Goosen Leads Woods by One at Grand Slam

By Sports NetworkNovember 20, 2001, 5:00 pm
Retief Goosen, the reigning U.S. Open champion, fired a 6-under-par 66 Tuesday to lead the Grand Slam of Golf by one shot over Masters champion Tiger Woods. PGA champion David Toms is two back at 4-under while British Open winner David Duval struggled to a 4-over 76.
This event features golf's four professional major champions in a 36-hole stroke-play tournament.
Goosen distanced himself from the group at the par-5 sixth when he roped a 3-wood from 255 yards out, but missed the green long. He holed a sand wedge from 25 yards for an eagle-three to reach 5-under-par.
'I had a pretty good lie down in the rough and it was a good chip shot, just ran it perfect and it landed and went in the hole,' said Goosen, referring to his eagle. 'That was nice.'
Goosen broke out quickly at Poipu Bay Resort Golf Course with a four-foot birdie putt at the par-5 second. He added a six-footer a hole later after he hit a beautiful tee shot at the 203-yard par-3.
The U.S. Open champion wedged his approach inside five feet at No. 5 to set up his third birdie before the eagle at No. 6.
Goosen would like to cap off his best career season. The 11-year veteran won his first major at Southern Hills in June and became the first non-European to capture the Order of Merit title (leading money winner) since Greg Norman in 1982. He is also playing well coming into the Grand Slam after teaming with Ernie Els to win the WGC-EMC World Cup of Golf last weekend.
'I'm pretty confident and happy with the year,' said Goosen, who added a five-foot birdie at No. 14. 'I was just trying to get a little bit comfortable on the tee. I kept in play today so that was the main thing.'
Woods also got off to a hot start with birdies at his opening two holes. He added a tap-in birdie at No. 6 which was amazing considering he drove behind a tree but hooked a 6-iron to six feet. He missed the eagle try but tapped in for birdie.
The three-time defending champion nailed a pitching wedge to nine feet at No. 7 to reach 4-under par, but dropped his first shot of the round at No. 9 when missed the green with a sand wedge and failed to save par from 16 feet.
Woods rebounded with five-foot birdie at the 10th and parred the next seven holes. He two-putted from 45 feet at the last to get within one of Goosen.
'I was very happy to shoot what I shot today because I was not driving the golf ball the way I wanted,' said Woods, the only player to win this event three times in a row. 'To end up at 5-under par, I was pretty happy with that.'
Toms went on to the back nine tied with Goosen at 5-under. He birdied two of his first four before he made three birdies in a row, starting at No. 7. The PGA champion fell down the leaderboard at 11 when he missed the green at the par-3 hole and failed to convert a two-footer for bogey.
The 2001 three-time winner clawed back with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 14 and 15, but a bogey on the 17th gave him his 68.
'I was very happy with the round,' said Toms. 'It was my first competitive round of the golf course and I felt like I played it pretty well.'
Duval struggled from the beginning with a bogey at the first. He double-bogeyed No. 5 after driving out of bounds, and Nos. 7 and 18 when he found water.
'I played poorly,' said Duval, who shed the title of 'best player to never win a major' at the British Open. 'I'm glad the day is over.'
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Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

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

"I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.