Badds Too Good Too Bad for Quinney

By Sports NetworkFebruary 4, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 FBR OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Aaron Baddeley capitalized on a late collapse by Jeff Quinney to win the FBR Open by one shot on Sunday.
Trailing by three strokes with four holes to play, Baddeley made three consecutive birdies from No. 15 and walked away with his second career PGA TOUR victory.
He shot his second straight 7-under 64 for the lowest weekend score in tournament history.
Jeff Quinney
Jeff Quinney bogeyed his final two holes to lose by two strokes. (Wire Images)
Quinney, the Nationwide Tour grad who led after each of the last two rounds, all but handed Baddeley the win by finishing with two inexplicable bogeys.
He hit an ill-advised driver into the water at the 332-yard, par-4 17th, then chipped within 4 feet before missing the short putt and settling for bogey.
Baddeley, meanwhile, made a 10-footer for birdie and pulled ahead by one shot. He closed with a routine par at the 18th to finish at 21-under-par 263.
Quinney hit two bunkers and made another bogey at the 18th to close out a 3-under 68. He finished one shot behind John Rollins, who slipped into second place at 20-under 264 after quietly shooting the round of the day with an 8-under 63.
It was a bizarre ending involving two players who live in the same nearby community.
'I'm sure Jeff is disappointed about how he finished. But I was really just trying to put pressure on him towards the end,' said Baddeley, who won $1.08 million.
'When I got three back I was really just thinking if I can be one back playing the last hole, I've got a chance. I just tried to make some birdies, and that's what I did.'
Baddeley claimed his first PGA TOUR win at last year's Verizon Heritage.
'I was definitely a lot more calm today than I was at Hilton Head coming down the stretch,' he said. 'I had a lot more confidence, probably because I had been there, but also because I was more comfortable in my golf swing.'
Quinney will make the short trip home knowing that he probably let win No. 1 slip away. Although Sunday marked his third consecutive top-10 finish this season, he stopped short of admitting failure.
'I was sleeping on the lead the last couple days and it was a lot of pressure and I'm happy how I handled the whole situation,' Quinney said.
His late collapse cost him $672,000 -- the difference between first and third place. His closing bogey at the 18th was also expensive: He ended with a $408,000 check, while Rollins walked away with $648,000.
Quinney may replay his decision to hit driver off the tee at the reachable 17th instead of playing it safe with a 3-wood. He was adamant that he needed to make a birdie 'because I knew basically they were going to make birdie.'
'I was shocked to see it go left,' Quinney said. 'I was really confident I was just going to knock it on the middle of the green. It was one those things -- you look up and it's going left.'
Then, the missed 4-footer for par.
'I hit a great recovery shot. It was a tough pin back there, and I didn't execute. But I'm not going to dwell on that,' Quinney said.
He would have had less to think about if Baddeley hadn't made his birdie putt.
'I assumed he was going to make par, so I knew I still had to make my birdie to either pull even or just put pressure on him,' Baddeley said. 'That was probably one of the best putts I hit all week there.'
Baddeley trailed by three shots after 10 holes but momentarily caught Quinney with a birdie at the 13th. Quinney answered right back with a birdie to remain one ahead.
Busy fending off challenges from Rollins and Bart Bryant as well, Quinney made a 6-foot birdie putt at No. 14 to move two ahead.
'I played pretty dang good golf today,' he said.
But Baddeley began making his run with a two-putt birdie at the 15th. At the par-3 16th -- in front of the raucous TPC of Scottsdale stadium gallery -- he knocked a wedge within 24 feet to set up another birdie.
Quinney, a former player at Arizona State, was 26 feet away but couldn't capitalize.
'If I didn't win, I guess I'm glad a local guy won,' Quinney said. 'I just hope to be back in the hunt quickly. I just want to get back there again, and I know my time will come soon.'
Rollins may have forced a playoff if he hadn't gotten unlucky at the 18th. His approach shot was dead-on, but it hit the flag stick and rolled back off the front of the green. He made par.
'I got a bad break, but it is what it is. I played solid,' said Rollins.
Bryant had two late birdies and shot a 66 to finish in fourth place at 18-under 266. Billy Mayfair (65) was at 267, Heath Slocum (66) shot 268 and Vijay Singh (64) was a stroke further back at 269.
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    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.

    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.

    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.

    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”