Scott Holds Off Goosen in China

By Sports NetworkApril 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
BEIJING -- Adam Scott overcame a charge from Retief Goosen and poor play of his own to win the Johnnie Walker Classic on Sunday. He shot a final-round, even-par 72 to finish at 18-under-par 270, which was good for a three-shot win over Goosen.
'It was a tough day,' said Scott. 'Retief played very solid. He kept making pars and putting the pressure on me. I hung in there and I'm very happy with this result.'
Goosen, the two-time and reigning U.S. Open champion, shot a 2-under 70 on Sunday and clipped a five-shot deficit to start the final round down to one around the turn. Unfortunately, Goosen parred every hole on the second nine and collected his 15th runner-up finish on the European Tour at minus-15.
Henrik Stenson holed an 8-foot bogey putt at the last to fall into a tie for third place. Stenson joined Michael Campbell (72) and Richard Sterne (71) at 13-under-par 275.
Ernie Els, a two-time champion, Colin Montgomerie and Brett Rumford all posted final rounds of 3-under 69 to share sixth place at minus-12.
The tournament was plagued on Thursday by high winds that forced the suspension of the first round after only three hours. The golfers had to play a lot of golf in the last three days to catch up, but one constant was that Scott was atop the leaderboard after each round.
On Sunday, he held a five-shot advantage, but Goosen caught up quickly with birdies at two and three. Scott dropped a shot at the third, so the lead fell to two.
Scott added one to his lead at the par-5 fifth when he sank a 5-foot birdie putt. Goosen missed a 6-footer for par at No. 6, so the lead was back to four. Scott went bogey-birdie at seven and eight and Goosen birdied eight to cut the lead to three.
Scott missed the green at the ninth and chipped to 7 feet. His par putt died left of the hole and his lead was only two. Scott made a mess of the 10th when his drive found the right rough. His approach landed on the front fringe and Scott elected to pitch past the hole. His 10-footer for par failed to find the bottom of the cup, so his lead was now at one.
The young Australian hit a spectacular iron shot at the par-3 12th. His ball landed 3 feet right of the hole and he converted the birdie putt to extend the lead to two.
'I really needed that,' admitted Scott. 'Looking back on it, that probably set me up to win the tournament.'
Goosen, who won this title in 2002, hit a poor drive at the par-5 13th and was forced to lay up. Scott found the fairway, then hit the center of the green with his second. Goosen's third landed on the fringe and he chipped up to 2 feet to seal his par. Scott's long eagle try came up 6 feet short, but he rolled in the birdie to retain a comfortable three-shot lead.
Goosen had a good look at birdie on the 15th, but his 6-footer broke left at the last second. Scott then seemed to have an excellent chance at birdie one hole later, but his 7-foot try skirted the left edge.
Scott gave Goosen an opportunity at the par-3 17th when his tee ball landed in a greenside bunker. Scott blasted out to 5 feet and Goosen had close to 50 feet for his birdie putt, which nearly fell. Scott made the par putt and both players parred 18 to give Scott his first win on the European Tour since the 2003 Scandinavian Masters.
'It was so difficult in the wind with judging clubs,' said Scott. 'I was a little shaky on the front nine, but I got it together early on the back nine. That was important.'
Despite posting the worst final-round score by an eventual champion this season on the European Tour, Scott became the third wire-to-wire winner in 2005.
Scott, the 10th-ranked golfer in the world, collected his fifth title on the European Tour. He also owns three wins on the PGA Tour and captured this year's rain-shortened Nissan Open. That victory did not count as an official win because the tournament was cut to 36 holes.
Luke Donald, who tied for third with Goosen at the Masters two weeks ago, shot an even-par 72 and took ninth at 11-under-par 277.
Sergio Garcia (73), Scott Drummond (73), Santiago Luna (72) and Steven O'Hara (72) shared 10th place 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.