Scott Saves the Day Wins Players

By Sports NetworkMarch 28, 2004, 5:00 pm
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Australia's Adam Scott splashed his second shot into the water at the 18th hole Sunday but managed to get up and down for bogey and win the Players Championship by a single stroke over Padraig Harrington.
At the closing hole at the TPC at Sawgrass, Scott, who had a two-shot lead, found the fairway off the tee. He pulled his second into the water and suddenly the possibility of a playoff loomed.
But Scott, who got a short game lesson from mentor Greg Norman earlier in the week, chipped to 10 feet. He needed to hole the putt to avoid sudden death with Harrington and that's what he did to become the youngest winner of this event at the age of 23.
'I felt good and everything. It's just one of those things that always seems to happen around this place,' said Scott, who pocketed $1,440,000 for the victory. 'I was glad I had a putt to win. I've had a few in the past and not made them. I felt it was my turn.'
Scott posted a 2-under 70 on Sunday to finish the championship at 12-under-par 276.
Harrington used a back-nine 30 to shoot a 6-under 66 in the final round. He finished at 11-under-par 277 as he has yet to reach the winner's circle in a PGA Tour event.
'It was a little disappointing, but I'm happy with my own personal performance, so what can I say,' Harrington said. 'I didn't really think there was going to be a playoff until obviously his errant second shot on 18.'
Phil Mickelson (71), Kenny Perry (71) and Frank Lickliter (72) shared third place at 8-under-par 280.
Tiger Woods never mounted a charge on Sunday. He only managed a 1-over 73 and shared 16th place at minus-3.
'My swing is good if I let it go and trust it, but when I get out there and I see a little trouble and I've got a little wind and have to hit a shot in play, I don't trust it,' said Woods. 'I didn't quite hit it good enough.'
Scott opened the final round with a two-shot lead and extended it to four thanks to four birdies and a bogey through his first eight holes.
Things went downhill for the young Australian on the back nine. He nearly landed on a cart path off the tee at 10 but missed the green with his second. Scott's chip left him with 12 feet for par and the putt didn't fall so Scott's margin was cut to three.
Scott wasted little time in rebounding with a short birdie putt at the 11th and an eight-footer at the 12th. He was once again four ahead of the field but Sawgrass and some poor decisions nearly cost Scott the title.
Scott elected to hit driver off the tee at 14 and his drive landed in the right rough. By the time he got to the green, Scott had 20 feet for par and he missed the putt.
As Scott bogeyed the 14th, Harrington was three-under on his round and climbing up the leaderboard. Harrington landed a five-iron three feet from the hole at the par-five 16th and converted the eagle putt to get within three of Scott's lead.
Harrington knocked a seven-iron to 12 feet at the last and ran home the birdie putt. He headed to the range in the chance that Scott would squander his two- shot edge.
Scott nearly cemented the victory at the 16th. He missed the green with his second shot but chipped to three feet. Scott's birdie try did not fall and now it was on to the famous 17th.
Scott made a routine par at 17, as routine as you get on the island green. He found the fairway at 18 and the engraver was already etching Scott's name on the trophy.
But thanks to a solid chip and some advice from Norman, Scott joined Steve Elkington and Norman as the only Australians to win the Players Championship.
'I probably would have lost the tournament, to be honest with you, if I was chipping the same way as I did earlier in the week,' said Scott, who won his second PGA Tour event after last year's Deutsche Bank Championship. 'Joining Greg and Steve obviously is huge, but the list is long here. It takes something to win this tournament.'
Fifty-year-old Jay Haas matched Harrington with a 66 on Sunday. Haas tied for sixth with Jerry Kelly (72) and Kevin Sutherland (73) at seven-under-par 281.
Reigning PGA Champion Shaun Micheel fired a five-under 67 to finish alone in ninth at minus-six, followed by Fred Funk (71), Paul Casey (72) and Bob Burns (72), who were knotted at five-under-par 283.
John Daly shot an 80 on Sunday but still received some great news. While Scott passed him on the money list, Daly remained in 10th place and that was good enough for an invitation to the Masters in two weeks.
Any player who was not already eligible and finished in the top-10 on the 2004 money list after this event, is entered at Augusta National in two weeks.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - The Players Championship

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  • Full Coverage - The Players Championship
  • Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

    You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

    Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

    Race to the CME Globe

    Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

    Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

    The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

    Ariya Jutanugarn is tied for the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

    Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

    So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng and Brooke Henderson are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

    Rolex Player of the Year

    The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

    Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

    Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

    Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

    It’s simple math.

    The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

    1st - 30 points

    2nd – 12 points

    3rd – 9 points

    4th – 7 points

    5th – 6 points

    6th – 5 points

    7rd – 4 points

    8th – 3 points

    9th – 2 points

    10th – 1 point

    Vare Trophy

    Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

    Money-winning title

    Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

    Rolex world No. 1 ranking

    World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

    Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

    At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.

    Cook leads RSM Classic by three at Sea Island

    By Associated PressNovember 19, 2017, 12:28 am

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes in the RSM Classic.

    Cook, a shot ahead after a second-round 62, had five birdies and a bogey - his first of the week - to reach 18-under 194 with a round left at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.

    ''Putting is key right now,'' Cook said. ''Been able to make a lot of clutch putts for the pars to save no bogeys. Hitting the ball pretty much where we're looking and giving ourselves good opportunities on every hole.''

    Former University of Georgia player Chris Kirk was second after a 64.

    ''I'm really comfortable here,'' Kirk said. ''I love Sea Island. I lived here for 6 1/2 years, so I played the golf course a lot, SEC Championships and come down here for the RSM Classic. My family and I, we come down here a few other times a year as well.''

    Brian Gay was another stroke back at 14 under after a 69.

    ''I love the course,'' Gay said. ''We keep getting different wind directions so it's keeping us on our toes. Supposed to be another completely different wind direction tomorrow, so we're getting a new course every day.''

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    J.J. Spaun had a 62 to get to 13 under.

    ''I just kind of played stress-free golf out there and kept the golf ball in front of me,'' Spaun said. ''I had a lot of looks and scrambled pretty well, even though it was only a handful of times, but pretty overall pleased with how I played today.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player earned his PGA Tour card through the Tour.

    ''I think with an extra year on the Web this past year, I really grew mentally and with my game, just kind of more confidence,'' Cook said. ''I was able to put myself in contention on the more this year than I have in the past. I think I've just, you know, learned from experiences on the Web to help me grow out here.''

    He planned to keep it simple Saturday night.

    ''I've got my parents here and my in-laws are both here as well as my wife,'' Cook said. ''Go home and just have a good home-cooked meal and just kind of enjoy the time and embrace the moment.''

    Kirk won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015 at Colonial.

    ''It's nice to be back in contention again,'' Kirk said. ''It's been a little while for me. But I felt great out there today, I felt really comfortable, and so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow and I'll keep my foot on the pedal and stay aggressive, try to make some birdies.''