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
  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''