Simpson Birdies 18th for Win at Pebble Beach

By Sports NetworkSeptember 3, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 WalMart First Tee OpenPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Scott Simpson birdied the final hole Sunday to earn his first Champions Tour crown at the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.
 
Simpson, who won the 1987 U.S. Open at Olympic Club, closed with a 4-under 68 to end at 12-under-par 204.
 
Scott Simpson and Bill Murray
Scott Simpson and Bill Murray share the winner's trophy with Wal-Mart employees.
Jay Haas had a chance to force a playoff, but could only two-putt for par at the last to share second at minus-11 after a 70. He was joined there by David Edwards, who carded a 68 of his own in the final round.
 
Massy Kuramoto ended alone in fourth at 10-under-par 206 thanks to a 7-under 65. Second-round leader Tom Kite and JELD-WEN Tradition winner Eduardo Romero were one stroke further back at minus-9.
 
This event paired Champions Tour players with junior golfers from The First Tee program, as well as other amateurs. The event used two golf courses -- Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course -- for the first two rounds, while Pebble Beach hosted the final round.
 
Haas flew into the lead early on. He ran off three straight birdies from the second to jump to minus-12. He gave a stroke back on five, but came right back to birdie the sixth, then parred the next four holes.
 
Simpson sank back-to-back birdies from the fifth to get to 10-under. Playing two groups ahead of Haas, Simpson birdied the 11th to get to 11-under.
 
Haas three-putted for bogey on 11 to create a four-way tie for the lead with Simpson, Edwards and Dan Pohl. Simpson remained steady as he parred his next six.
 
The 52-year-old Haas moved one ahead of the pack with a birdie at the par-5 14th. He could not save par from a greenside bunker at the next, however, as he slipped into the lead with Simpson and Edwards.
 
Edwards was steady throughout. He converted birdies on five and six, then birdied the ninth to climb to 10-under. Edwards birdied the par-4 13th to get to 11-under. He had a good look from 25 feet out at the last, but his birdie putt just lipped out on the low side.
 
Simpson dropped his approach to nine feet at the par-5 18th. He rolled that putt in for birdie to get to 12-under.
 
'I've never won on the Champions Tour and to even think about winning at Pebble Beach, you bet I'm nervous,' Simpson said as he waited for the final two groups to finish.
 
Haas had birdie chances -- from six feet on 16 and 11 feet on 17 -- but missed both. He also had a look at birdie at the last, but his 29-footer came up short and left of the cup, giving Simpson the win.
 
Simpson and Bill Murray were long-time partners in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the PGA TOUR, but have never won the event. Simpson's best personal finish in that event was a share of 15th.
 
'Obviously to get this win is such a thrill. It's unbelievable,' said Simpson, who collected $300,000 for the win. 'I had so much fun with Bo-bo (his nickname for amateur partner Robert Carter) and I got to play with Bill (Murray) and to have him walk around with us the last few holes was great. Just to win at Pebble Beach, it's hard to sink in.'
 
D.A. Weibring, Mike McCullough, Loren Roberts and Des Smyth shared seventh place at 8-under-par 208.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - WalMart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach
  • Full Coverage - WalMart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach
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  • 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: