Immelman Grabs First Green Jacket

By Associated PressApril 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Trevor Immelman has never felt better.
 
Four months after he had a tumor removed from his back, Immelman handled the wind and pressure of Augusta National far better than anyone chasing him Sunday to win the Masters, the first South African in a green jacket in 30 years.
 
Immelman held it together around Amen Corner and stretched his lead to as many as six shots on the back nine, taking the life out of a Masters that began with so much hype.
 
A two-putt par on the final hole gave him a 3-over 75, matching the highest final round by a Masters champion. Even so, it was good enough for a three-shot victory over Tiger Woods, whose hopes for a calendar Grand Slam ended with a thud.
 
Woods never got within five shots of the lead when he was on the course, twice missed birdie putts inside 8 feet and had to settle for a 72 and his second consecutive runner-up finish in the Masters.
 
I learned my lesson there with the press, Woods said with a smile. He was the one who started the talk about a Grand Slam by stating three months ago that winning all four majors in the same year was easily within reason.
 
The only slam possibilities now belong to Immelman, a 28-year-old with a polished swing, who finally realized his potential in the wicked wind of Augusta and a final round that yielded only four rounds under par.
 
Immelman, who finished at 8-under 280, started the week by playing a practice round with his boyhood idol, Gary Player, who won his third Masters in 1978 and set a record by playing for the 51st time.
 
Player told Immelman he was good enough to win the green jacket, and he left him a voicemail Saturday night that Immelman played on his speaker phone for his family to hear. The message: I know youre going to win.
 
Hes been on me all week, telling me to believe in myself, Immelman said. He also told me to keep my head still on putts. Its really a special moment, and Im glad I pulled it through for him.
 
Reached by telephone in Abu Dhabi, Player told his assistant: I am so proud of Trevor. What a thrill it was to see him come back from major surgery and beat Tiger. I cant wait to see him and shake his hand personally.
 
Immelmans wife, Carminita, and their 1-year-old son were waiting for him behind the green. Jacob took hold of the 18th flag, fussing when he couldnt go into the scoring shack to be with his father.
 
Immelmans parents also were there to greet him with hugs. His father, Johan, is the former commissioner of the Sunshine Tour in South Africa.
 
Its his moment, not mine, said the father, who waved away a reporter.
 
No one doubted he was capable of winning a major, but maybe not this one. Only four months ago, doctors discovered a tumor in his diaphragm that required surgery through his back to remove it. The tumor was benign and the recovery was quick, even though it took him two months to get his game back in shape.
 
The recovery hit warp speed this week at Augusta, where Immelman had only broken par once in his five previous Masters.
 
This has been the ultimate roller-coaster ride, and I hate roller coasters, Immelman said. I win the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, and a week later Im having an operation to remove a tumor. I felt like I had to start from zero again. Here I am after missing the cut last week.
 
Masters champion'its the craziest thing Ive ever heard of.
 
Immelman built a two-shot lead with three rounds in the 60s, and held it together during a few nervy moments.
 
He made a 10-foot par save from the bunker at No. 9 to keep a two-shot cushion, but continued to look shaky. Immelman missed the 11th green well to the right when his chip didnt quite reach and he was left with a 20-foot putt that was slick and dangerous.
 
Ahead of him, Woods was gaining momentum.
 
Woods holed a 70-foot birdie putt on the 11th, made an acrobatic escape from the trees on the 13th and spun a wedge down the slope on the par-5 13th that left him 5 feet away for birdie.
 
Immelman holed his par putt. Woods missed, just as he has done the last two years on the back nine of a major he once dominated. Brandt Snedeker and Steve Flesch, the last two players with any hope, folded quickly.
 
Woods closed with a 72 and has finished 3-2-2 in his last three Masters. It also was his fifth runner-up in a major.
 
Immelman earned $1.35 million for his second PGA Tour victory, with Woods also finishing second behind him two years ago in the Western Open.
 
I was trying to be tough out there, Immelman said. Theres a disaster around every corner.
 
Emotions were running wild for all the contenders, none more than Snedeker, who tied for third with Stewart Cink. The 27-year-old American with Huck Finn looks and a constant smile made only six pars in his round of 77, tying for the lead with an eagle on the second hole but stumbling badly the rest of the way.
 
I went from extreme highs to extreme lows, and thats what you dont want to do around here, Snedeker said.
 
Flesch was within two shots of the lead until a gust caught his 8-iron on the 12th hole, sending it into Raes Creek for a double bogey. He bogeyed four straight holes after that and shot 78.
 
Ultimately, everyone made it easy on Immelman. The three guys behind him at the start of the final round were a combined 18-over par.
 
Woods wasnt much better. He managed only three birdies, the last one from 18 feet on the final hole that came way too late. Woods could only offer a dismissive wave when the ball disappeared.
 
I hit the ball well enough to contend, Woods said. I definitely hit the ball well enough to put some pressure on Trevor. I just didnt make any putts.
 
The first blast of wind hit Amen Corner an hour before the leaders teed off, a sign of how tough it would be in the final round. And that didnt account for the pressure on four guys contending for the first time in a major'at Augusta, no less.
 
The first to fall was Paul Casey, two shots out of the lead until it took him two shots to get out of the bunker on No. 4 for double bogey. Casey dropped six shots in a five-hole stretch, including the par-3 sixth, when he called a penalty on himself for his ball moving a fraction of an inch as he stood over a 3-foot putt. Casey closed with a 79.
 
For the others, it took awhile longer to collapse.
 
Snedeker provided most of the excitement on an otherwise dull day, holing a 35-foot eagle putt on No. 2 for a share of the lead. He made a 45-foot birdie putt across the green on the 12th for a birdie to pull within three shots.
 
But there was a massive shortage of pars, and far too many mistakes.
 
The biggest came on the par-5 13th. Riding the momentum from a two-shot swing on the previous hole, Snedeker went for the green in two and left it well out to the right, finding the bottom of Raes Creek for the second straight day. Snedeker held the club at both ends and flexed the shaft, wanting to snap it in half.
 
Golly, man, if somebody could tell me how to play that second shot, Id love to know, he said. Because two days in a row, Ive hit it in the damn water.
 
Immelman wisely laid up, then fired a wedge into the back bank and watched it roll down to 2 feet for birdie. As the bogeys piled up behind him, the South African suddenly found himself in the most beautiful spot at Augusta.
 
He had a five-shot lead with five holes to play, most of the trouble out of the way.
 
His lone mistake was a tee shot into the water on the 16th for double bogey, but by then he could afford it.
 
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    Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

    By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

    The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

    Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

    Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

    He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

    There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

    In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

    So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

    The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

    Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

    When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

    Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.



    Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

    Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

    “The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

    This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

    The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

    It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

    “The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

    Pay per view does that.

    “You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

    If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

    Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

    Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

    Trail date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

    By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

    AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

    District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

    Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

    Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

    Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

    LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

    By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

    LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

    View this post on Instagram

    Finally got it down lol

    A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

    But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

    Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

    View this post on Instagram

    How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

    A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

    If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.

    Getty Images

    Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'

    By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 4:20 pm

    In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.

    “Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.

    Click here for a look at all three episodes in the series, as well as past Golf Lives films (check out the trailer below).



    And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus: 

    FILM 1

    Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)

    Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations. 


    FILM 2

    Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)

    The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club. 


    FILM 3

    Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)

    In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.