Matthew Goes Wire-to-Wire for First Victory

By Sports NetworkFebruary 17, 2001, 5:00 pm
Scotland's Catriona Matthew shot a final-round 72 Saturday to capture the LPGA Hawaiian Ladies Open by three strokes over Annika Sorenstam. Matthew, who posted a total of six-under-par 210 for the 54-hole event, led from start to finish in winning her first title since joining the LPGA Tour in 1995.
Matthew comments on her Hawaiian Open win.
'It's a dream come true. It's amazing,' said Matthew, who collected the first-place check for $112,500. 'I think it hasn't sunk in yet. Ever since I've been out here, I'm trying to win every week. It feels great at last to manage to do it.'
Nancy Scranton, who was tied for the lead with Matthew early on the back nine, was within a stroke with two holes to play but double- bogeyed the 17th hole to fall out of contention. She went on to bogey the last for a two-over 74 and a share of third place at minus-two.
Sorenstam, who also was the runner-up at last week's Takefuji Classic, closed with a two-under 70 to finish alone in second at three-under 213. The 23-time winner pulled to within two strokes of the lead on the front nine Saturday but was never a real threat to Matthew.
'I think I played some good golf,' said Sorenstam, who along with the rest of the field had to contend with howling winds at Kapolei Golf Course, where just eight players broke par for the week. 'It was tough with the wind. Today wasn't as windy, but on some holes it was just tough to tell.'
Matthew had a three-shot lead at seven-under early on Saturday with a birdie at the fourth hole. However, bogeys for Matthew at the sixth and eighth holes together with Scranton's birdie at the seventh saw the pair make the turn tied at five-under par.
Although Matthew missed the fairway with her drive at the par- four 11th, she hit a seven-iron out of the rough from 142 yards out and her ball found the bottom of the cup for an eagle and a lead she wouldn't surrender.
'It's obviously a boost when something like that happens,' Matthew said. 'You start to wonder if it's your week.'
Matthew was tested down the stretch. She hit her tee shot into a bunker at 13 and wound up rolling in a 10-footer to save par. She then posted a bogey at 15 to drop back to six-under when she failed to get up and down after missing the green.
Scranton, only one shot back with two holes remaining, landed in a fairway bunker at the par-five 17th. She played her second shot out to about 100 yards short of the green but flew her approach into the back bunker. From there she blasted out over the green and into a trap on the opposite side. Scranton finally found the putting surface with her fifth shot and two-putted for a double-bogey seven.
Scranton landed her approach pin high at the 18th, but her ball rolled off the back of the green. She chipped and two-putted to close with a bogey.
Danielle Ammaccapane (69) and Wendy Ward (73) finished tied with Scranton at two-under 214.
Michelle McGann (70), Leslie Spalding (70) and Michele Redman (71) were together in sixth place at one-under par. Karrie Webb rounded out the top-10 with five others at even-par 216.
Defending champion Betsy King posted rounds of 75-74-81 to tie for the last spot at 76th.
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open!
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McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.