Palmer Wins Funai with 62

By Sports NetworkOctober 24, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Funai Classic @ Disney WorldLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Ryan Palmer had two hot stretches of golf Sunday and they carried him to a three-stroke win at the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World Resort.
Palmer closed with a 10-under 62 to finish the event at 22-under-par 266 for his first PGA Tour title.
'It's just unbelievable. What a week, what a day,' said Palmer, who picked up $756,000 for the win. 'To play the way I did today and come out on top, what a feeling. I've never shot 62 in the final round. Never in my career had I shot it. Its just the second time in my career I had 10 birdies.'
World No. 1 Vijay Singh, who won this event last year, closed with a 5-under 67 to finish at 19-under-par 269. He shared second place with third-round co-leader Briny Baird, who posted a final-round 70.
Cameron Beckman and Joey Sindelar were one stroke further back at minus-18. Tom Lehman, who shared the third-round lead with Baird, closed with an even-par 72 to end at 17-under-par 271.
Palmer, a tour rookie, opened with a birdie at the first and came right back with a birdie on two. After a par at three, Palmer birdied No. 4 on the Magnolia Course to move to minus-15.
The Texas A & M alum sank a birdie putt on five to keep his roll going. Palmer made it three straight, and birdies on five of the first six holes, as he sank his birdie putt on six.
With that last birdie, Palmer tied Baird and Lehman for the lead. Palmer cruised around the turn with five straight pars before turning it on again.
Palmer stuck his second shot within 2 feet of the cup for birdie at the 12th. That birdie again tied him for the lead at minus-18. He quickly jumped two shots clear of the field with birdies at the 14th and 15th.
Palmer, who won on the Nationwide Tour in 2003, made it three straight as he dropped his second shot within a foot of the cup on No. 16. The 28-year-old kicked in that birdie and made it four straight as he drained a 50-foot birdie putt on 17.
Palmer left a birdie putt just short of the cup at the last, but he tapped in for par. Then it was off to the clubhouse to watch the final eight groups come in. No one was able to catch him and it was off to the winner's circle for Palmer.
'My caddie and I figured 20 under was a good number to get to and that was my main goal,' Palmer said. 'I've been hitting the ball good all week. I finally got some putts to go in. Winning last year was a lot of confidence for me coming into this year. I played in Australia over the winter and had some good success over there. I had the confidence and the game, it was just a matter of proving it to myself.'
Singh, who battled his swing on Friday, worked out the kinks on the range after that round. He closed with rounds of 65-67 to move into second place.
The Fijian moved into red figures Sunday with birdies at four and five. However, Singh tripped to a bogey at the sixth. He fought right back to birdie the next to get to 16 under.
Singh ran off four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the 10th to jump to 20 under. He was within two strokes of Palmer, but could not get any closer.
Singh fought a balky putter down the stretch. That included a three-putt bogey on the 16th, but he parred his final two holes to share second.
'I made a few mistakes early with a bogey at six and a bad drive at eight,' said Singh. 'I thought I played well though. I tried to make that putt on the last and dragged it left a little. I'm looking forward to next week because my game is coming back.'
Baird opened with six straight pars before a birdie at seven. He moved to 19 under with a birdie at the 11th. Baird got within two of Palmer with a birdie at 14. Like Singh, Baird bogeyed 16 and parred the final two holes to finish three off the pace.
Lehman was joined in a tie for sixth at minus-17 by Mark Hensby (68), Mark Calcavecchia (69) and Tim Clark (69). Lucas Glover, John Huston, Neal Lancaster, Geoff Ogilvy, Carl Pettersson and Vaughn Taylor ended one stroke further back at 16-under-par 272.
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    Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x