Stadler Tops Haas at Pebble Beach

By Sports NetworkSeptember 5, 2004, 4:00 pm
Champions TourPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Craig Stadler won for the second consecutive week on the Champions Tour when he captured the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach on Sunday.
Stadler, who won the Tradition last week, fired a 6-under 66 to win the event at 15-under-par 201. Jay Haas, who was named to the U.S. Ryder Cup team last month, came in second after a final-round 68 took him to minus-12.
'My one goal this year was to win the money title,' said Stadler, who pocketed $300,000 for the win and is comfortably in first on the money list. 'It was pretty easy today. It was a wonderful event. This was awesome.'
The last player to win back-to-back events on the Champions Tour was Bob Gilder, who captured the Allianz Championship and Kroger Senior Classic in consecutive weeks.
This was the inaugural year of the event, unique on the Champions Tour. The players were paired with two junior players and an amateur. Play was spread over Pebble Beach Golf Links and Bayonet Golf Course over the first two rounds before Pebble Beach took over on Sunday.
Stadler held a one-stroke lead heading into Sunday's final round and added a birdie at the par-5 second. He narrowly missed the green with his drive at the fourth, but chipped with a 9-iron and kicked in the 1-footer for birdie.
Stadler three-putted for bogey at the fifth, but ran off back-to-back birdies at six and seven. Haas also birdied six and seven and the lead was two.
At the eighth, Stadler ran home a 7-footer for par to keep his two-stroke lead. He also had a tough par putt at nine, but holed the 10-footer, while Haas missed a makeable birdie putt.
Both players birdied the 12th, but Stadler extended his lead at No. 14. He knocked a wedge to 5 feet to set up birdie and move three clear of Haas. Stadler missed a 4-footer for birdie at the 15th, but Haas did not take advantage.
At the 17th, Stadler poured an 8-foot birdie putt into the left side of the cup. He was ahead by four and played the par-5 18th conservatively. Haas, down by four with nothing to lose, nailed a fairway metal 30 feet from the stick and two-putted for birdie.
Stadler got up-and-down for par at 18 to earn his seventh victory since joining the Champions Tour last year.
'Jay missed a lot of putts today,' said Stadler, who also won The ACE Group Classic and Bank Of America Championship in addition to his title at the Tradition last week. 'It seemed like all the putts I aimed at the hole went in.'
Haas may have three top-threes in his only starts on the 50-and-over circuit, but he has yet to visit the winner's circle on any tour since the Texas Open in 1993.
But Haas has something big left on his schedule in 2004. He was picked by American captain Hal Sutton for the Ryder Cup team, which tees off in two weeks.
'It's an exciting time for me. I really enjoy my time out here and wish I could have pulled it out, but I'm so looking forward to it,' said Haas, referring to the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills. 'It should be some pretty good stuff.'
Hale Irwin and Tom Kite each carded rounds of 2-under 70 on Sunday and shared third place at 7-under-par 209. David Eger, who led after the first round, shot a two-under 70 in the final round and tied for fifth with D.A. Weibring, who posted a 1-under 71. That duo finished at 6-under-par 210.
Bruce Lietzke fashioned a round of 5-under 67 and shared seventh place with Ed Dougherty, who put together a round of 71 on Sunday. They came in at minus-5.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.