Pappas Holds on For Win at Monterrey Open

By Sports NetworkMarch 18, 2001, 5:00 pm
Deane Pappas survived a bogey on the last hole to win the Buy.Com Monterrey Open by one shot over Keoke Cotner and Tim Petrovic. Pappas carded a 3-under-par 69 on Sunday and finished with a four-day total of 17-under 271 for his second win on the Buy.Com Tour.
'I have been playing well and I think the biggest difference is my putting,' said Pappas, a 33-year-old native of South Africa who won the Greater Cleveland Open last year. 'I'm making the putts that I'm supposed to make.'
Cotner fired an 8-under 64 on Sunday to vault toward the top of the leaderboard, while Petrovic also made a big move on Sunday with a 5-under 67.
Chris Couch, who shared the lead with Pappas after Saturday's third round, managed only a 1-under 71 on Sunday and finished tied for fourth with John Kernohan, Tommy Biershenk and Pappas' brother, Brenden.
Couch got off to a hot start with birdies on three of his first four holes, opening a two-shot lead over Deane Pappas. Pappas, who birdied the first hole, added a birdie at No. 7 while Couch made a bogey for a two-shot swing that left the two tied again at 16-under-par.
Pappas followed with another birdie on the par-4 8th to take the lead, which he carried to the back nine.
'I felt the momentum did swing in my favor as far as the two of us were concerned, but anything can happen on that back nine and I knew that there were a bunch of players that were pretty close,' said Pappas.
Pappas extended his lead to three shots when he birdied the 10th hole and Couch dropped another shot with a bogey. Couch wasn't a factor the rest of the way, managing only pars on the final eight holes.
Pappas, meanwhile, was 18-under-par and his closest pursuer, Cotner, was already in the clubhouse at minus 16. Pappas parred the 11th, but sandwiched a birdie around two bogeys over the next three holes to leave his lead at just one shot.
'I was keeping a close eye on that leaderboard,' Pappas said. 'I knew at the par-3 16th that the two 16-unders (Cotner and Petrovic) were in the clubhouse. Then it went back to me and Chris.'
Couch was still two off the pace as the two went to the 17th and Pappas drained a 25-footer for birdie to extend his lead to two over Cotner and Petrovic and three over Couch.
Pappas needed the extra cushion. He found his ball under a tree at the 18th hole and had run a shot into the bunker that guards the green. He then blasted out and missed a five-footer for par, but tapped in for bogey and the win, earning a first-prize of $81,000.
Cotner made four birdies on the front and back nines for his final round of 64. He birdied the 17th and 18th to make a run at the top, but ran out of holes.
Petrovic's round was highlighted by four birdies after a bogey at the 10th.
Couch, who won last week's season-opening Florida Classic, was looking to become the first back-to-back winner on the Buy.Com Tour since 1997.
'I got off to a great start with birdies on one, three and four,' said Couch. 'I hit 15 greens...I just couldn't get a putt to fall. I missed a lot of good putts that went right over the edge. I guess it just wasn't my day.'
Click here for full-field scores from the Buy.Com Monterrey Open
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McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.