Williamsons Sunday 63 Nets Win

By Sports NetworkMay 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourFORT SMITH, Arkansas -- Jay Williamson fired a 7-under 63 Sunday to erase a six-shot deficit at the start of the round and win the Fort Smith Classic.
 
He finished at 16-under-par 264 and collected his first win on the Nationwide Tour. Williamson finished one clear of overnight leader Justin Bolli (70) and Garrett Willis (66).
 
'This means a ton,' acknowledged Williamson, who pocketed $94,500 for the win. 'Seeing your name on top of the leaderboard is always a nice thing. I just turned 40 and this really isn't a tour for 40 year olds. Obviously winning is a tremendous boost to my career.'
 
Jason Day fired an 8-under 62 in round four and tied for fourth place with Tee McCabe, who posted a 6-under 64 on Sunday. The pair came in at 14-under-par 266.
 
Williamson birdied every other hole starting at the first and ending at the fifth. He rattled off three consecutive birdies from the ninth and suddenly he was a factor in the tournament.
 
He birdied the 13th hole and was in the lead at minus-16. Williamson parred his final five holes, but had to wait because overnight leader Bolli had some chances coming home.
 
Bolli recorded two birdies and two bogeys through the first 16 holes. He birdied the par-3 17th and was tied with Williamson atop the leaderboard.
 
Unfortunately for Bolli, an errant approach into a bunker at 18 led to a bogey and gave Williamson his first win in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned tournament.
 
'I was trying to get aggressive from the fairway,' said Bolli. 'I wanted to stick it on the last hole and win the tournament. Today was win or bust, especially after starting with a three-shot lead. I have no regrets, it was just bad execution.'
 
'I hate to see a guy bogey the last hole for me to win,' said Williamson. 'But I feel like I deserved to win the tournament this week. I played well all week. I finally played well on Sunday, too.
 
'I've had three or four opportunities this year on Sunday to not necessarily win but make a good check and I haven't been able to capitalize. It feels good to finally get it done.'
 
Brad Elder (67) and Craig Lile (68) tied for sixth place at minus-13.
 
Patrick Sheehan (66), Adam Riddering (66), Andrew Johnson (68) and Michael Boyd (69) shared eighth place at 12-under-par 268.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Fort Smith Classic
  • Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

    <
    Getty Images

    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

    Getty Images

    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.