Flanagan Survives Four-Man Playoff

By Sports NetworkApril 29, 2007, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourRICHMOND, Va. -- Nick Flanagan needed three playoff holes to earn his first Nationwide Tour win Sunday at the Henrico County Open.
 
Flanagan, the 2003 U.S. Amateur champion, birdied the third extra hole to defeat Chris Baryla for the title. Roland Thatcher and Bryn Parry had been eliminated on the first two extra holes.
 
Flanagan carded a 2-under 70 in the final round to finish at 13-under-par 275. Baryla, Parry's playing partner, matched that 70, while the final pairing of Parry and Thatcher each carded final-round 71s to force the extra session.
 
Back at the 18th for the third playoff hole, Baryla found a greenside bunker with this second shot. Flanagan's second bounced just over the green into the rough.
 
Baryla blasted out to 4 feet, then Flanagan chipped within a foot. Baryla's birdie putt never touched the hole as he pulled it left. He tapped in for par then stepped aside as Flanagan tapped in for birdie and his first tour title.
 
'That's about the longest half-foot putt I've ever had,' joked Flanagan, who picked up $81,000 for the win. 'I hit the ball well all week, didn't putt too great, but got away with it. I'm very, very happy.'
 
At the 18th in regulation, Thatcher had the best chance to win, but two-putted for par from 18 feet out. The other three all got up and down for par to head into the playoff at The Dominion Club.
 
Parry was the lone player to miss the fairway off the tee at the 18th, the first playoff hole. He laid up, then knocked his third to about 50 feet. The other three players all found the short grass of the tee and putting surface with their second shots to the par-5.
 
Baryla played his third after Parry and Thatcher. Baryla knocked his eagle effort within a foot and tapped in for birdie to eliminate Parry, who left himself 7 feet for par. Thatcher and Flanagan safely two-putted for birdie to extend the playoff.
 
'I'm disappointed I didn't have a go at it there at 18,' admitted Parry. 'The lie was iffy and seeing how this turned out I wish I had a go at it.'
 
At the par-3 ninth, Thatcher left himself over 50 feet for birdie before Flanagan pulled his tee ball into the left rough and Baryla knocked his tee ball to 45 feet.
 
Thatcher hit a poor first putt leaving himself 10 feet for par and he missed that to drop out of the playoff. Flanagan pitched within a foot and tapped in for par, while Baryla two-putted for his par.
 
Then the former U.S. Amateur champion hoisted the trophy.
 
The playoff could have been even bigger as Chris Smith (68), Greg Chalmers (69) and Brad Elder (70) shared fifth place at 12-under-par 276.
 
Flanagan had an up-and-down front nine, where he carded four birdies and three bogeys. He birdied 14 and 15 to grab the lead at 14-under, but bogeyed 16 to get in at 13 under.
 
Baryla posted three birdies and a bogey on the front nine to turn in 13 under. The Canadian birdied 12, but gave that shot back at 13. Baryla bogeyed 15, but rebounded with a birdie at 16 to join Flanagan in the house at minus-13.
 
Parry birdied the second, as did Thatcher, to remain tied for the lead at 13 under. Parry flew out in front with three straight birdies from the fourth to pull four strokes clear of the field.
 
However, Parry three-putted for bogey at seven. He got that stroke back with a birdie on nine, but bogeyed the next and found more trouble at 11. Parry's tee shot came up short in the water. He hit the green with his third, but two-putted for double-bogey. Parry parred the final seven holes to gain entry into the playoff.
 
'I did hit a good shot there,' said Parry of his approach at 11. 'I guess I was hitting it so good I was hedging my bets that I could hit it close and I probably didn't need to. I hit a good shot and I'm going to have to live with that.'
 
Thatcher faltered to a bogey on seven to slide back to 12 under. He grabbed a piece of the lead with a birdie on 12, but fell one back as he bogeyed 15. Thatcher regained a piece of the lead and eventually a spot in the playoff thanks to a 25-foot birdie putt at 16.
 
Nicholas Thompson, winner at the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship, and Livermore Valley Wine Championship winner Omar Uresti ended in a tie for eighth at 10-under-par 278. They were joined there by Rick Price and David Sanchez. Five more players were one stroke further back at minus-9.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Henrico County Open
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Tiger's Saturday birdies at Honda

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 9:20 pm

    Tiger Woods was in almost total control of his game for the majority of his third round Saturday at PGA National. And although he was once again bit by the Bear Trap, the 14-time major winner tapped in for birdie at the par-5 18th to post a round of 1-under 69 and fight his way back to even par for the week.

    Four back to start the day, Woods parred his first seven holes before pouring in his first birdie via this flagged iron from 139 at the par-4 eighth:

    Woods hit three more quality approaches at 9, 10 and 11 but couldn't get a putt to drop.

    The lid finally came off the hole at No. 12 when he holed a key 17-footer for par to keep his scorecard clean.

