Hawaii 5-0 Irwin Wins Fifth Straight

By Sports NetworkJanuary 30, 2005, 5:00 pm
KAHUKU, Hawaii -- Hale Irwin captured his sixth victory and fifth in a row at the Turtle Bay Championship on Sunday. He shot a 5-under 67 and won the event at 16-under-par 200, good for a five-shot win over Dana Quigley.
The win was Irwin's seventh in Hawaii, including the 1981 Hawaiian Open on the PGA Tour. Irwin also captured three unofficial Champions Skins Games in Hawaii.
'Turtle Bay has been really, really kind to me,' said Irwin, who pocketed $225,000 for his 41st victory on the Champions Tour. 'It must be in the air, or in the juice.'
Quigley and Allen Doyle, who began Sunday's final round in second place, battled it out for second place as Irwin essentially wrapped up the title around the turn. Quigley, who won the MasterCard Championship last week, shot a 69 to Doyle's 71 and Doyle shared third place with Tom Watson, who carded a 67 on Sunday, at minus-10.
Irwin began the final round with a two-shot lead and wasted little time in extending his margin. At the second, Irwin rolled in a right-to-left, 30-footer for birdie and followed with a 5-foot birdie putt at the third.
Irwin, the leader in Champions Tour victories by 12 over Lee Trevino, ran home an 8-foot birdie putt at the sixth. His play around the turn at the Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort sealed his trip to the winner's circle.
At the par-three eighth, Irwin converted a 12-foot birdie putt. He knocked a sand-wedge to 15 feet to set up birdie at the ninth, then drained a 20-footer for birdie at 10 that got him to 17 under par for the championship and gave him a seven-shot lead.
'I wanted to get off to a good start, which I did,' said Irwin. 'The big putts at nine and 10, even though the door was still open, after those putts it got real tight for some of the other players.'
Irwin played consistently over the back nine, although he did drop his first shot to par since the 15th on Friday with a bogey at the same hole. Despite the miscue at 15, Irwin still hung on to a five-shot advantage with the final two holes to play.
Irwin came up 35 feet short with his approach at No. 17, but calmly knocked in the 4-footer to save par. Then he watched the only drama left in the tournament, as playing partners Quigley and Doyle duked it out for runner-up honors on the par-5 closing hole.
The two were knotted at 11 under par and neither hit a good drive. Quigley hit his tee ball right into thick rough, while Doyle went left into water. Quigley chopped out his second and laid up short of the green. Doyle dropped and hit his third well back of the putting surface.
Quigley hit his fourth 3 feet short of the hole, while Doyle's approach sailed 25 feet past the cup. Doyle missed his par putt and tapped in for bogey, the Quigley sank his par putt to get second place.
Irwin played the 18th conservatively with a 3-wood off the tee and a lay up for his second shot. His third landed safely on the green and two-putted for par and his first win of the 2005 campaign.
'I hit every fairway but one, and hit every green. I didn't try to play as aggressively,' said Irwin. 'I'm very happy to have to done that five times in a row. I'm really grateful.'
Bruce Fleisher fired the round of the day Sunday with a 7-under 65. He tied for fifth with Jay Sigel (68), Dick Mast (69), Wayne Levi (69) and Don Pooley (70) at 9-under-par 207.
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    McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger

    By Associated PressJanuary 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.

    The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.

    McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.

    McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.

    ''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''

    Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

    ''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''

    McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.

    ''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.

    ''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''

    The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.

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    Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel

    By Grill Room TeamJanuary 16, 2018, 3:29 pm

    If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days engaging pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.

    Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:

    If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGCC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:

    Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."

    Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."

    I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H

    A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

    And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.

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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.