Jaidee Defends in Wire-to-Wire Fashion

By Sports NetworkFebruary 20, 2005, 5:00 pm
European TourKUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Thongchai Jaidee carded a final-round, 2-under 70 on Sunday to win the Carlsberg Malaysian Open in wire-to-wire fashion. Jaidee completed the event at 21-under-par 267.
'This feels fantastic,' Jaidee said. 'This win is better than last year. I just told myself to play my own game. The driver didn't work well for me today, but the irons worked nicely.'
Jyoti Randhawa fired a 5-under 67 in the final round to finish at 18-under-par 270. Henrik Stenson finished one stroke further back at minus-17 after a Sunday 67. Niclas Fasth and Paul McGinley both shot 68 in the final round to share fourth place at 12-under-par 276.
Jaidee led by six strokes entering the round and was able to extend that lead early on. He drained a birdie try on the fourth. The Thailand native picked up another birdie at six to get to 21 under.
The 34-year-old tripped to a bogey at the par-4 ninth on the Palm Course at Saujana Golf & Country Club. Jaidee faltered again as he bogeyed the 11th, after hitting his tee shot out of bounds, to slide back to minus-19.
After he parred the 12th, Jaidee and Randhawa each birdied the 13th as Jaidee maintained a three-shot cushion over his playing partner.
Jaidee picked up another birdie at the 16th. He parred his final two holes to become the first back-to-back winner of this event since Graham Marsh in 1974-75.
Randhawa birdied the fourth to start his round, but stumbled to a bogey at the next. However, he quickly climbed the leaderboard from there.
The India native dropped in back-to-back birdies from the seventh. Around the turn, he birdied the 10th to get to 16 under.
Randhawa birdied the par-5 13th to keep going. For the week, he played the par-5 seventh and 13th at minus-10 with six birdies and two eagles over the four rounds. The 32-year-old closed with a birdie at the last to take second place by himself.
'The bogey on the fifth was a little disappointing as it took the wheels off,' said Randhawa. 'After missing the birdie on the 14th I didn't really have a chance. Thongchai made a great recovery on the 11th after hitting it out of bounds. I thought after that we might have a chance as he was looking at making a possible six. But he recovered well with a five.'
Stenson had the best run going as he birdied five of his first 11 holes to jump to 17 under and within two shots of Jaidee. However, he was side-tracked by a bogey at the 13th. He did birdie the 15th before closing with three straight pars.
'I lost the momentum a little on the 13th,' said Stenson. 'I hit a so-so shot, misjudged the wind and ended up on the rocks. I went for the pin to try and catch up two shots at once there, but it didn't work out that way.'
Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez closed with a 3-under 69. He was joined in a tie for sixth place at 11-under-par 277 by Prom Meesawat, who carded a 1-over 73 in the final round.
Padraig Harrington, the top-ranked player in the field, struggled to a 2-over 74 in the final round. He ended the event at minus-10 and was tied there by Wen-Chong Liang (69) and Gary Orr (68).
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    Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

    DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

    Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

    One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

    Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.

    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

    Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

    Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

    He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

    ''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

    ''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

    ''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

    ''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

    Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

    ''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

    ''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

    Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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    Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

    The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

    Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

    Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.

    Notables in the field:

    Tiger Woods

    • Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

    • Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

    • Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.

    Rickie Fowler

    • The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

    • Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

    • On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 

    Rory McIlroy

    • It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

    • McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

    • Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

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    Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

    CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

    Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

    ''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

    ''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''

    Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

    Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

    Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

    ''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

    Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

    Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

    ''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

    She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

    Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.