressive victory at Pebble Beach over DJ, Phil and J-Day is looking more and more like a fluke each week. He’s now missed four consecutive cuts.

    Fan behavior (-7%): Another week, another player complaining about increasingly hostile spectators. The Tour has (frustratingly) remained quiet on the issue, but the tipping point will come when one of these dopes affects the outcome on the 72nd hole.