Cup Champ Watson Storms to Win

By Sports NetworkOctober 30, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Charles Schwab Cup ChampionshipSONOMA, Calif. -- Tom Watson erased a six-shot deficit on Sunday to come from behind and win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. He birdied the 72nd hole to fire an 8-under 64 and win the tournament by a single stroke at 16-under-par 272.
'I didn't expect to be here doing this today,' said Watson, who pocketed $440,000 for his third victory at this event. 'It was a round that I'll always remember.'
Tom Watson
Tom Watson capped an emotional final round with a birdie at the last.
The win not only gave Watson eight Champions Tour wins, but it allowed him to win his second, year-long Charles Schwab Cup title. Since this event features triple points, Watson blew past Dana Quigley, who held first in that race for 17 weeks.
'When a guy shoots 64 in front of you, it's pretty tough,' said Quigley, who did capture the Champions Tour money title. 'All in all, it was a great year. I played my heart out all year, so I have nothing to be ashamed of.'
Jay Haas, the overnight leader, blew a six-stroke advantage in his bid to win his third tournament in four starts. He shot a respectable, 1-under 71, but came in second at minus-15.
Tom Kite posted a 5-under 67 and came in third at minus-13. Defending champion Mark McNulty carded a 4-under 68 on Sunday and took fourth at 11-under-par 277.
Watson and Haas were tied at 15 under par when Watson reached the tee at the par-4 closing hole. He hammered his drive down the middle, but came up 25 feet short with his 7-iron approach. Watson sank the birdie try to go one ahead with Haas and Quigley in the fairway.
Haas hit a solid second shot 20 feet left of the hole, but missed the birdie putt, giving Watson his second win of the year to go along with the Senior British Open.
'I'm very grateful to have been able to make those critical putts at the right time,' said Watson. 'The greens tested your skill with the flat stick. I finally got used to in the last round.'
Watson wasted little time in cutting into Haas' lead. He rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the second, then mixed two birdies and a bogey over the next five holes.
At the par-5 eighth, Watson ran home a 25-footer for birdie, then he added another at nine after he drove into a fairway bunker. Watson drained a 12-foot par save at the 10th and suddenly found himself two back.
Haas birdied the same hole from 10 feet, then both players birdied No. 11. Haas still held a three-shot lead, but horribly hit a 30-foot birdie putt at the 12th. He bogeyed the hole, while Watson birdied No. 12 to cut the margin to one.
Watson drew even with a 3-foot birdie putt at the 14th. Haas missed an 8-foot par putt on the same hole to finally trail Watson. The Senior British Open champion missed a 4-foot par putt at the 15th and the two were tied once again.
Both players birdied 16, then both missed reasonable looks at birdie on the par-3 17th. Watson's 8-footer never fell in the hole, while Haas missed from 2 feet closer.
Then, Watson made it to the winner's circle with a clutch putt at 18.
Quigley shot a 2-under 70 to tie for fifth place with Tradition winner Loren Roberts, who also managed a 2-under 70 on Sunday. The pair came in at minus-10.
Tom Purtzer posted a 3-under 69 and came in seventh at 8-under-par 280. Craig Stadler fashioned a round of 2-under 70 and finished eighth at minus-7.
Related links:
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.