McNulty Beats Purtzer Pooley in Playoff

By Sports NetworkJune 26, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Bank of America ChampionshipCONCORD, Mass. -- Mark McNulty birdied the second playoff hole Sunday to defeat Tom Purtzer and Don Pooley and win the Bank of America Championship.
'I'm delighted to win,' said McNulty, who pocketed $240,000 for the victory. 'I have been playing well and had my chances this year. I would not miss this tournament again.'
Mark McNulty
Mark McNulty outlasted Tom Purtzer and Don Pooley in a playoff to win the Bank of America Championship.
McNulty shot a 4-under 68 to post 12-under-par 204. Purtzer, who held the second-round lead, managed a 3-under 69 and Pooley, the 2002 U.S. Senior Open winner, fired a 7-under 65.
The first playoff hole was the par-5 18th at Nashawtuc Country Club. Pooley made a mess of the hole from the start as he drove into a fairway bunker and was forced to pitch down the fairway. The others drove into the short grass, but had problems with their second shots.
McNulty's second came up short and right in a bunker. Purtzer nailed his approach over the green in the rough. Pooley knocked his third to the back fringe, so it was down to a short-game contest.
Neither Pooley, nor McNulty hit good shots as McNulty's blast from the bunker never reached the putting surface. Pooley pitched his fourth to the front fringe. McNulty hit a good fourth and tapped in for par. When Pooley's chip did not fall in the cup, he was eliminated.
Purtzer had the advantage as his third stopped 7 feet from the flag. He missed the birdie putt, but tapped in for par and headed with McNulty to the 17th for their second playoff hole.
Mother Nature intervened on another hot day at Nashawtuc Country Club. Lightning was spotted in the area, so officials took the pair off the course for about an hour.
When the duo came back out, McNulty hit a 7-iron to 20 feet. Purtzer used the same club, but was 5 feet closer. McNulty drained his birdie putt, and Purtzer missed his, giving the title to McNulty.
'There's no better feeling than going to the 17th hole after an hour break and hitting a cut 7-iron close to the pin,' said McNulty, who collected his first win of the year and fourth in less than two full years on tour. 'I always felt it would be close and I'd need to do something at the last couple of holes.'
McNulty got into the playoff when he got up and down for par at the 17th in regulation. He landed in a bunker with his second at his 54th hole, but blasted inside 3 feet to set up birdie.
For Purtzer, it will be more unanswered questions. He was tied at 12 under when he played 17, but hit an awful chip and walked off with bogey to fall one back. He rolled in a 3-footer at 18 to get into the playoff.
Purtzer held the 36-hole lead last year until Craig Stadler blew by him in the final round.
'My short game let me down again,' admitted Purtzer. 'I don't make putts like I need to. It just didn't happen today. One of these days something good will happen here.'
D.A. Weibring (69), Bruce Lietzke (69) and John Bland (70) shared fourth place at 9-under-par 207.
Hale Irwin (70), Jerry Pate (71), Des Smyth (66), David Eger (69) and first- round leader Leonard Thompson (71) tied for seventh place at 8-under-par 208.
Stadler finished in a tie 12th at minus-7 after a final-round 69. The tour's leading money winner, Dana Quigley, also tied for 12th thanks to a 59 on Sunday.

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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.