McGinley Rallies for Win Garcia Monty Falter

By Sports NetworkOctober 30, 2005, 5:00 pm
European TourSOTOGRANDE, Spain -- Irishman Paul McGinley fired a 4-under 67 on Sunday to win the Volvo Masters by two strokes.
McGinley completed the event at 10-under-par 274. To go along with his fourth European Tour win, McGinley earned a five-year exemption on the European Tour.
'The size of this tournament is what means most to me,' McGinley said. 'I haven't won a really, really big tournament like this before. To win a big title like this means a lot to me.'
Paul McGinley
Paul McGinley rallied past Sergio Garcia and Colin Montgomerie to capture his fourth European Tour title.
Sergio Garcia and Colin Montgomerie shared the lead entering the final round, but both struggled badly on Sunday. Garcia posted three bogeys, three birdies and a double bogey en route to a 2-over 73. The Spaniard ended alone in second at minus-8 at Valderrama Golf Club.
Montgomerie carded a double bogey, three birdies and four bogeys in a round of 3-over 74. He shared third place at 7-under-par 277 with Luke Donald (64) and Jose Maria Olazabal (69). Paul Broadhurst took sixth place at 6-under-par 278 after a closing 71.
Despite losing the lead, Montgomerie did manage to claim the European Tour Order of Merit for the eighth time. The only player that could have topped the Scotsman on the Order of Merit list was U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell. The New Zealander stumbled to a 1-over 72 to end in 14th place at minus-3.
'I had my own Volvo Masters to win, if you like, and I did that. I'm very, very happy,' said Montgomerie. 'It's never safe around this course. I lost six shots of the lead in the last five holes Saturday and I knew it was never going to be easy or safe.'
Garcia grabbed the outright lead with a birdie at the first. He gave that shot right back on the second, but led after three holes as Monty bogeyed three. McGinley, playing one group ahead of Montgomerie and Garcia, birdied the fourth to move to 7 under.
The big swing atop the leaderboard started at the fifth. Montgomerie moved to 10 under with a birdie on five. Garcia's second at the fifth flew the green and he was unable to save par to fall one back. Garcia went bunker to bunker on the sixth and ended with a double bogey that saw him fall to 7 under.
McGinley was playing steady golf after his birdie on four. He parred his next two holes before sinking a birdie putt at the seventh.
Montgomerie missed the fairway right at the seventh. His second shot hit more trees and he finally reached the collar of the green with his fourth. A two-putt from there for double bogey dropped him into a tie for the lead at 8-under.
Garcia birdied No. 8 to make it a three-way tie for the lead, which would be McGinley's after 10 holes.
Montgomerie, a two-time winner of this event, bogeyed the ninth and 10th after missing both greens to drop to minus-6. Garcia also bogeyed the 10th after his approach shot hit a tree and came up short of the putting surface. That dropped him to 7 under.
Meanwhile, the steady McGinley parred Nos. 8 and 9. He took the outright lead on the 10th after his second shot stopped within 2 feet of the cup. He kicked in the birdie to get to minus-9, and he would not lose that lead.
'I knew I had a chance today,' said McGinley. 'I knew Monty had gotten off to a good start every day and I thought if he gets off to a moderate start, and I make a couple birdies, I could close the gap quickly. Fortunately, that's the way it worked out.'
The Irishman three-putted for par on the par-5 11th. McGinley carded a series of routine two-putt pars over the next five holes, then drained an 8-foot birdie on the difficult par-5 17th to seal the win.
'I was extremely focused down the stretch,' McGinley said. 'I have made mistakes in the past and I've learned the very hard way from them. I just remained really focused the last few holes.'
Montgomerie tried to get back into the fray with birdies on 11 and 14, but he was side-tracked by a bogey on 15. Garcia had a chance to catch McGinley, but he could only birdie the 17th to reach minus-8. Needing to hole his second shot on 18 to force a playoff, Garcia's approach from the left rough came up well short of the pin.
Niclas Fasth, Simon Khan and 1997 winner Lee Westwood shared seventh place at 5-under-par 279. Ian Poulter, the 2004 champion, was one stroke further back at minus-4 and was joined there by Stephen Dodd, Kenneth Ferrie and 2001 champion Padraig Harrington.
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.