Cochran beats Funk in playoff to win in South Korea

By Associated PressSeptember 12, 2010, 4:34 pm

Champions Tour

INCHEON, South Korea – Russ Cochran won the Songdo Championship on Sunday for his first Champions Tour victory after making a birdie on the opening hole of a playoff with Fred Funk in the 50-and-over circuit’s first event in Asia.

The 51-year-old left-hander finished at 12-under 204 on the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea to earn $456,000. He won the 1991 Western Open for his lone PGA Tour title.

Cochran, who shot a final-round 66 to force the playoff, tapped in for the win after splashing a shot from the bunker to about a foot from the hole.

“I’ve been playing well over the last year, year and a half and I felt like a victory was in the near future,” said Cochran, who was out of golf for about six years with wrist and elbow problems that required surgery.

“I’m back playing and my game’s a little bit different, but it’s pretty solid,” he said. “I’m hoping I can take this and go (on) to more victories on the Champions Tour.”

Funk, who began the day with a two-stroke lead, shot a 68. He had a chance to win in regulation, but missed 3-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th.

He landed his approach into a bunker on the playoff hole – a replay of the 18th – but failed to get up and down and extend the match.

Tom Pernice Jr., Cochran and John Cook were all tied for second entering the final round.

Pernice had a 67 to finish a stroke back at 11 under after missing a putt on the final hole that would have gotten him into the playoff.

Tom Watson, who at 59 lost in a playoff to Stewart Cink in last year’s British Open, shot a 70 to finish at 3-under. Bernhard Langer, a five time winner this year on the tour, shot an 80 to finish at 6 over.

Funk, who won the Jeld-Wen Tradition – a major title – three weeks ago, was clearly disappointed at the outcome.

“It was my tournament to win,” he said.

The 54-year-old Funk was co-leader with Michael Allen and Jay Don Blake after the first round and was sole leader going into the final round.

“I was very shocked when Fred missed,” said Cochran, adding he had given his ball to his caddie – who is also his son – and was in the process of handing over his glove when Funk’s short putt veered off to the left of the hole.

The event, played in the port city of Incheon west of Seoul, had a record Champions Tour purse of $3 million.

The tournament was plagued by heavy rains, which delayed the start of play Friday and Saturday. Conditions markedly improved Sunday with play ending under sunny skies.

Golf great Jack Nicklaus, who designed the course, said Wednesday that a performance of 4 under a day would probably be enough to win the tournament. He was nearly right.

Champions Tour President Mike Stevens declared the tournament a success, despite the challenges posed by the weather and the logistics of playing so far away in Asia.

“We’re embarking on an international strategy and growth for our tour,” he said Sunday.

Getty Images

NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Tuesday
11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals

Getty Images

Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 4:51 pm

With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.

Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.

Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.

"I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.

"And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."

Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.

"There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."

Getty Images

UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

WGCA First Team All-Americans

  • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
  • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
  • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
  • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
  • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
  • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
  • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
  • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
  • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
  • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity, MAXimumChances.org, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.