Stolz Tops Lehman in Las Vegas

By Sports NetworkOctober 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
Michelin Championship at Las VegasLAS VEGAS -- Andre Stolz posted a 5-under 67 on Sunday to earn his first PGA Tour victory at the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas. He finished at 21-under-par 266 and won by a stroke over Harrison Frazar, Tag Ridings and overnight leader Tom Lehman.
 
Stolz was 217th on the PGA Tour money list before the start of the tournament, but the $720,000 paycheck moved him to 89th. The victory also gives him multi-year status on tour.
 
'It was pretty awesome,' said Stolz, a Nationwide Tour veteran. 'Winning, it doesn't matter where you are, it's the same job, to beat the guy you're playing with.'
 
Ridings played the back nine first at the TPC at Summerlin, the host course for the final round after play rotated between Summerlin, Bear's Best and the TPC at The Canyons for the first three rounds. He fired an 11-under 61, while Frazar posted a 67 and Lehman birdied the last en route to a 3-under 69 on Sunday.
 
Dicky Pride bogeyed the last when his drive went in a hazard. That gave him a final-round 69, which tied him for fifth place with Carl Pettersson (67) at 19-under-par 268.
 
Stolz trailed Lehman by a stroke after the third round, but birdied the first and used some spectacular iron play to get into first. He spun approaches to 3 feet to set up birdies at six and seven, then ran home an 8-footer for birdie at the ninth to reach 20 under par and take sole possession of the lead.
 
Meanwhile, players not near Stolz on the course, were making up ground on the leaderboard. Ridings started on the second nine and recorded four birdies, but his play on the front nine had him flirting with golf's magic number of 59.
 
He made a 75-foot birdie from off the putting surface at two, then birdied five of his next six holes. Ridings knocked his approach to 4 feet at the ninth and made the putt to get in the clubhouse at 20 under par.
 
'I really thought it would have to be 59 to get up there,' said Ridings. 'Next thing I know, I start making some putts and I birdied the last four holes. It was under the radar as far as I was concerned.'
 
Frazar, who lost in a playoff to Ernie Els at the Sony Open in Hawaii, appeared to be out of it with a bogey at the 10th, but he two-putted from 40 feet for birdie at the par-5 13th, and added a pair of birdies at 15 and 16 to join Ridings in the clubhouse at minus-20.
 
Stolz was tied for the lead with that duo, but Lehman made some noise on the par-5 16th. His second landed 18 feet past the hole and the 1996 British Open champion sank the eagle putt to join the leaders at 20 under par.
 
Stolz hit a 9-iron over the green at No. 16, and his chip stopped 7 feet short of the hole. The Australian stroked home the birdie putt to go one ahead.
 
At the 17th, Lehman hit a terrible tee ball that landed right of the green, and his second stopped 5 feet from the cup. His par-saving putt lipped out so Lehman fell two off the lead.
 
Stolz, who played with Lehman and was last to go on the 17th tee, hit a 6-iron 35 feet right of the hole and two-putted for par. That tee shot might have sealed the victory because with Lehman and Dicky Pride, the third member of the group, both right of the putting surface and water on the left, Stolz hit it in the perfect spot.
 
'That was a great shot,' said Stolz, referring to the 6-iron at 17. 'It's one of those shots that you've got to suck it up and hit a great shot. I hit a horrible shot there yesterday, so it was good to clear those ugly thoughts out.'
 
Stolz found the fairway off the 18th tee, but hit his approach 45 feet right of the target. His birdie try came up 4 feet short, but Stolz sank the par putt for his first win.
 
David Frost also played the back nine first and he fired a 10-under 62. He shared seventh place with two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen (65), Danny Ellis (63) and Tim Petrovic (69) at 18-under-par 269.
 
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.