Bryant Birdies Last Wins First on Champions

By Sports NetworkMarch 19, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 Toshiba Senior ClassicNEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Brad Bryant claimed his first Champions Tour crown on Sunday as he birdied the final hole to finish at 9-under-par 204 and win the Toshiba Classic. The birdie at the last gave him a round of 5-under 66.
Bryant shared the lead twice during the final round, but never had the outright lead until that final birdie dropped.
'I was more than a little excited to say the least when that putt went in. It's been a long, long time since I've been in that position,' said Bryant, who earned $247,500 for the win. 'My heart was going 100 mph. on the last green.'
Bobby Wadkins was the clubhouse leader at 8-under-par 205 thanks to a closing 66 of his own until Bryant passed him. Wadkins was joined in a tie for second place by John Harris and 2005 winner Mark Johnson, who both carded 68s in the final round.
Mike Reid posted a 4-under 67 to finish in a tie for fifth at minus-7. David Eger and Vicente Fernandez finished alongside Reid.
Bryant was biding his time for most of the round as he parred the first 10 holes at Newport Beach Country Club. He caught fire from there as he birdied three straight holes from the 11th to get to 7 under.
'My caddie said 'six birdies on the back nine' will be good,' Bryant said. 'We came close. It was just a matter of being real patient because I played really poorly early in the day.'
The 51-year-old birdied the 15th to join Wadkins and Eger in the lead at minus-8. Bryant two-putted for par at each of the next two holes.
Wadkins was 3 under over the opening nine holes with an eagle, two birdies and a bogey. He birdied 12, 15 and 16 to get to minus-9 and take the outright lead. However a bogey on 17 left him at 8 under.
Bryant's second to the par-5 closing hole finished in a greenside bunker. He pitched to 7 feet and drained that putt for birdie and the lead.
'I hit the putt and it just kind of fell in the right edge. I was overwhelmed at that moment,' Bryant said.
Several players had a chance to join Bryant in the lead at 9 under, but it was Johnson who had the best chance.
Johnson, the popular winner from last year, birdied the third. He gave a stroke back with a bogey on the eighth. Beer Man, as Johnson is known, came right back with a birdie on the ninth to get back to 6 under.
The 51-year-old got to minus-7 with a birdie on the par-3 13th. Johnson came to the par-5 closing needing eagle to force a playoff. However, Johnson's 15-foot eagle putt slid just low of the hole and he tapped in for birdie to finish one shot short.
Eger had opened with three straight birdies to move to 7 under. He dropped a stroke on the seventh, but came back with birdies on 10 and 15. Eger could only play the final three holes in plus-1 to finish two back.
Bob Gilder and Hale Irwin each closed with 67 to end in a share of eighth place at 6-under-par 207. They were joined there by Tom Wargo (68), Jose Maria Canizares (69) and Mike McCullough (69). Ed Dougherty, Graham Marsh and Tom Purtzer were one stroke further back at minus-5.
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry