Leonard Drives to Honda Victory

By Sports NetworkMarch 16, 2003, 5:00 pm
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Justin Leonard shot a 5-under 67 Sunday to come from behind and win the Honda Classic. Leonard finished at 24-under-par 264 for his eighth career victory on the PGA Tour.
 
'They are all special,' said Leonard. 'I think I'll take away from it that I can go out and shoot some low scores, I can come into a week like this and have a chance.'
 
Overnight leader Davis Love III carded a 3-under 69 but a bogey at the 16th opened the door for Leonard. Love was joined by Chad Campbell in a tie for second at 23-under-par 265.
 
'Obviously, I'm disappointed with the finish and disappointed with my back nine,' said Love. 'But all in all, a good week and I just didn't hit it or putt as good the last four or five holes as I did the rest of the week.'
 
Leonard was one shot off the pace of Love to start the final round on the Sunset Course at the Country Club at Mirasol and picked up a quick birdie at the opening hole to reach 20-under.
 
He still found himself two shots off the pace midway through the front nine, however, after Love made a pair of early birdies.
 
Leonard grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie at the sixth as Love bogeyed the same hole to complete a two-shot swing. The race for the title was between the two of them from that point on.
 
'I think combined from a long week, playing in the heat and then kind of realizing that it was going to come down to Davis and I, it got in a little bit of a match-play situation,' said Leonard. 'We realized that it was just the two of us against each other and that's what it came down to.'
 
At the par-3 eighth, Leonard dropped his tee shot six feet from the hole but Love did him one better. Love knocked his to three feet and after both players converted for birdie, Love regained sole possession of the lead with a remarkable play the par-5 ninth.
 
After a long drive, Love landed his second shot two feet from the cup. He tapped in for eagle to reach 24-under while Leonard tried to keep pace with a birdie of his own.
 
The tables turned once again on the back nine and this time it was Leonard who showed a flash of brilliance. His drive landed in the right rough but he managed to hit a terrific approach that stopped within a foot of the hole for a tap-in birdie to tie Love.
 
The 30-year-old took the lead outright with a three-foot birdie at the 15th and stood two ahead of the field after Love's mistake at the 16th. Love missed the green at 16 and failed to get up and down.
 
'Coming down the stretch, we were a little bit tired. You don't freewheel it quite as good,' said Love. 'I think that was the difference.'
 
Leonard coasted down the stretch and secured his first victory of 2003 despite a bogey at the last.
 
'I'm excited,' said Leonard, who earned $900,000 for the win. 'It's nice to be playing well this time of year and looking forward to a week off and then getting ready for The Players and then Augusta.'
 
Tim Herron fired an eight-under 64 to finish two shots off the pace at 22-under-par 266. He was followed by Jim Furyk, Notah Begay III and Billy Mayfair at 21-under-par 267.
 
Chris DiMarco, John Rollins, Brian Gay, Brett Quigley, Jerry Kelly and Woody Austin finished tied for eighth at 20-under-par 268.
 
Mark Calcavecchia, a two-time winner of this event, was one shot further back in a group at 19-under-par 269.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from The Honda Classic
  • Full coverage of The Honda Classic
  • 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.