Dodd Nets Comeback Win in Ireland

By Sports NetworkJuly 9, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Smurfit European OpenDUBLIN, Ireland -- Stephen Dodd posted a 2-under 70 in windy conditions Sunday to claim the European Open for his third tour win. Dodd completed the event at 9-under-par 279.
 
'I was surprised to play well this week,' Dodd admitted. 'I started to play well last week, but to come here and do this was beyond my expectations.'
 
Third-round leader Jose Manuel Lara stumbled to a 2-over 74 to end in a tie for second at 7-under-par 281. He was joined there by Anthony Wall, who carded a 73 in the final round.
 
Paul McGinley shared the second-best round of the day with his 3-under 69. That moved him from a share of 18th into a tie for fourth at minus-6. He finished alongside Jeev Milkha Singh (70), Graeme Storm (70), Simon Khan (73) and Lee Westwood (70).
 
Lara bogeyed the second and sixth to fall to minus-6, but he still led by one over Storm, Bradley Dredge and Wall. He reclaimed a two-stroke cushion with an 8-foot birdie putt on the ninth.
 
A three-putt bogey on No. 12 of the Smurfit Course at The K Club dropped Lara back to minus-7 and into a tie for the lead with Storm and Dodd.
 
Dodd had stumbled to back-to-back bogeys from the sixth to fall to 5 under. He got one stroke back with a birdie on the ninth, then moved to even-par for his round with a birdie on the 11th.
 
That birdie got Dodd back to 7 under and as he parred four straight from the 12th, Lara fell back to him. A bogey on the 13th dropped Lara one behind Dodd, while Storm bogeyed the 17th to slip to 6 under.
 
Dodd was now the leader by himself and he turned it on down the stretch.
 
The Welshman birdied the 16th from six feet out to move to 8 under. He came right back with a long birdie putt at 17 to stretch his lead to three.
 
'Straight. Long. And went in,' Dodd simply stated about his birdie putt on 17. 'I was just trying to two-putt it obviously. It was one I was trying to get by the hole and fortunately it went.'
 
Dodd parred the last to get in at 9 under.
 
'I felt like a conducted myself quite well today,' said Dodd. 'It's always a tough situation to go out and play well when you really need to and luckily today I did that.'
 
Lara fell to minus-5 with a bogey on the par-4 14th. He holed out for birdie from a greenside bunker on 16, then drained a birdie effort on 17 to get back to 7 under.
 
The 29-year-old Lara was the last player with a chance to catch Dodd, but he found a fairway bunker off the tee at the last. Dodd pitched down the fairway with his second.
 
Lara, who needed to hole out to force a playoff, managed to find the putting surface, but had over 20 feet for birdie. He two-putted for par to share second with Wall, who had birdied the last to end at minus-7.
 
Simon Dyson matched McGinley's 69 to climb into a share of ninth at 5-under-par 283. He was joined there by Dredge (73), Peter Hanson (72) and eight-time Order of Merit champion Colin Montgomerie (71).
 
Robert Karlsson posted the round of the day with a 5-under 67 that moved him from a share of 43rd to a tie for 13th. He ended there with Steven O'Hara.
 
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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.