Tway Edges Faxon Ends Drought

By Sports NetworkSeptember 7, 2003, 4:00 pm
HAMILTON, Ontario -- Bob Tway bogeyed the third playoff hole Sunday but it was enough to defeat Brad Faxon and win the Canadian Open. The win was Tway's eighth on the PGA Tour.
'This is a very special win,' said Tway, who pocketed $756,000 for the win. 'I've been coming to Canada for a long, long time. The reason is, is it's a National Open. We kind of think of this as a little more important than the rest of them, the other tour events.'
Tway shot a 4-under 66 on Sunday while Faxon posted a 67. The duo tied at 8-under-par 272 in regulation, then headed to the 18th hole at Hamilton Golf and Country Club.
Both players found the fairway at 18 but Faxon pulled his second shot 40 feet from the stick. Tway knocked his approach to 18 feet and it was up to Faxon, known as one of the top putters in the world, to lag his close. Faxon putted to tap-in range for par and Tway missed his, so it was on to No. 17 for the second extra hole.
Faxon drove into the right rough at the par-5 17th while Tway found the left rough from the tee. Faxon found a bunker short of the green while Tway had no alternative but to lay up short of the putting surface. Tway spun his approach to 20 feet but Faxon played an amazing bunker shot to five feet.
Tway missed his putt right and left himself with four feet for par. Faxon shockingly missed his birdie putt for the win and Tway converted his par to extend the playoff back to 18.
'It's a hard putt,' said Faxon. 'I'd love to go do it again. I thought it was going to break a little left and it never did.'
Faxon once again missed the fairway off the tee while Tway split the short grass. Tway hit his approach in a bunker on the right side and Faxon's errant tee shots finally caught up to him. Faxon hit a low hook that skimmed across the fairway and up 25 yards. He then hit a 6-iron through the green and Tway looked in good shape.
Faxon chipped to 12 feet and Tway blasted out to 10 feet. Faxon missed his bogey-saving putt and Tway lagged to the edge of the hole. Tway tapped in for bogey and his first title on the PGA Tour since the 1995 event in Hilton Head.
Tway also added his name to the long list of players over the age of 40 to earn victories in 2003. Tway, 44 and the winner of the 1986 PGA Championship, joined Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, Kenny Perry, Craig Stadler, Peter Jacobsen and Kirk Triplett as 40-and-over winners this season.
'At age 44, I don't feel that old, but I know it's been eight years and you don't get that many chances,' said Tway. 'So this is very, very special. We all keep working at it because I think we love the game.'
Faxon, 42, certainly had his chances for victory but gave all the credit to Tway.
'Hats off to Bob,' said Faxon. 'He played well on the 18th hole. It's a tough hole. If you don't get it in the fairway, it's very hard to get it on that green.'
Tway eagled the par-5 fourth hole and birdied No. 5 to get to 7-under for the championship. He matched Faxon in first with a birdie at the 17th when he chipped to three feet and at 18, Tway holed a 25-footer to save par and post the clubhouse lead.
Faxon birdied three holes in a row from the 13th to roll into first place.
Tom Pernice, Jr. had a chance to join the playoff but missed a 18-footer for par at the 72nd hole. He carded a final-round 68 and finished alone in third place at 7-under-par 273.
K.J. Choi (66) and overnight leader Hidemichi Tanaka (71) shared fourth place at 6-under-par 274. Singh and Fred Funk, who held the lead after an ace at the sixth hole, tied for sixth at minus-5.
Matt Gogel (67) and Loren Roberts (68) shared eighth place at minus-4, followed by Masters champion Mike Weir, who posted a final-round 69 to take 10th at 3-under-par 277.
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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."

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    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."

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    Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

    After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

    La Quinta was the site of Adam Hadwin's 59 during last year's event, and Rahm knew full well that a quick start opened the door to a memorably low score.

    "Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come in your head, 60, maybe 59," Rahm told reporters. "I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities, and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it."

    Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

    The Spaniard is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and while many players opted for a two-week stint in Hawaii he instead came home for some practice after opening the new year with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. That decision appears to have paid some early dividends as Rahm gets set to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Low scores were plentiful on all three courses during the opening round, and Rahm remained pleased with his effort even though he fell short of matching Hadwin's sub-60 score from a year ago.

    "That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every shot perfect," he said. "Overall, you've got to look at the bigger picture. I birdied the last hole, had a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for."

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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."

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    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.''