McDowell Outlasts Levet in Playoff

By Sports NetworkMay 3, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Open de ItaliaMILAN, Italy -- Graeme McDowell parred the fourth playoff hole Monday morning to defeat Thomas Levet and win the Telecom Italia Open. Both players closed with 7-under 65s to force extra holes as they finished at 19-under-par 197.
Weather problems that completely washed out play on Friday forced not only the Monday finish, but also the reduction of the tournament to 54 holes. A total of 18 players returned to the course on Monday to complete their final rounds.
Levet and McDowell each had four holes to play when they returned to Castello di Tolcinasco Golf and Country Club on Monday. The duo had each birdied their final hole, No. 14, on Sunday.
The pair picked up where they left off as they both birdied the par-5 15th Monday morning. Levet forged a tie at minus-19 with a birdie at the par-4 17th.
McDowell had a chance of his own to win it on the 17th, but missed an eight-foot birdie try. After both men parred the closing hole, it was back to the 18th tee for the playoff.
In the playoff, the duo played the par-4 18th twice and both times they walked away with pars. Both men were determined to walk away the winner and it showed as they each birdied the third extra hole, No. 17.
The pair returned to the 18th tee for the third time in the playoff. McDowell dropped his second shot safely on the green. Levet, facing a 6-iron to the green from a downhill lie, caught his shot fat and it splashed down in the water short of the green.
McDowell took advantage that mistake. He calmly two-putted for this par and the win. It was his second win on the European Tour, with his first coming at the 2002 Volvo Scandinavian Masters.
'When I won in Sweden I felt I was still an amateur,' said McDowell, who picked up 200,000 euros for the win. 'I feel this is my first professional victory and I am a very happy man. I was still playing as an amateur when I won in Sweden. I was two months into my professional career.
'Looking back and knowing what I know now and feeling how much better my game is, now I feel I was still an amateur then. Since then I have had two years of working, grinding out here and it is a different world. I feel I worked hard for this one and it feels five times better than Sweden.'
Levet, who was in search of his first win since the 2001 British Masters, was not disappointed with his finish.
'I had a little 6-iron on the last and hit it fat into the lake,' Levet said. 'But I wasn't playing well coming into this week so if someone had said I would be in a playoff I would have taken it. It just seems when I play well someone else does as well.'
Gregory Havret also closed with a 65 to finish alone in third pace at 18-under-par 198. Angel Cabrera closed with a 3-under 69 to finish one stroke further back at minus-17.
Alastair Forsyth ended in sixth place by himself at 15-under-par 201 after finishing with a 5-under 67. Ian Poulter, Marcel Siem and Joakim Haeggman were one stroke behind him at minus-14.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - 61st Telecom Italia Open
  • Full Coverage - 61st Telecom Italia Open
  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.

    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    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.