Green Edges Out Campbell in New Zealand

By Sports NetworkDecember 3, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 Blue Chip New Zealand OpenWHANGAPARAOA, New Zealand -- Nathan Green fired a 6-under 65 Sunday to finish the New Zealand Open at 5-under-par 279.
When he completed his round, he was not even in the lead, but as the leaders went backwards Green's score held up giving him his first European Tour title.
For the second straight day, the wind got worse as the day went on giving those out early the best of the conditions.
'I can't believe it. We definitely had the best of the conditions this morning,' said Green, who was in the 12th group out on the course. 'It was brutal out there this afternoon. I managed to just hang on. I saw the boys had a bit of trouble on 16 and 17, so I am just ecstatic to earn the win.'
Marcus Fraser, who shared the lead with Graeme Storm and Kim Felton after three rounds, stumbled to a 2-over 73. That dropped him into a share of second place at 3-under-par 281.
Fraser ended alongside 2005 U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell (72), Nick Dougherty (67), Jarrod Moseley (70), Wade Ormsby (70) and Brett Rumford (71).
Green flew out of the gate with birdies on the first two holes. He collected back-to-back birdies from the third to move to minus-3.
The Australian parred his next four holes. Green dropped a stroke on the 10th, but rebounded with birdies on 11 and 12 at Gulf Harbour Country Club to move to minus-4.
Green stood there as he parred his next four holes and the leaders started their rounds. With plenty of early movement on the leaderboard, Green stood one stroke behind six players at one point.
Two of those players were Fraser and Campbell, who were at minus-5 after one hole.
Fraser took the lead with back-to-back birdies from the second to move to 7-under. He slid back into a share of the lead with Green and Felton after bogeys on the sixth and ninth. For the week, Fraser played the par-4 ninth at plus-4.
Green had gotten to 5 under with a birdie at the 17th. He parred his final hole, then had to watch and wait. Green joined the television broadcast for a while to kill time, then found a television to watch some cricket as well.
'I watched a bit of the cricket and have been watching the golf for the last hour or so. It has been pretty nerve-wracking,' admitted Green, as the last groups finished their rounds. 'I really didn't know what to do. I didn't know if I should go hit balls or what so I just tried to stay warm and stay with what the guys were doing.'
Fraser moved back out in front with a birdie on the 11th. Fraser, playing one group ahead of Felton, bogeyed the 14th to slip back to minus-5.
Meanwhile, Felton opened his round with 13 straight pars. Felton also bogeyed the 14th to fall out of the lead. He went on to bogey three of the final four holes to share second.
That left Fraser and Green standing at 5 under. Fraser also bogeyed 15 to give Green the lead for good. Fraser closed with a bogey on the last to share third.
Campbell, a New Zealand native, was even-par for his round through 13 holes with two birdies and two bogeys. He needed one birdie over the final five holes to force a playoff. Campbell had makeable birdie putts on 16 and 17, but both narrowly missed each time.
His approach at the last came up short of the green meaning he would need to pitch in for birdie to force an extra session. Campbell was unable to sink the chip and actually bogeyed the hole to share second.
Green's title was not secured until Peter O'Malley failed to hole his second shot at the 18th for eagle. O'Malley also bogeyed the last to slide into a share of eighth at 2 under.
'The greens were just so much easier to play this morning,' Green said. 'We saw a lot of guys go out early (Saturday) and post some good scores, so I knew it was out there to be had today.'
O'Malley closed with a 2-over 73 to end in a share of eighth at 2-under-par 282. He was joined there by Greg Chalmers (72), Scott Strange (71) and Simon Wakefield (69).
Felton led a group of six players that finished at minus-1. Also in that group was Daniel Chopra, who birdied five of the first seven holes to grab a share of the lead at 5 under before playing the rest of the round at plus-4.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - New Zealand Open
  • Full Coverage - New Zealand Open
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

    Getty Images

    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

    Getty Images

    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x