Moore Wins Rain-Reduced BuyCom Tour Championship

By Sports NetworkOctober 27, 2002, 5:00 pm
PRATTVILLE, Ala. -- Patrick Moore birdied four of his final five holes to shoot a final round 66 and win the Buy.Com Tour Championship. He finished the tournament at 10-under 206 as the event was shortened to 54 holes due to heavy rain throughout the week.
 
'This is the culmination of 10 years of hard work turning into six months of really good golf,' said Moore. 'I've stayed in cheap hotels and eaten in restaurants that I probably had no business being in.'
 
After play was suspended due to darkness on Saturday, 16 players returned to the rain-soaked course Sunday morning to complete their third rounds. Moore began play Sunday morning at 7-under-par, two shots behind Jeff Klauk.
 
Premium Video - Subscription Required Patrick Moore talks about his win.
 
Moore completed 14 holes on Saturday. After starting with four straight pars, Moore rolled in a birdie putt at the fifth. He followed that up with a birdie at the par-3 seventh.
 
Moore continued his roll with a birdie at the 10th. However, he faltered with a bogey at the par-4 12th. He was able to recover that stroke with a birdie on 14 before play was halted on Saturday.
 
Moore started Sunday on the 15th tee, a hole he went on to birdie. After parring 16, Moore birdied Nos. 17 and 18 to get to 10-under.
 
'I can't think of a better way of finishing the season,' said Moore, who finished first on the Buy.Com Tour money list with $381,965. 'I really wanted to finish the final round. But one positive that came from the decision was that nobody in the top 15 before the tournament lost their position on the final money list.'
 
Klauk shot a 1-under-par front nine on Saturday. He birdied the par-4 sixth and later birdied the par-5 10th. After he parred the next two holes, play was halted.
 
Klauk began his round Sunday on the 13th tee at 9-under-par. He faltered with consecutive bogeys at the 14th and 15th to fall to minus 7. He was able to get one shot back with a birdie on 17 to finish at 8-under.
 
With the ruling to shorten the tournament, fourth round action that was well under way, is wiped out. Klauk is hurt most by this decision.
 
He had recovered from his third round troubles and was at 11-under through nine holes when play was suspended and eventually called. Moore on the other hand was 1-over through nine holes and tied with Arron Oberholser in second place.
 
There are other ramifications to the event being called. Klauk, if he had gone on to win, would have jumped from 42nd on the Buy.Com Tour money list into the top 15, meaning he would have automatically gained his PGA Tour card for next season.
 
However, Moore was declared the winner since he led after 54 holes. With the victory, he earns the automatic 'Battlefield Promotion' to the PGA Tour. Earlier in the season, Moore won the Richmond Open and Lake Erie Charity Classic. He becomes just the fifth player in history to receive the promotion. He is now eligible to play in the final full-field PGA event, the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, next weekend.
 
'Playing on the PGA Tour is something that I've always wanted to do' Moore said. 'It'll be a fun week to go to the Southern Farm and see what the PGA Tour is all about.'
 
Klauk finished tied for second at 8-under. Steven Alker and Mike Heinen joined him at minus 8 208. Oberholser and Eric Meeks were one shot further back at 7-under.
 
Jason Buha, Roland Thatcher and Keoke Cotner tied for seventh at 6-under 210.
 
For the first time since 1993, a player in the top 15 on the money list entering this event wasn't bumped out.
 
The following players earned their PGA Tour exemptions, for next season, by finishing in the top 15 on the money list: Oberholser, Doug Baron, Alker, Cliff Kresge, Jason Gore, Todd Fischer, Marco Dawson, Darron Stiles, Aaron Baddeley, Buha, Patrick Sheehan, Gavin Coles, Tag Ridings and Todd Barranger.
 
Final results from the Buy.Com Tour Championship
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McIlroy gets back on track

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 21, 2018, 3:10 pm

There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:

He is well ahead of schedule.

Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.

“Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”

To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”

And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out. 

Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.

“I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”

The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.

The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)

But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.

Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.

Everything in his life is lined up.

Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.

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Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.


Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.

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McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:08 pm

Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.

Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.

The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.

McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.