Flesch Cruises to Title in New York

By Associated PressSeptember 23, 2007, 4:00 pm
Turning Stone Resort ChampionshipVERONA, New York -- Steve Flesch shot a 1-over 73 on Sunday and beat Michael Allen by two shots to win the inaugural Turning Stone Resort Championship, the left-hander's second PGA TOUR victory in two months.
 
Flesch had an 18-under 270 total and won $1.08 million to boost his earnings for 2007 to $2.2 million, vaulting him from 70th on the money list into the top 30. He also earned a spot in the U.S. Open next year as a multiple winner since the last Open.
 
For Flesch, who began the day with a four-shot lead over Carl Pettersson and Charles Warren, it was his fourth career victory on the PGA TOUR and marked the third straight time he's won after holding the 54-hole lead. The third-round leader has won two of the last eight events on the PGA TOUR, dating to Flesch's victory at the Reno-Tahoe Open in August.
 
It was a banner day, nonetheless, for the 48-year-old Allen (68), who last year made his 13th trip to the Q-school finals and earned his PGA TOUR card for a record ninth time. Although Allen failed to get his first victory, he earned $648,000 to boost his earnings to a career-high $960,297, inside the top 100 on the money list.
 
John Senden (67) and rookie John Mallinger (68) tied for third at 15 under, one shot ahead of Pettersson (73), Tommy Armour III (68), Mathew Goggin (69), Charley Hoffman (69) and rookie Parker McLachlin (71).
 
Warren (74) and Bill Haas (71), who began the tournament ranked 126th on the money list, finished in a tie for 10th at 13 under.
 
It wasn't difficult to figure out how Flesch won. Over the first three rounds, he reached 51 of 54 greens in regulation, hit 32 of 42 fairways, made 14 putts of more than 10 feet, and was 11 under on the more difficult back nine, including a course-record 30 on Friday that included four birdies and an eagle. That put him at 19 under and tied the PGA TOUR's lowest 54-hole score in relation to par this year.
 
The largest come-from-behind win on tour this year was by Padraig Harrington, who came from six shots back on the final day to win the British Open. There were only three players within six shots of Flesch at the start of play Sunday -- Pettersson and Warren were the closest at four shots back -- but Flesch made it interesting for a while with three bad shots on the first two holes.
 
Flesch began the round by driving into a fairway bunker on the opening hole, a 404-yard par-4. He hit cleanly out but 40 yards short of the pin, and despite a perfect lie mishit his third shot. It skidded left into a greenside bunker, he hit out to 40 feet and two-putted for bogey.
 
There was more trouble at No. 2, another par-4. After a perfect drive down the middle of the fairway, Flesch's second shot sailed past the green into the rough 43 feet from the hole. And when he slid his chip 15 past the pin, he was unable to salvage par and dropped back to 17 under.
 
Flesch finally regained his stroke at the 203-yard par-3 third hole, hitting his drive to 4 feet and making birdie while Pettersson settled for his third straight par.
 
Pettersson found trouble at No. 4. Both he and Flesch drove into a fairway bunker along the right side, their balls stopping in the sand 6 inches from one another. Flesch hit out first and lofted his second shot to 9 feet and made birdie. Pettersson hooked his second shot left, it rolled down a hill to the right of the green, some 62 feet from the pin, and he two-putted for bogey from inside 15 feet.
 
Any chance Pettersson might still have had disappeared along with his ball at the par-5 fifth hole, statistically the easiest hole on the course. After a nice drive at the 552-yard dogleg left, Pettersson hooked a fairway wood low and left toward a giant water hazard. The ball landed in 3-foot-high weeds on a near-vertical slope, forcing Pettersson to take a penalty, and he made bogey again.
 
Warren, who finished a career-best second to Flesch at Reno, fell back quickly with two bogeys on the first three holes.
 
The first two rounds at the 7,482-yard Atunyote Golf Club course were played under ideal conditions, with temperatures in the 80s and hardly a breeze, and several players went low each day. And even though the wind picked up Saturday, gusting as high as 25 mph, Flesch and many of the leaders had 6-under 66s.
 
On Sunday, with the wind a steady 12-15 mph and gusting to over 20 mph, Flesch coasted to victory without a challenge, even though he made seven straight pars and bogeyed two of his last three holes.
 
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    PGA Tour Latinoamerica moving season finale to Doral

    By Nick MentaOctober 18, 2018, 2:36 pm

    PGA Tour Latinoamerica announced Wednesday that it will play its season finale, the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship, at Trump National Doral from Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

    The limited-field event will feature the top 60 players on the circuit's money list competing on Doral's Golden Palm Course.

    “We are very happy that we will continue playing the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship in South Florida, and Doral is a tremendous community that we know will open its arms to our players and this tournament,” PGA Tour Latinoamerica president Jack Warfield said in a statement.

    The PGA Tour ended its more than 50-year relationship with Doral and the resort's Blue Monster course back in 2016, when Cadillac's title sponsorship of the World Golf Championship lapsed and as then-candidate Trump was mounting his bid for the presidency.

