Atwal Tops Goosen in Malaysia

By Sports NetworkFebruary 22, 2003, 5:00 pm
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Arjun Atwal shot a final-round 5-under 66 Sunday to win the Carlsberg Malaysian Open by four shots over a pair of players. Atwal completed the tournament at 24-under-par 260.
 
'That has taken a lot out of me,' said Atwal, who led wire-to-wire. 'Leading from the first day is mentally tough and, while it didn't get to me on the golf course, I feel drained. This victory makes me believe in myself a bit more. This one tells me I am good enough to play on The European Tour.'
 
Retief Goosen, who got within one shot three times, and Brad Kennedy tied for second place at 20-under-par 264. Dean Robertson finished alone in fourth at 18-under-par 266, while Thammanoon Srirot was one stroke further back at minus-17.
 
The tournament was a two-man race, between Atwal and Goosen, heading into the final round. Atwal led by two strokes after the duo completed their third round Sunday morning.
 
Goosen closed to within one shot with a birdie at the first hole. Atwal responded with back-to-back birdies from the second to stretch his lead to two as Goosen also birdied the third. Goosen got within one shot again with a birdie at the par-4 fifth.
 
Atwal, who last year became the first Indian to win on the European Tour, created breathing room as he took a two-shot lead with a birdie at the sixth. Both players would par the final three holes on the front side.
 
On the back-nine, Goosen closed to within one stroke for the final time with a birdie at the par-4 10th. The South African faltered with a bogey at the 13th after his tee shot found water to drop two shots off the pace.
 
'I hit a terrible two iron on the 13th into the water,' said Goosen. 'And that was a bit of a turning point but once again I had a chance of making a four but left (my putt) short.'
 
Atwal quickly extended his lead to three shots with a birdie at the par-3 14th. He closed out his second European title in fine fashion as he chipped in for birdie on the 18th for the four-shot win.
 
'It was fun playing against Retief,' said Atwal, who won the Caltex Singapore Masters last year. 'I was on top of my game. I'm not sure he was on top of his game but he finished 20-under-par on this golf course.'
 
Goosen, the world No. 5, was gracious in defeat.
 
'I putted badly,' said Goosen. 'The greens really slowed up this afternoon with the growth and unfortunately I couldn't stroke the ball hard enough. But Arjun played very well and holed a lot of good putts. I can't take anything away from him, he played well.'
 
Kennedy began his round six shots off the pace and never threatened Atwal's lead. Entering the final round at minus-13, the Australian got moving quickly with a birdie at the first. However, he gave the stroke back with a bogey at the third.
 
Kennedy carded birdies on Nos. 6 and 9 to head to the back side at 15-under. Around the turn, he birdied the 11th before converting consecutive birdies beginning at the 13th. Kennedy climbed into a share of second place as he birdied the final two holes for a score of 64, the lowest total of the final round.
 
'I played really well today - I had it in the groove,' said Kennedy. 'I had a couple of great swings coming in and holed a good putt on the 17th so I'm delighted with the finish.'
 
Daniel Chopra finished alone in sixth place at 16-under-par 268 after a final round 69. Ted Oh was one stroke behind him at minus-15, while Patrik Sjoland shot a final round 66 to finish at 14-under-par 270.
 
Simon Dyson, Simon Khan, Wen-Chong Liang, Gerald Rosales and Wei-Tze Yeh tied for ninth place at 13-under-par 271.
 
Defending champion Alastair Forsyth closed with back-to-back rounds of 68 to finish at 7-under-par 277, which tied him for 33rd.
 
The tournament had been plagued by thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday causing the third round to be completed Sunday morning. Play was delayed again Sunday by more thunderstorms, but the weather broke and play was able to be finished.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Carlsberg Malaysian Open
  • Full coverage of the Carlsberg Malaysian Open
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    Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

    Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

    “While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

    It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

    “What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

    The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

    “I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

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    Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:







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    Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

    The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

    Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

    Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

    1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

    2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

    3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

    4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

    5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

    6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

    7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

    8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

    9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

    10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

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    Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

    It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

    Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

    "The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

    Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

    That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

    "You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

    "But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."