Weibring Overcomes Kites 61 for Win

By Sports NetworkSeptember 21, 2003, 4:00 pm
CARY, N.C. -- D.A. Weibring finished eagle-birdie Sunday en route to a 6-under 66 and the win at the SAS Championship. His 54-hole total of 13-under-par 203 edged out record-setting Tom Kite and Bobby Wadkins.
 
Kite established a course record at Prestonwood Country Club with an 11-under-par 61 on Sunday. His career-best score allowed him to finish two hours before Weibring, while Wadkins posted a 3-under 69.
 
Jim Thorpe nearly holed his approach from the fairway at 18 but missed the four-footer for birdie. He carded a 6-under 66 and tied for fourth place with Tom Jenkins (67), Doug Tewell (68) and Wayne Levi (68). The group came in at 11-under-par 205.
 
Kite was in the clubhouse at minus-12 while Weibring and Wadkins were competing on the back nine. Weibring was 4 under on his round when he reached the 16th hole at 11-under for the championship. He missed a short par- saving putt at No. 16 to fall to minus-10, two strokes behind Kite.
 
Weibring reached the par-5 17th with a 4-wood and canned the eight-footer to match Kite and Tewell in the lead at 12 under par. Wadkins, playing two groups behind Weibring, sank a 45-foot birdie putt at No. 16 to also join the logjam atop the leaderboard.
 
At the 18th, Weibring found the fairway off the tee, then knocked a 6-iron to 15 feet. Tewell failed to get up and down for par to lose any hope winning the title but Weibring drained the birdie putt to go one ahead and prompt Kite to walk off the driving range, knowing he would not be part of any potential playoff.
 
That left Wadkins as the only man who could catch Weibring. Wadkins landed in the fairway at the reachable 17th but pulled his fairway-metal approach right into the rough. He pitched his third 20 feet short of the hole and missed the putt that would have knotted him with Weibring.
 
At No. 18, Wadkins drove into the rough on the left side, just in front of a fairway bunker. The ball was well below his feet and Wadkins did his best to muscle the ball 40 feet left of the cup. Wadkins putted missed right and the win was Weibring's.
 
'I feel very fortunate. I feel very blessed,' said Weibring, who pocketed $270,000 for the win. 'You never know. You focus on one shot at a time, I'm sure that helped.'
 
The win was Weibring's first on the Champions Tour in only his 10th start since turning 50 in May. He won five times on the PGA Tour but his win on the elder circuit came with some distractions.
 
Weibring has battled flu-like symptoms all week, had a recurring neck injury and on Saturday, he tweaked a rib problem. All of this led Weibring to heed the advice of his caddie on Sunday and he hopped in a cart after the fourth hole.
 
'Today I got a little weak on the back nine,' admitted Weibring. 'It's like making a free throw -- go through the routine. It's amazing how things fall into place.'
 
Kite made four birdies in a row from the third hole but really took off on the second nine. He birdied 11 then made four more in a row to get to 9 under par on his round.
 
Kite landed in a bunker at the 17th but blasted out to three feet to set up birdie. He ran home a 12-footer for birdie at the 18th to post his career low round.
 
'I really had a nice day today,' understated Kite. 'I'm just ecstatic with the way the thing went. I'm pleased with the week and I made a lot of good progress, especially on the greens.'
 
Wadkins mixed four birdies and a bogey for his 69 on Sunday but failed to make the move late in the round. The runner-up finish was his third in the 2003 season.
 
Craig Stadler (67), Jose Maria Canizares (66), Mike Hill (67) and Andy Bean (69) shared ninth place at minus-9.
 
Overnight leader Jim Ahern struggled with four bogeys on his front nine and finished with a 4-over 76. He tied for 12th at 8 under par while two-time champion Bruce Lietzke was never a factor and finished at even-par for the tournament.
 
Related Links:
  • SAS Championship Leaderboard
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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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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."


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    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."