    "We continue to stand by our earlier statement, and the statement of other golf organizations, that Mr. Trump's comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf," then-PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in December 2015, referring to Trump's campaign rhetoric concerning Mexicans and Muslims.

    The event was moved to Mexico City in 2017 and renamed the WGC-Mexico Championship.

    The Latinoamerica Tour Championship was staged the last two years at Melreese Country Club in Miami, where David Beckham is currently attempting to build a stadium for his Major League Soccer expansion club, Inter Miami.

    PGA Tour Latinoamerica's release states that the move to Doral "keeps the event in this part of the Sunshine State and allows the tournament to maintain its ties to The First Tee of Miami as a charitable recipient and sponsor." Melreese, the city's only public golf course, is home to the First Tee of Miami, which naturally opposes Beckham's efforts to close the facility and repurpose the land.

    A November referendum will ask voters to decide if the city should negotiate a no-bid lease with Beckham's ownership group, which seeks to $1 billion dollar complex comprising of the proposed stadium, youth soccer fields, a park, commercial and retail space, and a hotel.

    Im wins Web.com Player and Rookie of the Year awards

    By Nick MentaOctober 18, 2018, 1:22 pm

    Sungjae Im on Thursday was named the Web.com Tour's 2018 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year.

    Im won twice on the Web.com this year, taking the season opener in January, The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, and the season finale in August, the WinCo Foods Portland Open, to become the first player in history lead the circuit's money list wire-to-wire.

    Im is the first Korean-born player to win the Web's POY award and, at 20 years old, its youngest recipient.

    In a player vote, Im bested Anders Albertson, Sam Burns, Kramer Hickok and Martin Trainer, 2018's only other two-time winner, for POY honors, and Burns, Hickock, Trainer and Cameron Champ for ROY honors.

    “My first year on the Web.com Tour was an incredibly happy time for me,” Im said, “and it’s pretty surreal that I was able to win the first and last tournament of the season. I honestly thought I would spend about two to three years on the Web.com Tour before making it to the PGA Tour, so I’m happy to have achieved my goal so soon. I’m grateful to have earned the Player of the Year honors and I hope to finish the remainder of the PGA Tour season on a good note.”

    In his first PGA Tour start, Im tied for fourth at the Safeway Open, earning $241,280, a little less than half of the $534,326 he amassed in 25 starts as the Web's regular-season money winner.

    Playing this week's CJ Cup in his native South Korea, Im opened with a 1-over 73 Thursday.

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    Former DJ advisor found guilty in embezzlement case

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 12:38 pm

    A federal jury has found Nathan Hardwick, a former advisor to Dustin Johnson, guilty of embezzling $26 million in funds from his now-bankrupt real estate closing firm, Morris Hardwick Schneider.

    Per Golf.com, citing Law.com, a 12-person jury convicted Hardwick of "one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 21 counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to federally insured banks."

    As for where exactly the money went, The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, once again citing Law.com, has the details:

    "The alleged spending included $18.47 million on gambling, private jet travel and women from 2011 through August 2014. The prosecution submitted two binders of documentation as evidence that Hardwick spent $4.39 million on “female social companions,” including one testifying witness who claimed to have met him through SugarDaddy.com."

    "Other alleged expenditures described in testimony include more than $7 million at casinos, more than $3 million with a bookie, $680,000 for a luxury condo at The St. Regis Atlanta, $273,000 on a diamond ring, $186,000 on a deposit for a party on a private island, and $635,000 on a trip to the 2014 British Open for golfing buddies that included a customized jet and round at St. Andrews."

    Johnson in 2014 sued Morris Hardwick Schneider over a $3 million loan he believed to be an investment. Instead, Johnson argued, the money was going to make up for shortages created by Hardwick's embezzlement. Johnson later amended his suit to argue that Hardwick, who previously served on the board of the Dustin Johnson Foundation, was being used as a "pawn" by the firm's other partners. 

    That suit was settled in 2016 for $2 million.

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    Kang 'going with the flow,' one back of A. Jutanugarn

    By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 am

    SHANGHAI – Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Buick LPGA Shanghai tournament on Thursday.

    The Thai player had six birdies in a bogey-free round, including three straight on Nos. 4, 5, and 6.

    ''I always have so much fun when I play in Asia,'' said Jutanugarm, who added her key was ''just not to expect anything. Just go out have fun and enjoy everything.''

    Sei Young Kim and Danielle Kang (both 67) were one shot back, with six other players only two shots off the lead.


    Full-field scores from the Buick LPGA Shanghai


    The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

    Kang credited her improved play to new coach Butch Harmon.

    ''We just kind of simplify the game a lot,'' the American said. ''Just trying to calm it down and get back to how I used to play. Just more feel golf. Thinking less mechanics and going with the flow.''

    Kang tied for third last week at the KEB Hana Bank championship in Incheon, South Korea.

    ''Today's round went very smooth,'' Kang said. ''Coming off very good momentum after last week, and I've been hitting the ball really well, playing great. I've just been trusting my game and just keep giving myself birdie chances. They kept rolling in.''