Poulter Outlasts Monty for Title

By Sports NetworkAugust 10, 2003, 4:00 pm
COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Ian Poulter fired a 6-under 66 on Sunday, then watched Colin Montgomerie miss a birdie putt on the 72nd to win the inaugural Nordic Open. Poulter finished at 22-under-par 266, good for a one-shot victory over Montgomerie, who carded a final-round 68 at Simon's Golf Club.
 
Stephen Gallacher fired a 9-under 63 to share third place with Gregory Havret (68) and Soren Hansen (69), the local favorite and overnight co-leader. The trio finished at 20-under-par 268.
 
Poulter, playing in the group ahead of Montgomerie, came to the par-5 closing holes with a two-shot lead and the length to reach both greens in two. At the 17th, Poulter came up short in a bunker but his ball plugged into the trap, right above the lip forcing Poulter to play the shot with one foot in the bunker and one foot out. He blasted out short of the green but chipped to four feet to save par.
 
Montgomerie's second went through the green onto the back fringe. He went right at it to try and hole the chip but his ball ran six feet past the hole. Montgomerie sank the birdie try to get within one shot of Poulter's lead.
 
Poulter looked to be in strong shape to make birdie at the 18th when his second shot fell just right of the green. Unfortunately for Poulter he chunked his chip and left himself with 25 feet for birdie. That putt fell short and left but he tapped in for par and went to the scorer's tent to watch Montgomerie finish.
 
Montgomerie found the right side of the fairway and watched Poulter make par. He needed birdie to force a playoff but his second shot sailed into the gallery on the right side. Montgomerie got lucky when the ball struck a spectator in the hand and fell in good lie. His pitch landed 15 feet from the hole but the putt never broke to the left and it was the second runner-up finish for the Scotsman.
 
'I'm delighted. It was tense sitting in the hunt there but it was all worthwhile,' said Poulter. 'I was waiting for someone to make a move and as long as I stuck to my game plan and kept making good swings, it would be interesting to see who's coming.
 
'I haven't played these last two holes very well the last few days, in fact I haven't played them well all week. I've played 16 holes as pure as pure can be. I was really enjoying that.'
 
The win was Poulter's second of 2003 as he won the Wales Open in late May. Sunday's victory was his fifth on the European Tour in his young career which began in 2000.
 
Poulter birdied the second hole and added another birdie at the par-5 seventh when he two-putted from long distance. That birdie tied Poulter in first with four other players but Poulter claimed first with another birdie at eight.
 
Montgomerie matched Poulter at 19-under par but dropped a stroke to par when his approach at nine landed in a patron's bag. Poulter wedged his approach to five feet to set up birdie at 11 and made it two in a row with a birdie at 12 to suddenly take a two-shot lead.
 
Montgomerie clawed back into the tournament with birdies at 12 and 13. He trailed Poulter by two until the par-5 closing holes where Montgomerie was unable to catch Poulter.
 
'Winning is nice but second isn't bad before I go to the PGA Championship,' said Montgomerie, who is still in search of his first major championship. 'I said that 22-under would win and I didn't quite get there. I had two bogeys today and that isn't good enough. I was given a chance by Ian over the closing holes but couldn't take it.'
 
Brian Davis carded a 68 on Sunday to take sixth place at 19-under-par 269, followed by David Gilford, who posted a final-round 70, to finish alone in seventh at minus-18.
 
Miguel Angel Jimenez (68), Marten Olander (67), Patrik Sjoland (70) and Steve Webster (65) shared eighth place at 17-under-par 271.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Nordic Open
  • Nordic Open Leaderboard
  • Getty Images

    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

    Getty Images

    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

    Getty Images

    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

    Getty Images

    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."