Harrington Captures Hong Kong Open

By Sports NetworkDecember 7, 2003, 5:00 pm
European TourHONG KONG, China -- Padraig Harrington birdied the final two holes to close out a round of 4-under 66 and a one-stroke win at the Omega Hong Kong Open. Harrington finished the event at 11-under-par 269, one shot clear of Hennie Otto.
'I was expecting to do well,' said Harrington. 'I knew that a lot of people would have to shoot well to keep up with me.'
Otto closed with a 5-under 65 to take second place. Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke, Chris Gane and last year's champion Fredrik Jacobson shared third place at 7-under-par 273.
Harrington started the day one shot behind overnight leader Christopher Hanell. Harrington took control in the middle of the round, but needed a late rally to secure the title.
The Irishman birdied the second, while Hanell bogeyed the hole to give Harrington the lead at minus 9. Harrington maintained his one-stroke lead with four straight pars.
Harrington, the 10th ranked player in the world, birdied the seventh to grab a two-shot cushion. Hanell climbed back within one shot with a birdie at No. 8.
'I went out the first nine holes real focused and hit the ball real well,' said Harrington, who earned his eighth European Tour victory. 'I hit all the fairways and all the greens. It was as easy a 3-under par as I have ever shot.'
The 2003 Deutsche Bank - SAP Open winner fell back into a tie for the lead with Hanell as he bogeyed the 10th when he was unable to get up-and-down for par.
Harrington regained the lead by himself when Hanell dropped a shot at the 11th. The Irishman drained a five-footer for birdie at No. 12 to extend his lead to two shots.
He later missed a short par-saving putt at the 14th to drop to minus 9. Harrington was joined there by Otto, who birdied the 16th to get to 9 under.
Otto rolled home a birdie at the 17th from within 10 feet to climb to 10-under and take the lead. Harrington, standing on the 16th tee, saw that he had been caught.
'I didn't particularly like the tee shot on 10,' Harrington said. 'Then I was just trying to stay ahead of Christopher (Hanell) for the next couple of holes. It was when I got to the 16th tee that I realized Hennie had overtaken me. My mind set changed totally and I just started to play aggressively from there in. '
Otto's birdie try at the last slid by the right edge and he closed at minus 10. Harrington then flew his second shot over the green on 16, but nearly holed to chip as he managed to save par.
Harrington dropped his second within 15 feet of the cup at the 17th. He rolled home that birdie try to tie Otto for the lead. The Irishman found the fairway off the tee at the last.
His second came to rest about 20 feet right of the hole. He calmly rolled in that putt for birdie and the win.
'I got back into my focus the last few holes, which is nice,' said Harrington. 'It's nice to be able to turn it around like that.'
Otto began his day at 5-under par, three shots off the lead. He birdied the first and sixth to move up the leaderboard. He got to 8 under with a birdie on No. 13.
A bogey at the next hole seemed likely to derail Otto, but he then ran off three consecutive birdies to forge into the lead. However, he could not birdie the last and finished second.
Hanell could only manage a 2-over 72 in the final round. He finished in a tie for seventh at 6-under-par 274. He was joined there by James Kingston (67) and Prayad Marksaeng (71).
Jose Maria Olazabal and Michael Campbell both posted rounds of 4-under 66 to climb to 5-under-par 275. They were joined in a tie for 10th by David Carter, Rob Rashell and Gary Rusnak.
Richard McEvoy, who held the lead after the first two rounds, finish at 4-under-par 276. Also finishing at minus 4 were Steven Jeppesen, Henrik Nystrom, Stephen Dodd, Nick Faldo, Marc Pendaries and Nobuhito Sato.
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes
  • Leaderboard -- Omega Hong Kong Open
  • Full Coverage -- Omega Hong Kong Open
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

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

    Former Web.com 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 Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com 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.

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    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?

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    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."

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    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