Senden Wins Headed to Hoylake

By Sports NetworkJuly 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 John Deere ClassicSILVIS, Ill. -- By saving par from a greenside bunker at the 18th hole Sunday, John Senden held on to win the John Deere Classic and earned a berth into next week's British Open.
 
Senden closed with a three-under 68 in the final round to secure his first PGA TOUR title, ending at 19-under-par 265 for a one-shot victory over J.P. Hayes.
 
'I've been at it for five years over here and it's just a great feeling,' said the Australian, who collected $720,000 for the win.
 
John Senden
John Senden reacts to his bunker shot which sealed his first PGA TOUR win.
Hayes, the 2002 champion, missed a 6-foot eagle putt at the 17th hole that would have given him a one-shot lead at the time. He shot a 6-under 65 Sunday to end at 18 under.
 
Alex Cejka and Heath Slocum finished tied for third place at minus-15 after rounds of 67 and 68, respectively, on the TPC at Deere Run.
 
Senden, 35, carded four birdies and one bogey in his final round and became the latest in a formidable list of players to earn their first PGA TOUR win at this event.
 
He joined a group that includes Scott Hoch (1980), Payne Stewart (1982), David Toms (1997) and last year's winner, 2005 Rookie of the Year Sean O'Hair.
 
Like O'Hair, Senden will accept an invitation to be the final player in the field next week at Royal Liverpool. He missed the cut in his only other British Open start in 2002.
 
'I'm excited,' Senden said. 'I was there in '02 at Muirfield, and it's just going to be another great experience.'
 
With all the pressure of playing for his first win resting on 35-year-old shoulders, Senden, the overnight leader, opened his final round with consecutive birdies at the first and second holes.
 
At the par-3 seventh, he knocked his tee shot within 4 1/2 feet and rolled in the birdie putt to reach 19 under. Senden led by four shots after eight holes, then three-putted for bogey at the par-4 ninth to drop to minus-18.
 
'I really battled through the whole day,' he said.
 
Playing in the group ahead of Senden, Hayes made a 16-foot birdie putt at the 14th to get to 17 under and within one shot. From 203 yards out at the par-5 17th, Hayes knocked his second shot within six feet but pushed his eagle putt.
 
He was tied for the lead at the time, but Senden would soon take care of that with a two-putt birdie of his own at 17.
 
For Hayes, who has made four cuts in just nine starts on the PGA TOUR this season, playing this event put him in a good mind set.
 
'I just feel real comfortable here,' he said. 'I don't know how many more times I'm going to get in (to the field) this year, so I have to take advantage when I do.'
 
Hayes' hope for a playoff was alive and well after Senden knocked his approach shot at the 18th into a greenside bunker -- 50 feet away from the hole. But it faded fast when Senden knocked the bunker shot within tap-in range to save par for the championship.
 
'The heart was going, and I just lobbed it out and let it go down there for the tap-in,' said Senden, who became the fifth Australian to win on tour this season.
 
Senden's other worldwide wins came at the 1996 Indonesian PGA Championship and at two European Challenge Tour events. He wasn't the only so-called 'no-name' on the leaderboard Sunday.
 
Michelle Wie withdrew on Friday because of heat exhaustion, and top-100 players were almost nowhere to be found.
 
Behind Cejka and Slocum, John Riegger shot a 64 to tie for fifth place with B.J. Staten (67) at 15 under.
 
World No. 62 Billy Mayfair was one shot further back with Kent Jones and Patrick Sheehan, while Jason Gore and 2004 British Open winner Todd Hamilton led a group of seven players who shared 10th place at minus-13.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - John Deere Classic
  • Full Coverage - John Deere Classic
  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: