Rumford Tops Harrington at Irish Open

By Sports NetworkJuly 25, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Nissan Irish OpenBALTRAY, Ireland -- Australian Brett Rumford posted a 5-under 67 on Sunday to cruise to a four-shot win at the Irish Open. Rumford finished at 14-under-par 274 for his second career victory on the European Tour.
Padraig Harrington put up a valiant effort in an attempt to become the first Irishman since John O'Leary in 1982 to win this event, ultimately falling short after a round of 67 left him at 10-under-par 278 along with Raphael Jacquelin. Peter Lonard, the veteran Australian whose quest for a maiden European Tour title continues, was one shot further back at 9-under-par 279.
Rumford earned his playing status on the European Tour thanks to a win at last year's Aa St. Omer Open, a tournament that is co-sanctioned with the Challenge Tour. While that victory granted him his card, Rumford will certainly treasure this title for its status on the circuit, and because his name is now right next to such past winners as Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Sergio Garcia and Colin Montgomerie.
'I'm really burning inside,' said Rumford. 'There's no feeling quite like this.'
Rumford trailed Lonard by a stroke to start the final round at County Louth Golf Club and it didn't take long for him to surpass his fellow countryman. While Lonard parred each of his first four holes, Rumford birdied three in a row starting at the second to take the lead at 12 under.
Rumford stumbled to a bogey at the fifth, but came right back with a birdie at the very next hole. Lonard, who had trouble with a bogey at the fifth, answered with a birdie at the sixth only to give that shot back with a bogey at the following hole to fall three shots off the pace.
At the par-4 10th, Rumford hit his second shot inside 30 feet and ran home the long birdie putt to move to minus-13. Rumford then hit his approach to 6 feet for a birdie at the 12th to further extend his advantage.
Rumford faltered with a bogey at the 13th and looked to be in more trouble at the par-3 15th after his tee shot missed the green. Rumford holed out from the rough for a birdie, however, and drained an 18-footer for a birdie at the 16th to pull five shots clear of the field.
'I had a lot of thoughts running through my head at that stage,' Rumford said of his play on the 15th. 'It was a tough chip shot downwind, down a hill, and luckily enough it hit the pin. I think that was probably the point in which I sort of relaxed after that chip shot and just tried to play my own game coming in.'
Rumford then parred the 17th and closed with a bogey at the last to secure the title and give himself an early birthday present.
'I think it was just for myself, just staying in the present moment and just trying to play my own game,' said Rumford, who will celebrate this 27th birthday on Tuesday.
Harrington made an early charge with birdies on each of his first three holes. He then birdied the sixth to move to 9 under, but struggled to a bogey at the very next hole.
The 32-year-old added a birdie at the 12th and moved within two of Rumford with a birdie at the 14th. Harrington could not get any closer, however, and a bogey at the 16th squandered his chances.
Harrington capped off his round with a birdie at the 18th for his share of second.
Jacquelin also birdied the 18th to complete a 67 of his own.
Lonard opened the event with a blistering 64, but failed to break 70 the rest of the way. He carded a 73 on Sunday to finish five shots behind Rumford.
Paul McGinley, Andrew Oldcorn and Paul Broadhurst tied for fifth place at 8-under-par 280. Peter Fowler, Nick O'Hern and Peter Baker followed at 7-under-par 281.
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    Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

    After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

    La Quinta was the site of Adam Hadwin's 59 during last year's event, and Rahm knew full well that a quick start opened the door to a memorably low score.

    "Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come in your head, 60, maybe 59," Rahm told reporters. "I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities, and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it."

    Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

    The Spaniard is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and while many players opted for a two-week stint in Hawaii he instead came home for some practice after opening the new year with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. That decision appears to have paid some early dividends as Rahm gets set to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Low scores were plentiful on all three courses during the opening round, and Rahm remained pleased with his effort even though he fell short of matching Hadwin's sub-60 score from a year ago.

    "That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every shot perfect," he said. "Overall, you've got to look at the bigger picture. I birdied the last hole, had a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for."

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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings.