Els Falls to Levet in Scotland

By Sports NetworkJuly 11, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Barclays Scottish OpenGLASGOW, Scotland -- Frenchman Thomas Levet fired an 8-under 63 Sunday to come from behind and win the Scottish Open. He finished at 15-under-par 269, which was good for a one-shot win over Michael Campbell at Loch Lomond Golf Club.
 
'When you see the names on the trophy, it tells you all about it,' said Levet, who picked up his third European Tour victory and first since 2001. 'It's the home of golf. With a course like this, it's something enormous.'
 
The win was great for Levet but it also netted him another perk. The highest finisher in this event who was not otherwise eligible received a spot in the field next week at the British Open.
 
Other than not being packed for the trip to Troon, Levet is headed to the season's third major, a tournament he has had some success at recently. He lost in the playoff to Ernie Els in 2002 and is ready to make some more waves.
 
'Playing the Open is something else,' said Levet. 'You have all of these guys who know what I did two years ago. They still remember it. It's always in the back of my mind.'
 
Campbell had a look at birdie on the 18th hole but his 18-foot birdie putt broke left just before the hole. He settled for a 1-under 70 for his highest finish of the season.
 
Els, the 2003 winner, posted a 3-under 68 on Sunday to share third place with David Howell, who carded a 1-under 70. The duo came in at 13-under-par 271.
 
Gregory Havret and Marcus Fraser shared the lead heading into Sunday's final round and Levet did not make his move until later in the round.
 
Levet tallied three birdies in his first five holes but dropped a shot at the seventh. Havret and Fraser were still atop the leaderboard but Levet kept sneaking up the board with back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12.
 
Havret and Fraser both fell with bogeys early on their back nines so Levet, Howell and Campbell were left to determine the winner.
 
Levet ran home a 10-foot eagle putt at the par-5 13th to get within one of the lead. He rolled in a short birdie putt at the 14th to tie for the lead and Campbell joined him in first when his birdie try fell in the left side of the hole at 12.
 
Campbell sank a 12-foot birdie putt at No. 13 to take the outright lead at minus-15. Trouble loomed for Campbell when his tee ball at the short par-4 14th landed in water. He narrowly missed a par putt from the back fringe but left with bogey and a share of first place with Levet, who parred three in a row from 15.
 
Howell dropped shots at 13 and 14 to drop out of contention and Campbell dropped another stroke at 15. His second landed in a greenside bunker and he blasted out to 45 feet. Campbell missed the par putt to fall one behind Levet, who was on 18.
 
Levet hit a long drive at the closing hole, then knocked a beautiful approach to 3 feet. He tapped in the birdie putt to reach 15 under par, then turned into a spectator to see if anyone could catch him.
 
Campbell got back to 14 under with a 12-foot birdie putt at the 16th. He missed a long birdie putt at No. 17, but played his approach 18 feet short of the flag at the 18th. His putt broke left at the end and he was relegated to second place.
 
'I couldn't believe that putt,' said Campbell, referring to the 18th. 'I read it dead straight and it broke a hole right-to-left. That's the way it goes. That's the way the cookie crumbles.'
 
Now it was up to Fraser, who clawed back into the tournament with a birdie at the 17th. He needed to hole his approach at the 18th and did not come close so Levet walked off with his first win since the 2001 British Masters.
 
'When you play like this, it's a dream come true,' said Levet. 'Every shot I was trying to do was coming out okay. I knew I was putting good. I had a good sensation on chipping.'
 
Fraser bogeyed the last for a 2-over 73. He tied for fifth place with Tim Clark (65), Niclas Fasth (67), Peter Lonard (70) and Martin Maritz (65) at 12-under-par 272.
 
Havret, who came very close to hitting himself with an approach shot from the rough at six, did not get a penalty after the round. He struggled to a 3-over 74 and shared 10th with three-time winner this season Miguel Angel Jimenez (65), Ian Poulter (70) and Lee Westwood (65). The group came in at minus-11.
 
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    Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

    Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

    “While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

    It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

    “What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

    The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

    “I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

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    Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:







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    Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

    The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

    Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

    Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

    1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

    2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

    3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

    4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

    5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

    6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

    7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

    8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

    9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

    10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

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    Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

    It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

    Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

    "The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

    Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

    That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

    "You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

    "But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."