Pettersson Hangs on for Memorial Victory

By Sports NetworkJune 4, 2006, 4:00 pm
Sweden's Carl Pettersson closed with a one-under 71 to win the Memorial on Sunday, claiming his second PGA Tour victory and earning an automatic berth in this year's U.S. and British Opens.
Pettersson ended at 12-under-par 276 for a two-shot victory over Brett Wetterich and Zach Johnson. He played the final three holes of his third round in the morning -- highlighted by a 45-foot birdie putt at the 17th -- and was even-par over 21 holes Sunday.
The win at Jack Nicklaus' tournament was not only good for a spot in the next two majors, it also netted Pettersson a career-best check of $1.035 million. He won $954,000 for his first win at last October's Chrysler Championship.
'This is a dream come true to even play in this tournament,' Pettersson said. 'And to win -- it's just phenomenal.'
Wetterich fired a five-under 67 in his final round, while Johnson shot a two- under 70 to reach 10-under-par 278.
Phil Mickelson made some of the most spectacular shots over the last two days of the tournament, but finished in a tie for fourth place at nine-under-par 279. Mickelson, who was playing in his first Memorial since 2002, shot his third straight 70 in the final round.
'It's been a more draining week than normal because of the delays...but a lot of fun, all in all,' said Mickelson.
Brandt Jobe fired a 67 and Adam Scott shot a 69 to finish tied with Mickelson at Muirfield Village.
Pettersson was at 11-under for a two-shot lead heading into the final round.
Weather wreaked havoc on each of the first three days, but the final round experienced only a brief delay of around 30 minutes in the afternoon.
Mere seconds before the horns sounded for the suspension, Pettersson beat the heavy rain with a chip-in birdie from behind the green at the par-five 11th.
That shot -- Pettersson's third birdie of the day -- restored a three-shot lead he had squandered with a bogey from a bunker at the 10th.
Pettersson found trouble at the par-four 13th, but saved par from a bunker with an eight-foot putt.
'Every time I hit it bad, I followed it up with a good one, which was nice to get back into it,' Pettersson said.
With his lead down to two shots heading to the 15th hole, Pettersson found the rough with his approach, flopped a shot within 14 feet and made a right-to- left birdie putt to go ahead by three again.
Pettersson slipped to his third bogey of the round at the 18th, but it didn't matter. After making the putt, he celebrated with a simple pump of his long putter and was greeted by Nicklaus as he walked off the green.
One of the keys to Pettersson's success this week was his ability to escape the tournament's furrowed bunkers.
Entering the Memorial he was ranked 107th on tour with a 47.9 sand-save percentage. Over his last four rounds, however, he was 7-for-9 out of the bunkers -- good for fourth-best in the field.
Asked if he thought the experimental bunkers were overrated, Pettersson balked.
'I don't know about that,' he answered. 'Somehow I got lucky.'
Not only did he sneak into the top-50 in the world rankings on the final day such a standing would count for the British Open, Pettersson also managed to escape the chore of attempting to qualify for the U.S. Open on Monday.
'That's nice. I wasn't thinking about that at all,' Pettersson claimed. 'I was just trying to get the job done on the back nine.'
Vaughn Taylor, Trevor Immelman and Woody Austin tied for seventh place at eight-under-par 280. Paul Azinger finished alone in 10th at minus-seven, while Jose Maria Olazabal ended one shot further back in 11th.

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.