Singh Defeats Daly Defends Title

By Sports NetworkApril 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Shell Houston OpenHUMBLE, Texas -- Vijay Singh, who earlier in the week was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame, parred the first playoff hole Sunday to defeat John Daly and become the first repeat winner of the Shell Houston Open.
Singh closed with a 2-under 70 to join Daly at 13-under-par 275. Daly posted a final-round 67 to forge the extra session.
Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh made only two birdies Sunday, but didn't make a bogey.
In the playoff, Singh pushed his drive into the right rough on No. 18 for the second straight time. Daly, using a fairway wood, pulled his drive into the water left of the fairway.
Singh hit an average second shot leaving himself 50 feet for birdie. Daly's third flew the green. He pitched on to 10 feet, but it didn't matter.
Singh rolled his putt within 2 feet of the cup and kicked in his par putt for the win at Redstone Golf Club.
'It was a tough day for me,' Singh said. 'The way I started off, not making any birdies and putting myself in the positions to make birdies and never getting any. I played really solid and I'm really pleased with the way I hung in there and never gave up. Fortunately for me nobody came out of the pack except for John and kind of made a run at it. It was a good way to finish.'
Jose Maria Olazabal, who lost in a playoff three weeks ago at the BellSouth Classic, posted a final round 70 to take third place at 11-under-par 277.
Darren Clarke, who tied for second last week at the MCI Heritage, carded a 5-under 67 to share fourth with Greg Owen at 10-under-par 278. Joe Ogilvie finished one stroke further back at minus-9.
Singh opened the final round with a share of the lead alongside Gavin Coles. The Fijian bided his time while Coles and Owen both moved out in front.
'On a day like today, you're not making any putts, the only thing that can get you is when you hit one bad shot and short side yourself and come out and make bogey,' said Singh, who picked up $900,00 for his 26th tour win. 'Then you say, 'man, I played well and I missed one shot and I made a bogey.'
'I wasn't going to do that. I played to the pin or just away from the pin where if I did hit a poor shot, I'd have a decent putt at it and it worked.'
Both Coles and Owen would falter however. Singh was steady with 13 consecutive pars to open his round. He dropped his second shot within 5 feet of the cup at the par-4 14th.
Singh rolled in that birdie try to get to 12 under par, one shot clear of Daly and Jeff Maggert. Daly briefly joined Singh in the lead with a birdie on the 17th.
The reigning PGA champion responded with a two-putt birdie from the fringe at the par-5 15th to regain the lead. He parred out to remain there.
Daly opened with a birdie on the first. He got to 10 under with a birdie on the fourth. Daly then went bogey-birdie-bogey over his next three holes to make the turn at minus-9.
The two-time major winner got to 10 under with a birdie on the 12th. Daly's birdie at the 15th briefly gave him a share of the lead. He ran home a birdie putt at the 17th. Daly forced the extra session with a 10-foot birdie putt at the last.
'Nothing was going too good on the putter on the front nine, I missed a lot of short putts,' Daly said. 'But the way I finished, I'm proud of myself for coming back like that and hitting some shots when I needed to. I wished I would have done better in the playoff.'
Coles played the back nine in four-over to finish at 8-under-par 280 after a final-round 75. He was joined there by Brian Davis (70), Lucas Glover (67), Kent Jones (71), Maggert (71) and Bo Van Pelt (70).
Billy Andrade, Doug Barron, Carl Paulson and Charles Warren finished one stroke further back at minus-7.
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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.