Harris Tops Jenkins in Champions Playoff

By Sports NetworkJune 25, 2006, 4:00 pm
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. -- John Harris, the 1993 U.S. Amateur champion, earned his first professional victory at the Commerce Bank Championship on Sunday when he defeated Tom Jenkins in a playoff.
'I'm pretty overwhelmed,' said Harris, who pocketed $225,000 for the victory. 'I'm really proud of the way I played. It's been a long four years.'
Harris fired a 7-under 64 in the final round to get into the clubhouse at 11-under-par 202. Jenkins birdied his 17th hole and made par from the rough at 18 for a 2-under 69.
The pair returned to the par-4 closing hole for the playoff. Harris, who bogeyed the hole in both the second and third rounds, spilt the fairway with his drive, while Jenkins landed in the right rough.
Jenkins had all kinds of tree trouble with his second, but played a nice shot short of the green. Harris hit a sensational 6-iron 6 feet right of the flag.
Jenkins pitched his third almost 7 feet from the hole, then drained the par save to apply the pressure on Harris. The former amateur star calmly sank his birdie putt for the win.
'I played this hole twice today and bogeyed it both times so I felt like it owed me something,' said Harris. 'I visualized good shots and they came off just the way I looked at them.'
The playoff culminated a long day at the Red Course at Eisenhower Park on Sunday. Heavy rain forced the suspension of play on Saturday, so most of the field completed the second round on Sunday before the final round.
Jay Haas, who was looking for his fourth consecutive win on the Champions Tour, let one get away on Sunday. He missed a 4-foot birdie putt on 17, then could not birdie the last to get into the extra session.
He shot a 2-under 69 and tied for third with Gil Morgan, who also carded a 69 in the final round, and Andy Bean, who bogeyed the last to miss the playoff and shoot a 4-under 67. The group came in at 10-under-par 203.
Dana Quigley posted a 6-under 65 in the final round to come in sixth place at minus-9.
Harris flew out of the gate in Sunday's final round with birdies at two, three and six. He closed his front nine with a birdie at the ninth, but his play on the back nine is what got him to the winner's circle.
He birdied the 11th and 12th holes, but when his 20-footer at the par-3 13th found the bottom of the cup, he found himself tied for the lead with Bean.
Bean, who will have to wait for Champions Tour win No. 1, fell down the leaderboard when his approach shot at 13 plugged in a bunker. He made bogey, but got the shot back with a 4-foot birdie putt at the next hole.
Harris, playing several groups ahead, rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt at the 16th to stay one ahead of Bean. Bean dropped a shot at the 16th to fall two back, but tapped in a short birdie putt at the par-5 17th to get within one.
Harris came back to the field at 18. His drive found the fairway, but his approach sailed right of the green. Harris chipped his third to 35 feet and two-putted to fall back into a tie with Bean.
Bean was the next to tumble at the final hole. He drove into the right rough and his second landed short and left of the green. Bean hit his third 6 feet past the hole and missed the par putt, leaving Jenkins, Haas and Morgan as the only players who could tie Harris.
Haas birdied the 14th to get to minus-10, but could not get anything to fall the rest of the way. He had a 4-footer at 17, but pushed it.
Jenkins, who collected only one previous birdie at the seventh, rolled in a 4-footer of his own for a birdie at the 17th. Morgan holed an 18-footer at the same hole to get within one.
At the 18th, Jenkins was tied for the lead with Harris, while Morgan and Haas needed birdies to tie. Jenkins drove into the right rough and came up short of the putting surface with his second. Morgan never factored into the hole and Haas gave himself a 25-foot chance to reach 11 under par.
Jenkins chipped to 2 feet and kicked in the par putt. Haas missed his birdie try to leave Harris and Jenkins to the playoff.
Dave Eichelberger, Scott Simpson and Massy Kuramoto all carded rounds of 2- under 69 on Sunday. They tied for seventh place with Tom Wargo, who shot a 70 in the final round, at 8-under-par 205.
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''