Day Implodes on 18 Stadler Birdies for Victory

By Sports NetworkAugust 13, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Xerox ClassicROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Kevin Stadler fired a 5-under 65 on Sunday to come from behind and win the Xerox Classic. He finished at 9-under-par 271 and won by a shot over former PGA TOUR player Glen Day.
Stadler birdied the 18th hole to get into the clubhouse at minus-9. Day rolled in a birdie putt at the 17th hole to move one clear at 10 under par, but trouble loomed in a big way for Day.
His drive on the closing hole at Irondequoit Country Club sailed left into the trees. On his second, Day tried to play a sweeping hook, but the ball came up short and left of the putting surface after it hit a patron. Day chipped to four feet, which, if made, would force a sudden-death playoff.
Day pulled his bogey putt to walk off with a double bogey and no playoff. That gave Stadler his third win on the Nationwide Tour, but his first since the 2004 season.
'It's been a crazy year, but a really good week,' said Stadler, who pocketed $103,500 for the victory. 'It was anybody's game today. I knew it had to be something really low.'
Day finished with a 2-under 68 on Sunday for second place at minus-8.
Steven Alker missed Todd Pinneo's course record by a stroke in the final round. Alker fired a 63 and tied for third place with Chad Collins (65) and second-round leader Richard Johnson (66) at minus-7.
Stadler began the final round three shots off the lead, but collected birdies at one and three. He parred his next six holes to close his front nine with a 33.
On the second nine, Stadler drained a 25-foot birdie putt, then made it back-to-back with a 20-footer at 12. Stadler ran home a seven-foot birdie putt at the 14th to reach 9-under par and tie Day, who rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt of his own at 11.
Stadler hit what appeared to be a sensational approach into the 16th green, but the ball spun back off the front of the surface. He chipped to six feet, but missed the putt to fall one back at minus-8.
Day fell down the leaderboard as well at the 13th when he could not get up and down from a bunker. Stadler drained a seven-foot birdie putt at the final hole to get in at minus-9.
Day, one behind at 8-under par, sank a 14-foot birdie putt to tie at 14. Two holes later, Day converted an eight-foot birdie putt to move into sole possession of the lead.
That was until his miscue at 18, which handed Stadler the trophy.
Stadler moved to 17th on the Nationwide Tour money list with the win, but he will not be able to play a true full-time schedule on the Nationwide Tour.
Earlier this season, Stadler captured the Johnnie Walker Classic on the European Tour and accepted a membership from that tour. He needs to fulfill a few more dates on that circuit, but will try and earn his PGA Tour card through the Nationwide Tour.
'It doesn't change much. I'll play out here as much as I can. I don't know what that's going to be,' said Stadler. 'I don't plan on taking many weeks off the rest of the year. I'll be playing somewhere.'
Jeff Quinney (65), Roland Thatcher (66), David Sutherland (66), Steve Allan (67) and Ryan Armour (68) finished knotted in a tie for sixth place at 6-under-par 274.
Overnight leader Steve Collins struggled badly on Sunday. He posted a 6-over-par 76 in the final round and fell into a tie for 33rd at 1-under-par 279.
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    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.

    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.

    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “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.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.

    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”