McIlroy defeats AK in playoff for Shanghai win

By Associated PressOctober 30, 2011, 11:00 am

SHANGHAI – U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy defeated Anthony Kim in a sudden-death playoff Sunday to win the Shanghai Masters.

McIlroy gave up an early three-shot lead before rallying from a stroke down on the back nine to finish regulation level with Kim at 18-under 270 and force the playoff.

The 22-year-old Northern Irishman had a chance to win the championship with an 8-foot birdie putt on the 18th at Lake Malaren’s Jack Nicklaus-designed Masters course, but missed by inches.

Both players drove into the bunker on the first playoff hole, then both made equally well-placed shots out of the sand close to the pin. The American missed his putt from about 3 feet, while McIlroy sank his 2-footer. It was the first time he’s won in three career playoffs.

McIlroy captured the $2 million first-place prize money, the richest in golf, while Kim took home $750,000. Thirty players took part in the invitational, first-year tournament, which isn’t sanctioned by a major tour.

“It’s something that I feel like I can still get better at is winning and putting yourself in the position to win when you’re not playing your best,” McIlroy said.

“Even if it’s scrappy golf where you grind it out, you’re going to win a lot more tournaments by doing that rather than playing your best golf the whole week. I was very happy I was able to pull this one out.”

Hunter Mahan (70) and Noh Seung-yul (73) finished joint third at 13 under.

Lee Westwood hit a hole in one on the 12th hole and seven birdies for a 67, finishing in fifth place at 12 under. It was the best round of the week for the second-ranked Englishman, despite the fact he ended with two bogeys.

The final round turned into an unexpected duel between third-ranked McIlroy and the 82nd-ranked Kim, who has just three PGA Tour victories to his credit.

There were echoes of McIlroy’s stunning collapse at the Masters earlier this year when he sprayed shots all over the course and surrendered a four-shot lead in the final round at Augusta on his way to an 80.

After three rounds of relatively mistake-free golf in Shanghai, McIlroy hit into the water and bunkers, and missed several close putts. But this time, he was able to turn it around.

His troubles started on the first hole when he hit the pin with his approach shot, causing the ball to bounce back into the fringe and leading to a bogey. Kim was able to quickly make up the difference, sinking three birdies to pull into a share of the lead at 18-under on the sixth hole.

“I felt good standing on the first tee obviously with a three-shot lead,” McIlroy said. “I thought my second shot was very good. It was just a little unfortunate to hit the pin and ricochet back off the green. To go from three ahead to one ahead after the first hole was obviously not the start I was looking for.”

After McIlroy answered with a birdie to retake the lead on No. 7, he hit his second shot into the water on the difficult par-4 No. 9, settling for a bogey and giving Kim another opening.

The American missed an easy putt from 5 feet to take bogey himself and remain one shot back at the turn.

McIlroy’s struggles continued on the back nine. The Northern Irishman hit into the bunker on the 11th and then three-putted for another bogey – his third of the day – to give Kim sole possession of the lead at 18-under.

After hitting into the bunker again and barely salvaging par on the 14th, McIlroy finally got a break on the 15th hole when he made a 5-footer for birdie and Kim missed from the same distance to even the score again.

McIlroy had a chance to take the lead on the 17th, but just missed his birdie putt. Then, on the final hole, he missed the putt that would have given him the victory.

“It was an exciting final day and a tough finish for me personally,” Kim said. “We had a lot fun out there today.”

Ian Poulter (72) finished in sixth place at 11 under, while Retief Goosen (68) and K.J. Choi (67) were in joint seventh at 8 under. Y.E. Yang (72), Padraig Harrington (72) and John Daly (71) followed at 6 under.

All the top players received appearance money and last place paid $25,000. There were no ranking points at stake because the event isn’t sanctioned by a major tour.

The WGC-HSBC Champions will take place next week at nearby Sheshan International.

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."