Spanish Rookie Gets First Euro Tour Win

By Sports NetworkJune 12, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourHILVERSUM, Netherlands -- Spanish rookie Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano posted a 3-under 67 on Sunday to come from behind and earn his first European Tour victory at the KLM Dutch Open. He finished at 11-under-par 269 and won by two shots at Hilversumsche Golf Club.
'It's difficult to explain,' said Fernandez-Castano. 'I went out today to play my best golf, and that's what happened. It's a dream come true. It's the icing on the cake.'
Gary Emerson, the overnight leader, struggled with the driver on Sunday. He two-putted for birdie at the last to polish off an even-par 70 and finish alone in second at minus-9.
Paul Broadhurst, who was tied with Fernandez-Castano one shot behind Emerson at the start of the final round, also shot an even-par 70. He took third at 8-under-par 272.
The lead turned quickly Sunday as Fernandez-Castano bogeyed his first, but rebounded with a birdie at No. 2. On the par-four third, Fernandez-Castano hit a 7-iron from 145 yards and dunked it for an eagle-2. That gave him the lead, one he did not relinquish, at 10 under par.
'I had about 145 yards to the pin and I tried to pitch it a few yards short of that,' admitted Fernandez-Castano. 'It just went in. I can't complain.'
Emerson only trailed by a shot and holed a nice 10-foot par save at seven. He knocked his approach inside 10 feet at the eighth, while Fernandez-Castano had close to 30 feet. The Spaniard drained his long putt, but Emerson ran home his putt to stay within one.
The ninth proved to be a critical hole. Emerson drove into the trees on the right, but had an opening that allowed him to play his second just short of the green. Fernandez-Castano hit his approach to 25 feet and Emerson played his third 3 feet short of the hole. Fernandez-Castano sank another long birdie putt and Emerson missed his to fall three behind.
Emerson bogeyed the 10th to drift four back, but last year's Russian Open winner had one trick left up his sleeve.
Emerson, who holed out for eagle at the first on Saturday, made eagle at No. 12 in the third round. On Sunday, he hit a 4-iron through the green and appeared to be in trouble considering Fernandez-Castano was 35 feet from the cup in two. Emerson chipped in for another eagle, and Fernandez-Castano three-putted for par.
While Fernandez-Castano holed the long birdie putts, and a 20-foot par save at 11, his flat stick let him down again at 14. He missed a 5-footer for par at the hole, but the lead stayed at two because Emerson made a mess of 14. Emerson, who missed the fairway with his drive, then again with his pitch-out, made bogey and was running out of holes.
Emerson badly pulled his tee ball left at the par-4 16th and landed in a right greenside bunker with his second. Fernandez-Castano found a fairway trap off the tee, but his second landed just long of the green. Emerson did not get up and down for par, but Fernandez-Castano did, and the margin was three with two holes to go.
Both parred 17 and Fernandez-Castano drove into trouble at the par-5 closing hole. He chipped out with his second and before he hit No. 3, Emerson hit a tremendous second that stopped 30 feet from the stick. Fernandez-Castano played his third into a greenside bunker.
Fernandez-Castano blasted out to 3 feet and Emerson nearly holed the eagle putt and tapped in for birdie. Had he made the eagle, that would have forced the tour rookie to make the putt to avoid a playoff.
It did not matter as Fernandez-Castano rolled in the par putt to become the seventh first-time winner on the European Tour in the 2005 campaign. He collected his first tour victory after only turning professional in September of last year. Fernandez-Castano was worried about retaining his card this year, now he has a two-year exemption.
'I was just one of those days where everything came easy,' said Fernandez- Castano. 'I was really feeling the pressure. I love this and think it will be good fun.'
Markus Brier shot a 1-under 69 and tied for fourth place with 2003 winner Maarten Lafeber, who posted a 2-under 68 on Sunday. The duo finished at 7-under-par 273.
Robert Coles fired a 4-under 66 to take a solo sixth at minus-6, while John Bickerton (65) and Peter Senior (70) shared seventh at 5-under-par 275.
David Lynn, last year's winner, carded an even-par 70 and tied for ninth with Pierre Fulke (68), Damien McGrane (68), Steven O'Hara (70), Andrew Oldcorn (71), Johan Skold (67) and Alessandro Tadini (72). The group was knotted at 3-under-par 277.
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  • Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

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    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.