Wadkins Birdies 18th for Victory

By Sports NetworkFebruary 25, 2007, 5:00 pm
2005 ACE Group ClassicNAPLES, Florida -- Bobby Wadkins made a 14-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole Sunday to beat Allen Doyle by one shot at the ACE Group Classic, claiming his third win since the beginning of last season.
 
It was the first time in a close final round that Wadkins lined up for a go-ahead putt.
 
'It was a pretty simple putt,' Wadkins explained. 'It was downhill and I knew it was going to get there. I've been lucky making nice putts to win tournaments the last couple of years, and I did it again today.'
 
After trailing Doyle by one stroke overnight, Wadkins shot a 4-under 68 in the final round and made seven birdies in his last 10 holes while he, Eduardo Romero and Loren Roberts were taking aim at Doyle's slim lead.
 
'It was just a good day. It was fun,' said Wadkins, who finished at 15-under 201.
 
Doyle had a 30-foot birdie putt at the 18th come up about eight inches short and closed with a 2-under 70. He ended at 14-under 202, missing the chance for a second win at the tournament where he claimed his first Champions Tour title in 1999.
 
Romero shot a 68 and tied Mike Reid (69) for third place at 13-under 203.
 
Mark O'Meara, playing in the final group in just his second Champions Tour start, struggled early but still managed a 1-under 71. He fell back into a tie for fifth place with Roberts, the 2006 champion, who had a final-round 66.
 
The duo came in at 12-under 204.
 
Wadkins now has four career wins on the Champions Tour -- three more than his better-known older brother, Lanny, although Lanny also owns 21 PGA TOUR titles, including the 1977 PGA Championship.
 
Bobby Wadkins had a shaky front nine Sunday, posting a birdie at No. 4 but then making two bogeys over the next three holes.
 
He began to turn things around with three consecutive birdies around the turn, eventually pulling within one shot of Doyle when he made a 4-foot birdie putt at the 11th and Doyle missed a 5-footer for par.
 
Wadkins bogeyed the 12th to fall two back and was still behind by a pair of shots even after making a 3-foot birdie putt at the 13th. He went birdie-bogey-birdie over the next three holes and was tied for the lead after Doyle bogeyed the 17th.
 
At the 549-yard, par-5 18th Wadkins was 40 yards ahead of Doyle after their second shots -- but his ball was in 3-inch-high rough next to a sand trap.
 
He caught a break, though, when Doyle couldn't get any closer than 30 feet on a 90-yard approach shot. Wadkins pitched within 14 feet, watched Doyle miss his birdie try, and then made his for the win.
 
It was the first time in five tournaments this season that Wadkins finished better than 26th.
 
'I worked hard this offseason on my back and my swing. The first four weeks I played decent, I just never got anything out of it,' Wadkins said. 'I got off to a good start this week and hung in there.'
 
D.A. Weibring and Andy Bean both shot 69 to finish tied for seventh place at 11-under 205. Fuzzy Zoeller (67) and Don Pooley (66) were a shot further back at 206.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.