McNulty Wins in Tour Debut

By Sports NetworkFebruary 22, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Outback Steakhouse Pro-AmLUTZ, Fla. -- Mark McNulty posted a 3-under 68 Sunday to win the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am in his Champions Tour debut. He completed the event at 13-under-par 200, which tied the tournament scoring record.
 
He shared the 54-hole scoring mark with Jim Colbert and George Archer, which they set in 1992, and Bruce Fleisher, who tied it in 2000. McNulty becomes the 11th man to win in his Champions Tour debut. The last to do so was Bobby Wadkins at the 2001 Long Island Classic.
 
Larry Nelson put pressure on down the stretch, including a birdie at the last, as he closed with a 68 to finish at 12-under-par 201.
 
The story for most of the day was Fuzzy Zoeller. He began the day at minus-1, but reeled off seven straight birdies en route to a 10-under 61, to tie Rocky Thompson's course record.
 
Zoeller finished at 11-under-par 202 and was joined in third by Tom Purtzer, who carded a final-round, 3-under 68.
 
McNulty, the overnight leader, opened with a birdie at the second to extend his early lead to two strokes. He came back with a birdie on the fourth at TPC of Tampa Bay to move three ahead of the field.
 
The Zimbabwe native stumbled to a bogey on the par-4 fifth and his lead fell to one stroke. Zoeller, in the midst of his birdie run, tied McNulty atop the leaderboard briefly when he birdied the 13th.
 
McNulty quickly answered with a birdie on No. 7 to regain first place at minus-12. He faltered to a bogey at the following hole, to drop into a three-way tie for the lead with Zoeller and Nelson.
 
Zoeller notched his final birdie of the day at the 14th to take over the lead outright at 12 under. He would later bogey the closing hole to drop back to minus-11.
 
McNulty birdied the 12th to regain first place as Zoeller faltered late. McNulty parred the next two holes and was caught on No. 14 by D.A. Weibring, who birdied the same hole.
 
Weibring, playing ahead of McNulty, fell off the pace with a bogey at the next, while McNulty took control. He chipped in for birdie at the par-5 14th and saved par from a bunker on the 15th.
 
McNulty, who was the medalist at the 2003 Champions Tour Qualifying Tournament, rolled home a 35-footer for birdie at the 16th to move three clear of the field.
 
'I really focused hard on that putt,' said McNulty of his putt at the 16th. 'I picked out a fine tooth pick to aim at and that's what I hit. I was delighted when it went in. That gave me the cushion I thought I needed to get to the house with.'
 
McNulty missed the fairway left off the 18th tee and laid up. He pitched his third onto the green and two-putted for bogey and the win.
 
'I couldn't control what Fuzzy was doing, so you just have to go out and do your own business,' said McNulty, who picked up $241,000 for the win. 'I had a couple of good things happen down the stretch when I needed them to happen. It's great to win.'
 
Zoeller was hot over his first 14 holes but cooled down the stretch. He birdied the first to get started, then ran off seven straight birdies from the fourth move to 9 under, three behind McNulty.
 
He continued his torrid pace with three consecutive birdies from the 12th to move into the lead. Needing one more birdie to become the first man on the Champions Tour to shoot 59, Zoeller cooled.
 
He collected three pars in a row to head to the closing hole needing birdie for 59. Zoeller missed the green right and tried to putt from a bad lie in the fringe. The ball came out soft and stopped some 10 feet from the hole. His par try slid by the edge as he closed with a 61.
 
'I birdied the first, then hit a couple other shots close and got on a roll. You know how this crazy game is,' said Zoeller, who won the season-opening MasterCard Championship. 'We just got into the flow with everyone making birdies. I hit the ball pretty close, made a couple of 10-footers for birdie and the ball just went in the hole. What can I tell you.'
 
Nelson shared second place to begin Sunday's final round. He birdied the sixth and eighth to grab a brief share of the lead. He continued his steady play as he notched nine straight pars to remain near the top of the leaderboard. As McNulty struggled on No. 18, Nelson put some pressure on as he birdied the hole, but McNulty bogeyed the hole to hold on for the win.
 
Weibring began the day tied for second. He managed a 1-under 70 to finish at 10-under-par 203 and alone in fifth place. Tom Jenkins also shot a closing 70 to come in sixth at minus-9.
 
Jim Thorpe, who carded a 3-under 68, shared seventh place with Gil Morgan (70), John Bland (69) and Vicente Fernandez (71) at 8-under-par 205.
 
Bruce Fleisher, the 2003 champion, closed with a 6-under 65 to join Tom Kite (69) at minus-7.
 
Related Links:
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  • Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose shot a 7-under 65 Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the European Tour's season-ending Tour Championship.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for an overall 15-under 201. The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is chasing his second Race to Dubai title but leading rival Tommy Fleetwood is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Order of Merit crown, is tied for 13th on 10 under.

    Fleetwood needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”