    One hole later, Woods added a second circle to that card, converting this 14-footer for a birdie-3 that moved him back into red figures at 1 under par for the week.

    Unfortunately, the Bear Trap would ensnare Tiger for the second day in a row. Woods, whose iron play had looked as crisp as it had in years, sailed approaches long and left at both the par-15th and 17th, leading to bogeys which erased the two birdies he worked so hard to secure.

    But just like on Friday, Woods rallied back with a late birdie, this one at the home hole, to steal back a shot.

    Getty Images

    O. Fisher, Pepperell share lead at Qatar Masters

    By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2018, 5:13 pm

    DOHA, Qatar - Oliver Fisher birdied his last four holes in the Qatar Masters third round to share the lead at Doha Golf Club on Saturday.

    The 29-year-old Englishman shot a 7-under 65 for an overall 16-under 200. Eddie Pepperell (66) picked up shots on the 16th and 18th to catch his compatriot and the pair enjoy a two-shot lead over American Sean Crocker (67) in third.

    David Horsey (65) was the biggest mover of the day with the Englishman improving 31 places for a share of fourth place at 12 under with, among others, Frenchman Gregory Havret and Italian Andrea Pavan.

    Fisher, winner of the 2011 Czech Open, made some stunning putts on his way in. After an eight-footer on the par-4 15th, he then drove the green on the short par-4 16th for an easy birdie, before making a 12-footer on the 17th and a 15-footer on the 18th.

    Like Pepperell, Fisher also had just one bogey to show on his card, also on the 12th hole.


    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


    ''I gave myself some chances coming in and thankfully I made them,'' said Fisher, who has dropped to 369th in the world rankings.

    ''You can quite easily make a few bogeys without doing that much wrong here, so it's important to be patient and keep giving yourself chances.''

    Pepperell, ranked 154th in the world after a strong finish to his 2017 season, has been a picture of consistency in the tournament. He was once again rock-solid throughout the day, except one bad hole - the par-4 12th. His approach shot came up short and landed in the rocks, the third ricocheted back off the rocks, and he duffed his fourth shot to stay in the waste area.

    But just when a double bogey or worse looked imminent, Pepperell holed his fifth shot for what was a remarkable bogey. And he celebrated that escape with a 40-feet birdie putt on the 13th.

    ''I maybe lost a little feeling through the turn, but I bounced back nicely and I didn't let it bother me,'' said the 27-year-old Pepperell, who hit his third shot to within four feet on the par-5 18th to join Fisher on top.

    The long-hitting Crocker is playing on invites on the European Tour. He made a third eagle in three days - on the par-4 16th for the second successive round.

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 24, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


    Getty Images

    Uihlein fires back at Jack in ongoing distance debate

    By Randall MellFebruary 24, 2018, 4:32 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Wally Uihlein challenged Jack Nicklaus’ assault this week on the golf ball.

    Uihlein, an industry force as president and CEO of Titleist and FootJoy parent company Acushnet for almost 20 years, retired at year’s start but remains an adviser.

    In an interview with ScoreGolf on Friday, Uihlein reacted to Nicklaus’ assertions that the ball is responsible for contributing to a lot of the troubles the game faces today, from slow play and sagging participation to the soaring cost to play.

    Uihlein also took the USGA and The R&A to task.

    The ball became a topic when Nicklaus met with reporters Tuesday at the Honda Classic and was asked about slow play. Nicklaus said the ball was “the biggest culprit” of that.

    “It appears from the press conference that Mr. Nicklaus was blaming slow play on technology and the golf ball in particular,” Uihlein said. “I don’t think anyone in the world believes that the golf ball has contributed to the game’s pace of play issues.”

    Nicklaus told reporters that USGA executive director Mike Davis pledged over dinner with him to address the distance the golf ball is flying and the problems Nicklaus believes the distance explosion is creating in the game.

    “Mike Davis has not told us that he is close, and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there,” Uihlein said.

    ScoreGolf pointed out that the Vancouver Protocol of 2011 was created after a closed-door meeting among the USGA, The R&A and equipment manufacturers, with the intent to make any proposed changes to equipment rules or testing procedures more transparent and to allow participation in the process.

    “There are no golf courses being closed due to the advent of evolving technology,” Uihlein said. “There is no talk from the PGA Tour and its players about technology making their commercial product less attractive. Quite the opposite, the PGA Tour revenues are at record levels. The PGA of America is not asking for a roll back of technology. The game’s everyday player is not advocating a roll back of technology.”

    ScoreGolf said Uihlein questioned why the USGA and The R&A choose courses that “supposedly” can no longer challenge the game’s best players as preferred venues for the U.S. Open, The Open and other high-profile events.

    “It seems to me at some point in time that the media should be asking about the conflict of interest between the ruling bodies while at the same time conducting major championships on venues that maybe both the athletes and the technology have outgrown,” he said. “Because it is the potential obsolescence of some of these championship venues which is really at the core of this discussion.”