Doyle Earns Record Comeback Win

By Sports NetworkJuly 31, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. Senior OpenKETTERING, Ohio -- Allen Doyle fired an 8-under 63 on Sunday to erase a nine-shot deficit in the final round and win the U.S. Senior Open. He finished at 10-under-par 274 and won by a stroke over Loren Roberts and D.A. Weibring at NCR Country Club.
'I fooled them again, I guess,' said Doyle, who pocketed $470,000 for the win. 'It's a wonderful win, certainly. It makes the year. I won three majors and 10 tournaments. What a thing.'
Craig Stadler
Craig Stadler had the lead early, but couldn't stand the heat on the back nine.
Doyle collected his first victory of the year and his first since last year's Bayer Advantage Celebrity Pro-Am. His previous major victories came at the 1999 PGA Seniors' Championship and the 2001 Senior Players Championship.
Doyle smashed or tied several records on Sunday. The 63 matched Don Pooley's tournament record from 2002, but the 57-year-old obliterated Bruce Fleisher's 2001 mark for largest final-round comeback. Fleisher trailed by four when he went to victory, but Roberts and Craig Stadler were nine shots ahead of Doyle.
He missed the record for final-round comeback in major championship history by one. Paul Lawrie overcame a 10-stroke deficit when he won the 1999 British Open.
Weibring and Roberts both had their chances to win, but came up one short. Weibring shot a 1-under 70 and Roberts posted a 2-over 73 to come in at 9-under-par 275.
Greg Norman, in only his second event on the Champions Tour, carded a 2-under 69 and came in fourth place at 8-under-par 276. Tom Watson, last week's Senior British Open champion, managed an even-par 71 and shared fifth with Wayne Levi, who posted a 3-under 68. The duo finished at minus-7.
Doyle was already in the clubhouse at 10 under par, while Weibring soared up the leaderboard with three birdies in his first 10 holes. He played steady golf with pars and was one ahead of Doyle on the 17th tee.
Weibring drove into the left rough at the 17th, then came up short of the green with his second. He chipped to 6 feet, but missed the par putt left, tying him for the lead with Doyle at minus-10.
At the par-4 closing hole at NCR, Weibring found the rough again off the tee. He caught a flier lie and ran through the green with his second. Weibring knocked his chip 10 feet past the hole. He needed to hole the putt to possibly force a playoff, but he missed the putt right and now it was up to Roberts.
Roberts was alone in the lead at 12 under par after a birdie at the 10th, but things came crashing down quickly. He left a shot in the bunker at the 11th, then hurriedly blasted out to 25 feet, where he two-putted for double bogey.
His 4-iron tee ball at the par-3 13th found the front bunker and he could not save par. Roberts, who also made his debut on the elder circuit last week, was now at 9 under par and needed one birdie before he got into the clubhouse.
Roberts nearly holed a 40-footer for birdie at the 17th, but now needed a birdie at the last to force an extra session with Doyle. Roberts landed in the right rough with his drive, then played a smart second shot 35 feet left of the flag. 'The Boss of the Moss' never grazed the hole and the title went to Doyle.
Both of the runner-ups failed in their quest for their first major championships.
'It isn't a great feeling to finish bogey-bogey when you have a chance to win the U.S. Senior Open, but I've got to look at how I played all week, and it's just one of those things,' admitted Weibring. 'Congratulations to Allen Doyle.'
'I feel positive about the way I played because I'm going to tell myself, as poorly as I drove it on the weekend, I still had a chance to win the golf tournament,' said Roberts. 'That's the way I'm going to look at it, instead of looking at the fact that I threw the Open away.'
Doyle flew out of the gate on Sunday with a pair of birdies in his first three holes. He birdied the fifth, then drained a 6-footer for birdie at the sixth. Doyle birdied the seventh for three birdies in a row, but ran home a 20-footer for birdie at the eighth to make it four.
'You have to get on a run, which I did on the front nine when I birdied five, six, seven and eight,' said Doyle.
Doyle drained a 10-foot birdie putt at the 10th and added a birdie at 14 to reach 10 under par. He saved some great pars down the stretch, then watched as the leaders fell.
'I don't think you ever step up on the first tee with your goal being a 63,' said Doyle. 'How many times does that happen in an Open, when a guy gets in the clubhouse and the greens get a little firm? For it to happen to you is a great thing.'
Stadler also was in the mix until the par-4 ninth. His drive found a bunker and the ball landed near the lip. Stadler could do no better than a double bogey and that triggered a run of terrible golf for the third-round co-leader.
He bogeyed 11, 13, 14 and 15, then double bogeyed the 17th. Stadler birdied the 72nd hole to shoot a 5-over 76 and tie for seventh with Mark McNulty, who shot a 4-under 67. The duo came in at 6-under-par 278.
Des Smyth, who lost in a playoff to Watson at Royal Aberdeen last week, shot a 2-over 73 and tied for ninth place at minus-5 with Dana Quigley (69) and Rodger Davis (71).
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    Stock Watch: Strange grumpy; Tiger Time again?

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 1:00 pm

    Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


    Jon Rahm (+9%): This should put his whirlwind 17 months in the proper context: Rahm (38) has earned four worldwide titles in 25 fewer starts – or a full season quicker – than Jordan Spieth (63). This kid is special.

    Tommy Fleetwood (+7%): Putting on a stripe show in windy conditions, the Englishman defended his title in Abu Dhabi (thanks to a back-nine 30) and capped a 52-week period in which he won three times, contended in majors and WGCs, and soared inside the top 15 in the world.

    Sergio (+3%): Some wholesale equipment changes require months of adjustments. In Garcia’s case, it didn’t even take one start, as the new Callaway staffer dusted the field by five shots in Singapore.

    Rory (+2%): Sure, it was a deflating Sunday finish, as he shot his worst round of the week and got whipped by Fleetwood, but big picture he looked refreshed and built some momentum for the rest of his pre-Masters slate. That’s progress.

    Ken Duke (+1%): Looking ahead to the senior circuit, Duke, 48, still needs a place to play for the next few years. Hopefully a few sponsors saw what happened in Palm Springs, because his decision to sub in for an injured Corey Pavin for the second and third rounds – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard – was as selfless as it gets.


    Austin Cook (-1%): The 54-hole leader in the desert, he closed with 75 – the worst score of anyone inside the top 40. Oy.

    Phil (-2%): All of that pre-tournament optimism was tempered by the reality of his first missed cut to start the new year since 2009. Now ranked 45th in the world, his position inside the top 50 – a spot he’s occupied every week since November 1993 – is now in jeopardy.

    Careful What You Wish For (-3%): Today’s young players might (foolishly) wish they could have faced Woods in his prime, but they’ll at least get a sense this week of the spectacle he creates. Playing his first Tour event in a year, and following an encouraging warmup in the Bahamas, his mere presence at Torrey is sure to leave everyone else to grind in obscurity.

    Curtis Strange (-5%): The two-time U.S. Open champ took exception with the chummy nature of the CareerBuilder playoff, with Rahm and Andrew Landry chatting between shots. “Are you kidding me?” Strange tweeted. “Talking at all?” The quality of golf was superb, so clearly they didn’t need to give each other the silent treatment to summon their best.

    Brooks Koepka (-8%): A bummer, the 27-year-old heading to the DL just as he was starting to come into his own. The partially torn tendon in his left wrist is expected to knock him out of action until the Masters, but who knows how long it’ll take him to return to game shape.

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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.