Short and Sweet Victory in Vegas

By Sports NetworkOctober 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Michelin Championship at Las VegasLAS VEGAS -- Wes Short, Jr. parred the second playoff hole Sunday to defeat Jim Furyk and earn his first PGA Tour win at the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas.
'I thought when I first won I'd be jumping to the moon,' said Short, who pocketed $720,000 for the victory. 'I know what those guys are talking about when they don't have any emotion. I guess it hasn't set in yet.'
Wes Short
Wes Short reacts to his first PGA Tour victory.
The par-4 18th at the TPC at Summerlin proved to be a crucial hole in regulation. Furyk carried a two-shot lead on to the 18th tee and missed right with his drive. His approach came up 70 feet short of the hole, then his birdie lag stopped 4 feet from the hole. Furyk missed that putt so he got into the clubhouse at 21 under par.
Short needed a birdie at the last to get to minus-21 and he did just that. He ran home a 9-footer on the 72nd hole to force the extra session, his first on the PGA Tour.
They went back to 18 and Furyk had a chance to win the title. He missed an 18-footer for birdie so it was on to the par-3 17th for the second playoff hole.
Furyk hit a 5-iron into the water and would need help to extend the playoff. Short played a 4-iron into a bunker. After his drop, Furyk pitched to 7 feet and watched Short in the bunker.
Short hit a strong shot out of the sand that rolled right up to tap-in range. He walked up and converted his par putt, giving him his first victory on the PGA Tour.
'I don't know what to say, don't know what to do,' said Short, who is playing this year on a major medical exemption. 'I'm so excited. Can't wait to go get a beer.'
Furyk squandered a chance at his fourth victory in Las Vegas and ran his playoff record to a disappointing 1-6.
'I'm obviously disappointed,' said Furyk, who won this title in 1995, 1998 and 1999. 'It was my tournament to win again. I didn't get it done on the last hole.'
Short shot a final-round, 6-under 66 on Sunday to join Furyk at 21 under par. Furyk fired a 7-under 65.
Overnight leader Ted Purdy was in the hunt until his tee ball at the 17th hit a sprinkler head and fell into the water. He finished with a 1-under 71 and tied for third place with Harrison Frazar, who posted a 69 on Sunday. The pair came in at 19-under-par 268.
Charles Howell III birdied the last en route to a 2-under 70. He took fifth place at minus-18.
Short moved up the leaderboard with birdies at the third, sixth and seventh holes. He dropped a shot at eight, then atoned for the miscue with a birdie at the par-5 13th.
Furyk took the lead with a chip-in eagle at the 16th, but Short followed him with another spectacular shot. Short's second stopped 8 feet past the flag, and the 41-year-old rolled in the eagle putt to get within two of Furyk.
Then came the two-shot swing at the 72nd hole.
Short, who got into the field this week because Arron Oberholser withdrew, had two major goals coming into the tournament -- to finish in the top-10 to get into the field next week and to earn his PGA Tour card.
'I just don't like to go to Tour School,' said Short. 'I've been there so many times. It's so hard. That was my main goal. I thought if I finished third, I could probably not have to go.'
Nick Watney (66) and Shigeki Maruyama (68) tied for sixth place at 17-under-par 270.
First and second-round leader Briny Baird rebounded from a third-round 78 with a 65 on Sunday. He shared eighth place with Will MacKenzie (67), Hidemichi Tanaka (69) and Steve Lowery (72). The group came in at minus-16.
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.