Furyk Finds Wachovia Redemption

By Sports NetworkMay 7, 2006, 4:00 pm
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jim Furyk made par from a fairway bunker at the first playoff hole on Sunday to defeat Trevor Immelman and win the Wachovia Championship.
Furyk trailed Immelman by one shot heading to the 18th hole, but ended up tied for the lead at 12-under-par 276 after Immelman three-putted for bogey from 45 feet.
Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk earned his 11th career PGA TOUR victory.
Back on the par-4 18th for the playoff, Furyk's drive landed clean in a solitary bunker right of the fairway and Immelman found the thick, wet rough.
But while Immelman laid up, landed short of the green on his third shot and came up 2 feet shy on a chip shot, Furyk played a brilliant second shot just short of the green, pitched within 4 feet and rolled in the putt for par and his 11th title on the PGA TOUR.
Furyk, who shot a 1-under 71 in the final round, lost in a playoff to Vijay Singh at last year's Wachovia.
'I've seen enough of 18 for another year, I promise you that,' said Furyk, who earned $1.134 million for the victory. 'I had to see it three times on Sunday last year and twice this time. So I've had enough.
'It's nice to come out and get it done this time and end up with a 'W''
Second place is Immelman's best finish on the PGA TOUR, ahead of his fifth- place tie at the 2005 Masters. He owns four international victories.
'Obviously when you come that close you're a little disappointed not to finish the job, but it's my best finish on the PGA TOUR and I've got to build on that,' said Immelman, whose final-round 70 included five birdies, one double-bogey and his bogey at the last.
Playing in the final group with Furyk and Immelman, Retief Goosen held the lead early in the round, drifted behind later on, and then collapsed with a quintuple-bogey on the 18th hole after hitting into the water three times.
Goosen shot a 5-over 77 in his final round and ended seven strokes back in a tie for 10th place.
Goosen's collapse left Australian Adam Scott with a distant and quiet third-place finish after a round of 1-under 71 put him at 8-under-par 280.
Bill Haas and Lucas Glover were one stroke further back in fourth place after rounds of 70 and 72, respectively.
Play was delayed by rain for about an hour in the morning. When it got back underway, it was clear that the battle for the lead was between the three players in the final group.
Furyk began the round with a one-shot lead over Immelman and Goosen, but it was Immelman who led around the turn after carding three birdies during a five-hole stretch from the fifth.
That put the South African at 13 under around the turn, but he fell into a tie for the lead with Goosen after his drive found the trees and he made double-bogey at the 11th.
Immelman got that shot back with a birdie at the 13th, giving him a one-shot lead over Furyk and a two-shot lead on Goosen, who had bogeyed 12.
At the par-5 15th, Goosen was the only member of the final group to find the fairway with his tee shot, but he managed only a par while Immelman and Furyk birdied the hole with putts of 6 feet and 15 feet, respectively.
Still leading Furyk by a shot at 13 under, Immelman was now three clear of Goosen. Which is how things stood at the 18th, where Furyk and Immelman both found the fairway with their drives.
Furyk played his second shot into the rough, then pitched within 8 feet. Immelman found the green, but was nearly 50 feet away and rolled his first putt 9 feet past the hole.
'I was just trying to read the speed,' said Immelman. 'In the back of my mind I knew if I was going to get picky I'd like to have an uphill one coming back, so I was probably going to over hit it rather than under hit it. Just hit it a few feet too hard.'
After Immelman missed his second putt and tapped in for bogey, Furyk deliberated for a few minutes over his par putt. When it dropped in on the left side of the cup, he pumped his right fist.
'I just wasn't quite sure -- I thought there was an argument that it could go right or left,' Furyk said of the putt. 'I didn't have a really good idea where to go with it, so I had to commit to something.'
Vaughn Taylor (71), Steve Lowery (72) and second-round leader Bo Van Pelt (75) shared sixth place at 6 under, while Geoff Ogilvy (71) was tied with Goosen one stroke further back.
Vijay Singh, the 2005 champion, shot a 9-over 81 to fall from a tie for eighth place overnight into a tie for 38th place at plus-3. His round included a triple-bogey at the 18th, seven bogeys and just one birdie.
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.