Cevaer Eagles Way to Victory

By Sports NetworkApril 25, 2004, 4:00 pm
CANARY ISLANDS -- Frenchman Christian Cevaer posted a 1-under 69 Sunday to break through a big crowd and win the Canarias Open de Espaa. Cevaer earned his first European Tour win by finishing the tournament at 9-under-par 271.
'I feel fabulous and really happy that my perseverance has paid off,' said Cevaer. 'I am happy to have clinched one of the first opportunities that I have had.'
Overnight leader David Park stumbled to a 2-over 72. He shared second place at 8-under-par 272 with Peter Hedblom (70) and Ricardo Gonzalez (71), who was looking to win for the second straight week. Bradley Dredge and Jarmo Sandelin finished one stroke further back at minus-7.
Cevaer began the final round two strokes behind Park, who struggled early. Cevaer got off to a fast start as he holed a wedge from 137 yards out for eagle at the par-4 first. However, he tripped to a bogey at the very next hole.
The 34-year-old bounced right back with a birdie at the third and got to minus-11 with a birdie at the fifth. Things took a turn for the worse from there as he battled the breezy conditions at Fuerteventura Golf Club.
Cevaer faltered to his second bogey of the day at the seventh. He dropped another stroke at the 10th to fall to 9 under.
His struggles continued as he bogeyed back-to-back holes from the 12th to slide back to minus-7. However, Cevaer took advantage of the short par-4 16th. He pitched in for eagle from 53 yards out to jump into the lead at minus-9 and he parred the final two holes to cling to his first place.
'It has been a long time but I wanted him to enjoy watching me and feel the rewards for everything that he did, not only money that he put in but also the belief he had in me,' said Cevaer of his father.
Gonzalez, who was looking to become the first European Tour player to win back-to-back events since Vijay Singh won the Carlsberg Malaysian Open and Caltex Singapore Masters in February of 2001, got off to good start with a birdie at the third.
The Argentine stumbled to a bogey at the next hole but dropped in back-to-back birdies from the fifth to move to 11 under. He looked to be in control of the event as he rolled off five straight pars.
Gonzalez then faltered to a bogey at the 12th, but he remained in first place. He parred three straight holes, but the turning point came at the 16th. He knocked his tee shot out of bounds, which led to a double bogey that sent him tumbling out of the lead. He parred the final two holes to share second place.
'Finishing second is not bad, especially after last week, but it was just one bad shot which cost me, the shot went wrong because I wasn't thinking straight but that is the way it goes sometimes,' admitted Gonzalez of his shot on 16.
Park, who was looking for his second tour title, bogeyed the first but erased that mistake with a birdie at the very next hole. Things went downhill from there for the Welshman as he double bogeyed the par-3 fourth.
He stumbled to three straight bogeys from the sixth to slide all the way back to minus-5. Park thought he grounded his club in a bunker at the sixth, which would have led to a penalty, but was later told no such penalty was coming.
'If I have one regret, I should have asked right there and then what the penalty was because I played a couple of holes thinking I had incurred a penalty before discussing it with Chief Referee John Paramor on the seventh tee who told me I hadn't,' said Park. 'It didn't prey on my mind too badly, but I just felt a little silly really because I have been playing this game for a long time and you should know what to do but it was a spur of the moment thing.'
Park fought back with a birdie at the 10th. He nearly forced a playoff as he birdied Nos. 16 and 17. Needing a birdie at the last to force extra holes, Park only managed a par at the last for his share second place.
Hedblom had two bogeys and a birdie over his front nine. Around the turn, he picked up his second birdie at the 12th. He posted another bogey at 14, but came back to birdie the 16th. Like Gonzalez and Park, his playing partners, Hedblom had a chance to force extra holes by birdieing the last, but he could only par the hole.
Miles Tunnicliff closed with a 3-under 67 to grab a share of seventh place at 6-under-par 274. He was joined there by Charl Schwartzel (68) and Jose Manuel Lara (68). Marcus Fraser finished one shot further back at minus-5 after a closing 70.
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... 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."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.