Uresti Cruises to Canadian Tour Title

By Sports NetworkMarch 20, 2005, 5:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeAUSTIN, Texas -- Omar Uresti capped off a brilliant week in his hometown Sunday to win the Barton Creek Austin Canadian Tour Challenge.
 
Beginning the day with a two-shot edge, Uresti, who is a full-time member on the PGA Tour and played this week on a sponsors exemption, avoided any drama Sunday with a final-round 5-under 65 at Barton Creeks Crenshaw Cliffside course. The Texan came in with a four-day total of 16-under 264, five shots in front of Canadians Derek Gillespie and Rob McMillan.
 
Craig Matthew of Montreal wound up third with Aussie Ben Bunny and Californian Brian Guetz at minus-10.
 
Rookie Tom Johnson fired a 9-under 61, one shot shyof Gillespies course record set Thursday, to jump from 45th all the way to seventh while five-time PGA Tour champion Blaine McCallister closed with a 62 to grab a share of tenth with four others.
 
It was Urestis first win since 1994 when he was a member of what is now known as the Nationwide Tour. That day at the Shreveport Open, Uresti reeled off a Tour-record nine straight birdies, a benchmark that still stands to this day. So far this year, Uresti has made four of six cuts on the PGA Tour with a best showing of 26th at the Chrysler Classic of Tucson.
 
Sunday also marked the fourth consecutive season that a player participating on a sponsors exemption finished atop the leaderboard in a Canadian Tour event. Pablo del Olmo began the streak with a win at the 2002 Michelin Ixtapa Classic followed by Canadian amateur standout James Lepp and Nick Watney in 2003. Last year, Stephen Gangluff used an exemption to win the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship.
 
This was great for the confidence, said Uresti. Its been eleven years since I won, so maybe this is what I need. Anytime you can win a tournament, wherever it is, it is going to help you.
 
Uresti birdied his opening hole of the day and made the turn at 2-under to build a three-shot edge and never looked back on the inbound nine. Even as McMillan was attempting to beat down the door, Uresti just kept slamming it shut. The 36-year-old just missed rolling in an eagle putt from the fringe on the par-4 14th and rubber-stamped the triumph with a birdie on the following hole.
 
After waiting on the 14th tee for the group ahead to play out, Uresti struck up a conversation with playing partners David Hearn and John Mallinger, talking hockey and college hoops. The delay did not get Uresti off his game as the 36-year-old drove the green and two-putted for birdie.
 
We had to wait there for a while, and I ended up hitting a perfect tee shot, said Uresti, who lit it up for rounds of 63-73-63-65 this week. I think that was the shot of the day for me. I had been keeping an eye on the leaderboards off and on all afternoon; these guys out here can play. That shot gave me some breathing room and I was able to bring it home.
 
Gillespie ended an up and down week on a high with a final-round 66, helped along by an eagle and two birdies over his final five holes. But coming off a course-record 60 in the opening round, the 26-year-old Oshawa, Ont. native, who at one point Friday had a six-shot lead, knows he may have let one get away from him this week.
 
I dont know whats going on right now, said Gillespie. My game is up and down like a Slinky. I guess it is just part of the game. Even on the front side today, I missed some putts or I could have been really low. But at least I was able to bounce back.
 
Like Gillespie, McMillan began the day four shots back of Uresti and simply ran out of holes before he could make a charge Sunday. Had it not been for an unfortunate break late Saturday, perhaps it would have been a different ending for the three-time Tour champion.
 
As the third round was closing out, lightning touched down in the Austin area just as McMillan, playing in the final group of the day with Gillespie and Brian Guetz, hit his tee shot the on the final hole. Once play resumed, McMillan saw his shot had landed in a large divot on the fairway, leaving him with virtually no approach. His next shot found the hazard short of the green and McMillan ended up making double-bogey.
 
You tend to think about things like that after the fact, he admitted. But it was just a bad break. Theres not much you can do about it. You tend to say to yourself, Man, if I could only have that one back. But it was a good week, and hopefully I can build on the momentum.
 
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes
  • Leaderboard - Barton Creek Austin Challenge
  • Full Coverage - Barton Creek Austin Challenge
  • Getty Images

    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

    Getty Images

    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

    Getty Images

    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x