Rose Wins MasterCard Masters

By Sports NetworkNovember 26, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 MasterCard MastersMELBOURNE, Australia - On a day when only two players broke 70, all Justin Rose needed was a 1-over 73 to wrap up his first title in four years.
Battling tough pin positions, unpredictable winds and slick greens, Rose overcame a triple-bogey and three bogeys to win the MasterCard Masters on Sunday.
He saved himself with five birdies and finished at 12-under-par 276 for a two- shot victory -- his first since 2002, when the Englishman won his only other two European Tour titles.
'It was a roller coaster,' Rose said. 'I was really pleased, though, that my emotions didn't roller coaster.'
Richard Green, the 2004 champion, was one of two players to break 70, shooting a 3-under 69 to tie for second place at 10-under 278.
Green was joined by Greg Chalmers, who rolled in a long downhill birdie putt at the 18th to finish off a 73. Chalmers was earlier done in by a five-putt, triple-bogey seven at the ninth hole.
Australian amateur Aaron Pike, who led after the first two rounds before he was overtaken by Rose on Saturday, finished in fourth place at 9-under 279.
Pike holed out from a bunker for an eagle at the par-5 14th, but ended his round with consecutive bogeys for the second time in three days. He shot a 2-over 74 -- 10 shots worse than his opening 64 on Thursday.
He wasn't the only player in the field whose score suffered Sunday. Even those who shot well lamented the tough conditions.
'The course played very difficult,' said Green. 'The pin placements were very tough and the firmness of the greens was very difficult as well.'
'It was a really tough golf course today,' Rose said.
After Rose birdied No. 6 to take a three-shot lead, disaster struck. He failed to escape a bunker at the seventh, then three-putted for a triple-bogey to fall into a tie with Chalmers.
After Chalmers' putting mishap at the ninth, Rose birdied the eighth and was back in the lead. But he would be challenged again.
'I stayed very calm,' Rose said. 'Even when I made triple on the seventh I said 'Well, you are tied for the lead, game on.' And it was awesome to bounce back with a birdie on the eighth.'
Rose fell into a tie with Pike when he slid a six-foot par putt past the left edge of the hole at the par-3 15th. He got that shot back with a birdie at the 16th, then moved two ahead when Pike made a three-putt bogey ahead at the 17th.
Pike enjoyed a healthy round of applause as he walked to the 18th green -- deserved acclaim for his unexpected run at the title. But a 50-foot downhill putt ended, amazingly, inside a greenside bunker, and the surprising amateur made bogey to fall into fourth place.
Rose followed in the next group and made a two-putt par from long distance, wrapping up his first win since the 2002 British Masters.
He claimed his finish on Huntingdale's last three holes -- birdie, par, par -- was the difference.
'I bogeyed all three of them on Thursday, one of them on Friday, one on Saturday and I felt like I wanted a lead coming into those holes,' Rose said. 'So to play the last three in one-under was the reason I won the tournament.'
Aaron Baddeley was the fourth Australian to finish in the top five, joining Chalmers, Green and Pike in a good showing for the host country's top golfers. Baddeley shot a 1-under 71 and ended alone in fifth place at 8-under 280.
Aussie Kurt Barnes had a 70 and was sixth at 7-under 281. Matthew Goggin fired the round of the day, a 5-under 67, and led a group of three players who shared seventh place at 6-under 282.
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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.