Canizares Cruises to Russian Open Title

By Sports NetworkAugust 20, 2006, 4:00 pm
European Tour MOSCOW, Russia -- It's unlikely anyone will notice, but no one has ever played better at the Russian Open.
 
With the world's best golfers competing nine time zones away at the PGA Championship, Spain's Alejandro Canizares earned his first career win and set multiple records Sunday at this obscure European Tour stop.
 
The son of four-time Ryder Cup player Jose Maria Canizares, Alejandro closed with a 6-under 66 and ended at 22-under-par 266 for a four-shot victory over David Drysdale of Scotland.
 
Finishing all four rounds with a 67 or better, Canizares became the quickest affiliate member to win on the European Tour, claiming title No. 1 in just his third start and surpassing better-known previous record holders Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell.
 
Canizares also established a new tournament scoring record, beating by three shots the previous mark of 269 held by four players. He earned $166,165 and a two-year exemption on the European Tour.
 
'This is unbelievable,' Canizares exclaimed. 'This means everything. I was trying to get my card through exemptions and now I have done it by winning my third event, so this is way beyond my expectations.'
 
The Russian Open was a fully-fledged European Tour event for the first time this season. In its first nine years -- initially a Challenge Tour event, then a dual-ranking event -- the tournament had a history of producing indistinguishable champions.
 
Canizares, who will turn 23 next month, is the newest of the bunch.
 
'Now I can focus on winning more,' said Canizares, who missed the cut at this year's British Open in his European Tour debut.
 
Since missing the cut at Royal Liverpool, Canizares has finished better in each tournament he's played. He placed 71st at the Players Championship of Europe, then tied for seventh last week at the KLM Open.
 
'This is probably the best that I have played so far in my career,' he said Sunday. 'One of my best weeks ever.'
 
The overnight leader Saturday, Canizares fended off all challengers Sunday with a round that included seven birdies and one bogey. He opened with consecutive birdies, then closed in style with birdies at the 16th and 17th holes.
 
Seven of the next eight finishers all broke par, but Canizares was just that much better.
 
Drysdale closed with a 3-under 69 to end four shots back at 18-under 270 for his best finish since winning the final Challenge Tour event at the end of the 2004 season.
 
The 31-year-old Scotsman, who claimed his second Challenge Tour victory earlier this season, was complimentary of Sunday's winner.
 
'He played brilliantly,' Drysdale said of Canizares. 'I started one behind him and leveled with him at one stage, but he never flinched. Some of his iron play was awesome.'
 
Sweden's Mikael Lundberg, also a first-time winner at this event last year, shot a 6-under 66 and tied for third place with Ireland's Gary Murphy (68) at 17-under 271.
 
Swede Leif Westerberg was fifth at 16-under, Brazilian Alexandre Rocha was sixth at 15-under, and Spaniard Carlos Rodiles was seventh at 14-under.
 
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  • Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

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    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

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    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

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    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

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    Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

    Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

    Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

    Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

    With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

    Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

    “It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

    Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

    Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

    "It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."