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.
 
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.