Haas Tops Kite in Legends Playoff

By Sports NetworkApril 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Liberty Mutual Legends of GolfSAVANNAH, Ga. -- Jay Haas parred the first playoff hole to defeat Tom Kite and successfully defend his title at the Legends of Golf on Sunday.
 
Both made spectacular up-and-downs at 18 in regulation, a feat others were not able to accomplish. Kite came up short with his second, then chipped to 12 feet and made the putt. Haas hit a spectacular bunker shot to 2 feet to join Kite at 9-under-par 207.
 
Kite and Haas both found the fairway on the difficult 18th at The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort and Spa. Haas got mud on his ball and the approach sailed long and right. Kite hit an indifferent shot that stopped 55 feet short of the stick.
 
Haas chipped down to 2 feet, all but guaranteeing a par. Kite left himself with 4 feet for par as his long birdie putt for the win sailed past on the right side.
 
Kite missed the par putt, but Haas tapped in for his eighth Champions Tour victory and his second this season.
 
Haas pocketed $395,000 for the win pushing him over the $1 million mark for the year.
 
Haas, the second-round leader, posted a 2-under 70, while Kite was two better with a 68. Late in the round it looked like Haas and Kite would have some company in sudden death.
 
Mark James, who held the lead throughout much of the final round, lost first when he three-putted the 17th hole. He was tied for the top spot on 18, but he ran his birdie putt 7 feet by, then missed his par effort.
 
Wayne Levi also stood atop the leaderboard on Sunday, but an errant drive hurt him on the closing hole. He landed in the right rough and hit his approach into the same bunker Haas saved par from in regulation. Unfortunately for Levi, he was not as fortunate as his 6-footer that could have gotten him in the playoff stayed above ground.
 
James and Levi both shot 70s and tied for third place with Gil Morgan (67) and Brad Bryant (70) at 8-under-par 208.
 
Nick Price posted his best showing on the Champions Tour thanks in part to a 7-under 65 on Sunday. He tied for seventh place with Hale Irwin, who carded a final-round 69, at minus-7.
 
Haas held a one-shot lead to start the final round, but fell down the leaderboard thanks to a bogey at the par-3 third. He parred his remaining front-nine holes and seemed to be an afterthought with others moving up the leaderboard.
 
Kite was among those heading up as he birdied the third, sixth and eighth holes. Both Haas and Kite birdied the par-5 11th, but Kite missed a 6-footer for par at the 12th.
 
Kite was 8 under par and Haas joined him at that number with a birdie at the par-5 13th. Haas birdied No. 14 to reach 9 under par and Kite got there with a birdie at 16.
 
Haas and Kite both parred out, while James and Levi crumbled. Haas and Kite made their par saves at the last before Kite could not do it again during the playoff.
 
Eduardo Romero fashioned a final round of 6-under 66 and tied for ninth with Bobby Wadkins as he shot a 5-under 67. The duo finished the tournament at 5-under-par 211.
 
Loren Roberts' Champions Tour record of 37 consecutive rounds of par or better came to an end on Sunday as he posted a 3-over 75 to tie for 16th at minus-2.
 
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.