Singh Denies Weir Wins No 7

By Sports NetworkSeptember 12, 2004, 4:00 pm
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- New world No. 1 Vijay Singh defeated Canadian Mike Weir on the third playoff hole Sunday to win the Canadian Open.
 
Weir stumbled to three back-nine bogeys to shoot a 1-over 72, while Singh birdied the 72nd hole to join Weir at 9-under-par 275. Singh's birdie capped a round of 2-under 69.
 
'It's unbelievable. It was very exciting all day,' said Singh, who won for the second straight week and fourth time in five starts. 'Unfortunately for Mike, he played pretty well and he missed his chances coming in. It was a tough day. The pins were really tucked up and nobody was doing anything except for Mike was just holding his ground.'
 
Singh and Weir returned to the 18th tee for the first playoff hole. Despite missing the fairway, Weir managed to knock his second shot on the putting surface, as did Singh.
 
The Fijian two putted for his birdie and was matched as Weir did the same. That sent the duo to the par-4 17th at Glen Abbey Golf Club.
 
On the 17th, both players missed the green with their approach shots. Weir blasted out of a greenside bunker to 5 feet. Singh bladed a chip shot 6 feet past the cup. Singh missed his par save and tapped in for bogey.
 
Weir, looking to become the first Canadian winner of this event since Pat Fletcher in 1954, slid his par putt by the lip of the cup and it was back to the 18th tee.
 
Singh smoked his drive down the fairway at the 18th, while Weir pulled his tee ball into the right rough. Weir, the 2003 Masters winner, pitched his second shot down the fairway.
 
Singh's second bounced just over the back of the green. Weir, needing to put his third close, hit a wedge over the right edge of the green and into the water.
 
After taking a drop, Weir's fifth shot came up 4 feet short. Singh, the 2000 Masters champion, pitched on with his third. He calmly rolled his birdie try by the right edge, but tapped in for par and his seventh win of the season.
 
'For whatever reason I could never get comfortable on the greens, but outside of that, it was a tremendous week, something I'll never forget,' Weir said. 'You know, I'm disappointed not only for myself, but obviously for everybody who was out there supporting me. It was really special.'
 
Joe Ogilvie fired his third straight round of 2-under 69 to finish alone in third place at 7-under-par 277. Stewart Cink, the top American Ryder Cup finisher, also posted a 69 to share fourth place at 6-under-par 278. He was joined there by Tom Lehman (64), Hunter Mahan (68) and Justin Rose (63).
 
Singh opened three strokes behind Weir and was steady to start his round as he opened with seven straight pars. The 41-year-old then dropped in back-to-back birdies from the eighth to move to minus-9.
 
Singh, a 22-time winner in the PGA Tour, survive the par-4 11th with a par. He played that hole in 7 over par for the week. He slipped to a bogey at the 15th, but erased that mistake with a birdie at the closing hole to join Weir at minus-9.
 
'I had really good chances coming in,' said Singh, who earned $810,000 for the win. 'I had a good opportunity to get up-and-down out of the bunker on 13 and I didn't and I was really frustrated with that. I three-putted 15, but the putt on 18, I needed to knock that in. It was hard to judge the distance coming in on 18, so I always knew if I made that putt on 18, I would have had a slight chance, and that's all I needed.'
 
Weir, possibly battling nerves being the hometown favorite, stumbled to a double bogey at the par-4 second after his drive came to rest under the lip of a fairway bunker.
 
He came right back to birdie the third, and birdies at the fifth and sixth moved him to minus-11. Weir left his par putt at the seventh short to drop a shot. He dropped in a 3-foot birdie at the eighth to get back to 11 under.
 
Weir climbed to 12 under and a three-stroke cushion with a birdie at the 10th. Things went downhill from there as he tripped to bogeys at the 11th and 13th to slide back to 10 under.
 
A bogey at the 16th dropped Weir into a share of the lead. He had a chance to win the tournament at the last, but his 8-foot birdie try just missed dropping in the cup and it was on to the playoff.
 
'Obviously I'm very disappointed,' said Weir. 'For whatever reason, I could not find a comfort level on the greens. When I look back on this tournament, when I have time to reflect on it, that's what will stick with me. I felt like if I could have putted halfway decent, it wouldn't have even been a golf tournament.'
 
Robert Damron fired a 5-under 66 to finish alone in eighth at 5-under- par 279. Mark Hensby and Jesper Parnevik were one stroke further back at 4-under-par 280.
 
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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.