Stiles Wins Rheem in Playoff

By Sports NetworkMay 14, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Rheem ClassicFORT SMITH, Ark. -- Darron Stiles made par from a bunker on the first playoff hole Sunday, edging Michael Putnam and winning the Rheem Classic.
 
Stiles entered the round with a four-shot lead on the field, but trailed by one stroke heading to the 18th hole. He tied it with a par while Putnam made bogey from a bunker.
 
The duo finished 72 holes at 13-under-par 267 -- Stiles after a 1-over 71 and Putnam following a wild 3-under 67 that included just six pars.
 
'It was a battle,' said Stiles, who claimed his fourth Nationwide Tour victory. 'I just hung tough, that's all I can say about it.'
 
Back at the par-4 18th for the playoff hole, Putnam found the fairway with his tee shot. Stiles hit a tree, but received a bit of good luck when it spit his ball back on to the fairway.
 
Stiles then knocked his approach over the green and into the bunker where Putnam made bogey moments earlier. But Putnam's ball also found sand again in a bunker right of the green.
 
From there, Putnam hit an average bunker shot within 10 feet. Stiles then seized the moment by blasting to within 3 1/2 feet.
 
After Putnam blew his par putt past the hole, Stiles drained his for his first win since the 2002 Knoxville Open.
 
'Michael played great today. It came down to the end, and it was just a battle of short games, I guess,' said Stiles, 32.
 
Stiles was lucky to come away with the victory after playing his front nine at 3 over. He got two of those shots back with birdies at 10 and 11.
 
Putnam, 22, recovered three shots on Stiles and took the lead during a fantastic three-hole stretch.
 
After playing his first 10 holes at even par, Putnam pulled within one shot of Stiles' lead when he eagled the par-5 11th to get to 12 under. He birdied No. 12 on a 20-foot putt to tie his playing partner, then chipped in for another birdie at the par-4 14th to take a one-shot lead at 14 under.
 
The good run ended for Putnam with a bogey at the par-3 15th, which dropped him into a share of the lead again at minus-13.
 
Stiles was busy parring holes after collecting his only final-round birdies at 10 and 11, leaving Putnam an opportunity to take the lead again with another birdie.
 
Which is what happened at the par-3 17th, where Putnam rolled in a long birdie putt to get back to 14 under. Stiles scrambled for par at 17 from a greenside bunker.
 
At the 18th, Putnam's approach found the bunker behind the green and Stiles hit into the intermediate rough. After Stiles chipped within 3 feet -- setting up a putt he would eventually make to force the playoff -- Putnam blasted 20 feet past the hole on the way to his bogey.
 
Deane Pappas finished alone in third place at 10-under-par 270 after a final- round, 1-under 69. David Hearn shot a 68 and was one stroke further back in fourth.
 
Erik Compton, Glen Hnatiuk, Cliff Kresge, Johnson Wagner and Jay Delsing tied for fifth place at 8 under.
 
Just one week after the death of his father, Delsing played in the final group with Stiles and Putnam. He closed with a tough, 2-over 72.
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.