Pampling Perseveres for First Win

By Sports NetworkAugust 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
The International 2004CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Rod Pampling eagled the par-5 17th Sunday for a crucial five points that lifted him to his first PGA Tour title at The International. Pampling grinded for two points in the final round for a 31-point total at Castle Pines.
'I would say it's draining and the things that go with winning, but that's all the stuff that I think you want to have happen,' said Pampling.
Alex Cejka was making a charge on the back nine until a double bogey at the 16th cost him three points and the lead. Cejka tallied a single point on Sunday to finish alone in second place with 29. Tom Pernice, Jr., who won this event in 2001, followed with 27 points.
While the final round of The International typically features wild finishes under the modified Stableford scoring, which awards points for birdies, eagles and double eagles, and subtracts points for bogeys and double bogeys, difficult pin placements brought the players to their knees.
'It was a crazy day,' said Cejka. 'Nobody really made a big move in the beginning.'
Chris DiMarco, who was dominant over the first two rounds, continued his weekend plunge, losing five points.
Pampling wasn't able to take advantage throughout the front nine with a birdie and a pair of bogeys on the front nine, and the Australian continued to struggle on the inward half.
'No one I think took control early, which I thought it was there for it to happen,' said Pampling. 'And obviously, I couldn't make it happen, although I was trying awfully hard.'
Pampling's approach to the 10th bounced over the green en route to a bogey and the loss of one point. He lost another point with a bogey at the 12th but looked to be in good position after his tee shot to the par-3 16th landed just off the green within 14 feet of the hole.
The 34-year-old, who moments before saw Cejka double bogey the same hole, three-putted for another bogey to remain one back.
Pampling then walked on to the par-5 17th, a hole that has featured the rare double eagle on occasion throughout the history of his event. Pampling missed the putting surface with his approach, but he had a good look at the hole as his ball came to rest in the short grass just off the green.
'I knew we had to keep it right of the hole because it was back up the hill,' he said.
Pampling drained the eagle putt to surge into the top spot for the last time. He parred the closing hole and Cejka was unable birdie the last, granting Pampling his maiden title.
Cejka was battling on the front side with a birdie at the fourth, but he fell down the leaderboard with a bogey at the seventh and a double bogey at the par-5 eighth, losing four points over a span of two holes.
The 34-year-old began to hit some shots on the back nine and dropped his second inside 5 feet for a birdie at the 13th. He then hit his third shot to 4 feet for a birdie at the par-5 14th to move into the lead alone with 30 points.
Cejka shanked his tee shot at the 16th, however, sending his ball into the gallery. He managed to find the green with his second, but was unable to save par, leaving his putt a few feet short of the hole. While a bogey would have only cost him a point, Cejka pushed his putt around the hole and watched as it lipped out.
He recovered quickly with a birdie at the 17th but it was not enough to catch Pampling.
'I've been playing actually very well the last couple of weeks, but I just didn't score that well,' said Cejka. 'And especially this week, I was scoring well. Even when I hit bad shots, I had great recoveries and that's what I was waiting for.'
Duffy Waldorf had a strong final round with eight points to move into fourth place with 26. Jay Haas gained important Ryder Cup points with a fifth-place finish after a 4-point performance left him with 25 for the tournament.
DiMarco followed with 24 points along with Stewart Cink and Tim Petrovic. European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer tied for ninth with Bob Tway and Mathias Gronberg with 23 points.
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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.”

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    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.

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    ''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.

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    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.

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    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.