Scott Fires Sunday 61 for Qatar Title

By Sports NetworkJanuary 27, 2008, 5:00 pm
European TourDOHA, Qatar -- Trailing by three shots entering the final round, Adam Scott fired an 11-under 61 Sunday to cruise to a three-shot win at the Qatar Masters.
Scott, who set the course record, completed the tournament at 20-under-par 268. Mark Pilkington and Robert Karlsson had set the old course record of 63 in 2001. Scott's total of 268 matched the tournament record that Paul Lawrie set in 1999.
'Well today was pretty special,' said an understated Scott. 'It didn't feel any different than any other day, but everything was going the right way. Right from the first green, rolling in a nice 15-18 footer there, it just went right in the middle. Everything was feeling good from there and I just ran with it.'
Scott, who also won this crown in 2002, collected his sixth European Tour win, but his first since the 2005 Johnnie Walker Classic.
The 61 was a personal best for Scott and was one stroke off the European Tour record. His previous best on the European Tour was 63, which he shot four times. On the PGA TOUR, Scott has carded four 62s.
'It's days like these that get your juices going,' Scott said. 'To go out and shoot 61 is certainly, under the conditions, the best-ever round.'
Scott's final two-round score of 126 was two strokes shy of the best closing 36 holes in European Tour history.
Henrik Stenson, the 2006 champion, gave Scott a run for his money as he closed with a 7-under 65 at Doha Golf Club, but it was only good enough to finish three back at minus-17.
Charl Schwartzel was two strokes further back at 15-under-par 273 after a final-round, 5-under 67.
Third-round leader Johan Edfors managed a 2-under 70 to end alone in fourth at minus-14. Lee Westwood matched Stenson's 65 to take fifth at minus-13. That was Westwood's fourth straight top-5 finish dating back to the 2007 season.
Scott got off to a flying start as he opened with a birdie on each of the first five holes. His birdie at the third gave him a share of the lead, while the birdies on four and five moved him two clear of Edfors.
'It's not the first time I've had a run, but for a Sunday of a tournament in contention it was a nice feeling to get out there and get the lead early,' Scott stated. 'I always like to consider myself a player who is not afraid of taking it deep and when you're on those runs you've just got to go with it.'
The Australian parred the sixth for the fourth straight day, but came back with a birdie on the seventh to get to 15 under.
Scott parred his next two, then birdied 10 and 11. Both of those birdies kept him two ahead of Stenson, who had birdied the ninth and 10th playing one group behind the leader.
He birdied the par-4 12th, then carded a pair of pars. Scott then birdied the 15th for the second straight day to take a four-shot lead. That birdie also got him to 10 under for his round.
With a chance at shooting 59, Scott parred the 16th and birdied 17 to get to 20 under. Needing an eagle at the par-5 18th to shoot 59, Scott only managed a par, but it was enough for a three-stroke win.
Stenson, who was searching for his seventh European Tour win, carded a bogey-free round of his own to keep the pressure on Scott.
The Swede ran off three birdies in a four-hole span from the third to jump to 13 under, where he trailed by two.
Stenson connected on back-to-back birdies from the ninth to remain two back. His challenge slowed as he parred four straight holes from the 11th. He birdied 15 and 16, but each was only good enough to keep him three back.
Needing a birdie and an eagle over the last two holes, Stenson managed to par both to finish three behind Scott.
'I'm delighted. I had a good finish in Abu Dhabi due to a good short game and good putting and I kept that going this week,' Stenson said. 'I tried my hardest. There is not much you could do about what Scott did.'
Edfors, a three-time winner during the 2006 season, was just 1 under after eight. However, he stumbled to bogeys on the ninth and 10th to slide to 11 under, where he trailed by six.
He ran off three birdies in a four-hole span from the 13th to get back to 14 under, but parred the last two to end alone in fourth.
Colin Montgomerie closed with his second straight 3-under 69 to take sixth at 11-under-par 277. Christian Cevaer, Nick Dougherty, Sergio Garcia, Jyoti Randhawa, David Howell and Anton Haig were one shot further back at minus-10.
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.