Immelman Edges Harrington for SAP Title

By Sports NetworkMay 23, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Deutsche Bank-SAP OpenHEIDELBERG, Germany -- Trevor Immelman of South Africa ran home a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Sunday to best defending champion Padraig Harrington by a stroke and win the Deutsche Bank - SAP Open TPC of Europe.
 
The two were tied at 16 under par as both had the closing hole at Golf Club St Leon-Rot. Immelman played in the penultimate group and drove his ball down the fairway. He knocked his approach to 10 feet and sank the birdie putt to go one ahead of Harrington.
 
Harrington took an iron off the tee and also found the short grass with his drive. He saw Immelman make birdie from the fairway so the Irishman took aim at the flag and hit it 9 feet past the hole.
 
Harrington needed to hole the birdie putt to force a playoff but his effort missed left and gave Immelman the victory.
 
'I just had a funny feeling I was going to somehow make a birdie,' said Immelman. 'I haven't hit that fairway all week so once I hit it in the fairway I knew with the wind, I could work something in there.
 
'Lucky enough, I got a great read off Higgy's (Joakim Haeggman) putt there. I hit just outside the left and it managed to go in.'
 
Immelman fired a 7-under 65 in Sunday's final round to come in at 17-under-par 271. Harrington managed a 6-under-par 66 for a minus-16 total but it was the 2003 winner's 18th runner-up finish on the European Tour.
 
'In six months time nobody will remember how close it was,' said Harrington. 'It's going to be another second place. That's the way it is. I thought I was doing well and was surprised to see that he was keeping pace with me and I obviously needed to make more birdies.'
 
Haeggman and Darren Clarke both posted rounds of 3-under 69 to share third place at 12-under-par 276. Order of Merit leader Ernie Els, David Howell and Soren Kjeldsen tied for fifth at minus-11. All three shot matching rounds of 6-under 66.
 
Harrington and Immelman trailed third-round leader Gregory Havret by a pair to start the round but both birdied the first and Havret bogeyed so the trio was knotted in first.
 
Immelman went two ahead with a birdie at the third and a Harrington bogey at the second, but the Irishman birdied the par-5 third to get within one of the lead.
 
Harrington matched Immelman in first with a 20-foot birdie putt at the seventh. Immelman went up again with a 25-footer for birdie at No. 9. Harrington answered in the group behind with his own birdie at the ninth and the duo were tied heading to the back nine.
 
Immelman sank a 10-foot birdie putt at the 11th for a momentary lead, but Harrington rolled home a 30-footer for birdie at the 10th. Immelman two-putted for birdie from 25 feet at the par-5 12th, but Harrington answered again. He had 9 feet for eagle at 12, but missed the putt and tapped in for a lead-tying birdie.
 
Harrington, who defeated Thomas Bjorn in a playoff last year, sat alone atop the leaderboard with a 15-foot birdie putt at 14. Immelman crawled into the tie for first with a 30-footer at 15 as both players had their share of problems at the par-5 17th.
 
Immelman drove into a fairway bunker on the right side and laid up well short of the green. He played his third to the back fringe and hit a poor putt, leaving him with 12 feet to save par. The South African cooly holed the putt to remain tied for the lead at minus-16.
 
Harrington landed in the fairway with his tee ball at 17 but hit a terrible second shot that came up in the rough on the left side. He hit his third to 22 feet and missed the birdie to keep his piece of the top spot.
 
Then came Immelman's heroics at 18, followed by Harrington's missed putt and it was Immelman who hoisted the trophy.
 
'I felt like I really scored well today,' said Immelman, who moved to third on the Order of Merit. 'Padraig is a top-10 player in the world. To hole that putt was awesome.'
 
The win was Immelman's second of the 2004 season and third on the European Tour. He captured the second event of the year, the South African Open, a tournament he also won in 2003.
 
Louis Oosthuizen finished eighth at 8-under-par 280, after an even-par 72 on Sunday. Second-round leader Alex Cejka shot a 72 in the final round and tied for ninth with 2001 U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, who carded a 70. That duo tied at minus-7.
 
Havret played badly on Sunday. He posted a 10-over 82 and tied for 23rd place at 2-under-par 286.
 
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  • 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.