Warm and Fuzzy in Hawaii

By Sports NetworkJanuary 25, 2004, 5:00 pm
KA'UPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii -- Fuzzy Zoeller battled through a crowd of players and birdied the final hole to claim a one-shot win at the season-opening MasterCard Championship. The closing birdie gave Zoeller an 8-under 64 to close the event at 20-under-par 196.
Dana Quigley, the 2003 champion who played the final two rounds with Zoeller, posted a 65 to finish alone in second place at 19-under-par 197.
Craig Stadler tied the course record of 63 to share third place with Doug Tewell at 18-under-par 198. Tewell, the overnight leader, fought a balky driver throughout the back nine as he closed with a 3-under 69. Tom Purtzer finished two shots further back at 16-under-par 200.
Zoeller began the day three shots off Tewell's lead at Hualalai Golf Club. He dropped further back with a bogey at the second, but he would roar back into contention quickly.
'A great week of golf. I gelled the whole week,' said Zoeller, who earned $268,000 for the win. 'I had a good feeling for this course last year. This course reminds me of Waialae years ago.'
The 2002 Senior PGA champion drained back-to-back birdies from the third to move to 13 under. He continued his move with a long birdie putt at the fifth.
After draining another birdie at No. 6, Zoeller capped a run of five straight birdies with a 15-footer at the seventh that gave him a share of the lead at 16 under.
Tewell moved back into first place with a birdie at the seventh, but he dropped a shot on No. 9 and the lead was Zoeller's as he two-putted for birdie at the 10th. Zoeller again fell behind Tewell as heoeller ran off five consecutive pars.
The turning point came at the par-4 16th. Zoeller converted a 12-footer for birdie to move into a four-way tie for the lead. He made it two straight when he matched Quigley's birdie on 17 as the duo moved ahead of the pack at minus-19.
At the last, Zoeller's tee ball found the fairway, while Quigley found the left rough and an awkward lie. Quigley dropped his second shot in a greenside bunker ,while Zoeller knocked a sand wedge within 18 feet of the cup.
Quigley nearly holed his bunker shot, but had to settle for a tap-in par. Zoeller calmly stepped up to his putt and drained it for his second Champions Tour victory.
'I felt good on that last putt,' Zoeller said. 'I couldn't have left that putt in a better spot on that green. The last three putts I made were unbelievable. I knew I had to birdie that last hole.'
Quigley also began the day three shots behind Tewell. He had a steady front nine with birdies on the two par-5s, Nos. 4 and 7. He climbed to 16 under with birdies at the 10th and 13th.
The eight-time winner on the Champions Tour ran off three straight birdies from the 15th to keep pace with Zoeller, but was unable to hole his bunker shot at the last that would have forced extra holes.
'It was so much fun out there today,' Quigley said. 'It was great golf. Fuzzy just made one more putt than I did. I played well enough to win.'
Stadler posted three birdies and an eagle on the front nine to climb to 14 under. He notched four more birdies on the back nine, including one at the last that gave him a share of the lead before he was passed by Zoeller and Quigley.
Tewell birdied the third and seventh to get to 17 under. His troubles began soon though. He bogeyed the ninth, for his first dropped shot of the event.
He recovered with back-to-back birdies from the 10th, but then missed four straight fairways, one of which led to a bogey at the 13th. Tewell, who had won the four previous events he led entering the final round, erased that mistake with a bogey at the next, but he could not mount a late rally.
While there was a great battle for the lead, a legend was lurking just behind them. Jack Nicklaus bogeyed the third and fifth, but eagled the fourth to stay at 10 under.
Nicklaus, who celebrated his 64th birthday earlier in the week, notched consecutive birdies from the sixth. The Golden Bear climbed to 13 under with a birdie at the 12th and kept climbing with back-to-back birdies from the 14th. However, he ran out of holes and finished alone in sixth at 15-under-par 201, after a closing 67.
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  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."