Last hole heroics lift Langer to victory

By Associated PressJuly 12, 2009, 4:00 pm
Champions TourBLAINE, Minn. ' One of the best putters on tour, Bernhard Langer won the 3M Championship with his sand wedge.
Langer chipped in for eagle on the 18th hole Sunday to earn his second straight win on the Champions Tour, and fourth of the year.
His 7-under 65 gave him a 16-under 200 for the tournament, one shot better than Andy Bean.
Standing about 10 feet off the back fringe, Langer softly chipped the ball on the edge of the green and watched it roll about 10 feet into the hole. Langer turned and pointed to the crowd with both arms raised when the ball dropped in the hole . It was his only eagle of the tournament.
It came out a little hot, but right on line, hit the back of the cup, and popped up an inch or two and then disappeared, he said. Before I played that shot I told my son, Stefan, Im going to make this. Sometimes you just have a feeling like you can do it.
It was the first eagle to win a tour event since Loren Roberts at the 2006 Turtle Bay Championship.
Standing 216 yards from the hole on the par-5, Langer sliced a hybrid over the lake and off the back of the green to set up the winning shot.
To eagle the last hole to win, youve made a couple great shots and he certainly came through with that, said Bean, who birdied the final hole. I outplayed him the first day, but he outplayed me the last two days.
Bean has three second-place finishes this year ' twice when Langer won.
Its an empty feeling when you finish second, but I birdied the last hole, and thought I birdied 17, Bean said. We got a few more weeks this year so I can try to fill it up. I just need to play a little bit better off the tee and a little bit better into the greens.
Two shots behind Nick Price at the start of the final round, Langer birdied Nos. 6 and 7, and started with three straight birdies on the back nine to take the lead at minus-14.
That got me to the point where I felt I must be getting close to the leaders, he said. I saw on No. 7 or 8 that I was two or three behind, and then I didnt see (the leaderboard) until 17 when I was tied for the lead.
Langers four wins have come in 12 events. He has finished out of the top nine just three times in amassing a seemingly insurmountable 660-point lead in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup points standings. In 37 career tour events, Langer has eight wins.
He admits he may be playing some of the best golf of his career in the last two or three years, but cannot explain why. Theres always somebody whos a little bit better than the rest. Im trying to be that somebody out here.
His competitors can cite reasons why.
He works really, really hard. Look at the shape hes in, said Price, the second-round leader who shot a 71 to finish four shots back. Out of everyone, he probably putts the best. Thats what you need to do out here.
Using a shorter belly putter than at his last tournament, Langer had 28 putts each round, nearly two strokes below his season average.
Price could not conquer the greens, missing key putts on Nos. 15 and 16, after missing, what he estimated five or six previous birdie chances.
My putter went south on me today, Price said. If I start shaking a few putts in, the boys better look out.
Scott Hoch (66) finished two shots back. Tom Kite shot his second 67 at the TPC Twin Cities to finish fourth.
Steve Thomas shot a 67 to finish tied for a career-best fifth place with Price.
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    Bjorn adds four Ryder Cup veterans as vice captains

    By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 1:05 pm

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has added a quartet of vice captains for the biennial matches this fall in Paris.

    Bjorn had already named Robert Karlsson as his first assistant, and he announced Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship that his group of advisors will also include major champions Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, and former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

    Westwood is among Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup players, and his addition in this role signals he likely won't participate as a player in the matches for the first time since 1995. The Englishman has spoken openly about his desire to captain the European squad at Whistling Straits in 2020, but he's been quiet on the course in recent months, with a missed secondary cut at the Houston Open his only start since mid-February.

    Harrington is seen as another possible captain for the 2020 matches, and he'll don an earpiece for the third straight Ryder Cup, having represented Europe as a player on six straight teams from 1999-2010.

    Donald played on four Ryder Cup teams from 2004-12, with the Europeans winning each time he was on the roster. This will mark his first stint as a vice captain, as Donald announced last month that he would be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a back injury.

    At age 38, McDowell will be the youngest vice captain in the room, having holed the winning putt eight years ago at Celtic Manor. He won the French Open in both 2013 and 2014 at Le Golf National, site of this year's matches, and will also be making his debut as a vice captain.

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    Bidder pays $50,000 to caddie for Woods

    By Grill Room TeamMay 22, 2018, 12:28 pm

    Someone has paid $50,000 to caddie for Tiger Woods at this year’s Hero World Challenge.

    An unnamed bidder paid for the opportunity at an auction Saturday night at Tiger Jam, where monies are raised to support the Tiger Woods Foundation.

    The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 29-Dec. in Albany, Bahamas. The pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.

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

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:28 am

    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.


    TV Times (all times ET):

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

    4-8PM: Match-play finals

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    Arizona grabs last spot with eagle putt, playoff win

    By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 3:18 am

    STILLWATER, Okla. – With her team freefalling in the standings, Arizona coach Laura Ianello was down to her last stroke.

    The Wildcats began the final round of the NCAA Championship in third place, but they were 19 over par for the day, and outside the top-8 cut line, with only one player left on the course.

    Bianca Pagdaganan had transferred from Gonzaga to compete for NCAA titles, and on the 17th hole Ianello told her that she needed to play “the best two holes of your life” to keep the dream alive.

    She made par on 17, then hit a 185-yard 6-iron out of a divot to 30 feet. Not knowing where she stood on the final green, Pagdaganan felt an eerie calm over the ball. Sure enough, she buried the eagle putt, setting off a raucous celebration and sending the Wildcats into a play-five, count-four team playoff with Baylor at 33 over par.

    Their match-play spot wasn’t yet secure, but Ianello still broke down in tears.

    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring

    “Bianca is such an inspiration for all of us,” she said. “She’s the kind of kid that you want to root for, to have good things happen to.”

    Arizona prevailed on the second playoff hole. As the 8 seed, the Wildcats will play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Karsten Creek.

    Though the finish had plenty of drama, no teams played their way into the coveted top 8 on the final day of stroke-play qualifying.

    Baylor came closest. The Bears barely advanced past regionals after a mysterious stomach virus affected several players and coaches. They competed in the final round with just four healthy players.

    On Monday, Gurleen Kaur put Baylor in position to advance, shooting 68, but the Bears lost by three strokes on the second extra hole.

    Arkansas finished one shot shy of the team playoff. The second-ranked Razorbacks, who entered NCAAs as one of the pre-tournament favorites, having won seven times, including their first SEC title, couldn’t overcome a 308-300 start and finished 10th. Player of the Year favorite Maria Fassi finished her week at 19 over par and counted only two rounds toward the team total.