Hansen Survives Four-Man Playoff in Ireland

By Sports NetworkJune 30, 2002, 4:00 pm
CORK, Ireland -- Soren Hansen survived a four-hole playoff Sunday to win the Murphy's Irish Open. Hansen outlasted Darren Fichardt, Niclas Fasth and Richard Bland to earn his first career victory on the European Tour.
It all came down to the 72nd hole during regulation at Fota Island Golf Club Sunday. Hansen was two shots behind Fichardt, who was in the clubhouse at 14-under-par 270. After a booming drive at the par-5 last, Hansen knocked his second shot inside five feet for eagle to join Fichardt atop the leaderboard.
Bland trailed by one stroke and also had an eagle try at the last. The Englishman's putt stopped short of the hole en route to a birdie and a share of the lead. Fasth was the last to join the logjam with a two-putt birdie of his own as the group returned to the 18th tee to begin the extra session.
Hansen talks more about his close win.
Fichardt was the only one to find the fairway off the tee as the other players left themselves with difficult second shots behind and underneath trees. Hansen's hopes seemed to shatter as the Dane went for the green from the rough and watched as his ball rolled into the water next to the putting surface.
After Fasth knocked his ball back onto the fairway, the Swede landed his third shot on the green. Fichardt reached the green in two and had a legitimate eagle try for the win.
Hanson took the drop and chipped his fourth shot onto the putting surface within eight feet of the hole. He saved par as his competitors failed to capitalize.
Fichardt three-putted for par while Fasth rolled his birdie try passed the hole. Fasth made the par coming back to match Bland, whose short birdie try horseshoed out.
'I thought it was all over at the first playoff hole but Darren and Richard both missed and I then grabbed my chance,' said Hansen.
The players returned to the tee to play a second extra hole. Each had better success than their previous tries except for Bland, who was eliminated after he failed to convert on a long birdie try.
Fichardt, Fasth and Hansen moved on to the first tee to continue the playoff. All three players two-putted the green for par as the trio went on to play the par-3 17th.
Fichardt landed his tee shot onto the putting surface, as did Hansen. Fasth, however, missed the green off the tee and put his hope on Fichardt and Hansen failing to convert their birdie attempts.
Fichardt played first and ran his putt just right of the hole. He tapped in for par and watched as Hansen drained the 12-foot putt for the win.
'I played well the first two days but in the third and fourth rounds I was struggling but hanging in there and got the birdies at the right time,' said Hansen, who shot a 3-under 68 in the final round. 'I played some crackling shots from the 15th and knew I needed an eagle on the last.'
Hansen held a share of the overnight lead but struggled out of the gate with a bogey at the first. He reached 12-under after back-to-back birdies from the fifth before running into trouble with a bogey at the seventh.
At the very next hole, Hansen chipped in for birdie to remain within one shot of the lead.
The 28-year-old bogeyed the 12th but got the shot back with a birdie at the 14th. He parred the next three holes before making the crucial eagle at the last.
One month ago, fellow Dane Anders Hansen earned his first career victory at the Volvo PGA Championship.
'It is strange to follow Anders,' Soren said of his close friend. 'It was always me doing something and Anders catching up afterwards. The last few weeks I have been playing so well I thought it was just a matter of time.'
Fellow Dane Thomas Bjorn was almost a part of the playoff but his long eagle try at the 18th was no good. Bjorn also missed the birdie try for a round of 70 and a fifth place finish at 12-under-par 272.
Full-field scores from the Murphy's Irish Open

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.