Donald Claims First Euro Tour Win

By Sports NetworkAugust 1, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Scandinavian Masters Scandinavian Masters MALMO, Sweden -- Luke Donald posted his second straight round of 3-under 69 on Sunday to cruise to a five-stroke win at the Scandinavian Masters. Donald completed the event at 16-under-par 272.
'Any time I can win, I'm obviously playing well. It's been a fantastic week for me,' said Donald, whose win at the 2002 Southern Farm Bureau Classic was cut to 54 holes due to bad weather. 'This was a strong field in Barseback and a great course. To come here and win means so much to me. It means a lot personally to walk up the 18th on Sunday and win.'
Henrik Stenson birdied the 72nd hole to close a round of 3-under 69. He shared second place at 11-under-par 277 with Peter Hanson, who finished with a 1-under 71. Ian Poulter and Colin Montgomerie tied for fifth at minus-9.
Donald cruised out of the gate with five straight pars at Barsebck Golf & Country Club. He picked up his first birdie at the par-4 sixth. The Englishman missed the green right at the par-3 eighth. He was unable to get up-and-down for par, but cruised to four straight pars around the turn with a two-stroke lead.
Donald turned it on down the stretch. Donald drained a birdie putt at the 13th to move to minus-14 and take a three-stroke lead. He came right back to birdie the next hole, as did Hanson to remain within three strokes of Donald.
'I holed a lovely putt on 13 and that gave me a cushion back to three shots and then 14, after not a very good drive, I hit the shot that turned the tide and gave me that extra cushion when I made birdie there,' Donald said. 'Up three shots with four holes to go, I felt pretty good.'
Donald parred his next three holes as Hanson dropped four back with a bogey at the 15th. Donald capped the tournament in style as he rolled in a 12-foot birdie try at the last to claim his first European Tour win.
'It's icing on the cake to finish with a birdie and have all my rounds in the 60s, what more could I ask,' said Donald. 'It's been an amazing week. Luckily, Peter played great, but just couldn't make the putts to close the gap and it gave me a little breathing room the whole way around. That made it a little bit easier for me.'
Hanson birdied the par-4 second to get to 11 under and it looked as though he would pressure Donald throughout. However, he missed several birdie chances as he parred his next eight holes. Hanson bogeyed the 11th, but came right back to birdie the 12th.
The Swede birdied No. 14 to get to 12 under. Hanson however bogeyed the 15th and parred his final three holes to end at 11 under.
Stenson made a late charge up the leaderboard. He bogeyed the second and collected 10 pars to go along with that bogey over his opening 11 holes. He dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 12th for the second straight round to move to 9 under.
The 28-year-old Stenson birdied the par-5 16th for the third consecutive round and birdied the last to tie Hanson for second place.
David Lynn shot a 1-under 71 to end at 8-under-par 280, while Simon Khan closed with a 70 to end one stroke further back at minus-7.
Peter Lawrie set a new course record of 8-under 64 on Sunday. With that, he moved into a tie for eighth place at 6-under-par 282. He was joined there by 2003 champion Adam Scott, two-time winner here Jesper Parnevik, David Howell, Niclas Fasth, Marcel Siem and Steve Webster.
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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm