Lundberg Wins Russian Open in Playoff

By Sports NetworkAugust 14, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Cadillac Russian OpenMOSCOW, Russia -- The last time Sweden's Mikael Lundberg held a 54-hole lead, he faded disastrously on the final day. He would not let it happen again.
Lundberg shot a 3-under 69 Sunday and outlasted England's Andrew Butterfield in a four-hole playoff to win the Russian Open and claim his maiden European Tour victory.
'This is incredible, a dream come true,' said Lundberg, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Saturday with a bogey-free 69 to take the lead. 'I came out today and tried to stick to my game plan, which I did.'
Lundberg led after three rounds for the first time since 2001, when he posted a final-round 80 at the European Open to fall into a tie for 34th place.
Butterfield fired a 6-under 66 in his final round to tie Lundberg atop the leaderboard at 15-under-par 273, playing his final six holes at minus-5 to force the sudden-death playoff.
It was the third playoff in the 10-year history of this dual-ranking event -- which features players from both the European and Challenge Tours -- and what a thrilling finish it was.
Butterfield got up-and-down for par from a bunker beside the 18th green to halve the first playoff hole before missing a 3-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to squander a chance to win.
After the players halved No. 18 for a third time, they headed for the par-5 17th, where they had both collected two birdies during the tournament.
Lundberg landed about 30 feet from the hole with a 3-wood on his second shot, setting up an eagle chance or -- at worst -- an good shot at birdie.
Butterfield went left of the green with his second shot and then let a chip shot get away to the other side of the green. He settled for par, and Lundberg simply two-putted for the win.
'I am just very happy to have come through the playoff,' said Lundberg. 'Having my European Tour card is a great feeling, not only for me but for my whole family. It feels fantastic.'
David Drysdale and Jarrod Moseley finished tied for third place after rounds of 67 and 68, respectively, at the par-72 Le Meridien Moscow Golf & Country Club, Russia's only 18-hole golf course. The duo ended at 12-under-par 276, with second-round leader Fredrik Widmark one stroke further back in fifth place after a 1-over 72.
Lundberg, who began the day with a one-stroke lead over countryman Widmark and France's Sebastien Delagrange, got off to a fast start with an eagle at the par-5 second to move to 14 under.
He made the turn at minus-15 after wrapping a pair of birdies around a bogey at the sixth, and then moved to 16-under with a birdie at No. 12.
Lundberg would have won without the playoff had he just played par the rest of the way, but he ended up dropping a stroke at the par-four 14th. Then, needing a birdie at No. 18 for the win, he drove into the fairway bunker before hitting a clutch shot to within five feet of the hole.
But he missed the short putt, and the European Tour had its 13th playoff of the season.
'I played quite safe, especially after 12 holes when I had a couple of shots advantage, but then Andrew played some great golf to catch up with me,' said Lundberg.
Butterfield, who began his round tied for fifth place at minus-9, played the front-nine at even-par after a birdie at No. 2 and a bogey at the ninth.
But he exploded on the back-nine, dropping a birdie at the par-4 10th and collecting back-to-back pars before playing the final six holes at 5-under par to reach minus-15. That stretch included his second-straight eagle at the par-5 15th.
Delagrange (73) shared sixth place at 10-under-par 278 with Spain's Jesus Maria Arruti (71), Ben Barham (68) and Shaun P. Webster (69) of England and Italian Michele Reale (66).
Swede Johan Edfors (70) and England's Ben Mason (72) finished one stroke further back in a tie for 11th place, one shot ahead of five players knotted in 13th.
Interestingly, five players tied for each of the next three positions as well.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Cadillac Russian Open
  • Getty Images

    Stock Watch: Strange grumpy; Tiger Time again?

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 1:00 pm

    Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


    Jon Rahm (+9%): This should put his whirlwind 17 months in the proper context: Rahm (38) has earned four worldwide titles in 25 fewer starts – or a full season quicker – than Jordan Spieth (63). This kid is special.

    Tommy Fleetwood (+7%): Putting on a stripe show in windy conditions, the Englishman defended his title in Abu Dhabi (thanks to a back-nine 30) and capped a 52-week period in which he won three times, contended in majors and WGCs, and soared inside the top 15 in the world.

    Sergio (+3%): Some wholesale equipment changes require months of adjustments. In Garcia’s case, it didn’t even take one start, as the new Callaway staffer dusted the field by five shots in Singapore.

    Rory (+2%): Sure, it was a deflating Sunday finish, as he shot his worst round of the week and got whipped by Fleetwood, but big picture he looked refreshed and built some momentum for the rest of his pre-Masters slate. That’s progress.

    Ken Duke (+1%): Looking ahead to the senior circuit, Duke, 48, still needs a place to play for the next few years. Hopefully a few sponsors saw what happened in Palm Springs, because his decision to sub in for an injured Corey Pavin for the second and third rounds – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard – was as selfless as it gets.


    Austin Cook (-1%): The 54-hole leader in the desert, he closed with 75 – the worst score of anyone inside the top 40. Oy.

    Phil (-2%): All of that pre-tournament optimism was tempered by the reality of his first missed cut to start the new year since 2009. Now ranked 45th in the world, his position inside the top 50 – a spot he’s occupied every week since November 1993 – is now in jeopardy.

    Careful What You Wish For (-3%): Today’s young players might (foolishly) wish they could have faced Woods in his prime, but they’ll at least get a sense this week of the spectacle he creates. Playing his first Tour event in a year, and following an encouraging warmup in the Bahamas, his mere presence at Torrey is sure to leave everyone else to grind in obscurity.

    Curtis Strange (-5%): The two-time U.S. Open champ took exception with the chummy nature of the CareerBuilder playoff, with Rahm and Andrew Landry chatting between shots. “Are you kidding me?” Strange tweeted. “Talking at all?” The quality of golf was superb, so clearly they didn’t need to give each other the silent treatment to summon their best.

    Brooks Koepka (-8%): A bummer, the 27-year-old heading to the DL just as he was starting to come into his own. The partially torn tendon in his left wrist is expected to knock him out of action until the Masters, but who knows how long it’ll take him to return to game shape.

    Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.