MONSTER MASHED: Geoff Ogilvy earned his first PGA TOUR victory since capturing the 2006 U.S. Open by winning the WGC-CA Championship Monday at Doral at 17 under. The event was extended an extra day due to inclement weather in the Miami area. Ogilvy made par on each of his final nine holes Monday to secure fourth career TOUR title.
Ogilvy is one of the most honest players on TOUR. He's also never one to back down from a challenge. Of the Aussie's afforementioned four TOUR victories, two have come in WGC events (2006 WGC-Match Play) or in majors. And just like he at Winged Foot in '06, a chip-in for par late in the round helped save the day.
DRIVE ENDS AT FIVE: Tiger Woods’ PGA TOUR win streak was halted at five at the WGC-CA Championship. Woods’ finished in fifth place with a score of 15 under. The loss alos ended his three-year run at champion at Doral.
Well, it turns out he’s human after all. But even on an “off week”, if you can call it that, Tiger still had a chance to win in the end. But instead of focusing in on what went wrong, let’s appreciate his incredible run. This is the first time Woods has lost since finishing second to Phil last September, and the first time he didn’t place in the top two since July! Five official PGA TOUR wins in a row, seven total, including his tournament and the Dubai Desert Classic, and 9 of the last 10. Truly remarkable. Next up: The Masters Tournament.
BIG EASY'S BIG MOVE: South African Ernie Els told the press this week about his intentions of moving his home base from England to possibly south Florida. Els has lived alongside the famed Wentworth course in England for most of his professinal career.
Els' reasoning for the major move (he used to live in Lake Nona outside of Orlando) was partly because of the better winter-time climate in Florida compared with that of rainy, cold London. But most importantly was the fact that he believes that there are better opportunities Stateside that exist for his son, Ben, who Els recently revealed suffers from autism. "The schools for Ben, especially … there’s really good stuff happening over here for him," Els said.
HE'S KRAFTY: Greg Kraft earned his first PGA TOUR victory Sunday by outlasting Bo Van Pelt and Jerry Kelly, the highest-ranked player in the field, at the inaugural Puerto Rico Open. Kraft earned $630,000—more than he’s made on the PGA TOUR combined since 2003.
Who loves opposite-field events more than the career journeyman. First, Brian Gay won in Mexico the same week of the WGC-Accenture Match Play and now Kraft in Puerto Rico. Anyone winless on TOUR with about 10 years service can next look forward to the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, the week of the British Open.
OWW WIE: .Michelle Wie withdrew from the Safeway International on Friday after tweaking an injury to her left wrist during practice last week. The 18-year-old Wie received a sponsor exemption to play in the upcoming event at Superstition Mountain in Arizona. She has played in just one tournament this year, and finished 20 strokes behind winner Paula Creamer in the Fields Open in Hawaii.
It is hard to tell whether this is a step forwards or backwards for Wie. On one hand she showed some common sense in not forcing the issue with her wrist, and risking further injury that would keep her out of future events. On the other this could be a nagging injury that could keep the Stanford freshman from ever reaching her full potential and living up to the lofty expectations placed on her. In other words, it's pretty typical for the on-going Wie saga.
BACK AND FORSYTH: Alastair Forsyth erased a five-stroke deficit Sunday before beating Hennie Otto in a playoff to win the Madeira Island Open. The 32-year-old Scot birdied the 18th hole twice, once in regulation and then again on the extra hole, to force and win the playoff to collect his first title since the 2002 Malaysian Open, when he overcame Australian Stephen Leaney for his first title.
The win was a complete change in fortune this year for Forsyth who had missed the cut in each of his five events this year. But his successful 7-footer in overtime earned him the $180,000 first prize and made him 2-out-of-2 in playoffs as a professional. “It’s the worst start I’ve ever made,” added Forsyth, “but I’d played well at the end of last season and just got a bit rusty over the winter.” Otto was looking for his debut in the winner’s circle to regain his tour card but gave away his lead early in his round..
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Louis Oosthuizen arrived on Sunday for the WGC-CA Championship, although his clubs did not make it; Stephanie Sparks, GOLF CHANNEL personality, accepted a sponsor’s exemption to the third-annual Ginn OPEN, April 14-20 at Ginn Reunion Resort; Erik Compton underwent two heart procedures this past week.
Oosthuizen finally got his clubs and shot 74-72 alongside Tiger. He finished tied for 68th for the event; Sparks’ LPGA career was cut short after the 2000 season due to back surgery. But her attitude is thus, "After my second back surgery I thought I’d never have a chance of being inside the ropes again. Having this opportunity is unexpected, and I will be enjoying every single second of it. I don’t know how I’ll play, but it’s about taking in every moment of it."; Just days after his surgery, Compton, a Miami native, was on-site at Doral. He first had a heart transplant at the age of 12. That heart lasted 16 years. He needs another one now to continue his life.
Contributions from writers and editors on the Golf Channel Digital team.
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