Mediate wins Senior PGA by three over Montgomerie

By Associated PressMay 29, 2016, 10:32 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Rocco Mediate holed out from a greenside bunker for birdie on the par-3 17th to wrap up a record-setting, wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the Senior PGA Championship.

Smoking cigars during the round, the 53-year-old Mediate closed with a 5-under 66 - holing a 15-footer for par on the last at Jack Nicklaus-designed Harbor Shores - for a three-stroke victory over two-time defending champion Colin Montgomerie.

''I didn't know I shot 66,'' Mediate said. ''I didn't know what the heck I shot today. ... A lot of great things happened today and I don't believe I'm sitting here. I really don't.''

The bunker shot on 18 was the highlight of the day at the major championship.

''That was sick,'' Mediate said. ''As soon as it left the club, I knew it had a chance. Obviously, I didn't know it was going to make it, of course not, but I had a feeling I might. That made a big difference. It made a huge difference. Because Monty was there for three. At least three. And if I make bogey there, and it goes to one shot going to the last hole, who knows what happens? Who knows? So it was very fortunate at that time.''

Mediate finished at 19-under 265 to break the tournament record of 268 set by Sam Snead in 1973 at PGA National. The six-time PGA Tour winner became the first wire-to-wire winner in the event since Nicklaus in 1991 at PGA National.

Mediate matched the course and tournament records with an opening 62 and added rounds of 66 and 71 to take a two-stroke lead over Montgomerie into the final round.

''I won with the putter this week. Simple as that,'' Mediate said. ''I made a bunch of par putts that I had to make. Especially today. Especially early.''

Mediate broke through with the PGA Tour Champions major victory nearly eight years after losing the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines to Tiger Woods on the first extra hole after an 18-hole playoff. He thought that experience helped him Sunday.

''Absolutely. A hundred percent,'' Mediate said. ''Because going in there, it's like I played some of the best golf I ever played in my life that day and lost. OK. To the best player in the world at that time.

But today I'm playing against pretty much the other best player in the world of our age. Bernhard (Langer), obviously, too, but Colin, I mean, he doesn't make a whole bunch of mistakes.''

Mediate won for the third time on the 50-and-over tour, with the first two coming in 2013.

Montgomerie shot a 67 - and matched Snead for the second-best total in tournament history.

''I did nothing wrong. Did nothing wrong,'' Montgomerie said. ''Went out and shot 67. All credit to Rocco. He shot 66. And you can't knock it.''

The 52-year-old Scot won in 2014 at Harbor Shores and last year at French Lick in Indiana. He also won the 2014 U.S. Senior Open.

''All credit to Rocco,'' Montgomerie said. ''But I can hold my head high here and say I made great performance, 16-under par, 67, level 67s around here in the wind isn't all bad. I just got to congratulate Rocco and go home and come back again and see if we can win this again.''

Langer tied for third at 13 under in a failed bid to become the first player to win all five PGA Tour Champions majors. The 58-year-old German won the Regions Tradition last week in Alabama for his sixth senior major title and 100th worldwide victory. In Alabama, Langer joined Nicklaus as the only players to win four different senior majors.

Langer birdied the final two holes for a 67.

''There was a lot of good in my round today and even in the whole week,'' Langer said. ''It's just too many unforced errors.''

Brandt Jobe also was 13 under after a 68.

John DalCorobbo tied for seventh at 11 under to top the club professionals, shooting a 71. The 51-year-old DalCorobbo is a PGA assistant professional at Brickyard Crossing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He won the Senior PGA Professional in October to top the club pro qualifiers.

 

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Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


"I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

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Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

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Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.

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Daly (knee) replaced by Bradley in Open field

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 12:13 pm

Former champion John Daly has withdrawn from The Open because of a right knee injury and will be replaced in the field at Carnoustie by another major winner, Keegan Bradley.

Daly, 52, defeated Costantino Rocca in a memorable playoff to win the claret jug at St. Andrews in 1995. His lingering knee pain led him to request a cart during last month's U.S. Senior Open, and when that request was denied he subsequently withdrew from the tournament.

Daly then received treatment on the knee and played in a PGA Tour event last week at The Greenbrier without the use of a cart, missing the cut with rounds of 77-67. But on the eve of the season's third major, he posted to Twitter that his pain remains "unbearable" and that a second request for a cart was turned down:

This will be just the second time since 2000 that Daly has missed The Open, having also sat out the 2013 event at Muirfield. He last made the cut in 2012, when he tied for 81st at Royal Lytham. He could still have a few more chances to improve upon that record, given that past Open champions remain fully exempt until age 60.

Taking his place will be Bradley, who was first alternate based on his world ranking. Bradley missed the event last year but recorded three top-20 finishes in five appearances from 2012-16, including a T-18 finish two years ago at Royal Troon.

The next three alternates, in order, are Spain's Adrian Otaegui and Americans Aaron Wise and J.B. Holmes.