Barr Birdies Out to Win Royal Caribbean

By Sports NetworkFebruary 9, 2003, 5:00 pm
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Dave Barr birdied the last four holes Sunday to earn his first victory on the Champions Tour at the Royal Caribbean Golf Classic. Barr, who became the first Canadian to win on the Champions Tour, shot a 5-under 67 to win the tournament by one shot at 9-under-par 207.
Gil Morgan, the overnight leader, and Bobby Wadkins, the first-round leader, had makable birdie chances at the 54th hole but missed their putts to fall one short of a possible playoff. Morgan managed a 2-under 70 on Sunday, while Wadkins, who battled back pain throughout the tournament, carded a 4-under 68.
Several players were jockeying for the lead down the stretch but Barr, who was as many as four shots off the lead as he made his way to the 15th hole, came out of the pack. He collected a birdie there and holed a seven-foot birdie putt at 16 to get to 7-under par.
Wadkins reached 9-under par after back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15. Wadkins, who played with Barr in the group ahead of Morgan, hit a 5-iron into the bunker at 17. He blasted out to 10 feet but missed the putt to drop back to 8-under par.
Barr also used a 5-iron at 17 but ran home a 35-footer for birdie to reach 8-under and tie Wadkins and Morgan in first place.
Morgan recorded only two birdies on Sunday through his first 16 holes. At the 17th, he drained a 15-foot birdie putt to go to 9-under par while his two closest competitors hit their drives on 18.
Wadkins drove into the first cut on the left side before knocking his approach through the green into a back bunker. Barr found the fairway off the tee but pulled his second shot left, near the grandstands.
Barr received a free drop and pitched his third 35 feet past the hole. Wadkins ran his bunker shot six feet past the hole, giving him a realistic chance at birdie and a tie for first.
Barr putted first and holed his second 35-foot birdie putt in as many holes. He was in at 9-under after four straight birdies but still had to watch as Wadkins putted and Morgan finished the hole.
Wadkins' birdie putt slid past the hole and he tapped in for par. He finished one shot behind Barr at 8-under par and was off to the fitness trailer to try and heal his aching back.
Morgan, now tied with Barr at 9-under, drove well right of the fairway and into a hazard. He took a drop back in the fairway and roped his third shot just short of the putting surface but in good shape to get up and down and force a playoff.
Morgan chipped his fourth shot just left of the hole but seven feet past. His par putt to force a playoff lipped out of the hole, giving Barr a dramatic come-from-behind victory.
'Standing there on 14, I didn't think it was feasible,' said Barr, who pocketed $217,500 for the win. 'Bobby was going along pretty good and I also got a bit of help from Gil. I don't think I've ever birdied the last four to win before.'
'I wish I could have finished a shot or two lower but I didn't,' said Morgan, a 21-time winner on the Champions Tour. 'I made a mistake at the last hole. That was the killer. I thought if I made par, I could salvage the situation. It was hard for me.'
Despite the back problems, Wadkins still had one goal in mind Sunday - win the tournament.
'The spasms were just as bad today,' said Wadkins. 'I was thinking about nothing but winning the golf tournament. I'm glad it's over but I have no regrets.'
Barr, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, took a long road to the Champions Tour. He birdied the 72nd hole at Q-School to earn his card and is now the first player from north of the border to win on the 50-and-over circuit.
'So few of us in Canada can play at this level,' said Barr. 'It's satisfying to get the job done. It's been a long time. Finishing fifth at Q-School last fall really took some pressure off.'
Rodger Davis finished alone in fourth at 7-under par, followed by Hubert Green, who came in fifth place at 5-under-par 211.
Isao Aoki (69), Mike McCullough (69), Allen Doyle (71) and Tom Purtzer shared sixth place at minus-4.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Royal Caribbean Classic
  • Full coverage of the Royal Caribbean Classic
  • Champions Tour Finds a New Home on The Golf Channel
  • Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.