Storm Tops Monty in Paris - COPIED

By Sports NetworkJune 22, 2008, 4:00 pm
European TourPARIS -- England's Graeme Storm fired a 5-under 66 on Sunday to come from behind and win his first title on the European Tour at the Open de France.
 
'Unbelievable,' said Storm. 'It's just a magnificent feeling. I've been putting too much pressure on myself thinking when is it going to happen. Is it going to happen? Hopefully I can go on to better things.'
 
Storm posted a bogey-free round on Sunday, including four pars on the final holes, a tough stretch at Le Golf National. He finished at 7-under-par 277 and won by a single stroke over third-round leader Soren Hansen.
 
Thomas Bjorn and Colin Montgomerie both shared the lead late in the back nine, but struggled down the stretch. Bjorn shot a final-round 69 and Montgomerie had a 70 to tie for third place with Simon Khan (72) and Damien McGrane (65). The group finished at minus-5.
 
Storm birdied the second and fifth holes to get back into the tournament. He drained an 18-footer for birdie at the eighth to get to minus-5, one shot behind Bjorn and Montgomerie.
 
Bjorn raced back into the mix with a birdie at three and a tap-in birdie at the fifth. He holed a 7-foot birdie putt at the seventh and found himself in the lead.
 
Montgomerie, the 2000 winner here, also climbed the leaderboard with front-nine birdies. He rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt at the third and kicked in a short birdie putt at the ninth.
 
Montgomerie moved into the lead with a 15-foot birdie putt at the 10th, then fell victim to an off-course distraction at 12. He heard a cell phone during his drive and missed the fairway well right. Montgomerie could not get it out of the rough and walked off with a bogey to lose sole possession of first place.
 
Meanwhile, Storm cruised to 7-under par thanks to back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14. Montgomerie joined him at minus-7 with a 4-foot birdie putt at the 14th. Bjorn could do no better than pars after his final birdie at seven.
 
Montgomerie was the first to fall off the pace. At the par-4 15th, the Scotsman missed a 4-foot par putt to give Storm the lead to himself. Montgomerie's approach at 16 sailed over the green and he could not save par to fall two behind Storm.
 
Bjorn bogeyed the 17th and Storm played 18 with a two-shot cushion. He hit an iron off the tee and had a long second, which he played 45 feet from the hole. Storm lagged his birdie putt to close to 4 feet and holed that putt to save par.
 
Before Storm's name could be engraved on the trophy, another contender emerged late and that was the overnight leader. Hansen found water at two and double-bogeyed the hole. All totaled, Hansen played the front nine in 3-over 39, but came back on the back side.
 
He birdied 14 and 16 to find himself one off the lead. Hansen narrowly missed a birdie effort at the 17th and had almost the same length as Storm on 18. Hansen needed a birdie to force a playoff and his putt came up short, giving Storm his first win on tour.
 
'It's obviously very difficult out there,' said Storm, who got into the British Open with the win. 'The last four are very tricky especially with the wind blowing. It was just make pars and hopefully that would be enough.'
 
Martin Kaymer (71) and Jyoti Randhawa (68) shared seventh place at 4-under- par 280. Ian Poulter shot a 2-under 69 and took ninth place at 3-under-par 281.
 
Bradley Dredge (68) and David Lynn (72) tied for 10th at minus-2.
 
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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.